Angry? Fearful? Disappointed? Dont’ worry: things are not as they appear to our ego-based delusion

July 18 2014 shadow clouds in the mountains

Holy smoke!  Ego’s get rabidly angry when they hear that life is an illusion and that they are too.  My gosh, how folks fight for their ego’s identity; it never fails to amaze me.  Just try mentioning to another human that there is no self and just watch the resistance and anger that manifests.  This is the same reason people fear death.  Self-cherishing!

Okay then.  Let’s say that life is not actually a dream, and not an illusion, and not a bubble; HOWEVER, life is LIKE a dream, an illusion, a bubble.  Things are not as they appear to us in our ego-based delusion. For instance, an object like a table is just made up of protons and neutrons. A physicist would tell us that a table is basically just empty energy. But, of course, if someone threw a table at you (let’s just say), it would hurt (*mostly because we believe it would.) Ultimately it is empty, but on a relative level it appears as solid and our memories will make it feel solid. Those who can, as we have read about, walk through walls do so because they know the truth of reality. Ultimately what we see is an illusion (like the reflection of the moon in the water or a reflection in a mirror) and this illusion is presented by our various senses and the memories associated with those senses over eons of lifetimes which create the reality as we now experience it. The point is that things re not what they seem to be.  In meditation one can experience the direct realization of this truth (intellectually knowing doesn’t do it)  and this experience of direct realization in meditation  is truly trans-form-ative!

The world, including ourselves, are like a dream, a rainbow, a bubble, a flash of lightening–ungraspable and in an impermanent contestant flux.  Life may look substantially solid and (‘Lordie knows’, as the saying goes) how the gods and angels above might laugh at all the crazy tactics and dramas that we monkey’s create as we try to make ourselves righteous and indignant in our self-cherishing attempt to create a solid identity.  It’s laughable really.

Shadows.  Rainbows.  Let’s take a rainbow for an example.  It is created by conditions, by rain and Sun and by many other causes, but when we try to find it, we cannot.  Just the same way, in a dream everything seems so real but the dream doesn’t have any core reality that exists outside of our very own mind.  A bubble seems real but prick it and it is just empty air.  Life itself is this way.

“May I see all things as illusions and, without attachment, gain freedom from bondage.” — that’s the ending of the Eight Verses of Mind Training.

What kind of bondage?  Ego bondage.

Duality and Oneness are so misunderstood.  Self and other:  this duality.  And we watch how we and others create causes and conditions which create self-cherishing responses to life which create more and more separation and ego-based delusion.  People will say things like “I must protect myself from this or that”  or “I must do certain things that make me feel good”–all of which emphasizes and reinforces the sense of self, the sense of ego.

Putting self last and other’s first is a way to break the spell of ego-based delusion and best of all it increases happiness.  People are very concerned for their self when they are asleep and deluded but then this is instinctive isn’t it?  I mean this whole self-preservation instinctive behavior is what causes us great suffering if you think about it and it is the furthest point from true spirituality that there can be.

One of the antidotes to self-cherishing and ego-based delusion is to put others before the self but not, of course, in a masochistic type of way.  I’m referring to a way of balancing that all important self-clinging that gets us into trouble and causes so much suffering for self and others.  I monitor this in myself when I am awake and clear and centered and I admit that I fail at times and loose my way in my own ego-based delusion many times.  I cling to my own self importance when other humans seem obnoxious to me and I actually want to run from them, forgetting the rainbow, the bubble and the illusion of causes and conditions playing out before my eyes, ears, and all my senses.  It’s tricky; it’s a pickle; it’s often lost but then picked up again, and again–always coming back to these Eight Verses (below) as an inspiration.

I can somtraining-the-mind-imageetimes realize in the ‘heat of the moment’ so-to-speak about how silly it is to become angry at something or someone that/who doesn’t really exist in the first place, at least not in the way they appear.  Again, in all relationships to person, place or thing– “May I see all things as illusions and, without attachment, gain freedom from bondage.”  But then meanwhile, may I at least put others before myself as a way of releasing self-cherishing so that I can let go enough to wake up from the sleep of self-importance.  See what I mean?

Well, anyway… the Eight Verses in their entirety appear below and by the way, it is said that His Holiness The Dalai Lama who is called the Embodiment of Compassion repeats /recites these verses every day.   Personally, I fail miserably as I try to follow the path of someone like The Dalai Lama but I do aspire to these verses in my life view, my attitude and actions to avert ego-clinging.

Just as in meditation thoughts wander and we bring them back to center, to breath, to the focal point, this how we can bring ourselves back from ego-clinging which is what indignant righteous self-protection is all bout and what worry, fear and anger is about too.

Anyway, the inspirational antidote, the meditation and contemplation to counter-balance and hopefully release all of that anger, fear, worry and self-protection and self-cherishing  are the following versus offered here for the reader’s consideration:

With a determination to achieve the highest aim
For the benefit of all sentient beings
Which surpasses even the wish-fulfilling gem,
May I hold them dear at all times.

Whenever I interact with someone,
May I view myself as the lowest amongst all,
And, from the very depths of my heart,
Respectfully hold others as superior.

In all my deeds may I probe into my mind,
And as soon as mental and emotional afflictions arise-
As they endanger myself and others-
May I strongly confront them and avert them.

When I see beings of unpleasant character
Oppressed by strong negativity and suffering,
May I hold them dear-for they are rare to find-
As if I have discovered a jewel treasure!

When others, out of jealousy
Treat me wrongly with abuse, slander, and scorn,
May I take upon myself the defeat
And offer to others the victory.

When someone whom I have helped,
Or in whom I have placed great hopes,
Mistreats me in extremely hurtful ways,
May I regard him still as my precious teacher.

In brief, may I offer benefit and joy
To all my mothers, both directly and indirectly,
May I quietly take upon myself
All hurts and pains of my mothers.

May all this remain undefiled
By the stains of the eight mundane concerns;
And may I, recognizing all things as illusion,
Devoid of clinging, be released from bondage.

 

May all who need to find and read this post, find it and by  reading even one line here that is helpful, may they be so helped, aided and thereby served.

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Impressions, Imprints, Cyber-footprints in SAMSARA

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SAMSARA and IMPERMANENCE

Impressions!  Imprints!  Cyber-footprints!

I don’t think about that often enough.  Or so I recently realized!  I tend to work through my rough days on my blog, hoping that as I do so that a reader out there somewhere may be helped through the insight that I, myself, seek.    But before going further, there must be an understanding conveyed.  One that I don’t convey as often as I should; one that should go without saying but that I forget to say–perhaps even forget to say to myself!  But look, it’s not easy to stay awake sometimes!  Life is full of … well, the most efficient way to say it is through one word SAMSARA.

Let me get an official Buddhist definition of that word [SAMSARA] and this from Wikapedia seems as good as any others from Google:  Saṃsāra (Sanskrit, Pali; also samsara) is a Buddhist term that literally means “continuous movement” and is commonly translated as “cyclic existence”, “cycle of existence”, etc. Within Buddhism, samsara is defined as the continual repetitive cycle of birth and death that arises from ordinary beings’ grasping and fixating on a self and experiences. Specifically, samsara refers to the process of cycling through one rebirth after another within the six realms of existence where each realm can be understood as either a physical realm or a psychological state characterized by a particular type of suffering. Samsara arises out of avidya (ignorance) and is characterized by dukkha (suffering, anxiety, dissatisfaction). In the Buddhist view, liberation from samsara is possible by following the Buddhist path.

I use divination to help me find peace because the process of  looking for insight puts one in the mental framework wherein one shifts or better said begins to detach from the mental affliction long enough to look for insight. [My profession involves divination after all; its a habit.  LOL.]

I’ve been conversing through private text on my Facebook account with a blog follower who summarized the last few years of my life in a few lines that made me startle a bit, thinking ‘Man o man, my life really sucks!”   But of course it doesn’t, and it is full of just as many ups, downs, attractions and aversions as anyone else’s here in Samsara!  No better or no worse, at least potentially, as anyone else’s life who is aware of their mind where it is all located anyway!

Here’s the last bit I wrote this morning, sharing a paragraph from the communication that I’ve been having with a reader:

I think one comfort is that we are never alone in what we experience since the human condition seems very universal… in that no matter what kind of dilemma one is in, one can always find so many others going through the same illusion or experiencing the same dream (or nightmare); so that on some level there is comfort when we can do as the Buddhists do which is Tonglen … basically to say, ” May all of us, may we join together , all of us, and may I be the one to gather it all up here, now;  and then may we all be free of our delusion and wake from the dream and be liberated! And how does the liberation happen”?

What kind of  liberation? Mental–for that is how it all occurs anyway, in the mind.  So, to look at life and hear, see, experience it without aversion or attachment, either one… to just say “Oh, now it is this and now it is that or now it is ‘not’  this and now it is ‘not’  that… hmmmm… okay… and that’s how it is or isn’t…. and now I notice that there is a regret thought, or a memory thought, or a judgment thought, or a happy thought, or a silly thought, or a sad thought, or whatever it is.”   Just looking at the mind.  Well, that’s pretty simplistic  sounding, but most Buddhist teachings are and that’s why I, for one,  like them. LOL I may blog this. Don’t be surprised if you see this text again!

Some  last thoughts:  IMPERMANENCE!  This is a good one to reflect upon too.  That helps put it all in perspective as well… the Buddhist perspective of the “precious human life.”   I have to often remind myself not to become caught up in self-cherishing; this, too, being the source of difficulty and suffering.  And then if all else fails, I hit the pool and go swimming to focus on my kick, stroke and lap times while everything else falls away!

When Life Sux, is it ULTIMATELY Real? Taking Refuge in The Three Jewels

take refuge
Taking Refuge in the Heart Sutra and Also in the Three Jewels

I went back to my last post to read it over.  I was looking for a quote.  After reading it over I thought, wow, sounds like she’s depressed–if I didn’t already know she wasn’t, I’d think she was!  I’m not, I just go deep to find answers–right down to the moment of death and gloriously beyond if need be.  People in the West and mostly young people think somebody is depressed if they talk about death.  I didn’t want to ‘go there’ either back in the day when I was in denial about that particular fact of life–some things people just avoid thinking about. If we ‘really’ thought about some things, we’d never do them at all. Take flying in a plane or driving a car—if we fully contemplated the complete possibilities of what could go wrong and were honest about it, we’d never do those things.  It helps to go into denial about those things–the dangers at least.  And another thing that helps is that somewhere at the back of  our mind we know this is all just a dream that we’re supposed to row our boat merrily along!  And because we know that we say things like, “Oh well, when it’s my time, it’s my time.”  I think part of the reason we say that is we know on some deep unconscious level that this life ‘is’ an illusion…a dream.

I know this stuff–or do I?  I mean the study of the mind and so-called ‘reality’ has been my focus for years–but maybe I expect too much of my own intellectual understandings.
There’s reality that is conventional and there’s reality that is ultimately simply energy and a dream illusory state–both true at the same time.  But darn if conventional reality can’t be a real heavy duty battery sometimes!  I have no idea why I said it that way….battery just seemed to want to come after the words ‘heavy duty’.  Some old commercial that stuck in my mind just came up probably.  But maybe that’s an important observation–mind is everything and excludes nothing.  THAT really does blow your mind–to use some hippy slang from the good ole’ days!

A friend/client of mine was just in a horrific car accident–horrific.  Yeah, I know I said that, but  the word horrific fully deserves the repetition if you could see what was left of her car.  Now you think I have trouble convincing myself that my irritating Indian downstairs neighbors are simply a dream that I should row my boat gently around–somebody who had to undergo numerous operations with pins and plates and screws in her arms, hips and leg… try telling her that at 2 AM when everything’s throbbing and she can hardly move.  She’d probably throw something at me ( and I wouldn’t blame her ) if I suggested such a thing to her!

Life–illusion or not, dream or nay–can get intense sometimes!  Fact:  my mind is irritated by the neighbors.  Fact:  I must do what soothes my mind.  Big revelation that came to me in meditation.  I can’t begin to work through this until I do that first.  I’m trying to figure out how to deal with the’ in-your-faceness’ of it like I’m sure my friend is too with her circumstances (much worse than my own of course)–yeah, it’s an illusion but the illusion hurts and sometimes life really sux.

Strange how it goes though. For people in pain they try to get them to go to the level of getting them to stop identifying with it, separate out from it.  The therapist say give your pain a name and give it a color and mentally do all this stuff step-by-step to control the pain in order to it and see it as the illusion it is–in those ways. That’s got to be tough to do–makes the challenge of my situation barely worth mentioning in comparison.  I suppose it’s all relative as they say dependent upon how real you make it all.  So anyway working with the mind comes into play in all of these cases somehow, eventually.

Yeah, we can try to escape and I’d say she probably wants out her badly damaged body at times the way I want out this apartment situation with my loud neighbors.  It is aggravating and frustrating –my friend’s situation is admittedly 1,000 (or more) times more serious and intense than my own.   But in both of our cases, we deal with it via the mind because the mind makes it real and the mind can also detach from that reality.    At least as a coping mechanism until something changes it can.  The neighbors will move and my friend’s body will heal.  That’s the nature of life–impermanence!  It was change an impermanence that got us into these situations and it will get us out too; meanwhile we have to do what we can to take care of ourselves.

I just flashed on a scene from the movie THE MATRIX.  Neo comes out of  the Matrix after just having just fallen, landing onto the pavement and his mouth is bleeding.  He says, “I thought you said the Matrix wasn’t real?”  Morpheus replies, “Your mind makes it real.”  –a great scene!

But, just how I am in my own mere situation , if I have to suffer it (and apparently I do until further notice)… how do I, despite that mental suffering, let it be for a good purpose?  And if it isn’t something obviously purposeful–trust me, I will find one and assign it!

It simply occurs to me that… well… Is it a co-incidence that at this same time I find myself the Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying? (again)  Anyway, it brings to mind that when it’s time to go—oh, hush, we all have to go eventually, so you may as well face up to it when you’ve got the courage–anyway, when it’s time to go I can look back and realize that I used some of this irritating, frustrating B.S.mental  stuff as prep work for THAT in-your-face experience (death)!  Now that’s an experience that I can’t get out of our face. No way around that one.

So, look. Sorry,  but if you are looking for a blog that gives you fluff and lace and soft pillows, maybe keep looking because you can probably see by now that I use this blog to work stuff out….and in doing so, I assign a purpose to the effort that goes beyond just this self here. I hope the effort helps someone else.  YOU possibly if you’ve read this far–who knows?

Yeah, so what’s the conclusion? (me asking Self) Well, mind gets irritated especially when you make the irritation too “real” so what cha’ gotta’ do to take care of that?  And then I remember the lines that I posted on Facebook today:

Wisdom Teacher’s say: Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion What others do will not matter so much when you see life as a dream. Do all you can to keep positive intentions during the dream.

I’ve got to get back to reciting The Heart Sutra again — and also got to go back to the chant, “I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha!”

There will probably be more about this–I feel that there’s still more insight and wisdom, but it’s nearing 2 am and I have to be up at 6!
But then again if I can get back on my path with all this and not let the delusions below me distract me further (am asking the Angels for help!), then I may not ever have to write about these downstairs neighbors again!@  I’m getting rather weary of it.