Welcome back to Week Eleven of Beyond Self 2012 in SunnyRoomStudio. We have covered a lot of spiritual territory during the past 10 weeks. It is time to rest. To sit for a while on the bench of enlightenment. For the next few weeks of our spiritual retreat–informal, no expectations, no boundaries–I will share a few key lines from my study of Zen last summer. I hope this is another useful step in your journey beyond self. We have shared many words, but there is more to this than “intellectual understanding.” That is only the beginning. And some things the mind simply can’t grasp. Remember to let your inner awareness guide you. Most thought, produced by a conditioned mind, is deeply polarized, and subject to many limitations (but so automatic you don’t even notice). Discovering your spiritual dimension requires a different kind of communication. A genuine receptiveness to that which is beyond mind. It also requires humility and an acceptance of not-knowing (so that you may know).
Spiritual evolution requires a willingness to go beyond what you “think” you know. It requires meditation, mindfulness, and silence. It requires letting go of ego to discover your true depth of spirit.
The quieter you become, the more you can hear. ~ Roshi
WEEK ELEVEN: Beyond Self 2012
Week One: Extend Your Gaze
Week Two: Always Evaluating
Week Three: Being Brevity
Week Four: Entanglement
Week Five: Beyond Attachment
Week Six: Eternal Nature
Week Seven: If Only
Week Eight: Nonresistance
Week Nine: Caught Up
Week Ten: Daily Life
Silence is the language of God, all else is poor translation. ~ Rumi
- What are you strongly identified with that has nothing to do with who you are on a spiritual level?
- How can you bring more “space” into your awareness? Space around ideas. Space around controversy. Space around assumptions. Space around labels and stereotypes. Space around limiting beliefs. Space around traditions or expectations. Space around mere words. Why is this important?
- How much of your thinking each day is repetitive, born of habit, nothing more? How much of it frustrates you, creates needless suffering?
- When do you feel reactive, instead of mindful … peaceful?
- What do Zen masters mean when they emphasize the importance of “emptiness” … ?
And here’s a wonderful question from Eckhart Tolle: “Can you look without the voice in your head commenting, drawing conclusions, comparing, or trying to figure something out?”
- This week … give it a try. Just look. Sit on the bench and just look. What can you discover that goes beyond thought or anything you’ve learned or believed in life? Why is this practice an open door?
- What you are looking for is what is looking. ~ St. Francis of Assisi
Once we lock down thoughts as “religion” the strife and conflict begin.
I draw on many spiritual leaders, believing most of them
are saying the same thing albeit in a different code.
So, yes, personalize your beliefs but don’t label it …
let it become who you are instead.
— D.A. Hickman, Kindred Spirit Quotes
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