In some ways of looking at a human life, having a healthy sense of self appears to be a good thing, worthy of attention, possibly meriting professional support. The same goes with having healthy boundaries (if, for instance, one’s boundaries are somewhat permeable or tentative). If the sense of self is amorphous, or if the orientation to self is negative, there may be an effort to address these perceived “issues.” [Read more…]
A human being is endowed with two essential capacities. One is attention, which is about direct encounter, attuned to the sensation and movement of the immediate scene. The other innate gift is mental processing, in which the mind engages with what the senses have perceived. It does something with reality: names, interprets, judges. Perhaps it generates a story, which may stir a (mind-made) emotion. [Read more…]
What’s it like living a human life after the mind has ceased running the show – once radical freedom has entered the picture and mental suffering has unwound to stillness? When someone not “there” considers such a change in condition, there can be certain assumptions. One thing often supposed is that a life of steady wakefulness consists of uninterrupted happiness. That existence is entirely pain-free. [Read more…]
So much trouble has been set in motion by religion. Even so, religious or spiritual practice surely has been a blessing for some who long to know the truth of what they are, beyond all limiting definition of a self. [Read more…]
What does it mean when it’s said that you are not separate? That you are not (compelling appearances to the contrary) apart from anything in momentary experience: another person, the immediate scene, what you are doing, observing. At no distance from the vastness that some call divinity. [Read more…]
Attention is gold, a commodity of priceless value. For it is via attention that we come to know reality, to sense what we deeply are. That “knowing” is not of the mind. It is more truly of the body and heart, something felt in the engagement with the moment. It is in the blessed space of attention that aliveness is sensed. [Read more…]
This writing is more personal than most posts on this site. I was encouraged to make it available, even so, in the hope it would shine a light.
The bravest thing I ever did was have children, although I don’t recall summoning courage at the outset. As much as I had wanted to be a mother, through and through, I had no idea what I was signing up for. How love would take my heart in its fist and crush it. How fear would assume a mighty presence in my day-to-day, like an unwelcome creature come to live among us, my son and daughter and their father and I. [Read more…]
Do you ever notice yourself in the act of being judgmental or unkind, either to another or to yourself? When your “spiritual” self becomes conscious of this, what goes on inside? Do you look away? Do you tell yourself that being judgmental is indicative of a deep inner failing? Do you feel some change is in order — that you need to be more vigilant, try harder to to be more compassionate? [Read more…]
Hope is thought to be a good thing, a positive force. Its absence is associated with depression, pessimism, negativity. What would a life be without hope?
What a revelation: to discover the deep truth about hope, about its absence. As with so many discoveries in the spiritual life, hope is seen to be nothing like what was supposed – like what the larger culture teaches us. [Read more…]
Undo all the ideas in the head, or at least see them for what they are: mind-made, and so maybe not the same thing as reality. Rock your world. Witness what happens when you stop living in your head, in the tiny airless house where nothing at all exists except your ideas of things. Inside there, life itself is invisible, at a great distance. [Read more…]