Tuesday, April 10, 2007

it's in our hands

“Hamani” is when we go to the trees and eat food and drink beneath them with friends. (One can do this alone, of course, and I actually recommend it!) The greatest thing is when the flower petals fall on you and everything around you. Eating outside is actually always an incredible experience.

Listen to what Yasu wrote on his blog about airports.
"The airport has a special atmosphere like making people’s feel excited. I always feel like jumping and running in front of people and cant stop talking and laughing. So is the train station, but the airport has much stronger power than the other.
It is because of people in the airport, who are always happy to expect something new happens at the different worlds. All people before departure have full of energy, which is like right before spring season. The spring exploded everything after long hibernation. Look at beautiful cherry blossoms. We don’t need any lights when we walk under the blooming flowers at night. The Flower in spring has more bright than anything else. Before exploding, everything has to save energy to take actions. That is exactly same situation which people have before departure at the airport. We are able to feel their energetic bodies coming out of its deep hearts, releasing excited strong power. That power gives us special feeling easily as we passed by.
Secondly, the airport is the gate for being capable of going anyplace we want. We can go to the other sites of the earth from there, or even different planets, which mean that we can feel freedom. We can do wherever we want from there. We can touch the blue innocent sky. The beginning of place to catch enormous dreams is merely the airport…especially Japan is surrounded by ocean. We are isolated from continental people but we would love to make friends with them because we feel lonely, I guess that is one of reason we always stick to the United States. That is to say we feel something special when we are at the airplane. The airport is the gate for exploring a large number of possibilities for change the circumstance. I love that place."

And listen to what my friend Michael Garfield says about evolution: “This is the one definition of evolutionary progress deemed conventionally acceptable by current science: a blooming of diversity within a transcendent-yet-immanent whole.”

Immanent: existing in, and extending into, all parts of the created world. This reminds of a great meditation called looking deeply (Thich Nhat Hanh's version of this with a piece of paper is still my favorite. Hanh says nothing can "be" by itself. Instead it must "inter-be" with everything else. He calls our existence “interbeing.") Lets take this moment to look deeply into our hands. Ask yourself "what needs to exist in order for my hand to be there?" What is an intrinsic feature or support element of my hand? What is immanent to my hand? Well, my parents are in there, obviously. I'm essentially half my mom and half my dad, (and since I wasn’t exactly planned for like the other siblings were, a family joke is that a lousy spermicide manufacturing company is an integral part of my existence and I should write them a thankyou letter for making such a lousy product.) So my hand contains my parents and a contraceptive company, and that leads of course to my parent's parents, who have to be there, and their parents, and all my ancestors back forever to the very first one. What amazing sex they all had, and they all ate foods and saw the world and died glorious deaths. All my ancestors have to be there for my hand to be here now. Can you see your ancestors when you look deeply into your hands? Can you see my ancestors?

The sun is most definitely in my hands too, for without the sun I could not be alive. And if I am not alive, then I cant have these hands, so yes, of course the sun is in my hands. And the trees are in there, which gave me food, fruit and air and energy and bones and blood from the beginning of my life, and whose energy is now transformed into my hands, to some degree. And the tree grew from the dirt and dead leaves and energy from other trees, and from the rocks and the rain. So the clouds are in my hands, whose fallen bodies fed the trees, and fed my body. Water is inside of my hands (as well as Air, Earth, and Heart, Mind, Matter, Light, you name it, its there in my hands.) All these things are inside my hands, support my hands, create my hands, and so they can be seen within my hands when I look deeply.

Exactly how I see and feel and experience my hands relates to my perception, which is my mind. And because my mind is identical to my perception of my hands, it’s there in my hands too. Mind, light, ancestors, trees, clouds, farmers, rivers, mountains, stars, atoms, governments, wars, religions, fruits, berries, nuts, chickens, cows, grasses and insects, and of course, my self, mind, and spirit, All inside my hands. Right there, shining out from these scratched palms.

And where are my hands? The list of parts that make up the existence of my hands is long and full of everything whatsoever, but nowhere on that list was anything called "hand." No separate hand can be found. This is what is meant by the saying "your hand is empty." It’s empty of separateness, empty of inherently existing on its own accord. When looked at deeply, hand dissolves as a solid, singular, separate entity or concept, and opens up to overflow in fullness, like a tiny mirror reflecting infinity, and thus, "your empty hand is full." It’s empty of "hand" and so is full of everything else. Empty and full are two sides of one coin or one experience or one reality or taste.

Your hand is everything not-hand, like the sun and the stars and the trees, like how my body is a temple made of the universe; a wave tip playing with other wave tips, movements of the sea. I’m a movement of the sea, and deep inside of me is the sea, Infinity, shining back as Empty Fullness, Freedom and Release and Response-ability, Reality in this moment, the concepts, the dreams, the feelings and friends are all there in the emptiness, reflecting the fullness or holographic nature of every point in the universe, every point being an empty center of a universe that has no center, every point (like Inda's Net) a tiny mirror or diamond reflecting all the other points, and never seeing itself but as a reflection of all the others. Every point is empty of separateness, full of Fullness, and is involved in every other point infinitely. All in All. This is clear when I look deeply into my hands.

Look no further.
Look no further...
It’s in our hands. It always was.
It’s in our hands, in our hands,
It’s all there, in our hands.
It’s all there
In our hands. -Bjork

Great song.

You know, in many ways we are all simply extension of the Sun. We are the growing fingertips of her Light, warmth, and energy. Sun God religions that worship this Powerful source of our lives make a lot of sense to me. But the Sun is just one of those many points into which we can see clearly a creating force or clearing. Every point contains a creative faculty for our existence; so that it is as if we are a grain of salt jumping into the ocean and immediately becoming it. (The Ocean of Becoming, actually. Also known as the "Pleroma."*

Every part of us reflects (and contains) every other part, so that we dissolve into a surrounding ocean of creative points, each one containing the whole, each one empty and transparent and unmoving, and each point a light of mind luminous and colorful and spontaneous and free.

I’m trying to describe the nature of mind, and to those of you who know what I'm talking about will also know that its not this at all, but that this is just another form existing within its creative emptiness, and so I know its all nonsense. But it’s also a beautiful vision (Indra's net inside my hands) and causes the mind to occupy itself with imaging this infinite structure of relationships and light, and the mind has to then stretch to infinity to try to contain infinity within its awareness, and this opens up the heart to include more and more beings into its embrace and care and concern. This story increases the Wisdom and the Compassion in any moment, which creates a new pattern of thought, and a new world-view is built with a higher level of cognition and compassion, which is then lived within and transformed from within (like a dream).

Luckily we all have within us an infinite amount of love and care that our hearts easily open up to look at and to care for infinity (the thousand armed, thousand eyed Avalotitesvara (one eye in each hand) whose image is in the large thanka painting hanging above my shrine, represents this inherent quality of the heart/mind (and reflects an aspect of our deepest/highest nature and potential). One yoga practice I do everyday is imagining this bodhisattva as a tiny being the size of a thumb floating in my chest or behind my eyes. Or sometimes I imagine this deity as it is on my wall, only in 3-D, like a hologram floating in the space in front of me, and I'm sitting at it's feet, looking up at it, loving it, listening to its teachings, amazed at the amount of love emanating from its heart (and therefore, from my own). It's my guru, this infinite heart/mind of the deity, infinitely compassionate, caring, and in love (Christians are known for imaging the image of Jesus or Mary in a similar way). By imaging (imagining) this infinitely compassionate personality, the mind then takes on those qualities in order to imagine them, and this is the reason why Tantric or Vajra (diamond) Yana Buddhism is known as the fastest way to integrating the nature of mind (emptiness) with the infinite form (fullness) in this life. Tantra (including nine or more different Yogas) uses the creative property of the mind to help build deeper structures into the mind and thus into the life. It also uses sex, love, life (dreaming, suffering, and death) as a direct way to explore and manifest this inherent love and unity. Anyone interested: I can also explain the many meanings of the Vajra symbol and mandala (I had to do a report about it and Vajrasattva, the bodhisattva mahasattva, in college. You could also just wikipedia "Vajra" and follow all the links.)

I think I have turned into a kind of preacher (I can hear my friends and family say "David, trust us. You’ve been a preacher for many years.") I think I preach because I love to study and it helps me remember the teachings. It's like practicing with huge flashcards, and I have to recite large teachings to keep them around in my memory. It was fun in college to teach each other all the stuff we learned that week in school. It helped spread the knowledge and prepare us for the tests. Spiritual teachings and tests are like that too.

Well, thanks for listening and still loving me. I can see you all in my hands and I love it.

* This is from Wikipedia.
Almost all gnostic systems of the Syrian or Egyptian type taught that the universe began with an original, unknowable God, referred to as the Parent or Bythos, as the Monad by Monoimus, or the first Aeon by still other traditions. From this initial unitary beginning, the One spontaneously emanated further Aeons, pairs of progressively 'lesser' beings in sequence. The lowest of these pairs were Sophia and Christ. The Aeons together made up the Pleroma, or fullness, of God, and thus should not be seen as distinct from the divine, but symbolic abstractions of the divine nature….
“Jesus is interpreted as an intermediary aeon who was sent from the pleroma, with whose aid humanity can recover the lost knowledge of the divine origins of humanity. The term is thus a central element of Gnostic cosmology.
Pleroma is also used in the general Greek language and is used by the Greek Orthodox church in this general form since the word appears under the book of Colossians. Proponents of the view that Paul was actually a gnostic, such as Elaine Pagels of Princeton University, view the reference in Colossians as something that was to be interpreted in the gnostic sense.”

“In Gnostic tradition, the term Sophia (Greek for "wisdom") refers to the final and lowest emanation of God.
In most if not all versions of the gnostic myth, Sophia births the demiurge, who in turn brings about the creation of materiality. The positive or negative depiction of materiality thus resides a great deal on mythic depictions of Sophia's actions. She is occasionally referred to by the Hebrew equivalent of Achamoth (this is a feature of Ptolemy's version of the Valentinian gnostic myth). Jewish Gnosticism with a focus on Sophia was active by…

Is any of this interesting? Do any of you study early religions such as Gnosticism? Please let me know.

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