The experience of a sad and tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness. Conventionally, being fearless means that you are not afraid or that, if someone hits you, you will hit him back. But we aren't talking about that street-fighter level of fearlessness. Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world.
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The past situation has just occurred and the future situation has not yet manifested itself so there is a gap between the two. This is basically the bardo (life between life) experience. [This is the place where your life is reviewed - where you get another chance to let life teach you and end the cycle of pain. -EM]
Walking the spiritual path properly is a very subtle process; it is not something to jump into naively. There are numerous sidetracks which leades to a distorted, ego-centered version of spirituality; we can deceive ourselves into thinking we are developing spiritually when instead we are strengthening our egocentricity through spiritual techniques. This fundamental distortion may be referred to as spiritual materialism
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But again and again, we should reflect back to the darkness of the cocoon. In order to inspire ourselves forward, we must look back to see the contrast with the place we came from. You see, we cannot reject the world of the cocoon - which out which we may create a new cocoon. When we see the suffering that occured in the old cocoon, that inspires us to go forward in our journey of warriorship. It is a journey that is unfolding within us.
Meditation practice begins by sitting down and assuming your seat cross-legged on the ground. You begin to feel that by simply being on the spot, your life can become workable and even wonderful. You realize that you are capable of sitting like a king or queen on a throne. The regalness of that situation shows you the... dignity that comes from being still and simple.
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When human beings lose their connection to nature, to heaven and earth, then they do not know how to nurture their environmect or how to rule their world - which is saying the same thing. Human beings destroy their ecology at the same time that they destroy one another. From that perspective, healing our society goes hand in hand with healing our personal, elemental connection with the phenomenal world.
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Although the warrior's life is dedicated to helping others, he realizes that he will never be able to completely share his experience with others...Yet he is more and more in love with the world. That combination of love affair and loneliness is what enables the warrior to constantly reach out to help others. By renouncing his private world, the warrior discovers a greater universe and a fuller and fuller broken heart. This is not something to feel bad about; it is a cause for rejoicing.
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Enlightenment is like witnessing the brilliant sun for the first time in the morning. It is like seeing the beautiful flowers that grow in the wood, the frolicking deer, a bird flying proudly, or fish swimming. Life is not all that grim. In the morning you brush your teeth, you can see how shiny they are. Reality has its own gallantry, spark, and arrogance. You can study life while you are alive. You can study how you can achieve the brilliance of life.
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Acknowledging foolishness is a very powerful and important experience. We could almost say that being willing to be a fool is one of the first wisdoms. The phenomenal world can be perceived and seen proprerly if we see it from the perspective of being a fool. There is very little distance between being a fool and being wise; they are extremely close. When we are really, truly foolish, when we actually acknowledge our foolishness, then we are way ahead. We are not even in the process of becoming wise""we are already wise.
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We are not interested in developing eternity or immortality, or in preventing being sick or being born. We are interested in doing something while we are alive, while we are breathing, while we can see the beauty of the snow, the flowers, the blue sky, the sunshine, and the many other things we can imagine.
When you eat with awareness, you find that there is more space, more beauty. You begin to watch yourself, to see yourself, and you notice how clumsy you are or how accurate you are... When you practice awareness, everything becomes majestic and good. You begin to see that you have been leading a different kind of life in the past. You had the essence of mindfulness already, but you hadn't discovered it.
You begin to understand that warriorship is a path or a thread that runs through your entire life. It is not just a technique that you apply when you are unhappy or depressed. Warriorship is a continual journey. To be a warrior is to learn to be genuine in every moment of your life. That is the warrior's discipline.
Meditation is another dimension of natural beauty. People talk about appreciating natural beauty-climbing mountains, seeing giraffes and tigers in Africa, and all sorts of things. But nobody seems to appreciate this kind of natural beauty of ourselves. This is actually far more beautiful than flora and fauna, far more fantastic, far more painful and colorful and delightful.
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A great deal of chaos in the world occurs because people don't appreciate themselves. Having never developed sympathy or gentleness toward themselves, they cannot experience harmony or peace within themselves, and therefore, what they project to others is also inharmonious and confused.
When there is no desire to satisfy yourself, there is no aggression or speed... Because there is no rush to achieve, you can afford to relax. Because you can afford to relax, you can afford to keep company with yourself, you can afford to make love with yourself, to be friends with yourself.
When you are frightened by something, you have to relate with fear, explore why you are frightened, and develop some sense of conviction. You can actually look at fear. Then fear ceases to be the dominant situation that is going to defeat you. Fear can be conquered. You can be free from fear if you realize that fear is not the ogre. You can step on fear, and therefore, you can attain what is known as fearlessness. But that requires that, when you see fear, you smile.
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When you relate to thoughts obsessively, you are actually feeding them because thoughts need your attention to survive. Once you begin to pay attention to them and categorize them, then they become very powerful. You are feeding them energy because you are not seeing them as simple phenomena. If one tries to quiet them down, that is another way of feeding them.
Meditation should not be regarded as a learning process. It should be regarded as an experiencing process. You should not try to learn from meditation but try to feel it. Meditation is an act of nonduality. The technique you are using should not be separate from you; it is you, you are the technique. Meditator and meditation are one. There is no relationship involved.
No one can stop or control your thought process or your thinking. You can think anything you want. But that doesn't seem to be the point. The thinking process has to be directed into a certain approach... not in accord with certain dogma, philosophy, or concepts. Instead, one has to know the thinker itself.
Magic is the power within oneself. You have enough strength, exertion and energy to view things as they are, personally, properly, and directly. You have the chance to experience the brightness of life and the haziness of life, which is also a source of power. The fantastically sharp-edged quality of life can be experienced personally and directly. There is a powerful sense of perception available to you.
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You begin to understand that warriorship is a path or a thread that runs through your entire life. It is not just a technique that you apply when you are unhappy or depressed. Warriorship is a continual journey. To be a warrior is to learn to be genuine in every moment of your life. That is the warrior's discipline
...We leave our homeland, our property and our friends. We give up the familiar ground that supports our ego, admit the helplessness of ego to control its world and secure itself. We give up our clingings to superiority and self-preservation...It means giving up searching for a home, becoming a refugee, a lonely person who must depend on himself...Fundamentally, no one can help us. If we seek to relieve our loneliness, we will be distracted from the path. Instead, we must make a relationship with loneliness until it becomes aloneness.
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Free passion is radiation without a radiator, a fluid, pervasive warmth that flows effortlessly. It is not destructive because it is a balanced state of being and highly intelligent. Self-consciousness inhibits this intelligent, balanced state of being. By opening, by dropping our self-conscious grasping, we see not only the surface of an object, but we see the whole way through.
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When we are constantly recreating our basic patterns of behavior and thought, we never have to leap into fresh air or onto fresh grass. Instead, we wrap ourselves in our own dark environment, where our only companion is the smell of our own sweat. In the cocoon, there is no dance, no walking or breathing. It is comfortable and sleepy, an intense and very familiar home.
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Compassion has nothing to do with achievement at all. It is spacious and very generous. When a person develops real compassion, he is uncertain whether he is being generous to others or to himself because compassion is enviromental generosity, without direction, without " for me" and without " for them". It is filled with joy, spontaneously existing joy, constant joy in the sense of trust, in the sense that joy contains tremendous wealth, richness.
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Look. This is your world! You can't not look. There is no other world. This is your world; it is your feast. You inherited this; you inherited these eyeballs; you inherited this world of color. Look at the greatness of the whole thing. Look! Don't hesitate - look! Open your eyes. Don't blink, and look, look - look further.
The sun has a sense of all-pervasive brilliance, which does not discriminate in the slightest. It is the goodness that exists in a situation, in oneself, and in one's world, which is expressed without doubt, hesitation, or regret. The sun principle also includes the notion of blessings descending upon us and creating sacred world. It also represents clarity, without doubt.
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The basics teachings of Buddha are about understanding what we are, who we are, why we are. When we begin to realize what we are, who we are, why we are, then we begin to realize what we are not, who we are not, why we are not. We begin to realize that we don't have basic, substantial, solid, fundamental ground that we can exert anymore. We begin to realize that our ideas of security and our concept of freedom have been purely phantom experiences.
We have to make the first move ourselves rather than expecting it to come from the phenomenal world or from other people. If we are meditating at home and we happen to live in the middle of the High Street, we cannot stop the traffic just because we want peace and quiet. But we can stop ourselves, we can accept the noise. The noise also contains silence. We must put ourselves into it and expect nothing from outside, just as Buddha did. And we must accept whatever situation arises.
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The meditator develops new depths of insight through direct communication with the reality of the phenomenal world... He or she is able to see not only the absence of complexity, the absence of duality, but the stoneness of stone and the waterness of water. One sees things precisely as they are, not merely in the physical sense, but with awareness of their spiritual significance.
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The idea of buddha mind is not purely a concept or a theoretical, metaphysical idea. It is something extremely real that we can experience ourselves. In fact, it is the ego that feels that we have an ego. It is ego that tells us, My ego is bothering me. I feel very self-conscious about having to be me. I feel that I have a tremendous burden in me, and I wonder what the best way to get rid of it is. Yet all those expressions of restlessness that keep coming out of us are the expression of buddha nature: the expression of our unborn, unobstructed, and nondwelling nature.
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In your cocoon, occasionally you shout complaints, such as, "Leave me alone!" "Bug off!" "I want to be who I am!"... which comes from fighting against your environment... You can raise your head and just take a little peek out of the cocoon... The environment is friendly. It is called "Planet Earth.
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There is no promise of love and light or visions of any kind - no angels, no devils. Nothing happens: it is absolutely boring. Sometimes you feel silly. One often asks the question, "Who is kidding whom? Am I on to something or not?" You are not on to something. Traveling the path means you get off everything, there is no place to perch. Sit and feel your breath, be with it.
Nowness is the essence of meditation. Whatever one does, whatever one tries to practice, is trying to see what is here and now. One becomes aware of the present moment through such means as concentrating on the breathing. This is based on developing the knowledge of nowness, for each respiration is unique. It is an expression of now.