Thursday, September 27, 2007

Feeding Beauty or the Beast?

I came across a line of Ramana's where he compared trying to solve the
problem of the mind by using the mind as something which simply 'fattens'
the mind. I loved this thought and it reminded me of an image I have had
recently of 'feeding the dream'.

Attention is very much like food. It is an energy, and where our attention
goes, that is being fed. It is one of the semi-true aspects of the 'Law of
Attraction' that has been making such a hit lately. Where the attention
goes, there is the outcome. That is what is being fed. Astavakra Samhita
also states it very well, "ya matih sa gatih" - wherever the attention
(mind, intention, etc.) there is the goal (outcome, etc.).

So...what are you feeding? This is where the razor's edge comes in. It is a
very fine line (as well as an enormous gorge) between putting the attention
on and feeding the dream, or putting attention on and feeding the
recognition of Reality. Every moment... EVERY MOMENT your attention is on
one or the other - The Beauty or 'The Beast'. There really is no neutral
ground. This is why so many verses, teachings and so forth emphasize that
it is a constant practice - something that must be done at all times. It is
not a 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening kind of
thing. If one is serious about realization is must be consistent and
constant. It is the ending of a way of life. This is often what the
initiation ceremony is about - simply a recognition that now this life is
about waking up!

Ramana said, "Abhyasa (spiritual practice) consists of withdrawal into the
self everytime you are disturbed by thought." So, when are you NOT
disturbed by thought? Every thought is in essence a disturbance. Thus he
would consistently ask people, "To whom is this thought arising?" Whether
you see it as a 'disturbing' thought or not is not the question. Every
thought that you pay attention to is a disturbance. When you give into that
thought, follow that train of thoughts, even if they are so called 'benign'
thoughts, you are feeding the dream, feeding the beast.

There is a great book called, 'The Cloud of Unknowing' written by an
unknown 14th century Englishman. He says (in essence) that one must project
oneself into this cloud of unknowing (God) and push all other thoughts and
desires into the 'cloud of forgetting'. Even though it is a Christian book,
he says that even the thoughts of Jesus' love and sacrifice, and compassion
are hindrances and obstacles and must also be pushed into the cloud of
forgetting. All must be pushed into the cloud of forgetting and one simply
projects themselves (their attention) into the cloud of Unknowing. If we
translate this into our present understanding, it means putting our
attention on simply That, the Presence of Isness, or I Am, which arises as
that which can not be known, is unknowable, but only 'Be-able'.

So, where is your attention? The body will take care of itself, the mind
will take care of itself. Attention is on that razor's edge - feeding the
Beauty or the Beast... Fattening or fasting the mind.

Which will it be?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Popcorn or Samosa

Okay... Amar at the Indian store convinced me to take two samosas instead
of one. So, you might consider this a guilt blog. If you don't know what a
samosa is, you are missing one of the great Indian culinary delights,
particularly if it is made well. Deep fried, vegetable savory...well
spiced, just plain yummy. So, how is it that in the dream we are concerned
with such things as culinary delights? Why not?

So, I have a question for you: when you wake up in the morning, where does
your dream go? Where does the dream you go? You recognize that it was just
a dream and that it had no depth, no substance to it. Similarly, when you
wake up from the waking dream, you recognize that it too has no substance
to it. However, that doesn't change it. It doesn't necessarily go
away...only the experiencer as a separate, localized and independent
dreamer as seen as part of the dream scape. The you that disappears in the
sleeping dream when you wake up in the morning, is no less substantial than
the you that disappears when you wake up from the waking dream, only in
that case there still appears the dream body thing that you previously
associated as being you. The script of your life continues but with the
clarity that it is simply that- a dream, a dance, a movie, in which the you
that you previously identified with is simply one of the many characters.

Most people assume that 'they' will attain a thing called enlightenment,
but that isn't how it works. The illusion that you are an independent
entity is recognized, the Reality that there is only Consciousness
happening as One Great Thing, and the script continues. Other than that,
things in the dream may or may not change. The you that you previously
identified with will more than likely be pretty much the same, however, you
as Presence will not be feeding it with attachment and emotions. It will
simply continue, spontaneously, in its dance as it always did!

Don't look to get anything. Look to get rid of everything, and then you ARE
everything, or No Thing. I know. Hard to grok with the mind, but it is the
mind, the habit of seeing things in a particular way that get in the way.
Let it all go. Or as I like to say... Stop and Be Presence. Just stop.
Don't try to stop the doing, for you never have been doing. Stop the
association with the doing. Watch that you have ever (as I Am) been
watching/being it all, not doing it. The script continues until the end of
the movie. Just eat your popcorn (or samosas) and enjoy the show.