Before creation, perhaps it was a Field of All Possibilities. With that field, an energy fluctuation, a wave, a sound, a vibration occurred. Against a background of nothing. The beginning of one of the infinite possible universes.
Today saying good-bye to a group of 600 meditation students at the university. Pick up papers. Students do evaluations. Once upon a time, it was a dream to lead such a class. Now it was lived. My mother passed away in the middle of all this. I got sick. People helped out. Had to grow into this. Feeling gratitude.
SoundClouder of the Day | Americ Azevedo | All Life is Meditation
Meet today’s SoundClouder of the day, UC Berkeley computer science and meditation professor Americ Azevedo. Pioneer of online communities and education, Americ uses SoundCloud to share his poems and meditations on everyday life. Listen to his words of wisdom here
It is written - we are created in God’s image. Assume that’s true (even if there’s no-God). If “God is creator” and we are “images of God”: we are all creators. Something, even no-thing, created this cosmos here in our faces. Good news. Pick yourself up now - create something beautiful. Such as silence and peace.
Looking out the window. The hotel across the street up on the hill fading into the early morning fog. I wait and wait and wait - for settled mind - for everything happening around a grounded still center.
“See what is. Acknowledge it without judging it as right or wrong. See it clearly without judgment and let it go. Come back to the present moment. From now until the moment of your death, you could do this. As a way of becoming more compassionate, as way of becoming less dogmatic, prejudiced, determined to have your own way, absolutely sure that you’re right and the other person is wrong, as a way to develop a sense of humor, to lighten it up, open it up, you could do this.”—
I think the second line is most difficult, one constantly in tension with the mind.
What next? Are we expecting IT to be different, new, interesting - perhaps, even exciting? The sense of of “what next” already tells us that we want to be away from here-now. There can be no “what next” in enlightenment!
Walking this early morning. Birds singing. I imagined great men turning very old in rest homes - with their minds slow and often confused. Their worldly powers gone. Many just lost. A few shining with the light of love in their eyes. Oh! What a surrender, a giving up - being weak meek and older and dropping away worldly powers and fame. Nothing remaining execept treasures stored in the soul. Most will be so poor - with lives spent in achievements. A few learned harmony and wisdom along the way: going into the light with the greatest letting go, in love. May I become so fortunate. True humble greatness.
It seems to me that we have made God a being instead of Being itself. Both John Duns Scotus and Thomas Aquinas said “Deus est Ens,” or “God is existence itself.” That is the first name of God in the Book of Exodus (3:14), which could rightly be translated “I am Am-ness,” or perhaps as Acts of the Apostles puts it: “God is the one in whom we live, and move, and have our being” (17:28).
Being, or naked existence, is the one thing that we all are a part of. It seems the essential religious problem is that human beings suffer almost universally from a massive case of mistaken identity about their radical union with God. If we can break away from the illusion of our separateness then the rest follows rather clearly, and we can reconnect with our core identity. We are each a manifestation of that Universal and Divine Being, which then takes the form of angels, humans, animals, trees, water, and Earth itself. Until we recognize that inherent and shared sacredness, we have no philosophical or compelling basis for nonviolence.
The word “Buddha” means “I am awake.” The last words of Jesus before his arrest in the garden were also “Stay Awake” (Matthew 26:38). To be awake is to be fully conscious. The Buddhists sometimes call it “object-less consciousness”; I might just call it “undefended knowing.” It is a consciousness where we are not conscious of anything in particular but everything in general. It is a panoramic receptive awareness—whereby you take in all that the moment offers without eliminating anything or attaching to anything. You just watch it pass.
This does not come naturally to us, surely not in our culture. We have to work at it. All forms of meditation and contemplation teach some form of compartmentalizing or limiting the control of the mental ego—or what some call the “monkey mind,” which just keeps jumping from observation to observation, distraction to distraction, feeling to feeling, commentary to commentary. Most of this mental action means very little and is actually the opposite of consciousness. In fact, it is unconsciousness. It is even foolish to call it “thinking” at all, although educated people tend to think their self-referential commentaries are high-level thinking.
Everyone would do well to study physics for the joy and beauty of it. It’s an endless journey of deepening discovery of self and fundamental structures. I’m blessed to be having early morning dialogues with a retired physicist. I ask questions about fundamental issues. I go home and do independent reading.