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
Filed under: Thought-Provoking Muses | Tags:

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
Filed under: Thought-Provoking Muses | Tags:

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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The heart of all religions…
April 2, 2011, 1:55 pm
Filed under: Random Reflections, Thought-Provoking Muses | Tags:

That which lies at the heart of all religions–and within the heart of every human (the “essence” as some call it)–is the same Truth. Embracing Truth within ourselves, within others, within all life forms, within all institutions and religions in which that essence resides… embracing that will liberate us. Only then we will know freedom: the liberation from all that is false.

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Beginning Inquiry
February 5, 2011, 11:02 am
Filed under: Books, Thought-Provoking Muses | Tags:

The following text is from the book Women Food and God, by Geneen Roth.

***

Inquiry can be done any time, anywhere—when you are alone, with a friend, with a teacher. It can be done as a writing practice. Begin by becoming aware of a question—something you don’t know but want to know. If you are aware of a problem you have, but think you know why you have it and what to do about it, there is no reason to do inquiry. The effectiveness of inquiry lies in its open-endedness, its evocation of true curiosity.

When you practice inquiry, you see what and who you have been taking yourself to be that you have never questioned. Inquiry allows you to be in direct contact with that which is bigger than what you are writing about: the infinite unexplored worlds beyond your everyday discursive mind.

  • Give yourself twenty minutes in which you won’t be disturbed.
  • Sense your body. Feel the surface you are sitting on. Notice the point of contact your skin is making with your clothes. Be aware of your feet as they touch the floor. Feel yourself inhabiting your arms, your legs, your chest, your hands.
  • Ask yourself what you are sensing right now—and where you are sensing it. Be precise. Do you feel tingling? Pulsing? Tightening? Do you feel warmth or coolness? Are the sensations in your chest? Your back? Your throat? Your arms?
  • Start with the most compelling sensations and ask these questions: Does the sensation have shape, volume, texture, color? How does it affect me to feel this? Is there anything difficult about feeling this? Is it familiar? How old do I feel when I feel this? What happens as I feel it directly?
  • At this point, you might begin associating a sensation with a memory or a particular feeling like sadness or loneliness. And you might have a reaction, might want to close down, go away, stop writing. Remember that a sensation is an immediate, primary experience located in the body, whereas a reaction is a secondary experience located in the mind. Some examples of reactions are: the desire to eat compulsively, telling yourself that your pain will never end, comparing how or what you feel to how you want to feel, comparing the present experience to your past experience, comparing yourself to someone else, making up a story about what is going on.

    When you notice that you are reacting to what you are experiencing, come back to your body. Sense what is going on in your chest, your legs, your back, your belly. Inquiry is about allowing your direct and immediate experience to unfold; it is not about a story you are constructing in your mind.

  • Recognize, name and disengage from The Voice. If you feel small, collapsed or powerless, it is usually a sign that The Voice is present. The Voice says things like, “You will never be good enough”; “Your will never change”; “You deserve to suffer”’ You are a failure / a bad person / unlovable / stupid / worthless / fat / ugly.” Any feelings of same are a response to The Voice.

    To continue with the inquiry, you must disengage from The Voice, since its intent is to keep you circumscribed by its definition of safe and to maintain the status quo.

    If recognizing its presence does not dispel it, you can say, “Back off!” or “Go away!” or “Go pick on someone your own size.” Keep it short. Keep it simple. A successful disengagement defuses The Voice and releases the sensations.

  • Whenever you notice that you are engaged in a reaction or are distracted, confused, numb or out of tough, go back to sensing your body.
  • Pay attention to secrets, thoughts or feelings you’ve censored. When those arise, be curious about them. Be curious about what’s hidden in them.
  • Don’t try to direct the inquiry with your mind. If you have an agenda or preferences (i.e., you don’t want to feel needy or angry or hateful), the inquiry won’t unfold. As the Tibetan Buddhists say, “Be like a child, astonished at everything.”

Remember: Inquiry is a practice. It’s not something you “get” the first or tenth time around. You don’t do inquiry to get something; you do it because you want to find out who you are when you are not conditioned by your past or your idea of what a good person is supposed to be. Each time you do it, you learn more. Each time you learn more, you continue the process of dismantling the stale, repetitive version of your (ego) self. With each inquiry, you have the chance to discover that you are not who you think you are. What a relief.

***

A description of this wonderful book can be found on this page of her web site: http://www.geneenroth.com/women_food_and_god.php.

And here is a clip of the author reading snippets from her book:

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Can you feel it?
October 10, 2010, 8:07 am
Filed under: Random Reflections, Thought-Provoking Muses | Tags:

Who you are, beneath all the opinions, resistance, judgment and belief, truly has no feeling one way or the other for the issues or discussions that seem so urgent to you. Discussion is for the ego. No problem with that. Realizing it, though, at the deepest level of being, is very liberating. One can continue on with a discussion, but the … urgency, angst, fear, anger or resentment–and the need to express opinions and to be ‘right’–it all falls away, leaving an almost unbearable lightness of being.

Can you feel it?

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Call off the search…
September 25, 2010, 8:24 am
Filed under: Random Reflections, Thought-Provoking Muses | Tags:

The Ego is always searching… for ‘The Truth’, the ‘right’ answer, a clear definition of what is an ‘appropriate’ response to any given situation. But the Ego cannot know the truth, even as the mind convincingly offers ‘compassionate’ words of wisdom veiled as ‘The Truth’.

Call off the search.

Truth can only be known in silence, and within that space the right answer and appropriate response arises.

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