“Don’t sit in the knowing.” The advice that has been echoing. “Sit in inquiry.” Inquiry is pretty powerful if you let it dig in. It's mind yoga, it limbers it up and stretches it all about. I recall considering the possibility that everything I know or think I know might be WRONG. Consider that my thoughts MIGHT be wrong, my opinions about myself, friends, politics, religion - might I be completely wrong? True inquiry digs deep enough to get me frustrated and angry. But there seems to be something loosening up.
Having come to the decision that freedom is what I value most, the next step according to Adyashanti is adopt unconditional follow-through. “Life unfolds along the lines of what you value most.” That instruction is what sealed the deal on “freedom” being my core value. It’s a big concept and can be applied to most anything - political freedom, freedom to move about the world without fear, also freedom of expression. Free time has been a biggie and ultimately got me to leave a pretty enviable career position for a lot less money in academia. For me, as I mentioned to Kim, describing my
My ears ring pretty much all the time but I notice it most in the meditation room. The ringing seems to feed off the harmonics of the chime and the gas fireplace. There is a sweetness to the ring. I think it came from making music with friends (mostly from a 22" china boy low cymbal) and is most present in my favorite place. Even if it is a sign of my imminent deafness, I like it. All other associations are sweet and inspiring. It's my personal mobile chime that's always there to remind me.
The ego is like that guy my dad told me about at the nursing home. He would sit in a pubic area and emphatically repeat the announcements over the public address system. "Dr. Smith to room 53!" "Dinner will be steamed carrots!" I think that's what our ego does, and it's increasingly noticeable as we nurture this openness inside us and a great intelligence begins to enter our awareness. The ego hears it, quickly repeats it, and tacks on some judgements and desires. So silly.
Adyashanti’s Five Foundations (from “The Way of Liberation”):
1. Clarify your aspiration - “what do you value most in life?”
2. Unconditional follow-through - “what are you willing to do or let go of doing?”
3. Never abdicate your authority - “take full responsibility for your life”
4. Practice absolute sincerity - “….honesty, genuineness, and integrity”
The bookends - "last thing" before sleep and "first thing" in the morning. That's the territory I call the "mind field" : ) It's no surprise I didn't feel as rested this morning after 8 hours of sleep. Last thing before sleep last night was the totally gruesome hulu show "The Black List" - lies, murder, torture. I woke with such little energy or motivation, laid around playing spades on my phone, eventually I made it into the meditation room.
Closing my eyes I invite all thoughts, come on out, express yourself, what do you have to say? A collage of sounds and images come up, parading though, up, and out of my mind. After a couple of breath cycles of this, I reopen my eyes and focus on the flame. I begin counting breaths until a clear thought arises, then I start over, back to the top. I made it to 2 today : )
Had coffee after dark last evening, maybe 6:30PM, and was up until 3AM. Maybe it was was the coffee but 8-1/2 hours later?! I responded to Sonia's email inquiry about "freedom from doubt, desire and judgement". I clarified that my intent wasn't for the complete cessation of doubts, desires, and jugements - that's not realistic in the short term. My intent I shared in the kirtan practice (YOHI, 4JAN14) was directed toward not ataching to them, to not compulsively serve them. From the email:
Watching the flame & counting breaths. If a complete thought crystalizes, start over at 1. Partial thoughts like sounds or brief images are OK for now. Eventually I hope that even those thought 'seeds' go away. I made it up to 3 this morning after 10 minutes of this.
Oh yeah, school starts tomorrow and I'm ready : )
Movie night last night - I watched two pretty violent movies. "Prisoners" and "Drive". Enough of that. Last year's NY resolution was to do something useful last thing before sleep - reading poetry, jounaling, making love, singing - no more violent movies or South Park or porn. I wake up in a funky mood and my practice suffers.