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Analect Four - Daily Introspection


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#17 woodcarver

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 08:05 PM

Oh right the topic, crap. :)



#18 Turner

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Posted 04 October 2014 - 08:46 PM

:lol: Don't worry, I didn't mean that as a reproof.  I was just trying to reference the verse because it does paint a fairly scrupulous picture of Confucius.  



#19 manitou

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 05:23 AM

I think you're right Turner.  When we make the apology it isn't for the other person, not really.  We're the one going for impeccability of spirit.  The other person's reaction is a non-issue, even if they feel they don't need an apology.  If we feel the need to give one, then it's for a reason within.  I've found over the years of recovery that every single one of my apologies that I was dreading (the old ones from years before) turned out with the person being gracious, and sometimes acknowledging their own part in the situation.  But we sure can't count on that, and we can't have their perceived reaction deter us from doing what we must do to keep our own side of the street clean.


Joy is the Dao.

-The mysterious dancer in the black cowboy hat-


#20 Spotless

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 06:36 AM

This thread is over a year and a half old, but I'm curious to know more about this topic. 
 
Do any of you know of helpful exercises for this type of introspection or self-examination?  Are there any formal practices related to this in the Confucian tradition?  
 
Thanks!

Their are many ways to become aquainted with the processes within you. In settling into a practice of meditation and mindfulness you will be faced with the angst in your dealings with life and you will at the same time expand your patience in dealing with the transformations taking place within yourself. This discipline is also creating ever finer vibrations and energies that become your nature and that help you to unfold.

Pattern recognition and objectivity are helped by meditation but other methods can be very helpful in this and thankfully they are quite mechanical. They also help in ebbing towards our nature on all fronts. These are posture related practices such as yoga, Qi Gong and others, as well as fasting.

The great work of both of these types of disciplines is the refinement of the pathways within our great vehicles. Patterns and structures that route energies in an ever winding effort to bind into position our positions and hold us firmly planted - they are the source of the illusion and robotically we seek to reinforce them and continue to bind ourselves as we deconstruct the last bindings.
Over and over again we create these bindings often with a gentle and loving touch - in our ever sleeping groping to claw our way up for air.

Intentional suffering is that great discipline of looking at this false front we concoct from nothing, these bindings and positions and a willingness to break it down and regenerate. Subjecting ourselves to the world time and again broken and wrecked, full of self doubt and redress - but we continue to unfold and we are unfolding at light speed in the pain of daylight.

Meditation and these other forms bring daylight and elbow room - they air out the sweat of broken patterns and discard.
This silence of stillness is a very fine awareness to be found. So much noise is created from nothing and it is this nothing we examine when we look upon that which is known by our name. The ferocity with which it defends itself can be broken. It will want you to see this as disabling and dispiriting - though it is quite the opposite. It's positions on this will be compelling and you are accustom to being its biggest fan.

Do not make the mistake of taking these disciplines as air conditioners for making a more pleasant sleep in the heat of life.

And take heart often, sit with the trees. An examined life is a brave one.

Edited by Spotless, 05 October 2014 - 08:49 PM.

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#21 manitou

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 04:39 PM

Spotless,  Your words shine with the clarity of one who has been there and back. 


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Joy is the Dao.

-The mysterious dancer in the black cowboy hat-


#22 nestentrie

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 05:45 AM

This is seems pretty thoughtful on the surface to me; the idea that one can take stock of their wrongs and make contiguous effort to amend is pretty poetic and attractive. However, I'm not sure I can accept we're capable of tallying up this kind of thing. It seems to me earnesty, while definitely being an effort toward the good, is far most effectual when it's spontaneous. More than spontaneous: responsive. Further, responsive kindness (whether reciporical or not) is the bond that ties earnesty to the good. Anything else is just getting lost in what we prefer.

 

'Do I believe this? Do I accept the implications?' These depend, maybe for today, on what we want; for today is looking toward tomorrow and tommorrow is possibility. Tomorrow, however, me may not want to savour the lingering taste of our want from the previous day. Tommorow we may prefer a different taste altogether.

 

This of course should beg the question 'how can one be earnest if one's preferences change from day to day?' The answer is need. Frankly, counting up what we believe against what we don't accept; counting up what we shall put forward as a plan to carry out the next day; it's all preference. I would prefer to be kind, and I would want to be kind when the situation needs it. Kindness is not something i could store up for the right occasion or distrubute both evenly and as I please. Kindness has no plan. It will not look to the clock waiting for the appointment, it will not wait on the email, and it certainly won't say 'no, look, i'd prefer if you came over tomorrow because there's a kindness that i am developing for you'.

 

Paraphrasing Lao Tzu:

Heaven and Earth will not act with any presumption to be Righteous; they will, however, deal with things as the dogs of grass could be dealt with. Kindness will not presume to act either in any way that could prove Righteous; it can deal between people how people will deal with the dogs of grass.

Allow me to compare the space between heaven and earth to a bellows:

  'Tis emptied, yet it loses not its power;

'Tis moved again, and sends forth air the more.

Much speech to swift exhaustion lead we see;

you inner being gaurd, and keep it free.

 

'Tis emptied, yet it loses not its power... Daily introspection may prove for that day illuminating, but as a plan toward future righteousness it can only end in exhaustion. Keep earnest, by all means, just don't expect that kindness, mercy, honesty and trust are going to play along. Not without losing that earnesty. Not without losing humility, faith and sincerity.

 

And it's not that I would dismiss the whole idea as folly. Earnesty, sincerity, humility and faith are powerful agents, and have need of their own. However, they are only too, to be focused on the moment. So again, be earnest in what you declare to believe but believe it for the person now. Believe it for your own person now. If there are things to reject, or things to not accept, these are going to be of the moment too and will only be of advantage when, and if they come into contact with their subjects.

 

'Your inner being guard, and keep it free' i say.



#23 manitou

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 10:07 AM

Nice thoughts, Nestentrie.  I suspect that at some level you are quite right.  Folly it may be.  But not for us folks who have to take action to change our negative insides - those of us who are alcoholic or drug addicts.  It's not just an earnest thing to do - it's a life-saving thing to do.

 

I had no clue, when I first undertook to change my inner self because I couldn't stop drinking, that my feet were actually being placed on a spiritual path.  I didn't realize that until years and years later (after living sober for a while), that the end of the 12 step work was self-realization.

 

One would have to decide if self-realization contained any value or not.  In this moment or the next.  All I know is that I am not the same person I was 33 years ago and laying in my own vomit.  That's where I'm coming from, at least....

 

Best wishes to you -


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Joy is the Dao.

-The mysterious dancer in the black cowboy hat-


#24 steve

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 04:02 PM

One more thing, Turner - consider making a list of every single character defect you can think of.  Then 'assume' that you have every single one of them, to some degree.  That's another way to start - by actually admitting to them first, before you even find it.  Takes the sting out of altogether - it just becomes a question of degree.

 

One of my favorite teachers, Anthony Demello, is a bit of a wrathful fellow.

He advocates the same thing.

When I truly see the side of me that is an ass, I don't get as reactive or defensive when others point that out.

It's quite effective.


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#25 nestentrie

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Posted 25 October 2014 - 05:34 PM

Nice thoughts, Nestentrie.  I suspect that at some level you are quite right.  Folly it may be.  But not for us folks who have to take action to change our negative insides - those of us who are alcoholic or drug addicts.  It's not just an earnest thing to do - it's a life-saving thing to do.

 

I had no clue, when I first undertook to change my inner self because I couldn't stop drinking, that my feet were actually being placed on a spiritual path.  I didn't realize that until years and years later (after living sober for a while), that the end of the 12 step work was self-realization.

 

One would have to decide if self-realization contained any value or not.  In this moment or the next.  All I know is that I am not the same person I was 33 years ago and laying in my own vomit.  That's where I'm coming from, at least....

 

Best wishes to you -

Self-realisation. Introspection in general. They're not folly. And the negativity does need to be addressed. I can easily accept that it's life changing. So it's not as if I would denigrate your attitude or your effort. Or your achievement for that matter. I'm happy that you've found the right perspective.

 

I struggle with addiction too, and suppose I haven't come to the proper self-realistion of it. I'm a drinker and a smoker and have a past with marijuana use. I drink alcohol because I can't smoke weed anymore. When I was 21 I had drug induced psychosis which followed with a diagnosis of schizophrenia. Any time I touch the stuff (even now at 32) it's almost immediate psychotic paranoia (and the rest). From diagnosis out, I've been a socially anxious mess. No motivation to get a job; too sensitive to their pressures to keep them.

 

My case may be different, but I have experience with introspection and the idea of 'tomorrow i'm going to succeed'. That the longest I've ever held a full time job was for 7 consecutive months; that I go years without a job and a decent income; that I am living with my parents at 32; these are the stuffs for deep introspection and soul searching. I just don't buy that I need to be righteous about it.

 

I dunno. Dunno what further to say. At times my my diagnosis (and my past) is like a trophy. Other times I have deep shame. With being in the mental health system there is a degree of learned helplessness about it. And family, doing their best to 'keep educated' about it, and with sincere compassion for you, tend to reinforce setup. (It doesn't help that for years I spent my time in online mental health chatrooms where I 'learnt' whole new ways to excuse myself of any wrong doing).

 

But the need to have good relations with people never quits. On that point I am in deep sychrony with you. I just maintain that it all should be spontaneous. Too much of anything is bad.

 

I hope you're keeping well.


Edited by nestentrie, 25 October 2014 - 05:35 PM.


#26 manitou

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 05:55 AM

I'm betting spontanaety would work as well, but this comes back to looking back over your day.  Where did we mess up?  Were we arrogant?  This too is a form of 'step work'.

 

It's just that the Steps give a quick and dirty way of getting the blockages out so that sobriety is possible.  But if we look around and see our current living situation, etc - it's a 'tell' as to what our inner selves are.  Our best thinking got us to where we are at any given moment.  If where we are at any given moment isn't satisfactory, then we have nothing to blame but our blockages.

 

Then, the question becomes:  what do we want to do about them?


Joy is the Dao.

-The mysterious dancer in the black cowboy hat-


#27 steve

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 06:52 PM

The Tibetan dream yoga practices use a method like this. 

Before sleep, one takes inventory of the day and moves through each action and experience, not judging, not even looking to see how we could have done it better, but rather just looking.

And, if possible, one looks from the perspective of the natural state and sees, at a fundamental level, how our waking life is a dream. 


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#28 manitou

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 06:16 AM

Nice, Steve.  I also do a practice where I try to see the situation through eyes other than my own, like another persons' involved in the activity.  To actually try and sit inside their body and see through their own perception.  It sure helps level the playing field and help us see where we're actually just part of the whole weave.  The dreamlike state of our waking life includes yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  This infers to me that the dynamics have already played out, although we're stuck in the Now and can't see what's coming up tomorrow.  They've already played out, just not in the physical yet.

 

Row row row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream


Joy is the Dao.

-The mysterious dancer in the black cowboy hat-


#29 steve

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 06:59 AM

Row row row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream

 

:)

 

At a retreat this summer we had a banquet and folks were invited to share or perform. We helped the Tibetan monks to sing this as a round, it was fun.



#30 manitou

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Posted 27 October 2014 - 08:18 AM

I'll bet it was...


Joy is the Dao.

-The mysterious dancer in the black cowboy hat-





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