As one grows older he/she start to feel their limitations. You no longer meet society's image of beauty. Things that you could accomplish easily when you were still young, become difficult or impossible.
Most of you feelings of limitations comes from your mind. It true that the form which contains you, is unable run as fast, jump as high etc as you could 20 years ago. You will never become an Olympic athlete.
As far as the truly important things are concerned, there are no limits.
It is the tyranny of the mind, which causes you to identify with your thoughts, and feelings.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.Buddha
Our mind is full of garbage, that we have been taught is true. In time, we internalize these teaching. Once we are able to throw out all this garbage, we find that nothing of real importance, is beyond our capacity.
Throwing out this garbage is very hard. We will always come up with logical reasons, to believe,much of what we were taught. We tell ourselves that in the future things will be better. As long as we dwell in the future, we can never achieve true happiness or bliss.
We do not need to wait for better conditions before starting to practice, because we can transform any circumstances, whether good or bad, into the path to liberation. and enlightenment. We determine whether our life is a living hell or a heaven on earth.
The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly. -Buddha
The abbot of a once famous Buddhist monastery that had fallen into decline was deeply troubled. Monks were lax in their practice, novices were leaving and lay supporters deserting to other centers. He traveled far to a sage and recounted his tale of woe, of how much he desired to transform his monastery to the flourishing haven it had been in days of yore.
The sage looked him in the eye and said, "The reason your monastery has languished is that the Buddha is living among you in disguise, and you have not honored Him." The abbot hurried back, his mind in turmoil
The Selfless One was at his monastery! Who could He be? Brother Hua?...No, he was full of sloth. Brother Po?...No, he was too dull. But then the Tathagata was in disguise. What better disguise than sloth or dull- wittedness? He called his monks to him and revealed the sage's words. They, too, were taken aback and looked at each other with suspicion and awe.
Which one of them was the Chosen One?
The disguise was perfect. Not knowing who He was they took to treating everyone with the respect due to a Buddha. Their faces started shining with an inner radiance that attracted novices and then lay supporters.
In no time at all the monastery far surpassed its previous glory.
One day, the sage gave the disciple an empty sack and a basket of potatoes. "Think of all the people who have done or said something against you in the recent past, especially those you cannot forgive. For each of them, inscribe the name on a potato and put it in the sack."
The disciple came up quite a few names, and soon his sack was heavy with potatoes.
"Carry the sack with you wherever you go for a week," said the sage. "We'll talk after that."
At first, the disciple thought nothing of it. Carrying the sack was not particularly difficult. But after a while, it became more of a burden. It sometimes got in the way, and it seemed to require more effort to carry as time went on, even though its weight remained the same.
After a few days, the sack began to smell. The carved potatoes gave off a ripe odor. Not only were they increasingly inconvenient to carry around, they were also becoming rather unpleasant.
Finally, the week was over. The sage summoned the disciple. "Any thoughts about all this?"
"Yes, Master," the disciple replied. "When we are unable to forgive others, we carry negative feelings with us everywhere, much like these potatoes. That negativity becomes a burden to us and, after a while, it festers."
"Yes, that is exactly what happens when one holds a grudge. So, how can we lighten the load?"
"We must strive to forgive."
"Forgiving someone is the equivalent of removing the corresponding potato from the sack. How many of your transgressors are you able to forgive?"
"I've thought about it quite a bit, Master," the disciple said. "It required much effort, but I have decided to forgive all of them."
Very well, we can remove all the potatoes. Were there any more people who transgressed against you this last week?"
The disciple thought for a while and admitted there were. Then he felt panic when he realized his empty sack was about to get filled up again.
"Master," he asked, "if we continue like this, wouldn't there always be potatoes in the sack week after week?"
"Yes, as long as people speak or act against you in some way, you will always have potatoes."
"But Master, we can never control what others do. So what good is the Tao in this case?"
"We're not at the realm of the Tao yet. Everything we have talked about so far is the conventional approach to forgiveness. It is the same thing that many philosophies and most religions preach – we must constantly strive to forgive, for it is an important virtue. This is not the Tao because there is no striving in the Tao."
"Then what is the Tao, Master?"
"You can figure it out. If the potatoes are negative feelings, then what is the sack?"
"The sack is... that which allows me to hold on to the negativity. It is something within us that makes us dwell on feeling offended.... Ah, it is my inflated sense of self-importance."
"And what will happen if you let go of it?"
"Then... the things that people do or say against me no longer seem like such a major issue."
"In that case, you won't have any names to inscribe on potatoes. That means no more weight to carry around, and no more bad smells. The Tao of forgiveness is the conscious decision to not just to remove some potatoes... but to relinquish the entire sack."
The conventional approach to forgiveness, as the sage points out, is focused on striving. The well-known poem by Shenxiu describes this precisely:
Body is the bodhi tree Heart is like clear mirror stand Strive to clean it constantly Do not let the dust motes land
It is all about constant, diligent practice. The process never stops, because there will always be more dust falling on the clear mirror. Just when you think you've got it perfectly clean, another speck of dust has landed. The disciple noted that as long as he remained at this level, his sack would never run out of potatoes. Similarly, as long as we're stuck in the conventional approach to forgiveness, we'll never run out of transgressors to forgive.
But why is there a mirror for the dust to fall on in the first place? And does it really need to be there?
The mirror in the poem can represent egoism – an exaggerated sense of conceit and vanity. Although it does not exist as a physical thing, we treat it as such. Our language is full of references to this assumption. We talk about the "bruised" ego, or how the pride is "hurt," or how one's dignity can be "wounded" – as if egoism is part of the body, like a limb or an organ.
And yet egoism is nothing more than a construction of the mind. It springs from the false perception that we are separate and different from others. That sense of separation and difference leads us to skewed comparisons, which in turn lead us to a false conviction of superiority. When this elaborate illusion is under attack, the illusory injuries seem quite real. But as soon as we see through the illusion, it fades away, and so do the damages against it.
This is the basis of the Tao approach to forgiveness. Zen Master Huineng's response to Shenxiu's poem illustrates it perfectly:
Bodhi really has no tree Nor is clear mirror the stand Nothing's there initially So where can the dust motes land?
The mirror doesn't really exist. Although the dust motes keep falling, there is nothing for them to land on or cling to, and there is nothing to wipe clean. Egoism is something we created for ourselves, so it is something we can dismiss with a simple decision. Without egoism there is nothing to bruise, hurt or wound. Without damages or injuries to the ego, pride or dignity... there is also nothing to forgive.
This is how the sage transcends beyond the ordinary teachings of forgiveness. By recognizing that the true self can never be hurt, and it is only the false projections of the ego that are damaged by criticisms and insults, we bypass the constant striving to forgive others.
Not many people realize this particular realm of the Tao even exists, but once we have truly arrived - absorbed the lesson completely - forgiveness for us will require no effort at all. Forgiving becomes an obsolete and unnecessary action; this Tao takes us through life with the smooth, effortless ease and elegance of wu wei.
Awakening honors and welcomes the pain of suffering for that which it is: The Self, Consciousness in the form of Grace beckoning us to abandon our limitations and return home to boundless joy, peace and happiness. It is a doorway to naked reality, absolute truth and pure love.
Sound like nonsense?
Read this. Consider and digest it slowly.
"Another pointer that helps to understand this is allowing. Allowing this moment to be as it is, just this moment, no more. Just this moment. Suddenly there's an inner space around it which frees you from the limitation of the form.
The greatest image of that is the crucifixion, which you may not be fond of; some people don't like it because it's very negative, but I believe it's a deep symbol of a truth that perhaps at that time could not be expressed in any other way. It's expressed in mythical form and the cross is the greatest limitation you can imagine, a torture instrument.
There's this man nailed to the cross - a great limitation - but the cross is also the symbol of the divine and there's deep wisdom in that. How is it that a torture instrument is also a symbol of the divine? It's about surrendering to the limitation of form, and the cross is an extreme example of that. The crucifixion means not my but thy will be done, which refers to the totality of what is. If you surrender to what is, the extreme limitation becomes an opening into space.
That's the deepest rule really that there is for human beings to realize that. Even the worst thing that happens to you can become the doorway then... will become the doorway into transcendence. Limitation becomes space.
That's where human suffering comes in. There's a grace hiding behind every form of suffering. There's always the possibility of transcendence, which comes from not resisting the present moment. Some people need extreme suffering to be driven to that point and then suddenly something shifts.
The one thing humans need to learn so they can live a different way, so that there's an inner freedom, is the complete transcendence of the conditioning of the past."
I reject the existence of God in the traditional form. I find the mythology involved in most organized religion as absurd. Does this make me an atheist?
On the other hand, I do believe that we are all part of something larger. It seem hard to believe, that the Universe came into existence, totally by accident.
When most people think of God, they think of an all powerful personal being, God has gotten a bad name, by the major religions.
Instead of using the term God, let use the term nature.
Nature does not have the exclusiveness, of a church, or religion. Nature is all inclusive. All beings, flowers, rocks, the sky etc, are part of nature.
When you think of being a child of nature, you see how your are interconnected, in a large extended family. You don't feel the need to compare yourself with other member of you family. We are all equal to the tinniest grain of sand, to the greatest super nova.
I would call myself a mystic. A mystic is one who, above all else in life, desires to know, not in the intellectual sense of knowing, the deepest Truth of existence..
I firmly believe that the my ultimate truth is inside me. This truth has been covered by the crap(ego) of what I have been taught to be true.
Basically the process of awakening, is shoveling the crap, you thought of as reality, down the toilet where it belongs, until you can finally see the incredible beauty that is you
To let go the illusions of ego identity and stand naked before our true original nature, often requires a removing of oneself from typical ways of living and thinking at least for a time. In the sacred literature, this is often referred to as entering the wilderness, facing the dark night of the soul, annihilation of the ego, or dying to oneself to be born again. It is a process of fundamental transformation of conscious understanding that the mystic takes on.
I can feel the resistance, as I try to destroy the illusion that I am, separate from everything else. On the other hand it is becoming more evident, on a deeper level, that I am one with nature.
There are brief periods, where the delusion, seem to fade, and I can see a glimmer of reality. I know I am on the right track, I am at the beginning or a journey, that never ends