O: I have five questions.
1. Have you adopted the beliefs of Buddhism, Hinduism, Confucianism, or Taoism (etc) and 100% apply this knowledge to your self and life?
2. If possible, can you describe with words a journey through meditation?
3. Is the crown chakra one to reach or be, and if this is something that’s lost once questioned? How is it to be known?
4. What choices/actions add to negative karma, and if truly realized, can it be “made up for” with more positive karma during that one’s current life time (as human or whatever being they are?
5. If form is what something ultimately is, and we exist in a multi-bound world with single things representing many forms, how do we know how far to see/know which things as?
Jay: Dear O,
You have asked some very complex questions. To me this issue of meditative presence and meditative living is much simpler.
I will try to respond to your questions and let’s see if we are communicating at all.
Question 1. You raise the issue of beliefs, knowledge, and using knowledge to better one’s life. From my experience, a healing of life does not come from beliefs or knowledge. Usually, beliefs and knowledge are what prevent healing or wholeness from taking place. If you have examined carefully what beliefs and knowledge consist of, how they function, then maybe you can tell me a little more about what you mean about beliefs and knowledge and what leads you to think that wholeness comes from them.
Question 2. I don’t know exactly what you have in mind when you ask about a journey. Some people have commented that in moment to moment simple presence, there is no goal, there is no movement from past to future. Of course if we think about it, we can talk about past and future, but if one is very interested in this present moment now, and if it is possible to deeply be in this present moment – fingers typing on the keyboard, the sound of fans, the coolness on the face, cool air in the nose, a state of mind that is interested in what someone has asked – then the past and future are forgotten. They’ve been let go, put aside, left alone, so that the mind can be present and not journeying off into the past or future.
Knowledge and beliefs are elements of past and future, aren’t they? Concern with what I’ve learned. Focus on shaping the future. When this kind of thinking is in full force, the truth of the present moment is lost, obscured, not seen.
For questions 3-5, I don’t know what it is that motivates you to ask these things. I don’t doubt that there is something meaningful underneath the questions, but you have posed the questions using terms that have lots and lots of assumptions behind them – assumptions that may not be accurate if examined carefully.
In question 3, I imagine you are concerned with how the energy flows in the body and with certain energy experiences. Personally, I leave this kind of thing to take care of itself. If there is a deep interest in the moment to moment presence of life, as it changes and unfolds, then the energy learns to flow where it needs to and experiences unfold as they need to. There is a continual returning to silence, motionlessness, no particular experience, and yet aliveness and sensitivity.
In question 4, I imagine you are concerned with wanting to not have a painful future and instead to have a pleasant future. You are wondering what you can do to achieve this. I feel there is such a thing as more appropriate responses to life, which does not cause unnecessary pain, and less appropriate responses to life, which do cause unnecessary pain, but it is clear to me that an appropriate response does not come from planning out in advance what I should do in certain circumstances. That kind of planning is full of assumptions about who I am and who other people are, and these assumptions do not match the truth of people. Because they do not match the truth, they cause pain.
How can there be any appropriate response in my life if I do not observe very carefully how I really live, what motivates me, what causes feelings of separation? Most of the time for most of us we are not in touch with our life at all. Someone might say that if a person is thinking about how to make their life better and to avoid pain, then they are in touch with their life. But what they are in touch with is the imagery about the story of their life, and the story of their life is full of anxiety and the brain thinks it is real and tries desperately to find ways, methods, paths, journeys, philosophies, knowledge, and beliefs to fix the story. What we are not in touch with in such moments is the simple presence of the body, how it feels in the chair, the feelings of the skin, the air around us, the wide world beyond the skin, and the silence and completeness that all of this is an expression of, and the pull of thinking that wants to move away from the beautiful fullness of !
what is, into the turmoil of the story of our life.
In question 5, I think you may be pointing to the confusion of trying to see the world through the eyes of interpretation. Do I look closely at details or do I step back and see the big picture? Do I see things as they literally appear or do I see them as representations? This is something that can be experimented with. Going outside, looking at a tree, how is it seen? Is there interpretation? Is there a heavy sense of separation, of longing to be the tree and yet not being able to? If you want to understand your relationship to things, then it can be experimented with. You can ask, “Is this real intimacy?” You can even ask, “How does the tree see me?” Don’t be satisfied with a quick, verbal answer or a theory, or a brief experience that you can tell other people or try to repeat (usually trying to repeat such experiences doesn’t work.) If you are concerned about yourself and your relationship to the world – in this moment, not in the future – then watch, observe, wonder, an!
d this may lead you into the depths of yourself, which may prove to also be the depths of life.
I don’t know if I’ve addressed your concerns at all. Feel free to write back to ask me to clarify something or to explain to me more what you mean.