The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Awareness

Primordial awareness

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Primordial awareness is in essence perfect and pervades everywhere. How could it be dependent upon what anyone does to practice or realize it? The movement of reality does not need us to give it a push. Do I need to say that it is free from delusion? The vast expanse of reality can never be darkened by the dust of presumptions. Who then could believe that it needs to cleaned of such dust to be what it is? It is never separate from where you are, so why scramble around in search of it?

– Dogen Zenji


Primordial awareness

Primordial awareness is in essence perfect and pervades everywhere. How could it be dependent upon what anyone does to practice or realize it? The movement of reality does not need us to give it a push. Do I need to say that it is free from delusion? The vast expanse of reality can never be darkened by the dust of presumptions. Who then could believe that it needs to cleaned of such dust to be what it is? It is never separate from where you are, so why scramble around in search of it?– Dogen Zenji


Touching everything

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If you touch one thing
with deep awareness,
you touch everything.”

~ Thich Nhat Hahn ~


 



Moving Beyond Meditation

creativesystemsthinking.wordpress.com
Nov 15, 2017
“Meditation is a lie. When we try to control the mind or hold on to an experience, we don’t see the innate perfection of the present moment.” ~Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
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Tibetan Buddhist teacher Mingyur Rinpoche (shown in photo above) shares a profound teaching that he learned while visiting his father Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
“For the next few months I continued to visit my father every day, and he taught me more about the Great Perfection. Often times we wouldn’t talk at all as we sat together. My father (Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche) would simply sit in front of the large window and gaze off into the sky as I sat quietly by his side and tried to meditate.
I desperately wanted his approval, so I always did my best imitation of what I thought a good meditator should do. I sat bolt upright and tried to make it look like I was absorbed in some deep experience, while in actuality I was just repeating a mantra in my mind and trying not to get lost in thought.
Occasionally, I would open my eyes and peek up at my father, hoping that he had noticed my good meditation posture and ability to sit still for so long.
One day, as we sat together in silence, I glanced up at him in the middle of my meditation and was surprised to find him gazing down at me. “Are you meditating, son?” he asked.
“Yes, sir,” I said proudly, filled with joy that he had finally noticed. My answer seemed to amuse him greatly. He paused for a few moments and then said gently, “Don’t meditate.”
My pride vanished. For months, I’d been doing my best to copy all the other meditators who came to be with my father. I learned some short prayers, sat in the right posture, and tried hard to still my turbulent mind. “I thought I was supposed to meditate,” I said with a shaky voice.
“Meditation is a lie,” he said. “When we try to control the mind or hold on to an experience, we don’t see the innate perfection of the present moment.”

Pointing out through the window, he continued, “Look out into the blue sky. Pure awareness is like space, boundless and open. It’s always here. You don’t have to make it up. All you have to do is rest in that.”

TUR Maya Andreas (1)
For a moment, all of my hopes and expectations about meditation dropped away and I experienced a glimpse of timeless awareness.
A few minutes later he continued, “Once you’ve recognized awareness, there’s nothing to do. You don’t have to meditate or try to change your mind in any way.”
“If there’s nothing to do,” I asked, “Does that mean that we don’t have to practice?”
“Although there’s nothing to do, you do need to familiarise yourself with this recognition. You also need to cultivate bodhichitta and devotion, and always seal your practice by dedicating the merit so that all beings may recognize their own true nature too.
The reason we still need to practice is that at first we only have an understanding of the mind’s true nature. By familiarizing ourselves with this understanding again and again, however, it eventually transforms into direct experience.
Yet even then we still need to practice. Experience is unstable, so if we don’t continue to familiarise ourselves with pure awareness we can lose sight of it and get caught up in our thoughts and emotions again.
On the other hand, if we are diligent in practice, this experience will transform into a realisation that can never be lost. This is the path of the Great Perfection.”

With these words, he stopped talking and we both continued to rest in pure awareness, gazing off into the deep blue sky above the Kathmandu Valley.”

CNR TUR Nagi (1)
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Meditation is not passive sitting in silence

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Thich Nhat Hanh Philosophy & Practice


No View is Right View, by Ajahn Sumedho

No View is Right View, by Ajahn Sumedho

buddhismnow.com

July 20, 2018

Water-moon Avalokiteshvara © Metropolitan Museum of ArtWe can have this sense of non-discrimination; we can allow everything to be what it is at this moment, like the Bodhisattva listening to the sounds of the universe. You can have this attitude of letting go, of relaxing, of non-attachment, of nothing to do, of nothing to attain, of nothing to become. And yet you can be alert, awake, attentive, receptive. We can be aware of external things — the sounds or the temperature, what passes in front of our eyes, odours, sensations — at the same time being aware of what is happening inside — maybe our reaction to that fire alarm or whatever it was that went off a few moments ago. Maybe you think that the traffic passing outside is too noisy. Being aware of reactions to conditions gives us this huge space to be aware, both of the way things impinge on our body and mind, and our emotional reactions to them — liking, disliking, wanting, not wanting, approving, disapproving. Our position now is being this awareness itself, rather than trying to control the situation according to what we like, just allowing everything to be the way it is, being this knowing, this infinity, this pure conscious, non-personal reality.
I am pointing to, say, infinity or that which is immeasurable, and I feel this is very important. So much vipassana (insight) that is taught is a kind of obsession around impermanence. People that are doing vipassana courses are told to contemplate impermanence (anicca) which is good instruction, certainly, but (this is just my impression, anyway) they are so busy noting impermanence, they don’t notice the very noting itself, the awareness itself. It’s like following instruction to notice that all conditions are impermanent. You get the idea, and then you think thoughts are impermanent, sounds are impermanent, body obviously, seasons, times of day and night, subtle movements — it gets into subtleties of just emotional states or subtle feelings in the body, energetic experiences — but it is that which is aware, this awareness itself, which is the path. It’s as simple as that! Awareness, mindfulness, is the gate or door to the deathless, and the deathless has no boundary, it is infinite, it isn’t subject to birth and death like conditions are.

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Attentiveness

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Attentiveness is the path to true life; Indifference is the path to death. The attentive do not die; The indifferent are as if they are dead already.

– Buddha
quoted in the book “The Buddha Speaks: A book of guidance from Buddhist scriptures”

Enjoying with awareness

If we are spiritual practitioners we feel contempt for samsaric situations; we are not seriously or deeply interested in them. This does not mean that we feel disgust for or reject everything. In our life, all is relative. In our life, not everything is how it should be, nonetheless we continue to live. We accept and integrate the various circumstances of life. This is part of our awareness. To accept everything with awareness is different from being completely attached. Some people have an exaggerated liking for this or that: this is attachment. However, it does not mean that if you are a good practitioner you cannot have likings. You can like and enjoy with awareness.

In the samsaric condition, we possess five or six senses, and with the senses we enjoy contact with objects. When we see an object, a flower for example, we may like it. We observe its beauty and smell its fragrance. We enjoy looking and smelling. To enjoy with awareness means to know the real nature of the object and not become attached to it. In this way, we enjoy without having negative consequences. If we are not aware, we become distracted with our liking for the flower; we want to possess the flower and attempt to have it. Thus, attachment increases, releasing all other emotions, with the ensuing negative karma.

In brief, if one is aware and undistracted the enjoyment of the senses does not pose any problem. If one is distracted, enjoyment always bears negative consequences, even if things appear joyful and gratifying. For that reason, the teaching says that all is illusion. When we see a nice object and we become attached, we resemble a moth which, attracted by a flame at night, flies into it, burns, and dies.

– Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche

from the book “Longchenpa’s Advice from the Heart”

Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche on the web:
https://dzogchen.net/
http://webcast.dzogchen.net/

Just Dharma Quotes


Be aware of your potential for change

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“For a few moments, be aware of your potential for change. Whatever your present situation is, evolution and transformation are always possible. At the least, you can change your way of seeing things and then, gradually, your way of being as well.”

~ Matthieu Ricard

ॐ Buddha Island ॐ

* Medicine Buddha


Attention!

“One day a man of the people said to Zen Master Ikkyu: “Master, will you please write for me some maxims of the highest wisdom?” Ikkyu immediately took his brush and wrote the word “Attention.” “Is that all?” asked the man. “Will you not add something more?” Ikkyu then wrote twice running: “Attention. Attention.” “Well,” remarked the man rather irritably, “I really don’t see much depth or subtlety in what you have just written.” Then Ikkyu wrote the same word three times running: “Attention. Attention. Attention.” Half angered, the man demanded: “What does that word ‘Attention’ mean anyway?” And Ikkyu answered gently: “Attention means attention.

Roshi P. Kapleau, The Three Pillars of Zen


You are awareness

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Source: The Conscious Process


The Alan Watts Video That Will Make You Reassess Everything You’ve Been Told About Life

Source: The Alan Watts Video That Will Make You Reassess Everything You’ve Been Told About Life – Collective Evolution

http://www.collective-evolution.com

“…If you are a fan of Alan Watts and his eloquent interpretation of Eastern Philosophy, then you may enjoy his take on what awakening really means, according to Buddhism and Taoism, and explained in his calming and humble voice. Mr. Watts defines awakening from a Buddhist perspective and explains not only why it is happening, but also whether or not it is happening to you. Awakening can have many meanings, but simply put, it means to wake up from being asleep, either literally or metaphorically.

He shares his perspective of duality, and argues that to ‘wake up’ means to finally understand this duality. For example, you can’t have good without bad, you can’t have light without darkness, etc. They are inseparable, just like the yin and yang, and you simply cannot have one without the other.

Awakening means to become aware that life is not a contest; there is no virtue in triumphing over evil, or seeking happiness over sadness, because they are two sides of the same coin.

When you become aware of this you realize that all of the pain, suffering, and evil in the world exist because we need them in order to recognize and experience joy, pleasure, and other good things in this world. Having an understanding of this allows you to see beyond the perceived “bad” or “wrong” things that are happening in your life or in the world, and you can begin to see and understand their true purpose. Disorder is necessary for order.”

Check Out This Wonderful Explanation Below


There is no such thing as a person

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To know yourself, be yourself. To be yourself, stop imagining yourself to be this or that. Just be. Let your true nature emerge. Don’t disturb your mind with seeking.

There is no such thing as a person. There are only restrictions and limitations. The sum total of these defines the person. The person merely appears to be, like the space within the pot appears to have the shape and volume and smell of the pot.

To expound and propogate concepts is simple, to drop all concepts is difficult and rare. A quiet mind is all you need. All else will happen rightly, once your mind is quiet.

As the sun on rising makes the world active, so does Self-awareness affect changes in the mind. In the light of calm and steady Self-awareness, inner energies wake up and work miracles without any effort on your part.

~ Nisargadatta Maharaj ~
Excerpts from “I Am That”


Who looks outside dreams

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.”

~Carl Jung~

Tao & Zen


Why we meet people


Being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different

“Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different; enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will); being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).”

~ James Baraz ~

Source: (17) Tao & Zen


Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes

“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious. The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely. Your visions will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

~Carl Jung~

Source: (2) Tao & Zen


Raise your words, not your voice

Source: Meditation Masters


James Allen: As A Man Thinketh–Full Audio Book


Open to your Heart and simply Be

You are the unchangeable Awareness in which all activity takes place. You are eternal Being, unbounded and undivided. Just keep Quiet. All is well. Do not entertain any notions that you are in trouble. Be kind to yourself. Open to your Heart and simply Be.

~ Papaji ~

Source: Tao & Zen


Using the mind to look for reality is delusion

Using the mind to look for reality is delusion; not using the mind to look for reality is awareness. Freeing oneself from words is the way to liberation.

~ The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma

— with Noelene Smith.

Source: Zen, Tao, Chan – Using the mind to look for reality is delusion;…


New Study Links Meditation to Wisdom

Source: New Study Links Meditation to Wisdom | Talesfromthelou

The consistent practice of meditation can help one establish a balanced mind, according to a new study.

Source: New Study Links Meditation to Wisdom

http://www.activistpost.com

yoga-657051_960_720A new study has found an association between meditation and wisdom.

Researchers with the University of Chicago’s Department of Psychology have found that meditation, and physical practices such as ballet, might lead to increased wisdom. The study, “The Relationship between Mental and Somatic Practices and Wisdom,” was published in PLOS ONE.

The researchers gave 298 participants a survey that asked about their experiences practicing meditation, the Alexander Technique (a method for improving posture, balance, coordination, and movement), the Feldenkrais Method (a form of somatic education that seeks to improve movement and physical function, reduce pain, and increase self-awareness), and classical ballet. The participants also answered psychological exams related to various elements of wisdom, such as empathy and anxiety.

The team found that individuals who practiced meditation had characteristics associated with wisdom more often than the other groups. The types of meditation being practiced include vipassana, mindfulness, and Buddhist. The researchers also found that participants who practiced ballet had the lowest levels of wisdom, but with consistent practice of ballet individuals scored higher on measures of psychological traits typically associated with wisdom.

“The link between ballet and wisdom is mysterious to us and something that we’re already investigating further,” said Patrick B. Williams, lead author and a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Chicago’s Department of Psychology. Williams plans to monitor practitioners of both meditation and ballet for months and years to study the results over a longer period of time.

Williams also said that he believed this study to be the first to look at the possible link between physical practices and the cultivation of wisdom. Howard Nusbaum, professor of psychology, is a lead investigator in a research project on somatic wisdom. Nusbaum believes that understanding wisdom will lead to greater insights.

“As we learn more about the kinds of experiences that are related to wisdom, we can gain insight into ways of studying the mechanisms that mediate wisdom. This also lets us shift from thinking about wisdom as something like a talent to thinking about it as something more like a skill,” he said.

Williams stressed that the research was not looking to establish a causal relationship between wisdom and the four practices. “We hope our exploratory research will encourage others to replicate our results and look for other experiences that are linked with wisdom, as well as the factors that might explain such links,” Williams said.

The benefits of meditation have slowly been recognized by Western medicine as more studies confirm what many cultures have known for thousands of years: Meditation is a powerful tool. In November 2015, a study found that adolescents who undergo a mindfulness meditation program may see improvements in memory. In April, Anti-Media reported on another study that confirmed the healing power of mindfulness meditation. The study, published in The Lancet medical journal, found that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) may be just as effective as pharmaceuticals when it comes to preventing chronic depression relapse.

Meditation has also been used to help former soldiers suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In September 2014, TruthInMedia spoke with Heather Linebaugh about her experience with United States Air Force from 2009 until March 2012. Linebaugh worked in intelligence as an imagery analyst and geo-spatial analyst for the drone program in Iraq and Afghanistan. Linebaugh has suffered from PTSD and now works to promote natural treatments such as cannabis, yoga, and meditation.

The consistent practice of meditation can help one establish a balanced mind. By maintaining a balanced mind and learning to use meditation as a tool for peace and clarity we are helping promote a more compassionate world. If more people opted to begin meditating on a regular basis it is likely we would see an increase in wise, compassionate, and awakened minds.

Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter.

Derrick is available for interviews.


Let go

~ Zen proverb Sumi-e by Patricia Ines

Source: Zen, Tao, Chan


If Consciousness is a Door, Kundalini Yoga is the Key

“Energy is like the wind, invisible but with visible effects such as waves on a pond stirred by a breeze.” – Chinese Proverb

Source: If Consciousness is a Door, Kundalini Yoga is the Key : Waking Times

Valerie Burke, MSN, Green Med Info
January 30, 2016

Kundalini

Imagine you could harness, at will, the mind-body connection responsible for the heightened mental states giving rise to creative genius, inspiration, bliss, mystical experiences, and possibly even enlightenment?

You may have noticed how sciences such as biology, physics, medicine, and even theology increasingly overlap, with energy and consciousness at the center. Energy medicine is revolutionizing our approach to health, as science gives us ever-increasing evidence for the inseparability of mind and body.

But what is this thing called “energy”? You may accept that it exists—even welcome assistance by various energy healers from disciplines such as acupuncture, Qigong, EFT, Jin Shin Jyutsu and others. But do you understand exactly what they’re doing or how it works? If someone asked you to describe this energy, you might struggle to come up with a definition.

It’s not easy to wrap our heads around things we cannot see, hear or touch, and it’s even more challenging for scientists to quantify it.

An ancient concept called “Kundalini” provides us with a framework for understanding this nebulous idea, and Kundalini Yoga gives us a way to work with it. This article is Part 1 in a two-part series about Kundalini as an intelligent life force, and Kundalini Yoga as the practice that can help it awaken.

“One of the first results of research on Kundalini, in my view, would be to show that the human brain is already evolving towards a higher predetermined state of consciousness, a state that has been the crowning vision of the mystics and prophets.” – Gopi Krishna

The Yoga of Awareness

Kundalini Yoga is the most comprehensive of yoga traditions. The primary objective is to awaken the full potential in each of us. Kundalini Yoga helps us to cultivate inner stillness so we can truly listen, expand our awareness and achieve excellence in all that we do.

“Kundalini” literally means “the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved,” alluding to the flow of energy and consciousness that exists within each of us, enabling us to “merge with the Universal Self.”

Kundalini Yoga blends meditation and ancient mantras with physical exercises (asanas), hand positions (mudras), breathing techniques (pranayama), and sound (naad). All of these are merged into carefully choreographed exercises called kriyas that open up energy flow in the body, channeling it in a way that begins stripping away the veils of consciousness. This type of yoga balances and purifies all of the systems of the body, while at the same time calming and sharpening the mind.

Kundalini Yoga should not be taken lightly. One teacher describes it as “an express train that shakes us up and wakes us up.” The significance of this cannot be appreciated without some understanding of the nature of Kundalini.

Kundalini: Ancient, Intelligent, and Powerful

“Energy is like the wind, invisible but with visible effects such as waves on a pond stirred by a breeze.” – Chinese Proverb

Prana is the Sanskrit word for “life force,” the intelligent energy that permeates all living things—and in fact everything in the cosmos. Just like we cannot see protons and electrons, we cannot see prana, although some can feel it shifting and moving through their bodies.

The human body has a mechanism by which an enhanced flow of prana reaches the brain via the nerves in and around the spinal column, and this mechanism is called “Kundalini.” Kundalini can be thought of as an intelligent live force channeling prana around the body’s intricate network of energy highways.

The chakras are part of this energy system and are described as energy centers, or transducers, that exchange prana between the physical body and the environment. Each of the seven major chakras is said to mediate a different level of consciousness with the outer world.

Kundalini is described in the Upanishads, dating back to the fifth century B.C., although the oral tradition dates back even further.

Kundalini is known in many cultures, including Tibetan, Indian, Sumerian, Chinese, Irish, Aztec, and Greek.

Kundalini can open the doors of perception to vast realms of consciousness and is at the heart of all spiritual experiences. It also explains the wisdom of the sages. It can be enhanced to improve health, awaken creativity, and achieve inspiration. The primary goal of Kundalini Yoga is to “awaken” (or activate) Kundalini, meaning increase the amount of prana flowing to your brain. Under the right conditions, this enhanced prana can lead to higher states of consciousness such as genius, psychic abilities and mystical experiences—and at it’s highest level, enlightenment (Shaktipat).

Many believe Kundalini is key in preparing the human species for evolution. The father of Kundalini research Gopi Krishna is quoted to have said:

“Kundalini is a manifestation of a cosmic evolutionary energy that is biologically based in the human body and capable of transforming the nervous system and brain so they can support expanded levels of consciousness.”

When Kundalini Awakens Too Quickly

The goal of Kundalini Yoga is to awaken Kundalini and help you learn how to modulate it, i.e., turn it up or down at will. If Kundalini awakens too quickly, such as through very intensive meditation or yoga practice, an individual may experience spontaneous Kundalini “episodes,” which can be emotionally challenging and even manifest as what might be mistakenly diagnosed as “mental illness.” This results from heightened brain and nervous system sensitivity. If you begin a Kundalini Yoga practice, it’s important to proceed slowly, being mindful of any uncomfortable feelings or mental states that may arise.

Many physical symptoms and illnesses are manifestations of disrupted energy flow in the body. When done correctly, Kundalini Yoga is powerful medicine capable of producing widespread healing of both physical and emotional issues.

In Part 2 of this series, we will explore the evidence for Kundalini Yoga’s health benefits, looking first at how disorders—PTSD, addictions, dementia and many others—can be viewed as disruptions in Kundalini. We will also examine what the latest neuroscience and brain imaging technology reveal about how meditation, mysticism, and spirituality fundamentally change the brain. These discoveries are so profound that they have given birth to an entirely new branch of science called “neurotheology.”

About the Author

Valerie Burke, MSN is a Clinical EFT practitioner and freelance health writer in Olympia, Washington, with backgrounds in both allopathic and integrative medicine and a Master’s Degree in Nursing Science. Her areas of interest include nutrition and energy psychology, and integrating principles of holistic health to create balance in mind, body a spirit. Valerie is the author of “Is the Paleo Diet Right for You?“ You can learn more about her at www.valerieburke.net.

Source: If Consciousness is a Door, Kundalini Yoga is the Key | Talesfromthelou