I often ask myself how is it that close relationships are one of the great causes of suffering in our Western world. Since the need for closeness and love is part of our nature and is essential even for our survival, how can it be, at the same time, so excruciating to relate to one…
When life is settled, it’s easy to feel stable. We don’t realize, at that time, how much clinging there is underneath that false stability. We cling to people and situations, to opinions, status and, of course, material objects – all of which are doomed to fail us. It’s in the nature of all things to…
Of course, we all want to be happy! It’s universal and legitimate. We seek happiness in everything we do – why should following a spiritual path be any different? Maybe the question is: do we seek temporary happiness and relief from suffering or are we aiming…
Endless streams of rushing people
Quickly moving at frantic pace
Minding the gap
Minding their phones
Minding their kindles and their books
But not minding their own mind at all.
By all means mind the gap – the one between thoughts
And find the silence amidst the noise
The stillness behind the movement.
There is a poem written by Portia Nelson – and actually a book too – called: “There is a hole in my sidewalk”. The poem talks about how we fall into the same patterns over and over, until we gain awareness and discover we have the freedom to choose something else.
Tibetan teacher Chögyam Trungpa once opened a class by drawing a V on a large white sheet of poster paper. He then asked those present what he had drawn. Most responded that it was a bird. “No,” he told them. “It’s the sky with a bird flying through it.”
Mind, on the ordinary level, is obscured by concepts, different states of thinking and preconceptions, and so on. In order to recognise the essential nature of the mind, therefore, we have to peel off these different layers and clear away these obscurations. Then we shall see the true face of our own minds.
Einstein said: “Ego is an optical illusion of consciousness.” Many centuries before him Buddha compared this illusion to mistakenly seeing a snake where there is only a piece of rope and pointed out this misunderstanding to be the cause of all our miseries. I know it sounds like something we can correct in no time but…
“What day is it,?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.”