"When understood, the Buddha’s universe..is anything but alien and inhibiting. It is a world full of hope, where everything we need to do can be done and everything that matters is within human reach. It is a world where kindness, unselfishness, non-violence, and compassion achieve what self-interest and arrogance cannot. It is a world where any human can be happy in goodness and the fullness of giving." ❦ Eknath Easwara

September 20, 2011

The Mind Compares Itself with Images of Buddha or Jesus

"The mind compares itself with images of Buddha or Jesus, with saints and with blessed beings of which we have read.  And the mind finds itself wanting in the balance.  The mind condemns itself for being what it is, though it fears letting go into the spacious freedom that would release it from its bondage.  Like the battered child carried gently away from its mother, the tormentor, the mind  cries out in pain for what it is leaving, fearful of what is yet to come.  To the mind, even hell is acceptable and preferable to the the unknown.

We berate ourselves for the content of the mind, for the anger and doubt, for the fear and loathing.  And it is this very act of judgment of the mind, that causes us to feel separate from ourselves and all else.  It is constantly rating us on our behavior and participation, and seldom disappears long enough for us to merge with our experience, to become one with life.

Our models, our ideas of who we are and how the world is supposed to be, create a cage.  Each concept becomes a bar that blocks our perception of truth. Each idea of how things are limits our ability to experience them as they really may be.  We can't go beyond our  idea of the world to actually touch the world.  When we move beyond our models and ideas, we feel threatened and defensive.  Confronting some reality which opposes our self-image, our sureness confuses and upsets us.  We don't know who we are because we think of ourselves as ideas and old models.  The world is constantly confronting us with the truth.  We are constantly withdrawing.  Our experience is pain."

Excerpt from Stephen Levine's Who Dies?

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