The subtleties of resistance
September 30, 2013, 11:04 am
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We are all familiar with resistance. In it’s most obvious form it is felt viscerally and expressed verbally as a firm “NO!” But resistance can be subtle. So much so that if we aren’t actually consciously looking for it – at it – it can easily be missed. It can be disguised as almost anything, including earnest and sincere seeking or spirituality.

With Eckhart Tolle’s teachings to bring attention back to the present moment becoming more popular, many of us have discovered just how much our attention has been caught up in thinking. Never before having realized how wrapped up in thoughts we have been, we begin to see how our awareness flits from one thought to another. It is amazing to start to become aware of this tendency, even though at first it feels like such an effort to “learn how to” bring attention back – to itself.

For those of us who hang in there and continue unraveling the ties that bind our attention to thoughts, the entire ‘process’ appears to become more and more refined. We become aware of the subtle tricks of the mind that seem to be taking us in the ‘right’ direction (into the present moment). One of these tricks comes about when we follow Eckhart’s suggestion, or (worded differently) the command that Gangaji suggests (having learned it from her teacher, Papaji) to “STOP!” When we follow this advice, and then feel (obviously or subtly) the resistance of “… because I should not be [doing… whatever]” then we have, in fact, continued giving in to the demanding mind which says, “This should not be.”

The ego/mind is so crafty! Until we are able to witness it in action, feel the effects of its processes in our body, inquire into all that is going on and remain perfectly still – STOPPED, as it were – we are resisting reality. This command to “STOP!” and the suggestion to “bring awareness into this moment” means to be with all that is. Fully and without compromise, including the subtle mind-tricks that arise to hook and entangle attention yet again (on something other than itself).

So often we hear that if we can just bring our attention to Now, if we can just STOP (thinking), then we will be at peace. We can all discover the truth of this for ourselves. But paradoxically, it is this kind of thinking the mind latches onto that keeps us chained to longing, seeking, chasing (the peace of) Enlightenment. If we cannot see this, we are still looking through a veil of thinking. It may be very subtle, but it’s not so subtle that we can’t see it. We just have to look, and be completely willing – open – to seeing reality as it is, which may include these subtleties of resistance.

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Before you know it…
June 27, 2012, 11:21 am
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Give in to the mind’s many demands for attention and before you know it another lifetime has appeared to come and go….

Never Not Here: Richard Miller, Tom Galten, Grace Lambert
April 27, 2012, 5:41 pm
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Which you is the real you?
April 5, 2012, 5:16 pm
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Gramma, do you miss me when I’m not up here visiting with you?

No sweetie, you don’t even exist for me when you are not up here visiting, except as a thought in my head. And the thought of you isn’t who you really are.

Huh? What do you mean?

Well, when you are not up here visiting me, where are you?

Um, I guess I’m at home in my house, or in school, or on the bus!

Yes, and so if you are there, and not here, even if I have a thought of you, where are you? Which you is the real you? The thought I have in my head about you, or the you that is at home, or in school, or on the bus?

(Long pause…) *I* am real where *I* am! And the thought you have is just … is like… a dream then, isn’t it?

Yes, precisely.

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Moving forms…
March 9, 2012, 11:47 am
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Moving forms...Standing in the shower I notice that the water is falling, moving in a steady splashing stream down across my body, hitting the shower floor, pooling around my feet, sliding down the drain. I see my arms move, feel my head drop under the shower head as I lather and rinse my hair, my skin. The sweet fragrance of the soap lingers in my nostrils, and then slowly dissipates, the molecules moving along the currents of air until the smell is no longer strong. The soft hum of the heater just beyond the shower curtain is heard as sound waves travel along those same currents of air, and then bend the little hairs in my ear to cause nerve impulses to travel along my central nervous system and register in my brain as ‘sound’. Throughout all this witnessing, thoughts seem to arise and dissolve… transient, coming and going, moving, moving, moving… just as everything appears to be moving.

And yet, something still and silent and immovable notices all this movement, no matter what form that movement takes. This… formless something… doesn’t move.

“What is IT?” I ask myself. “IT doesn’t move… and yet can it be seen or heard or found… anywhere? Can IT be sensed?”

The answer, indescribable and incomprehensible to understanding … is … paradoxically… IT. And any attempt to describe IT … is not… IT.

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August 4, 2011, 7:54 am
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When one grieves consciously, grief is embraced
by the very heart that appears to be breaking.

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There is only Now
May 23, 2011, 9:42 pm
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There is only Now.

If there is only Now,

then Now is all there is.

And so… ALL… that IS…

is NOW.

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Can ‘it’ be described?
May 2, 2011, 10:33 am
Filed under: Photos, Thought-Provoking Muses

Without ‘mind’ to interpret sensory input and apply concepts and labels to that which IS, what… IS?

Does any ‘thing’ exist without an interpretation of ‘it’?

Does any ‘thing’ exist without a concept of ‘it’?

Does any ‘thing’ exist without a label to define ‘it’?

Does any ‘thing’ exist without a ‘mind’ to … create ‘it’
with interpretations, concepts and labels?

What is a sound without the interpretation ‘sound’?

What is a sound without the concept of ‘sound’?

What is a sound without the label ‘sound’?

Does ‘sound’ exist, separate from the mind’s interpretations, concepts and labels?

Black Capped ChickadeeLook at a bird.

Listen to its song.

Imagine having no way to identify ‘it’.

No way to distinguish ‘it’ from any other ‘thing’ you ‘see’.

No concept of ‘bird’.

No label to suggest it is a certain ‘type’ or ‘gender’.

Whether the sight of the bird causes you to gasp in wonder, or the sound of its song brings joy to your heart, when all interpretation, concepts and labels fall away, what remains?

Can ‘it’ be described?

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Disguised in a myriad of forms…
April 23, 2011, 6:14 pm
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Disguised in a myriad of forms, a beautifully simple invitation to the “Be Here Now” play is being extended every moment. The mind assumes there is an RSVP, but there isn’t, and the invitation cannot actually be ignored or rejected. ALL accept the invitation and are actually participants in the play, despite confusion that leads some to believe that they are only attending as ‘spectators’.

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The Story of the Cracked Pot
April 3, 2011, 8:24 am
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A waterbearer in India had two large pots, one hung on each end of a pole, which she carried across her neck.

One of the pots had a crack in it. While the other pot was perfect, and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the mistress’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to her master’s house.

The perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream: “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”

Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”

“I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your mistress’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in her compassion she said, “As we return to the mistress’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.

But at the end of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot’s side?

“That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.

“For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my mistress’s table. Without you being just the way you are, she would not have this beauty to grace her house.”

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