Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Burl

"living Buddha, Living Christ"

"Living Buddah, Living Christ"  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. Are you interested in a chapter by chapter group reading if this Thich Naht Hanh classic?

    • Yes
      4
    • No
      0


Recommended Posts

Touching Jesus

 

TNH speaks of his early resentment of Christianity, and how it was overcome when he met individual Christians who exemplified Christ. He also mentions Buddhists engaged in violent political struggles. I personally had a professor who was held captive in a Sri Lankan airport by Buddhist revolutionaries with automatic weapons. Definitely not your happy thought California Buddhists meditating in yoga pants.

 

The human need to mentally categorize and simplify is a strong and adaptive tendency, but love transcends all. Personal contact overrides intellectual barriers and prejudices.

 

I pray that this discussion will continue to provide personal touchstones in this typically sterile means of communication.

Edited by Burl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chapter 1 - Be Still and Know

 

Being a fairly devout agnostic I am always curious about people's use of the word know

Based on the definition of noumenon in the glossary I think we will have more on this subject.

 

Religious life is Life

Be nourished by many traditions? ... I wonder if Nhat includes atheism, agnosticism and general rational secularism?

 

Professor Kung suggests there needs to be peace between religions ... suggesting that religions can be a cause of violence. Many atheists have suggested tis but many apologists of various flavours have suggested otherwise.

 

I thought Interbeing was an interesting concept, I am wondering if it is different from the non-self and related to dependent origination?

 

Avoid being narrow minded? Fair enough but do I have to seriously consider literal interpretations of a six thousand year old Earth and a global flood, Angels foretelling of a parthenogenic birth?

 

Dialogue the Key to Peace

Spiritual energy? I am always curious when people use scientific terms ... I can't help wondering how many Joules we use when exhibiting the spiritual .... or is this simply an undefined metaphor that is totally in the eye of the beholder?

 

The story of Tri reminds me of Galen Strawson's quote ... Luck swallows everything.

 

Touching Jesus

The compassion of Jesus? In some ways it does not matter, but I am curious, when Hahn talks of Jesus ... does he have the myth in mind or some historical character?

Holy? was not in his glossary of terms?

Lord ... I wonder if we all require such honorifics?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rom says..

 

 

Be nourished by many traditions? ... I wonder if Nhat includes atheism, agnosticism and general rational secularism?

 

I don't know if he meant to include them but i think it would be healthy to include them in dialogue. Also, there are certain sects of Buddhism that are atheistic. The word tradition is general enough to include them.

 

 

 

Avoid being narrow minded? Fair enough but do I have to seriously consider literal interpretations of a six thousand year old Earth and a global flood, Angels foretelling of a parthenogenic birth?

Sure. How can you dismiss or put aside something until you at least seriously consider it?

 

I think when Thich talks of Jesus he has in mind what Jesus and his teachings represents as he likewise does for Buddha. Does it really matter if he believes Jesus is myth or historical? To me, he is historical but if i am incorrect and he is myth, It doesn't really matter to me. The teaching, if proven valid in ones life, is always more important to me than the man or woman.

 

Joseph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"In a true dialog, both sides are willing to change . . . We must allow what is good, beautiful and meaningful in the other's tradition to transform us."

 

I think this idea of seeking out the good, beautiful and meaningful is essential, as is realizing much of other traditions will not seem good, beautiful or meaningful until after that transformation occurs (if then). It is also significant that the words 'truth' and 'belief' do not occur.

 

TNH concept of interbeing requires more explanation for me. I assume the concept will be elaborated as the book progresses.

Edited by Burl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this idea of seeking out the good, beautiful and meaningful is essential, as is realizing much of other traditions will not seem good, beautiful or meaningful until after that transformation occurs (if then). It is also significant that the words 'truth' and 'belief' do not occur.

 

Can inaccurate statements be good, beautiful and meaningful? Give me an accurate statement and truthful statement. While not a fan of Oliver Cromwell I did agree with his statement when being painted for a portrait Warts 'n all.

 

Real Communication

Again the use of the word spiritual, I know what it means to me but I have no idea what it means to Hahn. In the same opening passage he talks of real Christians ... I can't help thinking of the No true Scotsman fallacy. Also I was under the impression in the Buddhist tradition we are all Buddhas, just some of us don't realize this "truth".

 

Be aware of the positive and negative (in our traditions). While I agree with the sentiment, I would not phrase it as dualistically. Perhaps just be aware of the potential outcomes of the actions from our beliefs in our traditions, would be me being in a philosophical mind.

 

Living organisms ... here I reminded of Richard Dawkins' memes ... So it's not surprising that our various traditions split, evolve and die off.

Hahn talks of the "truth". And while I agree none of us hold "The Truth®" There are thing I hold more certain than others. And by his definition I might not be having an "authentic dialogue".

 

Meditation is so important ... Is it. Yes meditating will alter the structure of your brain, but then will playing squash etc. I seems to imply people who don't meditate are missing out on things. In my book, they are walking a different path.

 

Interbeing

Be still and know that I am God Again this undefined god? But a more interesting question who is this I? I could devolve into the free will thread here, but I will try and resist.

 

But the following passage on the next page nails it for me ... I have quoted it on other fora.

When we look into the heart of a flower, we see clouds, sunshine, minerals, time, the earth, and everything else in the cosmos in it… the flower is made entirely of non-flower elements; it has no independent, individual existence. It ‘inter-is’ with everything else in the universe.

 

Being monistically inclined I would have use intra as the prefix, but no big deal.

 

I always have this cognitive dissonance when we speak this God of love etc. And having faith in it. I find I either have love or compassion for a person, animal or groups thereof. I suppose if I wished to do so I could cultivate it. Somewhere Hahn said about respect for other beliefs. I certainly have an acceptance and a general understanding of the causes of our beliefs, but I find it difficult to be respectful say of the concept that the Earth is six thousand years old. But I also realize I must be careful as I understand someone's belief and that person are not independent of one another. ... they are 'intraconnected' . so to speak.

 

Two of the worlds most beautiful flowers? We must remember these are intraflowers. Modern Christianity (or at least its liberal varieties) is informed to a great deal by atheism and secularism. And I suppose most weeds have flowers too.

Edited by romansh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 1963, Buddhist monk Thích Quang Duc burned himself to death at a busy intersection in Saigon. He was meditating without reaction while he burned.The self-immolation was done in protest to the South Vietnamese Diem regime’s pro-catholic policies and discriminatory Buddhist laws.The Buddhist flag was banned and Diem displayed crosses; earlier in his rule he had dedicated Vietnam to Jesus and the Catholic Church. This resentment of Buddhists under Diem led to a coup to put in place a leader who would not alienate Buddhists, who made up 70-90% of Vietnam’s population. This act meant a lot to me and was a pivotal point in my life.

 

I lived in Sri Lanka in the seventies and the majority of people are Buddhist and they persecute the Muslims and Tamils who are Hindu. The freedom fighters called Tamil Tigers are still fighting and are undoubtedly one of the most organized, effective and brutal terrorist groups in the world.

 

I noticed in the Buddhist countries I was fortunate to have lived in there are many levels of devotion, experience and superstition just like Christianity: you have the people who meditate, status and pray for stuff. We can see those dimensions also in our way of life in other countries and the US.

 

Burl, on 19 Aug 2016 - 07:26 AM, said:
I think this idea of seeking out the good, beautiful and meaningful is essential, as is realizing much of other traditions will not seem good, beautiful or meaningful until after that transformation occurs (if then). It is also significant that the words 'truth' and 'belief' do not occur.

 

 

My wife and I met from two different extremes she was an extreme fundamental Christian as I said before she would not enter a Buddhist courtyard of the temple thinking it was worshiping false gods. I came from India and left an ashram where I lived and traveled as a monk. We lived in South Korea and I had a few monks from India over and invited my wife and others also. The monks and nuns told me she was a good, sincere person and I thought she was beautiful so we continued to an almost 40 year marriage and two children. I watched her transformation and my own as we ate from the same cake, but on different plates. We never use the words truth or belief, but she respects and protects my time for meditation, telling people on the phone to call back later or telling me to go meditate.

 

I feel the most amazing and influential transformation in my life is an altered shift in consciousness in the realm of Divinity, Spirituality, Infinite oneness as an undivided unity with everything where the whole thing is connected. Neil deGrasse Tyson an American astrophysicist said, “We are all connected; to each other, biologically, to the earth, chemically, to the rest of the universe, atomically.” In the physical and mental realm of division, contrast and duality, love is an inner feature that points to and brings out the best in us in a consciousness of oneness. It is an escape from the designs, patterns and blueprints of the mind and material world with its order and purpose in the continuum of time to the simplicity of loving or not loving, being united or separate from existence. I think this is one way to look at the word spirituality, which is beyond words.

 

I will try to keep up, but I just sold my house and am between closing, signing papers and loading, driving and unloading furniture from Reno to Las Vegas. I just did a 26 ft load, but will have to do a smaller one too. I can relate to the birthdays in July, but I am 68.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal concept of hell is having to wake up every day at six and move.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife says we will die in our new house, but I see us down sizing becoming less attached to live and move around more freely, but I will tell you Vegas is as hot as hell. I gained a new appreciation for the individuals who pack and unload those big trucks and the advice given to drink lots of water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife says we will die in our new house, but I see us down sizing becoming less attached to live and move around more freely, but I will tell you Vegas is as hot as hell. I gained a new appreciation for the individuals who pack and unload those big trucks and the advice given to drink lots of water.

 

I'm with Burl and his definition of hell. I hope your move goes smoothly, though the thought of moving in such heat makes my Canadian bones shiver.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

INTRODUCTION - Elaine Pagels

 

The foreward established TNH as having significant interaction with respected Christian mystics, which is an important qualification.

 

Pagels is a popular non-academic author on religious history. Her introduction largely discusses her own writing on the Nag Hammadi texts. My guess is that the publisher asked her to do an introduction simply for the sales value of her name. She has one or two points taken from the text, but these are better addressed in the author's context. Frankly, the introduction seems self-promotional.

 

On to the first chapter! I believe I can hear Amazon shushing its way towards the romansh household. Hopefully Trump has not managed to get Canada segregated behind a snowfort wall, even though the Canadians would probably be more than willing to pay for it.

 

Hi Burl, I'd just like to mention that Elaine Pagels is a respected scholar and researcher. She happens to have a gift for writing for lay audiences (much better for the bank account than writing solely for academic audiences), but she's first and foremost a reputable scholar. Her book Adam, Eve, and the Serpent (New York: Vintage, 1988) is one of the most carefully researched -- and readable! -- books on the history of early Christian theology that I've ever come across.

 

I went back and reread the introduction she wrote in Living Buddha, Living Christ. (I first read the book a few years ago in preparation for a paper I was writing, though I need to reread it for sure!). For myself, I find her introduction very helpful and interesting. She introduces the themes of change and growth in our ideas about faith (the Nag Hammadi texts, when discovered in 1947, forced scholarly revisions of many "certainties"). She talks about the Gospel of Thomas, which is undoubtedly the most nuanced and philosophically mature text within the Christian corpus because of its teachings on inclusiveness, insight, and what happens to your heart and mind when you abandon all forms of status addiction. She also offers a sound historical context and shows us that although we think we're very clever today to be asking these deep and important and mysterious questions, we're not the first ones to do so. Nor will we be the last. The journey of faith, and our struggle to find meaning and context within that journey, is always new and yet is never new. Each of us has the opportunity to add our own small chapter to an otherwise immense and unfolding story of Divine Love within Creation.

 

Blessings,

Jen

Edited by Realspiritik

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As to the heart of the flower, and what we can see within it, I found I had written this note at the top of the page where the concept of "interbeing" is first introduced (page 11): "we [i.e. Jesus and myself] don't see flowers in this way -- when we look at a flower, we know we don't have to see everything in the cosmos, we just have to try to hear what Mom & Pop are saying."

 

(Note: in a my practice as a cataphatic mystic, I refer to God the Mother and God the Father as ``Mom and Pop,`` for they are my adored parents-of-soul.)

 

For me, sitting quietly with the beauty of a flower is a chance to experience not everything in existence, but one small story held within a much larger and more expansive story.

 

Although I started out in my academic life as a chemistry student, and although I continue to admire new discoveries made within the fields of chemistry and physics, I simply can`t see the flower as made entirely of non-flower elements; it has no independent, individual existence. I`m fully aware at an intellectual level of all the elements that make up the flower`s biology. I`m not arguing about that (just as I`m not arguing about the multi-billion-year age of the universe). But the flower is more than the sum of its parts. The flower (like the soul) transcends the periodic table of elements and becomes something fully independent and individual -- though, like all independent and individual beings, it doesn`t know everything, can`t do everything, depends on others for survival, and longs to share its gifts with others to the best of its (limited) ability.

 

The periodic table of elements is a wonderful language (one I understand deeply and intuitively) but it`s not a complete language, so to speak. It`s a perfect language for understanding and coping with aspects of Materialist, classical physics. And sometimes, where it makes room for quantum mechanics and the like, it opens the doorway to an understanding of non-Materialist, quantum physics. But the periodic table doesn`t tell the whole story.

 

There are many layers of quantum story-telling held within the flower. The surface layer -- the classical physics, chemistry, and biology -- is just the beginning of what the flower can say to us about God, Creation, and our relationship to all other beings within God`s great family.

 

A flower is like a small but complete sentence within a much larger narrative. But it only makes sense -- and it only speaks to us -- because it is independent and individual. Even though it`s small and temporary and possibly even imperfect, it has worthiness in God`s eyes. It has something to give to others, something to receive from others. It`s the part of the tapestry of life. It`s not a hologram that contains every bit of information about every corner of the universe. It`s just a lovely sentence, a sentence that reminds us about connections and gratitude and beauty and poetry and art and simplicity.

 

The smallness of the flower reminds us that it`s okay with God if we take the journey one small step at a time.

Edited by Realspiritik

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chapter 2: Mindfulness and the Holy Spirit

 

TNH draws a connection between mindfulness, living in the moment and the Christian Holy Spirit. He is struggling with understanding Christianity and Trinitarianism. I'm interested in seeing how he works with this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Chapter Two

 

Mindfulness and the Holy Spirit

 

Energy sent by God? Again I have technical problems here ... By some accounts if we add all the energy in the universe it comes close to zero. When we write a balanced equation it implies a zero balance. What we experience is differences in energy balancing out at different rates ... effectively this is life. Now to some it might seem this viewpoint is cold and detached, to me it is amazing ... but I have no need to guild this lily with vitalism ... secular or theological.

 

Hahn speaks of mindfulness as away of being aware and use meditations etc. Something bothers me about all this. I reminded of a few minutes I had I was looking at some roses for a minute or so; just following the intimate swirls, shapes and colours. I was there no thoughts, no names. Then our alternative reality entered my mind the petals were brown, the roses were dead, the roses should be thrown out. It is like question where are we between thoughts?

 

Present Moment

... mind and body come into alignment. I have a problem with this again. My mind is my body; I find Hahn's interbeing at odds with this separation ... when we look at our minds we are looking at the universe, either that or his interbeing means something different to what I interpreted it as.

 

When we enter deeply into this moment ... Is this the only way to gain insights? Is this the only way to be compassionate and loose suffering?

 

Wait until I finish school and get my PhD degree ... Well speaking personally I did finish school and I did get my PhD, and I have had a wonderful career for the last 36 y. I never thought the next step would be better. It was always a little bit scary and a wonderful opportunity. Next week I will officially give my six month notice of retirement. And that too is scary (especially for my wife [twice the husband and half the pay]... but a good scary).

 

Well I suppose there are people who live in some future moment anticipating some utopia, perhaps mindfulness might help them.

 

I am also reminded of Joseph Campbell when talking of the present moment.

Eternity isn't some later time. Eternity isn't a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Eternity is that dimension of here and now which thinking and time cuts out. This is it. And if you don't get it here, you won't get it anywhere. And the experience of eternity right here and now is the function of life.

 

Some Christians quite often fixate on the eternal, I find.

 

And one final point ... even if I disagree with just about everything else that comes in the following pages ... reading about the concept of interbeing in its context will make this exercise worthwhile, at least for me.

 

Enough for now.

Edited by romansh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I`m enjoying TNH`s poetic heart. In Chapter Two, I especially like this quote: "The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When our mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love."

 

I think Jesus was trying to say the same thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Energy sent by God? Again I have technical problems here ... By some accounts if we add all the energy in the universe it comes close to zero. When we write a balanced equation it implies a zero balance. What we experience is differences in energy balancing out at different rates ... effectively this is life. Now to some it might seem this viewpoint is cold and detached, to me it is amazing ... but I have no need to guild this lily with vitalism ... secular or theological.

 

Hahn speaks of mindfulness as away of being aware and use meditations etc. Something bothers me about all this. I reminded of a few minutes I had I was looking at some roses for a minute or so; just following the intimate swirls, shapes and colours. I was there no thoughts, no names. Then our alternative reality entered my mind the petals were brown, the roses were dead, the roses should be thrown out. It is like question where are we between thoughts?

 

Present Moment

... mind and body come into alignment. I have a problem with this again. My mind is my body; I find Hahn's interbeing at odds with this separation ... when we look at our minds we are looking at the universe, either that or his interbeing means something different to what I interpreted it as.

 

When we enter deeply into this moment ... Is this the only way to gain insights? Is this the only way to be compassionate and loose suffering?

 

 

I like what you wrote about energy and the balanced formula. We think we know the reality of matter and all things, but we cannot know reality as long as we are separated from it. Living in our skin, we look through eyes, periscopes, microscopes and telescopes, but our instruments and senses only let us perceive and understand what our minds allow us to perceive and understand. The church authorities would not look through Galileo's telescope because they said Satan would control the images, not realizing that Satan is their own hellish thoughts. Reality and the awesome material universe are something else altogether; in truth, we need to change our paradigm in order to have access to Reality and to do this yes we need to be detached, which I don't think is cold."I was there no thoughts, no names. Then our alternative reality entered my mind"................awesome. In contrast to the external world outside of ourselves, you were within where we find Reality. Reality is where integration is realized in the unity of our being with everything surrounding it, and it happens when we cease from identifying, just experiencing mind, body, universe all connected with subtle energy, I like to call consciousness.

 

You accepted by observing life without judgment, living in the present moment, not attached to memories of the past nor attached to schemes for the future or theologies of what God might or might not be. Acceptance does not punish or reward a man because it is simply to help us live with happiness, health, success, sorrow, disease and failure by balancing the equation to live in harmony with Nature's Laws, observing the law of cause and effect in perfect balance with our individual demands; therefore, the way to change our condition in life is to change our mind about life. Hahn speaks of mindfulness as away of being aware of the equation that balances to zero, which can be in the realm of a deep observation of a rose.

 

The objective mind will go on endlessly forming objects for the 'doer I' part of the mind, but this causes distortion on the mental plate because the ego starts craving and grieving for things destroying the peace of mind in the present and is the cause of bondage in our own mind where we are not aware of the alignment of our body, mind and collective unconsciouss. The mind is great for survival on the physical plane even our fears help, but when they are seen in perspective to the balance ending in zero we need some positive so are able to live in peace and balance the equation. When we no longer fear not getting what we desire we are free and in harmony with our environment, body, mind and universe. I think the objective mind and the doer mind (ego) serve their purpose well, but we are pure I, Ï am"Instead of running after endless objects, our minds are able to enjoy everything in the present as you said all at once and not linear one thing after another.

 

At the present moment we have forgotten our relationship with a balance in energy functioning at different levels in different dimensions due to our interaction with material energy and because of this forgetfulness we face many problems so the need to reawaken our original consciousness, then we are happy. I don't think the real solution is material advancement, but to get out of the material condition by becoming aware so it seems the imperative is to look at creation another way from the standpoint of Hahn's Buddhism, Christ, Krishna, Shiva, Mohamed's methods, rather than considering creation and life from a material perspective. The science perspective works too because we can realize that our true existence in creation is present in energy carrying information and it is present everywhere without being destroyed, just changing form. This pure consciousness is active in our daily lives even though it is invisible to the material senses so we just need to point our mind away from the crude energy frequencies and let the subtle frequencies carry us away like music.

 

I just retired to protest education policies I don't agree with and took the hit romansh mentioned, but love it and will not look back, of course I am to busy to even turn my head. I am into romansh's rose trip and that means I don't need more to be happy, but can be happy with less. Less thoughts, categories and analyzing, just being in the moment as long as possible.

Edited by soma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I`m enjoying TNH`s poetic heart. In Chapter Two, I especially like this quote: "The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence. When our mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers. If you love someone but rarely make yourself available to him or her, that is not true love."

 

I think Jesus was trying to say the same thing.

 

 

Realspeak, I agree and like that quote too. I feel we do this by being a light beneficiary that flourishes and expands towards the light source similar to plants growing higher in the direction of the sun without worrying because the night will pass and we get rid of darkness not with gloomy thoughts, but with light. The light is not only at the end of the tunnel, but here now despite all the darkness, the light is with us now, we just have to open our eyes and reflect it by lighting another candle, the birds perceive it before the sun rises and start to sing. They don’t preach, but just reflect the expression of divine energy as divine beauty with no question of God or not God, but only by reflecting the divine expression of energy that is the Essence of all existence, the energy we are made of. They are an example for us to be our self and enjoy the moment so there is joy just being around us and others can find rest in our being for a moment of peace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi, Soma. I really like what you said here about the birds. I love to listen to the birds and watch their joyful flight.

 

They are an example for us to be our self and enjoy the moment so there is joy just being around us and others can find rest in our being for a moment of peace.

 

Yes, this is so true.

 

Hope your moving quest continues on track without too many backaches or headaches!

 

Jen

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

CHAPTER THREE: The First Supper

 

TNH observations on the sacrament of the Lord's Supper center on TNH concept of mindfulness. Perhaps this is a linguistic issue, or perhaps a religious one, but I feel I understand mindfulness better after reading this chapter.

 

I had previously thought of mindfulness as a type of focus or concentration, but the sacrament of the Lord's Supper is more about releasing and removing attention from what is extraneous in order to isolate, ensconse and elevate the omnipresent divinity. It's not about making God more present, it is about minimizing everything else.

 

Interestingly, TNH mindfulness reveals to him to Peter Abelard's conception of the meaning of the Eucharist as a joint effort of God and humanity to create a result superior to what either could have achieved alone. Astounding that a 20C Buddhist could express a 16C theological interpretation of Christian ritual with such eloquence.

 

TNH knowledge of formal Christian theology so far is incidental at best, but it is decisively congruent. It is also evidence of the semiotic power of ritual and why ritual is a basic component of society.

Edited by Burl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mindfulness is nothing more than attending to whatever arises in the present moment (a very difficult practice in my opinion). According to Naht Hahn (in some of his other writings), “forgetfulness” is the opposite of mindfulness. Forgetfulness here means being distracted. It is as though one is not awake when one lacks mindfulness.

 

Particularly in the Theraveda School of Buddhism, Vipissana meditation is taught, and it is the basis for the various “mindfulness training” workshops that have become popular in the West.

 

For some Buddhists, and apparently Naht Hahn is one of them, it is through mindfulness of what arises in the consciousness that one can become aware of the “true nature of things”. And, in Buddhism, the “true nature of things” is the truth of suffering (Four Noble Truths), impermanence and contingent existence/non-self, or anatta. These “truths” are pretty universally accepted in all of the schools of Buddhism.

 

That, it seems to me, is where he is coming from. I read “Living Buddha, Living Christ” some time ago, and I have read a few of his other books more recently. He is not my favorite Buddhist author, but he means well.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Making Peace

When I first came to Canada, living in a relatively rural part, I would leave for work in the morning, I could not help but feel like I was on holiday. Eventually this feeling wore off, maybe it lasted seven years or so. I get it every so often ... now and again.

Here's a view from the deck

image001.jpg

I know I am incredibly lucky ... that is the bit I consider "I" and how it fits into Hahn's interbeing. Quite often I find myself staring out of the window at the mountains without "words", just like the dead roses.

Again Hahn talks of energy ... and again I question what exactly he means is difficult for me to imagine. I reminded of new age proponents talking of crystal power.

I was watching an old episode of Vera (a British cop show) and there was a actor/gentleman was talking about the murder of his daughter; the supposed murderer had recently had killed herself and it was found that the suicide victim was actually innocent of the murder. The father said ... All that hate sent to the wrong address. I could not help but think of that line when reading the last paragraph in this section.

 

I am There for You

Questions that come to mind as I read this are:

  • Do I have need to be mindful 100% of the time? I think not?
  • What do I do when there are competing inputs for my mindfulness?

For example if I am eating with my family should I concentrate on counting the number of chews or listen to my wife ... plainly this is a no brainer?

 

The Light that Reveals

Children have little problem of understanding the Holy Spirit?

Here is Dave Allen on the Trinity

 

Our True Home

Here I am reminded of Susan Blackmore and her Zen meditation practices. This one is far more serious than Dave Allen's take on the Trinity. Am I conscious Now? I find her personal observation of consciousness and now quite accurate. Interestingly what neuroscientists and psychologists find is that our perceived now is an agglomeration of the past two or three seconds. Specific high fidelity actions (like catching a ball) go back 50 µs.

Edited by romansh

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • "Do I have need to be mindful 100% of the time? I think not?
  • What do I do when there are competing inputs for my mindfulness?"

Interestingly, Rom, to reap the benefits of "mindfulness", there are teachers who say that eventually there can be no "gaps" in one's mindfulness. I just read a rather lengthy paper along those lines by one of them. Any distractions sort of ruin the whole thing. I don't know what Nhat Hahn would say.

 

It is for this reason that I have pretty much discarded this method as too difficult and requiring too much effort. In this degenerate age and culture, with all of its attendant distractions, I don't think it is a real possibility. I suppose that it might work in a monastic environment, but not in my world. I'm looking for a more viable means to enlightenment, if such a thing actually exists.

 

Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

It is for this reason that I have pretty much discarded this method as too difficult and requiring too much effort. In this degenerate age and culture, with all of its attendant distractions, I don't think it is a real possibility. I suppose that it might work in a monastic environment, but not in my world. I'm looking for a more viable means to enlightenment, if such a thing actually exists.

 

Steve

 

This leads to some other thoughts. How would you define enlightenment? What do you think it would "look" like if you "got" there (metaphorically speaking, of course). What practices do you think would help you "get" there (bearing in mind that metaphors of arrival may, in fact, undermine the whole concept)?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I am There for You

Questions that come to mind as I read this are:

  • Do I have need to be mindful 100% of the time? I think not?
  • What do I do when there are competing inputs for my mindfulness?

For example if I am eating with my family should I concentrate on counting the number of chews or listen to my wife ... plainly this is a no brainer?

 

 

It seems to me one can remain mindful when distractions occur. One merely remains aware of all ones surroundings including distractions and makes choices . Mindfulness to me is not actually thinking the thoughts such as counting the chews but rather just being completely aware of it. This, in my experience, can be expanded to be aware of all around you without focus on one thing. It may start by the practice of focusing the mind on one thing but it can expand that focus to what i describe a feeling of all around you as complete as one. It is more a state of no mind than thinking and difficult to put in words. Awareness and presence are sort of abstract words to describe what is beyond description. Practicing being mindful seems to me to increase awareness and awareness is actually more a gap in thinking or thoughts rather than thinking. We feel this when we are present with the things around us such as the beauty in Rom's view that was beyond his description.

 

Just my take on the matter,

Joseph

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a bit of a tough question, Jen. I generally use the word "enlightenment" in a tongue-in-cheek manner, but I'm not sure if there is an emoji for that! But, as long as you are asking, I think enlightenment is probably a series of intuitions about the nature of one's existence where one eventually realizes that the "ultimate truth" is that there is no "ultimate truth". When that happens, a person can finally exhale and relax in the sun.

 

As for "getting there", probably simply sitting in meditation and silent reflection a few times a day. I remember a story of one of the Desert Fathers who told a monk in his charge to go to his cell, and his cell would teach him everything. Keep it simple.

 

Steve

Edited by SteveS55

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

PS to post 48 - A distraction is essentially a disturbance of the mind. . When one is truly present or just watching the mind rather than being caught up in it, there are no distractions. Everything is part of the moment even that which many perceive as distractions. I think some call it Mushin or mind without mind and some call it no mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×