The unhealed, disowned aspects of our shadow aspects are trying desperately to win over our attention. Unexpressed feelings never die, they are buried alive and resurface in uglier ways (when triggered). Seek them out and transform them (with love and compassion) into the healing light of your Unconditioned Presence. ~Anon I mus
We can put our whole heart into whatever we do; but if we freeze our attitude into for or against, we’re setting ourselves up for stress. Instead, we could just go forward with curiosity, wondering where this experiment will lead. This kind of open-ended inquisitiveness captures the spirit of enthusiasm, or heroic perseverance.
— Pema Chodron
The Paradoxes of Our Human Life
‘Buddhist psychologies also have a wonderful understanding of what it means to be comfortable with the paradoxes of our human life. We learn to live in the reality of the present and understand that the past and future are contained in the present and unfold as thoughts and images out of the present. We also embody the paradox of the universal and the personal, recognizing that we have a personal and unique incarnation, and at the same time we’re all part of the dream appearing out of consciousness. And both of these are true. We have to know our Buddha-nature and also know our social security number.
There’s also the paradox of selflessness and self. This paradox is understood in multiple dimensions in the Buddhist psychologies more fully than in the West. Now modern neuroscience and modern research into the creation of self is finally coming to understand that self is not a fixed thing but is actually a process. In 2002 Time magazine explained, “After more than a century of looking for it, brain researchers have long since concluded that there is no conceivable place for a self to be located in the physical brain, and that it simply does not exist.”’
– Jack Kornfield, Beyond Mental Health, from the Fall 2007 issue of Inquiring Mind
“You are not the labels that you have attached to your sense of identity. You are the ever-present, unborn space of pure awareness beyond all names, mental images or limitations.” ~Anon I mus
Not Worth Clinging
‘Whenever you see yourself identifying with anything stressful and inconstant, you remind yourself that it’s not-self: not worth clinging to, not worth calling your self. This helps you let go of it. When you do this thoroughly enough it can lead to awakening.’
– Thanissaro Bhikkhu, What the Buddha Never Said: ‘There is no Self.’
‘I’m not saying that the self doesn’t exist. What I’m saying is that it’s not a fixed entity. It is more a swirling congeries of forces, a whirligig of habits and conditions relating to body, mind and spirit – not unlike everything else that is temporarily cobbled together in this impermanent world. From this fact comes the Buddha’s notion of the relative, interdependent, contingent self as an ego-generated identity rather than something that has a solid core or soul unto itself. In this respect, the word self is as much a verb as a noun, for we are constantly selfing and re-selfing, in order to maintain our illusory separate existence. This leads to possessiveness, a sense of separation, fears of all kinds, and the clinging that co-arises with selfish, deluded, dualistic notions of me and mine.
“To self or not to self?” Perhaps this is the main question of life, not quite what Hamlet famously wondered. Without an egocentric agenda, when awareness is not self-referential, we experience infinite freedom, clarity, peace, and spontaneity, unmediated by subjective interference and interpretation, inhibition and fabrication. naked reality is revealed before our transparent, natural open mind in all its radiant, majestic splendor and mystery, just as it is. The magical, dream-like nature of things is still vividly present, yet we are no longer deceived by its transitory, if solid-feeling, nature.’
– Lama Surya Das, The Big Questions: A Buddhist Response to Life’s Most Challenging Mysteries.
‘Buddhists believe that all beings possess Buddha-nature. In our true nature we are all Buddhas. However, the face of our Buddha-nature is obscured by karma and its traces, which are rooted in grasping at self, just as the sun is covered by clouds.
All beings are the same and are one in being perfect in their true nature. We know that when our mind is natural, relaxed, and free from mental or emotional pressures and situations that upset us, we experience peace. This is evidence that the uncontaminated nature of the mind is peaceful and not painful. Although this wisdom, the true nature that dwells in us, has been covered by mental defilements, it remains perfect and clear. Nagarjuna, founder of the Middle Way school of Mahayana Buddhism writes:
Water in the earth remains unstained.
Likewise, in the emotional afflictions,
Wisdom remains unstained.
Nagarjuna speaks of peace and freedom as our own “ultimate sphere,” which is within us all the time if we only realize it.
Peace is within us; we need not look elsewhere for it. By using what Buddhists call “skillful means, “ including meditation exercises, we can uncover this ultimate sanctuary…
Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha, says inHaivajra:
Living beings are Buddha in their true nature,
But their nature is obscured by casual or sudden afflictions.
When the afflictions are cleansed, living beings themselves are very Buddha.
Buddhahood, or enlightenment, is “no-self.” It is total, everlasting, universal peace, openness, selflessness, oneness, and joy.’
– Tulku Thondup, The Healing Power of Mind: Meditation for Well-Being and Enlightenment.