externality of experience

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The Essence of the Aitareya and Taittiriya Upanishads

Chapter 5: Ananda Mimamsa

Swami Krishnananda

We will continue the subject of the Taittiriya Upanishad. We observed that our individuality is constituted of different layers, and these layers are called koshas in Sanskrit. There are primarily five such koshas, or sheaths, in which our consciousness is enveloped. These sheaths are nothing but the forces of objectivity that pull the consciousness outwardly in terms of space and time. Thus it becomes clear that these sheaths are not substances or material objects like five walls that may be built round a person sitting inside a room. They are mere urges of consciousness to move outward in greater and greater density, and with more and more of impetuosity towards externality of experience.

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what is mind?

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Talks with Ramana:

Talk 25

Q: What is this mind?

R: Mind is one form of manifestation of life. A block of wood or a subtle machine is not called mind. The vital force manifests as life-activity and also as the conscious phenomena known as the mind.

Q: What is the relation between mind and object? Is the mind contacting something different from it, viz., the world?

R: The world is ‘sensed’ in the waking and the dream states or is the object of perception and thought, both being mental activities. If there were no such activities as waking and dreaming thought, there would be no ‘perception’ or inference of a ‘world’. In sleep there is no such activity and ‘objects and world’ do not exist for us in sleep.

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thus

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Dogen Genjokoan Verse 11 (TA translation):

Accordingly, in the practice-enlightenment of the buddha way, to attain one thing is to penetrate one thing; to meet one practice is to sustain one practice. 

Here is the place; here the way unfolds. The boundary of realization is not distinct, for the realization comes forth simultaneously with the mastery of buddha-dharma. Do not suppose that what you realize becomes your knowledge and is grasped by your intellect.

Although actualized immediately, the inconceivable may not be apparent. Its appearance is beyond your knowledge.

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(see this post for Verses 9 and 10)

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step by step

 

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Dogen Genjokoan

9. A fish swims in the ocean, and no matter how far it swims there is no end to the water. A bird flies in the sky, and no matter how far it flies there is no end to the air. However, the fish and the bird have never left their elements. When their activity is large their field is large. When their need is small their field is small. Thus, each of them totally covers its full range, and each of them totally experiences its realm. If the bird leaves the air it will die at once. If the fish leaves the water it will die at once.  Continue reading

an expression complete in itself

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Dogen:

Firewood becomes ash, and it does not become firewood again. Yet, do not suppose that the ash is after and the firewood before. You should understand that firewood abides in the phenomenal expression of firewood, which fully includes before and after and is independent of before and after. Ash abides in the phenomenal expression of ash, which fully includes before and after. Just as firewood does not become firewood again after it is ash, you do not return to birth after death.  Continue reading

true sovereignty

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Thich Nhat Hanh:

“Often, we live a life of compromise so that there’s peace in the house. We buy a small peace so that we can get though the day. And if we live like that we aren’t a great person, but a cracked vase, unable to contain the rice soup. If we want to be a great Dharma instrument, then we have to be determined not to let other people trick us.

“Master Linji exhorted us to be the master of our own situation, but that doesn’t mean we need to fight and suppress others, but rather to be masters of ourselves. Suppose we have a friend who is quick to anger. We can think there is something wrong with him, and try to suppress his anger. Or we can be the masters of ourselves in that situation, feeling real compassion for the other person’s difficulties.

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