The Koan of Enlightenment: Journey of Creation – Day 36

Copyright Tam Black 2017
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

When my mind and will are free, they recognize only Truth. My mind and will are free in the Knowledge of union with Perfect Love. When I am in the state of One Mind and Will of Perfect Love, I create freedom and truth for myself and All.

Reflection

I see a paradox again in today’s Guiding Thought.

Yesterday, I said this, “The final step is to Oneness, where there is not the experience of Joy, Peace, Bliss, and Love–there is only the Beingness of Joy, Peace, Bliss, and Love.”

Once you get there, there is no more getting there. Any practice or experience (meditation, yoga, contemplation, etc.) that you used to assist you on the way is no longer relevant.

Further, there is no longer any reason to create anything: you exist in the Oneness of All Creation.

Yet, this Guiding Thought says, “When I am in the state of One Mind and Will of Perfect Love, I create freedom and truth for myself and All”.

This speaks to both the state of being there (When I am in the state of One Mind and Will of Perfect Love), and the state of becoming (I create freedom and truth for myself and All).

Maybe what I do while I am becoming is get as close to the state of One Mind and Will of Perfect Love that I can possibly get, until I take the leap into the being.

Uh oh. I see a similar problem with the first half of the Guiding Thought now, too. These sentences are speaking to the state of being, as though it’s even possible to Know yourself being, while becoming.

When my mind and will are free, they recognize only Truth. If I am in such a state, where I recognize only Truth, then I am not here, I’ve already taken the leap to Know Truth.

…and the same goes for being in the Knowledge of union with Perfect Love.

Right now, I’m reminding myself of how much I love the paradox of enlightenment (yes, just hear the sarcasm dripping…). This, from an earlier article entitled appropriately, It Can Feel a Little Insane:

For me, the paradoxes, the apparent conflicts egg me on. There is resolution. There is Oneness. These things fit together, somehow, in a way I do not yet see, do not yet experience. So I work with both “sides” allowing them to draw me closer to the Truth, to Knowing the Oneness inherent in All (even in paradoxes). (From Journey of Abundance)

 

“Living a Koan”: Journey of Abundance 2.0 – Day 09

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

Divine Abundance expresses infinitely through my own Divine Presence. When I identify with my Divine Presence, I open the floodgates and Divine Abundance flows naturally, easily, and effortlessly through me, materializing all good in my life and affairs.

 

Sharing

Yesterday I had a conversation with one of my teachers. She said (paraphrased), “There is so much confusion and chaos happening in the world these days, that at some point people can’t take it anymore and they just give up and say, “Not my will, but Thine be done.” In my experience recently, this happens over and over and over; chaos comes in waves. A wave comes and life becomes disrupted “all over the place”, with questions, and “problems” to figure out. Then the wave passes, either having driven me to the point of giving up, or to the point I think I can handle it, “I got it all under control”. Then the next wave comes, and I’m working through it as best I can, but working, taking a lot of mental and physical energy to deal with these situations that feel chaotic or disruptive. There are several different situations in which this seems to be the case in my life; they alternate with each other, when one wave is cresting, the one right behind it is hitting the ground, propelling it up and toward me.

I have surrendered to individual situations regularly, with each wave (I’ve talked about my work with surrender many times here). More and more, I’ve been at the point of giving up, totally. I am so tired. I’m tired of all this effort. I am tired of trying to figure it all out; tired of having to deal with wave after wave. Maybe the point of all this is to get to a point of total surrender.

Why do I mention this on day 09 of the Abundance Journey?

Because in this state of mind, it does not feel like anything is flowing naturally, easily, or effortlessly…including surrender.

But wait! Just 3 days ago, I noticed this:

If Divine Mind is constantly providing me with ideas, material goods, situations, and interactions to fulfill all my needs and desires, then my needs and desires are constantly being met.

If my needs and desires are constantly being met, then every situation I encounter, every material thing I have, or receive, every person, event, and situation is something that fulfills a need or desire.

What gives?

Here is one idea to answer my own question:

Surrender is on the same side of the coin as “abstract mind” and figuring it out is on the same side of the coin as “rational mind” (refer to yesterday): Spirit and mind.

Today, my mind and Spirit are enacting a different (bigger) version of yesterday’s drawing experience, which by the way I now see stemmed from the Koan-day on Day 07. I like it when I can see connections between days, even if I don’t completely understand them, or know where they are leading me.

So, you see, the “chaos of life” is a living Koan. The mind tries to figure it out…tries and tries, efforts, struggles, thinks it knows everything, until, finally “At some point, the brain becomes completely exhausted, realizing the futility of its task, and abandons its assignment.  This is precisely when the answer comes. To find an answer, all logic, reasoning, thinking, figuring out, or effort has to be suspended.” AKA: Surrender.

Yesterday in my drawing, I tasted a small, total surrender…and had complete cooperation with my rational mind. It was small enough that it was not a threat, and my rational mind had no problem stepping aside. Today I was able to see this dynamic with more clarity as it is playing out in my life. This, too, does not feel threatening; I am not in a situation where I need to either figure anything out, or surrender. I can just see it.

Awareness…it’s a good thing.

“The Brain Leaves The Hotel When There Is Dew on The Skillet”: Journey of Abundance 2.0 – Day 07

Copyright Tam Black 2016 Designed for susanwithpearls.com
Copyright Tam Black 2016
Designed for susanwithpearls.com

Guiding Thought

My consciousness is the gateway through which Divine Love flows, materializing my infinite Supply. I am now conscious of my own Inner Divine Presence—Infinite Love—expressing through me, providing me with the means to be aware, to understand, and to know It as my Self– more and more!

 

Sharing

  1. Pick up a stone from 10000m deep in the ocean with dry hands.
  2. Take hold of a plough with empty hands.
  3. Mumon’s Poem:

Because it is so very clear,

It takes longer to come to the realization.

If you know at once candlelight is fire,

The meal has long been cooked.

  1. Gotama Shakya, an Indian monk in 5th century BC, for many years struggled with the question, why is all of life nothing but suffering? Finally, after a night of deep and intense meditation, he saw the morning star and cried: All the world is already enlightened.

 

These are examples of Zen koans. Koans are often written as illogical (what is the relationship of a morning star and enlightenment, with a question about suffering??) paradoxes or contradictions (read the first two above again), or simply a nonsense statement (example 3).

There are numerous articles about koans, what they are for, and how they are useful. In the articles that I read, I did not find the answer that I had come up with (why I was looking for an answer in the first place comes after this explanation). You can read those opinions by searching the internet for “Koan”; here is my (personal) answer about the purpose and usefulness of a koan:

When a student contemplates the Koan, the thinking mind is engaged. But the thinking mind cannot find the answer. No answer makes sense, the question doesn’t make sense. How can there be an answer? But it is the task of the student to find the answer, so, being a diligent student, s/he continues contemplating what the answer might be. At some point, the brain becomes completely exhausted, realizing the futility of its task, and abandons its assignment.  This is precisely when the answer comes. To find an answer, all logic, reasoning, thinking, figuring out, or effort has to be suspended. The answer comes when “you open enough to allow the space necessary for [the koan] to enter into your depths—the inner regions beyond knowing.” – Don Dianda, author of See for Your Self: Zen Mindfulness for the Next Generation (emphasis mine)

Why I was looking for an explanation: today, the Guiding Thought felt like a koan. I read it, re-read it, re-re-read it…it made very little sense to me. I could sort of see the logic, or the meaning, or the purpose, but each time I felt like I had some understanding, some insight, it evaporated as though it was never there; then I had to start all over trying to understand. My brain could not see how it was supposed to figure out the meaning. It got really tired. I could feel myself (my brain) checking out, leaving the hotel. Maybe if I had stayed with it long enough I would have opened my eyes to gaze upon a street light and known the world as enlightened.