Looking in the Wrong Direction

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The Understandascope, by Michael Leunig

“The refusal to see the snake in the rope is the necessary condition for seeing the rope.”

“Somebody likes a particular concept and passes it on to his disciples, and he gets a following. But with that, they cannot get eternal peace or satisfaction. In order to get that satisfaction, you must find the source of this primary concept “I am.” And once you know that, you can transcend it. Then you do not have anything to tell the world, because the world wants only fragmentary modifications. They want activities. So this knowledge will remain only with yourself, and there will not be any customers for it.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

The spiritual marketplace is experience driven. One wants to feel good or just better, get a buzz, an insight, improve the life experience, and most of all, to understand–what cannot be grasped by the mind.

Turn around and see what’s behind it all, prior to experience. You can’t make sense of, or solve a problem within, the context of a dream. There is a whole lot of dream-fixing going on when really,  isn’t it much simpler to simply wake up from the dream? Isn’t manipulating images within the illusions ultimately futile and tiresome? Doesn’t it surprisingly and constantly shift and become something else, requiring more fixing, manipulation, and adjustment?

If I was observing you in the midst of a dream of being chased by a bear, would it make sense to tell you to run faster, or talk about bear safety? Wouldn’t it be kinder to jostle you out of sleep–so you’d just wake up and see there was no bear, literally never had been a threat at all, while you slept?

Can a problem be solved by moving images around or barking orders in a hologram? What does this mean? It is opposite land, literally. Instead of looking “out there” and relating to experience as a problem to solve, or something to find and gain there, how about looking in the opposite direction? The lens of the telescope is what distorts or enhances the experience, is what creates the images with which you seem to struggle. What is behind the lens, and looking through? 

Notice that something is in front of you on the screen now. Before you even read the words, or try to understand what they mean, what you truly need to know, is this awareness that comes to the page, that is already always here. Not one word that you read or see or hear is more important than that awake, alert, awareness that attends to everything that is read or seen or heard. There is no need to read a book about consciousness, or attend a spiritual event, if the awareness that precedes it–as in aware that the book is there in your hand, as in the same awareness of walking into a room and hearing noises, as in this same awareness of the screen in front of you–is simply recognized.

If you don’t come to know that, you will know nothing, no matter how many words you read or hear. If that is seen and brought to the forefront, then the Source of everything is known. What you are precedes all that is experienced. All questions dissolve here, not “out there.” And here and there merge as one.

“Deny illusions, but accept the truth.” ~ A Course in Miracles

 

 

 

 

Pre-Existing Condition (ΑΩ)

4DeD4fvSeekers seeking peace. The very act of looking for it is to step away from it, like a paper doll cut out of the paper, that then tries to find itself, and its source.

Peace doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t come and it doesn’t leave.

It is the unmoving eye at the center of the experiential storm.

Peace is neither a place to get to, or a status barometer.

It is not yours; nor is it mine. It isn’t personal. It cannot be owned, kept, found, or lost. It’s what is here when there’s no “you-ing” or “me-ing,” (i.e., hoping, looking, waiting for it).

It cannot possibly be had one minute, and then lost the next. Because it is prior to time; prior to the idea of looking for it; prior to hoping and waiting; prior to everything.

Peace is the pre-existing condition. It is just here, now. It is the absence of any condition.

Peace is the water, the ocean in which you swim. And you are not the fish.

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The Broadest Possible POV is No POV

“Any movement of consciousness toward the phenomenal is equivalent to a movement away from what is real. The Real is attained by a movement of consciousness in the direction opposite from that by which the phenomenon is experienced.” Wu Hsin

To opposite world: attention flipping.

Take a playing card from a deck. In the game, all attention is focused upon the face card–the queen, the ace, a six–all of which represent the phenomenal. That with which the game is played. All experience–of self, other, world–all phenomena is the result of attention limited to which particular face card, or cards, appears.

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” ~ Alice in Wonderland

Continue reading

Lose Something Every Day

 

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My white dog just escaped through the fence!

A man you detest has become president,

Or is no longer president.

An excuse, from either lane, you see.

Detestation is dodgy,

like the white dog, slipping through the fence.

Where do all my ideas go?

I see that to lose is either disaster, or impossible.

Or, call it artful.

One Art

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

BY ELIZABETH BISHOP

March Thinking Dialogues ~ Dates/Times

Flower Petal and the Puppy

Flower Petal and the Puppy

Please let me know if you wish to continue participating in these group calls. If there is sufficient interest, we will resume the second week in March. There will be no calls the first week of March. And there will no longer be dialogues on Saturdays, after February 28th. I am looking into a possible 3rd date and time during the week, which will depend upon interest and availability of those who are interested in participating. So let me know if and when. Due to various differences in time changes, March calls will take place on Tuesdays at 9:30 am and Thursdays at 1 pm, all MDT, Denver Time. This might change in April, after all the clocks have been set forward or backward.

If you’re interested in observing the body/mind and its reflexes, but you cannot make the calls, there will be the option of subscribing to the recordings of the calls, for the same price–$40 for 4 1 1/2 hr recordings. I’ll send the link for the “best of” once a week.

It’s hard to express the gratitude and awe that has been experienced in hearing all these voices, as One Mind, over the last couple of months. Mind is not, it seems, a big hairy entanglement, but more like a rascally puppy that doesn’t know what it is doing, but can be pointed in the right direction. Chewing up your shoes, and pooping on the floor is not an expression of aggression. It is not the absence of love, but an exuberant confusion of boundaries. It doesn’t know what it is doing, this playful pup, and is unfamiliar with right and wrong, and boundaries. And it knows not what the body does, or the inside from the outside. It can be loved “into alignment,” and never lose that wild exuberance, that playfulness.

Clearly, words and metaphors are limited. Pandering to puppy love is an apparent result of the limits of language. Please let me know if you’re interested in continuing to look into thought and its unpredictable yet entirely predictable antics. You can contact me at colette.kelso@gmail.com.

Thank you all for the wild ride.puppy6

Reuniting the Apparent Mind/Body Split

Split, by Rodrigo-Vega

There is much talk of the importance of the body and it’s contractions, feelings, in this spiritual marketplace. Though the dialogues we are engaged in are called “Thinking Dialogues,” they in no way exclude the body. The title of the book that is, in part, the inspiration for these dialogues, is Thought As A System, by David Bohm. And upon investigation, whether we are looking into thoughts, sensations, images, or sense perceptions, it is just that—a system, not of divided parts, but the undivided experience prior to the idea of parts. Continue reading

Thought is Like Quicksand

Cartoon duck

“What’s the big idea?” ~ Donald Duck

Thought is like quicksand–one step, and “you” are in it up to your neck.

But we can learn all about quicksand, mostly how to recognize it, so you don’t get stuck in the mire.

Then you can step around it, like a seasoned eco-traveller.

Or go ahead and sink, losing all–or nothing.

Whaddya know?

Want to join the Thinking Dialogues? Click on the hat!

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Going to the Land Beyond Belief~Confabulating Oz

Becoming Aware of the Mind, by Andrew Gable

Becoming Aware of the Mind, by Andrew Gable

Thought persists, but does our belief in it, and identification with it, have to continue as a persistent way of living, albeit incoherently? Is there a gap in which to look and see–does thought really tells us the way life is and who we are? Or is it the very thing that creates what life appears to be, and all the changing ideas we have of ourselves?

Inspired by the book, Thought as a System, by David Bohm, I’m proposing opportunities to look as a group at the mechanics of thought, how it both plays tricks and doles out treats—moment by moment.

Thought/mind is a system. It has its fixations, reflexes, coherence and incoherence. It is in cahoots with the body, also part of the reflexive system, that appears to make thoughts evidence of truth, of identity–this opinion is true; it is mine; it is who I am. I know because I feel it.

Thinking in and of itself is not the problem. It’s useful, necessary, and highly creative. But incoherent thinking can be observed, and perhaps in that seeing, become coherent, servant rather than master.

I’m starting a series of group dialogues on the incoherent tendencies of thought and how that incoherence manifests as feeling as if what thought says were true, and seemingly coherent. It can mean the difference between being at war or in peace with ourselves and the world, which are one and the same–in thought.

Attention to thought is not exclusive to nonduality. Where is Buddhism, Christianity, Advaita, Zen, but in the objectifying, the structural nature of thought? Incoherent thinking impacts everything from politics, the environment, world hunger, family, relationship, and my/your life as it is lived day to day.

Perhaps we won’t have so many “problems” to solve, if we are able to watch how the problem is created. This ongoing dialogue could be thought of as a kind of “thinking school,” where the separative, divisive, personalized tendency of thought is seen for what it is, in the crucible of the group, from the premise of inseparability. One mind, not my mind and his/her mind.

There will be three 1 1/2 hr dialogues per week, to accommodate time differences. They will be held on Tuesdays at 9:30 am, and Thursdays at 1:00 pm, and Saturdays at 9:30—all MDT, beginning January 6th, 2015.  The idea is to look at this on a weekly basis until Toto pulls the curtain aside and there is less smoke and mirrors and more-kindly-old-man-from-Kansas running the show. The kingdom of Oz is not———what we think it is.

Having decided that looking at incoherent thought is absolutely separate from and more important than the money charged or the money to be made, I am changing the price structure, literally reducing the cost by over 50%. Because I do have to show up, keep track of who is coming,  send out invites, answer questions, update the website with developments, and other administrative costs, the price has been reduced to $40 per month, for 1 call a week, which will add up to 4 calls per month, 6 hours of dialogue time. depending upon the month. These dialogues will be ongoing, for as long as interest (and/or the tendency towards incoherent thinking) continues.

If interested in exploring and exposing the mechanics of mind through group dialogue, please contact me at Colette.kelso@gmail.com The book, Thought As A System, by David Bohm, is available as a downloadable pdf here–in addition to the link above. More details can be found on the Thinking Dialogues page.

Beyond the Yellow Brick Road ~ eone Film

Beyond the Yellow Brick Road ~ eone Film