The mind is an amazing space
An amazing place
wanting to know
Why do I
No answer to that.
Once again visiting my elderly sangha friend this morning. Soon we were laughing together, moving from questions which have no satisfactory answers to whether or not her Polar Bear (soft toy) has fleas! No your bear does not have fleas! Good grief woman, are you losing your MIND! Even those with dementia can enjoy a laugh. When the joke is kind of heart. We parted having sung a scripture together, she with her arms encircling the bear only waking long enough to say good-by and tell me she loves me.
The tee-shirt? Given away free at the start of the Cross Bay (Morecambe Bay that is) sponsored walk yesterday. High light included wading across the River Kent which was knee-high and running a reasonable current. All merit goes to Dave C’s dad who recently passed. I believe his mind was an ‘interesting’ space towards the end.
If our practice is to simply notice natural awareness, a quality of mind that is already present right here and now within every moment, then it is counterproductive to try to make something special happen—even to bring about a meditation state (jhana) or meditative stability. Those practices, so prevalent in Buddhism, draw us toward thinking about a before and an after, pursuing special states of being.
Natural awareness has no before and after; it is already awake. It is already happening. It cannot happen later. There is no special event, other than noticing with increasing depth and intensity what is happening right now. Sometimes natural awareness is also called “ordinary awareness,” emphasizing that it is nothing exotic or special. It is ever-present and ordinary, a constant reality. And yet to witness something this subtle directly is extraordinary and the essence of awakening
Read the full article in Lions Roar
Amen to this.
All merit goes to a dog now in the Southern Lakes being prepared for major surgery to remove a large tumour from her lower jaw. Risky business. And for her devoted care person Gill.
There is the constant sound of water from a stream flowing just beside the place I’m staying. Gradually the sound fades into the background of awareness. Yes, aware still, however now the whole sound-scape opens up.
Now so focused on writing this the whole scape has faded even more. Just as would be normal. Now a monk comes and talks about the schedule for the week. Marvelously I remember to deliberately expand my awareness to the wider sphere (including the space behind me) while remaining aware of the audio/visual coming at me. Humans pull on exclusive attention like nothing else. Because?
Thinking now. Because there is a tacit expectation to interact? Even if nonverbal. Anyway, interesting to reflect on awareness. Could be the theme of the week.
For the past eight days I’ve been ‘on the road’. First in The Netherlands staying at the Clouds and Water Hermitage in Friesland, to the north of Holland, then in Utrecht to stay with a Sangha member. And now with a brilliant wi-fi connection on a German train on the way to stay at a temple within our Order in the Black Forest. I’ll be meeting Sangha members lay and monastic, sitting a session, attending a lay ordination and celebrating Wesak. That’s the Buddha’s Birth and Enlightenment. Oh, and sewing a robe for one of the monks.
It is awhile since I have ventured away from the lovely Lake District for extended travel. From now on until late July when I will fly to North America I’ll only be touching base but briefly. However there are plans for a few good high-level walks in the lovely lakeland fells.
As I’ve been filling in my diary for May and June I’ve noticed a certain gladness when I see a week here and a few days there open to be at ‘home base’. Away time and home time. Movement and (kinda) rest. Yesterday I turned a corner mentally, or in attitude, towards this division of my time. Basically counting days until I’m back ‘home’. This is no way to live obviously. What changed? I just stopped counting days into the future. Simple. Might have been something to do with a boat tour around the canal system in Utrecht. Being afloat seems to send me into a nowhere in particular time zone.
Or. It might have been the reminder of living the life of an Unsui, a traveling monk moving freely like clouds and water. Sounds great less easy in practice and more to do with a mind not dwelling anywhere (not for long anyway) than movement across the planet.