Tagged: buddhism

Question: Isn’t desire the origin of suffering?

“You said that attachment is the origin of suffering. The Buddha said that the root cause of suffering is desire. That is the second “Noble Truth” in Buddhism. There is a vast difference between desire and attachment. Do you think that you have the truth and Buddha does not?”
http://www.pbs.org/edens/thailand/buddhism.htm  

Thank you for your question.
No. Ahnanda does not preach truth. He only shares his experiences and realizations.
Take a look at the link below:

http://www.zen-buddhism.net/buddhist-principles/four-noble-truths.html
Here is a quote from that website: The cause of suffering is: “the attachment to the desire to have (craving) and the desire not to have (aversion)”.

What happened then? Perhaps this website has the “wrong” interpretation? Millions of people believe in what you said: “Desire is the cause of suffering.” However, that belief even though held by millions is plain and simple nonsense.
This problem arises when we believe what the book says, the guru, the expert without looking at our own experience.
Buddha did not say that. It was interpreted like that.
What millions know is only the interpretation, the translation of someone who may have many degrees, who may be very proficient in many languages, but who does not have the capacity yet for inner observation. Perhaps that was a Buddhist follower, maybe not.

Through that nonsense of getting rid of desire, many “spiritual” people are denying life to their own experience through the ideal of DOING what the Buddha “said.”
Misinterpretation is the mother of all scriptures. Please quote me on that.

Perhaps if you take a test in “introduction to Buddhism” you may have to choose: “Desire is the root of all suffering” as the “right” answer. You may score 100% because of that answer, but know that your “right” answer in the “Office World,” is not so in Life.
We could have many desires. As many as we want. Suffering will kick in when we are attached to a particular desire. That means that we may need to attain/possess the object of that desire to feel fulfilled in Life.

Nevertheless, let me share a “noble truth” with you. Attachment is not the true source of suffering, but the ONE who is attached is…. Yes, the “I.”
To intellectually understand the above, is not easy. Therefore, let us stick with “attachment.” But, if “attachment” is hard to perceive, then “desire” is an easy answer. It will sell many books.  🙂 

So what do we take home from all this?
Any spiritual guru or any self-realized being including the “word of God,” are by nature, limited by language. In other words, to truly understand what they are trying to convey, we need to look at those words through the mirror of our own personal experience. If it does not make sense, then that is so for us at that moment. That is OK. Move on.

If it makes sense, then do not try to “practice it.” Allow for Life to work on you and go beyond the intellectual realization, by integrating THAT as part of you. Then, you know for you ARE that.   BEING is KNOWING.
But if you don’t understand and you are simply following what someone is telling you to practice, then my friend; you are not being honest with yourself, with your current state of BEING.

You may want to be like Buddha, but you ARE not there yet.
Do you think that practice will get you there?
It can only distract you from what you ARE… until you are AWARE.
Thus, “practice” is an entertainment in the meantime. Nothing wrong with that. 🙂

The paths: Accept or Deny

To get a feel of Life, we may come to arrive to 2 different perspectives which paradoxically will take us to the same place.
We are nothing.
We are Everything.
That is it. That is why, I have written in a past article, that nothing is equal to everything.
If the above cannot be understood or the selection of words were not proper, the Hua Hu Ching, mentions 2 paths:
The path of acceptance
The path of denial.
Thus, in Life acceptance equals denial.

The mind probably is confused. The above does not make sense. Acceptance cannot be equal to denial. They are opposites. Correct?

So an explanation is needed: Affirm everything and everyone. Embrace all things. Extend your goodwill to every direction regardless of circumstances. That is acceptance.
Another name?
Tantra. That is acceptance of everything including your sexuality.
Another name? Taoism, openness, surrendering.

And the other path?
Everything that we perceive and think is an illusion, supported by our limited senses and limited understanding. Peel all the veils to arrive at the oneness of all.
Another name?
Yoga. That is denial of everything to be one, to be in union, to merge, to be nothing. Another name? Buddhism, Zen. 

Our society is between those paths of self-realization.
We are taught to be someone, to become someone.
We are taught to support one side of a duality and to reject the other. Choose acceptance or choose denial not both. 
What is “good”? What society teaches you to be good.
What is “evil”? what society teaches you to be evil. Yet, good and evil come always together. Our rejection of one side of a duality, must be experienced sooner or later.
Have you seen that in every issue there are at least 2 sides? Right and Wrong.
Morality has an imaginary line, that keeps moving every time to protect the “right ones” and to condemn the “wrong ones.”

Another name for this path? Insanity.
Most traditional religions embrace that. 
Bring a God. Reject the Devil. Both cannot live without each other. You choose one. You are someone.
Support what is “right.” Reject what is “wrong.” Fight with “someone.” You are “someone.” Another name for “Someone”? Ego.

When you are someone, you cannot be Everything.

When you are someone, to be Nothing is something to reject to be afraid of… but yet to be nothing is the way to be everything, and when “you” are everything… “you” cannot cease to BE, although, “you” are not …  🙂

Wisdom and age

An individual thought to be “wise” because she was older.
Wisdom does not come through age, but through insight.

That insight refines itself once the accumulation of experiences is filtered from the emotional traumas, beliefs and conditionings of the “I.”
An older fellow has many experiences. The ego chooses what is “right,” and what is “wrong.” That becomes her wisdom.
That is not wisdom but conditioning.
Thus, “peeling the layers of the onion” is one way to display insight and therefore, wisdom.

Wisdom is not related with accumulation of information or data. That is why, reading and memorizing holy books will not change the fact of our ignorance.

Many seekers value their “degrees,” “holy labels” and “certifications” for joining a particular “method,” or religious system.
Sometimes, the number of years that someone has lived with a particular viewpoint or philosophy is valued as the yardstick for wisdom.

It is very naïve to believe that.

Once we stop trying to understand Life with the values dictated by our society, we could find the necessary openness to see things from a different perspective.

Gautama Buddha did not create Buddhism. His followers did. Gautama was “enlightened” when he was about 35 years old.
Jesus did not create Christianity. His follower did. Jesus was 33 years old when crucified. He experienced a different state of consciousness before that.
Mahavira did not create Jainism. His followers did. He attained a different state of consciousness when he was 43 years old.
After these individuals experienced a particular state of consciousness, they taught based on their experiences. Followers made those into philosophies and “truths.”

Many greedy followers thought that by following the “enlightened” footsteps, they could “attain” the same for themselves. That is an ego trip. There is nothing to “attain.” It happens.

Because it “happens,” it is away from ego, away from any type of pursuit. It is “natural.”
“Methods” are meant to expand our experience, but those by themselves cannot change our state of consciousness.
When we know this, we could relax, unwind, smell the roses and enjoy Life. There is no time to waste unless you are greedy. Then your greed becomes the issue.

Be aware, conscious and find ways to enjoy the experiences that Life presents to you. Allow for Life to change you, become open like an open door, or an open window, so people can see through you… but not because of you. 🙂

Sainthood or Angel-hood?

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Actions by itself do not carry a moral value. The intention behind the action becomes the important ingredient for every action. That intention cannot be faked to ourselves.
We could lie to others but never to ourselves.

I could donate tons of money for the welfare of “others,” but my intention is to get a tax break. For society, I may be a “great soul;” but for Life it is all about “my tax convenience,” which is not “bad” either.

Life returns an action based on the intention.

Moral codes and religions are caught up in the “Do not.” The actions.
Those “moral codes” automatically create saints and sinners.

A saint is a repressed individual.

Religions create saints.
Want to be a saint?
You know the path.

There is nothing wrong with becoming a saint. Our society supports sainthood. A saint follows to the dot and beyond what our society perceives as “positive.” To take away those behaviors, which are deemed as “impure”, is the task of repression.

That is the reason why repression has been taught as a way to “purify” the self.

For example, if the Buddha embraced celibacy in his late years, for the follower that means that “we have to be celibate now to be like him.”

Forget about that the Buddha had a kid. Forget about the fact of his age compared to many younger followers. Forget about the fact that the Buddha embraced celibacy, as a natural state of his consciousness, thus there was no conflict in him.

For the rest, that repression becomes a sign of sainthood.

Let me share a secret.
Saints cannot “become” beings of light also known as “angels” until their life is harmonious with Life itself.

BUT WHY!!!!!

Any form of repression does not lead into enjoyment of Life. That is balance, harmony in Life is very important. How could you be an example to “others” if you are not naturally cheerful after going through all experiences in Life?
Do we think that by repressing, sucking it up and trying to forget about “it,” we will “conquer” our longings? How do we think this will affect our emotions?

Nevertheless, let me share this second secret with you. 🙂
To have the experience of “being a saint” is necessary to understand by EXPERIENCE rather than intellectually, one side of the swing of Life.

For example, Mike does not want to join a religious group because he finds that group to be repressing. Mike wants to “enjoy life.” “Enjoyment of Life” means for him to taste every single pleasure that Life offers to the extreme.

Mike will do that “tasting and more” in his life as he did it in other lives, but in this Life as Mike, he will experience something different. He will find himself completely drained, unhappy and looking for something “better.” Suffering will appear in his Life for the first time.

Even God may go across his path at this point. He may even have a “spiritual experience” to seal his destiny into a religion just to find the “path of sainthood,” the opposite of his current way of living.

Do we see the pattern?

Life will present to us as an oscillating swing in the playground of Life. One side of it, as Madonna could sing is to: ”Express yourself” just to go to the other side, in sainthood as: “Repress yourself.” Both are experiences of having a “Self.”

Even though, we have understood this intellectually, we must experience it ourselves to know. That is why, in Life; knowing is being. To know is not to keep information in our heads by reading books, listening to “experts,” etc. However, in the “office world” “information is power.” Thus, a balancing act is needed in a Life that integrates everything.

In Life unless we become our own “expert” by being awake, aware; we will be in the position to rely on a belief system.

As mentioned before, relying on a belief system is not “bad” but part of the oscillating swing of Life for some people; not all, but some.
To be caught up in a belief system means not to be able to enjoy the full oscillation of the swing.

A “being of light” is the one who had the experiences of the full swing and he is able to live harmoniously in Life, not taking sides, labeling and rejecting for he understands that the oscillations of the swing of life are “teachings” meant to be enjoyed. Integration with “what is” at every moment.

As we go into the air by swinging in that swing, we will oscillate to the other side, which will serve as propulsion to gain greater momentum, just like a pendulum. As you are up in the air, going back and forward, then an automatic, natural smile will appear… You are enjoying Life! 🙂

That enjoyment is not artificially made by something like: “You must love God” or the religious, “Be happy… you have been saved from experiencing x,y,z in Life.” That enjoyment is a natural offspring of the oscillation of Life.

Balance, harmony could be explained as the “middle way.”
Interestingly enough, the Buddha taught about the “middle way.” So did Christ, but Christianity is not the “teachings of Christ” but the teachings of Paul and later on, Popes and other “authorities,” people without the insight of Jesus.

That “middle way” teaching has been interpreted in so many ways that it has become a source of inner abuse or even organized abuse.

Here is another secret: 🙂
That “teaching” is not a teaching. It is a faint description of Buddha’s consciousness by using dualistic words and many translations, which obviously were misinterpreted by followers.

To know what the Buddha is talking about, we need to walk the path. “Walking the path” does not mean to join a Buddhist temple, or Buddhism, No! That is to regress into human interpretations. (Which is not bad either, but necessary for some) It is to be aware, awake, and conscious of the teachings brought to Life at every moment. Life is the “temple.”

Humans even as keepers of “Godly teachings,” can only teach about sainthood.
Only beings of light could “remind” someone about their own angelic nature. Not humans.
Life has it exactly in the way that it has to be. Perfect and complete.
All experiences will take us to our destination. Whether we choose or we don’t; we will get to our destiny in our own particular time. To trust Life is to love Life.

Enjoy the oscillations of the swing of Life!

Mindfulness, no-mind and compassion

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Many times we hear those words (Mindfulness, no-mind, compassion) in “new age” spirituality, which are borrowed from Buddhism and Zen.

The interesting thing to note is that without the experience of “what is,” we are left with pretty concepts to talk about, discuss so the “I” can look knowledgeable in “spiritual matters.”

The mentality of the follower who only picks up concepts here and there, is not the inner work required to live those words.

In Information technology and the “office environment,” we could sound “very knowledgeable” if we just repeat some concepts and spit them out at every meeting.
TCO (total cost of ownership) ROI (return on investment) IaaS (infrastructure as a service) etc, etc.
All you have to do is to use those acronyms left and right to amaze those who do not know them.

When we transfer that “office mentality” into living life with joy, we will find out that “talking the talk” will not get us an “interview” or a “salary increase” with life.

The duality of mindfulness and no-mind needs to go.
To use the mind to be in the moment, focused in the moment is achieved as well when there is no mind.

No-mind may sound “illogical” but not for a follower of Zen. That concept, “no-mind” is part of their repertoire of beliefs.

Playing in the duality of mindfulness and no mind we forget about feeling, we forget about compassion.

Compassion is not something coming from mindfulness or no-mind. It comes from the heart.

Compassion is not to feel pity for another. “Oh… poor thing…” Compassion is to recognize every aspect “out there” in yourself.

Bryan has a friend who is a heavy smoker. “Albert” just turned 30 this year. Bryan mentioned to him that to be healthy is very important to enjoy life.
Albert understands that intellectually but he says: “I started smoking when I was 15 and it is very hard to quit.”
Albert threw away his cigarette after the brief talk.

The next day, he was smoking again.

Compassion could be the feeling at that point.
Bryan is able to recognize that according to Albert’s consciousness; further suffering may be needed. That is part of his path in life. Bryan recognizes that many times his understanding about his own situation in life was lacking, so suffering was needed to draw the line.
It is not a matter of “will power” alone which is a kind of suppression combined with violence to the self. It is not a matter of further “preaching.” There has to be an internal understanding and love to life and living which is beyond a concept, to be able to change ways into something different.

That change will happen naturally as the product of a new consciousness and not because of some external compulsion, fear or “black or white” law.

Compassion is not coming out of mindfulness or no mind. It is coming out of inner understanding and respect for everyone’s processes in life.

To be addicted to mental concepts without the experience of what something is, may be one of the greatest ways to increase our ego.

That may be “good” for the office world, but that is not part of learning to live life with joy. 🙂

Same talk coming in. Different consciousness coming out.

It is the same talk with a different perspective and understanding.
Any Spiritual teaching coming from a teacher who has walked the path of a spiritual walker, comes with a perspective given by his own life experiences and circumstances. That background will become the way a teacher communicates his message.

Typically the problem comes with the one listening. Listeners most of the time do not understand that those words can only be pointers to a greater reality which needs to be discovered by experience. Listeners will take those words as “the truth.”

Listeners will interpret things according to their own “reality,” their own consciousness, assuming that it is the same consciousness for all.

For example in the teaching: “…You will receive a number on the basis of your remaining unshakable in the midst of an atmosphere of upheaval over a long time…. You should be able to stabilize your mind wherever you want for as long as you want.”

Robert listened to that teaching and wanted to put it in practice “right away,” to become “perfect.”
“God, my Guru, etc. is telling me that I need to practice being unshakable no matter what.” The next day Robert locks himself out of his car, he becomes distressed. Thoughts come into his mind. He is worried, angry and moody. Robert “forgets” that he needs to be “unshakable.”

The following day, someone insults Robert. This time, Robert takes his time and remembers the teaching. He appeared to remain “unshakeable” during the “test.” Robert thought that he “passed.” Nevertheless, at night he started thinking about the incident, recalling it and thinking “why” that happened. Robert changed the scenario in his mind and thought about the things that he should have said instead. Robert felt distressed.

Because Robert’s idea of change does not correspond with who he “is,” then that change is just fictitious, it is not real. It only works when Robert “remembers,” and only for a short time after that.
Because Robert does not have the experience of serenity and peace within himself, Robert will pretend all his life to be “unshakable.”

With a different consciousness, we could clearly see that feeling serene and peaceful is something that happens once we experience that inner silence and cultivate that in our lives. That is, when we prioritize these experiences so they occur often. Being at peace has many layers, many levels; perhaps at a deeper level when the “built in” personality is disappearing, at that level all fears disappear, because there is the experience of oneness with everything; there is the experience that “I” am in everything that exists. Since peace is truly my “natural” nature as it is recognized and experienced; then there will not be a need to practice anything artificial, no need to “remember” anything.

That is why all truth is in the discovery of our true nature.

This experience of oneness is explained in different ways by different individuals.
For instance, for a Buddhist it will be about “emptiness.” That is emptiness of a personality. Zen Buddhists will talk about “inter-beingness” to represent that everyone is part of that oneness, and thus; the idea of individuality is not “real.”

A Sanyassin will talk about “omnipresence.” To refer to this source of inter-beingness, to be located everywhere, “gluing” all together, they will call that “God.”
Taoist, will refer to this omnipresence, emptiness and inter-beingness as “the Tao.”
In Brahma Kumaris, that inter-beingness, that omnipresence is represented by the word “Drama.” Everything that exists is part of it. Everything. There is no sense of individuality for there is interdependence of all things.

However, when our consciousness is not ready to grasp the above, we need to rely on the sense of individuality. Then everyone is a full individual without any relationship with everything else. God is another individual, separated from everyone else. In this consciousness, there is the “other.”

There is “me,” “I” and “myself.” Three crazy guys trying to grab life for whatever “they” think is worth grabbing for. Spirituality here is about enhancing the awareness of “I” and the ego.

Avyakt7 is stating that according to our consciousness we will be able to understand. Please see that avyakt7 is not saying “mis-understand,” for every level of consciousness has its own truth, what people are able to “see,” and their “reality” is “real” for them… but no for someone else… 🙂

When a “concept” is all that matters, many individuals will get stuck with the word “omnipresence” and “individuality.” These individuals do not realize that all they see is their own physicality extrapolated into something which they are not capable to fully appreciate, and that is the extent of God or the Divine. Here is when differentiation occurs and many religions are born. Paradoxically, those religions will talk about the same experience of “togetherness,” under different perspectives of consciousness.

However, because for most believers, their talk is not consistent with their experience, their consciousness; even though the talk about “brotherhood,” “togetherness,” a “worldly family,” etc. is used; in the practical aspect, it is all a performance.

There is no honesty there.

Mathias: It is the movie of the moving Ocean. The ripple arises believing to be different than the Ocean itself. That is an illusion. That is what we call ego. That ripple will return into the Ocean again. That is death.
A different ripple will be born again. The ripple’s life time will be about enhancing ego driven illusions, that ripple will go back to the Ocean just as the other ripple who spent his lifetime trying to find his “real self.” 🙂
Ananda: Ah! There is no self!! It is an illusion…
Mathias: Self and no-self. Form and form-less. Isn’t that duality? 🙂
Ananda: Yes, that is duality.
Mathias: Words express duality. Understanding is beyond words and ideas.

The heart of understanding – Thich Nhat Hanh

For those interested in the “heart” level of understanding of the unity and inter-relation of all; I would highly recommend to take a look at the attached pdf.

It is a very small book written by Thich Nhat Hanh. He is a Zen Buddhist monk well known for his peaceful vibrations and gentle manner. He is from Vietnam and known for his peace activism.

This book has deep understanding in its simplicity. It is a commentary on the “prajnaparamita (perfect wisdom) heart sutra,” (brief precept) which is the “heart” of Buddhism.

Buddhists usually chant this sutra in their meetings.

Avyakt7 is not fond on reading books, but once in a while according to the synchronicities of life; something comes along which becomes helpful. Last week, this book came into my awareness.

Just sharing it.

Enjoy! 🙂

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