Transcending Self/Other and The Source…

This week we will be exploring the 8th and 9th oxherding stories.  Often the picture for the 8th story is simply emptiness or a blank screen.  The 9th picture is often simply nature.  I find it best to consider these two stories together.  They are a continuation of the idea of emptiness we started discussing last week.

Emptiness can seem like such a difficult thing to discuss.  Discussions tend to become intellectual and heady.  If, however, you think of emptiness as something you feel rather than know – you can begin to get a sense of what the stories are point towards.  Here are a couple exercises you can try to get a sense of emptiness.

Look at an object.  Spend some time noticing how you are being with the object you are looking at.  Notice how you know what it is, whether you like it, don’t like it, or don’t care either way.  Notice how familiar it seems, how it seems to be solid and factual that it is what you think it is.  Then close your eyes and feel the object.  Let go of any thoughts about it.  Just feel the texture.  Experience the object as a felt sense.  Does your understanding about the object change?  Can you say the object is “this” or “that” when you have an embodied experience of it?   Or try this, take a piece of food.  Describe it to yourself or someone else.  Describe how you think it will taste, your familiarity to the taste.  Try to be as specific as possible.  Then put the food in your mouth and slowly experience the felt sense of eating the food.  Is there a difference?  What would happen if you ate something you never tasted before, or something you didn’t like?

Are you willing to explore this with all the senses?  The point is that we judge life we don’t live it.  There is a point in practice, however, when we let go of this dualistic way of existing.  We just embody life as it is.  Thus an orange is not just a round orange piece of fruit.  It is an experience of touching, seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and thought.  Can you say something is in fact an orange if it has never been tasted, touched or smelled?

As we increase our willingness to experience life through our senses rather than through our judgments, the more we are able to be inspired by new things rather than reactive; the more we are able to get interested in our habits rather than irritated by them and the more we are able to experience genuine happiness at the mystery of life rather than fear.  Little by little, we began to embody the reality that the source of our freedom to simply live comes not from how much we know, but how often we let ourselves not know.  See you tomorrow.



One response to “Transcending Self/Other and The Source…

  1. Wow, very deep ________________________________

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