Ruminating On Rumi

As you start to walk out on the way, the way appears.

~ M. Rumi

Monday, July 15, 2013

Useless Thoughts

What exactly are usless thoughts? To my mind, pun intended, they are thinking that is repetitive, nagging, nasty, focussed only on past grievances and future expectations. In other words, these nonproductive thoughts are not utilizing our wonderful brain power to enhance our understanding and enjoyment of the present.  Useful thoughts are those that solve problems and initiate creativity.
In our Zenwest chanting “Affirming Faith Mind” the words “Cut off all useless thoughts and words and there’s no where you cannot go. Returning to the root itself you’ll find the meaning of all things.” To seek our source we only need to look where it is.  Here now.  

Rumi wisely wrote, “The quieter you become the more you are able to hear.” When the workings of our sense organ the mind become a chatter box of past woes and future worries there is no space at all for the openings, the wisdom and the presence that is always here in this moment, right now. The joy of being alive is deadened by words trying to describe and experience that which can only be experienced. 

“Affirming Faith Mind” continues with “Just let go now of clinging mind and things are just as they are. In essence nothing goes or stays. Be one with the nature of things and you’re in step with the great way thus walking freely, undisturbed.”  The chant goes on to cherishing opinions of right and wrong and good and bad. This is more monkey mind and words away from the essence of the present moment which cannot be described with words. 

Not caught in the mental meanderings of the mind we can be present for the mystery and wonder of each moment. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Reasoning The Unreasonable

Caroline Myss with James Finley in an audio offering called “Transforming Trauma” is gift for those who are seeking to befriend and explore the inner experience of existence. Essentially, the teachings are grounded in the premise that we can never really heal our trauma, however, we can transcend trauma. The transcendence becomes the gift of the trauma. Caroline talks extensively about an antinomial truth, two seemingly opposing ideas that can not only coexist but are both the truth. She says of life’s tragedies, traumas and challenges, “Something impersonal personally happened to you. Both are true.”
Investigating this curious paradox can baffle the brain. On the one hand we have the temporal existence (time and space), where we experience personal suffering that seems to be inflicted to us personally.  Yet, on the other hand, what happens, easier to examine with natural disasters are able to be understood as impersonal. The greater truth to this is that the universe doesn’t care about you. How can it,  we anthropomorphize. We attempt to give human attributes and values to the non-human. 

Yes, what animates all of us is energy. Energy is not human.  Perhaps, the root of our misunderstanding and suffering comes from our natural inability to separate the thinking human mind from that which animates us all.  Call it God or energy or being or light or whatever your nomenclature. Trying to think our way to understanding of the universal truth is a most erroneous and illogical way. It is a slippery slope of reason that is totally unreasonable. I think of it as “the more we think we know we know the less we know.” Or from a Buddhist prospective we are talking about “prajnaparamita,” the wisdom that knows for itself. 

In understanding this fundamental paradox of being human, we can go beyond it. Transcendence is not an exterior journey. It is an inside job. 

This Rumi quotes sings to my heart as a way we go beyond the dual nature of human existence to the isness of this moment.  

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing 
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.” 

I would be remiss in not saying that the words are just words; it is what they evoke which is the true teaching. They beckon us to go, look beyond. That beyond is within. The mind separates, the heart and soul finds unity. In being aware of the vagaries of the mind, as another sense organ, we can learn what arises from the ego and what arises from our “true nature.” With what we intuit we practice moving in this world both from a place of “i” as an individual and I as one. With this “knowing” we then use one of our greatest gifts, the gift of choice. 

A rambling brought to you by the mind through the heart and soul.