Edited by Jerry Katz
~ ~ ~
When the veils are gone
Through a jungle of words and concepts
gems are hidden as signposts
to bring the earnest ones home.
When Life is meant to find completion
it will do so in spite of
all help and all obstacles.
Nothing depends on circumstances
all is the face of the Beloved
when the veils are gone.
~ ~ ~
by Cheryl Abram
Have any of you seen that movie “Buried” with Ryan Reynolds? I haven’t (I heard it was a dud) but I did see the previews.
The gist of the preview is, he’s buried alive and he want’s to get out. Of course, there’s other stuff going on but it’s all irrelevant to this post.
When I first saw the preview, I thought, “I couldn’t imagine being buried alive”.
Actually, I can.
Join me on this journey…
You go to sleep in your warm comfy bed one night. Everything is just as it should be.
You wake up.
It’s dark. You wonder why it’s still dark. Did you wake up in the middle of the night again? Did something…some sound…wake you?
You notice that this darkness is “different” somehow. Everything is pitch black, instead of the softer darkness that allows you to see the outline of the things in your room.
You also notice that you’re lying face up on something hard.
You realize that you’re not in your bed.
You immediately start to panic. You quickly sit up but your face immediately smacks something hard…you try to move your arms, but they’re locked at your sides
You’re in a box or something….trapped…immobile….darkness is all around you…..beads of sweat start rolling down your temples….your heart begins a rapid ta-too…Where are you?…What’s happening?…
~ ~ ~
Read the rest of the post here:
Detachment or Engagement?
by Colin Drake
I recently, somewhat unwisely, attended a movie which had been recommended but about which I knew very little. After an initially interesting setup this degenerated (from my point of view) into an extended period of extreme brutality and carnage. My initial response was one of boredom, one must expect some violence in an action movie, but as it went on this changed to abhorrence, even inducing slight physical nausea, resulting in me walking out. This evoked the suggestion that the problem was not the movie but my reaction to it and that one should be able to detach so as to reach the point at which there was no reaction but just equanimity in all situations. Which made me ponder this in the light of the discovery* (see appendix) that our body/minds are instruments through which Consciousness can experience and enjoy Its own creation.
This ties in closely with my previous article which considered the two points of view that one should renounce the world to achieve spiritual growth or whether one should engage fully with the world to honour this discovery*. The first point of view encourages detachment to achieve transcendence of worldly suffering whereas the second encourages us to enjoy life to the full and let life become our teacher. The first is promoted by Theravadan Buddhism and many Hindu paths, whereas the second is the path of Tantra. To illustrate this consider the ‘Third Noble Truth’ of Buddhism, where one is told to abandon:
What is pleasant to the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue, the sense of touch and the mind.
Thoughts about what is pleasant to the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue, the sense of touch and the mind.
Contact with what is pleasant to the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue, the sense of touch and the mind.
Sensations associated with what is pleasant to the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue, the sense of touch and the mind.
One is also advised not to perceive what is pleasant, have no intention regarding what is pleasant, not reflect on what is pleasant and not discuss with others what is pleasant.This advice is given so that one can overcome desire or craving, thus achieving equanimity, and to further this end one is advised to follow the eightfold path comprising a ‘right’ way of living. For some people this leads to the point of view that one should remain equanimous in all situations, thus avoiding emotional reactions to what is encountered.
However, this point of view of does not truly honour our body/minds as instruments through which Consciousness can enjoy and experience its creation for it denies a wide range of human experience.
Emotions are a wonderful vehicle for the full experience of living and to deny them all by seeking a constant state of equanimity is to avoid the full vitality of living spontaneously. For example we watch a movie for enjoyment and entertainment, certainly not to just sit in a constant state of peace and harmony, for this meditation and contemplation are far preferable.
This concept that life is for enjoying was epitomized by the great Hindu saint of the nineteenth century Sri Ramakrishna:
Although Ramakrishna was capable of achieving nirvikalpa samadhi (the nondual state in which one merges with The Absolute when there is no experience) at will, his love of Kali and his devotees, kept him in the world. He often said that the Divine Mother had commanded him to stay at a slightly lower level so that he could teach and interact with his devotees and also so that he could worship Her. In fact, he so much enjoyed the company of his devotees and his God intoxicated states, that when he felt nirvikalpa samadhi was immanent he would often avoid dropping into it by banging himself on top of the head. He also greatly enjoyed singing and dancing in devotional kirtans plus that of eating, chewing betel and smoking.
Moreover, he would also get angry especially when any of his devotees would try to convert other devotees to their particular spiritual path. In fact he exhibited the full range of emotions including seemingly negative ones such as grief and anguish, but these did not affect his underlying joy and zest for life. He had the skill to enjoy life to the full when enjoyment is available and to be (fundamentally) unaffected when it is not. I must admit to sometimes failing in this last but I have never claimed to be totally awake and I would prefer to live in an open, spontaneous way giving my emotions every chance to experience the joy of living whilst accepting that sometimes there can be a negative reaction.
If this occurs it should not be used as an excuse for inappropriate action but as a wake-up call to the fact that we have drifted off to re-identification with the mind/body, which leads to the seeing that all of these feelings are ephemeral objects coming and going in Pure Awareness … which is at the core of our being. This avoids the possible deleterious side –effect of emotional reactions, that of negatively impacting those around us.
The point is that for the body/mind to be a complete instrument (of Consciousness) for the experience of the amazing range of thoughts, sensations, feelings and emotions that are possible there must be spontaneous living, unhindered by conforming to any state. Although this may occasionally lead to painful mental experiences it does not lead to any existential angst as long as one continually returns to identification with (and as) Pure Awareness. Moreover, these can be used as an opportunity to investigate even more deeply the nature of Reality by them reawakening us and showing us that our essential being is unaffected by them. The discovery that our body/minds are instruments of our essence (Consciousness) is easily made, see the appendix ‘Instruments of Consciousness’.
Also the approach of directly investigating our moment-to-moment experience which reveals that we are, at the core, Pure Awareness, allows us to enjoy life to the full provided that we remain awake, identified with That. This discovery is to be honoured by returning to this identification whenever we nod off, which can be revealed by the arising of mental suffering. This actually allows us to ‘have our cake and eat it’by enjoying positive emotional experiences and using negative ones to return us to awareness of (and identification with) Awareness.
Instruments of Awareness
If you sit quietly noticing the sensations in (and on the surface of) your body, you can easily see that these occur, are detected by the nervous system and then appear in awareness, i.e. you become aware of them.
In the same vein you can notice that sounds occur, are detected by the ears, and then appear in awareness.
Sights occur, are detected by the eyes, and then appear in awareness.
Aromas occur, are detected by the nose, and then appear in awareness.
Flavours occur, are detected by the taste buds and then appear in awareness.
Thoughts occur, are detected by the mind, and then appear in awareness.
Mental images occur, are detected by the mind, and then appear in awareness.
Therefore the physical mind/body is an instrument through which awareness (consciousness at rest) can sense and contemplate the physical manifestation of cosmic energy (consciousness in motion, or motion in consciousness).
So the body/mind is an instrument through which awareness can experience the physical world, for experience is awareness of thoughts/mental images/sensations.
The body/mind is also an instrument through which awareness can interact with, and enjoy, the universal manifestation of cosmic energy.
Thus the body/mind is an instrument through which consciousness can ‘know itself’ when manifest as the physical world, that is when in motion.
The human mind has the added advantage of being capable of ‘self realization’ that is of realizing the deeper level of ‘pure awareness’, consciousness at rest, the unmanifest.
Therefore the human mind/body is an instrument through which consciousness can ‘know itself’ in both ‘modes’: at rest and in motion. That is as pure awareness and as the physical universe.
R.Van De Weyer Maha Sattipana Sutta 20, in: 366 ReadingsFrom Buddhism, 2003, Mumbai, p.1/27
C. Drake, Humanity Our Place in the Universe, 2011, Tomewin, p.86
C. Drake, A Light Unto Your Self, 2011, Tomewin, p.121-123
Colin Drake’s books are available through www.nonduality.com/colindrake.htm
Jerry Katz: Why is it that when you get a bag of peanuts there’s a warning that it may contain peanuts? They should do that with everything. When I buy a plastic container of baby spinach I want to see a warning that it may contain baby spinach. It would make me feel like I’m living dangerously.
Nick Powiull, Heather Brown, Christine MJ Lavoie Christoforatos and 39 others like this.
Tony Cartledge Zen label. ‘This warning label may contain warnings.’ Or not. In any case, watch how you go.
Greg Allen Morgoglione “This facebook page may contain your face.”
Christine Onga Kubisiak Dehlinger Really live dangerously and don’t read labels.
Preston Heller Jerry, you are living dangerously.
Mark Otter I need to warn you that you ARE some sort of package containing awareness. This is a very dangerous situation, and there’s a VERY slim chance that I may offer you some protection from this INCREDIBLY tenuous situation. Send money and I’ll tell you more…
Pauline Gracey anything packaged: warning: unlikely to contain food
Jim Macdonald I think this is the beginning of your stand up career
Roy Whenary Yes, it “may” contain peanuts, but they are getting people ready for the time when they have reduced the quantity so much that there “may” or “may not” be peanuts in the pack. Then they’ll embrace homeopathy, and tell you that there “may” be no peanuts in the pack, but there once was, and by breathing the air from inside the pack, you are getting the essence of the peanuts that were in there before, but without the calories