We simply see our own minds

Yes. I can see that.

If you are complete (accepting) about the suffering, what will also be there is not suffering (law of opposites). If you are incomplete (not accepting) about the suffering, what will be there is just suffering.

I think you are saying the same thing in another way.


  • edited December 1969
    "It only blossoms through personal experience - not through analytical and intellectual nit picking. Thus, the Tao Te Ching does not teach us anything... in reading it, we simply see our own minds."

    Wow, I can really relate to this! Most of my education has led to analytical thinking and intellectual nit picking. What I am discovering, as I get older, is that I do not need faith, I have experience!

    Recently I have read an article comparing basic modern physics to depth psychology. I found it very interesting and it relates to the above quote from the Tao Te Ching section. See http://www.integralscience.org/psyche-physis.html
  • edited December 1969
    [cite] Allandnone:[/cite]Wow, I can really relate to this! Most of my education has led to analytical thinking and intellectual nit picking. What I am discovering, as I get older, is that I do not need faith, I have experience!
    You bet! So,... I thought you might find this excerpt from Science News (Vol. 171, No. 7) interesting.

    "Scientists have investigated how individuals tell whether someone or something else has a mental life. People, it turns out, attribute to others two distinct dimensions of mental activity.

    The researchers dub one dimension of mind perception "experience," meaning a capacity for feeling hunger, fear, pain, rage, desire, pride, embarrassment, and joy. This dimension also implies the presence of self-awareness and a distinctive personality.

    The other dimension, "agency," refers to a capacity for self-control, morality, memory, emotion recognition, planning, communication, and thought.

    The researchers surveyed 2,399 people who rated pairs of characters described on the survey on one of 18 mental capacities, for example, deciding which member of the pair was more able to feel pain. The pair members were also rated in six other ways, such as which was the more likable character. Characters included a frog, a chimpanzee, a human fetus, a baby, a 5-year-old girl, a man in a persistent vegetative state, an adult woman, God, and a robot that interacts with people.

    Volunteers' responses often broke down along the two mind-perception dimensions. For instance, participants felt that characters rated high in agency—such as the active adults—deserved punishment for a misdeed, but participants most wanted to avoid inflicting harm on the characters ranked high in experience, such as the young girl.

    Participants perceived God as having much agency but little experience."

    My Commentary
    Free will is obviously part of the agency dimension, while the 'nuts and bolts of life' actually occur in the experience dimension (in my view, of course). Agency is how we [chref=71]think that[/chref] reality is, was, will be, or should be. Experience is... well, simply reality as we feel it flow through the moments of our life.

    Notice how people attribute God and adult people with "much agency". When the authors wrote serpent's advice in Genesis – "For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil" – they were just chronicling our species' status quo. The irony is that as long as we hang onto our (belief) in good and evil, we can never [chref=16]return to our destiny[/chref]... the 'Eden' of our original nature.

    The joke is on us. :lol:
    I suppose I find it funny because it is so pathetic. I mean, I have to either laugh or cry. Today I'll :lol:
  • edited December 1969
    "The irony is that as long as we hang onto our (belief) in good and evil, we can never return to our destiny... the 'Eden' of our original nature. " This reminds me of what the psychologist Dr. C. G. Jung said "If a union is to take place between opposites like spirit and matter, conscious and unconscious, bright and dark, and so on, it will happen in a third thing, which represents not a compromise but something new." It is the something "new" that is beyond the good and evil, the non-duality of good and evil. Does not the Tao Te Ching give us that "new" something?
  • edited December 1969
    [cite] Allandnone:[/cite]....Does not the Tao Te Ching give us that "new" something?
    Yes exactly so! One nit pick though, I think of civilization as "new", and nature as "old". Thus, I'd see this "new" you mention as actually correlating to "old" (origin, nothing, passive, death, etc.).

    But, let's stick with old for now:
    [chref=4]Let your wheels move only along old ruts. [/chref]
    [chref=15]Of old he who was well versed in the way [/chref]
    [chref=39]Of old, these came to be in the possession of the One: [/chref]
    [chref=65]Of old those who excelled in the pursuit of the way did not use it to enlighten
    the people but to hoodwink them. [/chref]

    I assume many would consider such nitpicking around word meaning a bit silly. But, aren't [chref=23]words[/chref] the 'bricks' we use to build our thoughts? If we have only a shallow and loose sense of these 'bricks' and their meaning, then the thoughts we create tend to be a bit shallow and loose as well.

    But, that actually serves us well doesn't it? The more shallow and loose our sense of meaning, the easier it is to rationalize our [chref=46]many desires[/chref] and 'enjoy' our [chref=18]hypocrisy[/chref].

    :oops: ...Oh, I must add: I'm not referring to you Allandnone! Posting this just reminds me of this problem we all have with words and the thoughts that ensue. [chref=70]Words have an ancestor and affairs have a sovereign.[/chref] Correlations really help the mind sense this ancestor. Alas, sensing this ancestor is not all that much 'fun'. It would seem that [chref=70]ignorance[/chref] passes for 'bliss', as least in the short term.
  • edited December 1969
    "...just reminds me of this problem we all have with words and the thoughts that ensue." This brings up a very important point about "words". Words are like a sharp knife seperating the flesh from the bone, the flesh and bone being reality. "Words" give us the illusion of reality, just the bone, the flesh is thrown away. The "word" will never describe the reality, hence silence is the best explanation of reality.

    Perhaps that is why "right speech" is one of the eight fold paths.
  • edited December 1969
    [cite] Allandnone:[/cite]"...Perhaps that is why "right speech" is one of the eight fold paths.
    "Right speech" often carries moral overtones, akin to 'thou shalt not lie'. [chref=32]Knowing[/chref] that words are illusion sure brings a visceral meaning to "right speech" doesn't it? Why does it take us so long to see what is certainly so obvious? Hmm,... perhaps words are life-rafts of consciousness, and we're terrified to let go.
  • edited December 1969
    "....perhaps words are life-rafts of consciousness, and we're terrified to let go." This is an interesting point, if we go back about 10,000 years ago we did not have so many fancy words to represent reality, we were just in the NOW, and it surely was not a simple life to live. The main problem was to survive, there was no leisure time to philosophize etc. Today we have all kinds of time to wonder and philosophize etc., perhaps too much time. Now that leads me to another interesting point, does time really exist? I do not think so. It is another word, concept, utilized to try to understand reality. :wink:
  • edited December 1969
    [cite] Allandnone:[/cite](1)... back about 10,000 years ago...
    (2)... there was no leisure time to philosophize...
    (3)... does time really exist?...
    (1) Actually, recent archeology pushes that back to perhaps 50,000 years. Ah, and it seems like only yesterday.

    (2) The archeological record also shows that we actually had more leisure and better health before the agricultural revolution of 10,000 years ago. And, studies of modern day hunter gatherer people show that they only 'work' about half a day. They have much more leisure than we do. Certainly though, wealthier folks in agricultural / industrial economies do have time to philosophize,... or just cause trouble for us peons.

    (3) No! And I can 'prove' it with correlations! (I know,...:roll:) So anyway, here are a few that come to mind:


    Among other things, this shows that what we call time is actually our life's experience of energy inside time. [chref=40]Turning back is how the way moves[/chref], and this is also how time moves. The 'way' is 'time'. Both the 'way' and 'time' are [chref=67]vast and resembles nothing[/chref]. That's why we just can't put our finger on 'it'. :? ,... or as the good book puts it, [chref=4]darkly visible, it only seems as if it were there[/chref]. No wonder we are a confused species.
  • edited December 1969
    Sorry it took so long to get back. I have to admit, I just randomly picked 10,000 years ago. It was a broad brush approach. The scary part is that today, I do not think our brain has evolved to the point were we can really intelligently and practically deal with the technology that is now available to us. Perhaps, if we are still around, in a million years from now, our brain and nervous system will evolve to something that really has "human" qualities. Looking at the world today, it is doubtful, but I have hope. :lol:
  • edited December 1969
    I've been meaning to bring this up. You say that The Way is time? Am I taking this too literally?

    Isn't that really big? I mean, I don't think I ever heard you say that before. How does time turn back? It seems to keep going forward to me (and everyone else). You also say that time doesn't exist so what is it? Help me out here!

    When I think about time I realize I don't understand what it is. :? It sure is vast and resembles nothing.
  • edited December 1969
    Sorry about the confusion about time. I think time is a concept that we use to try to understand reality, such as. past, present and future. The older I get the more I think time does not exist. If you really try to define "time" good luck. If I remember any of my Physics, "space-time" shows past, present and future all at the same moment. Kind of neat stuff that General-Relativity (ha ha).

    The way is "just is".

    Does this help any?
  • edited December 1969
    [cite] Lynn Cornish:[/cite](1)... You say that The Way is time? Am I taking this too literally?

    (2)... How does time turn back? It seems to keep going forward to me (and everyone else). You also say that time doesn't exist so what is it?

    (3)... It sure is vast and resembles nothing.

    (1) [chref=21]The way[/chref] is time. If we truly know the nature of time, we know '[chref=14]the way[/chref]'. Needless to say this is just my 'point of view', for what it is worth. And as there is a significant [chref=65]hoodwink[/chref] always being played on me through biology, what do I know? So with that in mind... what is time anyway? (Beside being synonymous with [chref=25]'the way'[/chref].)

    (2) The phenomenon we call time, which seems to move forward, is actually energy moving forward. Similarly, [chref=41]the way that leads forward seems to lead backward[/chref]. Time is [chref=61]stillness[/chref], just as energy is [chref=2]action[/chref]. Thus, relative to energy, [chref=40]turning back is how the way [and time] move[/chref].

    (3) Quite right! [chref=4]Darkly visible, it only seems as if it were there[/chref]. I could also say time is God.

    Our perceptual difficulty stems from an over reliance on [chref=23]words[/chref]. Language based awareness so dominates our consciousness that if a thing cannot [chref=1]be named[/chref], it doesn't exist. We desperately name the things of which we become aware. I suppose naming is our way of controlling 'it'. As the bible puts it, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." That sure ties up any lose ends doesn't it? :wink:

    Taoist thought helps us perceive 'outside the box' into which thought puts us, or at least that's the hope. Again, correlations can help to pop those preconceptions which paints human consciousness into its language corner.
  • edited December 1969
    A few days later:

    I was thinking more on our concept of 'time'. 'Time', like all concepts (i.e.,[chref=43]words[/chref] and [chref=32]names[/chref]), naturally arise from some primal innate perception. Why did neolithic people build Stonehenge or tombs where the sun would shine through a crack on the winter solstice? And how about the burial rituals of upper paleolithic (40,000 to 10,000 years ago) people? There are numerous other prehistoric examples of early man's perception life and death; and of the sun, moon, planets and stars passing through space-time that shows early human awareness of, worry over, and a reverence for, 'time'.

    Fast forwarding to historical times. I see this same 'awareness and reverence' playing out in prayer and meditation, although I have no doubt that prehistoric people were 'meditating' as well. Come to think of it, what is a cat doing as it sits in the window passing 'time', but 'meditating' [chref=17]naturally[/chref]. Our concept of 'time', though, is really about our perception of activity – a perception of 'energy' within timeless time. Timeless time here and now is simply [chref=16]stillness, emptiness[/chref] and [chref=40]Nothing[/chref]. Note: The difficulty we have understanding Einstein's relativity, among other things, is due to our misconception of time, with meditation being a natural way to [chref=16]return[/chref].

    The core 'active ingredient' of meditation and prayer is stillness, even as the mind may continue to chatter away in the background – unless you blow out its flame and let the coolness of the [chref=25]silent and void[/chref] envelope awareness (well, sure even then an ember still glows, the heart still beats, the lungs still breath).

    I added these comments on 'time' above after I reviewed what I said earlier in this thread and saw I have, in my last post, pretty much reiterated what I said previously. Come to think of it, this whole site is probably chock full of reiteration. :oops: Of course I see reiteration everywhere. News, for example, is never truly 'new'. Rather, it is the same old stories over and over – just the names, places, quantities, and dates vary. In this I see elements of 'mysterious sameness'. Certainly though, seeing differences is stimulating. 'Variety is the spice of life' as they say.

    On the other hand, seeing 'sameness' clears our 'perceptual decks' for deeper intuitive insights, much of which have a simple elegancy that words can't describe. Try, for example, considering time and [chref=56]mysterious sameness[/chref] as synonymous. Using correlations to pop preconceptions helps trim the trust we habitually place in [chref=43]words[/chref] and [chref=32]names[/chref]. This blurs distinctions, freeing the mind to see beyond its 'self' into the [chref=25]silent and void[/chref]. Hmm,... I guess that explains the run away popularity of 'popping preconception' :wink:. Although a little hard to digest in the beginning, once I started, it was actually like eating pop corn, I couldn't stop until I finished the whole bowl.
  • edited December 1969
    Wow, this is getting more interesting as we dicuss it. Perhaps this web site will be somewhat helpful See http://www.thekeyboard.org.uk/What is Time.htm
  • edited December 1969
    [cite] Allandnone:[/cite]Wow, this is getting more interesting as we discuss it.
    Yes! Nothing is more interesting to me than this 'illusion'. But, this 'illusion' is still pretty fascinating anyway... :lol: Here's some more thoughts on it.

    Television is another metaphor, or perhaps just an example, of our 'time illusion'. Our memories create our illusion of time. Without memory there is no time. And what is memory? Simply an electro chemical state. And what is that? Well, we could probe a little deeper, but in the end we would just end up at the quantum mystery, or the Three Musketeers – kind of a quantum equivalent... the 'All for one and one for all' of non-locality. But I digress.

    Pictures and clocks reenforce the illusion of time. Pictures evoke memory, clocks 'organize' memory. Science 'nails' time down by measuring space and time with clocks and rulers. What science is really doing though is measuring mass and energy in the 'nothingness of space and time'. These [chref=14]are confused and looked upon as One[/chref], as the good book puts it.

    Our sense of time is really our emotional experience. For example, consider how easily we become 'transported' by stories, movies, plays, music, conversation. That sense of 'transported' gives us our sense of time - the illusion. When, in [chref=16]stillness and emptiness[/chref], you settle down into the vanishing present, there is no place or time to be 'transported' to. [chref=2]Nothing and Something[/chref] exist in what has been referred to lately in quantum mechanics circles as a 'non localized reality'. (I'm just guessing about that. I know so little about what goes on in social circles.)

    Earthquakes (and other 'shocking' things) play with our sense of time. I was sitting waiting in the car at dusk while the family went into the store. As the sun set over the old jail building, I dropped the 'time illusion' and opened 'my eye' to real time - eternal in the moment time - for a moment. Was that '1989' earthquake just yesterday... or 17 years ago... or 17 thousand years ago... or 17 trillion years ago? A trillion years? A trillion years and a moment share a delicious [chref=56]mysterious sameness[/chref]. All we need do is suspend our illusionary belief in time to feel it. We live our lives in a misconception of time or perhaps I should say a pre-conception of time. It's crazy! Now is the time to start popping pre-conception.
  • edited December 1969
    I'm still here. Once a week or so I come to this thread and read it over. Lots of thoughts about it come and go....my mind doesn't like being outside the box and it leaps back in.

    The only part of this that sticks right now is that when meditating,
    you settle down into the vanishing present, there is no place or time to be 'transported' to.

    The only reason I understand that is because I experience it. I don't really understand anything I haven't experienced...I mean understand deeply...so I'm pretty limited here! :oops:

    One thought that keeps coming back: in geometry class, Mr. Sweeney said that a straight line is just a series of individual dots. I bet he doesn't remember saying that 40 years ago, but I still do. Time seems to be like that and, like the line, it is just an illusion.

    I am most appreciative of all the thought that went into your answers and I am confident that one day all these thoughts will fall into place. Or not. Like allandnone says, it just is.
  • edited December 1969
    Lynn I love your analogy of the straight line and the dots. " Mr. Sweeney said that a straight line is just a series of individual dots." If you take any two dots next to each other, there is still an infinite number of dots between them, wow! What an illusion that gives us the "feeling" or experience that we understand what is going on. Geometry especially is so eloquent and precise. In addition, Science is slowly finding out that there is a connection a wholeness between our psyche and matter.
    See http://www.integralscience.org/psyche-physis.html

    I agree with you that being in the NOW, time does not exist.
  • edited December 1969
    Carl if I am understanding what you are saying, what drive us is the need for pleasure, comfort and security, and we fear pain and loss. If I am making any sense I would propose the following for consideration:

    1. Accept change, nothing stays constant. We usually look at change as a function of our friend called TIME, which does not exist.

    2. Practice non-attachment. Do not attach to pleasure or pain, comfort or security, or pain and loss. We need to let things go, flow with it.

    3. Everything is connected to each other! Therefore practice non-duality. We need to get above the opposites like pleasure and pain etc. This getting above opposites according to C.G. Jung "..represents not a compromise but something new" See http://www.integralscience.org/psyche-physis.html

    4. Practice "Egolessness", it is our ego that is causing the need for pleasure/comfort and the fear of pain/loss.

    5. Be in the NOW! The Time concept does not exist in the NOW. Also the opposites, Yin/Yang disappears in the NOW.

    6. Minimize/eliminate our selfish deires/lust and what is driving us will also be minimized/eliminated.
    Cheers :lol:
  • edited December 1969
    Allandnone - thanks. I just realized the problem with the dot and straight line analogy is that the dot would have to be moving forward to produce a line, so it would have to have energy. Otherwise, there would be one big dot, i.e., stillness.

    I admire your proposal of six steps to peace and happiness. They are very well thought out. I would change one thing: add the word "practice" to "accept change". All these steps take practice--trying over and over until you do it and then having to try over and over again the next time--except for Being the Now which you can only "practice" by doing it.

    All your steps seem to me to become easier with age and experience. Not that long ago, letting something go was impossible for me. Now that I've experienced letting go, it's easier. But I just wasn't there back then.
  • edited December 1969
    Lynn you said "I would change one thing: add the word "practice" to "accept change". I am in total agreement with you. Boy I need to keep practicing , but isn't that the fun of life.

    Lynn in my opinion you where right on with the dots or points. According to my Geometry book (I am a volunteer math tutor), a point is simply a location. A line is made up of points and has no thickness or width. Wow that is an illusion or abstraction (ha ha). So there are an infinite number of points between two points, and we wonder why kids have a hard time with math (ha ha)!
  • JoeJoe
    edited December 1969
    One of the things I think more and more about these days is how everything, including time, is an illusion. Mainly from the basic point of each of us having our thoughts about whatever experience happens in life. We all have myriad thoughts about life, but the thoughts are not life. Where is the "real" world?

    And yet, in those times when I am mindful of whatever I'm doing, and I'm not off in my thoughts about the situation, reality is crystal clear. But don't ask me to then try to explain that, because then I'm back to my thoughts, which are not reality.

    There are times where I don't find it hard to believe that the "ultimate reality" could be the final scene in one of the Men in Black movies. Where the camera view recedes back, to reveal that the earth is a little ball some gigantic alien is playing a game with. Or that Whoville is a little town in a snowflake. With my limited human perception, and with everything I experience being edited by my thoughts, who knows what's possible.
  • edited December 1969
    Joe you brought up two very interesting and challenging points. "Mainly from the basic point of each of us having our thoughts about whatever experience happens in life. We all have myriad thoughts about life, but the thoughts are not life. Where is the "real" world? "

    I would like to start out the dialogue and say that perhaps the real world exists in the NOW. A thought is in the past. A thought can not exist in the NOW. And maybe the 'thought' is past tense which we are reacting to, like a reflex, a knee jerk. See http://www.systems-thinking.org/loi/loi.htm

    I am leaning towards what David Bohm said in his book 'Thought as a System; "... that thought does not know it is doing something and then struggles against what it is doing". Dr. Bohm's proposed definition of thought "... is that body, emotion, intellect, reflex and artifact are now understood as one unbroken field of mutually informing thought." He is proposing that thought needs to be looked as a system.

    The Ladder of Inference is a begining of this system analysis. Sorry, I am a retired control system engineer so I hope I am not boring you death (ha ha).

    If anyone is interestef I would be happy to send you a Power Point presentation on how to use the Ladder of Inference that I use with my math and science high school students. Also refer to http://www.amazon.com/Fifth-Discipline-Fieldbook-Peter-Senge/dp/0385472560/ref=sr_1_1/002-5417500-0533615?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1185149367&sr=8-1
  • edited December 1969
    Where is the "real" world?

    I hear you Joe. Real is really relative; the real world is a lot different to a snail than it is to me, so what's real? It's all perception and preconceptions based on our biology.

    We can hash that around and we have, but we always come back to what we've come back to here: the closest we can come to what's real is to come back to the stillness of the present moment.

    I like what Carl said: that time is stillness, it is energy that's moving forward. Not that I completely understand that; I just like the idea of it. It brings me back.

    I spend my days (now that I'm retired) coming back. It seems like the best use of my time.

    Allandone: The idea of an unbroken field of thought (or whatever) resonates with me. It reminds me of the Rumi poem that begins "Out beyond ideas of right and wrong there is a field; I'll meet you there."
  • edited December 1969
    I just got this in my email from Cheri Huber of the Zen Center in Murphys:

    "As we go along in life, we have a growing sense that what we know is not the whole picture. We may even have a sense that there’s a whole lot we don’t know that could make a big difference for us, but the fact that it is unknown is often a source of frustration rather than comfort. The comfort comes only when we realize that we don’t know not because we are lacking something but because there is nothing to know, and, what’s more, there is no one to know it. The comfort comes when we realize there is only the actual,and we cannot know the actual. We can be it, but we cannot know it. One of the ways I recall Jiyu Kennett phrasing that realization: “I am not it; it is all of me.” A distinction that moves us from hell to heaven."

    It seemed to fit right in here. The emboldening (is that a word?) is mine.

    Oh, while I'm here: I asked my husband Rick "What is time ?" and he responded "time is the context for life." I thought that was pretty good. You wouldn't know he was wise to look at him. :wink:
  • edited December 1969
    i like this discussion of time, since i have started to believe the arguments that go something like this: We cannot take actions in the past, or in the future, the only "time" we can actually have an effect on is right now. Thus leading to the idea that time in in fact a man made fictional idea, meant to keep us worried about things we cannot affect. The only moment is right now, and it is infinity.

    Doesn't it seem odd that was are so trained to think of past and future so differently? They are both simply elements of our brains' creativity (memories and predictions) we cannot directly effect either one, they are distant ideas, that i feel serve no positive purpose. Worrying about a task you must get done doesn't get anything done, only when you take action does anything get accomplished.
  • edited December 1969
    Here's a couple of examples of why we believe in the concept of time--memories and predictions.

    If we didn't remember that it hurt when we touched a hot stove, we might do it again. And say we were still hunter/gatherers--if we didn't plan to be at a certain place when the turnips ripen we might starve. Even in the modern world, if I didn't get up and go to work now, later I wouldn't get paycheck and then I wouldn't be able to afford food and shelter. So it has to do with survival of the species. Lots (all?) of our behavior does.

    At first, I thought being in the now meant rejecting the past and the future, but you can think about the past and be present or plan for the future and be present.

    I know that time does not exist the way we think of it, but, still, if I want to see the Simpson's Movie tomorrow, I better know what time it is and keep an eye on the clock!
  • JoeJoe
    edited December 1969
    Remembering the past, and planning for the future, seem to be part of our process in life. It's when we're focused (thinking) on the future, and not paying attention to the present moment, that we have problems. I'm driving down the street, not paying attention to my driving, worrying about if I'll be able to make it to the Simpsons movie tomorrow, and I run a red light.

    Or I'm walking in the woods on a wonderful day, and I'm not paying attention to what's right there, because I'm replaying my agitated memory of the guy who cut me off in traffic on the way to walk in the woods.

    I don't know about you all, but sometimes I sure get tired of how often my mind's off and running, and I miss the appreciation of what I have right in front of me. This is nowhere more important than not paying attention when I'm interacting with my 12 yr. old daughter. So much to savor, because in a few years she probably won't want to hang around much with her old man.
  • edited December 1969
    I am in total agreement with you Joe! Be in the NOW! We have to keep practicing it, till it becomes a habit, a reflex memory worth having. :lol:
  • edited December 1969
    Me too, Joe. You've described the dilemma perfectly.

    One thing I notice in my old age: whenever I feel frazzled and nervous and hyper about something (like I'm late for an appointment), I remember to become very mindful. Otherwise, I find I get in my own way (spill the coffee, step on the cat, forget my keys, etc.). I've actually succeeded in changing my reaction to being stressed from being crazy to being mindful.

    But that's a special situation...I find it's harder to do during ordinary activity, like unconsciously driving. The mind does drift...
  • edited December 1969
    My what a good conversation. But a [chref=23]sudden downpour cannot last all day[/chref], so I'll jump right in. I love the rain.
    [cite] Allandnone:[/cite]1. Accept change,..
    2. Practice non-attachment....
    3. Practice non-duality.....
    4. Practice "Egolessness",...
    5. Be in the NOW! ...
    6. Minimize/eliminate our selfish deires/lust ....
    I can see by your proposals that you are inclined to want to work hard on this. I've been there, but alas I lost the battle.... :oops: In wonderful Taoist irony, I ended up 'winning' [chref=61]the lower position[/chref], in the sense that female correlates to failure. Thus, in the ass [chref=41]backwards [/chref] world of tao, failure is a [chref=58]good[/chref] thing. Or is it a [chref=58]monstrous[/chref] thing? Or is it both? What I'm beating around the bush about is this: "practice" is another form of [chref=8]contending[/chref] with reality. By trying for an ideal, as noble as it may seem, always ends in [chref=18]great hypocrisy[/chref]. Any attempt to be other than who we are is vanity, making it impossible to "practice egolessness". It is because we just can't win, that we must take the [chref=66]lower position[/chref] eventually.

    Well, aren't I a killjoy? I commend your patience with me Allandnone,

    Some days later
    Now, feeling that I've not beaten the dead horse sufficiently, I'll prattle on a bit more...

    Understanding the problem fully, owning it down to our bones, then stopping to allow [chref=57]stillness[/chref] to return might be a Taoist way of dealing with this universal problem of ours. Our [chref=71]difficulty[/chref] comes from trying to do something about this problem - to 'fix it'. Solving problems is an innate survival urge common to all life. If we have a splinter in our paw, we struggle to remove it, yes? Personally, I've found that this urge doesn't 'fix' anything in matters of the 'spirit', despite what instinct tells me. Attempting to resolve my 'spiritual problem' only makes matters worse. Put simply: [chref=64]Therefore the sage, because he does nothing, never ruins anything; and, because he does not lay hold of anything, loses nothing.[/chref] This certainly flies in the face of our 'fix it' instinct doesn't it?

    The 'secret': Sincerely [chref=43]understanding[/chref] and mindfully remembering (i.e., Buddha's step #1 and #2 on the eight fold path) what is happening is sufficient! When we truly see we are at the precipice we can't help but be [chref=73]fearless in being timid[/chref]. The less we understand and remember, the more we end up just contending with ourselves. Clearly, [chref=73]the way of heaven excels in overcoming though it does not contend[/chref]. Isn't following this natural model easier than pitting our ideals (what should be) against reality (what is)?

    When I feel the urge to contend, daily in one way or another, I use this feeling as my 'canary in the coal mine' to tell me that mindful understanding is waning; I'd best [chref=44]stop[/chref] and [chref=16]return[/chref] to stillness. The 'big picture' always filters through if I'm patient. There is no viable alternative to the way that [chref=17]happens to us naturally[/chref]. It is so easy... [chref=48]one does less and less until one does nothing at all, and when one does nothing at all there is nothing that is undone.[/chref] To do anything else is simply meddling with our original 'self'.

    Well, that's enough beating on the dead horse for today.
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