Words contain the essence of thoughts as a result of a realisation of truth. Therefore, it is important to be aware that our own reality is but an interpretation of truth.
Just as the shadow is not the object and the angle of the light influences our interpretation so does our own bias influence our interpretation and view of truth.
Day to day we interact with people, places, spaces and feelings. All that becomes apparent to us due to chemicals in our body that interact with our brain to provide a subjective view of the world in which we exist. An existence that our mind tells us that is real without any empirical proof that what our mind says to us is as it is.
Our consciousness observes this parade of images as it plays out as the soap opera of our life. Our relationships, our inspirations, our pain and our joy as they filter through the lens of our perceptions.
To have that lens clear of stain, to know our mind and our perception as things truthfully are rather than we perceive them to be is a joy to aspire.
Day by day we are exposed to messages from modern mass media that implies, directs and judges us on what we should or should not value. What we wear, what we have, what we drink, consume and do for entertainment is, if we are to believe the doyens of judgement, the values by which we can take our place on this earth.
This smoke screen of ludicrous social white noise distracts us from the values that underlie the way in which we walk upon this earth and this current existence. My value of a person is based on which phone I use? How does this stand up to the value of a child in Ghana that is sold into slavery for the total value of $400. Or a girl in Nepal is taken into prostitution to pay off a relatives debt. How does this relate to the social value of a mobile phone?
Our values reflect whether we walk heavily or softly on this earth and this existence. The accumulation of values that we carry and that influence our behaviour are not hard wired or carved into our psyche but are fluttering in front of the lens of our perception like butterflies or transient dust that we can cleanse at any time once we realise that what we are, in fact, seeing/perceiving is not truth but our version of truth.
The premise of our existence is that we are all in this fish bowl of breathable air together. The breath that I take as I write this has passed through the lungs of many sentient beings before me just as my DNA has been passed down to me from my ancestors long buried and forgotten. Also, we have this one earth that sustains this biological transportation vessel for this consciousness/soul that we all share and that if we walk heavily on this earth then the consequences reverberate in ways that we can not conceive.
Our values in order to promote a life worth living should be, I believe, premised on giving thanks for our ancestors, this land on which we tread, those that are the traditional carers of this earth and the realisation that our breath and blood are common to all.
Sitting in contemplation
Incense smoke rising
My eyes closed
Thoughts of things that matter
That had no meaning
Come to mind – clarity
The hawk drifting
In circles in front
The past gone
The present now
The hawk and I are one
Through its eyes I see
The wings feel as part
When the mind is troubled the breeze is broken
When the I is calm the wind is smooth
When the me is as one the smoke drifts in a steady line
Keeping my guide with me brings me to now
Today I wish for all of us to make friends with our own set of aggregates.
In a visualisation of yourself, wish to you that you are well, that you are happy, that you are free from suffering and that you live at ease. Then give yourself a hug.
Being nice to yourself is a step in the right direction towards all that is good.
As we progress on our spiritual practice we have quite a few a’ha moments. These include the many and varied realisations about: our practice, our friends, our job, the nature of existence and the futility of our existential angst.
After we experience one of these moments of realisations it is common to have that self talk and self congratulation of “I have realised …”. However,,,,, the true realisations are those that are able to be experienced without the filter of perception as we see the true nature of the phenomenon that we are contemplating.
For this reason a true realisation is the furthest thing from “I” or “me” as you can get because you have managed to eliminate all of “you” in the understanding of that phenomenon. Therefore, it is not a matter of “I have realised …” or “now I understand” as that has immediately welcomed the ego dog into the process.
The true realisation is a matter of “so THAT is the nature of that phenomenon!!”. To speak of that understanding is to bring the perception and filter of language. To speak of that realisation in specifics is to bring the ego back and to drive away the realisation.
To hear, to know, to realise.
All traditions show that prayer brings you closer to the concept of God. The minimisation of the ego in order to allow the soul to soar. There is also amazing benefit in the practice of being mindful as we go through our day. Mindful of our thoughts, words and our actions.
When we learn a new activity we are mindful of our thoughts and actions until it becomes second nature. Actions such as driving a car, learning a new language, or even as a baby learning to walk. In the same way the key to removing our ego from controlling our day to day actions is to be mindful of what we think, say and do until it becomes second nature.
Start with setting aside small periods during the day such as during a meeting, or before interactions with specific people. If you know someone is going to particularly confrontational make a point of using this as an opportunity to be mindful, even develop a sense of compassion before the meeting.
From these small practice sessions will come longer periods of being absently mindful just like when you master that golf swing or have your first conversation in another language without having to resort to mental or physical dictionary.
See the people drowning in a sea of stimulation
Craving, desiring and consuming
Drawing into their being the essence of advertising and confusion of needs and wants
The suffering that is only eased by more of the same
Happiness depending on the external – falsehoods one and all
See the people claiming that their way is the blessed way
To the exclusion of all others
The pain the suffering the torment written on their face and in their being
Those in holy uniforms of segregation and separation
Diversity in unity
See the people focussing on the elimination of those not like them
Those that are all one under God but defying the true teaching, so they say
Those that act not in the way of theirs
Those that follow another teacher, another way, to the same destination
The blasphemy interpreted by the judge of self defiant of true teachings
See the people that realise the essence of truth
See the people that abide with the truth in all things
See the people that live in grace as they realise that truth is universal
See the people that have not created a new awareness
See the people that have eliminated the falsehood of false interpretation
See those that are realised in robes of all colours and styles
See the people that put no value in the external
Universal – Accessed
Previously I posed a perplexing conundrum in that how is it possible to resolve people doing things for the right reason in the wrong way. Earlier this week an A’Ha moment came to me in that:
The key is “Skillful Means” which is to say that what we do must be done skillfully to ensure that the result is positive. Therefore, to attempt to correct behaviour (for the right reasons) in such a way that results in a temporary compliant behaviour but has a longer term negative effect on the mind of the recipient is not Skillful.
Such negative actions such as forced conversions, violent retaliation for holding a certain belief/practice, etc has a demonstrable effect on the recipient in that they may act compliant but their ego will be activated to respond to such external and non-skillful actions which will then possibly result in their own motivation to retaliate.
Therefore to have skillful means to guide the recipient to perform/act/believe in a certain way is necessary and is based on compassion and knowledge of that which we are trying to influence. This would indicate that the common “unrealised” person would not have the depth of compassion and knowledge to be able to execute in a skillful manner. Therefore, we should treat those that use non-skillful means with compassion as they are obviously suffering and showing a lack of compassion and knowledge.
It is amazing how focussing on the inward allows us to realise the external.
For this reason all traditions benefit from meditation in order to give the thoughts initiated by, and that nourish, the Ego Hound to subside.
Breathe in, Breathe out, being aware of each breath deprives the distractive thoughts to fade.
Practice Practice Practice
Even traditions that have mantras, prayers, and utterances provide the opportunity to focus on the meaning and intent of the words by way of meditation.
Next time you utter those lines taught since you were a child – think about what the meaning and intent.
And the “A’ha” will follow.