Archive for June, 2019

You cannot Attend Your own Funeral. NEW MJ AWAKENING BLOG
June 29, 2019

death

YOU CANNOT ATTEND YOUR OWN FUNERAL

“The experience of emptiness can be a fatal blow to the ego. The only recourse the ego has is to sew the experience of egolessness into the fabric of its personality. The Lord of Mind seeks to accomplish this in two very cunning ways.

First, The Lord of Mind turns it into an experience with a definite beginning, middle, and end. It does this by pretending that thought is exempt from the truth of emptiness. It ignores the fact that emptiness is beyond analysis and conceptualization, because in the realization of emptiness the medium of analysis and conceptualization—thought—is itself revealed to be empty. This is the subtlest form of ignorance. It preserves the basic division between mind and body and therefore the foundation of ego—the dualistic point of observation between our ears.

Second, The Lord of Mind begins to think about the experience. Thinking about selflessness re-inserts the subtle sense of self behind the experience. Suddenly it starts to feel like “I” had the experience. This transmutes the living experience of emptiness into a memory that can be possessed. Now the realization of egolessness belongs to the ego. It has exclusive rights to the truth of selflessness, which enables it to play the memory of awakening over and over again. This inflates the ego to god-like proportions.

The closer we get to enlightenment the more dangerous the path becomes. If we fail to see through the ego’s claim to awakening, we will fall into the trap of full-blown egohood. This is the most dangerous of all possible forms of deception. It leads to the belief that we are gods. All claims to enlightenment must be seen as nothing more than a thought emerging out of and returning to the ocean of awareness.

There is no claim to enlightenment. Enlightenment is the death of ego, and as Chogyam Trungpa said, “You cannot attend your own funeral.” In enlightenment there is no one left to make the claim.”

-Benjamin Riggs

 

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What is KARMA? New MJ Awakening Blog
June 24, 2019

boomerang

What is KARMA?

Simply put, Karma is the physical manifestation of the well known saying, “As you sow, so shall you reap.” Karma reflects back to you what you reflect out to the World. Karma is like a seed in that whatever you plant you will get more of. So if you plant an apple seed, you will not get corn. You will get exactly what you planted, apples. Likewise when we are mean, cruel, malicious, judgmental, lie, cheat or steal from another, we are unknowingly planting “boomerang” seeds that will sooner or later come back to us. (Note that this is true even if nobody knows of our thought or action, as the seed has still been planted.)

The good news is that the reverse is also true. If your thoughts/actions/intentions are to be of service, kind, helpful, compassionate, honest, respectful to all, etc., then that’s what you’ll reap. Note that the results of our thoughts/actions/intentions may not bare fruit right away, just like when you plant an apple seed, the fruit doesn’t come right away. But come it will.

Realizing this, the wise practitioner begins to pay close attention (starting right now!) to the kind of energy they are putting out into the world, whether it’s by thought, word or action. As they now understand that all actions produce Karma. And that like does indeed attract like, i.e., whatever I put out into the Universe, sooner or later, comes back to me, just like a boomerang.

Michael Jeffreys

CONNECTION happens naturally & effortlessly when we remember… MJ Awakening Blog
June 22, 2019

connection

CONNECTION

Connection happens naturally and effortlessly when we remember that while every being on the planet may look different on the outside, on the inside we are all the same. For every being (In fact every being that’s ever lived!) desires to be HAPPY and avoid SUFFERING.

And so genuinely realizing this allows us to connect with others in commonality–a bridge that we share together that connects us deeply. This is true, even if the way they go about realizing happiness and avoiding suffering looks totally different than how we’d go about it!

For again, we now understand (perhaps truly for the first time) that behind every choice any being makes, lies the desire to be HAPPY and avoid SUFFERING.

And so whereas in the past we may have superficially judged/criticized another being for doing something differently than how we’d do it, we now understand where they are coming from. We realize deeply that at their core they are just like us!

-Michael Jeffreys

WRONG VIEW: Happiness is located in objects. New MJ Awakening Blog
June 16, 2019

hedonic-treadmill

WRONG VIEW: HAPPINESS IS LOCATED IN OBJECTS

“All disturbing attitudes are based upon the innate assumption that happiness and pain come from outside of us. It seems that other people and things make us happy or miserable.

Thus, we rely on external objects that we contact through our five senses–seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, to make us happy.

We have the notion that happiness is located “out there,” in that object, place or person. Consequently, we try to procure certain things and be near certain people.

Similarly, we try to avoid all objects and people that make us unhappy, because it appears that our unhappiness is coming from them.

The view that happiness and unhappiness come from external things and people puts us into a predicament, because we can never completely control the people and things around us.

We try to obtain the possessions we want, but we never have enough.”

-Ven. Thubten Chodron

TENDING ONE’S OWN GARDEN. New MJ Awakening Meditation
June 14, 2019

Rock garden in bloom, close-up

TENDING ONE’S OWN GARDEN

How can I get along with other people when I can’t get along with my own moods and feelings?

How can I accept other people as they are when I can’t accept my own moods and feelings as they are?

How can I listen deeply to other people when I can’t listen deeply to my own moods and feelings?

Michael Jeffreys

THE 5 HINDRANCES. New MJ Awakening Blog
June 13, 2019

5 hindrances

THE 5 HINDRANCES

In the Buddhist tradition, the five hindrances are identified as mental factors that hinder progress in meditation and in our daily lives. These factors are identified specifically as obstacles to the jhānas (stages of concentration) within meditation practice. Within the Mahayana tradition, the five hindrances are identified as obstacles to (tranquility) meditation.

The five hindrances are:

1. Sensory desire (kāmacchanda): the particular type of wanting that seeks for happiness through the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and physical feeling.
2. Ill-will (vyāpāda; also spelled byāpāda): all kinds of thought related to wanting to reject; feelings of hostility, resentment, hatred and bitterness.
3. Sloth-and-torpor (thīna-middha): heaviness of body and dullness of mind which drag one down into disabling inertia and thick depression.
4. Restlessness-and-worry (uddhacca-kukkucca): the inability to calm the mind.
5. Doubt (vicikicchā): lack of conviction or trust.

-Wikipedia

MICHAEL: In other words, because I am feeling tired and worn out, I am agitated. Because I feel agitated I seek relief via pleasurable stimulation and avoiding unpleasant stimulation. Therefore, I cannot fully trust anything since a pleasant experience can turn unpleasant at the drop of a hat, and so doubt is my constant companion.

Since doubt and uncertainty are exhausting to lug around 24/7, I naturally feel tired and worn out, and the Samsaric cycle repeats over and over and over.

So what’s the solution? See it for what it is. Stop believing your mind and just watch it. See what it’s up to. Start to notice its patterns rather than just robotically reacting to them again and again and again. Remember, the moment you stop observing the mind you fall under it’s spell and believe you are the mind. When this happens simply notice this and continue noticing without skipping a beat. But the catch is you actually have to do it.

The nature of the MIND is to THINK, like the nature of the EYE is to SEE. New MJ Awakening Blog
June 9, 2019

buddha meditating under tree
THE NATURE OF THE MIND IS TO THINK

“What goes on in the mind is all of the thinking that we do. You’ll find that when you’re sitting in meditation, it’s generally thought to be a real obstacle to meditation practice, this thinking that goes on.

But the truth is the mind has as its very nature the act of thinking. Thinking is something we do all the time. It’s the way of the mind. Any experience that we have automatically there’s a thought about it.

So when thoughts arise, thoughts of the past, thoughts of the future, good thoughts or bad thoughts, any kind of thought… we shouldn’t see it as an obstacle or a negative thing at all. We should see it simply as a part of nature. It’s the nature of the mind to think. And how we do this is see it as thinking. It is what it is.”

– Ven. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu

MICHAEL: The nature of the mind is to think, like the nature of the eye is to see. There’s no inherent problem with either activity, as both are natural bodily functions. It’s the mistaking of the thoughts as “me” (due to ignorance) that leads directly to suffering, stress and worry.

No Happiness/Peace will ever be found in IMPERMANENCE. New MJ Awakening Blog
June 5, 2019

 

buddha painting

THE REALIZATION THAT NO HAPPINESS/PEACE WILL EVER BE FOUND IN IMPERMANENCE

“There is no one thing in the world that can truly make you happy and at peace. There’s nothing that you can create that won’t be destroyed.

There’s nothing you can build up that won’t fall apart. There’s nothing that can truly make you happy or satisfy you.

If you can’t find happiness and peace as you are, as things are, in all of Reality, then you’ll inevitably fall into suffering and disappointment when things change and inevitably go against your wishes.”

-Ven. Yuttadhammo Bhikkhu

Addiction to STORY obscures ever-present Silence. New MJ Awakening Blog
June 2, 2019

buddha-with-burning-candle-red-background

What’s present that’s not a word?

Silence.

Reminds me of a children’s riddle:

I am ever-present… indeed I am here now, and yet you cannot see me. What am I?”  

Inquiry: Does Silence have ANY story?

Michael Jeffreys

Trouble/suffering arises when I believe the “I” contains a solidity/permanence that it doesn’t actually possess. New MJ Awakening Blog
June 1, 2019

dalai lama on ignorance

CAN THE “I” ACTUALLY BE FOUND?

“When the I gets to the level of being a trouble-maker, we find that we are conceiving a self-instituting I that is an exaggeration beyond what actually exists.

The conflict between the way I appears as if it were very concrete and the fact that, when analyzed, it cannot be found indicates that there is a discrepancy between its appearance and how it actually exists.”

-The Dalai Lama

MICHAEL: Therefore in the Middle Way the “I” is said to exist, yet not exist. Like a ghost or apparition, it appears to be there, but when looked for can never actually be found.

Thus, its solidity or realness was only ever an illusion. And yet, it functions perfectly in language, i.e., “I am hungry.” There’s no problem with this. The trouble/suffering arises when I believe the “I” contains a solidity/permanence that it doesn’t actually possess.

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