Thursday, December 09, 2010

Bodhi Day? Schmodie Day!

One of American Hardcore author Steven Bush's favorite hardcore bands is Zero Defex from Akron, Ohio! Click on the sentence to go read him say it!

Also I now have a French author page. So go see that if you're French or Canadian or Ghanian or wherever else-ian where they speak French.

Also part two of my interview on Dr. Dick's Sex Advise is up. So you can go listen to that.

Yesterday I went to the John Lennon memorial in Central Park on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Lennon's death. I didn't shoot this video. But this is pretty much a visual account of what I experienced when I was there (you just don't get a sense of how frikkin' COLD it was):



I think I must have gotten there a few hours after whoever shot this video. But it was basically the same scene. And I stayed for just about as long as this video runs. I think I heard three or four songs. I couldn't see the musicians, just like whoever took this video couldn't. I think they were in the center of the circle somewhere. There was a trumpet player joining in by the time I got there. I don't know how anyone could play guitar in that cold. Then again, it was freezing cold on the roof of the Apple offices when The Beatles played their final concert (the one filmed for Let It Be).

When I posted some of this same stuff on Facebook, some people there marveled at the fact that I would post about John Lennon's death rather than about Bodhi Day, the supposed day of Buddha's enlightenment, which also is commemorated on December 8th.

But Bodhi Day never meant all that much to me. None of the teachers I sat with ever made a big deal out of it or held Rohatsu Sesshins, which is the common practice in a lot of Zen centers this time of year. Nishijima Roshi was always a bit of a curmudgeon about anything that seemed the least bit ceremonial or superstitious. I think the idea of doing a special sesshin on a day when Buddha probably didn't even actually get enlightened seemed pretty ridiculous to him.

I don't feel like it maters much. Sometimes you just pick an arbitrary time to do a thing, and doing a sesshin around December 8th is as good as any other day. So why not? I'm planning on attending a rohatsu sesshin this weekend here in New York.

But I do tend to agree with Nishijima's feelings about making certain days more "holy" than other ones. I mean, I love Christmas even though I'm not a Christian. But it's no more or less holy than any other day.

The idea of things like a Christmas ceasefire in a war always baffled me. I mean if you can have a ceasefire on December 25th, why not just stop firing at each other all together? Makes no sense to me.

I sit zazen every single day unless some really difficult circumstance prevents it. That's the most essential part of Buddhist practice. Saving all your zazen up for a sesshin in early December makes no more sense to me than calling a ceasefire on Christmas. It's sort of the same attitude, really. Of course it's a less violent expression of that attitude. But it's still pretty much coming from the same place.

94 comments:

Robert said...

Oh mommy, oh daddy, I am a big old baddy!!

ftw!

Robert said...

P.S. Brad, if the soldiers had stopped fighting permanently, they would have been court-martialled and shot, sadly.

Brad Warner said...

Robert, true. But if the folks in charge can call a ceasefire for Dec. 25th, why not just keep it going?

Seagal Rinpoche said...

Not always so.

Robert said...

Yep, humans are weird. I guess they didn't want to, although a spell in the trenches might have changed their minds.

It's like when you are kept awake at night by pointless worrying - can take a while to see how futile it is so you can drop it & enjoy peace again.

Anonymous said...

'course it's time for a new blog post, iddn't it?

capcha: vixons (!)

merciless said...

A Christmas cease fire is a pretty old fashioned idea. Now it is a prime opportunity for a surprise attack. Better chance of maximum casualties.

Anonymous said...

just give 'em all kiyosakus and let them all aim at each other's soldiers shoulders! (see previous post for reference)

capcha: reste

john e mumbles said...

Brad, No matter what the ocassion, are you saying sesshin is just a way to compensate for a lack of daily zazen discipline?

OsamaVanHalen said...

My bodhi lies over the ocean.
My bodhi lies over the sea.
My bodhi lies over the ocean.
Oh, bring back my bodhi to me.

(Repeat 108 times for maximum effectiveness.)

Anonymous said...

The quote in context:

Interviewer: "You spotlight the handful of big, iconic hardcore groups like Black Flag and the Misfits and Minor Threat. Who’s the best band outside of those big five or six?"

The Guy (Steven BLush not Bush): "SS Decontrol [SSD] in Boston. A band I really like in Akron, Ohio: Zero Defex. The Big Boys in Texas. JFA in Phoenix. Battalion of Saints in San Diego."

so yeah, when in Akron, check 'em out kindda thing;

batmonkey said...

Perhaps the cold got to your fingers - three spelling mistakes in this one. Plus, Ghanaians don't speak French, but their English is usually excellent.

Word verification - micate

batmonkey said...

...and that's not counting 'frikking', which is just wierd

Glass Houses said...

Yeah, but wierd is weirder batmonkey..

captcha - dishorr

Anonymous said...

Hoisted with his own petard.

Anonymous said...

when a whole sangha during a hard practice rohatsu sesshin is going all out 'kensho' 'kensho'
(like telling a team of huskies to 'mush,' 'mush!')
everyone there is contributing to the conditions which may bring about "E"
Something like everyone who puts a dollar in contributes to the pot o' gold of the lucky lotto winner

your friend's shoulders, Brad, and her tears are everybit a contributing factor to the three who got 'e'd: not because her shoulders got bruised or because she cried, but the fact she was there at all, and of course, had she not been there, then her non-attendance would have been a contributing factor: the universe as it is.
your friend doesn't come up a loser or a victim unless she sees herself in this light; she is a vital participant, self chosen to be there and then at that place and time.

Is the problem 'I went on a sesshin to find enlightenment and all I got were these lousey bruises?'
How 'bout the bruises of the three who got 'e'd--maybe your friend didn't get bruised up enough!
Would she be complaining about her bruises if she were one of the three? Would she think the 'stick of discipline' had anything to do with it if she had been one of the three?
(doesn't enlightenment on skype look just like bruises?--heh, heh, those weren't bruises she was showin' ya Brad, and those weren't hugh shoulders neither--check out an anatomy book and see for yourself!)

Why does anyone go searching for particular places to practice or particular lineages?

I wanted to recommend to seriously interested students a rinzai place I sat on saturdays. I called the head of the sangha to ask if I could do so and she discouraged this.
She did not want looky-loos weekend traffic coming through her zendo.

At the time I didn't get it.

She was right.

Anonymous said...

don't know what is being referred to above?

see Brad's post:

OK. I got a new Suicide Girls blog up. It's called Living Simply and you can find it by clicking on the words "Living Simply." How simple is that? And this is the safe-for-work site. No naked boobies or buttocks!

Got a Skype call last night from a friend of mine in Japan. She had just returned from a 5-day Zen retreat in another lineage, which shall remain nameless but rhymes with Barada Basutani. She showed me these big huge bruises on both shoulders from severe beatings with the kiyosaku (stick of discipline). She said they didn't even stop smacking her when she cried. Guys in the zendo were yelling "Mu! Mu! Muuuuuuu!" as they sat. Apparently of her group three people got enlightenment. She was not one of them.

The whole thing sounded intensely ridiculous and even comical. I'm glad I never went to any of those kinds of Zen retreats. I would have rejected it right away. Maybe when I'm not so tired I'll write up a piece on why this kind of practice is so incredibly silly.

For now I'm just baffled.

Barada Basutani said...

That would be the Sanbo Kyodan style of Zen. Not only that, but also parading "enlightened" participants around at the end of the retreat and publishing reports of their experiences in their publications. The Sanbo Kyodan style of practice is controversial, even in Japanese Zen. So it is a little dismaying that it has been such a dominant force in American Zen, even if most American groups have toned down this style of practice.

The point is that this style of practice is designed to create experiences. Experiences are easy to come by. When you start to meditate you magnify every little thing, some out of the ordinary physical experience or momentary cessation of thought, into some grand experience. As you continue to meditate there are more genuine experience, some sudden understanding or feeling of compassion or overwhelming joy. But these are only experiences. As Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche once said, "If one of my students says that they have had an experience and asks if it is enlightenment, I definitely can say that that is not the case." The difference is that experiences come and go, but enlightenment is what you always have been, but have failed to recognize. Experiences are good if they inspire you, but bad if you fixate on them and try to get them back on increase them.

Talk about enlightenment is paradoxical and it's easy to fall to two extremes, either to think that you need to work very hard and that will produce enlightenment or to think you are enlightened already and all you need to do is relax. Both are half-truths and the full truth is hard to understand. If we fully understood it, we would already be enlightened. I think the best approach is to practice but without any idea of attaining anything, only practice for the sake of improving the practice.

Source - The Careless Hand

Love hurts said...

Sanbo Kyodan (a.k.a. Sanbô-Kyôdan or Harada-Yasutani school, literally "Three Treasures Religious Organization") is an independent lay school of Japanese Zen in the Sōtō tradition, employing approaches from both the Rinzai and Soto schools. The school is rooted in the teachings of Harada Daiun Sogaku and was founded by Yasutani Haku'un in 1954—Yasutani having broken away from the Sōtō school that same year. The schools' headquarters are based in Kamakura, Japan. While the schools' tenets are based upon Buddhist teaching, not all teachers in the lineage consider themselves Buddhist.
Source: Wikipedia

There is a Philip Kapleau and SFZC connection.

Mumon said...

And I got to see Leonard Cohen on "Rohatsu day."

So there!

when a bodhi meets a bodhi

comin' through th' rye

Also: re: holidays: Our family tradition is to bring a plastic tree into our living room, because the whole season's absurd to begin with, and nothing says absurdity like plastic?

Of course that's form for you.

gniz said...

No wonder some people see BDSM undertones in Buddhism. Wacking people with a stick, bowing and submission, playing dress-up...and for what...this mystical hocus pocus about enlightenment that people who aren't enlightened make up in their heads with complete and utter seriousness?

This would be sad if it weren't so funny.

merciless said...

I believe Brad has some interest in BDSM. But that apparently isn't something he feels comfortable talking about, at least on his blog. In his last podcast he mentioned the compassion in Sadism.. But maybe I'm imagining things.

Anonymous Bob said...

Robert said, "If the soldiers had stopped fighting permanently, they would have been court-martialled and shot, sadly."

Who the fuck would be bad-ass enough to court-martial and shoot an entire army let alone two armies?

The answer is no government could do it or would even try to do it.. In WW1 the Governments of Germany and England freaked when they heard about the soldier' holiday truce. With some leadership the war might have ended right there.

CAPTCHA : antibis : I kid you not

proulx michel said...

Ghana is anglosaxophone.
As for sesshins and rohatsu sesshins, they remind me of those couch potatoes who, once in a while get excited, get in their shorts, do a whole day of sports, and go back to their couch.

And the month in which the Buddha is supposed to have been enlightened was something like May. I just cannot manage to understand how the Japanese came to set that in December...

Lee said...

Steve Bush? Another Bush brother? Yikes!

NEUROPLASTY said...

I love the simplicity of the Idea that the people in charge could continue a ceasefire and everyone would fall in line. Sounds like a genuine John Lennon inspired aspiration.

However, It only takes one wackjob or person with another agenda or even an accident to set the whole thing in motion again. Until the people who are committed to peace and simplicity outnumber those who have other commitments the process will not reach critical mass.

The Dhamma is not the only wheel that continues to turn.

Anonymous said...

Apparently of her group three people got enlightenment.

What do you mean by 'enlightenment'? What does that word mean in your tradition?

Anonymous said...

Imagine there's no countries...

batmonkey said...

Oops, stone from glass house - in too much of a hurry to be hubristic - hanging head in shame

Bat Monkey said...

Who stole my name! No worries there impostor. We're *all* doing the mind guerrilla here.

john e mumbles said...

JIM MORRISON PARDONED!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpJSlmKjZmw

anon #108 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...

Outrageous if you ask me, john e. The guy got his penis out in front of people! Dirty sod.

Smashing chat with Dr Dick, Brad. Lots of fun and lots of sense.

A while back I posted a couple of comments on this blog which indicated that I have previously masturbated to pornographic images on the internet.

Don't think I am not ashamed.

I here confess all sins that I may have committed with body, speech and mind, and through lust, anger and stupidity.

Sorted.

john e mumbles said...

Malcolm, you're going to hell, obviously. Or at least your hands are. Look again at the link I posted, tell me about it!

anon #108 said...

It's filth, john. Pure filth. You're coming with me.....to hell, I mean :/

anon said...

At least Hell will have a rocking band..

Mumon said...

anon #108 said:

It's filth, john. Pure filth. You're coming with me.....to hell, I mean :/

Pure filth is the best. I hate that filth that has added high fructose corn syrup, modified food starch, and preservatives.

R said...

Pure filth is the easiest to clean, cleaning the additives could take you ages.

a said...

But it won't necessarily make you a living.

n said...

You need to adjust the purity of the product to the purity of the consumers.

This is the American way.

Spread worldwide. The single mindedness of businessmen aimed exclusively at making more of what is as far as possible from the essence.

Anonymous said...

Hi 7:35, - try and reconsider.

john e mumbles said...

"Going?" I'm here already, baby, transmitting disembodied messages from the pit. Mr. D. sez "hey."

Remember the lotion, 108, the internet is great down here, but you'll also need it for the sunburn, its hell (after all).

(P.S. "Pure Filth" is the name of my straight edge hc (hades core) band featuring Vince/Ziggy/Jim: "The Dead Boys" was already taken)

john e mumbles said...

I meant "Coming" not "Going" I guess (heh, you wrote "coming! what a perv")

captcha: option

Anonymous said...

I mean they’re not really short, are they? “At least”? They might willingly spare a few.

Anonymous said...

Does Hell really need another musician.? I don't think so.

aloodo

Glen said...

The Christmas halt to killing and violence during war time is just an extension of what its like sometimes in normal daily life. Most families are at war until christmas day, or is it just christmas morning? of course this comes after the intense warring in the shops just before. Maybe Xmas day isnt a peace offering, people are just worn out!

Ran said...

Nishijima Roshi was always a bit of a curmudgeon about anything that seemed the least bit ceremonial or superstitious” – I recall him sprinkling water to purify the air before a Shiho ceremony, and as I tried to figure out why were we chanting the Heart Sutra daily (on days Nishijima was in the Dojo, and in which I didn’t usually participate) it seemed he wasn’t extremely enthusiastic about letting me know, so I just let it be.

I think the idea of doing a special seshin on a day when Buddha probably didn't even actually get enlightened seemed pretty ridiculous to him” – I also severely doubt that.


Seeing a day as “holy” might have been beneficial as for the feelings it might have raised in earlier times.


But today too, - for people who don’t sit Zazen every day, which is the great majority of humanity, - (or those who do sit only once or twice a day and live a rather regular “normal” life, too, I think) having these days and customs which set our structure and rhythm of life in a way, is not devoid of value.


And calling a ceasefire on Christmas doesn’t seem ridiculous at all to me. It’s like you want to have a fight with someone but his granma’s sick, - so you respect that and you delay whatever you do until he's done with that. It rather reminds people there are more important things than their war, and it would contribute too to the spirit in which it would be continued afterwards. And of course you can’t expect them to stop the war because of that. They’ve got some conflict they didn’t seem to be able to settle otherwise.


- Seshins ga:


If one is sitting daily and wants to increase the amount of sitting he might. But beyond some point I’d say it’s better to have a seshin once in a while. - Assuming one is doing four sittings a day, - it might be more reasonable (I mean as more valuable practice, not as more convenient, - which it may be too, and may contribute to the practice in that too) to have a seshin once a month than to add a fifth sitting.

And at a point after that it may be reasonable to add a Rohatsu Seshin once a year.

Anonymous said...

WIKILEAKS deserves protection, not threats and attacks. Source - The Australian

verifaction - skerrhy

OsamaVanHalen said...

Eknath Easwaran on the Buddha's Right Speech
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-xEccawq5w

Anonymous said...

mirror

Republicans for 9/11 said...

What is THIS?

Anonymous said...

attributed to a Gary Larson cartoon:

Split picures/captions:


Welcome to Heaven (offers violins to the new arrivals)

Welcome to Hell (hands out accordions)

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anonymous anonymous said...

You can thank the Democrats for the bulbs hysterion.

Anonymous said...

Secular Buddhist Podcast

Episode 24 :: Stephen Batchelor :: Secular Buddhism Arising

http://www.thesecularbuddhist.com/episode_024.php


"A secular approach is not a dumbing down, it's not reductively identifying Buddhism with one or two particular techniques of meditation, but it is actually a complete world view and way of life in this world." -- Stephen Batchelor

____________________________

Episode 40 :: Glenn Wallis :: The Problem With Beliefs

http://www.thesecularbuddhist.com/episode_040.php

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

wow, dr dick is quite the character

captcha: dorke

R said...

As the matter of “secular” Buddhism have seemed to come up again, - an impossible combination which either originates at the minds of the likes of Mysterion or is aimed at pleasing such, I have somewhat referred here earlier, - but it seems to make appropriate bringing up a thought I had after that: - (- and before that too, I think)

The question of whether Buddhism believes in “God” or does not believe in “God” is the wrong question at the outset.

It expresses two dimensional lifeless minds only relying on words blind to what stands behind them, - (which I may be too, to some extent, [as for the last six words] but then that is a different matter) therefore seeking the truth in a stupid puddle of their inherited ideas, - some of which they earn simply because of their evident unwillingness to receive better ones.

However: - the correct question, - as I would say, - would be, - to what extent would the western concept of “God” fit the reality to which Master Dogen (among others) refers to?

That which is referred to as “Brahman” in Hinduism. Though seem to be there differently described.

The question is not whether Buddhism believes in the western “God”, - [!] but to what extent does the concept or description of “God” we hear of in the west actually reflect that which I would say today Buddhism would give a far better description or indication of; to the extent it can be described at all.

It is what Dogen calls “the self” and Nishijima “the ineffable”, (I intentionally didn't pick “the universe”) which is not merely a world view but the universe itself inseparable from the way you see it and you as the viewer itself.

May all stupid beings attain to the blessings of the Dharma and have a merry Christmas.



(And no offence intended at Mysterion this time. [line 4 - i.e.])

Anonymous said...

non - aggression

anonymous anonymous said...

hysterion: In December 2007, Congress, led by Democrats, passed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which, among other things, banned most incandescent light bulbs beginning in 2012. The act also contained a renewable fuel standard (RFS) which mandated increased ethanol production and led to food shortages in 2008, as well as several other mandates. Democrats as usual screwed the pooch as well as American light bulb manufactuers.

anon #108 said...

Good Lord, Ran!

For someone who says "The question of whether Buddhism believes in “God” or does not believe in “God” is the wrong question at the outset," you've got an awful lot to say about the subject. Do you think it's possible that you might be *only relying on words blind to what stands behind you*? - After all, you've used a few words yourself: "It is what Dogen calls “the self” and Nishijima “the ineffable”, (I intentionally didn't pick “the universe”)..."

I don't mind at all hearing what you believe or have to say about “god”, “the self”, “the ineffable” or "the universe" ...the only belief of yours I object to is your frequently stated belief that you are surrounded by stupid beings: everything you write is coloured by it.

(Nice to see you finally articulating what you really think instead of hiding behind all that silly punctuation/can't speak English nonsense. I look forward to more :))

anon #108 said...

- - my apologies for any offence or upset caused, Ran. I've had a particularly good day, full of creative activity with like-minded people...I had to take it out on somebody.

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john e mumbles said...

That wiki link sadly omits Abaris of Hyperborea, who was also known as "Skywalker."

A wonderful revisionist essay has just been published by Peter Kingsley (all of his books are excellent -I reviewed his last prior to the present volume, titled REALITY for Sufi Journal in 2005 or so) titled A STORY WAITING TO PIERCE YOU [isbn 978-189035021-5].

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
OsamaVanHalen said...

Mysterion is the sickest Buddhist.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gCU5uplB4A

Anonymous said...

only to find gideon's bible...

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lone Wolf said...

I just watched a French film called Joyeux Noel last week that was about a Christmas cease fire during WW1. Not bad! It was faintly surreal.

Ran K. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ran K. said...

- 108, - it’s a bit like you didn’t read my comment.

I’ve related to part of a way in which you seem to misunderstand what I’m trying to say in the comment I linked there. Seems like you didn’t read it, though I assume you naturally would. Try and see my last one as a continuation to what's over there.

[and - btw - six words only account to “blind to what stands behind them”, (- try and count, - as Alice might innocently suggest to Humpty Dumpty) and “them” refers to the words, - not to the minds. - mind you.]


And as for “my frequently stated belief that I am surrounded by stupid beings”, - you’ve got a teacher. You’re exaggerating what I say, but you might try and ask him as for the amount of truth in that.

Dogen doesn’t use the expression “stupid secular people” for nothing.

[- and as for “everything I write”, - check out one comment earlier as an example.

(- 10:32 am)]


- And - I don’t really think I was hiding behind anything. I really don’t see myself reading all the stuff people put up here; In Hebrew it would be much easier, - (אפילו אם הכאב ראש בסוף יעבר) But still much reading doesn’t do me much good.


- Didn’t get your point about the punctuation, and the next time you feel like getting at someone - try Mysterion. - Though you should be very very very very very carful before saying “I look forward to more” than. Though I think he’s compulsive, it doesn’t necessarily matter.


Cheers, -
Only the wise

Anonymous said...

I marvel that anyone still gives a shit about John Lennon.

Anonymous said...

SOME SANSKRITISMS IN THE NEW TESTAMENT GOSPELS-New Testament Gospels and their Sanskrit sources.
http://www.jesusisbuddha.com/somesan.html

____________
Homer's epics and Mark's gospel share story structure and settings:

the first half of both the Odyssey and the Gospel involves adventures at sea and places near the sea with winds, waves and ships prominent.
The first half of each is replete with travels and stories; while the last section of each narrates in detail the climactic contest between the hero and the evil rulers who want him dead.
both Odysseus and Jesus must keep their identities secret so not to be killed prematurely, but in both cases their godlike strength often threatens to give them away and they must silence anyone who learns their identity (unless the rulers already overheard)
the audience knows from the beginning of both the Iliad and the Gospel that the heroes (Achilles/Hector, Jesus) will die
the hero's companions (Odysseus' crew; Jesus' disciples) begin the story as devoted, loyal and likeable, but as the plot unfolds they are increasingly seen to lack the depth of character to endure hardship and suffering, and in both stories they are all lost before the end
http://vridar.info/xorigins/homermark/mkhmrfiles/index.htm

john e mumbles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
john e mumbles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
anon #108 said...

Thanks for the reply, Ran.

We can only do our best, all of us - the stupid and the wise.

(captcha says deled....?)

anon #108 said...

צר לי כי אתה סובל עם מיגרנה

Is that right?

john e mumbles said...

This link somehow gets truncated when I post it..strange! I'll split it up, 'cause its worth a look imo:

http://www.peterkingsley.org/cw3/Admin/
images/SpiritualTradition.pdf

It is a compilation of Peter Kingsley quotes...

R said...

(- to 108, before the last one)

Rather wrong, “מיגרנה” is Hebrew for Migraine.
It's not like just getting a headache from too much reading.

And I noticed at the bottom I've written “necessarily”. It should be “really”. I thought this was what I've written.

- And - talking about the stupid proudly displaying their stupidity: - see the one just after my own, - @ 4:12 am.

R said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=S8GOIsmzVkI

anon #108 said...

I'm slowly speed-reading through your link, john....

Parmenides "The Sound of Silence" (part 4) describes syrigmos,the noise of a syrinx, "a piping, whistling, hissing noise" - one of the "signs that mark the point of entry into another world: into another state of awareness that’s neither waking nor sleep."

That perfectly describes my and many other people's tinnitus. The Heller-Bergman experiment (1953) revealed that nearly everyone with normal hearing exposed to total silence for a few minutes (in an anechoic chamber) becomes aware of tinnitus sounds, which disappear as soon as they're back in a sound-enriched environment. Now that I hear my tinnitus all the time, I'm pretty sure I recall hearing the same thing in my childhood as I was waiting to fall asleep in the silence.

Just sayin.
I'll carry on for a bit...

john e mumbles said...

This is the awareness known to Greeks as mêtis.
Mêtis is the particular quality of intense alertness that can be effortlessly aware of
everything at once. While our wandering minds go off on their endless journeys, it al-
ways stays at home. And its home is everywhere. Mêtis feels, listens, watches; can even
be aware at the same time, if left to itself, of every thought drifting into and out of our
consciousness. It misses nothing.
This is how the circle begins.
When we really become aware of the sights and sounds and other impressions coming
from all around us, after a while there is no longer the sense of just hearing and seeing
this or that: instead, there is the awareness of everything as forming a single whole.
Everything is exactly what it is, and always has been — but as a continuity now, all to-
gether, without any separation or division. And in this wholeness even the past and fu-
ture start to merge until they are no longer separate. For they are both included in the
now.
Then even the sense of any motion disappears. Mêtis is so fast in its response, so rapid in
its alertness to the moment, that any movement is only perceived as stillness. But, by
now, instead of just perceiving a tree or a chair you have become aware that you are
perceiving one single being: whole, unmoving, quite still. And eventually, if you look,
you will discover that instead of you perceiving reality what in fact is happening is that
reality is perceiving itself through you.
This is how the circle ends. - Peter Kingsley, REALITY p186-187

anon #108 said...

Ooo...here's another bit -

"We are constantly being bombarded by thoughts and perceptions. Whatever we see or hear, every idea that enters our minds, sends us off into a maze of thoughts about the
past and future. Our whole lives are an incoherently coherent picture of reeling from one impulse to another, of always struggling for the completeness no one quite manages to find. We try to discover it by making plans that will lead to fulfilment in some future; but the greater the effort, the further it slips away.

For the only completeness is now."

- Peter Kingsley.

Thanks, john.

john e mumbles said...

Yer welcome Malcolm. As I said up there at 3:34 PM, all of his writing is worth a longer look. He turned his back on academia but continues to use the apparatus: his new book is 1/2 footnotes. An interesting thinker, I had many a late night chat w/him while writing the REALITY review.

anon #108 said...

...Would love to have been a fly on the wall, john!

I've just got to where you're bit came from. So, for completeness, here's the bit that comes between the bit I just quoted and the bit you just quoted - which nicely ties in with the tinnitus bit, too:

"Instead of seeing without really seeing, we can stop to look. Instead of half-hearing sounds that irritate or please us, that either make some sense or just seem to be noise, we can listen to them all but at the same time be aware of listening to them.

This is simply a matter of letting nothing go unperceived, because every single thought and sensation and perception is waiting to be returned by us consciously to its source. Their aggressiveness and gentleness, their violence and impatience and their sweetness, are their way of urging us to do what we have to do.

Of course to our usual, wandering minds — that can only focus at the very best on one thing at a time — to do this is not just difficult. It’s unimaginable. But there is another state of awareness we all have access to; and, for that, nothing could be more natural."


(Which is all very relevant to what gniz and I have been tossing back and forth recently...)

anon #108 said...

Hi anon @ 4.37am (re Sanskritisms in the New Testament) -

THIS guy disagrees with Christian Lindtner's theory.

And so does THIS one.

(Me? Dunno. It's a nice idea).

Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mysterion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bobby Byrd said...

John Lennon was killed on Bodhi Day

Siddhartha looked up and saw the Morning Star.
Mark David Chapman wasn’t paying attention.
That’s because he had a gun in his pocket.
Life is like that.
Even on a cold and very short day.