Saturday, April 09, 2005
More On Right Thinking
A corespondent wrote:
"I read somewhere recently that discipline is vital to yoga, but that the discipline we practise is not a matter of repressing or punishing our 'badness', but rather restraining ourselves from unreality, continually bringing ourselves back to the reality of exactly who, what, where we are. In that sense, the practise of right thinking seems like a true practise of discipline."
Yes! In line with this understanding of "discipline," we can look into the practice of renunciation. Often, when this topic comes up, my students "wrinkle their noses," so to speak. That is until I talk about the practice of renunciation as the giving up not the things of this world, but the notion that they are permanent and substantial. We give up ignorance, greed, bitterness, anger and fear. But of course, all this can only come from the great renunciation -- the attachment to "self."
In regard to this, another correspondent wrote:
"For me, the sense of my self as individual, separate, my only reality, is a very strongly held one. Sometimes when I get to the edge of experiencing something else, I feel an incredible fear, like a fear of death - I wonder, what will be left? What will be lost? There is a sense of having begun a process that cannot be turned back.
These are very radical questions for me!!
But there are also times, moments, when the connection with the joy or sadness of another person, when the sensation of the wind or the sight of the moon are so immediate, so unthought, that for that moment there is no room for fear or separateness."
Indeed, the self -- which is a phantasm -- is only naturally going to resist truly letting go of its belief that it is separate, substantial, permanent and unchanging. So to simply recognize the self as doing what it does, and not adding anything to that, already loosens its addictive compulsiveness.
Those moments of touching the "uncreated" are beautiful and truly intimate, as you describe. The fear that you also describe is not "you," but merely conditioned reactivity. If you can really stop and look into it the next time it arises, you will see that it too is empty. But if you let it overpower you, it will continue to seem to be real -- indeed, it will seem as if it truly is "the only reality."
I think it was Trungpa Rinpoche who said that the "self" that seeks enlightenment is in the position of wanting to attend its own funeral. It just can't happen. But what fears annihilation doesn't exist in the way it feels when we ignore the reality. No-thing dies. It is just seen through.
Thank you so much for your insights and comments. looking together, we culitavte "Sangha Eye."
.: posted by Poep Sa Frank Jude 3:54 PM