“I have no idea what I’m doing.”
Halt your thoughts and there is nothing you will not know.
Thinking only confuses and complicates your natural capacity for clarity.
Stay still, be silent, and allow all answers to be revealed.
What is the distance that lies between true and false?
What real difference is there between success and failure?
They are but sides to the same coin,
Relative to one another, forged from the same family.
It is the mind that separates into desirable and detestable.
Do not be swayed by other’s opinions; stand firm upon the foundation of your own experience.
The People are busy and impatient, self-absorbed and impulsive.
They believe constant activity actually brings accomplishment.
The People are reckless and heedless, gluttonous and greedy.
They believe the earth and her abundance are endless.
Do you believe you will not be held accountable for your actions?
Do you believe actions have no consequences?
Do you think what you are doing does not get noticed?
Without desires, you become unbound.
Without demands, you become sovereign.
Owning nothing, you are free to simply be.
What other Way is there?
Over the years, you build an awareness of self: who you are, what you like and dislike, how you feel about things. This is the mind of da’at—a place of consciousness, of knowing and feeling “I exist.” It is the most visceral of minds, closely linked to the emotions.
Consciousness is not evil. The problem is the way a human enters into his consciousness and identifies with it. What is actually only an awareness of self becomes your actualself. This is the act of self-imprisonment, as you become trapped in a tight cell of self-definition.
The path of inner Torah leads you to reach beyond this conscious state to an essential self that is one with the Infinite. This is the act of liberation from a personal Egypt, which Torah makes possible on a daily basis.
Our mind needs to stretch to encompass emptiness. Our minds are so stuck in the idea, “Things exist the way they appear to me. What I see is reality. It is 100 percent true. There’s nothing to doubt. Things exist exactly as they appear to my senses, exactly as they appear to my mental consciousness.” We hardly ever doubt that. Not only do we have the appearance of inherent existence to our sense consciousnesses and mental consciousness, but also our mental consciousness grasps on to that appearance and says, “Yes! Everything really exists in this findable, independent way. Everything is real as it appears to me.”
When we believe there’s a real “me,” then we have to protect that self and bring it happiness. Thus, we are attached to things that are pleasurable and become angry at anything unpleasant. Pride, jealousy, laziness, and the whole gamut of negative emotions follow. Motivated by these, we act physically, verbally, and mentally. These actions, or karma, leave seeds on our mindstream, and when these ripen, they influence what we experience. We again relate to these experiences ignorantly, so more emotions arise, motivating us to create more karma. As a result, cyclic existence with all its difficulties continues on and on, created by our mind, dependent on the ignorance that misconceives the nature of ourselves and all other phenomena.
…However, when we investigate more deeply and look beyond appearances, we realize that it’s impossible for things to exist in the way they appear. Seeing this gives us a kind of spaciousness and freedom because, if samsara were inherently existent and everything really did exist the way it appears to us, then transformation and change could not occur…and the best we could ever have is what we have right now. Thinking about the emptiness of inherent existence shows us the possibility for change. Beauty can come forth because nothing is inherently concrete, fixed, or findable.(p.105)
–from Cultivating a Compassionate Heart: The Yoga Method of Chenrezig by Thubten Chodron
Nature’s law dictates that, in order to survive, bees must work together. As a result, they instinctively possess a sense of social responsibility. They have no constitution, no law, no police, no religion or moral training, but because of their nature, they labor faithfully together. Occasionally, they may fight, but in general, based on cooperation, the whole colony survives.
We human beings have a constitution, laws and a police force. We have religion, remarkable intelligence and a heart with a great capacity for love. We have many extraordinary qualities, but in actual practice, I think we are lagging behind those small insects. In some respects I feel we are poorer than the bees.
–from The Pocket Dalai Lama
Kittens kittens everywhere
Kittens chewing on my hair
Kittens climbing up my jeans
Kittens hanging from the screens
There’s a kitten on each shoulder
Will they do this when they’re older?
Kittens fighting on the chairs
Kittens tumbling down the stairs
There’s a kitten on my head
There’s a kitten in the bread!
There’s a kitten in my shoe
I don’t believe we just have two!