Monday, March 3, 2014

Meditation on Interdependence: Welcome Feelings of Compassion or Irritation, Both Are Ourselves

By Thích Nhất Hạnh


For beginners, I recommend the method of pure recognition: recognition without judgment. “Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.”

When possessed by a sadness, an anxiety, a hatred, or a passion or whatever, the method of pure observation and recognition may seem difficult to practice. If so, turn to meditation on a fixed object, using your own state of mind as meditation’s subject. Such meditation reveals and heals. The sadness or anxiety, hatred or passion, under the gaze of concentration and meditation reveals its own nature—a revelation that leads naturally to healing and emancipation. The sadness (or whatever has caused the pain) can be used as a means of liberation from torment and suffering, like using a thorn to remove a thorn. We should treat our anxiety, our pain, our hatred and passion gently, respectfully, not resisting it, but living with it, making peace with it, penetrating into its nature by meditation on interdependence. One quickly learns how to select subjects of meditation that fit the situation. Subjects of meditation—like interdependence, compassion, self, emptiness, non-attachment—all these belong to the categories of meditation which have the power to reveal and to heal.

― Thích Nhất Hạnh, The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation

Image Credit - 123RF


Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nelson Mandela


"I would like to be remembered not as anyone unique or special, but as part of a great team in this country that has struggled for many years, for decades and even centuries," he said. "The greatest glory of living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time you fall."

~ Nelson Mandela ~


Rest In Peace Nelson. You were truly an Angel on earth.


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pure Consciousness

"All these universes, humans, objects, thoughts and events are merely pictures moving on the screen of Pure Consciousness, which alone is real."

Sri Ramana Maharshi


Vichara begins when you cling to your Self and are already off the mental movement, the thought-waves. (Ramana Maharshi, SDB, ix.) Once the “I” emerges, all else emerges. With a keen mind enquire whence this “I” emerges. (Ramana Maharshi, FVR, verse 23.) ”Whence does this “I” arise?” Seek for it within; it then vanishes. This is the pursuit of Wisdom. (Ramana Maharshi, WHO, 24.)

Thoughts alone constitute the mind; and for all thoughts the base or source is the “I” thought. “I” is the mind. If we go inward questing for the source of the “I,” the “I” topples down. This is the jnana enquiry.

If one enquires “Who am I?” within the mind, the individual “I” falls down abashed as soon as one reaches the Heart and immediately Reality manifests itself spontaneously as “I-I.” Although it reveals itself as “I,” it is not the ego but the Perfect Being, the Absolute Self. (Ramana Maharshi, FVR, verse 30.)

What you call your self now is not the real Self which is neither born nor dies. (Ramana Maharshi, SDB, xvi.)

When one persistently inquires into the nature of the mind, the mind will end leaving the Self (as the residue). What is referred to as the Self is the Atman. (Ramana Maharshi, WHO, 13.)

When other thoughts arise, one should not pursue them, but should inquire: “To whom do they arise?” It does not matter how many thoughts arise. As each thought arises, one should inquire with diligence, "To whom has this thought arisen?" The answer that would emerge would be "To me." Thereupon if one inquires "Who am I?,” the mind will go back to its source; and the thought that arose will become quiescent. With repeated practice in this manner, the mind will develop the skill to stay in its source. (Ramana Maharshi, WHO, 14.)

You must distinguish between the “I,” pure in itself, and the “I”-thought. The latter, being merely a thought, sees subject and object, sleeps, wakes up, eats and thinks, dies and is reborn. But the pure “I” is the pure Being, eternal existence, free from ignorance and thought-illusion. If you stay as the “I,” your being alone, without thought, the I-thought will disappear and the delusion will vanish for ever. In a cinema-show you can see pictures only in a very dim light or in darkness. But when all lights are switched on, all pictures disappear. So also in the flood-light of the Supreme Atman all objects disappear. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 46.)

The Real is ever-present, like the screen on which all the [movie] pictures move. While the pictures appear on it, it remains invisible. Stop the pictures, and the screen, which has all along been present, in fact the only object that has existed throughout, will become clear. All these universes, humans, objects, thoughts and events are merely pictures moving on the screen of Pure Consciousness, which alone is real. Shapes and phenomena pass away, but Consciousness remains ever. (Ramana Maharshi, GR, 46.)

[Turning the mind inward] is done by practice and dispassion and that succeeds only gradually. The mind, having been so long a cow accustomed to graze stealthily on others' estates, is not easily confined to her stall. However much her keeper tempts her with luscious grass and fine fodder, she refuses the first time; then she takes a bit; but her innate tendency to stray away asserts itself; and she slips away; on being repeatedly tempted by the owner, she accustoms herself to the stall; finally even if let loose she would not stray away. Similarly with the mind. If once it finds its inner happiness it will not wander outward. (Ramana Maharshi, TWSRM, Question 213.)

~ Sri Ramana Maharshi

To Read More of Ramana Maharshi's teachings, visit Sri Ramana Maharshi on Self-Enquiry.

Sri Ramana Maharshi

Source: http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/diction/ramana.html