Friday, August 9, 2013

Joan Tollifson - True freedom

Shoda Koho, Moonlit Sea, c. 1920

How much freedom do we really have? Instead of immediately rushing in with our preferred answer that we are convinced is true, can we leave that question open and unanswered? For me, it is a beautiful koan that continues to unfold and open. Is it possible to wake up, right now, from all the thoughts, ideas, beliefs and habits of mind and body that recreate and reincarnate ‘the same old world’ and ‘the same old me’ moment by moment out of thin air, out of habit?
“Nonduality, Buddhism and Advaita are all in some way about cutting through the imaginary limitations and problems created by conceptual thought –SEEING how we habitually and unconsciously choose bondage over liberation, SEEING how we are doing our suffering. Waking up is discovering another possibility.
“Of course, when I say that ‘we’ do these things, I’m not talking about the phantom self, which doesn’t really exist. So it’s not about blaming ourselves or others for ‘choosing’ bondage or creating suffering. This ‘choice’ happens out of infinite causes and conditions. It happens out of ignorance. It is a kind of hypnotic entrancement, not some personal failure. But it IS possible, when it is, to SEE how this ‘choice’ gets made, to become conscious of how we do our suffering, to wake up from this entrancement. Just as delusion is not a personal failure, awakening is not a personal success. It is the dissolution of that very IDEA of separation, limitation and ownership. Waking up is the activity of the True Self – boundless awareness, the intelligence at the heart of everything.
“Here / Now is totally open and unpredictable. Awareness has no boundaries and no limits. The survival mind keeps trying to locate and solidify itself, get a grip, figure everything out…The SEEING – the awareness – is free and unbound. Here / Now, before thought, we cannot say what is possible and what isn’t. This moment is absolutely new. It has never been here before…
“The biggest miracle is Here / Now – every moment of ordinary life. When…we’re awake, EVERYTHING is extraordinary. What makes it miraculous is not the CONTENT but the AWARENESS that beholds and illuminates and breathes life into the momentary forms. Awareness is what we love in the beloved. When we dissolve into this openness that is always Here / Now, we act from a place that is unbound. When we wake up, the whole world wakes up, because we are not separate….
“By giving nonjudgmental, loving attention to what we are doing and how we are doing it, everything changes naturally. This giving of attention is like breathing – we can’t really say whether we are breathing or being breathed. The attention I’m talking about is open, spacious awareness, not thought, analysis and rumination. It is not a task or a practice. It is our true nature. It has no cause and it seeks no result.
“Is it possible in this moment to drop all of our ideas about ourselves and the world? Is it possible to fully enjoy the delightful sounds of rain or the amazing tastes and aromas of a cup of coffee? And maybe to enjoy not only the rain and the coffee, but also the wonderful and terrible messiness of human life with all its perfection and imperfection – this whole astonishing movie of waking life – without needing it to be any different from exactly how it is, and without imagining that anything has to stay the same. That is true freedom

Awake in the Heartland
The Ecstasy of What Ts

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