Mar 01

Imagine

all the world at peace.

Today is my 63rd birthday, March 1st, 2014.  And recently i’ve been getting a glimpse of how it might actually be.  How the world, the universe, all of it – might actually.  Both how it might actually be as opposed to how it appears to be, and how it might actually be in the future.

There is a phrase in the bible where G*d says “I am what I am,” that some say would be more accurately translated as “I am becoming what I am becoming.”  So maybe she isn’t some static thing. Maybe, as Joanne pointed out a long ways back, G*d evolves.

In any case, i think that figuring out the G*d questions are above my pay grade.  But what is at (or maybe just slightly above, so I can get a glimpse of it) my pay grade is how i impact the world, or to make the evolutionary correction, how i impact what the world is becoming. Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 03

Ram Dass, Einstein, and Levels of Consciousness

In the Beginning

Back in 1967 or so, I remember reading a back of the magazine article in the NYT’s magazine about Zen Buddhism.At the time I was a Sophomore or Junior in High School, and this was the first thing I’d ever read that hinted at some way of looking at the world that was “different” than the way I’d grown up looking at things.

My Senior year we moved to Belgium, and I remember reading a Carlos C. book about Shamans. For some reason I think I read this on a trip to Garmich, which is in the Bavarian Alps. Anyway, I remember thinking CC had it wrong, he was being too scientific about the mystical things the Shaman was showing him. In retrospect I think CC wrote it that way on purpose.

I went to Cornell for college, and to begin with I was a good, nerdy, academic student.  I didn’t drink or do drugs, I think the only time I’d ever drunk was once or twice when my folks were out and I’d mix combination of hard liquer.  Anyway, my Sophomore year at Cornell I had a girlfriend who lived in Long Island, and I took the bus into NYC and a train out to where she lived, and in a book store picked up Be Here Now, by Ram Dass.

Be Here Now talks about LSD, and Hinduism, and Mysticism beyond the HIndu approach – I think. At some point I started doing hallucinogenics – and this was before I’d ever smoked dope or done any serious drinking.  When I would trip i thought I was getting close to God, or something like that.  Read the rest of this entry »

Feb 01

Flatland and Fractland: A story

While this is based on Flatland: A romance in many directions, i suspect there is some influence from Spencer-Brown’s Laws of Form. This needs some work, but if you know Flatlands, this might be fun.

flatland-seeing-a-sphere

 What i saw in a dream

Borrowing a viewing glass from PIE (either this PIE or this PI) I saw that in one town the inhabitants had the Fetish of the Individual – and from turning the focus knob I could see that each person in the town was surrounded by a large transparent cylinder that separated them from their environment. The cylinders helped me focus on either the individual inside it or the environment outside it, but there seemed to be some distortion created by the cylinders, a distortion I could not put into words. That is, I could not name this distortion until after I turned my attention to the other town I could see from the hilltop; the town of Fractal Society.

Read the rest of this entry »

Jan 18

Lost in thought, losing your mind

i seem to spend a huge amount of time, lost in thought. Sometimes

  1. I’m day-dreaming
  2. I’m making plans abut diner tonight
  3. I’m worrying about my boss or my folks or somebody else

But in all these cases when I am lost in thought, somehow I’m not really here.  I”m not paying attention to what I’m doing or what I’m thinking.  Of course, it can be fun, like when I’m daydreaming about —– I’m not going to share THAT with you.

But it seems that perhaps my time might be better spent being aware of what I’m doing or what I’m thinking.

Which could be one reason to practice mindfulness,

Jan 11

Meditating and Thinking

Meditating

I was sitting this morning (meaning meditating) in my living room, with a the window to my left and the wall behind my back.  I was practicing with my eyes open, looking forward to the wall across the room.  A couple of times I thought i saw somebody on the street below, outside my window. (My apartment is on the second story.)  When I turned to look i saw that it wasn’t a person but just a vine hanging down from the tree outside my window, blowing in the wind.

Now, the basic practice i was doing was just being there, and when thoughts came up i would look to see where the thought came from and where it was.  So what happens is i see the person outside the window, turn to look, realize it was just the vine and THEN notice i had thought it was a person. And i look at that thought “it was just a vine” and where it came from — not so much the precursor to the thought, but where the thought came from.  It clearly didn’t come from my big toe. You could say it came from my eye, but that wasn’t quite right.  And you could say it came from my mind — but what made it come up at all.

Thinking

So here is the thing, and this is a bit of a variation/deviation from the practice i was doing.  i realize that if i had stayed with the thought that is was a person walking by i might have been worried that they would see me through the window, worried because i wasn’t wearing a shirt. I could wonder what they thought of me, if they would start looking in my window…. a whole train of thought could start BUT it would have been a train of that that had nothing to do with what was actually going on, nothing to do with “reality” whatever that is.

And I think that most of us (certainly me) spend a lot of time following thoughts that have no basis in reality.  And sometimes we act on those thoughts, which can cause some problems.

That’s all.

Dec 29

Mind and Awareness

Though i’ve studying/practicing a version of Tibetan Buddhism since 1980 or so, i’m till somewhat surprised when i read something that i must have read tens or hundreds of time before, and it strikes me as something totally new. and important.  Differentiating between mind and awareness is on of those things.

In the midst of reading  Vivid Awareness: The Mind Instructions of Khenpo Gangshar   for the third time this year, i came across Khenpo Gangshar’s discussion of mind and awareness, and thought it worth while to share what he said.

khenpo Gangshar

Khenpo is the one on the left, Chogyam Trungpa on the right.  What i’ve written comes from

Mind

Mind consists of our thoughts, emotions, sense perceptions….. So a bird just flew over the parking lot in front of me.  That thought happens in my mind.  Knowing it is a bird happens in my mind.  Thinking to use this as an example happens in my mind.

Awareness

Awareness is what sees the contents of mind,

“When experiencing the continuity of undistracted naturalness, awareness is free from  reference point,like sky, without even  speck of joy or sorrow, hope or fer, benefit or harm, whether you meet with positive or negative conditions.  The character of (dualistic) mind is evident the moment you get slightly distracted and encounter (the same) conditions and you feel joy or sorrow.

For example, mind (sem) is like the clouds gathering in the sky.  Therefore, you must gin stability in awareness (rigpa) which is like  a cloudless sky.”

Distinguishing Mind and Awareness

Most of the time we don’t differentiate our thoughts from being aware of our thoughts, or a sound from being awre of the sound.  What i think Khenpo is getting at is that by distinguishing the two, and having more commitment/devotion to the awareness, we won’t get taken away by our thoughts.

For example, somebody does something and i get annoyed (or attracted.)  My usual reaction to the annoyance is to dwell on it, justify it, and think about what to do about it.  I could suppress it, or I could let the other person know what a jerk they are, or any of a number different strategies. (and the use of capital “I” here is deliberate.)

But if my commitment is to awareness, i might notice the thought and just let it be.  And what is really cool is thatwhen we just let the thoughts be, they dissolve by themselves. And the thoughts and the thinker are both liberated.

i discuss this more in the Indulgence S-function.

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