Thought Prison by Ram Dass

Ram Dass on Awareness and Watching Thoughts
Wherever there is attachment
Associated with it
Brings endless misery.

– Gampopa, The Jewel Ornament of Liberation
Your ego is a set of thoughts that define your universe. It’s like a familiar room built of thoughts; you see the universe through its windows. You are secure in it, but to the extent that you are afraid to venture outside, it has become a prison. Your ego has you conned. You believe you need its specific thoughts to survive. The ego controls you through your fear of loss of identity. To give up these thoughts, it seems, would annihilate you, and so you cling to them.

There is an alternative. You needn’t destroy the ego to escape its tyranny. You can keep this familiar room to use as you wish, and you can be free to come and go. First you need to know that you are infinitely more than the ego room by which you define yourself. Once you know this, you have the power to change the ego from prison to home base.

Consider awakening on a usual morning. The alarm clock rings, you come out of sleep, focus enough to think “Alarm clock,” and reach over to turn it off. Your thoughts might go something like this:

“It’s time to get up. I have to go to the toilet. It’s warm in here. Do I smell coffee perking? I could still sleep for ten more minutes. Oh, I forgot to do the dishes last night. I need to go to the toilet. Gee, my mouth tastes awful. I could still sleep for ten more minutes. What was I dreaming about? Who was that person in my dream? Wonder if it’s warm outside. Boy, I’m hungry. What’s that sound in the other room? I really need to go to the toilet. God, I wish I could stay in bed all day.”

Thought after thought with the rapidity of a trip-hammer. Thoughts about what you hear, what you taste, what you smell, what you see, what you feel, what you remember, what you plan. On and on they go. A raging roaring river of thoughts pouring through you: “Think of me, think of me, think of me, me, me, me, me first, think of me.” And so it goes all day, until you go to sleep.

You are totally in the control of your senses and thoughts. The alarm sounds and captures your attention, draws your awareness to it. But “you” are not your ears hearing the clock. You are awareness attending to your ears hearing. It’s like when you’re reading something so absorbing that you fail to hear someone enter the room. The sound of their steps triggers the process of hearing, yet you do not “hear.” For you are busy reading and thinking. Just as you are not your ears hearing, you are not your other senses either. You are not the eyes seeing, nose smelling, tongue tasting, or skin feeling. Only your thoughts are left. Here is where most people cannot escape. For they identify totally with their thoughts. They are unable to separate pure awareness from the thoughts that are its objects. Meditation allows you to break this identification between awareness and the objects of awareness. Your awareness is different from both your thoughts and your senses. You can be free to put your awareness where you will, instead of it being grabbed, pushed, and pulled by each sense impression and thought. Meditation frees your awareness.

A being whose awareness is totally free, who does not cling to anything, is liberated.
– Ram Dass

How to Use Body Meditation and Mindfulness of the Breath to Dissolve Fears

anda:

I always get a lot out of this person’s blog, Metta Refuge.

Originally posted on Metta Refuge:

Morning “Check In” — What is present and what is arising?

Steven Goodheart Essays Steven Goodheart Essays

When I awake in the morning, the first thing I do is “check in” to myself to see what’s going on. I consciously breathe in and out, center myself, and just listen and watch to see what arises. I try not to get snagged by anything, but just be open to the whole experience that I identify as “I” or “me.”

This morning what arose, as I got quiet enough to see, was an oppressive sense of fear and unease. Looking deeper, I saw that there were nameless fears about my body, fear about the struggles of friends and loved ones, and fear about the problems of the world.

Often, my response to such feelings is to begin metta—loving-kindness meditation—for myself, for the loved ones, and for the world. Love is a powerful antidote for…

View original 1,130 more words

Enlightenment Does Not Mean Perfection…In the Usual Way

This is an excellent debunking of what an “enlightened being” looks like. We think they will look and act perfectly, but that is not the case.

 

The autobiographical part of the book Be Here Now was initially called His-Story. Each of us has his story. History. To see your life as His-Story or Her-Story is to break the attachment to the melodrama of your story line. But be careful. This doesn’t mean to push it away, to reject or deny it or consider it trivial. It merely means to surround the events of your life with quiet spacious awareness.

It is not that you erase all of your individuality, for even an enlightened being has a personality marked by all sorts of idiosyncrasies. An enlightened being doesn’t necessarily have beautiful hair, sparkling teeth, a young body, or a nice disposition. His or her body has its blemishes; it ages and dies. The difference is that such a being no longer identifies with that body and personality. ~~~Ram Dass

Rumi “I See Your Beauty…”

https://www.facebook.com/moyersandcompany/videos/vb.114528955231791/1008285742522770/?t

We See Through a Glass Darkly

Your ego is a set of thoughts that define your universe. It’s like a familiar room built of thoughts; you see the universe through its windows. You are secure in it, but to the extent that you are afraid to venture outside, it has become a prison. Your ego has you conned. You believe you need its specific thoughts to survive. The ego controls you through your fear of loss of identity. To give up these thoughts, it seems, would annihilate you, and so you cling to them.

…You are totally in the control of your senses and thoughts. The alarm sounds and captures your attention, draws your awareness to it. But “you” are not your ears hearing the clock. You are awareness attending to your ears hearing. It’s like when you’re reading something so absorbing that you fail to hear someone enter the room. The sound of their steps triggers the process of hearing, yet you do not “hear.” For you are busy reading and thinking. Just as you are not your ears hearing, you are not your other senses either. You are not the eyes seeing, nose smelling, tongue tasting, or skin feeling. Only your thoughts are left. Here is where most people cannot escape. For they identify totally with their thoughts. They are unable to separate pure awareness from the thoughts that are its objects. Meditation allows you to break this identification between awareness and the objects of awareness. Your awareness is different from both your thoughts and your senses. You can be free to put your awareness where you will, instead of it being grabbed, pushed, and pulled by each sense impression and thought. Meditation frees your awareness.

~~~Ram Dass

The Fruits of Mindfulness

MP900438617

I saw this quote on Trycicle online today and what it describes is what I am experiencing now after practicing buddhism and mindfulness. The fruits of practice are real and attainable.

As your mindfulness develops, your resentment for the change, your dislike for the unpleasant experiences, your greed for the pleasant experiences, and the notion of selfhood will be replaced by the deeper awareness of impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and selflessness. This knowledge of reality in your experience helps you to foster a more calm, peaceful, and mature attitude toward your life.

– Henepola Gunaratana, “Sitting Still”

The Power of Causes and Conditions

004Although causes and conditions form us, I have discovered that my Buddhist practice frees me from the causes and conditions that led to my initial suffering. The video is compelling in that it explains how important it is to first understand and acknowledge the causes and conditions of our lives, so that we can then create new responses instead of the old habitual responses we used as we adapted to an environment we happened to be born into.

 

this-video-dispels-every-nature-vs-nurture-myth-youve-ever-heard

“We are schooled away from life…” Mark Nepo

We are so unused to emotion

that we mistake any depth of feeling

for sadness, any sense of the unknown

for fear, and any sense of peace for boredom.

~~~Mark Nepo, The Book of AwakeningRed Rocks10313993_10201893887335784_4428185300913048652_n

Cloud less, Thought less

“Every day is a good day when thoughts do not remain.” Zen saying quoted at a dharma talk by Fred Eppsteiner, Florida Community of Mindfulness main teacher.

From here

on land

in our bodies

Looking up from

Inside of our story of what

The world is

Clouds appear solid

as facts

as thoughts

it seems yet

diaphanous, dispersing

both gather

for a moment

Then disappear, then

Reappear as thunderheads

Dramatic as ruminations

Building one upon the other

In our minds.

Never still

never the same

White, gray, black

Thin as a sliver

or thick as a mountain

Clouds

And thoughts

Tumble and

Chase each other

A cloud,

like a thought,

cannot be held in the hand

for it is

Weightless

as a memory

empty

as our selves

formless

as words

spoken into

the protecting, patient

empty

sky

of darhma.

From Tricycle Daily Dharma

One Thousand Buddhas | March 19, 2015

Where there are one thousand human beings, within one thousand ways of living, one thousand buddhas are revealed. Buddha is revealed through mountains, valleys, trees, and grasses, through a multitude of phenomena. The heart that can be revered in whatever form we see, in whatever direction we look, this is the true heart of Buddhism, this is Buddha life.

– Soko Morinaga Roshi, “One Chance, One Encounter”

Previous Older Entries

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 250 other followers

%d bloggers like this: