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  • in reply to: Blank Canvas #434670

    I’m not a fan of Koan’s myself and not sure how effective they are anymore what with all the books and such explaining them. Which totally misses the intention. Having answers to the unanswerable is a very western objective measuring mind kind of thinking thing to do.

    Having no desire to be liked or understood, still a times thin skinned…. feels like a kind of Koan  🙂


    in reply to: Blank Canvas #434650

    Thanks Helcat

    I’ve never been comfortable with the words enlightenment or for that matter the word meditation. Like most westerners the tendency to apply measurements and judgments to the words get in the way.

    I’ve been looking into Krishnamurti life who uses a kind of Socratic method to look past our constructs. He’s not a easy read but I think he would agree with your thoughts on the ‘stages in meditation’

    I’ve been playing around with a slow realization that ‘Stillness’, Calm, ‘Silence’, Eternity… are not measurement’s, are not things to be measured. I find it freeing. Neurologically I suspect these are right brain experiences.

    My mediation a kind of Ying Yang flow between the left and right spheres of the brain.  Carry water chop wood (left side) AND Carry water chop wood (right side)  The Doings are the same but the experience different.

    in reply to: Blank Canvas #434649

    Thanks Anita you have a wonderful way with words and its helpful to see what I attempt to work through reflected back so succinctly.

    Though I was taken aback by Tommy’s tone for a moment (a old wound of not being seen or understood showed up) I wasn’t offended.

    As we were referencing a Zen Koan, after taking the moment, I had to laugh as ‘BS’ is actually a appropriate reply. A Zen master would have no doubt ‘slapped‘ both of us. If I understand correctly the Koan’s are paradoxical and intentionally frustrating the idea being to break (slap) the hold  of the grasping measuring mind or something…  the imagined Zen Master just slapped me again.  🙂

    Tommy’s mention of monkey mind caused me to pause. My process of ‘sitting in a Koan’ (Paradox, dualism) with free flow of thoughts (slowed down by typing them out) actually calms the monkey as it tends to end in silence. But that’s my process and I see why it might find it ‘to much’.

    in reply to: Blank Canvas #434622

    LOL Tommy.

    Perhaps why language fads to silence as it should.

    Seeking stillness while on a planet spinning through space a fools game.  yet when Stillness isn’t a measurement

    The mountain still a mountain “seen” for the first time, not a only or just

    in reply to: Blank Canvas #434609

    Hi Tommy

    I’ve been pondering what you wrote – “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.”

    Being a Zen Koan I suspect were not to answer it but sit in it. The first thing I notice is the same frustration, what’s the point. A strong indication that I’m sitting in the temporal measuring mind and that the desire for ‘enlightenment’ was/is a quest to avoid pain cover up fear and anxiety.

    Is it possible to sit in the Koan without desire without a goal or even answers?
    Attending completely, listening with all your heart, with all your brain, with all your senses? If you are so completely attending there is nothing more. That is meditation.” – Krishnamurti

    Meditation isn’t practice, isn’t concentration, isn’t focus, isn’t silence, isn’t stillness, isn’t passive, isn’t a goal… all such thoughts and measuring restrict attending?

    There is something beyond words, beyond all thought which time has not touched, which is the origin of all things. This is the origin of all things and therefore the most sacred, most holy, timeless.” – Krishnamurti

    Sitting in the Koan, all things are an arising from and a return to… movement arising from and returning to stillness, language and measurement/judgment arising from and returning to silence, time arising and returning to the eternal now… Stillness, silence, eternity not a something to attain, but attend to…

    Movement creates Life, Stillness Love… to be still yet still moving that is everything.

    In the temporal measuring sphere of the left side of the brain we do not have words for something that is both stillness and movement, time and eternal (eternal that is not a measurement of time). As we drift to the right side of the brain, eyes ‘see’ the stillness in movement, movement in stillness… ears ‘hear’ the silence in language/thought/measurement… Self senses the eternal in the temporal, temporal in the enteral…

    We return… chop wood, carry water… same temporal needs, but not the same doings…  Bitter sweet, the heart opens?

    These are just words, but if you live without fear, if you have understood knowledge, you have gone beyond sorrow, therefore you have this quality of love and compassion with its intelligence, and having laid the foundation then meditation is something marvelous, something that thought can never understand. Then only there is that which is timeless, most holy.” – Krishnamurti

    Can we live without fear when it has defined our experience? Without such fear what role does belief, desire, right practice, knowledge, guru’s…. have? Do our beliefs, goals and desires reenforcing fear?

    In the eternal fear has nowhere to take root…  The question arises Do we dare to ‘see’ Life as it Is? Is it possible to answer Yes without belief? Compassion bitter sweet…

    Chop wood, carry water, engage in life… I don’t know Tommy I have my moments of  staring into space unable to sleep.

    I try to notice when I’m in my temporal, measuring judging, dualistic self and then remind myself of the return from which all arose, even if for only a moment. (LOL till I ‘measure’ the moment as a measurement of time, sending me right back into it. no wonder the Buddha laughs)

    Allan Watts viewed the temporal sphere of experience as a playground (game) for the self/ego and eternal Home. Perhaps the trick is the realization that the two arn’t separate states of being.


    in reply to: Blank Canvas #434073

    🙂  A ‘timing’ for everything…

    Blessed are the ‘Wonder-full’

    in reply to: Blank Canvas #434070

    I have always found ‘The Heart Sutra’ difficult. I think that is intentional as it pushes the mind towards silence, towards a  ‘knowing’ experience.. So I feel that its related to the reflections on the ‘blank canvas’

    The Heart Sutra

    The Bodhisattva of Compassion,
    When he meditated deeply,
    Saw the emptiness of all five skandhas (senses)
    And sundered the bonds that caused him suffering.

    Here then,
    Form is no other than emptiness,
    Emptiness no other than form.
    Form is only emptiness,
    Emptiness only form.

    Feeling, thought, and choice,
    Consciousness itself,
    Are the same as this.
    All things are by nature void
    They are not born or destroyed
    Nor are they stained or pure
    Nor do they wax or wane

    So, in emptiness, no form,
    No feeling, thought, or choice,
    Nor is there consciousness.
    No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind;
    No color, sound, smell, taste, touch,
    Or what the mind takes hold of,
    Nor even act of sensing.

    No ignorance or end of it,
    Nor all that comes of ignorance;
    No withering, no death,
    No end of them.
    Nor is there pain, or cause of pain,
    Or cease in pain, or noble path
    To lead from pain;
    Not even wisdom to attain!
    Attainment too is emptiness.

    So know that the Bodhisattva
    Holding to nothing whatever,
    But dwelling in Prajna wisdom,
    Is freed of delusive hindrance,
    Rid of the fear bred by it,
    And reaches clearest Nirvana.
    All Buddhas of past and present,
    Buddhas of future time,
    Using this Prajna wisdom,
    Come to full and perfect vision.

    Hear then the great dharani,
    The radiant peerless mantra,
    The Prajnaparamita
    Whose words allay all pain;
    Hear and believe its truth!

    Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
    Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!
    Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!”

    Into the gone, into the gone, into the gone beyond.
    Into the gone completely beyond (beyond movement, time, language, measurement, duality..) the other shore, awaken.

    in reply to: Blank Canvas #434068

    “Practice the transfer now by breathing in Eternity and Stillness and breathing out Time and Movement” that was nicely put Anita

    inter-be what a wonderful way of ‘clearly’ seeing. Thanks for sharing Roberta

    I wonder if clearing seeing, the realization of the temporal and eternal is related to a move towards the “right” side of the brain where the experience of time, that the past, present and future happen all at once and a experience of the eternal now, and where language (measurement, duality) fade? We tend to set up our ‘throne’ on the left side where the I likes to reside and measure everything.

    in reply to: Blank Canvas #434063

    I still find the “Blank White Canvas” funny. The museum paid $10,000 for it… Still I haven’t forgotten it.

    There was another peace ‘White canvas with wet toilet paper”   The artist had thrown wet toilet paper onto a white canvas. I wonder now what the artist was feeling when they drew that out from the canvas.


    Hi Seaturtle

    Just a comment on the notion of ‘false Self’. Jung would talk about personas, the masks we ware the roles we have.  These personas arn’t false but ways creating healthy engagement.. The way we interact with our family is different (and should be) then the way we interact with friends, coworkers, strangers…. Personas are not about being fake or false but the establishment of healthy boundaries for the interaction. They do sometimes feel like being  ‘fake’ especially when our boundaries are unclear and maybe not so healthy.

    The ‘false’ self is also sometimes thought of as our small self.  The task of the first half of life to to establishing this sense of self with healthy boundaries.
    In the second half of life is the task to detach from the this notion of identity. the True Self detaches from the roles or personas we have. They still play a role in our interactions however we ‘see’ them for what they are. The perspective changes. We are not our experiences, we have experiences, we are not our memories we have memories, we are not our feelings we have feelings, we are not our thoughts, we have thoughts….

    The notion of the True Self isn’t ‘out thier’ but within. Put another way the personas arise from and return to the True Self . Retuning you might notice the need to judge, measure, compare, label fades away…. like the label ‘selfish’

    In my experience the practice of  returning to the Self aways comes with quieting and experience of compassion for myself and others. The arising of compassion isn’t something you make happen but happens.  When I notice I’m feeling anxious, judgey and less compassionate its usually because I’m to attached to the roles/personas I have.

    It takes a healthy ego and senses of self (needed n the first half of life) to let go of ego (itself) so to discover the SELF  🙂

    in reply to: Is Life Itself Divine? #432484

    I like to start my day with a reading from Richard Wagamese – someone who having gone though much in his life came out the other side with wisdom.

    I read the following and felt it related to the question of the Divine and spiritual. What for me, lies behind a word like spiritual, path and divine is the word mystery and the art of sitting in mystery with wonder

    “We need mystery. Creator in her wisdom knew this. Mystery fills us with awe and wonder. They are the foundations of humility, and humility is the foundation of all learning. So we do not seek to unravel this. We honor it by letting it be that way forever. – grandmother explaining The Great Mystery of the universe to her grandson.”
    ― Richard Wagamese, Indian Horse

    I feel mystery is more important then the notions of meaning and purpose and suspect it is from mystery and the ability to be uncomfortable in uncertainty, that purpose and meaning arise from and returns to

    in reply to: Is Life Itself Divine? #432438

    Hi Brian

    Helcat makes some good points. I try not to hold to tightly to words. I was surprised that your experience of it was assoicated with supernatural beings as that hasn’t been my experience.  I would also drop the word if its assoicated with supernatural beings.


    in reply to: Is Life Itself Divine? #432404

    How would you define a spiritual path?

    Defining ‘spiritual’ as a way of seeing, being and becoming, all paths are spiritual paths, and everything encountered a reflection of the divine. ‘Treat all you meet like G_d’ 🙂

    Avoiding the tendency to mistake the word God (our rules, ideas and measurements) for God, (lead us not into such temptation.) I use the word G_d, and the word divine, to point to the Transcendent. The idea being to become transparent to the Transcendent.

    The light in me sees the light in you… Transparent, the light within illuminates  all, the light within all illuminates me…

    As above so below – on earth as it is in heaven, as below so above – forgiven as we forgive… Smaller then small bigger then big,  Co-creators, how we see and are matters.

    in reply to: Why pursue meaning in life #432306

    I thought I would share a meditation

    As all meditation and contemplation do, I notice breath

    Each breath a arising from ,and a return to.

    Movement arising from and returning to stillness
    Time arising from and returning to eternity.
    Life arising from and returning to Love


    I imagine a blank canvas
    (I notice that the image that comes to mind is of a white canvas and laugh realizing that a canvas of any color remains blank. Laughing again realizing that no mater what arises on the canvas it remains blank. We have been conditioned to believe the white canvas is blank and that once draw upon no longer blank. Yet if you continued to add paintings to the canvas the canvas would it not eventually become a blank black canvas.)

    Like the sound of AUM which among other things is the sound of every word spoken or will be spoken, surrounded by silence
    The blank canvas contains every image ever created or will be created, surrounded by emptiness
    The canvas only waiting for the image to be drawn up from it and then return.
    The canvas remains blank, the surface a playground of motion, time, measuring, judging, duality… life, the canvas remains blank.

    All things are a arising from, and a returning to…
    The present moment not a slice of time to be grasped but the eternal now to rest in

    Nothing is gained…
    Nothing is lost…
    No one is lost…

    All exists within a blank canvas the eternal now.
    Arising from, returning to



    in reply to: Why pursue meaning in life #432292

    Thanks for sharing you thoughts Anita!

    Hi Helcat

    I’m not sure I have any advice about acceptance. I’m a head guy and for the longest time I have approached the acceptance by trying to think my way through. If I could just identify all the variables, get them sorted, then maybe I would understand and understanding accept. (I was going to say that didn’t work, but realizing that was a dead end and the frustration that lead to was something I needed to experience)

    I struggled between the notions of acceptance and resignation. Acceptance more often then not felt like resignation, giving up, leading to a slide into indifference, and indifference to depression.

    Our minds are trained to accept and conform, shaping our thought according to….. We need a great deal of energy to bring about a change within ourselves, but we waste our energy through conflict, through resistance, through conformity, through acceptance, through obedience… ” – Krishnamurti

    First time I read that I was taken aback. In what ways are we trained in acceptance? Is acceptance a something the mind requires to be comfortable? Is it a waist of energy seeking acceptance? By acceptance are we really looking for belonging?  To many questions, my head self is elated. 🙂
    I concede that acceptance and the desire to be accepted are entangled and influenced by others more so then my own experience… Avoiding what I sense is a trap I move on.

    I’ve mentioned before the idea that the question behind the hero’s journey is ‘How to respond to Life as it is’  which concerns the notion of acceptance. The Hero that completes the task comes when he can answer with a YES. A Yes  that is acceptance of Life as it is, its wonder and horror while remaining fully engaged. Put another way a ‘detachment’ that remains fully engaged. Acting because its it authentic to ones truth regardless of results.   (This is the interplay of the temporal and eternal. The engagement is in the temporal, the Yes in the eternal experience. )

    In practice ( I guess this is advice)…. through out the day I will ask myself ‘how am I responding to Life in this moment’. The answer is surprising easy to discern. When I’m feeling anxious, angry, worried, frustrated the answer is pointing to a No. In other words I do not want to accept the moment as it is. The No usually coming from the ego wanting to be in charge and change things ….

    To be honest I spend most of my day in a No frame of experience  but I don’t beat myself up over it (or pat myself on the back in those moments when the answer is Yes).   Its weird but the asking of the question is often enough to create the space for stillness. ‘Oh I’m playing that game again, trying to change the present by changing the past’ 🙂 no wonder I’m anxious. 🙂

    The challenge is that a No seems easier to engage with. You get all that energy by resisting and that can be fun if were being honest with ourselves. A Yes on the other hand is more subtle – fully engaged in the moment while being ‘detached’ from the results.  If I can’t measure a ‘win’ what fun is that?

    As you said “learning to accept and be on board with my choices” The Yes and acceptance is about the engagement not the measurement of the results. Does that make sense?

    Its a change of perspective, a experience of the eternal perspective – the sun neither rises or sets, it is, you are. YES?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 931 total)