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Finding freedom in the words of the enlightened

JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matterNetherlands Veteran

I have started a little light spiritual reading again, picking up my search for the words of the enlightened, and I have started with a contemplation of why exactly I read them. It is not because of…

  1. A search for enlightenment. I have come to realise that the spiritual is a unique path, and if enlightenment comes it comes of its own accord like a gift from the universe. Really it is more about meditation. “Sitting silently, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.” As Osho said.
  2. A need for progress in a spiritual sense. In reality, there is no progress, we are already that. It is just that we are fooling ourselves by identifying with all kinds of small, limited things.
  3. A need for a firm path. Wanting to be a Buddhist or belonging to any religion betrays a deeper insecurity, a fear that others know more and that you are better off following in their wake. But truly, once you start on the inward journey, you find that your path does not agree with their path, and you have to let go of where you started out in order to walk your own way.

It all turns around freedom and an increasing maturity, and the words of the enlightened help us free ourselves from those places where the mind has been fooling us. The mind picks up all kinds of little pieces of knowledge during childhood and bases beliefs on that, it becomes embedded in a personality structure, and it’s only later when you hear Ram Dass talk about the masks we wear that you find out it is all delusion and hearsay.

In the Tao Te Ching it says “The man of knowledge learns something new every day, but the Man of Tao lets something go every day.” The words of the enlightened help with this letting go, they destroy your questions, your preconceptions, shake your mind to its very foundations until you realise you’re not that either, that all your thoughts are impermanent and that you have gotten into the habit of grabbing onto them.

Then you become a Watcher, you let go of judgment, of action, of being a doer. And every morning you come across these things in the stages of waking up, in that moment between sleep and awake, following which comes the blessing of the morning. Today is a good day.

person

Comments

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    Sitting quietly, doing nothing, Spring comes and the grass grows by itself.>

    • Matsuo Basho, late 17th century.

    One of my favorite quotes, of the sort that becomes a part of the mind and is carried everywhere without effort. Perhaps it was there all along.

    lobsterJeroenShoshin1
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    The thought came to me this morning that meditation was not much more than playing with concentration and with the subtle body. That while there are many techniques (Osho mentions 112 in his book Vigyan Bhairav Tantra) the core of it is a certain transformation of mind which you can apply under any circumstance.

    Shoshin1lobster
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    When you begin to know a little more about the nature of attention, that it seduces certain elements of the mind to focus on a thing and enlarge that thing in the awareness, while drawing a curtain of darkness about other parts of the awareness to make a kind of exclusivity of focus. That is when some of the limits of mind become clear.

    Perhaps that is why I prefer more basic forms of meditation such as “just sitting”, it is a relaxation of my usual quite-narrow focus of attention. When I drift off to sleep, my focus shifts from the eyes to the ears and the touch, and a little bit of merging of the senses happens.

    I’m always reminded of the Buddhas admonition to ‘guard the senses’ and what exactly it means.

  • LionduckLionduck Veteran

    Simplified: We can view enlightenment (also know as the life state of Buddha) as a condition or state (some may call it a "realm"), which we already possess. "Attaining Enlightenment" can be seen as the process of peeling away or dissipating the fog of ignorance which hides the ever glowing light of enlightenment.
    We can also state that the attainment of enlightenment is akin to emerging or awakening from the stupor, the darkness of ignorance which, in our befuddlement, we mistake for knowledge and awareness.

    peace to all

    marcitkolobsterJeroenShoshin1
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Gosh @Lionduck forgot to add you to my list of Buddhas for @Linc and her new fangled/updated server shenanigans. Of course when I say her, I mean hymn. And when I say hymn, I mean them. and when I say them I mean US. and when US, I mean all of US not just USA.

    … and now back to the zzz … Buddha realms …

    Lionduck
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited April 17

    @Lionduck said:
    Simplified: We can view enlightenment (also know as the life state of Buddha) as a condition or state (some may call it a "realm"), which we already possess. "Attaining Enlightenment" can be seen as the process of peeling away or dissipating the fog of ignorance which hides the ever glowing light of enlightenment.
    We can also state that the attainment of enlightenment is akin to emerging or awakening from the stupor, the darkness of ignorance which, in our befuddlement, we mistake for knowledge and awareness.

    Well said @Lionduck

    And so it is that the words of the enlightened serve to shake us from our stupor, they remind us of that which we already know. The question is to find the enlightened, so that we may partake of their darshan.

    Talking of befuddlement, I came across a post bij a ‘truth seeker’ a few days ago in which he said that no memory was ever a true record of events, that memories are only a kind of impressions. And also that any text describing a memory was another big step removed from what really happened, being loaded with impressions and vagueness at second or third hand.

    lobsterLionduck
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