In anticipation of a new year:
In the pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
everyday something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.
True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can't be gained by interfering.
You have within your grasp the most precious gift in the world, the light penetrating the darkness, yet you sit dreaming. Wake up and throw your lives into the struggle.
Don't wait another minute - lest you never taste the sweet fruit of penetration. Still your consciousness with the elixir of rest.
Suffering is a terribly bad habit - an addiction to interference.
Suffering is an unimaginable grace - a refuge for the art of surrender.
I resist - I cannot accept this hollow nothing that I am. What am I?
What is my I, assumed to be the center, from which I act, speak and think?
I now stand before my I - I and me, and we converse.
We have a good time, talking and reflecting, until late into the night.
I try to convince my self of my existence, and my self argues back to prove my innocence.
We don't get anywhere, and exhausted we both fall into a deep slumber.
The dream wakes us up:
Waiting here for the bus that stops at another bus stop. The bus always stops where I am not waiting.
This nightmare is my revelation - there is no right bus stop to catch my bus.
I get in my way, and in the way of finding my bus everywhere.
I realize that I am also there, where seemingly without me the bus stops; but where I am not, I am just invisible to my self.
I dream of an attacker threatening me, not realizing that the attacker is my hidden me.
I and me conspire to creating cracks in the seamless fabric of reality, and these cracks bend the light of awareness and create illusions -
the illusion to not be there where I am.
What is concealed in you I will drag out into the light!
I will reveal your self-interest you call love!
You speak with such great words that mean nothing more than pathetic little morsels of mediocrity.
Enthralled and tranquilized by the quasi-predictive power of statistical probability, you miss the dangerous miracle of the Black Swan, unpredictable events that change everything forever.
Yes, there is no insurance for the life lived fully, yet are you really content to be the slave of your fear?
Let the stillness speak! Sooner or later you will have to become still - so completely still that every urge to move reveals the dream from which you want to wake up. In that stillness you will find eternity.
What I want to say cannot be spoken - I have lost my mind to no-mind.
1. For more inspiration, sign up here for 'This Moment's Question' in addition to the newsletter.
2. The Public Lecture Series continues in 2013:
The new lecture series in the winter of 2013 has been announced:
Greatness is not born, but grown
Saturday, February 2, 2013, 3pm-5pm
Saturday, March 2, 2013, 3pm-5pm
The spiritual dimensions of mindfulness 1 -
Saturday, April 6, 2013, 3pm-5pm
JUST FOR LAUGHS
What did one Buddhist Master give to the child for his birthday?
Nothing wrapped in Emptiness.
How did the birthday child respond?
"You are thoughtless for giving me this meaningless gift".
To which the Buddhist Master replied: "Thank you."
IN THE SALT MINES
Here are a few students' voices:
"Resisting my present moment (when i am not in the present moment), anxiety arises. Avoiding my anxieties is like hitting air, it doesn't exist, unless my nervous system is conditioned and wired to be anxious from traumatic memories, hence chronic. That is why i need healing through mindfulness.
"My challenge is to have 'allow and let be' infuse all experience. What I am attempting to express here is that I have had a felt experience of the contrast between nothing and things ...how things drive probability into directions I can choose not to take. The taste of freedom to be in each moment with awareness. Let the energy and information flow freely...I am committed and may my life and practice be for the benefit of all others......
I am deeply grateful to you, Dr.Treyvaud and my companions in the sangha for example and guidance to continue this exploration of true nature."
"I wanted to tell you that working with you over the years and the work that I did with our group transformed me, and I find that I am learning to live "a thousand kisses deep!"
"I am so thankful to you. Everyday my anxiety seems to diminish more and more. I cannot tell you how much you have changed my life! Thank you!"
"Louise here (the lady with the James Bond dilemma) - I have laughed so very often since I read your commentary on James Bond (November newsletter). I deeply appreciate your wonderful sense of humour and it has been a very playful experience for me ... As I mulled over James Bond's way of life, he did live by 'his' version of the three R's (reflection, resilience and relationships) ~ he was definitely resilient (look at how many dangerous situations he got himself into & always managed to get of). He definitely needed to be reflective ~ his life depended on knowing the thinking of the enemy and how he was going to out smart them & 'relationships' ~ we hardly need to say anything other than WOW, look at those Bond girls (he always managed to capture or be captured). He has his version of the three 'R's' down pat ~ all reactions, living on the run & not much chance of the MPC (medial prefrontal cortex) coming on board.
As I reflect on your version of the three R's, I certainly feel much more at ease, more peaceful and more restful ~ the MPC has a great opportunity to be on board (most of the time) and living truly is more beautiful. In closing I must say again how much I enjoyed playing with this and how it drives home the importance and great value of your work & Robyn's ~ I'm both delighted & grateful that you have both crossed my path....."
I wanted to thank you so much for the journey you took me on in class last night.
I chose not to speak because I wanted to pause and reflect on what I was feeling in my body first. Having now done so, I wanted to share with you and the group my experience.
The first thing you said, was we would never hear the air vent again, in that instant my entire body erupted into shivers, tingling and goose pimples, I've never felt them so strongly as I did last night. I felt them in every part of my body...my skin, my cheeks, my head, everywhere. It confused me at first, why would my body tingle at the prospect of never hearing an air vent again? And then it came to me, that what i was feeling was overwhelming beauty. That even the smallest things in life, no matter how simple and insignificant are beautiful and should be cherished, because you never know when your time here is up. Then you asked us to imagine no longer having memories of our childhood, and this really affected me. To never be able to relive in my mind my beautiful childhood friends and experiences, to never be able to picture them again...I just started to cry, and I think from that point the tears never stopped. Thankfully, you taught me that tears and sadness are healthy and part of being human, so I am more comfortable with tears now... I breathed and let it be. I accepted them.
I just want to share a separate experience for one moment...As I was driving on my way to your class last night, a strange thought came into my mind. I imagined being in surgery and being put to sleep by the anesthetist) one minute you are present and conscious, and the next minute you are gone. There is nothing. And if you are lucky, you come back again, to life. How funny that I had this experience just before you asked us to bring our attention to death and nothingness in class. Was this extraordinary knowing? Intuition? I don't know. Sorry to digress.
Then you asked us to imagine having no arms or legs or face, in effect to feel nothing. And I really felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. Stillness. Nothing. Gone. I think for the first time in my formal meditation practice i really felt nothing, at first a little uncomfortable, but then my body settled into stillness and nothingness and I accepted this for what felt like a long time, and yet at the same time, there was no time. Finally you said:- imagine we have no past and no future, and at that point my logical brain kicked in and said to me, that is impossible to do! ....because Dr. Treyvaud is using words to ask us to do this, so by default, there is a past.
When a few people shared that their experience was neutral, it made me sad again, and even a little resentful. I wish I had never had to fight cancer at such a young age. I wish I didn't have to live the rest of my life under the shadow of death. I wish I could be the girl that I was before I was diagnosed, and my world changed forever. And then I breathe...and then I allow and let be. And then there is this overwhelming feeling of beauty everywhere. It's like a circle, sadness and beauty are always present, and always will be. And I am learning to accept both. To live more mindfully, pause and reflect, slow down, be kinder, and most importantly to tune in to my children, husband, family and friends. Wow. It's almost unbelievable how incredible mindfulness is. Thank you to everyone in our group for teaching me new things every week, and thank you Dr. Treyvaud, you are my guardian in life.
See you soon,
Although I feel privileged to be able to assist in so many people's journeys, we are all 'child students and child teachers' of the great mystery of Being. Being is our guardian in life, and it heals through us when we become conduits for its manifestation. In working with each other we greatly enhance the transformative power of Being as we do the great laundry of destiny on our endless path of improvement.
I am looking forward to another full year rich in learning and unlearning, sharing and retreating, speaking and remaining silent, touching and withdrawing, understanding and unknowing, and last but not least, Being and Non-Being .... honoring the question!
With kind regards and many blessings in the New Year,