Sum Ergo Sum

Tag Archives: freedom

The Total Consumption of Something

Exhaustion is not a choice
it is a happening at a certain point
A consequence of other happenings

Exhaustion is the end of effort

Possible only after effort is done
Not small effort, not big effort
But just as much as there was energy
to make the effort possible

Trying to achieve is a choice-like happening
Letting go of effort is not a choice

Letting go is just another form of effort
The “trying to achieve nothing”-effort
which easily turns into
The “not trying to achieve nothing”-effort
which easily turns into
The “letting go of not trying to achieve nothing”-effort
which easily turns into
The “letting go of the letting go of not trying to achieve nothing”-effort

That is The Path

The Path is designed to burn up the energy
driving the desire to become:
Wise Egoless Compassionate Knowing Empty-Minded
Atman One With All The Original Self
Free of desire to become

When all out of fuel
The seeker collapse with the seeking itself
When all out of fuel
No effort is possible
No letting go of effort is possible
The hand can not hold onto anything
Nor can it let go of anything

The concept of desire cannot be dealt with
The concept of aversion cannot be dealt with
The concept of illusion cannot be dealt with
The idea of dealing or not-dealing with anything
cannot be dealt with

When out of fuel there is no way in changing anything
Changing is not an option
and finally change is possible





I’m told to keep my door open
To greet every guest with equal curiosity
No one is to be prefered
No one to be judged
as being good or bad

I’m told that the open door and the open mind
will allow the endless stream of visitors
to flow unrestricted

This is all good and well
but I keep asking
– Why this endless stream of visitors?
– Why do they keep coming?

The answer arise
seemingly out of nowhere
They come to my house
asking the one fundamental question:
– Am I desired or unwanted?
– Am I good or bad?

Answering them as they appear is a mistake
Not answering them is even worse
Say No to your guest and he will occupy your space
Say Yes to your guest and he will disappear
But every visitor, thus dissolved by your acceptance,
will soon come back
Unsatisfied with being erased

The proper way to treat your guests
is to accept them as they are
before they enter your house
before they become yours to care for

Do that and they will find no reason
coming to you for allowance
Do that and the walls surrounding your house
will be what dissolves
Without the walls creating the illusion
of host and guest
No one has to be let in by anyone
No one has to be kept out

The river, once running from here to there
cascades in all directions
I am no longer responsible for the
free or restricted flow
I am myself free, just as the river always was,
to cascade in all directions

Missing The Point Happens

If you want to learn how to miss points in arguments I recommend this text. It’s an email-debate on trad- advaita vs neo- advaita.

As in any academic dispute there is a lot of “misunderstandings” and “not adressing the critique”. It seems like the more advanced the converstion, the more likely people are to make simple errors in communication. That’s wierd.

So the question is – can you communicate the idea of nondualism in a way that is non-dual without leaving the listener, with it’s dualistic mind, in the middle of nowhere?
The answer is of course “yes but no but yes but no but that’s beside the point”. So as always we’re left with a sense of confusion and wasted time.

I won’t waste your time with a lengthy rambling on this, so here’s a short one:
The brain uses about 90% of it’s capacity on internal affairs and maintenance. That’s why we have the misunderstanding that we only use 10% of our brain power. That’s BS because the brain needs to keep this 90/10 ratio to work properly. The 10% we have for actually communicating with the environment “outside” the brain (rest of our body and everything outside of the physical body) is ideally kept open and ready for action. That is what a zen no-mind is about. That is the state of a flexible mind open for interaction with the world at hand. That is what non-attachment is about, not messing up the flow of interaction between our mind and the environment. A relaxed and alert mind has it’s 10% ready so it can respond directly and efficiently to whatever shows up.

Any practice or non-practice that enhances this readiness is a good practice as far as I’m concerned. Any practice or non-practice that claim part of the 10% is not so good.
It’s not hard to see why almost every instruction or teaching emphazises “letting go” and “non-striving” in order to facilitate progress.
The difference I see between spiritual schools is basically different perspectives on how to communicate this important notion of “relaxing your mind”. Some do it by saying you will not be ready for nirvana in many lifetimes so just keep on practicing with no hope of awakening or liberation. Fine, so you can let go. Mission accomplished. Others say the practice is nothing but a way to let go of your striving and efforts to become enlightened and when you finally give up, the light bulb goes on. Then we have those who say there’s no need for practice at all so you can start your way to liberation by giving up right away.

What all of these seemingly different teachings point to is a way to keep the alotted 10% of our mind open and ready for communication and interaction with our internal and external environment. It’s being decribed as “spontaneous action”, “being integrated with wholeness” or “the end of suffering”.
Bottom line is – if you somehow (by means of any practice as well as no-practice) can avoid having a mind that is like a locked closet full of janitors, then you will be fully functional and able to respond properly whenever reality comes-a-knocking on your sense doors. That’s the state of bliss. On the other hand, if your mind is cluttered with concepts, planning, analysing, memories and interpretations, there will be stress building up because there’s a sens of missing something important i.e. what’s actually happening. So you lose control over the situation at hand which adds to the stress. As stress builds the 10% shrinks and the 90% expands in order to keep track of the mess. You then experience something like a “burn-out” or the feeling of “losing your mind”.

Now, whatever the teaching or non-teaching is made up of, the important thing is communicating in a way that counter this internal stress. Different people may need different messages to get there. Therefore it is perfectly ok to have different styles and approaches to this.

Jeeez, that was NOT a short post and it’s still very vague and…well, a sitting duck as far as misconceptions go.

I’ll go wash my bowl.

Let’s Not Talk About This

As long as there is thoughts as words
There is no way out of reality as a concept
As long as there is no thoughts as words
There is only reality

Discovering a Path To Abandon – That’s The Real Shit

In order to free yourself from your self you must give up the apperance of  a self in the first place. To do that we’re supposed to enter some kind of path towards that very end. When we enter the path, we’re stuck in the beliefe that there is actually someone, me, doing it. It has to be that way. If not we wouldn’t bother with it, right? If no one is there, who’s doing all the required practice?

The purpous of all religious or spiritual practice pointing to the supposed liberation of the true self is to deploy a cul de sac, a path which leads nowhere, a dead end. The dead end can be viewed as a symbol of how seeking, in itself, is an activity leading away from actual life. Paradoxically, it is generally seen as leading towards the much desired “real” life, the ultimate being.

From my current perspective, you are advised to stop seeking altogether. But how is this possible when there’s no one there to stop it, or so I prupouse. Well, you have to start on the wrong foot, like it or not. If there is something to give up there must first be an activity which to give up. If I don’t do anything – which is ultimately true – how can I stop doing it?
Now, assume we’re all searching for something we believe is missing, the first step towards giving up the search is the sense of being a seeker. It is when you define yourself as a “seeker” that the marketplace of spiritual practices appears with all it’s incence, bells, hymns, scriptures, vows, rituals and rules of conduct. It’s a very strange marketplace because it appears as the anti-marketplace. Still it functions as marketplaces do. There’s directors, employees, offices, offerings, merchandice and buissness per usual. There’s nothing bad or good about all that. It just is as it is and that is It.

Anyways, if you, the seeker, buys into the practice of seeking in a very structured way, you have finally something to give up. The giving up has been made possible by this dualistic construction of seeker-practice-liberation. The absurdity is that it works the other way round.
Liberation is already here, so you can drop the practice and then you can drop the seeker. Voilá, what´s left is that which Is. We end up with Everything That Is and the fact that Everything That Is equals Everything That Ever Was as well as Everything That Ever Will Be. It’s omnipresent and all inclusive. The Mother of All Inclusives.

But the way to get here is to first recognize that you are in fact seeking, and then to get there, into the dead end. Striving on the path on which the sense of self is indeed enforced you must try really, really hard. you must meditate, concentrate, jump up and down, recite sutras and sing gospels, rub your chacras, live mindfully, praise the lord and so on.
 If it happens so that the seeker knocks herself out sufficiently on this brick wall of “trying to achieve liberation”, then she might give up the practice. Then it can go either wayI suppose. As long as she doesn’t also give up the “seeker”, some kind of depression may arise. She’s stuck with a “self” that has failed it’s suicide attempt and that’s rather depressing ain’t it? On the other hand, if she drops not only the practice but also the practitioner, there is no one there to have failed. Also, there is no one there that have succeeded. Faliure and success becomes completely irrelevant, and that is maybe the taste of freedom.

What then causes the situation to go either the depressive route or the liberating route?
Well I guess ther is no one to answer that.

Shit Happens. Sometimes “good” shit. Sometimes “bad” shit. Always The Real Shit.

Bored to the bone

What Chögyam Trungpa has to say about boredom is worth reading. I’ve never come across something so clearly put and so totally to the point. On mindfulness of breathing:

– Nothing happens, it is absolutely boring.
– When you take away the idea of credentials, then there is boredom.
– Boredom is important in meditation; it increases the psychological sophistication of the practitioners.
– It’s a good feeling to be bored, constantly sitting and sitting. First gong, second gong, third gong, more gongs yet to come. Sit, sit, sit, sit.
– … the introduction of boredom and repetitiousness is extremely important. Without it we have no hope. It is true- no hope.
– Simply relating with the breath is very monotonous and unadventorous…

It’s very refreshing and fun to read this, it’s hard not to laugh out loud. Someone is slamming what everyone is thinking- bang- on the table. Look at it, acknowledge it, relate to it, accept it and really go into it. Boredom will play it’s tricks in almost every aspect of meditation, at least if it’s about getting to the core and not just for “credentials” and entertainment.
I often read that mindfulness of breathing is The Basic Excercise, but Trungpa puts this in a new prespective. The Basic Excercise is to deal with boredom in a new way and what would make better practice than meditation? I can really relate with this view because my 1 month of daily sitting has been 95% about not getting up from the cushion before the gong. It’s more about not doing what feels neccesary than actually doing something useful. I’ve failed a couple of times, but all in all it’s been a success.
I sit, mind wanders, body hurts, I breathe, mind wanders, I’m bored, I sit, breathe, sigh, mind races, I loose it, I catch it, frustration, boredom, breath, restlessness, I sit and- gong- I’m free.
Reading Trungpa helps me realize how much progress I’ve actually made by being bored to the bone and staying with it.
This weird practice is a paradox in itself. Why am I surprised that failig to follow instructions, achieving nothing and getting bored could mean doing it right, having progress and enjoying that what is not-fun?

The Man Machine

I sometimes wonder about the relationship between things we do and thoughts/emotions about things we do. How much energy is consumed by processing “around” our action and how much goes into the action itself? The obvious answer is; way too much is spent around and way too little into. I guess most of us know that, but I’d like more clarity than just “too much” and “too little”. They say that when action is taken without excessive elaboration and post action-analysis a huge amount of energy is suddenly available. I believe that, and getting there will probably be the only way to get a solid answer to my question. First hand experience is like always the best measure.
Sometimes I wish I was a machine that just did one action after another. Someone that just ticked off the boxes in the todo-list slowly but relentlessly, no hurry but no side tracking. No “maybe if”-s, no “I should have”-s, just press play and the music starts playing. Wouldn’t that be great? I guess I’m hesitant after all, but not sure why. I’m thinking one reason could be confusing action with appreciating action. Like, if I become the man machine, by default I will “feel” like a machine. That is, I will feel nothing and be totally senseless. But that must be a big mistake. When I try to remember how spending a lot of energy “around” action have been gratifying and felt good, I cannot pick one instance where it has. I don’t count the excitement that comes with looking forward to something fun or thrilling. That is not to waste energy in this sense because it’s not about “how should I do this” or “wouldn’t it be better if”. It’s just looking forward to doing exactly what will be done. Come to think of it, most of the thought before and after is either worrying, hesitation or regret. To make it less depressing we could call it planning, analysing and evaluating. In that perspective it’s exactly what youre supposed to do. But is it really, and if so, why am I supposed to do that? Is it because I thereby learn how to behave correctly and make the right decisions? Then, who is setting the standards for correct and right, and what will happen if I succeed or fail? Where does all this anxiety come from that makes us wobble and freeze in our tracks?
Insted of being a soulless, mindless “machine”, acting like one seems rather subversive and potentially dangerous. Most of all, it gives me a faint scent of what freedom smells like. All the worrying about doing it “right” might not be mine to have in the first place. Maybe I worry so the other, who- or whatever it is, can sleep good knowing I will watch my step carefully? What would happen to society as we know it if we all turned into Man Machines, relentlessly going about doing things and enjoying it?

How to How

To realize that there is only a vague connection between what you Do and what you Are is a rather disturbing discovery.
The thoughts I have about Myself seems to be nothing but Thoughts about Myself. Oh so obvious, but nevertheless, that’s what my whole life plan is built upon.
The feelings about My Self has rarely been a part of that plan. They were probably shut up ages ago.
The idea regarding Myself starts to look a lot like a comercial break. Made up to sell something to someone. Desperate to be bought.
Learning how the world works has produced an endless agenda of trying to “fit in”. As if I didn’t fit in to begin with. Who said that? Where did that come from?
An early and consistent separation and then years and years of trying to get back in. All the striving for nothing, but to maintain the idea of being separate.
Only to find that the world, the someone supposed to buy what I’m selling, is actually a fiction. Finding out that, honestly, I don’t wanna be bought. So why keep advertising?
There is no buyer so no need for a salesman. They are one as far as reality goes.
If I can stop selling, there’s nothing that can be bought.
If I can let my Self be, then I’ll be in-valuable to the world.
I can be used for nothing. I can do it all.

When that perspective shows up, and when it’s more than just an intellectual understanding, it’s quite sad. How to be creative in that picture? How to adjust when so much of what you Do is based on foggy thought patterns? How could  the same “thinking”  that got me here get me out of here? Yeah, I know how of course. Acceptance, compassion and bravery towards the Self that is finally showing up. Still I wonder how to “how”.

Still I wonder; How to How…

Walking the dog

I have a dog. Or rather, I have Me and there’s a dog that go with Me. He’s called Liam. A beautiful mongrel with deep dark eyes and the body of an Irish Wolfhound shaped like a sand brown terrier. We walk a lot him and me. He’s very gentle and receptive following everywhere I go. He likes walking with me and always stands at the door when he senses that there’s walking about. But there’s things that he doesn’t like too. He dislikes sharp sounds like fire crackers and gunshots. That makes him very anxious. When that happens, he wants to turn back and for the rest of the day he’s reluctant to go out again. On those occasions, still following me obediantly, the stride is quirky and hesitant. Instead of trotting beside me or sniffing around, he kinda drags himself behind me. Constantly searching eye-contact and a sign that there’s time to go home. He’s insecure and fearful and he shows me.
Still, he would never turn his back on me and leave for the security of home sweet home, never. It’s deeply rooted in him that I’m the boss and I, not him, decides where to go when. I doubt there’s any conscious thought about the situation but an innate pattern of behavior he’s following without being aware of anything besides the anxiety and the relief. He can never be free as long as I’m there to care for him. Strange isn’t it. The thing that keeps him safe is the very same that creates his prison. All in good will and according to common sense.

When I’m not walking with Liam, I sometimes wonder who’s the dog and what’s the boss?

Salt & Freedom

On the way to work I listen to Jack Kornfield on Buddhist Psychology. It’s like 12hrs worth of teachings, but I get my Aha-of the day already after 2 minutes.
The Buddha said that just like all of the oceans have but one taste, which is that of salt, so too have all true teachings of the dharma but one taste and that is the taste of freedom
Well, Thank You Jackie! I’ve spent some time trying to get a grip on this. Why bother with the whole meditation trip? Among all the valid reasons and all the stupid ones, one always seem to call for attention. All my reasons for placing my feet on the path have but one taste and that is the taste of freedom.
Ok, case closed.
Start walking.
Next stop Mindful Workday.


Monday Path