27 October, 2010

Who Am I?

Upon entering, the nun smiled and said, “I knew it was you.” I sat down to do prostrations to Buddha before puja, while she went upstairs, telling the other nun I was there. I heard her say my name in reference to who was there and it struck me as odd. I am more than my name, and very often I go with out ever hearing my name. People often call who are familiar to me, and so they don’t say who they are and don’t ask who I am. I am the person they want to talk to, and I guess I am that person. When I really think about the way it all feels…I am so much more than my nametag. Not in some grand way with a snap of my fingers and a flip of my hair. More like pure awareness on a good day and on other days just one successive sense feeling, after another. If I stop and listen to the sound of silence, then the person who answers to my name is not there. At that moment is pure awareness.

When was the last time you called yourself by your name? I bet that was only when you made an error that even you could not believe, so you did so, to ridicule yourself. This is not affectionate awareness of your self, and you are dividing the person who does with the person who is the self. Peace comes to those that sees the observer and the observed as one, more like the spaces between thoughts and feelings. That can increase by watching everything you do, say, hear, and think. Then you'll see it quickly followed by attraction or aversion, which will become the trigger for a feeling that is so far from peace. Just becoming more aware your body will then tell you to avoid those strong attachments, thus by passing your thinking mind.

It is not what you do, but what you stop doing that matters.
—Sri Nisaragadatta Maharaj

21 October, 2010

This is Not Mine

They say that people come into your life for a reason, and my friend staying at my house for two weeks allowed me to learn to share even more. I could have easily said, “Not now.” about this time to stay here when I have a lot going on, but also realized this would be a great learning experience. I could watch how close I hold what is supposedly mine so tightly. Wisdom comes to those who can put themselves in other’s shoes.

I"ll miss our conversations at night over dinner, prodding me to think even more carefully about what and who the hell I really am. In turn, I shared with him my experience and how one could bring a little more compassion into his practice. Totally different thinkers that could find a common desire to wake up to what life really is ...at this moment. It was interesting to see how he could detach from wanting any outcome, knowing that life happens whether we think we have control over our destiny or not. Just watching the mind. It was great to have someone in my house meditating morning and night even though I had a lot going on, with a torn up house while redoing floors. It was comical last weekend with us both sleeping in odd areas of the house in the midst of furniture. When it got stressful I tried to laugh. We still managed to go to temple to meditate quite a few times, even when fatigue from this brain injury seemed over whelming. I knew that going to temple provided much more mental peace than a nap gave me. I really hope I provided him a look into my life, a life so much different than his, yet on a similar path. He got to see how my love for my partner has matured my idea of love tremendously.

I also happened to meet a man who obviously needed to talk, distressed about his partner dying of AIDS whom he had separated from and moved away. I took him to temple to pray for his partner, and he meditated for the first time. The following day he texted me worried about the partner, I suggested call the local police…and sure enough he died that day…the day following the prayers for him. I talked to him saying it is common for people to die when people close to them are away. I guess it is their desire to die in peace when they feel like the other party is not ready for them to go.

Last Saturday, my guest asked me if I wanted to go to the Vedanta temple here when things fell apart with plans I had. It was easy to just stay with the moment and go, instead of staying home wanting things to be differently. In the middle of prayers I had to go move the car, and came back to someone in “my seat.” I just walked to another chair, instead of tapping them to “reclaim it.” Subtle shifts in the way I deal with life, chopping at the huge ego I am burdened with... that normally says, “That is mine!”

12 October, 2010

The Importance of Virtue

Actually there are two kinds of knowledge. One who knows the Dhamma doesn't simply speak from memory, he speaks the truth. Worldly people usually speak with conceit. For example, suppose there were two people who hadn't seen each other for a long time, maybe they had gone to live in different provinces or countries for a while, and then one day they happened to meet on the train..."Oh! What a surprise. I was just thinking of looking you up!"... Actually it's not true. Really they hadn't thought of each other at all, but they say so out of excitement. And so it becomes a lie. Yes, it's lying out of heedlessness. This is lying without knowing it. It's a subtle form of defilement, and it happens very often. —Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

Reading this the other day, and I finally realized the real importance of virtue in keeping you from creating more misery for yourself. If you lie to others like in his example, which I happily avoid as much as possible, you are really lying to yourself. Lying to yourself puts wisdom that much further from you. I have not lied like this, but I know I have criticized others or made jokes with the underlying reason to harm, even if only in words. Do I feel good afterward, or better yet does it elevate the sense of myself by knocking down others? It really doesn’t and sets me up for more trouble. Enlightenment comes in the awareness of everything you do and say. The more present you are, the less you feel the need to lie to yourself, about who or what you are. Virtue comes more natural when you take life as it is ….good and bad, instead of feeling like you can change it.

07 October, 2010

A Little Influence

In conversation with my seeker friend, he remarked we on two different paths. He said I am on a service path and his seeking awareness though observing his thoughts and meditation. Sure our paths are different but work towards the same goal. I have never thought mine was a service path, and often help others with only the subtle idea that this will start to chip away at my ego. Of course I don’t help with anything but feeling others need for assistance. Nor do I help to feel good, more based on knowing I am not alone in this world and desire to communicate this. I became aware of much other help when I was in the hospital for 6 weeks during my brain injury. Before this I really thought I was independent…a little ignorant I would say.

Just last night my friend said after talking to me, he thought about going to help his father by working for him, since he still alive. I expressed to him that once my father died there is not much I can do for him besides dedicating my merit to him. I think this inspired him to try to help, so he can show his father the path by caring enough.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin