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Roots

JasonJason God EmperorArrakis Moderator

I was reading a bit from The Brothers Karamazov and watching as the wind wafted through the trees and it got me thinking. Our thoughts and mental states are a lot like leaves sprouting forth and falling from branches of synapses and neurotransmitters. Seemingly countless and often colourful, we think of them as solid, immutable aspects of who we are, arising solely of our own volition and free of any bias. But that's an illusion, really, and we fail to see what fragile and conditioned things they truly are, neglecting to note the rays of sunshine and drops of rain that nourish them, overlooking the cycle of arising and ceasing that the seasons govern, and failing to notice how easily those leaves are swept up and blown about this way and that by the winds of gain and loss, status and disgrace, censure and praise, pleasure and pain, like and dislike. And over the years (especially thanks to Buddhism), I've come to learn that, instead of simply following those leaves in whatever direction they may flit about, it's good to try and stay rooted where we are, in the present moment, regardless of which direction the winds are blowing in order to see things a little more clearly and with a little more equanimity.

silverShoshinDavidpersonUkjunglistpegembaraelcra1goadamcrossleyNamadalobsterDhammaDragon

Comments

  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited October 19

    I think of moods, thoughts and feelings as the "weather" of the mind, transient and conditional.

    I rather like this description from Ajahn Chah:
    "Training this mind... actually there's nothing much to this mind. It's simply radiant in and of itself. It's naturally peaceful. Why the mind doesn't feel peaceful right now is because it gets lost in its own moods. There's nothing to mind itself. It simply abides in its natural state, that's all. That sometimes the mind feels peaceful and other times not peaceful is because it has been tricked by these moods..."
    http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Training_this_Mind1.php

    Namada
  • KeromeKerome Did I fall in the forest? Europe Veteran

    I always find it interesting to look at my state of mind just after I wake up in the morning. Usually it is remarkably clean and quiet... it’s like the winds of sleep have swept away all the unrest that accumulates during the day, leaving me entirely blank and at the same time fulfilled, nourished by a wholesome energy.

    The “leaves” as @Jason calls them, seem to me to come from waking thoughts, from anxiety, worry, fear and such. Those occupy us from the moment we are reminded of them, until we close our eyes for the next night’s cleansing. I’ve tried quite a few tactics to hold on to the clean, empty morning state for as long as possible, and managed to make it last until noon, but high energy levels seem to make the mind spin out of control.

    silver
  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    Nice, @Jason - @SpinyNorman and @Kerome (I almost put Jerome).
    I have been thinking along these lines, lately. It's why I've recently started doing an email diary of sorts to myself and keep them in a folder.

    Writing down one's thoughts, feelings, chores, shows so many examples of the mind's wanderings. And with the Buddha basics (speaking of the monkey-mind), helping to be mindful, highlighting these and to rein in some of the excess.

    I highly recommend a cup of coffee or two - gives energy but helps create some focus and mental clarity...God knows I could use it. B)

    lobsterDhammaDragon
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    I've found at times my mind can become charmed by its own thoughts (snakes)

    This is why I practice playing the Pungi (meditation)

    silver
  • @silver said:
    Writing down one's thoughts, feelings, chores, shows so many examples of the mind's wanderings. And with the Buddha basics (speaking of the monkey-mind), helping to be mindful, highlighting these and to rein in some of the excess.

    Good plan.

    My roots are in secular gnosticism, Sufism in particular. I am not rooted to dharma fantasists, who believe in Buddha lore much as koranists believe in Lalah land Allah or devas from outer space. I doubt that almighty Cod has an Aunty, Sun or future sky descent. That does not make me less monkey and lizard minded, it makes me wary and more aware of potential delusions in my tendencies ...

    Hozan
  • @Jason that was a lovely read, thanks

    lobster
  • Remain in the eye of the hurricane (metaphorical mental storm) instead of getting blown away.

    lobster
  • SpinyNormanSpinyNorman It's still all old bollocks Veteran
    edited October 20

    @pegembara said:
    Remain in the eye of the hurricane (metaphorical mental storm) instead of getting blown away.

    Yes, I sometimes imagine it like that, the sense of a still point inside ( beneath? ) the movement of the senses. Also Tibetan Buddhists talk about the "sky-like nature of mind", again there is the image of weather passing through.

  • Like so.

    “I remember when I was living as a monk in England and I would sometimes go visit Ajahn Sumedho in his room and on the wall he had a picture of an old man sitting inside his little brick cottage on a rainy day, and he was sitting just inside the window, looking out, and in his hand he held a cup of coffee. And I remember Ajahn Sumedho saying, for him this was the essence of meditation. It was really nothing more than just relaxing, and watching the happening of existence. Nothing needed to be explained. Nothing needed to be worked out. There’s just the event of existence presenting itself. Everything we are is simply presented. Whatever words come out, come out, but they’re not important; they’re simply the movement or the non-movement of whatever this happening is and it’s happening all by itself.”
    — Darryl Bailey

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    i think neurological pruning is possible through the choice in what our brain recieves,sometimes space as well is needed,which is in reference to saraputtra,the arahnt.to see clearly reminds me of the great prince mansuri.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran
    edited October 21

    so jason post has a nice dao-dharma vibe. enjoyed the breath of it.

  • NamadaNamada Veteran

    TO get lost in thought its easy, specialy stories and drama that seems to be very important.
    Like a soccer game, everybody screams and aplaudes, just because one ball hits the net.
    Its just fantasy, but we belive its important because of pride, ego and history.
    Watching my dog at the same time my favorite team scores, he dont care at all.

    lobster
  • @paulyso said:
    so jason post has a nice dao-dharma vibe. enjoyed the breath of it.

    Exactly.
    Very well written and inspiring.

    It describes Buddhism from start to finish. We start from seed rooting. We finish with a tree. We are always in the mind/forest/leaves.

  • paulysopaulyso usa Veteran

    lobster,im reminded--in a previous post--that tree was a symbol of buddha prior to human representation.yes i agree,our brain is our tree.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran
    edited October 23

    Indeed.

    No statues of Buddha by his request. First four centuries, he was a wheel, hand, foot, chair or tree ...

  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    How's Dostoyevsky? It's on the TBR pile.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    He's my favourite author, but 19th century, Russian literature isn't for everyone. Some find it tedious and boring.

  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    @Jason said:
    He's my favourite author, but 19th century, Russian literature isn't for everyone. Some find it tedious and boring.

    Crime and Punishment was one of my fav books when I first read it about 20 years ago.

  • JasonJason God Emperor Arrakis Moderator

    The Brothers Karamazov is my favourite. Demons is my second. Crime and Punishment is third.

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