A Post to a Thread on Facebook

Kathryn, it seems to me that you changed the subject toward evangelism and ignored the points of my post. 

I’m glad you derive great meaning from your relationship to Jesus. I get meaning somewhere else now. Here is my testimony: 

Before I denounced fundamentalistic Christianity, I was lost. I was narrow in my thinking, strict in my judgements and harsh to people who were different than I. I did get great experiences as a Christian, but they never filled that “hole” Jesus was supposed to fill. I heard He filled it with his Presence with a capital “P” but … NO.

So I had to ask myself. 

“Why?” 

When I asked why the hole was still there, I was blamed for not getting it right either with blissful platitudes or harsh declarations. 

So, I finally realized that this is what every religion does. It tells you it will fill the hole with a being’s presence or ideology and then blames you when it doesn’t work. 

Here is my take. “LOVE THE HOLE.” I choose to love the pain and loneliness within. I choose to sit with it. I don’t try to run from it or fill it. It is my friend and mentor that points to the truth with compassion. 

That hole is most helpful when I don’t try to “fix it” and just accept it. I find when I do that I am braver and kinder in my approach to others. No matter what crazy notions I once believed in (and boy did I have some!), it was always there for me, waiting for me to wake up. Waiting for me to just be brave and look into it without blinking or shrinking. 

As time goes on, it helps me let go of false notions and embrace the love that is reality itself. And even if I find myself in a hell, the present moment will still be there for me. The hole will ALWAYS be there, waiting for me to listen and stop running. And if I find myself in a heaven, it will be there too … waiting. 

“This very moment is the perfect teacher. And lucky for us, it’s with us wherever we are.” – Pema Chodron “When Things Fall Apart.”

I Fucking Love Dogen – Part 2

Thanks to Brad Warner and his book “Sit Down and Shut Up.” This was a serious pimp slap for me.

Quote from Shobogenzo, Chapter 53, “Mujo Seppo” translated by Gudo Nishijima and Chodo Cross

“The whole Universe in the ten directions* is a sramana’s** one eye.” We should not consider, by intellectual comparison, that to hear sound through this eye may be as in the founding Patriarch’s (Bodhidharma?) words hearing sound through the eyes.

“Although we study the words of the ancient that “The whole Universe is the ten directions is one eye,” the whole of the ten directions is just one eye, And furthermore, there are thousands of eyes on the tips of the fingers. There are thousands of eyes of the right Dharma. There are thousands of eyes in the ears, there are thousands of eyes on the tip of the tongue, there are thousands of eyes on the tip of the mind, there are thousands of eyes of the thoroughly realized mind, there are thousands of eyes of the thoroughly realized body, there are thousands of eyes on top of a stick, there are thousands of eyes in the moment before the body, there are thousands of eyes in the moment before the mind, there are thousands of eyes of death in death, there are thousands of eyes of liveliness in liveliness, there are thousands of eyes of the self, there are thousands of eyes of the eternal world, there are thousands of eyes in the concrete place of eyes, there are thousands of eyes of learning in practice, there are thousands of eyes aligned vertically, and there are thousands of eyes aligned horizontally. Thus we study that the totality of the eyes is the whole Universe, but still this is not physical mastery of the eyes. We should make it an urgent task to investigate, through the eyes, [the action of] just hearing the ***non-emotional preaching of the Dharma.

***

My Personal Footnotes:

* The Ten Directions are North, North East, North West, East, West. South East, South West, South, Up and Down.”

**Sramana ” from Wikipedia: Śramaṇa refer to renunciate ascetic traditions from the middle of the 1st millennium BCE.[4]They were individual, experiential and free-form traditions, independent of society; and in religious competition with Brahmin priests, who as opposed to Śramaṇas, stressed mastery of texts and performing rituals. (AUTHOR’S NOTE: So a “sranama’s eye is the eye of a non-affiliated practitioner? WTF?”)

*** The “Non-Emotional Preaching of the Dharma” is how reality itself preaches the Dharma to itself and the emotionally blinded others. This Dharma is beyond human reasoning because humans must feel first to think. Every human thought has a precursor of human emotion. So, by that definition people, cannot experience the “non-emotional Dharma” because an emotion is require for a thought to occur.

Some Really Cool Sacred Geometry Woo-Woo.

I posted the first version of this on Facebook, but there has been a lot of new content added by the author.

Pretty cool stuff. But REALLY extreme claims by the creators.

I suggest sifting out the claims and enjoying the interesting stuff here.

Or as School House Rock says …

“Number Niiiiiiine … will put you on the spot.”

WARNING: They run straight to boring at first, but after a minute or so it gets  very interesting.

Song of the Grass Roof Hermitage – Shitou Xiqian (700-790)

I’ve built a grass hut where there’s nothing of value.
After eating, I relax and enjoy a nap.
When it was completed, fresh weeds appeared.
Now it’s been lived in – covered by weeds.

The person in the hut lives here calmly,
Not stuck to inside, outside, or in between.
Places worldly people live, he doesn’t live.
Realms worldly people love, he doesn’t love.

Though the hut is small, it includes the entire world.
In ten square feet, an old man illumines forms and their nature.
A Great Vehicle bodhisattva trusts without doubt.
The middling or lowly can’t help wondering;
Will this hut perish or not?

Perishable or not, the original master is present,
not dwelling south or north, east or west.
Firmly based on steadiness, it can’t be surpassed.
A shining window below the green pines –
Jade palaces or vermilion towers can’t compare with it.

Just sitting with head covered, all things are at rest.
Thus, this mountain monk doesn’t understand at all.
Living here he no longer works to get free.
Who would proudly arrange seats, trying to entice guests?

Turn around the light to shine within, then just return.
The vast inconceivable source can’t be faced or turned away from.
Meet the ancestral teachers, be familiar with their instruction,
Bind grasses to build a hut, and don’t give up.

Let go of hundreds of years and relax completely.
Open your hands and walk, innocent.
Thousands of words, myriad interpretations,
Are only to free you from obstructions.
If you want to know the undying person in the hut,
Don’t separate from this skin bag here and now.

- Shitou Xiqian (700-790)

Best Moment in Doctor Who EVER

The is the closing monologue in the episode “Listen” from Doctor Who airing 9/13/14 as Clara Oswald speaks to a child who is afraid of what is under the bed in the barn he is hiding in.

THIS is writing.

No spoilers here. Without context, the words won’t make sense so read away.

***

CLARA OSWALD: “Listen, this is just a dream. Very clever people can hear dreams. So please – just listen. I know you’re afraid. Being afraid is alright. Because didn’t anybody ever tell you?

“Fear is a superpower.

“Fear can make you faster, and cleverer, and stronger. And one day, you will come back to this barn. And on that day, you are going to be very afraid indeed. AND THAT’S OKAY. Because if you are very wise, and very strong, fear does not have to make you cruel or cowardly.

“Fear can make you kind.

“It doesn’t matter if there is nothing under the bed or in the dark so long, as you know it’s okay to be afraid of it.

“So listen. If you listen to anything else, listen to this. You’re always going to be afraid … even if you learn to hide it. Fear is like … a companion – a constant companion always there. But that’s okay, cuz fear can bring us together. Fear can bring you home. I’m going to leave you something, so you can always remember. Fear makes companions of us all.”

Sacred Geometry 101

What did the Pythagoreans get so excited about?

This.

Some really cool ideas. Some really stupid Batshit. Two for one!

There is an hour and forty five minute version of this topic that he also did, and he goes kinda crazy. But like other topics, some of the good ideas are fascinating. I’m digging through his movie to check his claims and references.

Interesting notions though.