18 augustus 2010

De stadsmonnik

Sinds ik in oktober 2009 met vervroegd pensioen ben gegaan, glijden de dagen zachtjes voorbij. Zij rijgen zich aaneen in onvoorziene vormen. De oude patronen van een werkende man, een pensioenadviseur, een boekenschrijver, een spirituele zoeker, een zanger vervagen gaandeweg. Voor mij ligt het witte sneeuwlandschap. Mijn achterliggende voetstappen worden opgevuld door de gestaag neerdwarrelende sneeuwvlokken. Wat overblijft is dit moment. Van moment tot moment.

De Japanse term voor monnik is 'unsui'. Dat betekent letterlijk 'water en wolk'. De zenleraar Niko Tydeman legde de symbolische betekenis ervan eens zo uit: “Zoals water vrijelijk stroomt en zichzelf nergens een dam opwerpt, zoals wolken ongehinderd voortdrijven en zichzelf nooit in de lucht vastzetten, zo beoefent een zenmonnik een leven van onthechting, zonder zichzelf te binden, zonder vaste grond, zonder zich in de geest te vestigen”.

11 augustus 2010


Van de week heb ik in dit weblog een statement geplaatst van Adyashanti. Daarin benadrukt hij het belang om je eigen gedachten niet langer te geloven. Dat is gemakkelijker gezegd dan gedaan, zeker in het contact met andere mensen. In gesprekken met andere mensen vliegen de gedachtenconstructies over en weer en voor je het weet ga je er helemaal in op. Zoals altijd, heeft Eckhart Tolle (zie foto) hiervoor een praktische tip.

Een leerlinge vroeg hem eens: "How do I maintain a sense of presence when I’m in the company of another person? How do I bring presence into conversation?" Eckhart Tolle gaf het volgende antwoord:

"It’s not easy. The moment you start talking, the two minds come together and so they strengthen each other. A flow starts, a stream of thought. A moment ago you were present, and then somebody starts talking. What applies here is the loss of space during the conversation. Both participants of the conversation have lost any sense of space. There are only the words, the mind, the verbalization, the stream of thinking that becomes sounds. They are taken over by that. It has its own momentum – almost a little entity, a stream, that doesn’t want to end.

Often, it generates emotions in the body. That strengthens it, amplifies it. If the mental stream triggers emotions, which it often does, especially when talking about other people, what they did, failed to do, did to you, did to others, criticisms, gossip, all kinds of emotional things, the ego comes in. When you can criticize another, the ego feels a little bit stronger. By diminishing another, in the delusional system of the ego, you have enhanced your own self-image a little bit. Any criticism of another, is a part of that energy stream. And then emotions come, and they amplify the thoughts. It’s the loss of space.

For you to regain space, without saying “I’m not talking anymore”, one thing is necessary for you – which is the realization that you’ve lost space. Without that, there’s nothing you can do – when you’re so taken over by a stream of thought, that you don’t even know you’ve been taken over by a stream of thought – there’s nothing you can do. “Forgive them, for they know not what they do”. They are unconscious. They are the stream of thought. And as the stream of thought, you don’t want it to end – because you don’t want your own end. Every entity wants to remain in form for as long as possible.

If there’s the slightest realization that you’ve lost space, at that moment you have a choice. What is your choice? Your choice is to bring some presence, some space, into the stream of thought. But how do you do that?

It’s coming at you not only from within your own mind, but it’s coming at you from the other person too. The awareness is there, and it may only last three seconds, and then it’s gone again. So you have to use those two or three seconds, where you realize the loss of space, and do something in that space where you have some freedom to act. By a conscious choice, you take your attention out of thinking – but you have to anchor it somewhere else, otherwise it won’t work. So you choose your breath, or your body, or some other sense perception around you that you become aware of. When you are actually talking to another person, it’s probably easiest to either use your breath or your inner body.

Practice this beforehand, when conditions are easier, so that you can do it once it’s necessary. Go into your inner body, feel that your energy field is alive. And you’ll notice, you’re not thinking anymore. You can still listen. The amazing thing is that you can listen to another person, without thinking, easily, beautifully.

You are listening, but part of your attention is on your inner energy field – so you’ve taken attention away from your thoughts. There is a sense of aliveness in the background. It’s ultimately formless; it’s already the doorway into the formless. Feel that while you sit there and listen, and you’ve stepped out of the stream of thinking. Then, the quality of the interaction immediately changes. The other person may not consciously notice what’s happening, and may carry on for a while. It also does not mean that you cannot respond anymore. But how you respond and the quality of your response changes, too. You are no longer contributing to the negative nature, which is often the case, in conversations.

A certain amount of stillness, then, will also be a part of the words that you speak. It’s so subtle that the other person probably will not notice it, consciously. So hang on to the inner body, let it be the anchor, and then you become present. If you lose it again, if the other person says something challenging, then after a little while you remember – and you go back into the inner body. That’s a powerful anchor, and then everything changes from there. It takes continuous practice."

10 augustus 2010

Great Space

There is a great space
in which this moment takes place.
There is a great silence
that is listening to the thoughts.

Adyashanti (1962 - zie foto)

7 augustus 2010

Don't believe your thoughts

In zijn lezingencyclus The End of Your World geeft de Amerikaanse satsangleraar Adyashanti (1962 - zie foto) het belang aan om je eigen gedachten niet te geloven. Natuurlijk, we hebben voortdurend allerlei gedachten en opinies, maar het komt erop aan ze niet langer te geloven.

“The evidence that thoughts use for their justification, is all in the mind. All the evidence of the mind is in the mind. It does not come from outside the mind. It is a close loop. The mind is thinking; it is believing what it thinks; and so it is finding a justification for its belief in more thinking.

Thought is in itself powerless. It is only powerful when we believe the thought. It is quite a mind scattering realization that our thoughts hold no reality. It is just not the thought we do not want to have, that holds no reality. It is not just the painful thought that holds no reality. It is also that all the thoughts we want to believe, hold no reality too.

Without believing in thoughts, without continually constructing the sense of a self center, we are actually in harmony with life as it is. Enlightenment is really nothing more than no longer believing your thinking. When you no longer believe the next thought you have, when your reality is not driven by a next thought, you are free. It is as easy as that. So in any instant when you are not believing any of your thinking, you are free, you are liberated. But in the next moment, you may or may not be liberated if you choose to believe the next judging thought, the next condemning thought, the next fearful thought. You won’t feel free any more.”

5 augustus 2010

Free and Easy

Happiness cannot be found
through great effort and willpower,
but is already present,
in open relaxation and letting go.

Don't strain yourself,
there is nothing to do or undo.
Whatever momentarily arises in the body-mind
has no real importance at all,
has little reality whatsoever.
Why identify with, and become attached to it,
passing judgment upon it and ourselves?

Far better to simply let the entire game happen on its own,
springing up and falling back like waves,
without changing or manipulating anything,
and notice how everything vanishes and reappears, magically,
again and again, time without end.

Only our searching for happiness
prevents us from seeing it.
It's like a vivid rainbow which you pursue
without ever catching,
or a dog chasing its own tail.

Although peace and happiness
do not exist as an actual thing or place,
it is allways available
and accompanies you every instant.

Don't believe in the reality of good and bad experiences;
they are like today's ephemeral weather, like rainbows in the sky.
Wanting to grasp the ungraspable, you exhaust yourself in vain.
As soon as you open and relax this tight fist of grasping,
infinite space is there - open, inviting and comfortable.

Make use of this spaciousness, this freedom and natural ease.
Don't search any further. Don’t go into the tangled jungle
looking for the great awakened elephant,
who is already resting quietly at home
in front of your own hearth.

Nothing to do or undo,
nothing to force,
nothing to want,
and nothing missing….

Emaho! Marvelous!
Everything happens by itself.

Lama Gendun Rinpoche (1918 - zie foto)