January 13, 2022 at 7:03 am #391231
No worries Samy, confusion is what I do 🙂
I agree the ego, sense of self has a important role to play in our experiences. That said it helpful to remember that you are not your ego.
Duality – problem of opposites. Ego consciousness tends to arise through the tension of opposites. If we only experience warm we could never become conscious of cold or this thing called temperature. Ego consciousness tends to experience the world as either this or that, black or white, either or = duality. Helpful for survival but it also separates us from each other.
We have become conscious of temperature yet how is it that the same temperature can be experience one moment and cold the next. Something appears to amiss with ego consciousness breaking down experience as being ‘either or’ – duality. A ego may experience this uncertainty as suffering.
Unitive conscious is able to experience the world without dividing it up into opposites.
With regards to the story; A broken leg could be seen as having been a bad thing OR a good thing depending on perspective (duality) . A Unitive awareness might experience the broken leg as it IS and not a Good or Bad Either Or…
Enough of that confusion..
I like the meaning you found in the story.January 13, 2022 at 7:16 am #391232
I understand your point about living in the present mindfully.
Karma is very complicated. Sometimes it has nothing to do with your actions. Your analogy is good. Your actions now determine your future. This may not apply to what Buddhism teaches, but from what I’ve been taught, I would push it further to say if the wind carried apple seeds into your yard and the rain watered it, you would still get an apple tree.January 13, 2022 at 7:20 am #391233
You’ve cleared it up for me. . A Unitive awareness might experience the broken leg as it IS and not a Good or Bad Either Or…Essentially labelling things as good or bad vs just taking things as they are, in the now?
But if that is the case, is there room for morality? Harming others is bad, don’t we need to label it as such. This is what I’m struggling with. What do you accept and what do you label and dislike/ reject/ try to change.January 13, 2022 at 8:20 am #391236
But if that is the case, is there room for morality? Harming others is bad, don’t we need to label it as such. This is what I’m struggling with. What do you accept and what do you label and dislike/ reject/ try to change.
Yes their is room. The intention is to be Detached (from the labels and such) AND engaged with ones truth. The challenge is that a such a detachment can easily become indifference.
A samurai warrior had the duty to avenge the murder of his overlord. After some time, the samurai found and cornered the man who had murdered his overlord. He was about to deal with him with his samurai sword, when this man in the corner, in the passion of terror, spat in his face. And the samurai sheathed the sword and walked away.January 13, 2022 at 8:32 am #391238
Detached (from the labels and such) AND engaged with ones truth. The challenge is that a such a detachment can easily become indifference. – when you engage with something, aren’t you attached to it anyways? I understand the words and their meaning, but I don’t understand how to practice, and I understand it is something like be calm and work for justice vs getting riled up. But how do you know you are coming from being detached or not? Not worrying about the outcome? What are you acting for then?
You’ll have to tell me what to take from the story. What I’m taking from it is the samurai realized the revenge was not his to take? I don’t know 🙂January 13, 2022 at 9:17 am #391244
Good question. How do you know?
I think it evolves one engaging with ones truth, detached from outcome and open to learning.
Perhaps you had the experience where to do what you ‘knew’ need to be done you worked yourself up, attaching to energy of anger, being offended, righteous in your certainty or even hate… in order to engage. The idea that one must become angry about something in order to act.
Notice – Become angry- as in ‘I am my emotions’ vice ‘I have emotions. Notice how you feel when you read – I am my emotion, anger, and I act. verses, I have experienced a emotion of anger and I act. Perhaps my Actions did not succeed, I have failed, I am a failure, Life is unfair…. verses I had a experience, I am not the experience, or the result of the experience. Life Is as it Is and I engaged with it as it is.
Dancing at (from) the Still Point… Engagement with Life is a Art
Ref the story. I can give you my take on the story but such stories are intended to be pondered.
The samurai’s mission was not simply to kill the murderer, but to honor his duty, his intrinsic truth. To an observer, whether he killed the culprit motivated by honor or anger, it wouldn’t have mattered. The murderer would be dead either way. To the samurai, his own motivation made all the difference. A difference perhaps of reacting out of anger and responding from a place of stillness, his intrinsic sense of truth.
Perhaps if we enter the story earlier we might see that the murderer in killing the master was also acting from a place of intrinsic truth. (How complicated Life is, The Lion eats the rabbit that eats the grass that eats the nitrates in the soil…) Only when confronted he reacted out of fear and spit… If the Lion ate the rabbit out of hate or anger that would be a very different experience to the Lion eating the rabbit because Lions eat rabbits, as rabbits eat grass, as grass eat nutrients in the soil… (Life eats Life)
The gift of consciousness requires more of us then of the Lion, it requires us to be completely honest with ourselves as we look at Life as it IS and the actions we take as part of it.
Something to meditate on and ponder. ‘We work for that which no work is required’January 13, 2022 at 9:38 am #391246
I wonder why is identifying with emotions bad? Or rather – how is not identifying with emotions good – you are then attached to your notion of being unattached, no? Constantly evaluating whether you are attached or not – is there peace in that? You will possibly let go of feelings, while still feeling them, but you must let them go? Just like I would unconciously identify with my feelings. You would now identify as not being your feelings. Are you really free then? Maybe I twisted what you were conveying too much. But what I getting to is, what does true detachment look like? ( After I wrote the next paragraph, I realize we are more balanced when we don’t identify with our emotions, so it’s a good thing. Just worrying about what true detachment is, is unproductive, it is not the point)
the Lion ate the rabbit out of hate or anger that would be a very different experience to the Lion eating the rabbit because Lions eat rabbits, as rabbits eat grass, as grass eat nutrients in the soil… – the only difference I see is that the Lion was not angry when it killed the rabbit. But did it change anything. If you are attached to whether or not emotions were the driving force – there is a difference. But I see your point. The Lion killing something anytime it is angry would be disastrous vs only when it must to survive. We are dangerous when we act focussed on our emotions, I will take that to heart and remember it.
Where do you learn your lessons from? Are there resources online I could use? I would love to be introduced to these concepts as well. This was very profound – I am my emotion, anger, and I act. Or I have experienced a emotion of anger and I act.
And My Actions did not succeed, I have failed, I am a failure, Life is unfair…. verses I had a experience, I am not the action or the result. Life Is as it Is and we engage with it as it is.
And I’d like to learn how to ponder over this We work for that which no work is required – I have some thoughts around this but would love to know how to discover things over time.January 13, 2022 at 11:28 am #391255
Hi Samy Great thoughts
I wonder why is identifying with emotions bad? In a non dualistic way of good and bad concepts disappear. 🙂 as for example anger can be experienced as both, even at the same moment in time. The intention is to experience the emotion without attaching a sense of self to it. To allow the experience flow which is I guess a kind of letting go (working for that which no work is required – the moment has passed – if so what is it that we are holding on to (attaching to) )
But did it change anything? Whether Lion killed motivated by nature or anger, the rabbit would still be dead. If you witness the killing and could verify that the Lion killed out of anger. Has your image and feelings toward the Lion changed, perhaps you might view the Lion with less compassion and as a other? Attaching to the Lion labels – like Lion is what it did vice the Lion did a ugly thing.
I Just worrying about what true detachment. A helpful concern to be mindful of. For myself I often find myself falling into the trap of indifference. When I notice that, I know that my practice of detachment has become something else. Thus the Practice of mindfulness. (note that the practice of mindfulness also involves avoiding attaching our sense of self to labels, thoughts, emotions 🙂 Mindfulness is about noticing. We are better able to notice when we practice detachment. Which comes first Mindfulness OR Detachment? The question is dualistic thinking 🙂 There is no OR… or First)
I also feel that the Practice of healthy detachment creates healthy boundaries, that lead to Compassion where the idea of the ‘Other’ dissolves. I suspect a unhealthy detachment sets one back into dualistic thinking, Tribalism, Us verses Them…
Where do you learn your lessons from? Books have been my primary learning tool and the seem to show up when I’m ready for them. (its one thing to read/know of something quite another to integrate it, make it your own). Something Jung noted had a big impact – He said that it takes a healthy ego (healthy sense of self) to be able ‘let go’ of ego (letting go of ego here is not denying the ego only avoiding identifying (attaching) the sense of self to ego) Thus again we work for that which no work is required)
I also learned a a lot from taking ballroom dancing classes and approaching it as a practice. Practicing being still while physically engaged in dancing and connected to a partner. Engaged while detached from outcome… (as above so below, as below so above – the riddle of alchemy)
A Zen practice of being mindful/present while we perform our tasks, one begins to notice when the inner state is influencing the outer experience Or when the outer experience is influencing the inner. (Note in a pervious post where I mentioned that a Answer Of No to the question of ‘Life as it Is’ didn’t end the cycle of suffering. One of the reasons is that a NO usually involves trying to change life from the Outside as a act of will (often about wanting to control Life) were we have very little influence. While a YES comes from a place that starts from within, where we have influence, (if not always control) that flows with Life.)
Their is a idea of ‘Concentration without Effort’ A kind of act of will/intention that is the is a letting go of will… words fail in trying to explain… kind of the difference between reading a book and being open to the book reading you…
Anyway You can trust that when you are ready (open without forcing yourself to be open) the ‘teacher’ will show themselves to you.
There is a saying Knock and the Door will open, Seek and you shell find. I would add that we can seek and we can knock and then we must wait at the door to open in its time. We ought not to try to open the door ourselves or force it open.
Thus I ponder the words of TS Eliot as I imagine knocking at the door and waiting: – “I ask to my soul, be still and wait without hope, for hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, for love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith, but the faith and the love are all in the waiting. Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing.”January 13, 2022 at 8:19 pm #391268
working for that which no work is required – the moment has passed – if so what is it that we are holding on to (attaching to) – this is awesome. Trying to change something that can’t be changed.
Which comes first Mindfulness OR Detachment? – I think they’d go hand in hand. You need one to practice the other for a long period of time.
For myself I often find myself falling into the trap of indifference.- I get it. Caring without attachment vs not caring at all. Is the problem with indifference that you would stop living or engaging with your life. Whereas detachment let you engage in happy and sad moments but with a more balanced attitude.
‘let go’ of ego (letting go of ego here is not denying the ego only avoiding identifying (attaching) the sense of self to ego) Thus again we work for that which no work is required) – Can you really have a good life if everyone is identifying with their ego and working in their best interest. Like at work, let’s say I let go of my ego and take work from others as well, isn’t it against my best interest. I would be giving away from energy, no?
While we perform our tasks, one begins to notice when the inner state is influencing the outer experience Or when the outer experience is influencing the inner. – It is how you look at something that defines how you see it. If someone yells at me, it is because I chose to take it badly that I feel negative feelings, so I’ll let it go, it has happened already. I can see how indifference could creep in.
There is a saying Knock and the Door will open, Seek and you shell find. I would add that we can seek and we can knock and then we must wait at the door to open in its time. We ought not to try to open the door ourselves or force it open. – I understand this. I think I won’t find the door until I’m ready to open it, just like what you’ve quoted Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought
January 14, 2022 at 1:24 pm #391307
Can you really have a good life if everyone is identifying with their ego and working in their best interest. Like at work, let’s say I let go of my ego and take work from others as well, isn’t it against my best interest. I would be giving away from energy, no?
I don’t think so. When you say ‘let go of my ego’ what do you think that means?January 14, 2022 at 10:47 pm #391317TommyParticipant
The problem with seek and you shall find … is .. for example when the US government went looking for reds or communist party. It was called the red scare. When people in the government thought there were dangerous people aligned with communism. They black balled them. Created a wave of terror. All because they were looking for communists. And so they found them. Look for a devil and you will find one whether or not it is really the devil. McCarthyism. There is a trap to go looking for something. Because if you are looking for something then you just may find it in one form or another. Here is a common warning, be aware of history or one will repeat it. The good and the bad.
When living life, do you really want to become indifferent? Detached from the world? Yes, Buddha said to be in the world not of the world. If one is conscious and mindful then one will be engaged with life. Have feelings. This is a part of living. When I love, I want to feel love. Not detached from the people I love. With a clear mind and full of attention, live life’s every moment fully. If something sad happens then feel sadness. Not dwell in the sadness. Not be overwhelmed by such things.
If one is living with thoughts and sense of self then where does the ego not reside? Enlightenment is not all about sitting in the mountains with bliss on one’s face. Letting go of the ego is letting the mud clear from the waters. Then one can see clearly to all depths. It is with wisdom and compassion that one lives in freedom of the ego. Sorry, again, just rambling. It is late and there only the noise in my head. Must be time to just sit.January 14, 2022 at 11:17 pm #391318
When you say ‘let go of my ego’ what do you think that means? – To me ego is the indentity one assigns to themselves. The concept me being my own entity separate from others comes from the ego. And I had mentioned earlier that I think the ego is there to protect us. Surely, life would be a lot easier if we let go of my understanding of ego because the number of things that matter would dramatically reduce. But at the same time, if I don’t have that ego wouldn’t it be hard to protect myself from others? Is your idea of ego different?
January 15, 2022 at 1:44 am #391321
There is a trap to go looking for something. Because if you are looking for something then you just may find it in one form or another. – You’ll always find what you are looking for, even if it is not the truth.
If one is conscious and mindful then one will be engaged with life. Have feelings. This is a part of living. When I love, I want to feel love. Not detached from the people I love. With a clear mind and full of attention, live life’s every moment fully. If something sad happens then feel sadness. Not dwell in the sadness. Not be overwhelmed by such things. Engage with the present moment, your relationships and emotions, but use the truths mentioned earlier to understand the true nature of life and not dwell or attach to any one notion.
Letting go of the ego is letting the mud clear from the waters. Then one can see clearly to all depths. It is with wisdom and compassion that one lives in freedom of the ego. I understand this. I am still struggling to understand what taking action for myself or for my oen good would look like without having an ego. I’ll dwell on that 🙂January 15, 2022 at 11:52 am #391338TommyParticipant
Hope you find a good teacher and sangha. Live a long life and help many others. Here is another short story: Two male monks, travelling together, come upon a woman at a small stream trying to cross. Monks are not suppose touch women. However, one monk, with the woman’s permission, picks up the woman and carries her across the stream and sets her down. Later, the other monk not able to hold his comments, asked the other monk why he touched that woman when monks are not allowed to do such things. The monk replied, I left her at the stream. Why do you still carry her?
Sorry, I personally like stories. Like to share them too.January 15, 2022 at 9:44 pm #391350
Hope you find a good teacher and sangha. Live a long life and help many others – I will look for a sangha but from what I know there isn’t one nearby. Hope I find one.
That was an amazing story! Living in the moment, what’s done is done.
I like the stories you share, you don’t have to apologize.