Barth, Buddhism, Buddhist Psychology, Christian Theology, Christianity, Consciousness, Demons, Flowers, Images, Liberation, Mindfulness, Philosophy, Practicing the Presence, Presence, psychology, Self, Self Psychology, Theology, Thinking, Thoughts
Random thoughts arise and catch my interest for a moment or two and then fade as a new thought appears. I used to understand this process as “thinking” and naively I thought that there was some I, some me, some Self doing the thinking. So I went and looked in a mirror and I saw an old man looking back at me a smiling face, a gentle face – a face a guy can love….but, I wonder, is that me? Is that my self looking back or is it simply a particular manifestation of the energy that we are in the form of the flesh? Hard to say and more importantly Who is to know? I then found myself sitting at the computer reading about Karl Barth and Christianity and how “I” can’t toss out demons because “I” am not a follower of Jesus of Nazareth……and with one eye, “I” left the thought only for another “I” to arise bringing a story whose theme runs along the lines of: “allow me to educate these poor benighted souls…..” and this story line had some juice to it – some heat and some righteous energy…..”I am doing this to enlighten them” some part of me said loudly enough to drown out all other thoughts. So, out come the books, the correct points outlined and ready to fire back and I am really rolling. The story lines are just flying off my fingers, my words are clever and witty, elegant with a sophisticated wit and I must say a certain style that is well suited to duck and dance to hide and reveal my Self……….so I believe at the time identified as I am with the utter truth of the story and Man my Ego is really rocking and a rolling now “I will show them!”
Mindfulness, as the Buddha taught “is all helpful” and it helps us right off the bat see that what we ordinarily call the mind usually refers to the “thinking mind.” The mind is not just its thoughts, not just the ever-changing stream of ideas and images. It also includes a wide range of mind states, qualities, feelings, moods, intuitions, imaginations, creations…..and consciousness.” STOP! A voice inside says. I know this voice, I trust it and I used to wonder where it came from – “who” said it and if having it and/or listening to it meant I was odd or crazy? Thankfully, the voice tells me to stop thinking and the thoughts stop “I” do……….Some part of ? does. A simple question arises from the voice: “Is this right speech?” “I” sit on the deck looking at the vast and boundless sky and there is awareness, there is presence, sounds, sights, scents, sensations. There is Light. There is peace. There is stillness. “Robert” is not and I am home.