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”

Daily Dharma from Tricycle Magazine

Softening Judgment | March 18, 2015

Falling down is what we humans do. If we can acknowledge that fact, judgment softens and we allow the world to be as it is, forgiving ourselves and others for our humanity. The Buddha’s First Noble Truth—that suffering exists—is, in itself, a permission to be human and not demand more of ourselves than we’re capable of. Our compassion arises from our very fallibility, and love takes root in the soils of human error.

– Lin Jensen, “An Ear to the Ground”

Succinct Explanation of the Ego

Posted March 5, 2015

We need the matrix of thoughts, feelings, and sensations we call the ego for our physical and psychological survival. The ego tells us what leads to what, what to avoid, how to satisfy our desires, and what to do in each situation. It does this by labeling everything we sense or think. These labels put order in our world and give us a sense of security and well-being. With these labels, we know our world and our place in it.

Our ego renders safe an unruly world. Uncountable sense impressions and thoughts crowd in on us, so that without the ego to filter out irrelevant information, we would be inundated, overwhelmed, and ultimately destroyed by the overload. Or so it seems.

The ego has convinced us that we need it – not only that we need it, but that we are it. I am my body. I am my personality. I am my neuroses. I am angry. I am depressed. I’m a good person. I’m sincere. I seek truth. I’m a lazy slob. Definition after definition. Room after room. Some are in high-rise apartments – I’m very important. Some are on the fringe of the city – just hanging out.

Meditation raises the question: Who are we really? If we are the same as our ego, then if we open up the ego’s filters and overwhelm it, we shall be drowned. If, on the other hand, we are not exclusively what the ego defines us to be, then the removal of the ego’s filters may not be such a great threat. It may actually mean our liberation. But as long as the ego calls the shots, we can never become other than what it says. Like a dictator, it offers us paternalistic security at the expense of our freedom.

We may ask how we could survive without our ego. Don’t worry – it doesn’t disappear. We can learn to venture beyond it, though. The ego is there, as our servant. Our room is there. We can always go in and use it like an office when we need to be efficient. But the door can be left open so that we can always walk out.

 

– Ram Dass

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