I’ve started the year with a week long juice fast and daily yoga.
Make peace with the moment. Calm like still water.
by Neale Donald Walsch
Imagine that you are in a white room, with white walls, white floor, white ceiling, no corners. Imagine that you are suspended in this space by some invisible force. You are dangling there, in mid-air. You cannot touch anything, you cannot hear anything, and all you see is whiteness. How long do you think that you will “exist” in your own experience?
Not very long. I’d exist there, but I wouldn’t know anything about myself. Pretty soon, I’d go out of my mind.
Actually, that’s exactly what you would do. You would, literally, leave your mind. Your mind is the part of you that is assigned the task of making sense out of all incoming data, and without any data incoming, your mind has nothing to do.
Now, the moment you go out of your mind, you cease to exist in your own experience. That is, you cease to know anything in particular about yourself.
Are you big? Are you small? You cannot know, because there is nothing outside of yourself with which to compare yourself.
Are you good? Are you evil? You cannot know. Are you even here? You cannot know, because there is nothing over there.
You cannot know anything about yourself in your own experience. You can conceptualize it all you want, but you cannot experience it.
Then something happens to change all this. There appears a tiny dot on the wall. It’s as if someone has come along with a fountain pen and squirted a tiny dot of ink. Nobody knows how the dot actually got there, but it doesn’t matter, because the dot has saved you.
Now, there is something else. There is You, and there is the Dot On The Wall. Suddenly, you can make some decisions again, you can have some experiences again. The dot is over there. That means that you must be here. The dot is smaller than you. You are bigger than it.
You are starting to define yourself again—in relationship to the Dot On The Wall.
Your relationship with the dot becomes sacred, because it has given you back a sense of your Self.
Now a kitten appears in the room. You don’t know who is doing this, who is causing all this to happen, but you are grateful, because now some more decisions can be made. The kitten appears softer. But you appear smarter (at least, part of the time!). It is faster. You are stronger.
More things begin appearing in the room, and you begin to expand your definition of Self.
Then it dawns on you. Only in the presence of something else can you know yourself. This something else is that which you are not. Thus: In the absence of that which You Are Not, that which You Are… is not.
You have remembered an enormous truth, and you vow never to forget it again. You welcome every other person, place, and thing in your life with open arms. You reject none of it, because you see now that all that appears in your life is a blessing, presenting you with a greater opportunity to define who you are, and to know yourself as that.
Robert Anton Wilson explains Quantum Physics
Robert Anton Wilson - Language, Reason, and Reality
"A lot of yoga teachers may try to get you to control your own mind, mainly to prove to you that you cannot do it. ‘A fool who persists in his folly will become wise,’ and so they speed up the folly. Initially you may have a certain amount of superficial success by a process commonly called self hypnosis, and you may think you are making progress. A good teacher will let you go along that way fora while, until he really throws you by asking, ‘Why are you concentrating?’
Buddhism works very much in this way. Buddha said, ‘If you suffer, you suffer because you desire, and your desires are either unattainable or always disappointed. So cut out desire.’ So those disciples went away and they stamped on desire, jumped on desire, cut the throat of desire, and threw out desire.When they came back, Buddha said, ‘But you are still desiring not to desire.’ They wondered how to get rid of that desire. When you see that all of this is nonsense, there naturally comes over you a quietness. Seeing that you cannot control your mind you realize there is no controller. What you took to be the thinker of thoughts is just one of the thoughts. What you took to be the feeler of the feelings is just one of the feelings. What you took to be the experiencer of experience is just a part of the experience.
There is not any thinker of thoughts or feeler of feelings. We get into that bind because our language has a grammatical rule that states that verbs must have subjects. The funny thing about this is that verbs are processes, and so are subjects and nouns, which are supposed to be things. How does a noun start a verb? How does a thing put a process into action? Obviously it cannot, but we always insist that there is this subject called the knower, and without a knower there cannot be knowing. However, that is just a grammatical rule, not a rule of nature. In nature there is just knowing.”
Ram Dass interviews Thich Nhat Hanh
This is the most powerful video I’ve seen in a very, very long time.