Thursday, August 17, 2006

An alternative to self-enquiry

Excerpted from here
You ask whether there is anything else you can do beside self inquiry via “Who Am I?

Mind is added onto you. Mind is thinking. It has no power if you get prior to mind, such as when you can consciously sink inward into your body. You are not your body, but sinking into your apparent body will get you away from the surface turmoil and thinking that seems like it engulfs your head.

If you can sit motionless for a few minutes, sink your mind backwards into your abdominal area. In Zen, this is called the Hara. If you can sink back into the Hara, and are making some progress, at a point you will feel like you are becoming completely stupid. Your mind will he hard and dense like a brick. All of the thinking and worry will congeal into a dense mass and no thinking will come out.

At some point, depending on your intensity and perseverance of practice, suddenly, without warning, something wonderful could happen and your mind will wash away. I can't tell you more or your mind will try figure out what I mean and try to make it happen; unfortunately, that will keep the mind in charge. You don't want that. As it is, this effort will be a mind-directed, but allows you an entre into the experience of the inner vastness.

I will be blunt. This kind of crisis will happen over and over until you can find a way of going within. It is not an easy or short a process. There are many ways inward. This is a short cut just for you because of where you are in turmoil. When life calms down, then you can practice “Who am I or whatever” more productively. Consider sinking into the gut as a medicine for your ailment.

The "Who am I" question is another method for turning the attention inward. A highly recommended method. My feeling though is that the method I described is more effective for where you are. Who am I is fraught with the danger of intellectualism. There are other dangers associated with too much effort in self-inquiry, because effort takes you away from a relaxed state where apprehending your true nature is possible. Sinking into your belly is a far less dangerous way to go within when you first try to go within.

As Robert would say, "What is the worse that could happen?" Well, I could lose the house. "So, what is so bad about that?" I could lose all my money and have no security. "So, what is so bad about that?" I could be thrown out onto the street living out of trash cans. "So, what is so bad about that?" I could die. "So, what is so bad about that?"