Tagged with: awakening

We must die in order to truly live. We must experience absolute non-existence in order to truly exist.

We must die in order to truly live. We must experience absolute non-existence in order to truly exist.

When self-centeredness comes to an end, we discover not that our “self” has ceased to exist but that the self is not what we thought. The self is no longer an inner sanctum of private experience or a narrow set of personal needs or expectations. Our world is our self, rather than our self being our world. Rather than constantly trying to impose our self onto life, we realize that all of life is who and what we are. Or, as Dogen put it: “To carry the self forward and illuminate myriad things is delusion. That the myriad things come forth and illuminate the self is awakening.

When self-centeredness comes to an end, we discover not that our “self” has ceased to exist but that the self is not what we thought. The self is no longer an inner sanctum of private experience or a narrow set of personal needs or expectations. Our world is our self, rather than our self being our world. Rather than constantly trying to impose our self onto life, we realize that all of life is who and what we are. Or, as Dogen put it: “To carry the self forward and illuminate myriad things is delusion. That the myriad things come forth and illuminate the self is awakening.

In meditation we seem to be sitting by ourselves, but we do not sit just for ourselves. By focusing our attention on the breath, the body, thoughts, feelings, and sensations, or any other facet of our experience in meditation, we become more mindful—not mindless—through the transformative power of moment-to-moment alertness and presence of mind. Instead of absentmindedly stumbling through life like sleepwalkers, we can use contemplative practice to achieve extraordinary insight into ourselves and the world in which we live; to inhabit and appreciate more fully the here and now; to free our minds and open our hearts, and to relax into our natural state. The cultivation of mindfulness helps us wake up to things as they are rather than as we would like them to be. And as we wake up to truth, to reality, we become a force for universal awakening, working with what actually is, not delusive fictions.

In meditation we seem to be sitting by ourselves, but we do not sit just for ourselves. By focusing our attention on the breath, the body, thoughts, feelings, and sensations, or any other facet of our experience in meditation, we become more mindful—not mindless—through the transformative power of moment-to-moment alertness and presence of mind. Instead of absentmindedly stumbling through life like sleepwalkers, we can use contemplative practice to achieve extraordinary insight into ourselves and the world in which we live; to inhabit and appreciate more fully the here and now; to free our minds and open our hearts, and to relax into our natural state. The cultivation of mindfulness helps us wake up to things as they are rather than as we would like them to be. And as we wake up to truth, to reality, we become a force for universal awakening, working with what actually is, not delusive fictions.

The universe is more interested in you than you are in it. Why? Because the universe is trying to evolve, at the level of consciousness, and consciousness can only develop through you. Human beings are the vehicles through which consciousness can take the next step. From this perspective, we are merely pawns in a much larger process. Spiritual awakening is not about you or me—it’s about the evolution of the process itself. Individuals who have been culturally conditioned to see the world through a very small and personal lens find that very hard to appreciate. But as you begin to awaken, you will start to see your own experience from the perspective of evolution itself. And you will begin to understand that when you become deeply interested in the evolution of consciousness and culture, the universe becomes interested in you! A potential partner in the evolutionary process appears, in the form of you.

The universe is more interested in you than you are in it. Why? Because the universe is trying to evolve, at the level of consciousness, and consciousness can only develop through you. Human beings are the vehicles through which consciousness can take the next step. From this perspective, we are merely pawns in a much larger process. Spiritual awakening is not about you or me—it’s about the evolution of the process itself. Individuals who have been culturally conditioned to see the world through a very small and personal lens find that very hard to appreciate. But as you begin to awaken, you will start to see your own experience from the perspective of evolution itself. And you will begin to understand that when you become deeply interested in the evolution of consciousness and culture, the universe becomes interested in you! A potential partner in the evolutionary process appears, in the form of you.

As the Buddhist view has consistently demonstrated, it is the perspective of the sufferer that determines whether a given experience perpetuates suffering or is a vehicle for awakening. To work something through means to change one’s view; if we try instead to change the emotion, we may achieve some short-term success, but we remain bound by forces of attachment and an aversion to the very feelings from which we are struggling to be free.

As the Buddhist view has consistently demonstrated, it is the perspective of the sufferer that determines whether a given experience perpetuates suffering or is a vehicle for awakening. To work something through means to change one’s view; if we try instead to change the emotion, we may achieve some short-term success, but we remain bound by forces of attachment and an aversion to the very feelings from which we are struggling to be free.

earthdrop
You Have What You Need

One definition of an enlightened person is one who always has everything they need. At every moment what they need is there; they’re not seeking anything. If you really are seriously practicing to be free and to simultaneously realize enlightenment, you never seek out of the immediate situation, no matter how bad it is. You transform the immediate situation into what you need.

- Richard Baker Roshi

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