“We have only this moment,
sparkling like a star in our hand...
and melting like a snowflake.”

The Cause of Suffering

What is True? What can we know for sure? Whatever it is, it is inseparable from that which seeks to know it, ourselves. We cannot know reality if we do not know ourselves first. What can we see if we lay aside our conditioning, beliefs, desires, dreams, fantasies and opinions, and observe that which is as it is, both within and without?

Conditioning vs. Insight

There's two distinct ways of learning.

- We can learn by way of assimilation of information (conditioning);
- We can learn by way of experimentation, testing, experience, realising or witnessing (insight).

Chasing Contentment

I've been playing a video game in the last few days. And while playing I noticed how the connection with this activity sends me into a state of mind where I am easily fooled into believing that I have to do something in order to be well. I have to destroy some villain in order to win. I have to overcome a series of obstacles to get to the next obstacle, or to get the next upgrades to become a better player.

Nonviolent Communication

“The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.”
-- Augustine of Hippo
My life experience, intellectual and emotional maturation have showed me that we can not fight violence with violence, fire with fire. We need different tools in order to make our points across people and help the next generation to be better able to see through the social, linguistic, emotional and intellectual conditioning that they are getting in homes and at schools, freeing them from the behaviour patterns and mindset that keeps the older generations stuck. If this is accomplished they will then be able to replace this destructive conditioning that our institutions provide with one more in harmony with our hearts and planet Earth. I believe that understanding conditioning and education and the consequences it brings us in the future is of extreme importance.

The Traveller is the Journey

Excerpt from the book "The Book of Disquiet" by Fernando Pessoa:
«You want to travel? To travel you simply need to exist. In the train of my body or of my destiny I travel from day to day, as from station to station, leaning out to look at the streets and the squares, at gestures and faces, always the same and always different as, ultimately, is the way with all landscapes.

Rationality And Emotion













Excerpt from the book "The Four Noble Truths" by Luang Por Sumedho:

«If you love rational thought and are attached to ideas and perceptions, then you tend to despise the emotions. You can notice this tendency if, when you start to feel emotions, you say, 'I'm going to shut it out. I don't want to feel those things.' You don't like to be feeling anything because you can get into a kind of high from the purity of intelligence and the pleasure of rational thinking. The mind relishes the way it is logical and controllable, the way it makes sense. It is just so clean and neat and precise like mathematics - but the emotions are all over the place, aren't they? They are not precise, they are not neat and they can easily get out of control.

Meditation: Movement and Stillness













Excerpt from the book "Finding the Missing Peace" by Ajahn Amaro:
«In Buddhist meditation practice we are developing natural qualities that already exist within us as potentials. We are not trying to acquire anything special from outside, or trying to change ourselves into someone else in a forced or unnatural way.
Like all living things, human beings require both stability or steadiness and flexibility or adaptability; it’s necessary to have both of these qualities. If a tree or a plant were absolutely rigid, as soon as a breeze came along or something knocked against it, it would break. Conversely, if a plant has no strength in it, if it’s completely flexible, it will just droop, and not remain upright at all.
The basic theme for this lesson, movement and stillness, is about looking at these different elements of our being and seeing how they work together, looking at both that which is stable and steady and that which is flexible and adaptable.

Meditation: Why Bother?

Excerpt from the book "Mindfulness In Plain English" by Ven. Henepola Gunaratana:
"Meditation is not easy. It takes time and it takes energy. It also takes grit, determination and discipline. It requires a host of personal qualities which we normally regard as unpleasant and which we like to avoid whenever possible. We can sum it all up in the American word 'gumption'. Meditation takes 'gumption'. It is certainly a great deal easier just to kick back and watch television. So why bother? Why waste all that time and energy when you could be out enjoying yourself? Why bother? Simple. Because you are human. And just because of the simple fact that you are human, you find yourself heir to an inherent unsatisfactoriness in life which simply will not go away. You can suppress it from your awareness for a time. You can distract yourself for hours on end, but it always comes back--usually when you least expect it. All of a sudden, seemingly out of the blue, you sit up, take stock, and realize your actual situation in life.

Surrender

Let sleep sleep
      Let dreams dream
Let breath breathe
      Let feelings feel
Let pain suffer
      Let life live
Let death die
  
Surrender

The Art of Dying

That which prevents me, and I suppose most of you, from being truly honest, from being truly myself in every single moment, in every act and word that comes out of my being is but one thing: fear.

The Wall, pt.2

Well... looks like someone has been playing the "I know the Truth, so listen to me" game.

A few hours ago my idealist self wrote this text about conditioning, what I called the Wall, and how it prevents us from seeing the Truth of who we are. And that our role and practise in our lives should be one of paying attention and not let our lowest emotions, thoughts and cravings manifest in our actions and speech.

That's all very nice and beautiful for sure. But actually I admit I can't really do it! It's hard as hell.

The Wall, pt.1














«The Infinite

Always has it been costly to me this barren hill
and this fence, which everywhere

from my sight
the ultimate horizon
excludes.
But sitting and gazing, endless
spaces beyond it, and superhuman
silences, and a profound quietude
in my thoughts I take refuge; where for a while
my
heart does not torment me. And like the wind
that whispers through the leaves, I keep comparing
that infinite silence to this voice:
and upon me the eternal is revealed
and the dead seasons and the living
and present one, and it's sound. In this
immensity my thought is drowned;
and so sweet is the founder in this sea.»
-- Giacomo Leopardi


Intentions

If I pay attention and observe the whole process of writing a text for this blog from the beginning to end, I can see that behind my conscious and rational intentions, which are to share information, ideas, self-expression and so on, there are also other more subtle or unconscious intentions and expectations.

Honesty

There's so much stuff happening inside me both emotionally and intellectually sometimes that it's difficult to make any sense of it. When I try to use this blog to alleviate some of that tension and express my inner weirdness it quickly becomes a maze of words, ideas, and I can easily loose track of what I was trying to express. This because my mind has this tendency to over-analyse everything even itself, reaching an exponential point of no-return where the conclusion is most of the times a climax of confusion. Add to this ego problems and other personal shortcomings and writing for this blog quickly becomes a struggle rather than what it was supposed be, a self-expression tool meant to provide some sense of enjoyment and relief.

No Mind, True Heart

I've been experimenting in the last couple of years with visiting places like monasteries where it was possible to meet people interested in spirituality and also have a feeling for the spiritual practices and life styles carried out in such places. I came to the conclusion that reality might be a bigger mess or an infinitely trickier puzzle than what I thought it was. Maybe the problem was I started out with just that: thought and no experience. Maybe we can't really put a label/description or "is" into this stuff, or in any other stuff, because the truth might simply be: Chaos.

The First Noble Truth

  















Excerpt from "The Four Noble Truths" by Ajahn Sumedho:

A HANDFUL OF LEAVES

The Blessed One was once living at Kosambi in a wood of simsapa trees. He picked up a few leaves in his hand, and he asked the bhikkhus, ‘How do you conceive this, bhikkhus, which is more, the few leaves that I have picked up in my hand or those on the trees in the wood?

‘The leaves that the Blessed One has picked up in his hand are few, Lord; those in the wood are far more.’

‘So too, bhikkhus, the things that I have known by direct knowledge are more; the things that I have told you are only a few. Why have I not told them? Because they bring no benefit, no advancement in the Holy Life, and because they do not lead to dispassion, to fading, to ceasing, to stilling, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. That is why I have not told them. And what have I told you? This is suffering; this is the origin of suffering; this is the cessation of suffering; this is the way leading to the cessation of suffering. That is what I have told you. Why have I told it? Because it brings benefit, and advancement in the Holy Life, and because it leads to dispassion, to fading, to ceasing, to stilling, to direct knowledge, to enlightenment, to Nibbana. So bhikkhus, let your task be this: This is suffering; this is the origin of suffering; this is the cessation of suffering; this is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.’

[Samyutta Nikaya, LVI, 31]