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Apech

Turning Difficulties into Practice

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Just a bit of a follow on to the point I was trying to make in the political discussions.  This is a quote from Boundless Wisdom by Shamar Rinpoche (the best book you can get on Mahamudra Meditation):

 

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To continue on the theme, my teacher offers some advice for practitioners which I'll paraphrase.

It derives from Dzogchen teachings but I think is relevant to any discipline.

 

When we begin to practice, our meditative stability is fragile, like the flame of a candle, easily extinguished by a gust of wind.

At this level we need to protect the flame, avoiding disturbances and simply develop familiarity and stability in the practice.

As we become more stable, we can begin to challenge ourselves. The flame is no longer as fragile but can still be blown out by a strong wind.

Once our practice is very stable, it is like a bonfire. The wind feeds it, making it larger and more powerful.

At that point, nothing can disturb us.

 

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Turning difficulty into practice is fundamental for me. But I shy away from declarations of absoluteness like those contained in the above quotations. Mine you, I also like their confidence. For me that confidence is partly inspirational and partly illusional.  I'm an embodied human with the gift and burden of an individual consciousness, and that will always mean I'm fundamentally conflicted. 

 

Carl Jung wrote: “There is no place where those striving for consciousness could find absolute safety. Doubt and insecurity are indispensable components of a complete life. Only those who can lose this life can really gain it. A ‘complete’ life does not consist of a theoretical completeness, but the fact that one accepts without reservation the particular fatal tissue in which one finds oneself embedded, and that one tries to make sense of it or to create a cosmos from the chaotic mess into which one is born. If one lives properly and completely, time and time again one will be confronted with situations of which one will say, ‘This is too much, I cannot bear it anymore.’ Then the question must be answered: ‘Can one really not bear it?’”  

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Posted (edited)

Two reasons to meditate outside. 

One, sitting on the earth there is a special energy.

Two, you can find out if you meditation is only 'one fly' deep.  (often mine isn't)

Edited by thelerner
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1 hour ago, thelerner said:

Two reasons to meditate outside. 

One, sitting on the earth there is a special energy.

Two, you can find out if you meditation is only 'one fly' deep.  (often mine isn't)

 

 

Good one ...dem flies is murder.

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Apech said:

Good one ...dem flies is murder.

 

More like a sad one. 

Just when think I'm a good at meditating,

A single fly knocks me down. 

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Posted (edited)

But meditation, in its true sense, is about surrendering rigidity by cultivating disciplined adaptability, which means not being transfixed by any particular contrast in perception, yet not so loose as to get bedazzled by the sounds, sights, feelings, and anything else that seeps past the sense doors. 

 

To know that one can be knocked down and displaced by a fly can be the highest form of meditation because it requires a type of intimacy with the situation thats unfolding right in that moment, and if one fully acquaints oneself with the experience, there can arise a raw awareness cradled by nothing else except that initial contact when the fly and the meditator meets for the very first time and become each other in awareness, long before the in sickness and in health thing comes up. This opportunity for pure knowing occurs prior to the intellect or ego taking over and spinning judgemental views about anything relative to that moment. If not for the fly, one remains at best hopeful of gaining exposure to such moments where non-referential awareness is given room to manifest. Each day is pregnant with similar opportunities to relax into those moments of nondescript awareness where no intellectual understanding need to take precedence. But then, sadly, most people miss such moments. Their awareness potential, dulled and suffocated by the illusory layers of ingrained habits that are largely governed by the thinking mind, can only avail of a limited scope for fulfilment. 

Edited by C T
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It can often be difficult to lay aside striving and give to ones self - to give the body ease - fun or a walk or sail.

 

To lay aside the noise of mind loops and position - and breath.

 

To not be right

 

To just let go 

 

To not talk

 

Becoming accustom to a free fall floating without grasping for a twig - breathing into and abiding in it.

 

A never ending presence in Now - it seems it must be a life of service in happening

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In reply to the OP:

 

There is also an occidental tradition that regards our so-called weaknesses as nothing but opportunities for growth. The question is if you look at yours as 'stumbling stones' or as 'stepping stones'.

 

Let's take the example of someone prone to anger. By the same token, such an individual tends to be strong-willed and assertive. So their 'weakness' may manifest itself constructively too - perhaps in the form of leadership qualities.

 

But a good leader needs to be sensitive to the needs of those entrusted to them as well as of those they encounter outside their own group. So they need to possess (or develop) empathy and compassion too - qualities that lay right at the other end of the scale.

 

It would seem then that in all things, a well balanced attitude is key.

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