Friday, April 10, 2009

A Higher Grade of Manure

They say the seeds of what we will do are in all of us, but it always seemed to me that in those who make jokes in life the seeds are covered with better soil and with a higher grade of manure.

- Ernest Hemingway 1898-1961, American Writer

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Outside In

We are blind to the fact that the things we think we enjoy spring in fact from within ourselves, from our reaction to those things rather than the things themselves. Once you can grasp this concept, a new consciousness can arise.

A new car cannot make you happy, your reaction to the car can make you happy for a while, but it is your mind that is producing the happiness, not the car.

With that wisdom, we can begin to train the mind to be happy under all circumstances.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Your Mind is a Spoiled Child

This is not a breathing exercise; it is an exercise in awareness. The effort is not to control the breath but instead to remain conscious of it as it naturally is.

As meditators we find out at once how difficult this is. As soon as we try to keep the mind fixed on respiration, we begin to worry about a pain the legs. As soon as we try to suppress all distracting thoughts, a thousand things jump into the mind: memories, plans, hopes, fears.

Who is in control here? As soon as one begins this exercise, it becomes very clear very quickly that in fact the mind is out of control. Like a spoiled child who reaches for one toy, becomes bored, and reaches for another, and then another, the mind keeps jumping from one thought, one object of attention to another, running away from reality.

This is the ingrained habit of the mind; this is what it has been doing all our lives. But once we start to investigate our true nature, the running away must stop.

-S.N. Goenka

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Playing the Blame Game

We habitually erect a barrier called blame that keeps us from communicating genuinely with others, and we fortify it with our concepts of who's right and who's wrong. We do that with the people who are closest to us and we do it with political systems, with all kinds of things that we don't like about our associates or our society. It is a very common, ancient, well-perfected device for trying to feel better. Blame others. Blaming is a way to protect your heart, trying to protect what is soft and open and tender in yourself. Rather than own that pain, we scramble to find some comfortable ground.

-Pema Chodron

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Monday, April 06, 2009

Where Is Your Mind?

The old traditional approach to the whole question of enlightenment was thrown out of my system, although I continued to read books on religion, studied philosophy, psychology, and science. I tried to find out answers from those people who have not been contaminated by the traditional teachings. I got interested in Western philosophy and science, and tried to find the answer to my basic question. My basic question was one question: "Where is this mind that we are so concerned about, that we are trying to understand, study, and change? Why do we talk of a total change in the makeup of the mind? I don't see any such thing as mind there at all, let alone a transformation or mutation of the mind." This question always intrigued me and I questioned everybody about the mind. I tried to get answers from every area of human thought, but nothing helped me to find out the answers to those questions. At that time I didn't have the certainty that I have today. The certainty I have today that there is no mind is something which I cannot transmit to anybody, however hard I may try, because the very thing which we are using to communicate is in jeopardy, and you are not ready to accept that possibility.

-UG. Krishnamurti

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