Sunday, February 27, 2011
Dolly is trying to get under the covers. Its snowing outside and the sky is gray. Bare branches are waving outside my window. I do not feel like going for a walk today. This is my room for two more nights. High ceilings, concrete on 3 sides, straw/mud combo wall on one side - the side with the window, Ikea stackable closet. 3 hanging lightbulbs in a row, casting snowflake shadows, in line with the entrance - each with a beaded covering my landlord brought back from Africa specifically for these 3 naked bulbs in this rental. Now the fixtures couldn't be more hip. Wendy's painting is still hanging in line with the lights and above my bed - its been in every room I've been in Santa Fe - yellow, orange, purple, indigo, sunset. I've probably mentioned it before. I have a chair for a bedside table now, having sold almost all of my excess belongings. It is good to purge.
I'm writing with a "Santa Fe Mountain Sports" pen I picked up from my desk. Its not mine and I don't know where it came from.
The space is still and quiet. Its holding its breath like I am. Until a gust of wind comes by or a solitary car passes. Or Dolly snuffles in her sleep. I listen to the running of my laptop and sigh out.
I like the name Beyla. It is a name mentioned in the book, "The History of Love" by Nicole Klause, which Debbie just lent me and I am reading on the gently swaying train going from Santa Fe to Albuquerque. The book and the name Beyla make me want to write. That is the sign of a good author.
I just had a feeling. A new chapter of life unfolding feeling. I feel how near traveling is, being on this train brings me back to last spring traveling on trains in Taiwan. I feel like I'm home when I'm traveling. It almost doesn't matter where I am going as long as it is some where with unknown possibility. If I went on this train everyday, in an out, the daily grind, to work, I would not feel this way. As it is, I feel like good things are here and good things are coming and I am grateful. I could die now and be satisfied with where I am.
The daily mediation, I get by email every day of course, today had to do with the journey through life. And how the first half of life is all about preparing you for the 2nd half of life. Its necessary to go through it to figure out who you are and all that you really need is to reconnect and realign yourself with source. Its moment like these, traveling on a train I had no idea I would be on when I woke up this morning, that throw me back into the now and give me that desire to recenter. And I feel that centering stillness right now despite the cold air and the static noise coming from the loudspeaker.
Identifying with "I" We have to take the responsibility for everything that happens to us for our actions. Spontaneous joy, love, and compassion, getting rid of "I" and separation
Meditation helps with:
- being and staying more relaxed
- more joy
- more interest in others
This idea of building up a state of mind where we can let go of previous concepts. The experience of realization that shows the right direction, sprang from that realization from meditation to daily life.
- question that this idea of "I" is just an "I" - "I" just means duality/dual thinking
- often happiness is being experienced as tranquility, as a result of causes, conditions, actions.
The middle part of the brain: sex, love, habbits, anger
Design ethics - about survival of the profession
Social Innovation - everyone doing a little bit to create positive change. Develop the ability to make ethical decisions.
The human brain - the most complex organism in the universe.
Designers are always asked to solve other people's problems.
There are no easy answers for important things.
Reminds you of how vulnerable you are to treachery.
You're only as good as your last job.
Groups make better decisions than individuals by bringing in different opinions. Bring in people you trust.
Most innovations start out as dilemmas. Things often start because there is a lack of something.
Bradbury Thomas. Herbert Matter. Vintage Fortune magazine on facebook.
My stomach is feeling a little up set now. The clock is ticking. I'm ready to go. My neighbors voice perhaps through the thick wall - I rarely ever hear it. Its 8:20am. Dry lips, slightly stuffed up nose. Shadows on the wall from the sun outside. I'm trying to notice/keep track of things that make me a 7. Not what I'm thinking, but what my attention is drawn to. Its cold, the covers are warm. I'm paying attention to comforts.
Last night, I had a dream about goldfish. Baked cheddar. Orange. A friend was cooking them on the grill.
The farolitas and Christmas lights are still up around parts of town. I might think it was before Christmas if I lost track of time.
Pay attention to the impulses and the anticipation. Remember to be grateful.
For relaxation, mittens, the dark, the workday is over, nice music and sounds, anonymity, being in New Mexico, companion, to be full.
I'm just starting to read about the enneagram. "The enneagram teaches us to develop and 'inner wittness' - creating this in the first 5-6 years of contemplative practice. Find a compassionate position from which you can say: 'I'm doing it again...here's my seveness again. It can make you a different person to live with. As soon as you lose the inner wittness due to tiredness, stress, etc. your ego is back.
1) must be able to stand back from me
2) compassionately calmly observe me
3) observe the situation you and I are upset about
4) see me and my dramas almost as a if they were not me (be that detached)
5) if you're unable to detach from me, you're over-identified as me
6) the beginning of seeing the false self, ego loses its addictive power
7) when you can learn to live here regularly, you'll be in a good position to start seeing pure self.
8) the stable buddhist
9) surrender and trust in divine union given. You don't get/achieve spirit.
10) this spirit will teach you all things, re-minded of your initial mind and identity
When we're acting out, we've forgotten the connection. Feeling that disconnect from source is what makes us want to reconnect again. Over and over. Its about you seeing our reactivity.
Let your mind be as curious, open and receptive as it can. A question is much more interesting than an opinion. "I don't know, but I'm willing to be informed"
Johanna Massey - helping people feel the suffering of the world. Often we close our hearts because it is overwhelming. But if we actually allow ourselves, our hearts will open out and we will embody that compassionate impulse.
"The Universe is a Green Dragon"
"The Age of Empathy"
"The Empathic Civilization"
The trajectory of human empathy and compassion, of a widening heart, of realizing how profoundly we are interconnected.
A yearning in the ancient galaxies for life and a promise for life. What is emerging from us? We are now the promise of an evolved, aware life.
Right relationship with reality.
Future emerging out of our collective capacity for choice. Being the presence of the universe in human form. Living in alignment with reality.
Doing this work of rehabilitation.
The universe becoming aware of itself.
Going from thinking the world is made for me to thinking we are here for the world.
There is no physical place that can relieve suffering. Flexibility is key.
A teacher knows how to push you through transformation. We can actually meet suffering with mindfulness and compassion not with arrogance, anger, jealousy, depression. Go in with curiosity, play, childlike attitude to life. Go in with Why not? not why?
When you are in disagreement, can you stop and send the other positive thoughts?
Allow ease to be equally a part of effort. Remember that Buddha nature is always there in every moment.
Book recommended by Leigh: The Daily Meditation Book - Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie
Book recommended by Margaret: The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, a Book that Changes Lives by Dan Millman
The development of Wisdom:
Wisdom - Knowing what is true and knowing what is not true. Having that perspective. Helps reduce greed, anger, hatred, grief.
Buddah gave 84,000 talks in his lifetime.
Right understanding - wisdom
...effort, concentration, speech, action, livlihood
Cultivating ethical conduct. Developing concentration through meditation. Ethical conduct is necessary for concentration. Once concentration is established, wisdom can arise. The mind infused with wisdom is liberated. Everything arises because of a cause. Everything is impermanent. Everything is unsatisfactory because it is impermanent. Everything is not self. You are nothing. But being nothing, you are everything. We often live an illusion. There is no separate self here. There is a lot of happiness that comes from wisdom. The happiness of a concentrated mind, of equanimity.
The experience of a-ha, an insight of understanding something in a deep and intuitive way. Deepening sense of a-ha - insight meditation.
Nirvana - experiencing unconditional reality, profound, peaceful, free from all trouble, bliss, uncreated. Permanent, stable, ageless, deathless, shelter, unassailable safety.
To get there, we have to pass through some insecurity, suffering. Its a passage. In every spiritual journey, there is a descent.
Dante died at age 56. Inferno.
Go through darkness before you go up. Destroys our world. Practice is insult after insult. The search for reality is the most dangerous undertaking. Its not an easy process. It destroys the world you know.
I don't want to keep living an illusion.
Swallowing the River Ganges - book
Progress of insight takes us to high ranges of happiness. We come to experience equanimity, being at one. We also open to suffering and also to universal suffering. And it can be hard. Classic stages, progress of wisdom.
Acceptance, coming to terms with reality
Takes a certain amount of courage.
Build great strength of mind.
We come to experience impermanence. We see the momentary arising and passing of things. All of the security begins to fall apart. The world is out of control. Where do we turn to get the usual comfort? Creation and destruction continuously, everything vanishing.
There isn't enough continuity for there to be a self.
The stage of terror. Even the ground doesn't seem to be holding me up.
The stage of surrender. Deep acceptance. No longer resisting what is unpleasant. You'll come through the hard stages. Its not depression at all. Its opening to world conditions.
Starting every morning by looking in the mirror and vigilantly saying, "Don't be fooled today."
Let's not be fooled into believing we can avoid unpleasant experiences. Allow the unpleasant to be there and to pass when it passes.
Let's not be fooled into believing that our actions don't count. (even when people aren't looking, they do). Because actions affect conscience and condition us to repeat those actions, to "steal" again or not. No one is exempt from Karma. Every action, word...maintaining integrity and self-respect.
Let's not be fooled into believing our suffering comes from outside ourselves. It doesn't come from money, houses, jobs, our happiness comes from how we relate.
What is the thing you fear the most? Do you have a heart that is ready for it?
Let's not be fooled into believing our thoughts are real. Is it possible not to believe the judging, shaming thoughts (toward ourselves and others)? Then the thoughts can dissolve, lose their power when we choose not to believe them. The future does not exist. Obsessing with the future takes us out of the present moment. The past doesn't exist - it is a construct of the past. Period.
Not to be fooled into believing that things are permanent. We have a sense of stability and permanence that simply doesn't exist.
Opening to impermanence and change. Eric Kolvic marries people... "here's a wish for you in your marriage, may you take refuge in your sanga of two. I hope you will never take for granted what can never be taken for granted. One day you will lose eachother. Perhaps this knowing will help you live together more fully in the present. Separation is only an illusion. No loss is possible."
Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Tools for Coping:
How much info and images to take in. Finding the middle path between denial and being overwhelmed. Post-traumatic stress can happen.
Joanna Massey speaks beautifully on the taking in.
The practice of loving kindness (meta)
2 kinds of therapy:
There are times when we feel off-balance and overwhelmed. Loving kindness practice is an anecdote to all forms of aversion: anger, hatred, fear and grief.
If one person develops a high form of love, it can neutralize millions of haters - Mahatma Ghandi
Another way of coping is Vipassana practice. Once the mind is stabilized, vipassana awareness practice helps one stay aware of public stories that are told and whether they are wholesome and happy-inducing or not. Is this useful? Does it lead to happiness? Decide for yourself. Do we want to indulge in diversion? Do we want to indulge in war?
Its not what happens to us that brings our freedom, it is how we relate or respond to those conditions. We do have a choice about how to respond.
What are some of the causes of global tragedies? One of the fundamental causes of crime is poverty. Most governments try to control crime with punishment and that never works. If people have enough on the material side, they will be content. Much of terrorism comes from poverty and desperation. A commitment to reduce poverty. If we reduce poverty, we much also reduce affluence.
Buddhism + the possibility of a planetary culture.
"The mercy of the east is individual insight into the self void. The mercy of the west is social justice. We need both." - Gary Snyder
San Francisco Zen Center
Maryann Pergaman in Jeruselum.
When the anger of someone takes on a presence bigger than their issue: Israel vs. Paelestine
Rather than arguing with overwhelming hatred, feel immense compassion. Be sorry for the tragedy on both sides. It is not an issue of right or wrong. Let the other express themselves. Tell them they have no need to raise their voice because you are listening with all your attention.
The training of Vipassana:
of keeping one's heart open in tragedy, of being totally aware and present, of being compassionate
We create our world, our reality, with our mind. If our mind is filled with love & compassion, wisdom and generosity, then that is our world, our reality.
May I be happy
May I be safe from inner and outer harm
May I live with ease
Its hard to enjoy overactivity in our lives. The importance of slowing down. The inner reality is reflected in the outer.
I would like to come to the end of this life and feel I made the right choices.
Its easy to be distracted. There is a fear of what might come up in the silence and stillness.
Its now average for people to work 52 hours a week! Massive amounts of info come in. Tremendous stimulation. Without time for the reflection of knowledge, there isn't much time for wisdom.
Our external reality makes living with ease more difficult. Making clear choices around this subject of overactivity is difficult. To say about ever single activity, "Is this really imporant?" "Is this really liberating?" "Is this useful to me to simplify?"
This is all extremely important for me to remember because I do tend to do too much!
To make the choices of letting things go in a way that feels like a gift rather than a depreciation. Then there is more space for the more wholesome. To enjoy the quality rather than the quantity of things.
Emotional and mental health
learning another language
May I live with Ease:
I will do what is necessary to bring myself happiness.
I will protect myself in wholesome ways
I will do all that I can to support my mental and physical health
I will do what is necessary to come to an ease in my life. I will be easy on myself.
Mary Oliver's "The Summer Day"
I do know how to pay attention. To gradually let go of all the activity that causes stress. and you will know if its working because you will feel more balanced. Maintaining mindfulness in the activity you do keep!
If we are not identified with what is happening, it has a very different and limited impact.
Learning to say, "at this moment, I can't help you." Learning to be more balanced with saying no and giving time to yourself.
We as individuals can't be there for all people all the time. Stop, just breath for 15 seconds and let go of the tension.
The degree to which you're responding to someone out of compassion rather than out of anxiety to please.
Insight Meditation Society in Barry, MA; town motto is - tranquil and alert
Holding tranquility and alertness in balance.
To be compassionate with yourself as you work on making choices to cut down and simplify.
Are you in a hurry?
In our practice, we don't acquire, we uncover what is already there. Something perfect underneath. Michelangelo carving sculptures from stone. That's why its possible for us all to awaken. To understand suffering and to uproot it. Practice mastering our response. Whole worldview has to be deconstructed and destroyed.
"The eyes through which I see God are the eyes through which God sees me." - mystic
After enlightenment, turn back to the world and perceive profound suffering in our world and the impulse to stop suffering. To celebrated goodness wherever you see it and to approach everyone as a friend.
Allowing reality to be reality. That doesn't mean being passive. We don't have to intervene out of pain or anger. Acknowledge the village that allows you to be where you are today. "It takes a village to make a PhD..." Starting an acceptance speech in this way of acknowledging what got you to this place, humanizes the whole event.
What a wholesome state of consciousness can do - learning about community and supporting each other. It was actually your own pain more than the pain of someone else. We become more and more able to help as we become more skilled at dealing with our own pain.
The long descent - a user's gude to the end of the Industrial age - Book.
The Vanishing Face of Gaia - a Final Warning - Book
EAARTH - Making Life on a Tough New Planet - Book
If there is just one calm person on the boat, they can influence all the rest - Tich Nat Tan
If you have any urge to do this spiritual practice, DO SO NOW!!!
Reaching awareness is about the realization that you will always be missing a perspective.
The ocean may look round from the boat and like a jewel from the shore.
The realization that we are foolish. How silly are our minds, our concepts, our worldview.
How we choose what we believe based on if it will fit into our worldview. Ex. rebirth
Follow what makes your heart expand. Its liberating to realize how foolish our minds are, racing around. Sometimes we end up thinking we are lacking, so we end up doing more and more to make up for this feeling of lack.
Developing a heart that can be ready for anything.
What we’re talking about whenever we engage in this practice...
The middle way between self- indulgence and self-denial.
Our suffering comes from:
— Grasping/clinging to pleasant experiences
— Resisting what is unpleasant
— When we believe we are separate
Its how we relate to what’s happening
- allowing the unpleasant to be unpleasant, take away the grasping, clinging, resisting
Sickness is part of our condition. If we can accept the fact that painful things happen, it allows the ability of being present, impactful, and supportive to those suffering.
So often, pain is the opportunity for the connection and the enhancement of perception.
We can develop equanimity through pain. When we are touched at the core, our perception can shift and we can see what’s really there. Its pain + resistance that causes suffering. Simply observe – to see it, to see it, to see it, to see it, to hold the pain. Then the mind gets tired and can’t be so aware and then the resistance comes back.
How can you be present, supportive, compassionate, empathetic in your own heart so you can show up for those who are suffering?
The quality of equanimity – this non-reactive heart.
Simply being with what is without the reactive quality – this is a great state of awareness to be in. It’s neither grasping nor resisting. It knows what’s happening without reacting to what’s happening.
The ability to be with what is whatever that reality is. That quality is an expression of our freedom.
Let it be.
Seeing it all float by without reacting, this is the heart that is ready for anything. This is what we are cultivating.
— Being open to all forms of happiness, to have a rapturous response to pleasure then let it pass away.
— To see the goodness in ourselves and others, to treat strangers as if they are good friends.
— How do we relate skillfully to painful experiences? To really focus on this state of equanimity and non-reactivity, being conscious enough to not react, to say: these are just conditions.
You can’t force wisdom; it only comes at its own pace in its own time.
“Suffering there is, but no one suffers” – Buddha
This week: Pay attention to how you’re relating to what is pleasurable and to what is painful. Let the flow of events flow without entangling.
Meditation is important because it gives repetition, constant reinforcement of awareness until we get to a place where we can take a break from meditation because we are living fully in awareness in our everyday lives.
Let solutions and next steps arise organically from stillness, not from thinking.
I'm content to stay in Santa Fe and always feel like I belong here. Really going to take advantage of all these spiritual talks and outlets while I'm here. Once again, I think that's the real reason I'm here.
Satisfaction vs. unsatisfaction. When there's part of me that wants to procrastinate and part of me that wants to get uncomfortable things done. How it feels good to get them done. I am at peace with not knowing.
Plans keep getting canceled this week and new ones take their place. Its really a lesson in my relationship to the experiences that are happening more than it is about the experiences themselves.
"Many troubles in our lives stem from not taking 10 minutes of quiet in our day."
We listen differently to poetry. It comes from a different place.
1) Come from gratitude
2) Don't be afraid of the dark
3) Have a vision
4) Link arms
5) Act your age
Re. 1. Its very important to be grateful when you are anxious or in trouble.
Re. 2. Good things happen in the dark, you know it :) We need to own and see the beauty in suffering with our world. "What batters you, becomes your strength" - Rilke
"To the rushing waters, speak 'I am.' To the standing Earth, 'I am.'"
Re. 3 + 4. Paul Hawkin writes in "Blessed Unrest" "We are in the largest social movement in human history." Shift in awareness/consciousness. Upaya Zen Center. Keep the vision that we can survive.
Re. 5. To celebrate our true age, to celebrate the full authority of 14 billion years of yourself as human. There is an authority in that when you stand up to the bulldozers to say what you have to say, do what you need to do. Its not out of your nobility"
We are being breathed.
We are not making the decision to breath.
Its happening to us.
- Where is the sustainability and vibrancy in church? When the guru or priests keep being brought in from elsewhere?
- Permaculture insists that we must be intellectually and creatively imaginative and frugal in other matters of life.
- about regenerating old lands, not conquering new ones, Jesus called it healing.
- Bryan McClarin calls it evacuation for the next world, when we should be focusing on this world.
- Island of Iona off Scotland, Celtic Christian history place. Celtic knot - symbolizes system of interdependence.
- How do we recognize we are part of bigger systems? and act our age?
- We've been making people dependent on some higher level of consumption dependent on higher technology.
- Need to practice religious permaculture
- The difference between being correct and being connected. Difference between being independently right and having right relationships.
- All'h - the very "huh" - breath.
Yahway - created to imitate breathing - inhalation and exhalation. Back to being breathed. God is being itself.
- You can only lead people as far as you yourself have gone. Need to be transformed.
- Many of our wars have been about how we name God.
- Whenever you transcend to a higher level of consciousness, you include what brought you there, the previous stages. If you can't include, honor, respect the previous stages, you haven't transcended.
- Storage and Flow - two words that preoccupy permaculture, we can teach you how to learn for yourself, how to store and flow, so simple, its hard t teach.
- Santa Fe means holy faith.
- How can this be taught in the seminars of the world? Very hard to get people and places open for teaching contemplative spirituality - it makes the organized religion unnecessary.
- Get big or get out - American attitude. Doesn't want the CAC to get any bigger. Whenever 2-3 of you gather in right relationship, "I am present" Once you move to the organizational level, exclusion starts happening because certain questions of insurance, policy, procedures, etc. come into play. Start being asked and the natural flow of things can't happen because unnatural questions are being asked. The alternative is to stay small and stay real. You have to rachet down your lifestyle, a simpler way of living.
- Permaculture seeks to see the world as relationship of brother and sisters.
- Bruno Barnheart. Owen Barfield - mentor of Tolkein and C.S. Lewis called it, "Original Participation" Through breathing, dancing, nature, sexuality, poetry, the promise of full and final participation. We have been in 500 years of the "desert of non-participation" of just words.
Q & A:
Loving people/creating first and using things to help people. Watch out that technology does not take the place of face to face relationships.
So much about responding to immediate danger. Brains not hardwired to look at things a year away. To move to the feeling of the immediate level requires a level of imagination. Practice-based rather than belief-based.
The person one needs to hear from is the person inside.
Allowing others to speak, not me. Better to ask people what they're feeling and thinking rather than telling them what you're feeling and thinking.
Going to somewhere new, leave home out of small world view. Art, music, dance, poetry, other ways of knowing beyond literal, left-brain consciousness is much larger than thinking. Its not irrational, its transrational. Going beyond words. Deep silence and then speak - see what wants to arise - quaker meetings.
Waking up together by sharing energy.
The magic and power that can be released through sheer apology. Until there is vulnerability from the dominant, imperial side, when finally capable of self-critical thinking and seeing own faults and asking and starting over.
"You can't see what you weren't told to look for," Brian McClaron, probably a necessary humiliation.
Bill Mullison - founder of Permaculture - grassroots movement return to local life.
Bless yourself, thank yourself. Walk around the block and say hello to anyone you meet. Get involved in doing things beyond the discussion, back to the physical, hands-on world.
Joan Halifax - Upaya Zen Center "I have not made my life, it is being made and evolving, trust in the darkness, we've only idealized light and gain. Both/and way of thinking.
Learned ignorance - learning that you don't know. Being comfortable with disorder and pain and finding God in it.
The Gaia meditation. Coming back to life.
Even a little bit of God is more than enough. The openess of heart.
Ojai Foundation and Findhorn.
The Death and Resurrection of Earth. Earth as Christ.
Opening of the global hearth.
We are living at a time when we can once again see ourselves and Earth as sacred.
Look at your hand, know that this was once a fin, think of all that has shaped this hand in an unbroken series of events, your own human history. Our service to Earth is in your hand. Know that we belong and we are sacred.
Center for Sotacataline in Juarez, Mexico.