Something new in the air today, perhaps the struggle of the bud
to become a leaf. Nearly two weeks late it invaded the air but
then what is two weeks to life herself? On a cool night there is
a break from the struggle of becoming. I suppose that's why we
sleep. In a childhood story they spoke of the land of enchant-
ment." We crawl to it, we short-lived mammals, not realizing that
we are already there. To the gods the moon is the entire moon
but to us it changes second by second because we are always fish
in the belly of the whale of earth. We are encased and can't stray
from the house of our bodies. I could say that we are released,
but I don't know, in our private night when our souls explode
into a billion fragments then calmly regather in a black pool in
the forest, far from the cage of flesh, the unremitting "I." This was
a dream and in dreams we are forever alone walking the ghost
road beyond our lives. Of late I see waking as another chance at
Entries in waking up (50)
Something new in the air today, perhaps the struggle of the bud
What do you desire?
What makes you itch?
What sort of a situation would you like?
I do this often in vocational guidance of students… They come to me and say, "We’re getting out of college and we haven’t the faintest idea what we want to do.” So I always ask the question, “What would you like to do if money were no object?”
How would you really enjoy spending your life?
Well, it’s so amazing as a result of our kind of eduational system crowds of students say well, we’d like to be painters, we’d like to be poets, we’d like to be writers, but as everybody knows you can’t earn any money that way. Or another person says I’d like to live an out of doors life and ride horses.
When we finally got down to something, which the individual says he really wants to do I will say to him, “You do that. And forget the money. Because, if you say that getting the money is the most important thing, you will spend your life completely wasting your time. You’ll be doing things you don’t like doing in order to go on living, that is to go on doing things you don’t like doing! Which is stupid!”
Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.
And after all, if you do really like what it is you’re doing, it doesn’t matter what it is, you can eventually become a master of it. And then you’ll be able to get a good fee for whatever it is. So don’t worry too much. Somebody is interested in everything. And anything you can be interested in you can find others interested in.
But it is absolutely stupid to spend your time doing things you don’t like in order to go on spending your time doing things that you don’t like and to teach your children to follow in the same track! See what we are doing, is we’re bring up children, educating them, to live the same sort of lives we are living. In order that they may justify themselves and find satisfaction in life by bringing up their children, to bring up their children to do the same thing!
Therefore it is so important to consider this question, “What do I desire?”
See also: Sing and Dance While the Music Plays
As a guiding principle, to progressively realize what is not absolutely True is of infinitely more value than speculating about what is. Many people think that it is the function of a spiritual teaching to provide answer's to life's biggest questions, but actually the opposite is true. The primary task of any good spiritual teaching is not to provide answer's to your questions, but to question your answers.
In our modern society we expect to have everything given to us in easy-to-consume bite-size portions, preferably very quickly so that we can get on with our hurried lives. But Truth will not conform itself to our frantic avoidance of Reality or our desire to have the whole of something for the very least investment of time and energy.
Summary of the Teaching
Question every thought.
Contemplate the source of Reality.
And keep your eyes open. You never know when something that seems entirely insignificant will split your whole world wide open into eternal delight.
This is all there is;
the path comes to and end
among the parsley.
Perhaps I can express this Buddhist fascination for the mystery of nothingness in another way.
If we get rid of all wishful thinking and dubious metaphysical speculations, we can hardly doubt that – at a time not too distant – each one of us will simply cease to be. It won’t be like going into darkness forever, for there will be neither darkness, nor time, nor sense of futility, nor anyone to feel anything about it.
Try as best you can to imagine this, and keep at it. The universe will, supposedly, be going on as usual, but for each individual it will be as if it had never happened at all; and even that is saying too much, because there won’t be anyone for whom it never happened.
Make this prospect as real as possible: the one total certainty. You will be as if you had never existed, which was, however, the way you were before you did exist – and not only you but everything else.
Nevertheless, with such an improbable past, here we are. We begin from nothing and end in nothing. You can say that again. Think it over and over, trying to conceive the fact of coming to never having existed.
After a while you will begin to feel rather weird, as if this very apparent something that you are is firmly and certainly grounded in nothingness, much as your sight seems to emerge from that total blankness behind your eyes.
The weird feeling goes with the fact that you are being introduced to a new common sense, a new logic, in which you are beginning to realize the identity of ku and shiki, void and form.
All of a sudden it will strike you that this nothingness is the most potent, magical, basic, and reliable thing you ever thought of, and that the reason you can’t form the slightest idea of it is that it’s yourself.
But not the self you thought you were.
"There may be bliss with awakening, because it is actually a by-product of awakening, but it is not awakening itself. As long as we are chasing the byproducts of awakening, we will miss the real thing. This is a problem, because many spiritual practices attempt to reproduce the by-products of awakening without giving rise to the awakening itself. We can learn certain meditative techniques...and certain positive experiences will be produced. The human consciousness is tremendously pliable, and by taking part in certain spiritual practices, techniques, and disciplines, you can indeed produce many of the by-products of awakening—states of bliss, openness, and so on. But what often happens is that you end up with only the byproducts of awakening, without the awakening itself.
It is important that we know what awakening is not, so that we no longer chase the by-products of awakening. We must give up the pursuit of positive emotional states through spiritual practice. The path of awakening is not about positive emotions. On the contrary, enlightenment may not be easy or positive at all. It is not easy to have our illusions crushed. It is not easy to let go of long-held perceptions. We may experience great resistance to seeing through even those illusions that cause us a great amount of pain."
~ Adyashanti, from The End of Your World
Read a longer excerpt at Tricycle...