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Intro to Zen Mind

Tying knots in the air with the rope of speculation

brown-fiber-rope-knot-in-spotlightIf we are not trapped in the mire of mental constructs,

the manifestation of awareness is directly seen, free from constructs.

Without tying knots in the air with the rope of speculation,

may we be skilled in spontaneously resting in the genuine nature.

―Mipham Rinpoche

Is there anything I can do to make myself Enlightened?

“Is there anything I can do to make myself Enlightened?”

“As little as you can do to make the sun rise in the morning.”

“Then of what use are the spiritual exercises you prescribe?”

“To make sure you are not asleep when the sun begins to rise.”

~ Anthony de Mello ~

Sojourners Path

The Hour’s Getting Late: Time for Humanity to Wake Up

The Hour’s Getting Late: Time for Humanity to Wake Up | Creative by Nature.

creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com

Creative by Nature

With permission of

by

April 6, 2015

“Let us not talk falsely now,  the hour’s getting late.” ~Bob Dylan

Image

Looking out at the ecological crisis we humans have created, the analogy of mass murder or collective suicide could be applied. For centuries we’ve been steadily and methodically killing off other life forms in the Natural world. Now our greed and selfishness seems to be destroying us as well.

Is there a way out? Hopefully, yes, but it will require more creativity, collaboration, love, and wisdom then modern “technologically advanced” humans have exhibited (as a whole) in a very long time. It requires large numbers of us “waking up” and caring deeply, becoming less “techno-logical” and much more “eco-logical” in our behavior and thinking.

Do most people realize what we’ve been doing and the “inevitable” outcome of our actions- if we do not change? I think large numbers of us do, though its like someone struggling with a drinking problem, sugar craving, drug or food addiction.

You may realize that what you crave is hurting others (and slowly killing you) but you cannot stop. As the Buddha pointed out, “craving” is at the “root” of most of our problems. Craving paired with dualistic thinking, the idea that each of us exists somehow separate from other people and the rest of the Universe.

Buddha was wise to illuminate the dangers of ego-centric thinking and how it leads to desires for sense pleasure, as well as fearful thoughts, anger and hatred. He taught how dualistic thinking and craving is what creates all the suffering in our lives, spins the wheel of samsara.

As humans have grown more powerful technologically, the levels of destructiveness and suffering have been magnified. Forests all over the earth have been destroyed, “precious” metals and other resources being dug up, polluting water supplies. Radioactivity leaking into the air and oceans, crime and violence overcoming ghettos and slums, then spilling out into larger populations.

We’ve reached a point of crisis, where a greater collective awakening is required. We’ve been like a cancer that’s grown out of control, or a virus that spreads without consideration for its host. There really is no other choice, either a majority of us wake up and change, soon- or the Web of Life implodes upon itself and we all go the way of the dinosaurs…

What’s needed right now isn’t a blissful “rapture” type of awakening, where we all fly off into the heavens. Neither is it about running off into the mountains to meditate and do yoga all day. We need spiritual paths to help us stay optimistic, mindful and compassionate, but our destination is not somewhere far off in the distance.

We need to wake up here, on this planet, right where we are. To wake up in our apartments and cities, wake up on our farms, in our schools, governments and work places.

Wake up to the beauty and miracle of this Universe we live in, wake up to the value and sacredness of all life. Change our priorities, live more mindfully, with greater wisdom and love.

We have to think of people and other living beings as being sacred and “precious” – rather than valuing only money, possessions and certain metals. We have to care about the forests, oceans and animals. Care about our bodies, our families, neighbors, children and ourselves.

We need to become wiser when we try to fix things that don’t work in our world. Take the time to patiently investigate relationships and interconnections when difficulties arise, to gain a deeper understanding of the causes of problems. We have to think less mechanistically and more ecologically.

We need to open our hearts, and seek guidance there. Recognize love, joy, compassion and gratitude as natural sources of wisdom. Let go of this idea that “knowing” is something that happens only in our heads.

Realize also- as Buddha, Jesus and others have taught- that happiness is not something we need to continuously “persue” – but that it arises naturally when we truly love and support one another.

Our Planet is a Garden of Life, a Global Eden that can be saved and restored to a state of balance. But time is running out.

For decades now we’ve been at a turning point, a fork in the road. The problems we see in the world around us exist because we’re still moving in the wrong direction, we haven’t changed course yet.

The decisions we make over the next decade will decide how Life unfolds on this planet for hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of years into the future.

How shall we be remembered by our children’s children’s children- as People of the Great Change, or the Great Catastrophe?

There’s still time to turn around but our window of opportunity is narrowing. And what happens next is up to ALL of us.

~Christopher Chase
Creative Systems Thinking

Become empty

 When it is seen that an empty cup is receptive,
and a full cup cannot receive,
those with wisdom choose emptiness.

~ Wu Hsin ~

 
Sojourners Path

The energy of mindfulness

bud morning

Consciousness is like a house in which the basement is our store consciousness and the living room is our mind consciousness. Mental formations like anger, sorrow, or joy, rest in the store consciousness in the form of seeds (bija). We have a seed of anger, despair, discrimination, fear, a seed of mindfulness, compassion, a seed of understanding, and so on. Store consciousness is made of the totality of the seeds, and it is also the soil that preserves and maintains all the seeds. The seeds stay there until we hear, see, read, or think of something that touches a seed and makes us feel the anger, joy, or sorrow. This is a seed coming up and manifesting on the level of mind consciousness, in our living room. Now we no longer call it a seed, but a mental formation. …

Whenever a seed, say the seed of anger, comes up into our living room and manifests as a mental formation, the first thing we can do is to touch the seed of mindfulness and invite it to come up too. Now we have two mental formations in the living room. This is mindfulness of anger. Mindfulness is always mindfulness of something. When we breathe mindfully, that is mindfulness of breathing. When we walk mindfully, that is mindfulness of walking. When we eat mindfully, that’s mindfulness of eating. So in this case, mindfulness is mindfulness of anger. Mindfulness recognizes and embraces anger.

Our practice is based on the insight of nonduality—anger is not an enemy. Both mindfulness and anger are ourselves. Mindfulness is there not to suppress or fight against anger, but to recognize and take care. It’s like a big brother helping a younger brother. So the energy of anger is recognized and embraced tenderly by the energy of mindfulness.

Every time we need the energy of mindfulness, we just touch that seed with our mindful breathing, mindful walking, smiling, and then we have the energy ready to do the work of recognizing, embracing, and later on looking deeply and transforming. Whatever we’re doing, whether it’s cooking, sweeping, washing, walking, being aware of our breathing, we can continue to generate the energy of mindfulness, and the seed of mindfulness in us will become strong. Within the seed of mindfulness is the seed of concentration. With these two energies, we can liberate ourselves from afflictions.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Tao & Zen Community Forum
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