Archive for the ‘nonduality’ Category

The “me” is noise and noise will never find… New MJ Awakening Blog
July 12, 2019

candle-and-buddha

The “me” is noise and noise will never find Silence.

-Michael Jeffreys

The story is always old. The Silence is always brand new.

-Jeff Foster

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Noticing how THOUGHTS are forever trying to “fix” the Moment. New MJ Awakening Blog
July 9, 2019

autumn-leaves

My thoughts claim (and I believe them) that this moment is not enough.

That it is insufficient simply as it is.

And so I set about trying to “fix” the moment, over and over and over, endlessly, ceaselessly.

And suddenly, 50 years have gone by.

Exhausted, I give up.

And lo and behold, a great discovery is made.

That it’s in the total and unconditional surrendering to the freshness of this spontaneous moment that real magic happens…

And the wind blowing across my face is more than enough.

Michael Jeffreys

2 MENTAL HABITS that are guaranteed to bring us SUFFERING. New MJ Awakening Blog
July 6, 2019

worry and fears

2 MENTAL HABITS THAT ARE GUARANTEED TO BRING US SUFFERING:

FEAR (noun) a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

WORRY (verb): to torment oneself with or suffer from disturbing thoughts; fret. -dictionarydotcom

“It’s no use to be afraid. So it’s best to choose not to fear. Your fear won’t help at all but only makes things worse. If you are paranoid and nervous all the time, you won’t be able to move a single step; your life will be miserable. It’s no use being afraid. So why should we feel afraid?

Fear is useless. So why should we fear? Worry is useless. So why should we worry? It would be foolish not to give up useless fear.”

-Master Sheng Yen

MICHAEL: A calm mind is always best regardless of circumstances.

Seeing deeply that the “me” is inherently IMPERMANENT, INTERDEPENDENT, and EMPTY. New MJ Awakening Blog
July 3, 2019

3 fireworks

Tonight’s topic at the West LA weekly Satsang was threefold, as all 3 pointers work well together to help loosen our attachment to the “me,” i.e., the feeling of being an actual “separate self,” which when deeply and repeatedly investigated, is revealed to be:

IMPERMANENT-INTERDEPENDENT-EMPTY

1) IMPERMANENCE reminds us that everything, without exception, is temporary, including the “me.” All thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs, ideas, concepts, stories, etc. are like clouds in that they are there until they are not.

2) INTERDEPENDENCE reminds us that nothing exists by itself. Everything depends on something else in order to exist. A plant is not just a plant, but depends on the sun. No sun, no plant. The plant also depends on the soil to grow in, so no soil, no plant. What about water? Same, no water, no plant.

So sun, soil and water are as much plant as the green leaves! And even though we still refer to it as a plant, we now realize that the word means/encapsulates/is shorthand for so much more than we may have once thought. That the plant is the creation of the entire cosmos!

Now bringing it closer to home, what about the “me”? Without a living body, could you have a “me”? No. So the “me” is dependent on a living body. What about air? No air, no body, no “me.” So “me” is dependent on air.

What about thoughts? Can you have a “me” without a thought? No. So the “me” is dependent on thoughts for its existence. Realizing this, we can begin to see that the “me” is not as independently existing as we may have once believed.

Btw, another way to see this is to imagine you were the only person alive on the planet. If that were the case, suddenly the word “me” wouldn’t make any sense, as there would be no “other” to differentiate yourself from.

3) EMPTINESS reminds us that because everything is interdependent, nothing can exist by itself, under its own power, and thus is empty of inherent existence meaning existing totally by itself, independently.

It’s worth spending some time meditating/reflecting on these 3 “deconstruction points,” and feel free to leave any questions or comments in the comment section below.

Happy “Interdependence Day!”

Michael Jeffreys

 

Question from Facebook:

“Hi Michael, I take it that these conditions apply to the small self. How does this all relate to the ultimate Self and what is the ultimate Self?”

MICHAEL: Good question! Yes, all “awakening pointers” are for “small self.” The psychological aspect to us which is trying to make sense of it all. It’s view is inaccurate about how things actually are, and so these are the Buddha’s observations on how to correct our “wrong view.” 

There is nothing to say about the Ultimate Self as any mind made concepts are not it. Just know that you are already THAT, which is why you are not the “me” the mind focuses on/thinks about obsessively.

 

 

Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form. New MJ Awakening Blog
July 1, 2019

1770773-Buddha-Quote-Form-is-emptiness-emptiness-is-form

“When we talk about ‘Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Form’, it doesn’t say the form doesn’t exist. Emptiness is the nature of the form.
Emptiness is not a state of non-existence here. Emptiness is the state of Existence, it’s the nature of Existence. So the idea isn’t that nothing exists. No.
Everything exists, it just doesn’t exist in the way that it appears to. There are more dimensions to Existence, and the essence of its existence is different from the way you view it.”

-Ivan’s Shady Existence

 

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

 

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

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