Friday, July 29, 2011

creating our world

The end of the world can never
Be reached by walking. However,
Without having reached the world's end
There is no release from suffering.

I declare that it is in this fathom-long carcass,
with its perceptions and thoughts, that there is the world,
the origin of the world, the cessation of the world,
and the path leading to the cessation of the world.
The poem above translated from Pali by Andy Olendzki (A 4:45)

How We Create and Heal Our World

Though we do not create the world,
we are conditioned in the way we perceive or understand the world,
therefore the world exists according to our perceptions.
Freedom can come from working with this mind/body,
its perceptions, thoughts, and views.

Our perceptions color our thoughts/concepts and our views:
    perceptions are the immediate recognition of objects (bubbles and foam of sense experience solidifying into an object) 
    thoughts involve labeling or naming, filling out the perception with meaning 
    views are the establishment of concepts which have evolved from perceptions into an understanding of the world

The way we perceive, think or conceptualize, and the view we hold are the way we create our world. This is good news. It is much easier to bring the mind processes in line with what is true, than trying to restructure what life unfolds.

This does not mean the pain goes away, but our relationship to it is transformed. We no longer suffer. Nor does it mean we never act when action is required. We do get clearer on what actions are really helpful and which actions do not add pain and suffering for others or ourselves.

Friday, July 8, 2011

right intention

The Buddha discovered [a] twofold division of thought in the period prior to his Enlightenment... While he was striving for deliverance, meditating in the forest, he found that his thoughts could be distributed into two different classes.

In one he put thoughts of desire, ill will, and harmfulness, in the other thoughts of renunciation, good will, and harmlessness.

Whenever he noticed thoughts of the first kind arise in him, he understood that those thoughts lead to harm for oneself and others, obstruct wisdom, and lead away from Nibbana. Reflecting in this way he expelled such thoughts from his mind and brought them to an end.

But whenever thoughts of the second kind arose, he understood those thoughts to be beneficial, conducive to the growth of wisdom, aids to the attainment of Nibbana. Thus he strengthened those thoughts and brought them to completion.
Bhikkhu Bodhi on right intention
If you consider this awhile and begin to work with it, there may first be frustration if you are putting much effort into expelling and strengthening thoughts. Please avoid this trap. Seeing clearly, seeing the two kinds of thought occuring is transformative in itself. In time the mind will naturally turn toward what is wholesome. This wholesome turning cannot happen if we are blind to what is occuring in the mind (The buddhist meaning of ignorance here is more like foggy or uninformed).