Krishnamurti presents the simplicity of meditating otherwise, and the almost universal response has been that it cannot be done. Few seemed to doubt that Krishnamurti “had done” it, but
most of us still look for a way to meditation using ways and methods whereby our minds have been hijacked.
Begin where we are? Is that to make a beginning? If we are already “there,” how can we speak of getting “there” to begin? The words are dangerous. Ordinarily, with the question of the beginning, what is anticipated is a method. “Where do I begin?” A dance instructor could paint the steps on the floor, and you might learn something by stepping into them. Perhaps then there would be no need for the instructor. Something like this, after all, is the idea behind self-help and do-it-yourself and online education. The thinking is that if the one willing to learn is brought together with the proper resources and tools, learning there will be.
We must employ our words in such a way that they do not imprint into consciousness what has been acquired through conditioning and what has become habit. In that habitual way we are not available to what may be revealed. We must use our words as we might stones, to throw them at something that can only be known by turning the head and looking. If we listen to the words themselves, think of them as little vessels of meaning, we will end up with all of the old ideas and styles of thinking that have gotten us where we are. If we are to think, we must be able to do it at a distance from language as it is ordinarily used. If we can dissociate thought and language, achieve for the first time a genuine independence of thought, we can learn the advantages and disadvantages of thinking generally.
Our conditioning can create a world for us that we adhere to convention and domestication. How do we come to find passion and to see and realize what defeats it. How do we come to lose it and how can it come back to our lives. There ultimately seems to exist throughout our lives an endless tug-of-war between freedom and domestication, the wild in us and the tame, our natural selves and our conditioned selves. How might we come to realize the importance of courageous inquiry into understanding what contributes to dispassion, numbness, depression, being stuck and bored and in turn to living in a full way.
Rodney Smith suggests that at some point the sincere Dharma practitioner realizes that as long as the “I” is the governing force behind thoughts and emotions, then our internal world will be filled with abstract arguments, and the external world laden with conflict and struggle.
The self must cease through awareness of its own limitation, the falseness of its own existence. However deep, wide, and extensive it may become, the self is always limited, and until it is abandoned, the mind can never be free. The mere perception of that fact is the ending of the self, and only then is it possible for that which is the real to come into being. – Krishnamurti, The Collected Works, Vol.
Every once in a while I read a book that impacts me in a profound way. Alan Watts “The Wisdom of Insecurity” and Tarthang Tulku, s “Openness Mind” are two such books, that I read over thirty years ago. Other writers have been Thomas Moore. Krishnamurti and Stephen Batchelor. The most recent discovery I have made is Rodney Smith. His newer book “Awakening” has kept me engaged for the whole expanse of the book. I found it to be full of insight and practical reflections. Possibly it has a lot to do where I am at myself at this point in my life that I am drawn to it but the truth is that it has had a powerful impact on me. It is a resource for me in that it reflects much of what I have experienced in my own transformation and as well it is supportive in allowing for an understanding of what my experience has been and to see from another the struggles that have arisen in that. Rodney Smith: Awakening A Paradigm Shift of the Heart
These days, I see that there has existed for me a rigid identification with life as I have been taught to perceive it. This is a perception and paradigm that has lingered and it was of the kind of dominance that was difficult to see beyond for the most part. Only in a grace filled moment of coming to let go could I move beyond it and in doing so I often encountered the experience of a feeling helpless and at times confusion in the face of random, unpatterned events that I suspect occurred as a result of a collapsing paradigm that I have come to find comfort and security in however limited it might have been. There existed the impulse to return to the habit of seeking refuge in order and old ways in that. In so doing there is that belief that I will gain a sense of control over them. In that instant of fear of losing control there is a compelling urge to grasp for order and certainty.
I am also in an ongoing way coming to the awareness that, all too often in allowing the old to return I end up creating patterns that ultimately are not of service. For all of my life these repeated patterns were reinforced by the illusion that I might gain control. These patterns of belief — about who I am, about who others are, about how the world works — ultimately shaped my behaviour, and in turn my reality and contributed to a loop in the pattern of thinking that physicist David Bohm’s enduring wisdom refers to here. “Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe. And what we believe determines what we take to be true.” Collectively, in this way, we are the creators of the world as it exists today.
Can it come to be another way and another world. Absolutely. but it seems to involve a commitment to openness and seeing in a deeper way what we have become and how that has arisen.
With assistance from the reflections of Maria Popova.
Photo by Iris Iris and I love Algonquin Park and camping, kayaking, photographing and just being there. We have come back to Ontario and have visited there every year since I began living in Germany five years ago.