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The Book of Life

The Highest Form of Energy

June 6th ~ An idea about energy is entirely different from the fact of energy itself.  We have formulas or concepts of how to bring about a quality of energy that is of the highest quality.  But the formula is entirely different from the renovating, renewing quality of energy itself.

    . . . . The highest form of this energy, the apogee, is the state of mind when it has no idea, no thought, no sense of a direction or motive–that is pure energy.  And that quality of energy cannot be sought after.  You can’t say, “Well, tell me how to get it, the modus operandi, the way.”  There is no way to it.  To find out for ourselves the nature of this energy, we must begin to understand the daily energy that is wasted–the energy when we talk, when we hear a bird, a voice, when we see the river, the vast sky and the villagers, dirty, ill-kept, ill, half-starved, and the tree that withdraws of an evening from all the light of day.  The very observation of everything is energy.  And this energy we derive through food, through the sun’s rays.  This physical, daily energy that one has, obviously can be augmented, increased, by the right kind of food, and so on.  That is necessary, obviously.  But that same energy which becomes the energy of the psyche–that is, thought–the moment that energy has any contradiction in itself, that energy is a waste of energy.

January 31st, 2020 ~Everything is energy.  The energy I waste in itching my face throughout the day is amazing to me.  Leakage. . .  Through thought.

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The Book of Life

The Art of Listening Is the Art of Release

June 7th ~ Somebody is telling you something, you listen.  The very act of listening is the act of release.  When you see the fact, the very perception of that fact is the release of that fact.  The very listening, the very seeing of something as a fact, has an extraordinary effect without the effort of thought.

   . . . .  Let us take one thing–say ambition.  We have gone sufficiently into what it does, what its effect are.  A mind that is ambitious can never know what it is to sympathize, to have pity, to love.  An ambitious mind is a cruel mind–whether spiritually or outwardly or inwardly.  You have heard it.  You hear it; when you hear that, you translate it and say, “How can I live in this world which is built on ambition?”  Therefore, you have not listened.  You have responded, you have reacted to a statement, to a fact; therefore, you are not looking at the fact.  You are merely translating the fact or giving an opinion about the fact or responding to the fact; therefore, you are not looking at the fact. . .  If one listens–in the sense without any evaluation, reaction, judgment–surely then, the fact creates that energy which destroys, wipes away, sweeps away ambition which creates conflict.

January 30th, 2020 ~ Life is very active when you take into account our perception.   We are listening and also seeing, but not in the usual sense.  It is re-assuring to know we are capable of this.

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Attention Without Resistance

June 8th ~ You know what space is.  There is space in this room.  The distance between here and your hostel, between the bridge and you home, between this bank of the river and the other–all that is space.   Now, is there also space in your mind?  Or is it so crowded that there is no space in it at all?  If your mind has space, then in that space there is silence–and from that silence everything else comes, for then you can listen, you can pay attention without resistance.  That is why it is very important to have space in the mind.  If the mind is not overcrowded, not ceaselessly occupied, then it can listen to that dog barking, to the sound of a train crossing the distant bridge, and also be fully aware of what is being said by a person talking here.  Then the mind is a living thing, it is not dead.

January 29th, 2020 ~ Even space is empty of inherent existence.  It is a phenomena that arises dependent upon causes and conditions.  In a room, you see space on the left, middle and right side of the room, top and bottom.  The left is dependent upon on the middle.  The middle is dependent upon on the left and the right.  And so on. . . .  You can go deeper and deeper with this.  Space is connected to space.  If there is no air left in a room, you will know it.   You will want to get out.  So there is something in space, even though we don’t see it. 

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The Book of Life

Attention Free of Effort

June 9th ~ Is there attention without anything absorbing the mind?  Is there attention without concentrating upon an object?  Is there attention without any form of motive, influence, compulsion?  Can the mind give full attention without any sense of exclusion?  Surely it can, and that is the only state of attention, the others are mere indulgence, or tricks of the mind.  If you can give full attention without being absorbed in something, and without any sense of exclusion, then you will find out what it is to meditate; because in that attention there is no effort, no division, no struggle, no search for a result.  So meditation is a process of freeing the mind from systems, and of giving attention without either being absorbed or making an effort to concentrate.

January 28th, 2020 ~ This state sure feels heavy.

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The Book of Life

An Attention That Is Not Exclusive

I think there is a difference between attention that is given to an object and attention without object.  We can concentrate on a particular idea, belief, object–which is an exclusive process; and there is also an attention, an awareness, which is not exclusive.  Similarly, there is discontent which has no motive, which is not the outcome of some frustration, which cannot be canalized, which cannot accept any fulfillment.  Perhaps I may not be using the right word for it, but  I think that that extraordinary discontent is the essential.  Without that, every other form of discontent merely becomes a way to satisfaction.

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The Book of Life

Attention Is Limitless, Without Frontiers

June 11th ~ In the cultivation of the mind, our emphasis should not be on concentration, but on attention.  Concentration is a process of forcing the mind to narrow down to a point, whereas attention is without frontiers.  In that process the mind is always limited by a frontier or boundary, but when our concern is to understand the totality of the mind, mere concentration becomes a hindrance.  Attention is limitless, without the frontiers of knowledge.  Knowledge comes through concentration, and any extension of knowledge is still within its own frontiers.  In the state of attention the mind can and does use knowledge, which of necessity is the result of concentration; but the part is never the whole, and adding together the many parts does not make for the perception of the whole.  Knowledge, which is the additive process of concentration does not bring about the additive process of concentration does not bring about the understanding of the immeasurable.  The total is never within the brackets of a concentrated mind.

So attention is of primary importance, but it does not come through the effort of concentration.  Attention is the state in which the mind is ever learning without a center around which knowledge gathers as accumulated experience.  A mind that is concentrated upon itself uses knowledge as a means of its own expansion; and such activity becomes self-contradictory and antisocial.

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Complete Attention

June 12th ~ What do we mean by attention?  Is there attention when I am forcing my mind to attend?  When I say to myself, “I must pay attention, I must control my mind and push aside all other thoughts,” would you call that attention?  Surely that is not attention.  What happens when the mind forces itself to pay attention?  It  creates a resistance to prevent other thoughts from seeping in; it is concerned with resistance, with pushing away; therefore it is incapable of attention.  That is true, is it not?

To understand something totally you must give your complete attention to it.  But you will soon find out how extraordinarily difficult that is, because your mind is used to being distracted, so you say, “By Jove, it is good to pay attention, but how am I to do it?”  That is, you are back again with the desire to get something, so you will never pay complete attention. . . . When you see a tree or a bird, for example, to pay complete attention is not to say, “That is an oak,” or, “That is a parrot,” and walk by.  In giving it a name you have already ceased to pay attention. . . . Whereas, if you are wholly aware, totally attentive when you look at something, then you will find that a complete transformation takes place, and that total attention is the good.  There is no other, and you cannot get total attention by practice.  With practice you get concentration, that is, you build up walls of resistance, and within those walls of resistance is the concentrator, but that is not attention, it is exclusion.

January 25th, 2020 ~ Today’s meditation here in Silicon Valley directed at executives strives towards concentration within the stress that is in the Valley.  Attention is different.  From stillness and humility comes attention from meditation.  It is unique every time.  We come from a place of not knowing, which is so difficult in this “logical” world we call Silicon Valley.

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Elimination of Fear Is the Beginning of Attention

June 13th ~ How is the state of attention to be brought about?  It cannot be cultivated through persuasion, comparison, reward, or punishment, all of which are forms of coercion.  The elimination of fear is the beginning of attention.  Fear must exist as long as there is an urge to be or to become, which is the pursuit of success, with all its frustrations and tortuous contradictions.  You can teach concentration, but attention cannot be taught, just as you cannot possibly teach freedom from fear, and in understanding these causes there is the elimination of fear.  So attention arises spontaneously when around the student there is an atmosphere of well-being, when he has the feeling of being secure, of being at ease, and is aware of the disinterested action that comes with love.  Love does not compare, and so the envy and torture of “becoming” cease.  

January 24th, 2020 ~ Krishnamurti says that attention and freedom from fear can’t be taught.  We have to do it ourselves.  People like K model for us, but we have to do it ourselves.

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There Is No Place at Which to Arrive

Can humility be practiced?  Surely, to be conscious that you are humble is not to be humble.  You want to know that you have arrived.  This indicates, does it not, that you are listening in order to achieve a particular state, a place where you will never be disturbed, where you will find everlasting happiness, permanent bliss?  But as I said previously, there is no arriving, there is only the movement of learning–and that is the beauty of life.  If you have arrived, there is nothing more.  And all of you have arrived, or you want to arrive, not only in your business, but in everything you do; so you are dissatisfied, frustrated, miserable.  Sirs, there is no place at which to arrive, there is just this movement of learning, which becomes painful only when there is accumulation.  A mind that listens with complete attention will never look for a result because it is constantly unfolding; like a river, it is always in movement.  Such a mind is totally unconscious of its own movement.  Such a mind is totally unconscious of its own activity, in the sense that there is no perpetuation of  a self; of a “me,” which is seeking to achieve an end.

January 23rd, 2020 ~ One of the things I am keeping in mind about meditation is humility.  The other is stillness.  Stillness is easier for me.  Humility is not.  Definition.com defines it this way: the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc.

That I don’t know what is really going on here.  This reminder helps me to observe.  K says the beauty of life is the movement of learning.  My friend Ann, who is a Zen priest, mentioned on a recent drive home from evening meditation at the Zendo, that people say heaven is perfect and how great that would be.  She said it would be pretty boring if that is the case.  Maybe that is what is happening here on earth.  Our lives are pretty boring so we create problems and fill our lives with technology, too much or too little work, a preoccupation with the latest fads, and more.  Meditation is a place where it is a little easier to learn–and not accumulate so much.

This idea of practicing reminds me of how Krishnamurti talks about becoming non-violent from violent.  But if we are becoming, we are still that quality that we are trying to change.  We will never leave it behind.  So we become free of that quality.  We are not becoming something through an arrival of sorts.  So, we ask the question: Can we be free of this quality?  This feels more like learning, does it not?  Let’s question our arrival, shall we?

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Knowledge Is Not Awareness

June 15th ~ Awareness is that state of mind which observes something without any condemnation or acceptance, which merely faces the thing as it is.  When you look at a flower non-botanically, then you see the totality of the flower, but if your mind is completely taken up with the botanical knowledge of what the flower is, you are not totally looking at the flower.  Though you may have knowledge of the flower, if that knowledge takes the whole ground of your mind, the whole field of your mind, then you are not looking totally at the flower.

So, to look at a fact is to be aware.  In that awareness, there is no choice, no condemnation, no like or dislike.  But most of us are incapable of doing this because traditionally, occupationally, in every way, we are not capable of facing the fact without the background.  We have to be aware of the background.  We have to be aware of our conditioning, and that conditioning shows itself when we observe a fact; and as you are concerned with the observation of the fact and not with the background, the background is pushed aside.  When the main interest is to understand the fact only, and when you see that the background prevents you from understanding the fact, then the vital interest in the fact wipes away the background.

January 22nd, 2020 ~The background is the knowledge, experience, motive, desire.