Pain an Indicator of Error

It is indeed paradoxical the way ignorance works – when we held on to a certain pleasant experience expecting it to stay on a little longer we are to mean that without it, we are back to experiencing what is unpleasant – as if unpleasantness is awaiting us on the other end. Yet we need not wait too long for unpleasantness to appear as the expectation for it to stay on is unpleasant itself. Have you not notice each time when you have the feeling “how I wish it will stay on forever” that feeling is sadness? And isn’t that unpleasant?

Thus it is interesting to note when the Buddha said pain arises in two ways – from wanting and yet not getting what we want, and from not wanting yet getting what we don’t want. Thus our expectation is the cause of our woes and pain as wanting and not wanting are unreasonable. Unreasonable in the sense that ignorance does not see that whether we are in the position of want or not want – both are attachments to the idea that it must be a certain way – reality of what is has already happened and gone! It is only seemingly still perpetuating in our experience is because of our holding on to it.

Thus, when my friend tries to let go of her holding on, knowing that it is the holding on that is causing her pain, what she is not aware is that her wanting to let go of it is causing her further pain. You see, the nature of ignorance is strange – it does not acknowledge what is already here occuring and instead tries to create what is not here. Her mind’s holding on to a situation is what she is experiencing, but when she does not want to acknowledge this fact, she is only in her dishonesty tries to move away from it of something that she can’t move away from – its all in the head! To say she is dishonest is to a certain extent incorrect as that is not what she is able to realize yet. Instead, she tries to create another experience that is not presently here. More than that, she is creating an opposing experience other than what she is not willing to experience. So long as she is opposing it, unknowingly she is holding it back from being release – for to oppose something, you have to think of it.

The simple truth is this – what we resist will persist. Hence when we no longer put any energy to it as right or wrong but simply as happening happened – in full acknowledgment without giving further meaning – that acceptance releases the meaning of “it should not have happened”. In that instant moment, we are free. Do you see the paradox of freedom? To push away is to make it stay. To acknowledge is to set it free. Hence, freedom is not something one can do by trying to let it go as that doesn’t work at all. Freedom is a result of having right understanding of reality exactly as it is. Thus, pain – opposite of freedom – is actually a good marker or indicator informing us that there is an error happening in our space that is not in align with reality. Pain equates a mistaken view – opposing what reality is.

With this in mind, we will see pain not as wrong anymore but rather a teacher to help bring us back to sanity of what once was an insane view.

“Why it should happened? It’s because it happened! Why it should not happened? It’s because it has yet to happened.”

Happen-ing

there was only happening
there is only happening
there will forever be only happening

yet of them all
there is only happening
as past or future is happening here now
as present thoughts
mangled in imagination

what is more to say
except happening
happening
happening
and still, and yet
another happening
to each moment?

happening is experience
and experience is what you are
and what you are
is simply…
“happening”
not “your” happening
or “my” happening
but simply “happening”
arising, passing on
happening [again]

yet is there “again”?
or simply new, fresh… gone
anew …
from nowhere to nowhere

to be exact…

now here … now here

Oblivious Brought to Realization

Probably you have not noticed (else you would have loved) that “the person that you can’t forgive” is in your mind? Not really “your” mind since it does not belong to you, but the mind is simply “an arising” for experience to be experienced. You see, the mind is simply “happening” to mean, it is just an arising of different experiences occurring moment to moment, albeit seamless and endless. The mind is not “something”, “somewhere”, nor is it  “somebody”. It is simply a kind of nature that has the ability of experience to be experienced.

Have you not noticed that each moment of your so-called life is made out of experience; and that “experience” is the mind? That experience, whether it comes from any of your senses, is constantly accompanied with the meaning of “I” – “I am experiencing this or that”. The “I” cannot be removed, nor can it be annihilated as that is impossible since the “I” is merely a projection of the function of “knowing” – so long as “you” exist, then “you are knowing”. “You” and “knowing” is inseparable, indispensable, for existence to exist.

So when it comes to unforgiving, what occurs within the mind of the beholder is the idea that “it should not have happened” – this meaning is conjured within the mind and has never left the mind, so to speak. Somehow, when one does not notice that this thought is simply within the mind and has never “came out of the mind” this obvious experience becomes an imagination of sort that there is “someone” out there that one cannot forgive. The truth is that you can neither forgive or not to forgive another since it is impossible to do so as all the “talking of forgiveness” has never left the mind of the beholder. It is a game one continuously play with himself or herself.

In fact, what one seemingly can’t forgive outside – is not the person, or the body, or something, but a certain character traits that is inherent in that specific event that triggers the irritation. That trigger is clearly an indication of what has been an ancient idea, lodged latent in the mind that has pain meaning in it that has yet to be released or undone. In other words, the mind has been carrying this pain for a long time and each event that brings up that pain is actually a call for inner forgiveness to be initiated so that “where you made a faulty choice before you now can make a better one, and thus escape all pain that what you chose before has brought to you.” (A Course in Miracles).

So, forgiveness, in all its due, is not to let go of anybody from your wrath of resentment, but to free the mind’s illusion that is within your experience of a once misperceived idea that has not been undone. Forgiveness has always been for you – fortunately! To forgive another is missing the mark. When perception is not directed correctly, its result will be a misperception of event, thus arising the “I am holier than thou” attitude, which is not just meaningless, but non-existential. This perpetuates further the already ignorant state.

The Car Washer: Meeting Myself

It has probably been about three weeks that I have observed the car washer not doing the job that I have paid him to do. Instead of the regular three times a week, his washing made it to only twice a week. I took notice of this fact and also acknowledge that a certain uneasiness has crept into the mind. As I was walking along the road passing by my car this morning, I saw another car with the windscreen wiper up indicating that it has been cleaned, but not mine. Most of the cars in my area are cleaned by a group of washers at the same time and thus the mind immediately conjured the idea that he is not doing his job on my car again.

I took the opportunity to seek him out to convey the message of what happened, mindful beforehand that whatever emotions that were to come out from it is something I have to deal with instead of making him wrong. Somehow after seeing him, the feeling was uneasy and upset. As I brought awareness to that feeling, reminding myself that it is not directly connected to the story of the scene, I came to get a glimpse that it is because of the meaning of wrong I have put into the event that the experience of upset came to be – the fact of what happened is one, interpreting it as to judge him wrong is another. It was indeed a revelation as I was able to bring scrutiny to the pattern of the mind instead of the past where I would hold him sentence for a period of time.

But more intriguingly is what follows after that tiny realization. As I was lying down on the yoga mat exercising in the comfort of my own room, reflecting on what I have realized, I came to a deeper understanding that what sparks of the whole scene of event is the deep-rooted idea of right and wrong. And it came from the view that “I paid him to do the job” instead of “I appreciate him for the job he is doing”. One came from demand, the other from love – one is to him, the other for him. Hence, if I was also to turnaround the meaning towards myself, the similar effect would take its equation,  –

  • Cause (A): He is paid to do the job
  • Effect (A): He is doing it to me again (not washing my car)
  • Cause (B): The job he is doing is for me to appreciate him
  • Effect (B): What he is (not) doing is for me to understand him (as to bring compassion to it)

Both have different connotation of ideas and each carries opposing effects of feelings. It is insane to expect Cause A to have Effect B as that is not how nature works. Hence if I was to have the idea of Cause A, I am to expect Effect A as it’s consequent, thus the misery. Not that one is better than the other, just that both are opposing realities – one is against reality, the other is in support of reality.

I can realize this mentality only if I give notice to what is occuring in my mind. One frequent observation I take notice of late is the expression of “thank you”. I notice that wherever I am appreciating what others are doing, there is a loving verbalized expression of thank you in comparison to “it is your right to do the job and thus no expression is required”. Expression of thanks is simply an innate appreciation brought into exclamation, of gratefulness brought into expression – thus “thank you” is not for anyone “out there” though it may seems to be, not because we wanted to please another, nor is it because of guilt.

It also dawn upon me that if I do not take notice of the meaning of wrongness occuring in the mind, I would not have any other choice except to feel upset.  Similarly when upset is in my experience, I can’t help but to link wrongness to upset, thus perpetuation that feeling further. Amazing isn’t it? What we are constantly doing unto ourselves!

Thus it has been said that there is only me, the world is merely my own reflection. My belief is my attitude and I am fully responsible for it. I can choose to recreate what I am experiencing, only if I realize that my past is conditioned, and I am choosing again from love, not because of past; not because I see what is past is bad and wanting to rectify it to make it good again. Spirituality is to go beyond good and bad and to see Truth out of both.

Lured into One’s Den

The den lured into again
This time no longer luring
But being lured
By oneself into oneself
Having its own game
Entangled in insanity
Thinking there’s someone
Yet a mere delusion
Of maya doing its perfect job
Of luring being lured
Of storyline simply meaningless
Yet unrealized
The game perpetuates
Suffering, self beating
For something yet nothing
Only if only wisdom stayed
Else nothing is something
A game of deceit
A self deception
I am truly sorry
Do forgive me
I love you
To myself, for myself
For everyone…

who reads this.

Knowing is not Nothing – Tribute to my Teacher

Knowing and not knowing is tricky indeed.
 
I can only know what I know, and
Do not know what I do not know.
When I know that I do not know,
It is already Wisdom half-won
Hence knowing is not nothing.
 
Not knowing that I do not know is dangerous
As that is where judgments come to be. 
When I make an assumption,
It is from a mind that does not know that it does not know;
But due to its limiting view, thinks it knows
 
Yet knowing itself may not be wisdom-owned
For ignorance also knows –
Except from a deluded point of view.
 
Sayadaw Tejaniya is a precious gem of a teacher indeed. He constantly shows me the distinction between the nature of wisdom and the nature of ignorance. He leaves no stone unturned to answer questions that I thought I already knew the answers to – his replies always bring me to acknowledge that the mind is in the state of “I do not know that I do not know”.
 
These words he said to me changed the way I perceived meditation, “Forget about meditating. Simply check whether you are having the right attitude towards what you are experiencing – that (in itself) is meditation.”  At that time, I couldn’t understand what he meant; it was only years later did I grasp the full meaning that wrong view leads to wrong meditation and right view to right meditation. The invitation to check my attitude is for me to figure out whether the mind is having the Right View or Wrong View; in other words, to comprehend if the knowing mind is motivated by wisdom or ignorance. 
 
It is true indeed; how much wisdom can arise from meditation tainted by a Wrong View?  This realization shocked me because I had thought that I understood Meditation fully; after all, I did have 30 years of meditation experience before I met him.
 
Sayadaw’s presence in my life has caused me to redefine the meaning and purpose of meditation. His razor-sharp clarity fine-tunes my thinking where I err and brings me to new levels of understanding.  For this, I am deeply thankful.
 
I once asked Sayadaw if it were possible for me to experience the level of wisdom he possesses, if I had not met him in this lifetime. His wise reply? It all depends on the kind of parami (perfection) each individual has cultivated in the mind – some have the wisdom to discern on their own and others need guidance from a teacher.
 
His answer reminded me of the Buddha’s experience. The Buddha is unique in that he was aware that there was a lot he had yet to understand, despite his teachers’ confirmation that he has learned everything there was to know. Yet the Bodhisatta, as he was called prior to his Enlightenment, somehow knew that there was something else that He has yet to realize. And this knowing was what caused him to continue searching till He found the Ultimate Truth.  Not many of us have this capacity to even recognize that we do not know it all.
 
Sayadaw Tejaniya is exceptional in that he has the wisdom to know that he does not know fully yet.  Sayadaw has brought me to realize that the missing ingredient in my meditative effort is to consistently know that the mind does not know; instead of being in the state of not even knowing that it does not know.
 
For it is in the knowing of not knowing that meditation truly begins.