You cannot always stay on the summits. You have to come down again… So what’s the point? Only this: what is above knows what is below, what is below does not know what is above. While climbing, take note of all the difficulties along your path. During the descent, you will no longer see them, but you will know that they are there if you have observed carefully. There is an art to finding your way in the lower regions by the memory of what you have seen when you were higher up. When you can no longer see, you can at least still know…—René Daumal
As we observe our thoughts and question our beliefs, we come to understand that while thinking, planning, and remembering are vital to our lives, they are more tentative than we believe. Our thoughts are always more provisional and one-sided than we admit. Ordinarily we believe them. But questioning our thoughts is at the heart of practice. Is what we believe real, solid, certain? Ajahn Chah said, ‘You have so many views and opinions on what’s good and bad, right and wrong, about how things should be. You cling to your views and suffer so much. They are only views, you know.’ Within the stillness of meditation we see the insubstantial nature of thought. We learn to observe how words and images arise and vanish, leaving no trace. But if thoughts are empty, what can we rely upon? Where is our refuge? When we let thoughts come and go without clinging, we can use thought, but we rest in the heart. There is an innocence to the heart. And there is an innate wisdom. Resting in the heart, we live in harmony with our breath, our body. Resting in the heart, we become trusting and courageous, and our patience grows. We do not have to think it all through. Life is unfolding around us. I try to help people drop below the level of their story and see the beauty that shines all around them…….Jack Kornfield
oh, tread lightly in the cosmic, mind-blowing volley of questions that leave a long trail of more questions…..if we could put roses on our own grave, would we remember how to live then? what crackles and smolders underneath our lives?
One of the most entrenched assumptions of modern life is that our perception, together with our extraordinary capacity for thought and reason, accurately describes the world we live in. Nonetheless, there is another mode of perception, based on a profoundly different premise that is woven throughout the cultures and eras of human existence. This gaze takes in the qualitative aspects of life that are left out in the conceptual framing of our quantitative explorations. Intuitive perception is a different form of knowing, a nonintellectual form that precedes thought. This avenue to understanding yields an organic, unified model of reality devoid of all the usual divisions that thought imposes on our world. Since the time of Isaac Newton, science has placed great emphasis on objective observation. It came as a great shock when the groundbreaking work of 20th century physics proved that, after all, there was no world ‘out there’ that our senses directly and accurately reported. For the first time, science recognized the participation of the observer in the determination of what is observed. Einstein made this remarkable statement, ‘Physical concepts are free creations of the human mind and are not, however it may seem, uniquely determined by the external world.’ In the last 30 years, the findings of the New Physics have gained traction, and the fact that their findings parallel the deepest insights of the esoteric traditions has spurred new interest in ideas that had always hovered on the fringes of human understanding……John Greer