Thursday, January 20, 2011

Before and After

Chipmunk small death
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao
Before awakening, life may feel empty and without meaning, after awakening it is realized that life is empty and meaningless.
Genpo Merzel

I read this the other day and the words have stuck with me.
They sound awful! Awful!
Who would want that? I don’t.
... and yet they seem to describe my life.

It isn’t really that bad – but, I am filled with a physical and mental discomfort that just kind of hangs there like Christmas tree ornaments in a vast emptiness.
These are the ornaments of my individuality. They keep me functional.
They keep me dissatisfied.
Awakening has to reveal more happiness than this!

I’m not sure just what to make of Genpo Merzel’s Big Mind teachings. I have my doubts.
But I liked this:
The primary realization in Zen is that we are already perfect, complete and whole, one with the universe... Sometimes people who have realized their perfection don’t continue to refine themselves in a deep way with continuous practice.
In psychotherapy we are seen as flawed... so we work on functioning as a healthy self, following a model that is still designed by the unawakened and dualistic mind.
With awakening we see that all flaws are clouds that merely obscure our pure and undefiled nature. Awakening does not ignore flaws but makes it easier and even joyful to work on our self.

Those ornaments hanging in the void seem to be how my mind perceives the flaws still knotted into my psychology and ego.
That said, I seem to have absolutely nothing worth commenting upon or sharing here.

It was with this uncomfortable-ness that I sat down to breakfast this morning and opened Adyashanti’s The Impact of Awakening. I wanted to start simply at the beginning. I wanted to revisit words I had forgotten.
Actually, I wanted to feel deeply enough for tears to arise once more.

Adyashanti teaches that awakening is a never-ending process of opening and deepening, in which we’re often faced with difficult old patterns and stuck places…
Steven Bodian, the preface

Do not seek after what you yearn for, seek the source of the yearning itself.
Chapter One

The impulse to be free is an evolutionary spark within consciousness which originates from beyond the ego. It is an impulse towards the divine… It is an impulse originating from the Truth itself. This impulse to evolve is often co-opted by the ego, which creates the illusion of a spiritual seeker… This impulse, this spark of evolution, becomes almost instantly corrupted by a wanting which gives birth to the seeker…

You stay in the impulse by seeing it as an impulse and not interpreting it as coming from a lack. A sense of lack is the ego’s interpretation of the impulse which instantly gives rise to the separate, lost seeker. The impulse is an inner pressure to evolve… it comes from your already present divinity…. from a freedom that is already starting to break into consciousness…

The great good news is that you don’t have to be worthy of enlightenment. Nobody’s worthy of it. Despite unworthiness, it is given… That’s the Love. Worthiness doesn’t count. Nothing can ostracize you from the Truth of your Self.

You have to allow yourself to be humbled… when you become humble enough to come back to being nothing and to discovering your perfect nothingness, you discover everything. When that is discovered, it’s important to be true to that and to not shrink away by saying, “Not me, no. It couldn’t be me.”

… be with an enlightened teacher and listen… Just let the words in, without thinking about them or trying to understand them. Then they can penetrate to a place that is beyond the mind… they go beyond the beyond the ego to Silence, to the Heart.

Enough said.
Thank you.

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