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I went down to the sea
April 20, 2003
8:29 pm
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Namaste, all.

Over a year ago I named a thread this on the general board. This thread is different and is triggered in my perceptions by reading Master Tez's post on the 'I have to say it" thread and Gingerleigh's questions and the responses to that on the 'finding spirituality' thread.

I went down to the sea again today. I have been there many times over the past eighteen months. What strikes me about time at the shore is that as i sit and watch it becomes so very clear to me that no two seconds at the sea are the same as each other. The gulls turn and dive, the sandpipers run and dodge, the humans pass and repass, boat and surf and walk and talk. It strikes me there as nowhere else that existence is the same as a day at the sea. No two seconds are the same and no experience is repeatable.

And yet, there are times that I would try to hold experience and repeat it. Yet, this life denies me that. I do what I do and must let go of result for I cannot make a result occur as I might wish -- too many variables and too meager a conductor (me.)

It strikes me that the causes of my sufferings are tied up with the perceptual frame I wish to frame myself with. The more I try to hold still experience the more suffering I incur. If I try to have my brother think of me as I wish him to perceive me, then I always incur suffering as I have set out to make what cannot be made. Once I act or don't act it is up to perceivers, I among them, but not the only one, to interpret my action or lack in the way that best fits their perceptions and their conceptual frames.

You don't like me? Or what I say? What can I do about that except to cause myself to suffer if I respond negatively? If I seem to be missing something please point that out to me. I am a hostage to my perceptions and the concepts that I have that try to make sense of the perceptions.

Anyhow, in its richness and the richness of its movement and the life forms that congregate in and around the sea, it always comes plain to me that there are a myriad ways to do the same thing, but none of them will seem the same to any two sentient beings who have concepts and experience and the memories of those.

April 21, 2003
3:32 am
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nikki, i used to think deep before, but i've become relatively much simple now.
Q: do you beleive that life can and should be made simple? if so, do you beleive that you'll be able to see life simple one day?

presently, you think life deeply, and so do you beleive that you'll continue to think that way? if so, why?
i wont ask anything controversail, but i want to know, do you beleive in any religion (i am not discouraging or encouraging beleif in religion, i'm just curious to know what you think of the universe).

i started out thinking deeply, but with a beleif that someday i would be able to come out of it, like the doctor who operates into the patient, with the beleif that he'll heal and seal up the wounds and come out eventually.

and dear, i dont beleive you are a hostage to anything.. you are a free human. Say and repeat positive messages to yourself while fighting the negative ones, even though initially it may seem silly, but it will work out and you WILL start to them beleive the positive ones.
How was your childhood? good parents or abusive ones?
take care
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April 21, 2003
6:20 am
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Namaste, and thanks for the response, guest-guest. A deep thinker? hmmm. I seldom see my thoughts in that light anymore.

When I was much younger, late teens and early twenties, I acted as though I knew it all. Made a hash of so very much back then. That continued to a lesser extent as I got older.

Within the past year or so I have come to believe that I am quite simple. Not too complicated, just forced to see and hear what my experiences have trained me to do.

No, in the aspect I read your response, I am not a hostage. But I am limited by my perceptions and the experiences and ideas I use and have used to define and make sense of those perceptions.

I, for instance, haven't the experience of being an Afghani or Persian profesional woman who 'overnight' was forced to recede back into the shadows and cover myself completely -- being seen and not heard. So, my experience of 'hostage' cannot encompass that.

I see life as a wondrous and rich 'minefield,' (love that, Tez.) A moment can bring eversomuch that I may not expect: joy or sorrow, gain or loss.

Balance, I have come to believe, is the best I can do. For in fortune or sorrow if I can remain balanced then, it seems to me, I can see the folly of trying to hold to either of these passing phenomena as though they might last the rest of my earthly life.

I do have a religious life. As I believe I have said before it is an eclectic mixture of Vedanta and Buddhism and Paganism, spiced a bit with 'The sermon on the mount,' and the poetry of Hafiz and Rumi. I like to think of it as 'Nikka's religion.' (smile) Occasionally I will see fit to do puja at a nearby temple, or visit Ba'hai or Unitarian-Universalist meetings and the occasional Moon Circle.

Perhaps I shall give up thinking deeply, guest-guest. If indeed I am afflicted with that dire malady. But, I grow older, and now over fifty I wonder if that trick might be one that requires a sprier dog to learn?

Thanks again for your response. I have followed your postings with interest for quite some time. Good to read your words and think that you sound more comfortable with your life than you once did.

Nikka

April 21, 2003
8:18 am
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Wow. Deja Vu. I remember the old thread. For second there I thought someone ripped it out of the archives. Then I remembered which board this was.

8^D

Sadly, though, I still have nothing to add to the thread.

April 21, 2003
9:29 am
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Namaste, silence.

Have to admit that y'day at the shore I did wonder for a second if you might be there as well. I thought I could recall a post lately in which you indicated that you were thinking of going. Still lots of houses unopened since last year where we were.

Thanks for adding to the thread in spite of thinking you had nothing to add.

April 21, 2003
10:32 am
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I can relate to the suffering induced by chasing after the recreation of that "one perfect moment", rather than seeing the perfection in the current time and space. Awareness is so key, because without awareness, we cannot take action, even if the action is to change our perspective or frame of reference...

Thanks for the sea images Nikka, they make me feel peaceful today.

April 21, 2003
2:05 pm
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nikka wellll.. probably i cannot reach to your level of thinking.
but you talked of your sufferings, whats that about?

you said: > But I am limited by my perceptions and the experiences and ideas I use and have used to define and make sense of those perceptions. < well i guess everyone is limited by their experiences and perceptions? so are you happy with life or not? hows the general mood?

April 21, 2003
3:10 pm
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I went last tuesday. I was going to go today, but it was too cloudy. it was still a beautiful day. i spent most of it doing stuff. 9-10:30 I mowed the lawn. Nice to get it done before the sun beats down on you. After that I got my hair cut. Then I watched a crappy movie. I was toying with the idea of hitting on the girl who runs the box office, but she wasn't there. They are training a bunch of new kids for the summer. I hope she still works there somewhere. She always gives me a nice smile.

April 21, 2003
5:51 pm
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Namaste, guest_guest and silence.

I am just always incredibly in awe of life, guest. The turns and soarings and dives and swoops of it recall to me those seagulls I spoke of above. Life is never still, constantly changing and yet this "level of thinking' to which you say you cannot reach consantly wants things to remain static and still. It just doesn't seem to 'get it' sometimes that without movement in this life there is only death and decay. But even there there is movement: microbes and insects and the slow change of one form into another or various other forms. Such incredible variety!

My sufferings. Yes, I spent many years and then many more wallowing about pissed off that everything wasn't 'going my way.' That generally seemed to mean that I was unable to control all these marvelous variables in order to lead to all the ends I wished to see. (How's that for 'higher thinking?' *grin*) I still have those problems with my vision and all too often refuse the glory of right now for some mental fantasy that I would like to see.

But often I am reminded (also short on memory.) Like y'day on the drive home my husband turned to me and said 'i love you.' And then he said 'thank you. that spontaneous suggestion you made at nine about driving to the shore was the best thing that's happened to me all week. I didn't plan anything we simply packed the chairs and a blanket and got the keys wallets and purse and the boys and just drove there. No anticipation except getting there and then driving home. This day has been so perfect without planning.'

That may be what I drive at in this life (don't often reach it:) the taking of each moment just for itself. I attempt to see its particular richness and try to expect nothing. Just see what is there to see. I think so much of the suffering I have lived through and been instrumental in causing others has been my urgent need to control what is basically uncontrollable: the way things are, the way people perceive me or look at me, the way others think or vote or do their dishes. Eversomany things that I then feel uncomfortable with.

Now, perhaps I listen more. But there is such a long way to go for this Nikka.

Silence. (sounds like a command sometimes doesn't it?*smile*) Your day at the shore sounds incredibly wonderful. Perhaps the ticket girl will be there next time you go. Hard to believe that so much can hang on a smile, isn't it. And yet, so often, so much does. We were at Manasquan, quiet, lazy and almost empty of people. Unlike those boardwalks and beaches at Seaside and Point Pleasant.

Be well, fellows and thanks for adding.

Nikka

April 21, 2003
7:52 pm
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Woops. I guess I was a bit unclear. The girl at the theater was around here. I didn't go to the shore today. That was last week. When I went to the Jersey shore last week there was nobody there. I laid out a towel and started up a tan. Just a nice day on the beach by myself. Sorry. I get a bit confusing when I have too many thoughts and try to write them all at once.

April 21, 2003
8:19 pm
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Nikka.

A good thread.

As you undoubtedly know, Buddhism maintains that all life involves change, and all change by its very nature involves suffering.

This implies that every time an electron skips from one location or level on one atom to another, 'suffering' at some level or another is involved.

We yearn for constancy of wellbeing. Yet such an illusory 'constancy' would soon lead to the suffering of 'boredom'. We crave the stimulation change brings. So, by inference, we are caught between a rock and a hard place.

The keyword is 'craving'. We crave change which suits our perceptions of what enhances our wellbeing and abhor changes to the contrary. So it seems that both 'attraction to' and 'aversion from' different experiences are symptomatic of our 'cravings'or 'yearnings'.

All this implies that there is within our consciousness, a perception of an 'I' exists that 'craves' a perceptual experience - preferably a wellbeing enhancing one.

Since no longlasting or permanent satisfaction can be found - change always terminates that - 'craving' is continually being reactivated. Yet the delusory belief that one day, somehow, that illusory state of fullness and permanent gratification of our senses can be attained.

We are like mice on a treadwheel - always thinking we are going 'somewhere', making 'progress, gaining, advancing, in the vain hope that one day we will 'make it'. Depression seems to set in if we think otherwise.

Who is this dammed illusive 'we' and where the hell are 'we' going? Like the rivers that flow to the sea, we are 'flowing' in that continuing, neverending process of life. Yet we scoop a 'bucket' of water out of that 'river of life' and label it as 'I', 'me', 'you', 'yours', etc. But like that bucket of water, we are just as fluid, undefinable, interdependent and impermanent in both our form and location in this vast river of life.

We are a swirling, interacting, ever changing pattern of energy with no clearly definable boundaries other than those that our imaginary perceptions create.

Where now is my great grandfather and his heroic pioneering deeds?? Where are his thoughts, sufferings, hopes, despairs now? Flowing through me perhaps? On the way to where???

"All is vanity"

April 21, 2003
8:31 pm
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I went to the beach yesterday. It was an adventure. I wanted to go to the gulf coast, but ended up accidentally going in the opposite direction. Luckily, we have beaches on both sides of the state, har har, so we ended up going to the Atlantic side. The water was soooo cold. We brought the dogs.

We drove further up the coast around 5pm and laid out on another beach that was less crowded. I watched the waves roll in and skitter away. I thought about the doctrine of no-self. How, each moment, a thousand "me's" are born and expire, and "I" is always changing.....

This reminded me, then, of the law of Conditioned Genesis...everything is dependent on everything else in order to arise. The Law of 5 Aggregates:

Matter is perceived by the senses (sight, smell, taste, sound, touch); Sensations lead to perceptions from the sense organs; Perceptions lead to mental formations and volitional actions; Mental formations and their resultant volitional actions lead to consciousness.

So, since matter is subject to change; that is, since your external environment cannot be controlled and preserved, your consciousness itself is subject to constant change as well. Thus, the good day today.

The honorable Lord Gautama, in his first sermon, identified clinging, thirst, desire (tanha) as the cause of suffering. You hit the nail on the head with your mental processes.

Me, I bury my nose in books. I finally got my hands on a translation of Nagarjuna's Mulamadhyamakakarika. The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way. 27 chapters of a philosophical proof, all in 4-line stanzas. Life is in the living, eh?

I was watching Kundun recently and I remember a line...he says, to Mao, "China cannot liberate me, sir; I must liberate myself." I think ginger's post about spirituality reminded me of this.

April 21, 2003
8:35 pm
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Hey tez 🙂

I was at my Neurologist's office today, speaking of energy. He had this doll with metal tabs on either hand. He had me hold both hands and a recorded song played from the doll. I broke the circuit by letting go of one hand. He was demonstrating the electrical conductivity of the human body, explaining seizures to me.

I thought of that when I read "We are a swirling, interacting, ever changing pattern of energy with no clearly definable boundaries other than those that our imaginary perceptions create."

April 21, 2003
8:39 pm
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o my, Tez. That last bit pushed me right past the bow. Namaste.

Does water suffer? Do you think it possible that this river 'we' refer to as consciousness/sentience might be capable of projecting 'suffering' as a way of preventing boredom and ennui?

Perhaps the pioneering forebearers were part of the relief of boredom of the seemingly vast field of consciousness. Or perhaps they were the equivalent of redbloodcells, carrying nutrients to other locations in 'the field.' Hmmm. that is a puzzle.

Yes, I am aware of some of the ideas that at least some Buddhists believe to be fair representations of what is. But can ideas approximate 'what is?' I don't know the answer to that one. Perhaps? Not all is vanity, perhaps all theories are vanity?

Thanks for dropping in, Master Tez. Always a pleasure.

Nikka

April 22, 2003
5:47 pm
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hi nikka, i understood when you talked of the 'need to control'. i'm trying to work on it myself.. tez and the others are my advisors and lets see what i can do.

April 22, 2003
6:16 pm
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Guest_guest.

Au contraire... it is I who am the student.

April 22, 2003
6:27 pm
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Nikka.

You said:

" ... But can ideas approximate 'what is?' ..."

No. As the Budda said, they are but "fingers pointing to the moon". At best, ideas can only point the way.

People who experience NDEs are often frustrated by the total lack of words to describe their experiences. Words and ideas are not the objects but only our mental representations of same.

'We' are 'Mind' in artificial and conditioned separation from 'what is' - separated by our own 'mental representations' of same.

April 22, 2003
6:31 pm
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Cici.

"... a thousand "me's" are born and expire, and "I" is always changing..... "

Which one is really you?

If none of them, then who is it that you and I are struggling to preserve and save on a daily basis?

April 23, 2003
2:08 pm
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Exactly. Who is it that we are trying to preserve? His Holiness the Dalai Lama said, "whenever we examine physical, mental, or abstract entities, we find as a result of a reductive analysis nothing but their unfindability. So you can't speak coherently of identity or of entities."

Everything is real and is not. I can write it out, but I haven't had any insight about nonduality. Heck, my deluded mind has little insight to begin with.

April 23, 2003
2:56 pm
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(head explodes from spirituality overflow)

April 23, 2003
8:24 pm
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Cici.

"Everything is real and is not."

Precisely ... both am.

April 23, 2003
8:28 pm
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Silence.

"(head explodes from spirituality overflow)"

To encompass the boundless I trust? 🙂

April 23, 2003
10:01 pm
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Namaste, Master Tez, Cici and Silence.
Go outta town for two days and come home.Ah. I return to this litle thread and find that heads are exploding, and Cici is puzzled about non-duality!

You are such an instigator, Tez. *smile*

Non-duality. May I take a shot? Okay.

Field. (all encompassing of space/time and any other dimension found and unfound.)

Tez, Nikka, Cici, Silence are images in a movie projected on the screen of Field -- 'we' are on Field, but not part of it (Shankara, c. 800 CE. but he didn't use the movie image *smile*)Movie is projected by Field, from Field and on Field for its own entertainment?

Or the similar view that there is just Field and that perception is merely bits of Field imagining that they are independent of Field -- as one of my stomach cells might not think of itself as an organic part of something vastly (infinitely?) larger than itself. Thus, the cell might think it had an identity of its own. Of course cells are allowed to think whatever they will.

Hey, guys. This is getting interesting. Thank you all.

April 24, 2003
6:20 pm
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Nikka.

Is there Field and non-Field?

April 24, 2003
6:55 pm
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I've emerged, through a few paragraphs, into a better understanding of my dubiousness towards my understanding. Of course, anyone who is NOT a Buddha, upon realization of emptiness, the qualities of emptiness appear without the appearance of the qualificands, the phenomena which are empty. Staring at the finger pointing to the moon again.

See, I'm still struggling. Ok. So, common beings (versus enlightened beings) perceive the reflection without perceiving ultimate truths. Beings in meditative poise perceive ultimate truths without perceiving the reflection. But an enlightened being perceives both the reflection and the ultimate simultaneously, and perceives that these conventions do not exist. Take "ultimate" here to mean, "a highest object truth", since there is no ultimate but this is clumsy dealing with the philosophical newspeak of Western philosophy.

Reflection being the conventionalities that we in ignorance perceive to exist inherently. Even emptiness is interdependent, and yet not. Both truths are NOT indepdendently existent. Each depends on the consciousness which perceives, and each depends on the other? Like yin and yang? ARAUGHAUGHAUIGH!

It's as if, there's this thing inside me, constantly turning my awareness away, parrying my thrusts, inherent existence - an insistence that this MUST be, it's this clinging....

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