the light finds us

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Any spiritual training has to work with what is presented, namely the front door to experience: our mind and our sense of self. In kanna Zen, or koan training, the student initially sits with a ‘barrier koan’ such as ‘Mu.’ The focus, the attention, is all on Mu. Mu comes to fill the foreground of the mind. The mind’s front door over time becomes completely occupied with the koan. That’s what’s needed. While the front door is busy getting absorbed in Mu, it’s not attending to the back door, where the ‘real’ Mu can slip in unnoticed and spring itself on us. It seems paradoxical, and it is: by becoming absorbed in the foreground, we allow the background gently (and suddenly) to come to life. Our attention expands. By means of the narrow focus, our consciousness broadens. As we absorb ourselves into the lamp of consciousness, its light opens into a more inclusive illumination. But is has to happen by itself. We can’t aim for it directly. In other words, you can’t take the mind head-on. The front door is not the way; and yet it is the only way. Our minds are fruitfully led down the garden path, an illusion of progress is fed to the hungry maw of the self to keep it quiet, like a bone tossed to a dog, and real shifts can occur- inadvertently…….Thomas Jackson

this study of light is not unlike the painter’s layered nuance of crisp whites….this is when we begin to question, ‘what is white?’…..separating our diatribes from our truths invites the full spectrum of light….may our colors fade…..let nothing remain but the color of light….

The reality is that nothing about me or my life is ideal. The stories that I tell myself about myself are never complete or watertight, and they all involve some element of self-deception that makes me vulnerable to hurt and to spontaneous reactions that I will later regret. My very attempt to make myself into a perfect being has precisely the opposite effect. It distances me from the other person and makes it difficult to get on with them. Yet it is impossible to live without stories. It is quite likely that you, the reader, are reading this article with a mostly unconscious motive of finding ways to shore up your self-story. You may be looking for a way to be a better person, but you can, in reality, only be the person that you are. My spiritual progress, if we can call it that, has therefore given me a sense of gentle irony about human nature. What I have discovered that is of extreme importance, however, is that I now have a sense of being one who is loved by the universe. Imperfect, limited, and vulnerable as I am, the sun still shines upon me, things do work out, food appears, rain falls, wonderful conversations take place, and the grass grows without any help from me. We do not radiate the unconditional love that we read about in holy texts ourselves, but, inadvertently, we often reflect it……David Brazier

the empty roads ahead

The true path to awakening is genuine discernment;

it’s the very opposite of belief.

….Trinlay Tulku Rinpoche

6 thoughts on “the light finds us

  1. It seems life appears to us as images in a mirror do. It is all reflected light. Everything is light, even that which we cannot or do not see. So were then is reality, and what do we do with it once we find it? Consciousness is the universe looking at itself – in a mirror – if you will … As the song goes ‘you are everything, and everything is you’ … Delight in your reflections for today !

    • love these expressions about light…..one of my favorite curiosities….nothing is as melancholy and brilliant, reflecting exactly where we are…..I move from light to shadow in infinite ways…..wishing you that soft diffused light g.f.s, the kind worth chasing…..

  2. How do we reach the untouched threads beneath the dark? By emptying ourselves again and again, by losing ourselves to find. The sweetest souls – the best souls – are always light because more of them have been put out. More of them have already found their way to other places. To know that light (in my humble opinion) is to allow that light – full and bright and with more colors than the sun dares to keep. My apologies for always rambling here, but I know you know. ~ Let it ………light. ~ Bobbie

    • you really touch on something here…..how the light moves through certain souls…..giving and receiving all in one breath….’by losing ourselves to find’…yes….and l love your ‘ramblings’…..I think light emanates from your pen…be warmed by the inner glow Bobbie…..

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