Not Two Ways of Being

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In seeking, the assumption is that there is something else, something more–that there is some other way of being, or something or somewhere to which one gets or arrives.

There is perhaps another way of seeing, but nobody goes anywhere. It’s not out there somewhere, or down the road.

There is this appearance, or what seems like a variety of appearances, including the apparent self, or most notably some kind of feeling state, that is perceived as this way or that. Usually, some version of suffering, or not. Awake, or asleep.

There are appearances…and that’s it! To talk about “false” and “true”, or real and unreal is misleading. The false is just the way the true appears as something it’s not, through an amazing feat of creation that appears as me, as the world, as many apparent things and circumstances. But it’s all as true as it gets.

So it cannot even be said that appearances are false, and awareness, the backdrop and creative force behind appearances, is true. Because what else is there?

Form is the expression of the otherwise inexpressible Formlessness. That’s all there is. Like “all there is” to a dream.

There’s no way out of this expression. But maybe the mind just tires of its drivel, gets weary of the whole ruse of seeking. It wears out, so to speak, and sees the futility of keeping up the charade, attempting to prop up the eternal emptiness, of form. Ever been close to an elderly person as the mind and body wears out?

Yet here it is, anyway you look at it. No one ever went anywhere, like in a dream, but the dream appears to go on. Because it appears to still take some kind of form.

Isn’t that just marvelous? Nobody has to go anywhere or do anything, because there’s no parts or places. Suffering is believing there is something else, something more, something better, when here it is.

The entrance to the tunnel is seen in and from the same place as the light at the end. There is no distance. It’s an illusion, but it’s all we’ve got, for now.

 

Around the Broken Heart

The story is strong; the story is saddening. The way things appear to be today, this disjointed, split vision of the world–yes, there is grief, but who or what are you in response?

There are not two worlds–one of peace (can I not find/return to it?), and one of painful division (please make it stop!).

There are only infinite perspectives, emboldening the division, or holding the peace. Can we not be the benevolent, generous, whole heart that surrounds and holds the broken heart that appears as the world?

Be as you truly are, the undivided that surrounds the perceived division. You/we are more than big enough.

Feeding Wolves and Wearing Wolf Suits

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In the post, What Remains, the point was made that nothing, no circumstance has duration; nothing is fixed. So what makes any situation, problem, or identification appear to have duration and substance? What makes it seem real and seemingly long lasting?

Attention.

Seeing this, that past and future are nothing more than random images and thoughts happening now, changes everything. How you can have a solid sense of self, or anything else, if there is no fixed past or future image for it to have been or to become? Attention to, to the point of what could be called “fixation,” is what appears to give it (anything) life.  Experience is quite literally determined by the wolf you feed.

The wolf is the problem or the identity. Attention is how it is fed.

Attention to fearful thoughts and emotions, creating deeper and deeper reality tunnels–is no different than being in the midst of a dream, a nightmare, and forgetting that you are asleep. If there is, for instance, a medical issue, by all means, seek medical attention. But then what? Is a diagnosis what you are? Or is it what you think about, and feel all the time? There is a mental proclivity to do just that, of course, but who or what are you absent the fixed attention on a thing apart? Shift attention away, from everything. Catch that, even if just for an instant. The sky is still wide open above you. Attend to that openness.

Max in his wolf suit, in Where the Wild Things Are tells the whole story. There really are no wolves, only kids in wolf suits, imagining things to be a certain way. But eventually it’s time to go home, to your own room, where dinner is waiting, and it’s still hot.

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Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak

Loops

So it’s as if there is this imaginary line between you, and me, and everything else. The line creates loops, and looks something like this: (Me and others and experience)loopsThe wonder is that each loop tends to mistakenly believe in its own isolated identity. The interior of the loop becomes crowded with (tinyplus or tinyminus)images, feelings, ideas, beliefs, and everything seems to be experienced entirely within that loop as a function of those inner fluctuations. “I” live within, and am defined by, this loop. And all this from an imaginary line that seems to divide the world into parts. It feels very real within the loop, but it’s still a part of the imaginary line.

plus&minusLoops, by the very nature of the line, can and do change all the time. One loop (within the continuous line) can look look, at any given time–when a belief, opinion, or perspective is changed, or it just changes shape, or loses volume:

normlooptwistedloopwideloop

 

 

—–>Not discrete parts, or other than.

 

What you think you are–name–is this ever changing, expanding, contracting loop, that appears to interact with other loops. How can the illusion be maintained that you are this loop or that, given its changeability, and its unreality as a discrete entity, separate from the imaginary line that creates that loop?

What happens when you pull the line taut, and all loops disappear, along with their specific qualia, left to float free, attached to no body and no thing? No loops. No parts. Just an imaginary line that is done playing loop de loop.straightline.jpgYou are not that loop. Nor are you defined by the tinyplus or tinyminuscontained within the loop, that only seem to define you.

Please contact me if you wish to discuss your loopiness, or other distractions. Thank you.

Acting!

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Image by Andrew Ostrovsky

The One Thing, the Life Force, is always acting as if it is one thing or another. You can hear it in the voice of an imperious pretense. Perhaps it seems like your own voice, or another’s. But there is only one voice, one sound. Not this person or that, but this aliveness pretending, in high drama, to be this or that interacting with its apparent counterpart as this or that.

And what is, this infinite One expression expressing, can never do anything but, because it is not real. Like Pinocchio, it is coming to life. Character and drama is Its only possible manifestation.

To act is to draw out or forth, to stir up,” It is all a movement and a rest. The variety show that passes for a life lived. No giving or receiving, only the appearance of hands reaching, but never joining. Only merging, never separate. Appearing on the screen, for an instant. Nothing appearing as something(s).

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image by Andrew Ostrovsky

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image by Andrew Ostrovsky

 

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

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

 

Water Flows Downhill ~ All is Carried, Carved Away

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Landscape ~ Melissa Farlow

It seems as simple as seemingly two concurrent and complementary processes: Unselfing and Recollecting Wholeness. Unselfing has to do with becoming aware of the mental mechanics that only appear to create a separate self,

and recollecting wholeness is becoming aware of what is, in the absence of that mechanism.

Thereby, unselfing facilitates and obviates the recollecting of wholeness; abiding as that wholeness, facilitates that unselfing, as an effortless and natural occurrence.

There’s no place for an objective state called enlightenment in that description. It’s irrelevant in the organic unfoldment of what is, or what isn’t.

Something falls away; something is thus rediscovered.

Erosion; emanation.

What remains after wind, water, and fire work their magic?

“The Great Way is not difficult,

for those who have no preferences.”

~ Hsin Hsin Ming, by Seng T’san

Seen; Unseen. Summer; Winter

Winter Spring Summer and Fall, by Gray Artus

Winter Spring Summer and Fall, by Gray Artus

Summer is the substance of things hoped for; winter, the evidence of things not seen.

So that what is seen in summer is not made out of things which are visible, but out of what is invisible in winter.

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This morning, seeing the spider webs glistening, the ants everywhere, busy–the flowers still blooming, the dog sleeping, breathing, chest rising and falling.

Last night, the spider  crawling on my arm. It was felt before it was seen.

I am in the web. Not caught, but weaving.