Learn to Unlearn

The more I learn and study, the more I unlearn falsehood and assumptions, incorrect judgments and prejudice. The massive, incorrect model I have had of the world comes crashing down.

All I am left with is a truth that is small, unobtrusive, flexible. Although my model of the world is smaller, it is more inclusive, healthy and loving, and enduring. I am unlearning limits and bounds to uncover something unlimited and beyond language.

Continue reading

Mindfulness is Not From Mars

When I bring up mindfulness, many of my friends look at me like I just disclosed being from Mars. The fact is, however, we are reminded to be present and pay attention (the essence of mindfulness) throughout our lives:

Pay attention in class… Look at me when I’m talking to you… Don’t be texting while driving or talking to someone… Stop and smell the roses…

Mindfulness is not new. Calling it mindfulness, and acknowledging its importance, is the only thing new about it.

The Free Mind

I think that a mind that has achieved emptiness and stillness, an entirely feminine state, must be completely free. There are no passions, needs, obsessions, preoccupations…- nothing tying it down, BINDING it, to any moment, any place, or any thing.

Such a mind is free to rise above the moment, the day, month, or one’s lifespan, and perceive forward and backward in time. It is free to assume the perspective of an object, another person, another group, all of mankind, or the entire world. Such a mind is free to accept anything, be anything, do anything, without worry of Self or self-interest.

Thinking on this, I believe a Free Mind such as this, at least to SOME extent, might be a prerequisite of true, utterly selfless, love.

Passionless AND Present

Ever passionless, thereby observe the subtle.
Ever intent, thereby observe the apparent.

In my own pursuit of enlightenment, these lines from the Tao Te Ching have been key to me. I have taken these lines to mean that the passionless state, in which I can observe the subtle, was the preferred one (which is perhaps correct). However, I have long thought that the way to be passionless was to be UNinvolved in each moment- to be detached and observing as from above.

As I learn more about mindfulness lately, discovering its true meaning and implications, I have come to understand that being fully present in the moment IS the path to a passionless state. Rather than being incompatible, I see that the two are wrapped up in each other- being passionless helps me be fully present, and being fully present helps me to be passionless.

Caught by the Pull of It

“Buddhism, or any non-harming activity, can be just as Wrong as any other, depending on the motivation.” (The quote is a link to its source)

This statement brings me back to “Creative power, in the absence of enlightenment, becomes destructive.” Right motivation is essential, in my view. Without it, my ‘creative’ activities can be harmful. It’s why I place a great deal of emphasis on having no Self. In the absence of a Self, there is no selfish motivation, no greed, no ambition, no subjective values of right and wrong, good or bad- no motivation that could make my ‘well-intentioned’ activity harmful.

In the absence of the Self, in my humble opinion, there is only the One (all Life, as a whole). In the absence of selfishness, there is oneness. Self and selfishness are contrivance and dysfunction that I must shed or let go of. In the absence of these self-motivators, there is ‘One-motivation’- the drive to serve all life.

I glean so many gems from Buddhist thinkers/writers I come across. The ‘Gravitation’ I have mentioned, a few different times, at work, perhaps? I am being sucked in… and simultaneously journeying towards, at the momentdancing all the while, reveling in the beauty I am finding…

I See an Image of Beauty Over There

The only two things life promises are suffering and death…

Suffering is the default mode of human life. It is a motivation to act for our survival, and, indirectly, the survival of our species. If I do not act to ensure my survival, or someone does not act on my behalf, I can be assured that I will experience some suffering and die a physical death. On a social level, if one did not suffer the longing/need to mate, our species would die off.

Pleasure is something which must be sought after/attained…

When I do something which I perceive as supporting and furthering my survival, I am rewarded with pleasure. This is both reward and reinforcement by my unconscious for my behaviors which support my overall need to survive, and the survival of my species.

In my model of the human experience, I have been looking at reducing and shedding perceived needs. I have also been looking at economy and simplicity- stopping when I have enough. When left with just my basic needs, satisfaction becomes easier to attain, and my suffering is easier to end. This makes it easier to free my mind to achieve higher consciousness.

I have been reading some Buddhist blogs, and one gentleman referred to 4 Noble Truths, the point of which seem to be that suffering can be overcome by shedding attachments/mental associations. Overcoming suffering completely is an intriguing idea. He shared the Four Noble Truths, the fourth of which was:

There is a Way, the Eightfold Path, which leads us to overcome suffering forever.

Am I reading this right? There is a path which ultimately leads to the end of suffering, I just need to shed my attachments? So, changing my attitudes/attachments to even basic needs will end the suffering caused by their not being met?

It just seems counter-intuitive. Still, it is something worth exploring. I’ve noticed that although my thinking, and this model I’m working on, are largely based on Taoist principles, there are some parallels to Buddhism (from what I’ve glanced over so far). I tend to shy away from anything mystical nowadays, and anything not founded on reason (not referring to Buddhism), so I haven’t dived too much into Buddhist teachings. Maybe I should rethink that.

I have certainly discovered fountains of beauty, truth, and poetry in (apparently) Buddhist individuals I am reading. Maybe I will find one great waterfall of beauty and truth in the writings of Buddhism itself.