Prayers and blessings to all those affected by the Hurricane. May we reach out to one another in love and service in this time.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
It has been said that long time meditators can stay conscious not only in the waking state, but also through dreaming sleep (such as lucid dreaming) and deep, dream-less sleep.
One might wonder why you would even attempt such a feat.
The reason is, once again, identifying yourself with the Witness within - the essence of YOU that is not confined to your body, mind, personality, etc. It is not just saying, but truly realizing that "it is not I, but Christ that lives in me."
I had my first glimpse of that this week. I was dreaming about driving down the road and watching a tornado come toward my car. At this point the car started to shake, everything got weird and scary - and then... I woke up.
But it was interesting because - and it's really hard to put into words (like any nondual experience) - but it's like there was no 'shift' between dreaming and waking. There was this "I AM" base to both experiences. It was the first time I'd had this experience and was fairly fascinating.
at 9:42 AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
A Zen Master lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening, while he was away, a thief sneaked into the hut only to find there was nothing in it to steal.
The Zen Master returned and found him. "You have come a long way to visit me," he told the prowler, "and you should not return empty handed. Please take my clothes as a gift."
The thief was bewildered, but he took the clothes and ran away. The Master sat naked, watching the moon.
"Poor fellow," he mused, " I wish I could give him this beautiful moon."
at 11:28 AM
Thursday, August 18, 2005
earworm (n.): Song that is stuck in your head.
I am currently obsessively, unhealthily addicted to the Gorillaz song "Feel Good, Inc." I can't get it out of my head, I have to listen to it a few times a day. It's extraordinarily creative (for a radio hit) and catchy to the point where I'm going insane. God, make it stop. (click on the link above to watch the video... it's equally as creative)
What about you? Got a recent earworm?
at 9:32 AM
- Note the key word being practice. Zen Buddhism is unique in that it's not so much about belief (although there is a philosophy, but it is not to get hung up on). It is about trying it and seeing what happens. It is about the experience of being awake and aware, residing as the Witness, whether in Emptiness or in the world of form. Which leads me to...
- Zen appears to be one of the few nondualist traditions. As Ken Wilber would put it: there are many traditions/religions that are Ascending (this world is bad or illusion and the idea is to escape it, go beyond it, or "get to heaven") and there are many that are Descending (spirit is found in and through the Earth, Gaia, your fellow man, nature). But Zen would say that both are true (nondual=not two, one reality). "Emptiness is form, and form is emptiness." You go into the emptiness to discover your original face that was "there before your parents were born" then come back into ordinary, everyday life and see the One in the Many ("Before enlightenment there is chopping wood and carrying water, after enlightenment there is chopping wood and carrying water," "When you sit, just sit. When you walk, just walk.").
- Zen has an inherent HUMOR to it. Take this story, in which the only real response is to laugh in realization: "Tokusan kept his master Ryutan up late one evening with his questions. "Why don't you go to bed?" asked Ryutan finally. Tokusan got up to leave, then said, "It's dark in the hall." "Here, take this candle," said Ryutan. Gratefully Tokusan took his master's candle. Then Ryutan leaned forward and blew it out." (from David Fontana's "Discover Zen")
- Zen appreciates mindful ART as seen in Zen painting and poetry, gardening, tea-making, flower-arranging and the like.
at 6:50 AM
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Do any of you know anything about or have any experience with the Kwan Um School of Zen (Denomination: Korean Chogye Order)? I'm considering going to check out a Center in Indianapolis...
For that matter, are any of you students of Zen? Thoughts/reflections on your experience with this path?
at 5:46 PM
Here are a few pictures from our vacation last week.
Panoramic Marsh Photo (yeah, that's 3 photos put together!)
A Local Resident
One of the docks
Bridge and Grasses
On a related note, we also had the incredible opportunity to meet fellow blogger Isaiah/Tommy and his wife, Cathy. What a turn of fate to find out that he lives minutes from my mother-in-law in South Carolina! Amy and I had a great time getting to know them and look forward to future visits and a continued relationship.
I'll get caught up on everyone's blog in the next day or two. Namaste.
at 12:44 PM
Saturday, August 06, 2005
The family will be on vacation from Aug 7 through Aug 14th at Amy's mom's in Okatie, SC (between Savannah and Hilton Head). See you all the week of the 14th!
BTW - I've just loaded Ken Wilber's 10-disc "Kosmic Consciousness" teaching CDs into my MP3 player and am thoroughly enjoying them. They come highly recommended! The guy is way less rigid than most of his writings portray. This is great stuff.
Shanti - Peace!
at 5:10 PM
Thursday, August 04, 2005
at 9:37 AM
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Things are quiet in Blog-land... this site included. I guess summer is a full and busy time of year!
I'll return to some "real" posts in the next few days, but until then... here's a lightning-flash update:
- We took our almost-one-year-old daughter Kalli to the Indianapolis Zoo with the grandparents on Sunday. It was so fun to observe her seeing the animals for the first time. The penguins were a hit!
- I traded my Terry McInturff guitar for a Sunburst American Standard V-Neck Deluxe Strat. Now, I realize that in many people's books that would be a HUGE downgrade, but I hated the feel of that McInturff and ... you know, sometimes simplier is better. I love the feel and sound of that strat. Can't beat a classic.
- I'm trying to observe ora et labora - the maxim of Benedictine rule. I've set four "hours" throughout my work day to step aside for 15 minutes for meditation, reading and prayer.
- I'm currently reading "Inner Christianity: A Guide to the Esoteric Tradition" by Richard Smoley and have ordered a book on nondualism called "Silence of the Heart" by Robert Adams - a disciple of Ramana Maharshi.
- And finally, I have secured studio time for October 1 and 2 at a studio for the initial stages of a professionally recorded Trev Diesel cd. (Darrell, you'll finally get to hear the full verison of Parachute!)
at 11:33 AM