Balsamic Moon Phase – October 2014 Leads to New Moon Solar Eclipse on the 23rd

BALSAMIC MOONphase-2

Balsamic Phase!  [AKA Waning Crescent Phase] Yep. Moon is at 2° Libra (today as I type this) and that feeling of wanting to escape into a mist of a cloud and fade out is here again–it’s a regular monthly feeling for me.  Maybe you too?  The Balsamic Moon says things like  ‘I want change NOW or GET ME OUT OF THIS REALITY’…. that’s the feeling I’m describing that you may be able to identify with regarding this Moon Phase.  

THE SOUL AND THE DIVINE ARE ULTIMATELY INSEPARABLE AND INDISTINGUISHABLE — we can know that… have that experience in this phase!

The desire for peace and silence is overwhelming.  I currently reside (I changed the word live to reside just now)  in a parking lot type townhouse setting where every 8 feet on both sides of the narrow drive-through is a parking space.  Any time someone slams their car door, it sounds like a sonic boom going off around my head.  Most days it barely registers but the need for silence contrasts with the booms and bangs.  (No, I don’t have a headache but I feel the sounds in my body.  Has that ever happen to you?  You know the feeling, right?)

I have two roommates who bang around and dialogue early in the morning which I incorporate into weird dreams usually but it seems much more disturbing now.  This is typical of the Balsamic Phase of the Moon—the need for quiet, silence as the psyche on all levels needs to commune with the inner energy and distractions from the outer world loom much larger.  As I mentioned at other times in this blog, my natal Moon is balsamic (directly behind) my Sun and so this is true for me at all times, but at this time it is even more pronounced.   

Coping with the outer world takes huge effort and concentration and discipline because all parts of mind/body/spirit want to go far away from the normal routine.  I spoke with one of my daughters last evening who expressed feeling overwhelmed with the demands of earth living–the long drive to work, the financial stresses and strains and the having to work long hours without what she feels is proper reimbursement for her efforts.  That’s another way to describe this phase.   She didn’t know the solution or what to do about it but felt despondent–again, overwhelmed with the demands of life.  That’s the feeling of this phase.  And knowledge is power–and we know phases are just that, phases.  

We could toss in the mercury retrograde and the two eclipses this month on top of it (and personally I’m having a Lunar Return today), but then why complicate things further?  I’d like to stick to the blog post topic –the Balsamic Moon Phase.

Here’s the view from the perspective of the psychic/the sensitive.

The Balsamic phase AKA The Waning Crescent:  the Moon is 315 -360° growing into the “dark of the Moon”

This phase begins with a very deep psychic sensitivity and alternate realities make themselves known to the psychic.  Ghosts show up in this phase—like Halloween the veils are thin at this time. Communication from loved ones on the other side, spirit guides and angels are more common for everyone during this lunar phase but more so for the psychic.  Imagination and visions are at their peak. 

The archetype here is one of merging with Divine Will, surrender and a willingness to go into the abyss.  More than any other time of the month, the psychic wants to withdraw from life when the Moon is in the Balsamic Phase. 

There is a search for ultimate meaning now. And the desire is strong to turn ones back to the physical world.  We are more willing than at any other time to ask questions like, “What is the nature of reality?”, “What is the nature of the mind?” Or “Where do we go when we die?” 

We recognize the illusion of time and physical matter.  A psychic who is comfortable in this realm already can lovingly go deeply that they enter into “the universes of spirit world” and experience a liberation and freedom as well as wisdom  that… well, that helps one keep going through the next lunar cycle starting again with the New Moon.

New Moon happens again at 1° Scorpio which is also the time of the Solar Eclipse.  Again, Solar Eclipses are about something new.  Lunar Eclipses relate to some type of permanent ending.  These things don’t happen overnight and some eclipse energy affects people more dramatically than others (which depends on their natal chart points as they relate to the eclipse points) but that’s the core concept with eclipses. 

Date:  New Moon Solar Eclipse October 23rd.  It’s a good time to set your intentions for the new month and the season as well.  Do so and then follow the blog posts through the phases if you’d like using the links below.

ADDENDUM:  disclaimer:  Maybe it’s because I’m in the midst of a PERSONAL LUNAR RETURN but I wanted to come back to post a bit more about the ‘feelings’ now as they relate to the earlier phases of the Moon as it grew full–a comparison and contrast.  By the way, a Lunar return is when the Moon returns to the same degree and minute as it was on the day you were born.  So, that happens monthly. I think that’s going to be my next project:  to write about the Lunar Return.  I’ve noticed, through the years, the days when I’ve felt — for lack of a better word right now– I’ve felt FUNKEY, different, strange, weird or felt something was ‘off’ and so looked at my chart to find time and again that the Moon was conjunct my birth Moon on that day.  So I’ve been meaning to investigate Lunar Returns a bit more; my understanding at this point is that they are like a New Moon, but even more personal.  That’s as far as my knowledge goes–and up until now I thought of a lunar return as a double moon of sorts just intensifying emotion.  But I plan to find out more.

Anyway, back to this personal addendum on the balsamic moon phase.  I look back to the New Moon and the Waning Crescent as I had this dilemma and desire and planted some seeds— well, okay.  At the New Moon time I was  telepathically screaming into the heavens asking what is going on, what direction should I take and what is this all about and then stating my needs and desires best I could.  Stuff started to happen–very encouraging and validating stuff.  I felt, well… validated, confirmed, 10-4 good buddy message received and all that.  I knew what was going to happen and still do–eventually.  It hasn’t happened yet but I have been given full assurances–in the physical–that it will and soon.  Apparently, not THIS lunar phase unless something changes in the next few days–in which case I will be back to post it!

But it is strange — and this is the point that I wanted to make about this lunar phase — somehow the fire has gone out.  Don’t misunderstand.  It’s not that I still don’t want to have happen what I was assured will happen–it will happen eventually and it could be at any moment is what I was told.  And the circumstances around this are very true to point–it is a concrete physical thing I’m talking about here.  And the ‘any time now’ does make perfect sense in the 3rd dimensional physical reality–so that part’s ‘all-good’ as they say.  Yet somehow the fire has gone out a bit or at least we could say there is no more open flame and the logs of the fire are just red embers, still producing warmth [as an analogy] but, again, no open flame.  The excitement is over and the reality of life remaining ‘as is’ filters back in and there’s a sadness and at the same time there’s a feeling of how it doesn’t matter much one way or another.  Intellectually it does because my mind is yelling at me — it matters! it matters! it matters a lot!  but the heart of me is detached from the cares of the world, the earth and my own earthly life.  There are more important considerations even if I can’t exactly nail those down either.  There’s a desire to go sit on a nice huge boulder  somewhere that’s warmed by the sun and let the wind blow my hair and move across my face and be completely STILL.  Either that or transport into a fluffy white cloud in the sky and look down and laugh at the cares of the word and laugh even more loudly at my own life.  I am not depressed, i am detached–detached, except from chocolate.  Chocolate helps, it really does!.

QUICK MOON PHASE LINKS: 

New Moon 

Crescent (Waxing)

First Quarter

Gibbous (Waxing)

FULL MOON

Disseminating (Waning)

Last Quarter

Waxing Crescent – Balsamic 

 

 

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Psychic residue from past lives create our reality! Latent tendencies and Boggarts

Latent tendencies interpret fast moving protons and neurons and project reality
Latent tendencies interpret fast moving protons and neurons and project reality

This whole ground consciousness and latencies or latent imprints is totally fascinating.  That information comes from deeper study of  Tibetan Buddhism which is really, in my humble terms, the study of the mind and the nature of reality.  They say that the imprints are not the experience itself, but more like dormant seeds.

I think about wildflowers when I think of dormant seeds that are not receiving the right conditions to bloom.  And yet, when they do (especially in the northeastern part of the country where I currently reside), they do not last long.  The summer sun and rain bring the conditions for the blooms and then in the fall and winter, they are dormant again.

Wildflowers
Wildflowers

I think the comparison to wildflowers is an okay or and adequate association in that these imprints are positive, negative or neutral depending upon whether they originated from a positive, negative or neutral thought or action.

Some things grow in summer but do not contain flowers—some contain thorns or brambles. As weeds and wildflowers grow, so go our own imprints–positive, negative or neutral.  And we are creating new imprints all the time–reality.

I really like comparing psychological, spiritual, philosophical aspects of ourselves to nature.  The natural world is a fertile ground for this type of relating.

Anyway, we are told by the Tibetan teacher (s) (the Rinpoche) that these seeds or imprints are activated with experiences in the here and now.  Those everyday types of experiences in life are then activated like the Sun and water and soil conditions activate the wildflowers in the summer.

And here’s the kicker!

These activated imprints are what give us the impression of solid reality (it is all energy vibrations and reflections in actuality and a quantum physicist will agree that a table or a wall is nothing more than very faSt moving neutrons, electrons, protons.  Horray for physics!  Anyway…

Back to latencies…. these are associated with external sensory experiences and give rise to the belief in dualism.  What that means is a belief that I am separate from other or interpreting everything in terms of “I” and “other”.  It is these sensory experiences provided by the dormant seeds come to bloom (so-to-speak) that give rise to a sense of individual ego or separation from All That Is.  And then we create actions based on that belief in dualism that create more and this is how we go round and round in the world of illusion.

There are those who believe that if there is a self that it is a conceptual stream of consciousness that receives these latencies and projects them as external phenomena.

Just consider that a moment as you contemplate your reality!  your life!  A stream of consciousness projecting latencies!  And in every moment we are creating more latencies based on how we respond to any ‘now’ moment!  Mind blowing!  🙂

Well, it has to be extremely more complicated than this;  but what if it’s not?

Sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, body) receive input and then process and transmit it to the brain–and when reading the word ‘input’, think energy vibrations.  The mental consciousness receives something like, “red, round, moving to the left, sharp edges” and then interprets it.

When you think that this has been going on in our stream of consciousness for eons of lifetimes, consider the amount of latent tendencies we have stored which create our reality as we experience it!

No wonder we have developed a belief that external objects are solid and real…  and no wonder we perceive what the latent tendencies tell us,  which is that the external phenomenon is solid and real rather than empty.

Psychic residue containing diverse thoughts rooted in past lives creates the forms.  The mind is transitory (fleeing, passing through, temporary, brief, in flux and in movement)–such is our life .  And eternal reality is actually nonexistent.

Conventional Reality vs Ultimate Reality

But then again, conventionally it is, meaning that conventional reality does exist.  Especially when you think of explaining to your landlord or mortgage holder that your external reality does not it exist and therefore you don’t need to pay your rent or mortgage!

We have all agreed upon this reality due to these latencies and karmic actions and therefore conventional reality exists but ultimately, as just explained, it does not.  So it’s a paradox that the Buddhists call “The Two Truths”.

One reason I believe all of this is that of my personal experience of it  in meditation is just as  has been as described by the Buddhist teachings and long before I read the Buddhist teachings–so, therefore,  I know the truth of  this via my own meditative experience.  Not intellectually.

There is what the Buddhist call shamatha meditation and this will show you the true nature of reality as one turns to look at one’s mind directly.

Well, enough for now.  Understanding these latencies and even just a wee bit can help a good deal in relieving ourselves or releasing our grasp on our attachment s and aversions.

Contemplate this and fear dissolves and aversions become laughable and attachments,  too,  seem ridiculous.

And the last word in the paragraph above reminds me of the brilliance of the scene in the Harry Potter movie (The Prisoner of Azkaban)  when the witches and wizards in-training worked with the spell to transform the Boggarts.  The word of the spell used was “Riddikulus”.

(A Boggart, by the way, is a shape-shifting non-being that takes on the form of the viewer’s worst fear.)

The image to the left is the result of a wizard student projecting an image of his grandmother onto a Boggart ,transforming the professor he fears into a comical image of his grandmother.

Learning about the mind and nature of reality from the Buddhist perspective helps us to transform our own Boggarts realizing they are no more than mind projecting  latent tendencies… what transforms a Boggart after all is humor, laughter!  (according to author J.K. Rowling anyway)

So, keep it Light!

Aspiration:   May this post help someone in cyber world who comes upon it at a time of need to help ease suffering, enhance happiness and renew their sense of freedom and true liberation!  

Peaceful Reflection in Post Aversion and more on karmic tendencies

Not all apartments here are created equal, nor are all karmic imprints the same!
Not all apartments here are created equal, nor are all karmic imprints the same!

This post is me being bare-to-the-bones honest.  Sharing what I’m learning on this journey.  You may remember the posts since last year have reflected my struggle with… well,  straight to the point shall we?

Not all apartments are created equally, nor do all humans carry the same karmic imprints and tendencies in consciousness.

My inner question over many months involved knowing on deep levels that every irritating sound (or even smell; well, maybe especially smell) was illusion and my response of intense aversion to it was of course of my own making.

The sounds is ‘me’ and the smells are ‘me’ but at the same time in conventional reality obviously coming from the source of the downstairs neighbors.  For months on end, I realized this and argue with self, “…but it is so real (the loud voices the curry/garlic stink),… so real for something that is an illusion!

How could this be me when everything that remains of me that is still sane indicates the opposite?  

I knew the truth of it but the aversion was so strong that the reality of it increased in proportion and the whole thing kept feeding itself.  By the way, since moving I’ve learned that the apartment building itself where this experienced hell-realm is located is cheap construction and the townhouse I’m in now has very good soundproofing. Our neighbor to the right (this is a 2-level townhouse) consists of 3 people and a dog and we never hear a word, nor do the 3 of us living in this townhouse even hear one another’s TV or words from room-to-room or from upper-to-lower level.  So life is much more pleasant as far as that goes.   Not all apartments and townhouses in this complex are equal.

The other apartment  situation may have been karmic but it provided me the stimulus to ask more deeply about the nature of reality and the nature of mind.  I would never, ever wish to repeat it but I do see how the experience benefited my evolution.  

I knew deeply then as I always have in my core being that the external sounds, smell, appearances were empty and coming from the mind but the aversion was so strong… it was very confusing and I resisted it desperately causing myself compounded suffering.

The thing is when we look at something in meditation, we see the appearance of it in the mind.  Sounds, smells, all senses are this way.  The mind interprets everything and assigns meaning or judgment to it…  “i.e. this is pleasant, this is horrible, etc.”

And when we try to find the consciousness that see’s and interprets the energy, when we try to find the visual consciousness or the auditory consciousness or the olfactory/sense of smell consciousness that is doing the looking or receiving the smell, we cannot find it.   Mostly because it is constantly changing and in Buddhist terms it is “empty”.

Being a psychic this is known to me and seen in my work–energy is constantly changing and what we perceive is not the true nature of things, it is only our own perceptions which are deeply ingrained patterns (see last blog post)… latent karmic imprints.  

I have to admit here that there is difficulty in explaining in this written word what I know and what  am learning here now, post-aversion, in my continued  reflection and further study of  Tibetan Buddhism.  It’s complicated on one hand and so simple on the other!  All the Libra energy in me can hold the paradox but my Mercury in Scorpio feels it and has trouble with the words.

I realize even more clearly now that the sounds and smells [from my boisterous and cooking Indian downstairs neighbors and the guitar-singing neighbor who followed] were all simply energies which hit my senses that these sense consciousnesses had absolutely no opinion of those sounds or smells.

And further, and more importantly, I realize with more clarity that  it was my mind that  was giving it whatever meaning it had back then which was that of extreme aversion.

For another person with different karmic imprints, the situation would perhaps even been pleasant (although that’s hard to imagine) or at least the aversion may not have been as strong.

Why would it differ?  All those latent karmic imprints and tendencies were awakened and it seemed very difficult to have control over my intense aversions.  I am not making excuses, I’m demonstrating, hopefully, how something pleasant or unpleasant (attractions/aversions) may differ with person-to-person based on the karmic tendencies in ground consciousness [see last blog post].

Back then, I kept thinking [getting the thought]–this smell is ‘me’ and their yelling in Hindi is ‘me’ but (at the same time) how can that possibly be?    Karmic habituation of interpreting certain energy a certain way is part of the answer.

I don’t have all the answers but it’s all getting clearer now that I am in a new setting where peaceful reflection is possible.

(I share this in the hope that it may serve or be helpful in some way to another out in cyber world who may be experiencing any type of difficulty or confusion.  May we all be brought to clarity and contented happiness and freedom from all suffering and causes of suffering.) 

 

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.

Life’s Illusions, Tarot Card: The Moon and Help for the overwhelmed

The Moon can create shadows, Life's Illusions
The Moon can create shadows, Life’s Illusions

Here’s some advice when you are feeling overwhelmed with lots to do and potentially stressful change.  Okay.  Truth.  This one’s for me.  Sometimes I think of receiving a flower when I pull a tarot card.  I give myself a flower in some way when I pull a card to ask for insight, advice, guidance–divination!

That’s what it is after all, isn’t it?  We turn our eyes upward and say a little help.  We need a time out.  And when taking one for ourselves, pull an Angel Card or a Tarot Card and open up to wisdom.  Just shuffling the cards helps to calm it all down enough to hit center, right?

If you don’t have a set of cards or runes or some divination tool, you may consider the comfort they can bring.

We’re moving this week.  And most everyone knows what fun that is.  I’d like to know what I need to consider today regarding this move, what advice do the cards have for me as I’m feeling like I need this little time out to seek wisdom.

Oh, the card I drew is THE MOON.  Wow, so believing in illusions and experiencing distortions.  Appearance Emptiness!  Here we go again.  This is good though.  It reminds me of the Buddhist teachings that I’ve been embracing lately about the nature of reality and oh so much more!  I need not go further really.

But I will for others who may need this little help too.  The Moon card reminds us that our anxiety, fear, doubt and apprehensions are shadows; therefore not real.  A good friend of mine quoted Mark Twain to me recently who said, “‘I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.'”

That applies here with this Moon card.

And then there’s Joni Mitchell and Life’s Illusions:  ♫ I’ve looked at life from both sides now. From win and lose and still somehow. It’s life’s illusions I recall. ♫  Recall that song?

Most of the time we live in a security blanket of illusion — our life remains the same day in and out.  Then suddenly there’s a move coming up, a change of location, a change of routine and the security blanket falls away.  That’s what this Moon card represents.

Shadow times, transition times can be maddening but it doesn’t have to be!  The Moon comes but so does the Sun. Change is natural.  The universe supports it!

Enlightenment Practice #32 of the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva Including Divination

My first thought when I drew the paper with number 32 out of the basket today and read the words associated with this practice was to recoil and to think, “Wait, I don’t do that!”  Following which I knew this must be a “biggie” if I had such a strong adverse reaction.  “You’d better look closer at this one Joy!” was the next thought.

I turned to the commentary by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche to help with this.  I think my problem was that I interpreted the wording of the original root text that read, “…if you point out the faults of another Bodhisattva…” That brought to mind the Dalai Lama or Kwan Yin or even someone like the 17th Karmapa or any of the Rinpoche’s or Lamas or even Buddhist nuns—take Pema Chodron and the like.  I revere, admire and venerate teachers of this nature; I can’t imagine ever criticizing any of them.  I honestly sat stupefied and then solemn for a moment and deeply inquired if I’ve criticized other Bodhisattvas.

Well, maybe Christians who still tend to irk the jesus out of me, pardon the pun.  I admit that I’m still healing the wound from prior life religious persecutions—but of course it is just mind latching onto an identity as one who was supposedly persecuted.  I get that intellectually and sometimes emotionally but not when the wound takes a direct hit.  Okay, okay—let’s say I’m working on that.  It’s a little bit difficult for me to see a Christian practitioner as a Bodhisattva but maybe I need to reconsider that.

Meanwhile, back to  what Khenpo Tsultrim  says about practice 32… he links this to The Seven Points of Mind Training.  The Buddhist seem to have a lot of numbers associated with their teachings:  the 3 this, the 4 that, the 6 this and the 7 that.  Probably a good way to memorize teachings!

Anyway, Khenpo Tsultrim says that one stanza in The Seven Points of Mind Training directs the reader to think that all positive qualities belong to other sentient beings and that all faults are one’s own. This is the correct attitude. [that will develop humility for sure!] Generally, most people think just the opposite: someone else is always wrong, while they are always right. This attitude is to be given up.  Patrul Rinpoche advises students to acknowledge their own deficiency first; and then, when they recognize it in someone else, to pray that the guru grants blessings to them both. It is always beneficial to see that the perceived fault in yourself is greater than it is in the other. Then you know that person is no different from you. [I highlighted what I felt where the most important points there.]

Oh Lordie, I do see how I worry/am concerned about one of my family members and their relationship to money and that this fault is greater in myself.  

The Dalai Lama spoke on each of the 37 practices of a bodhisattva and he wrote one line very succinctly which says it all, “We must try to conquer our own illusions rather than those we ‘think’ we see in others.”—pg 101, Essential Teachings

Most of what I come up with while investigating the meaning of practice 32 relates to infighting amongst various schools of Buddhism criticizing each other or student’s critiquing other students or teachers.

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DIVINATION ~ MESSAGE

Through examining this practice as it applies to my own life experience I can see how I am repulsed and disgusted with Christians to are always quoting scriptures.  Yet, am I not right here and now quoting Buddhist scriptures in the same way?

Buddhist teachings are helping me a good deal but I must remember that Christian teachings are in the same way helping those humans who, like me, are only hoping to be better humans and grow and evolve and become a better compassionate and loving soul—a bodhisattva!

Oh, and on that relationship to money thing… better go look at the bills I’ve been avoiding looking at and work on ‘my own’ illusion!

Enlightenment Practice #30 of the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva Including Divination

Shantideva (who wrote A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life AKA Bodhicaryavatara
Shantideva (who wrote A Guide to the Bodhisattva Way of Life AKA Bodhicaryavatara

The humble monk (Ngulchu Thogme) wrote the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva it in a cave in the Himalayas around the 13th century.  It’s a guide for travelers on the path to enlightenment—practically advice on how to actually live day-to-day.  Are you trying to consciously travel this path?   Me too; c’mon let’s figure this out!

So like I’ve been saying how I’m going to write about the 37 practices of a Bodhisattva (guidance to live by). You know the Dalai Lama? He is said to be the Bodhisattva of Compassion incarnate. Oh, to be like him! Anyway, I’ve got (like most of you) about 1,000 coals-in-the-fire-of –life’ as the saying goes (busy/whatever) but I want to get started here. So I’m writing numbers from 1 to 37 onto 37 small slips of paper and have now put them in a small basked. I will draw one at a time and write about that one while asking that it bring importance guidance for something currently relating to my life on the day the number is drawn!  Ready?

Divination Message 3/16/13 from the Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva:  Today I’ve drawn Practice Number 30!  I don’t know these by heart, so I’ve got to grab the book and have a look; let’s together see what it says.  I guess you already know that a bodhisattva (essentially) is someone who wants to work for enlightenment not only for their own benefit but for the benefit of others in order to end suffering.  You probably already knew that.

Bodhisattva Practice #30

Reading and typing and divining as we go along here… right away I see it’s about virtue with heart.  Maybe this is about putting our whole heart into attempts to be virtuous?

Gosh, I’m remembering (flashing on) something my “spirit-guides” (as it goes) conveyed and at the time (as I did with many things then), I shrugged and felt it to be too simplistic.  You know, I was looking for something more profound after all—I was looking for something really sensational when I asked why I was here and what my purpose is.  I was told we are here to develop and practice virtue—I completely blew that off back then.  Yet, divine irony of irony, here I am studying the 37 Practices and Buddhism and that’s exactly what it’s about!

As I look at this little book of Essential Teachings (the one I carried unknowing with me for 6-weeks –see previous blog—which is the writing of the Dalai Lama himself), he’s talking about having the “right view”.  The word “view” in Buddhism (email me if I’m wrong if you’re a Buddhist monk or someone more expert than myself a humble student) has to do with understanding the nature of reality and the 8-fold path.

“Right View” as they call it has to do with the type of wisdom that has to do with understanding of things as they are which of course has to do with those 4 main truths:  there’s suffering, get real about it and then understand what causes it and the good news is that there’s a way to end it *(yay!) and following the 8-fold path enables us create that cessation.  And back to the 8 fold path again of which right view is a part.  Didn’t we just make a circle, a loop—right view leads back to right view. Ingenious!

Hey, by the way, thanks for being patient while I work through this.

Not to let all the cats out of the bag at once creating confusion but the 8 fold path (just as a preview and curiosity satisfy-er) and no, I’m not going into all this right now but they are as follows:  right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration.  But hey, let’s just stick with the view for the moment—right view.  And let’s get back to the #30 practice of a Bodhisattva.

The Dalai Lama the guru teacher here says that this view in practice #30 has to do with realizing that the person who acts in any kind of way to do any kind of thing or who takes any action +plus the action itself that is taken +plus the person who may receive the action that we take don’t (in the right view) actually inherently exist.  Wow, that’s a tough one to explain to the average bear on the street human if you know what I mean!

This IS samsara after all, don’t you know?  This is a dream-like state of reality.  That is what we’re being asked to remember.  Things exist on a conventional level but ultimately—no, they don’t.  It’s really not that hard to understand with the new science where we look at atoms and the core of the atom itself doesn’t even exist only if we put our mind on it.  You know what I mean!?  You’ve heard this!  The chair you sit on or the table or any object is solid according to our perceptions but it is because the vibration is very, very, very slow.  On the quantum physics microscopic level (hope I said that right), it’s nothing but energy molecules vibrating—just a bunch of atoms which are empty at their very core!

So, let’s say you give someone a gift, you could say something like, “There is no giver, no action of giving, no gift, and no receiver of the gift”—that’s ultimate truth.  Conventionally, there is all that, but ultimately NO.  So that’s the right view of things which, if you think about it, is quite liberating and there’s a part of us that says, “Okay, I get that and now I can tell myself to stop worrying about every little thing!”  Or  that’s one view you could take and it would be ‘ultimately’ right, correct, on the quantum or ultimate level.

Whew!  Hope that makes sense.  The bottom line of this practice is:  No subject, No object.

So, what do we do?– we practice this.  We hold this in our mind and remember it and function in life with this view right alongside conventional reality—to practice this it changes our behaviors, our attitudes, and we become a teacher of the dharma (phenomenon and the truth of phenomenon) by our very being via our life being witnessed by others.

Right view is called the word “prajna” in Buddhist teachings.   If we get this one thing, in my humble opinion, it is the best thing we can understand and it really answers most any question we have about life and addresses any concern.  Upset? Worried or fearful?  Remember practice #30 of The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva – understand the emptiness of reality and shazam, this right view just calms it all right down for ya’!  Totally and fer’ real as they say! What is real isn’t real—totally dude! Samsara is an illusion.

Another way of saying it since this practice #30 is the 6th of the Six Paramitas (more on that another time)… the 30th is about cultivating  “non-conceptual superior knowledge” and in the words of the monk himself or at least one common translation:


Without superior knowledge,
it is not possible to attain perfect enlightenment through the first five paramitas alone. Therefore, joining it with skillful means and not conceptualizing about the three spheres is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

And another translation:

Since five perfections without wisdom cannot bring perfect enlightenment, along with skillful means cultivate the wisdom that does not conceive of the three spheres [as real].

Note to reader:  the three spheres in Buddhism are 1) self 2) other and 3) connecting action.

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THE DIVINATION

Now.  How can I apply this personally in my own daily life?  Ha!  I’m reminded lately of the story of the monk who, so inspired by teachings on generosity, gave away his worldly possessions, two of which included his food bowl and his shoes!  Since his generosity was not accompanied by wisdom he had to ask for them back when it came time to eat and then to go somewhere!  I was very inspirit-ed to work with generosity yesterday in my efforts to be an ‘active’ Bodhisattva!  In other words, it is one thing to wish all beings be relieved of suffering and I do that plenty but what about “putting one’s money where one’s mouth is?”—as the saying goes.

I did that to the point of pain yesterday—giving when it doesn’t hurt really doesn’t count in my book.  If you’re going to give, make it a bit of a sacrifice at least!  So with that attitude, I did so in a fairly large way; in fact, I gulped hard several times in the process thinking, “Yike, I hope I’m not being like the monk who gave away his bowl.”–!!

And today’s Bodhisattva Practice 30 is a great message for me (using the 37 practices as divination messages here)!

I’m being reminded that the 3 spheres of giver, gift and receiver are not ultimately real; self, other and connecting action don’t exist;  and to remember this and embrace it is a practice of a Bodhisattva! 

Non-Self and Illusion of Emotion – How to Hold Your Horses and Not Get Pulled In

 The Illusion of Emotion Hold Your Horses and Don’t Get Pulled In

Hold Your Horses and Don’t Get Pulled In
“Hold Your Horses” and Don’t Get Pulled In

On the subject matter of non-self, consciousness, awareness, spiritual awakenings and psychic energy, I recently posted this Nisargadatta quote on Facebook:

“On what we think as REAL taking your idea of yourself for example: “You cling to personality, but you are conscious of being a person only when you are in trouble; when you’re not in trouble you do not think of yourself.” 

And I did so because I came to this quote rather magically (I believe in magic@!) after having an experience that relates to the quote itself.

Someone asked, “But how do we overcome thinking about ourselves when not in trouble?” 

Logical question; good question I suppose.  Surely, I don’t have all the answers but perhaps my humble speculation will be of some use to someone, other than my self.  Let me share my experience and that may be self-explanatory.

The other day I was in a place of no-fear, no- desire, non-attachment and  for the most part this is what we may call a contented happiness state.  I say it that way because extreme happiness – or the kind of cartwheels in the street and jumping up and down type of glee is really the result of some type of attachment.  But life itself, the marriage of consciousness to life is contented happiness.   A state of (for the most part) non-self, just merged with the harmony of life, flowing in harmony with what is and this type of non-self.  No strong desire, no craving, no yearning, no fear, no anger, no frustration—like that.   Those are states that attach us to self—thinking of our self.  We may say, as the Buddhists do, that these are states of self-cherishing.

I was in such a state of flow with life; neither here nor there; doing what comes natural; no strong push or desire—and just letting the mind become blank periodically.  And then—DRAMA WALKS IN THE DOOR!

So here comes this energy around me and it feels like it sucks you into your body.  In fact we have expressions like this—“I got sucked into that” or we say “I got pulled into it”.  That’s how it felt quite dramatically and literally.  My ‘self’ wanted to become engaged with the energy and I felt my consciousness being pulled back into ‘self’ when moments earlier I was in a state (more rather than less) of non-self:  no fear, no desire, no attachment—only flow.  Now the flow was being yanked and tugged by my ‘sense of self’–mostly self-identity.

You know how it goes when one begins to feel insulted, right?  That feeling comes up in us and we say things like, “Do they know who they are talking to?!”  It’s ME, the all-important ‘me’!!  Yeah, personality was starting to think about how it was receiving an insult.

I’ve heard it said, “A spark of truth can burn up a mountain of lies.”   The truth that I could return to being an atom of existence or let myself be pulled in was before me—a choice.

When I remembered this—when I remembered that the energy which the personality was being tempted to wrestle with, the energy that was starting to be sucked in by the personality began to  dissolved once I remembered the nature of reality being illusion.

Oh yeah, trust me—I know.  Been there and done that so many times I’m an expert at making illusion really real!  It’s all a play of cosmic matter.

When we become identified personally with any energy we become a slave to it.

When, on the other hand we remember what I heard my higher mind saying at that moment that I began to become sucked in which was IT’S NOT REAL, the “self” subsides and mind merges back into the previous state of no fear, no desire, no attachments, no anger, no craving and so on—everything decreases and wanes and subsides into silence.

Then we stand apart from the illusion having not been sucked in and we become master of the energy instead of the other way around. 

Footnote:  I am grateful for the experience from the Drama Queen because I don’t think I’ve experienced the energy quite so clearly and witnessed the two opposite states so dramatically and felt the pull in such a profound way!