Meditation: Buddhi 1

In many ways, life is a constant discovering of the innate. A baby innately knows how to be in the water, for example. Children innately know how to share. Culture and society, then, exert their influence in all ways possible and in ways unrecognized as influencing – even brainwashing. Meditation, inclusive of walking in nature, swimming with nature, listening to the sky or the birds or the bees or another human being, bring us back to innate ease, non-separateness, and inter-connected wholeness.

This series of meditation practices will use only what has been practiced in these online meditations before. Within every meditation technique are layers of practice. That’s the efficiency and elegance of meditation! Buddhi/bodhi lies within your and my experience already. Pointing that out, supporting the buddhic within the moment (on or off the cushion) reinforces the vibrational purity of buddhi in that moment. Yes, in time and at some point of meditation/awareness that description or sensation or looking for (clinging) the vibrational distinctness will have to be let go, but while it brings understanding, acuity, and deepens one’s practice, use it.

The Buddha gave all manner of instructions in how to use duality to liberate all constructs and identifications with and in duality. Out of compassion, he did so because we are enamored and hoodwinked by our sense of dualistic reality. Fair enough on both ends! So, let’s use our duality to experience the fuller range of it. The refined, sublime, and non-dual are to be experienced. Experiencing anything – even that which is labeled or felt as non-dual – is of course dualistic because there is an identified experience by an identified experiencer. Yet, experiencing the wakefulness, the vibrationally refined, luminous, and sublime that is in any moment is possibly the only way to undo the habituated sense of duality, the ego-identification that thinks/feels/senses it is experiencing, and the distinctions of phenomena as well.

Let’s meditate.

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Independence Day celebrates necessary inter-dependence

On July 4th, celebrations of independence will happen across America. Backyard barbecues and picnics will culminate with fireworks lighting up the night. Independence Day marks when thirteen colonies declared that they would unite and create something that had not existed in the world yet: a democratic nation.

The founders wrote that in being independent from England, its mother state, the newly-created nation would learn to stand on its own by the power and will of the people. Governance based on representation of the demographics of the colonies would be formed so that the United States (still colonies at that point) would be a government and nation “of the people, for the people, and by the people.” Though early forms of democratic – populace – rule were as old as ancient Athens, nothing on this scale had yet been attempted in the world.

Independence from England could only be accomplished, however, through inter-dependence. The colonies would have to band together, north and south. Assistance from other nations such as France and Spain would be necessary. And, the population of the colonies – almost all immigrants or imported slaves – would have to work together toward a goal that was almost inconceivable. Should any one of these primary, necessary inter-dependent factors not come forward, the United States of America would not have emerged, won independence, or established right relations with mother England.

Forward thinking rooted in faith in human beings and what human ingenuity collectively engaged is capable of inspired and supported the three men who are behind the words and wisdom of the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, and Thomas Jefferson held a vision together, sparked by their life experiences as well as their wishes for humanity. It was the vision of a nation that held certain truths as self-evident; truths that are plain, felt and recognized in the hearts and minds of all conscious human beings. Jefferson wrote, “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness … .” The vision of a new democracy went on to state, “that whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

This July 4th, as rancor, disrespect, and lack of civility all too often now come from the seats vested with the power of the people, let us remember the vision entrusted to all generations to come by the founders of this nation. Independence requires and rests upon the interconnected, interdependent, collaborative and creative functioning of a people united. Abraham Lincoln restated this wisdom less than a hundred years after 1776 when he said, “A house divided falls.” So, this July 4th, let us take up the vision along with its limitless and inconceivable positive thoughts for human kind.

Read the Declaration of Independence. (Read it aloud. Send its vibration into America and the world.)

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Meditation: the supreme ground

There is one ground for meditation practice. It is tranquility, peaceful abiding. Because it is the only foundation and the qualities of peace and clarity, mind alert and open while not ferreting, time not registering, senses less demanding, ego quietened – because of these and more, the state of vibrant neutrality of mind can be experienced. This is supreme. It is also shamatha. May we always honor tranquil abiding and never think that it’s time to move on from it. That urge of the ego decries that the practitioner is not abiding peacefully.

The initial experiences of the sublime states and subtle planes of Awareness are the qualities experienced as and through shamatha. This is also why shamatha (tranquil abiding) is supreme. Indeed, the reason why there is a likeness between the state of peaceful acute awareness and buddhi/bodhi, or one-pointed non-deviating presence and triad, or emanations of compassion-purity and Christ consciousness, etc. and the rich layers of experience within a true and established shamatha state is because they are one.

Here is the link to join live meditations on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 9 am ET.

 

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Meditation: sky-like

Shunyata means voidness, emptiness, thus infers limitless, unhindered potential. The truth is that we experience voidness all the time. Each second is pure potential and is, unto itself, unconditioned/void of the conditioning that we have or bring to the moment and circumstance.

There is much to say about shunyata and nothing that can be said at the same time. Instead, let’s meditate.

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Human activity has killed 60% of Earth’s wildlife

Humans have been around for more than 2 million years. But in the last 44 years, we have achieved what we haven’t in all this while: a mass annihilation of our fellow earthlings. Between 1970 and 2014, Earth lost nearly 60% decline of its mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and amphibians, almost all of it due to human activity. The rate at which Earth is losing its biodiversity is comparable only to the mass extinctions. This and other findings have been published by the World Wildlife Fund in its Living Planet Report 2018, a stinging reminder of the declining health of the planet.

Published by WWF every two years, the report documents the state of the planet in terms of biodiversity, ecosystems, the demand on natural resources and its impact on nature and wildlife. This year, its results are even more devastating than ever:

  • 20% of the Amazon has disappeared in just 50 years
  • On a global scale, the area of minimally disturbed forests declined by 92 million hectares between 2000 and 2013
  • Of all species that have gone extinct since 1500 AD, 75% were harmed by overexploitation or agriculture
  • Ocean acidification may be occurring at a rate not seen in at least 300 million years. The Earth is estimated to have lost 50% of its shallow water corals in the past 30 years
  • Humans are responsible for releasing 100 billion tonnes of carbon into the Earth’s system every 10 years. In April 2018, levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere reached an average of 410 parts per million (ppm) across the entire month–the highest level in at least 800,000 years
  • Only 25% of land on Earth is substantively free of the impacts of human activities. This is projected to decline to just 10% by 2050

The report states that as our reliance on natural reserves continues to grow, it’s clear that nature is not just a ‘nice thing to have’. It’s imperative for our survival.

Rangers saw off a rhino's horn to prevent it from being hunted by poachers. Photo: Alamy
Rangers saw off a rhino’s horn to make it unattractive to poachers. Photo: Alamy

A global deal for nature and people

WWF along with conservation and science colleagues around the world are calling for a new global deal between nature and people, involving decision makers at every level to make the right political, financial and consumer choices. WWF is collaborating with a consortium of almost 40 universities and organisations to launch a research initiative that will explore the critical work of putting together the best ways to save the planet.

The report says that the biggest challenge—and biggest opportunity—lies in changing our approach to development and remember that protecting nature also helps protect people.

In the words of Marco Lambertini, Director General of WWF International, “Today, we still have a choice. We can be the founders of a global movement that changed our relationship with the planet. Or we can be the generation that had its chance and failed to act. The choice is ours.”

*This article is from the CNTraveler.

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