i dream therefore i am

Below is my attempt to introduce some of the greatest insights ever dreamed, and they suggest there’s another mindset available to us, and as the mindset sets in, the sages say a person becomes harder and harder to offend.

Indian sages have described reality as having three parts:

The main reality is the world of truth. Truth is everything existing. Us too. All is truth. Only truth can exist. When a lie is told, it will always be true a lie was told. Situations cannot be any other way.

The next part of reality is non-truth. It is composed of nothingness: the total nonexistence of physical things, non-truth = non-being, non-existing

The last part of reality is dreaming and is called maya. The dictionary definition of maya is “the illusion or the appearance of the phenomenal world” which is to say dreaming is the illusion or the appearance of the world which comes about when we experience our surroundings via our senses.

Maya has no real existence because it’s not physical, but it’s also truth in a way because the dreaming actually happened. Maya is a combination of the first two parts of existence: the real and the not real together at the same time.

Why think about maya? We dwell on maya in order to realize we dream even when we are awake. The brain is full of maya and produces it automatically. Maya is the state between being and non-being developed by the brain.

Our minds interpret what we sense, so what we get is secondary and not primary. The primary is reality itself. And between the primary and the secondary the sages say a dream is formed. (The dream might be of having a better wife or wanting a more caring husband or thinking about a friend who’s a real friend or thinking of friend who might be an enemy or the dream of having a new car, etc., etc.) Dreams aren’t real but they have happened and are happening.

All of this means dreams don’t last but atoms do. The search for fulfillment could be called Let’s get to know the Atoms. Since dreaming keeps one’s identity in place, I dream therefore I am. By daily interrupting the unbroken dreaming habit, one can come to know truth.

What advice, if any, would you expect here? If you are searching for that something extra in life, start meditating

(classical meditation: relax by sitting comfortably with eyes closed and repeating a mantra and/or relax by sitting comfortably with eyes closed and paying attention to the breath)

and read what the sages have left for us. Do these things (daily is best) and you may experience being an actual part of the Universe knowing for sure you are not separate and knowing you belong.

Don’t rush because you are able to rush. The trip is the thing. Become constant with the philosophy “easy does it.” Life’s greatest adventure is not a dash for the finish line. Not having to complete life’s greatest adventure will bring it within reach. So be cool.

If you don’t know where to start, I recommend Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (Informal talks on Zen meditation and practice) by Shunryu Suzuki. Also, the recorded conversations (in book form) of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh are excellent regardless of the mess he got into here in the U.S.

 

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a cure-all

If there were
something coming
close to being a cure-all,
what would
it be?

Maybe meditation?

Why?
Because a
daily practice
drifts one toward
healthier foods and exercise.
There’s no compelling, this gradual
change comes with
the territory.

How does this work?

One becomes more and more
aware and takes note of the
true consequences
of bad habits
whether
it’s
arguing
too much or
drinking too much
or eating processed foods, etc.

One becomes relaxed with moderation
and situations. Meditation
is also about one’s trip
to find out about
the silence
sages
have
referred to.

Aren’t we always
moving
in
some
direction?

Meditation assists
folks who are curious
and adventurous and wanting
somehow find a way to merge with reality
(the nowness) and by
default are after
an answer
to the
question
Is this all there is?

Is it there’s always more?

feeling sorry

If an agnostic has the quality of not having to be right, do we automatically know what an atheist feels when he or she claims the belief that there is no God? Would that feeling be the same feeling the religious fundamentalists love to feel? The rightness of it all, with the “all” hidden in a cloud of faith and words.

It’s wonderful to know and feel one is right. But what makes it wonderful? Traditional religions are zero-sum games, so everyone not believing as one should believe gets the ax.

The members of each of the thousands of religions are feeling sorry for rest of the world because even the very good and faithful folks of all the other religions will not end up in their god’s favor because their god has not been acknowledged.

And yet a deep natural freedom and relaxation can be found by living life not having to know for sure about some of the most important issues which confront us in life. And the benefits of freedom and relaxation are hidden because as human animals we are unknowingly trapped in a stream of language of our own making. Being trapped allows us to experience becoming free and relaxed. Being trapped by language is the setup to the ultimate spiritual game.

How is the game played? Sometime during a person’s life he or she may begin to ask the questions of Who am I? and Why am I here? When one gets past the answer “You are a child of the only true God and you are here to serve Him”, then one may start looking for better answers, and all of a sudden, folks with answers are everywhere, and normally, they are asking for money. 

Eventually, one might come to the sayings of the great sages of history. They give the same answers but expressed in a different ways. Of the major religions, Buddhist teachings come the closest to reality for me.

There are many factions in Buddhism just as there are many in Christianity. Main-line Buddhism teaches there is no afterlife, or god, and we suffer and are trapped by the strong habit language.

Buddhists use Zen meditation to escape from the language corral and as a centering tool to deal better with suffering and desire.

Only in the sweet silence of the present moment can a human sense the universe as a tree senses it. How is this possible? We are able to feel the universe because our bodies are units of its expression just like trees are.

We identities are in the way, and can be explained away, but what we need most is a daily period of silence.

It’s best to have the practice of sitting down in a comfortable position daily and then with eyes closed paying attention to one’s breath or a mantra for at least 20 to 30 minutes and by calmly coming back each time without blame or regret for not paying attention to every moment.

Getting better at paying attention is part of the trip, and this skill opens up the world to the seeker.

In this game, everyone can win because attempting is the only posture needed, sitting comfortably with silence as the horizon.

For those interested, I recommend the book Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind: Informal talks on Zen meditation and practice by Shunryu Suzuki. It is a small book (138 pages) and is full of practical advice and insights. In it he states “The world is its own magic.”

I learned to meditate using Transcendental Meditation (TM) which the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi made popular in the western world a little over two-thirds of the way through the 20th century. Shunryu Suzuki arrived here in the USA a little before the Maharishi, and their messages are still changing lives.

Their work prompted science to test and then adopt meditation as an important tool. We are fortunate to have had these missionaries from the east.

Suzuki’s book recommends you eventually be able to sit with legs crossed to meditate which takes a bit of dedication.

TM recommends “a straight-back chair with feet flat on the floor.” I have found that a comfortable car seat works well too. (Of course the car stays stationary if you’re in the driver seat.) The traditional Hindu mantra “OM” will work for anyone.

While researching TM in the early 1970s, Dr. Herbert Benson used the word “one” as a mantra instead of a TM mantra and found almost the same results as a similar group of TM students using the TM mantra given to them by their TM instructor. All of the participants of both group’s breathing rates, types of brain waves, and galvanic skin responses were recorded during their meditation and the results were almost the same. For the full story read Dr. Benson’s famous book The Relaxation Response.

It turns out almost any short nonsensical sounds ending with m or n will do the job. These two sounds have ending sounds which vibrate naturally (the mantras can be repeated silently in the mind or sounded out) and the vibration can last several breaths until it fades on its own and then restarted after a period of silence.

There are no rules. It’s what feels best for you that counts. TM recommends two twenty minute periods of meditation each day. A seeker can use meditation to lessen stress, gain a more positive attitude, better sleep, etc.

Today there a various digital meditation aids available which give positive results and work well along with traditional meditation.

It’s best not to be concerned about enlightenment. Then and only then, the sages say, can the mystery: the universe (in the form of your amazing body) come calling.

There are copies of the two books above being sold for bargain prices on Amazon.com and ebay.com. Libraries also may have copies.

All the best,

Marvin

getting in touch

In the area of what’s possible, what are the most serious questions?

Depending on the circumstances, would it be air, water, food, clothing, shelter, and then one day religion? And with religion can come the questions Am I an ancient one come again to inhabit a living body once more? Or Am I a fresh, newly-made identity or ego who is riding the wonderful escalator of life with my ride breathing in and breathing out.

Then what? Comes one day the question Why am I here? Did my parents have sex and later I was born alive and then stayed alive? Is there more to it than that?

What about this? Is the Who am I? question important here because if we are not ancient beings (which would be magical thinking), then are we all newly-hatched identities and would the human animal be our creator?

So, according to the enlightened sages of history, getting in touch with our source, our native nature, our own animal is the greatest of all adventures. The peace and love that flow from a close relationship between the source and the created is called fulfillment and many other terms.

Is it that getting firmly afoot on this adventure is not easy because we sit in the captain’s chair and will not even think about giving it up, and does this and many more excuses keep us corralled in the enclosure called language?

The sages say that language is a blessing because it allows us to express complex feelings and ideas and it’s a problem too because we trap ourselves in it (our habitual train of thoughts) and come to believe that we are separate, corralled from each other and the universe.

Why do we feel separate? Is it that our identity makes us feel we are separate and this seems right because we cannot remember a time when it was any other way?

The sages say that the recognition that we may not be separate but tightly joined can start a game or adventure to see if the identity can be coaxed into relaxing enough to reveal the pure awareness of our being (the human animal) and its connectedness to everything.

Establishing the habits of meditation, recreation, satisfying work, and eating healthy food will get us off to a great start, but the practice of meditation is all that’s needed in the beginning because with the practice of meditation eventually come healthier habits.