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Archive for March, 2015

The Mystique of Freedom

The Conscious Process

“In fact if everything arises from pure and total consciousness, then pure and total consciousness has no need of a path to tread to reach itself”

 ~Chogyal Namkhai Norbu

In the vast library cataloguing exceptional human experiences, daunting adventures, and intriguing explorations, the tales of humanity’s search for spiritual liberation are some of the more compelling, and have even formed the basis for most of the world’s religions and philosophies. We all love a good story!

However, as fascinating as the reports may be — these bold testimonies of spiritual heroes and heroines persevering through all manner of adversity to finally attain the pinnacle of human potential, pull the sword from the rock, and ascend blissfully beyond the dreary fate of ordinary mortals — the actual truth is that they are all based on a fundamental case of mistaken identity.

It’s not so much that they have often been seriously…

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What Am I?

The Conscious Process

 “If you think, ‘I breathe’, the ‘I’ is extra. There is no you to say ‘I’. What we call ‘I’ is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale. It just moves; that is all. When your mind is pure and calm enough to follow this movement, there is nothing: no ‘I’, no world, no mind nor body; just a swinging door.”

–Shunryu Suzuki

What is Real? This is the same as asking “What am I?” The problem is, when the question is posed, most of us invariably resort to our intellect. However, we are always going to be frustrated by taking that approach, because we cannot use mind to grasp that which is prior to it. Indeed, any kind of knowledge which we believe we can access can only be in consciousness, but consciousness can have no knowledge of that which exists prior…

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What Am I?

The Conscious Process

 “If you think, ‘I breathe’, the ‘I’ is extra. There is no you to say ‘I’. What we call ‘I’ is just a swinging door which moves when we inhale and when we exhale. It just moves; that is all. When your mind is pure and calm enough to follow this movement, there is nothing: no ‘I’, no world, no mind nor body; just a swinging door.”

–Shunryu Suzuki

What is Real? This is the same as asking “What am I?” The problem is, when the question is posed, most of us invariably resort to our intellect. However, we are always going to be frustrated by taking that approach, because we cannot use mind to grasp that which is prior to it. Indeed, any kind of knowledge which we believe we can access can only be in consciousness, but consciousness can have no knowledge of that which exists prior…

View original post 1,863 more words

Waking Up, Growing Up

The Conscious Process

Leo awake

“Consciousness is an itching rash that makes you scratch. Of course, you cannot step out of consciousness, for the very stepping out is in consciousness. But if you learn to look at your consciousness as a sort of fever, personal and private, in which you are enclosed like a chick in its shell, out of this very attitude will come the crisis which will break the shell.”

~ Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj

At a certain point in the conscious process of inquiry into our true nature and identity, we might begin to slip out of the mental prison of our own fabrication, especially when we come to suspect that the magic show of consciousness has some definite drawbacks. Upon inspection, we can observe that it is always up to something. It is always modifying itself, wanting something, attaching to some hopeful notion or promise, or else avoiding something. It is invariably…

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Joy of Unknowing

The Conscious Process

bird mirror

“To know that you do not know, that is true knowledge.”

~Sri Nisargadatta

If you want to enter knowledge of the Tao,

The entrance is called “Not Knowing”.

~Chuang Tzu

 

Mind cannot be used to grasp mind. The more we try to grasp mind, the more we realize that we are only grasping air. Actually, if we search for the mind, we will not find any such entity. All we will find are thoughts, and even if we try and fixate on a thought, it will be like trying to hold on to smoke. In fact, if we were not so attached to the concept of linear time and could achieve a birth-to-death overview, we would recognize that our attempts to hold on to any aspect of life — relations, possessions, dreams, ideals and beliefs, and even our self-images — are just as much of a futile endeavor as…

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Evolution of Consciousness

The Conscious Process

evo

In any investigation of consciousness, the best place to start is with oneself. This does not necessarily mean that we need to resort to some kind of traditional psychological analysis, or even to the usual efforts of seekers to accumulate intellectual, emotional, or even so-called spiritual knowledge about ourselves. All of that may be included along the way, of course, but prior to any of those elaborations, there needs to be an in-depth inquiry into our core motivation — the basic script or personal narrative at the foundation of our sense of self, our identity. What is really driving us?

Upon inspection, what we can notice is that there is an underlying quality of stressfulness and dilemma that characterizes our existence. At the very root of our being, there appears to be a persistent contraction of life energy that in turn is always spawning a search for relief, whether it…

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Science and Spirituality

The Conscious Process

science spirit

“Only when each one of us feels the truth, appreciates the truth, accepts the truth, and is ready to follow the truth, will it work. When someone puts himself outside of the truth in order to study the truth, he won’t know what to do when something happens to him.”

~Shunryu Suzuki Roshi

There is a terrific amount of fresh and exciting activity these days revolving around the increasing connections and bridges being forged and mutually fruitful exchanges being made between the latest developments in the scientific field (such as in quantum physics, neuroscience, psychology, and of course in various consciousness studies) and the world of spirituality.

Some have even suggested that the scientific method, if followed without premature bias, will result in the discovery of the Truth with a capital “T”. Indeed, a good case could be made that awakened beings such as the Buddha were actually very scientific…

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Consciousness and Awareness

The Conscious Process

peeking in

“Consciousness does not shine by itself. It shines by a light beyond it. The mind must learn that beyond the moving mind there is a background of awareness which does not change. The mind must come to know the true self and respect it and cease covering it up, like the moon which obscures the sun during a solar eclipse.”

~Sri Nisargadatta

The Buddha made an eminently astute observation when he noted that what we are is the result of our thinking: “As ye think, so shall you be.” Indeed, it is consciousness — the power of thought-energy – which creates everything we take to be reality. Consciousness utilizes and inhabits form to express itself, and form in this sense also includes our bodies. Consequently, taking responsibility for our thoughts is a necessary step in our being able to function effectively in this realm.

One perennial obstacle in the consideration…

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The Paradox of Inherent Perfection

The Conscious Process

desktop

Monk protests: “But Master, yesterday you said that Mind is Buddha.”

Ma Tsu: “That was like offering yellow leaves to a child and telling him it is gold — just to stop his crying.”

Monk: “And what about when the child has stopped crying?”

Ma Tsu: “Then I say, Not Mind, Not Buddha, Not things!’

The Mind is the Buddha’ is like medicine. ‘No Mind, no Buddha’ is the cure for those who are sick because of the medicine.”

Ma Tsu’s teaching above is one effective method the Masters employ to tear away any lingering remnants of borrowed support, leaving the disciple with nothing to fall back on, no comforting religious consolation or conceptual crutch to cling to. The purpose is to fully plunge them into the Unknown, or “the Realm of the Real Dharma”, as Huang Po poetically calls it, beyond philosophies and partial realizations, and into the direct…

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There is no emotion that you cannot be rid of

Zen Flash


“There is no emotion that you cannot be rid of, because emotions are simply thoughts, and thoughts are just like the wind moving through the empty sky. There is nothing to them.”

~ Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

Buddhism

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