Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Examining Experience

Attention in the breathing body, aware of the rising and falling of sensations, feelings, thoughts, memories, impulses, actions... asking of any experience that I seem to grasp at or reject:

Is this experience not changing?

Is this experience not made of up other sensations, feelings, and thoughts?

Is this experience not dependent on many causes and conditions which are coming together and falling apart?

Is this experience in my control?

Is this experience me or mine?

Is this experience ultimately satisfying?

Is this experience worth grasping or rejecting?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Creating A Path

by Stephen Batchelor

"As we learn to play this complex instrument of bones, flesh, nerves, impulses, thoughts, and feelings, we trace a path that weaves its way like a channel through the landscape of our experience. It is guided by an intuitive yearning for what we value most deeply; its space is the openness we are able to tolerate within our hearts and minds; it is sustained by the networks of friendship that inspire us to keep going. The path follows the contours of our life as one day turns into the next. It is found amidst the most mundane of circumstances as well as the most sublime...
To create a path is to become intimate with the space opening up withing, around, and before us. This intimacy comes from the mindful awareness of what is unfolding in our body, feelings, minds, and worlds from moment to moment. We get used to the taste, the feel, the texture of the path. It ceases to be something to which we self-consciously aspire.. When we stray from it, we feel its loss as an act of self-betrayal."

~ Stephen Batchelor, Living With the Devil, p.79-80

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

For My Young Friends Who Are Afraid

by William Stafford

There is a country to cross you will
find in the corner of your eye, in
the quick slip of your foot -- air far
down, a snap that might have caught.
And maybe for you, for me, a high, passing
voice that finds its way by being
afraid. That country is there, for us,
carried as it is crossed. What you fear
will not go away: it will take you into
yourself and bless you and keep you.
That's the world, and we all live there.