Nothing can stop
shoots, buds, flowers
not even the
then laws inorganic
the weather – (unpredictable).
Then there is us
burst out of
We are not plants
Yes, we are in a strange place, if one could call it that. Spring this year has been an on-and-off kind of time here in Britain. That coupled with the on/off of our national lockdown with promises for future freedoms while at the same time, lurking in the background the possibility of plans and hopes being dashed to the ground. The organic laws just – MUST have their way and we have to act in response. Plans, hopes and even dreams can be dashed. It has happened before.
Live now, live fully now it’s said, the pay later often lost in the stampede to the seaside (or similar). With the upthrust of spring energies organic and inorganic, it feels to me like there is an unstoppable force at large that can and does overtake good sense and the need for self-restraint. Wise discernment is out-the-window! OK, what exactly IS living now? Fully.
Our plant selves, should we notice, has us emerging, blinking into the sun’s rays; flowering, expanding outwards into a wider world. Our bigger personhood made manifest. My goodness that spring energy within and around us, I swear, has even our toenails grow, shockingly, faster!
The ability to reflect upon ourselves; our behaviors of speech, of body, and of mind – our conscious selves has an inbuilt inhibitory factor. Thank goodness! One might say our reflective nature is at the heart of living fully, as a human being, being human. And keeps us out of trouble, Preceptually, and with the law!
Stay safe out there in the Garden of the Bodhisattvas.
The author of the blog Undeceivable came to Throssel a number of times, we must have got talking and kept in touch for a while. I was so delighted to have a comment the other day letting me know he was getting notifications to my posts. Really! There are people following here I have no idea about so it was a real delight to reconnect.
I can do no better this evening than to post this link to Undeceivable – nature, zen and sliding. The link takes you to all the posts labeled Zen for Idiots, human, insightful, often profound. Fun too.
Thanks good friend. Keep on gardening and growing trees. Let’s get down to the important thing.
Firstly thank you SO MUCH to those of you who responded to my request to confirm receipt of notification emails. I have kept true to my promise and not published them (33 and counting) even though there were several with content I’d have wished to publish. PLEASE do leave comments when you are moved to do so, I’d like to say I’ll respond to those longer comments, however…I may not be able to do that. Apart from anything else I find comments, even short ones, both personally encouraging to ‘keep posting’ and the insights are often inspiring and stimulate my fingers to type! Here is a question that came in via a comment which I thought might be a common issue especially for those who find themselves home alone for days on end. Many thanks for asking this question, dear reader.
Recently I’ve been aware of ‘talking to myself’ and wanting to stop it! Is this the same as deliberate thought do you think? (Mostly we think in words, so I imagine it is.) I’ve got a few ideas as to how to drop it but wonder if you have too.
This is interesting. I’ve noticed that when I am writing here I’m ‘speaking’, sub-audibly, what I am writing. It’s possible to not do that but it takes a conscious and deliberate effort to refrain. And even with that, I have to keep on renewing the resolve to refrain but having spotted what I’m doing is three-quarters of the ‘battle’ done. This is of course deliberate thought, one step away from actual vocalizing. This renewal of one’s attention (and basic intention) and deciding for oneself is about par for Buddhist training I’d have thought. Our brains, and the rest of us, are so amazing are they not?
We instruct that while sitting in formal meditation we deliberately decide to refrain from deliberate thinking and allow the brain to do what brains do. That’s to ‘secrete thoughts’, the flow of thoughts which simply seem to just come along unbidden. The very same thoughts that most people feel are a problem and need to get rid of them, in order to meditate properly! It takes more time, over time, on the cushion than one might imagine realizing that 1) it’s not possible to get rid, 2) that we are wired emotionally and practically to circumstances that stimulate thinking, deliberate and nondeliberate. This will include going back into the far distant past, formal meditation gives us the space to reflect on the past, see it, love it and move on. And there will be more realizations along the way. Which brings one to ACCEPTANCE. Brains are wired to secrete thoughts. Perhaps the biggest and most long-lasting insight is ‘I am not my thoughts! and along with that ‘Don’t believe everything you think’…is true I’d add.
So to answer the question. As in meditation so in daily life. There will be a flow of thoughts, often there meeting circumstances. When deliberate thought is needed, think deliberately and give yourself mental space to do a proper job rather than turn the need into worry. That happens quite frequently. And when you notice that deliberate thought, including deliberate visual imaging (dreams and fantasies we call that) take you over then…move on, let go, switch your attention. All fairly simple when moving about in daily life. Above all, drop ones self-critical thoughts, self-condemnation etc. etc. Then have a private smile to yourself ‘isn’t this just like humans’ and move on to the next most important thing. That could be actually giving yourself time to deliberately think about something or do something practical. For example, pay attention to what you are doing – walking, driving, washing up, sitting watching TV, working on the computer. Gradually, one’s brain will become less hungry for words/thoughts. This comes about as the unconscious habit of filling one’s mind with thoughts, lessens. I remember thinking one day when out walking in Wales, ‘Oh, so there is life without (constant) thoughts’! Thoughts come fewer and further apart but not a state to achieve.
Talking to oneself, you could say, is helpful since audio input gets one’s attention. I have intermittent Tinnitus in one ear. My friend the Cricket (that’s the sound I get) reminds me to allow sound to inter me. That then broadens to the ‘soundscape’ in the larger space I am in. Right now I hear my Cricket which then has me hear the tap-tap of the keyboard, a door closing. Uh! I am still vocalizing in my head as the words appear on the screen. Perhaps this is just how it is.
I have been doing quite a bit of thinking, deliberate thinking/worrying, which has occupied my mind due to a technical difficulty regarding notification emails being sent to subscribers when there is a new post launched into the universe. If you DO receive an email notification for this post please would you leave a comment? I’ll not publish it but I just need to know if there is anybody receiving notifications, nobody or some.
I came across this quote the other day and now I have space and time to post it. Thought is a bird of space! Well I take that to be the flow of natural thought akin to meditation, rather than deliberate ‘thinking about things’.
You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts;
And when you can no longer dwell in the solitude of your heart
you live in your lips, and sound is a diversion and a pastime.
And in much of your talking, thinking is half murdered.
For thought is a bird of space,
that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings
but cannot fly.
Kahlil Gibran (January 6, 1883–April 10, 1931)
Please don’t think overly about the above quote. Step into the outdoors, if you can, unfold your wings and fly!
The following piece was written by Naomi, a loyal reader. It speaks of growing up/going deeper. Originally left as a comment to the post Untying the Mother-Cord I felt their ponderings needed to be ‘elevated’ to a post. Published here slightly edited and reformatted, in gratitude.
Please Note: Just to make it clear, everything below is the writings from Naomi, All that is above is Mugo writing. Sorry if there has been confusion.
Really growing up,
standing on one’s own feet.
Letting go of all worldly attachments.
The True Mother? Emptiness.
Only possible to contemplate in the ‘heart’.
We can go to all sorts of things
for safety, security, and comfort;
but what do we give ourselves to
in the sitting meditation?
When we leap beyond all fear.
To really go beyond,
untie the ‘mother cord’,
at moments this seems very scary.
Yet it must be the leap beyond all fear.
She is what is there when we leap –
Joy, peace, being.
Refuge beyond all refuges.
It’s a great challenge to grow up!
To change hands from mother to the Great Mother.
A few hours after writing the above and going back again to the text, I looked up the source blog page for that post.
The context of the text echoed a context my first reading fell into:
One of a few things that came to mind was The Osho Tarot card ‘The Dream’ where they points to the dreaming of/for a lover harps of the wanting (perhaps any wanting?) as in harping for the desire to return to the mother’s womb.
I’m turning 40 this year, so different stage mortality questions come up. At this point, culture says it’s the time when we’re coupled up. Sometimes I dream of this, sometimes not. The question, for me now, is about the return not to the small womb, but the Great Mother, the True Mother.
Mother-cord is the inherited karma and conditioning that we may cling to. Great Mother, the true holding and no holding, that goes well beyond.
May the question of what is the True Mother work on/in my heart, that’s where it touches and lands.