Monday, November 29, 2010

Insight & Compassion

With insight, we don't mistake our projections for people.
With compassion, we don't regard people as projections.

Projections aren't real, people are real. Insight helps us see when we're reacting to our own projections rather than relating to actual people. Compassion saves us from treating people as internal objects (projections) or external objects (unfeeling things) for our enjoyment or disposal. Treat people unfailingly well, and projections become apparent. With projections apparent, we can treat people well, if we will.

Compassion is foremost. Insight shows aspects of reality, but often in an incomplete way, and a shallow or temporary insight may not bear the fruit of compassion. The power bestowed by insight, wielded without care, may even lead to harm. Compassion includes insight by revealing and honoring the connections between realities. Compassion tends, even when incomplete, to relieve suffering. Compassion and insight united dissolve any sense of being separate from others.

The root of both insight and compassion is the intention to free ourselves and others from struggle and suffering. There is clarity and kindness in that intention.

In each moment, seeing what is and appreciating and welcoming it. Awareness and warmth inseparable.

Your vision will become clear 
when you look into your heart.
~ Carl Jung

This is all insight. How do the warm sun of kindness and the cool shade of compassion feel?


One Question

What's the most important question you can ask in life?

Albert Einstein:
Is the universe a friendly place or not?

Mary Oliver:
There is only one question:
how to love this world.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Moving in Awareness

Upright, fluid, grounded, light.

Feel the contact between soft feet & firm ground.

Feel your weight resting on the ground. Let your skeleton & the ground hold you up – don’t hold your self up.

Balance the body on sensitive feet. Feel the whole spine from tailbone to skull. Let the spine move as you breathe in & out.

Notice the sensations & movements of breathing in & breathing out. Breath likethe wind.

From your knees down feel roots going down into the ground. From the shoulders up feel your head floating into the sky.

Invite the whole body to breathe.

Let soft eyes gaze into the whole field of vision.

Relax from the inside.

Open all the senses: touching, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, warm/cold, balance, location.

Let the belly fill up as you breathe in & empty out as you breathe out.

Let the skull balance top of the spine & rock as you breathe.

Connect with the ground again & again.

Let exhaling be complete.

With each exhale let your weight drop down through your legs & release into the ground.

Use intention to move, not muscular effort. Movement begins in the belly & then ripples through the whole body.

Ground & balance again & again so your standing & moving are open, alert, relaxed.

Let every joint be an open hinge swinging as you breathe & move. Don’t lock elbows, knees, shoulders, fingers or toes.

Let moving be smooth circles. Nature moves in spirals.

Connect feet & belly again & again.

Relax pelvis, hips, lower back, shoulders.

Breathe naturally. Let your movements ride the breath.

Feel weight shifting back & forth from one leg & foot to the other.

No strain. When extending & leaning, don’t go as far as you could go.

Let the whole body breathe in & breathe out. Let awareness ride the breath through the whole body.

As you move, invite every part of the body to participate, so no part has to do extra work.

Gently open awareness again & again to include everything in & around you as you move.

Let the qualities of the breath reveal balance & imbalance.

Completely mix three things: awareness ~ breathing ~ moving

Sitting in Awareness

Sit upright, grounded, alert, relaxed.

Don’t hold the body up. Balance & let go.

Let the ground support you.

Notice the sensations & movements of breathing in & breathing out.

Invite the whole body to breathe in & out.

Relax from the inside. When the body settles, the mind settles.

Let all your senses open: touching, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, temperature, balance, location.

Feel the whole spine, from tailbone to skull. Let it move as you breathe.

Don’t try to hold body or mind still. Rest in the sitting breathing body.

Sit here, in this place.

Notice that sensations, feelings, & thoughts are all there is, appearing & disappearing on their own.

Breath connects body & mind.

Appreciate the qualities of each sensation, feeling, thought — the ones you like, the ones you don’t like, the ones you ignore.

Don’t try to control, block, or create certain thoughts & feelings. Resting in the body, include whatever arises.

Just rest, like a great ocean accepting hundreds of streams. (Hongzhi)

Let exhaling be complete. Let whatever you’re holding drop down through your body & release into the ground.

Notice the gap between breaths.

Notice the gap between thoughts.

Don’t fidget or hold still. Rebalance as needed so you’re resting, alert, settled.

Don’t hold attention. Rest attention in the experience of sitting & breathing.

Start anew as needed, again & again. Short sessions, many of them.

Don’t waste time or energy fighting or chasing what arises. Let what arises rise; take care not to follow. (Milarepa)

Form the intention to know & appreciate your actual experience just as it is. Then practice doing that, again & again.

Invite the whole body to sit so no part has to do extra work. Don’t arch, slump, or hold. Stack your bones on your seat so the body can rest.

Let awareness ride the breath through the whole body, right out into fingers & toes.

Notice the moving & the stillness involved in breathing & in sitting.

Gently open awareness again & again. Whatever arises is fine. Gently mix it with awareness & breathing.

Let awareness expand to include all that is in & around you. Open like the sky. Trust.

Don’t try to get rid of “distraction.” Whenever you discover you’ve been lost in the maze, just drop back into the center — the breathing body. Return & rest.

Let subtle sensing of the breath reveal balance & imbalance in the bodymind.

Completely mix three things: wareness ~ breathing ~ sitting

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Difficulty Along the Way

Seeking Perfect Total Enlightenment
is looking for a flashlight
when all you need the flashlight for
is to find your flashlight

~ Lew Welch