Saturday, August 26, 2006

Life as a Dream -- Poe and Wilber

I found this quote by Edgar Allan Poe on a greeting card at Giant Eagle several weeks ago:

All that we may see or seem, is but a dream within a dream.

This morning I found a great quote by Ken Wilber about life-as-a-dream:

If you are having a dream and you think it's real, it can get very scary. Say you are dreaming you are tightrope walking across Niagara Falls. If you fall off, you plunge to your death. So you are walking very slowly, very carefully. Then suppose you start lucid dreaming, and you realise it's all a dream. What do you do? Become more cautious and careful? No, you start jumping up and down on the tightrope, you do flips, you bounce around, you have a ball - precisely because you know isn't real. When you realise it's a dream you can afford to play.

The same thing happens when you realise that ordinary life is a dream, just a movie, just a play. You don't become more cautious, more timid, more reserved. You start jumping up and down and doing flips, precisely because it's all a dream, it's all pure Emptiness. You don't feel less, you feel more - because you can afford to. You are no longer afraid of dying, and therefore you are not afraid of living. You become radical and wild, intense and vivid, shocking and silly. You let it all come pouring through, because it's all your dream.

Life then assumes its true intensity, its vivid luminosity, its radical effervescence.

-- from One Taste

Friday, August 18, 2006

Something I've Come to Know, Part I

Here is my current understanding of why we are here:

We are here to embrace with love the wounds of our past and the challenges of our present, seeing them as precious gifts which are constantly leading us to evolve into a higher level of consciousness. As we evolve into a higher level of consciousness, we are able to reflect more of who we truly are: spiritual beings who are here to love and be. Our egos, behaviors, emotions, and bodies are some of the tools that can help alert us to this grand truth.

One way to bring more consciousness to our lives is to become aware of the thoughts, memories, incidents, and interactions that trigger us, and then to get curious (without being judgmental) about the responses and reactions we have. The more we do this, the more we will come to realize that we do not have to be consumed and controlled by our egos, behaviors, emotions, and bodies – that we can allow our higher selves to become activated and to inform our human selves.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Before and After Enlightenment

A friend of mine told me about a Zen story she had read in the paper a couple of weeks ago. I did a little research on the internet a few minutes ago and found it...

"Before enlightenment, a man gets up in the morning, works in the field, comes home, sleeps with his wife and falls asleep. After enlightenment, the man gets up in the morning, works in the field, comes home, sleeps with his wife and falls asleep. In other words, ultimately, it does not matter what you experience but how you experience it and what you make of it."

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Jeffers Indian Mound

A friend told me about this indian mound a couple of months ago. It's right here in suburban Columbus. Just go north on Olentangy and cross over 161. The first road on your left is Pleasanton. Take a left and wind up the hill, and you'll see it sitting there in the middle of a neighborhood. It's quite beautiful. Word has it that you can access Shambhala from it. Posted by Picasa

Conscious Relationships Between Parents and Children: An Excerpt from The Secret of Shambhala

I read James Redfield’s The Secret of Shambhala this spring. There are so many wisdom-filled insights in this book, and I’m sure I will come back to it several times in my blog. The following excerpt from the chapter called "The Life Process" explains the nature and deeper purpose of the relationships between parents and children.

“Next in the life process is helping a child to wake up. Remember, each of us forgets to some degree why we came, what we intended to do with our lives, so the child must be given the historical circumstances that surround the event of his birth.

What’s important is to give the child a context for life so that he knows what has occurred before he arrived and where he fits in generations…

….All this is immensely important information for a youngster to hear from relatives. It helps younger people chart the course of their own lives by learning from the mistakes and building on the wisdom of those who came before.

…Everyone here is clear that the human world evolves through the succession of generations. One generation establishes a way of life and meets certain challenges, and the next generation comes along and extends that worldview….More frequently what occurs is that parents want children to be just like them, to take the same view of everything. This desire is natural in a way because we all want our children to reinforce the choices we have made.

But often the process becomes antagonistic. The parents criticize the interests of the children, and the children criticize the old-fashioned ways of the parents. To some degree it is part of the process: Children look at the lives of the parents and think, I like most of how they live, but I would have done certain things differently. All children have a sense of what is incomplete in their parents’ way of life. After all, that’s the system: We chose our parents in part to be awakened to what is missing, to what needs to be added to human understanding, and we begin that process by being dissatisfied with what we find in our lives with them.

Yet all this doesn’t have to be antagonistic. Once we know the life process, we can participate consciously. Parents can be open to the criticisms of their children, and be supportive of their dreams. Of course, doing this causes the parents to have to stretch their own ways of thinking and evolve along with their children, which can be difficult.”