Can there simply be stillness without knowing? This stillness, this pure awareness, with its wisdom and compassion - is this the manifestation of God from moment to moment? Who knows? Where does the question itself come from? The word, the name, is not what is. What is is without self. It is unknowable, unthinkable, indivisible. Why attach a name to what is?
There’s a very, very delicate line, a sort of razor’s edge: where is the ‘me’ being reborn, strengthened, or denied, and where is it simply being exposed, being seen directly for what it is?
Toni Packer (via sharanam)
Not knowing is dying. And at the same time being wholly alive.
Toni Packer (via sharanam)
Most of us are afraid of dying. One can try to combat the fear of death by concentrating on death as a practice. Recently I heard of a monastery where the monks were not supposed to talk at all, except for when they met each other they said, “Remember, brother, that you are going to die.” What goes on in these people’s minds? What are they doing in this exercise? Essentially the resistance to being here now is the fear of dying and losing all that we know about ourselves - our whole history. So can one work with this fear directly, listening openly, vulnerably, dying to ideas as they come up about myself and the world? No idea, not being anything, no grasping to be somebody, not anything - when that happens freely there is no fear of dying, because this is what we really are, what we were before we are born, and what we will be when we die. It is our true state. Now. There is nothing fearful about it.
Toni Packer from The End of the Story | Tricycle - The Buddhist Review (via sharanam)
Can we begin to realize that we live in conceptual, abstract ideas about ourselves? That we are rarely in touch directly with what is going on? Can we realize that thoughts about myself—I’m good or bad, I’m liked or disliked—are nothing but thoughts, and that thoughts do not tell us the truth about what we really are? A thought is a thought, and it triggers instant physical reactions, pleasure, and pains throughout the bodymind. Physical reactions generate further thoughts and feelings about myself—‘I’m suffering,’ ‘I’m happy,’ ‘I’m not as bright, as good looking as the others.’ That feedback implies that all this is me, that I have gotten hurt, or feel good about myself, or that I need to defend myself or get more approval and love from others. When we’re protecting ourselves in our daily interrelationships we’re not protecting ourselves from flying stones or bomb attacks. It’s from words we’re taking cover, from gestures, from coloration of voice and innuendo…Is there someone real to be protected from words and gestures, or are we merely living in ideas and stories about me and you, all of it happening in the ongoing audio/video drama of ourselves?…As we wake up from moment to moment, can we experience freshly, directly, when hurt or flattery is taking place? What is happening? What is being hurt? And what keeps the hurt going? Can there be some awareness of defenses arising, fear and anger forming, or withdrawal taking place, all accompanied by some kind of story line? Can the whole drama become increasingly transparent, can it be thoroughly questioned? What is it that is being protected? What is the me? Is it images, ideas, memories?
Toni Packer, from “What is the Me?” in The Wonder of Presence and the Way of Meditative Inquiry (Shambhala Publications) (via sharanam)
Actually, awareness is here even during times of darkness. Presence never goes anywhere. This is not a dogmatic statement but a simple fact that each one of us can come upon. See the cloud, the darkness! Hear the wind! Feel the breathing! Smell the flowers! Touch the swaying grasses! Clouds, wind, thoughts, breathing, fragrant flowers, and grasses change all the time, but seeing is here without time. Even though doubts may obscure it, it is here the instant the mind stops and every cell of the body opens to hear and see and be.