July 03rd, 2015

Showing Your Mind as a Mirror

Ginsberg

In the declaration below, Allen Ginsberg explains why it is vital to write.

I’ll simply add this: Similar to the how the ego is targeted as a pariah within the psyche’s field of awareness, the mind also is often devalued and maligned as a function that sidetracks us — prevents focused attention.

Ginsberg reminds us that the mind is a mirror. And when we remember this I think we’re aligned in the right way with our apparatus.
 

“Proclamation of the actual mind, manifesting your mind, writing the mind, which goes back to Kerouac but also goes back to Milarepa, goes back to his original instructions: Don’t you trust your own mind? Why do you need a piece of paper?

So writing could be seen as “writing your mind”, observing your own mind, or observe what’s vivid coming to mind. For the purpose of relieving your own paranoia, and others’, revealing yourself and communicating to others. It is a blessing for other people if you can communicate and relieve their sense of isolation, confusion, bewilderment, and suffering by offering your own mind as a sample of what’s palpable, visible, and whatever little you’ve learned.

In other words, if you can show your mind it reminds people that they have got a mind. If you can catch yourself thinking, it reminds people that they can catch themselves thinking. If you have a vivid moment that’s more open and compassionate, it reminds people that they have those vivid moments.

By showing your mind as a mirror, you can make a mirror for other people to recognize their own minds and see familiarity and not feel that their minds are unworthy of affection or appreciation. It is appreciation of consciousness, appreciation of our own consciousness.”

– Allen Ginsberg
 

Photograph: William S. Burroughs. 1953.


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March 12th, 2014

Two Birds: Swami Vivekananda

huang-shen

Two birds of golden plumage sat on the same tree. The one above, serene, majestic, immersed in his own glory; the one below restless and eating the fruits of the tree, now sweet, now bitter.

Once he ate an exceptionally bitter fruit, then he paused and looked up at the majestic bird above; but he soon forgot about the other bird and went on eating the fruits of the tree as before.

Again he ate a bitter fruit and this time he hopped up a few boughs nearer to the bird at the top.

This happened many tines until at last the lower bird came to the place of the upper bird and lost himself. He found all at once that there had never been two birds, but that he was all the time that upper bird, serene, majestic and immersed in his own glory.

– Swami Vivekananda, Meditation and its Methods

Painting by Huang Shen (1687-1771)



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October 15th, 2013

The Real Self

“You think your mind is in your head, but where is it? No one knows. So our practice is to be with everything. When you include everything, that is the real self.”
–Shunryu Suzuki

Art work: Joseph Cornell, Cassiopeia (verso),1960



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February 12th, 2013

William Segal: Opening to the Force of Attention

“Attention is the quintessential medium to reveal man’s dormant energies to himself. Whenever one witnesses the state of the body, the interplay of thought and feeling, there is an intimation, however slight, of another current of energy. Through the simple act of attending, one initiates a new alignment of forces.

Maintenance of a conscious attention is not easy. The movement, the obligations of day-to-day existence constantly distract. With no base of operations, no home in one’s organism, the attention serves random thoughts, feelings, and appetites which conflict and tyrannize each other.

Sensation of parts or the whole of the body can anchor the attention; provide it with a kind of habitat. The structure, becoming more sensitive, helps to unify attention, so it is less liable to veer into mental channels that consume its power. In turn, perceptions and sensations are quickened, insights are multiplied.

Opening to the force of attention evokes a sense of wholeness and equilibrium. One can glimpse a possibility of a state of awareness immeasurably superior to that of the reactive mechanism, an awareness which transcends one’s automatic subject/object mode of response. Freely flowing, the concentrative, transforming effect of conscious attention brings the disparate tempos of the centers to a relatively balanced relationship. Thought, feeling, and sensing are equilibrated under this vibrant, harmonizing influence.

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