bismuth ingot; this is a monatomic solid composed of pure bismuth atoms. so cool.
Inspired by a previous question, I thought I’d lay out some good reminders for remembering and bringing the spiritual path into daily life.
Much of the spiritual Way involves the use of metaphor and art so as to move and inspire us, to give us a broader vision and a greater vocabulary of experience.
Waking up in the morning from our nightly dreams can be a symbol for waking up from the illusion of samsara. Are your dreams destroyed? Did the dream-person die? None of our conventional experiential descriptions of reality really adequately describe such a transition.
So when you awake in the morning, use that moment for something grand. Use it to polish your heart, meet the appearance of this strange world, and recognize the ease with which you leave behind the dreamworld once its dream-like nature is known. Wake up and roar. Many zen monks on waking simply burst into fake-it-til-you-make-it uproarious laughter.
See what works for you.
There are always moments throughout the day in which we are in a mindset of “waiting.” During those times, we usually sink into semi-conscious trains of thought reflecting insecurities, desires, or curiosities.
However, none of our insecurities, desires, or responsibilities are helped by such idling. Instead, use those moments for the deliberate practice of mindfulness. It’s easy to deceive yourself by merely asserting or assuming you are always practicing mindfulness and yet no mindfulness is actually practiced throughout the day.
To avoid that snag, choose a deliberate technique. Following the breath, visualization practice, and focusing your sense of touch on an object or stone in your hands are all good techniques.
To quote Eckhart Tolle, "Give up waiting as a state of mind."
Another Eckhart Tolle quote, “Gratitude is the foundation for all abundance.”
We are often disinclined to feel gratitude because we habitually cling to the things we recognize as good. To feel grateful frequently means recognizing something we would prefer not to see. Such recognitions could be that of impermanence, interdependence, and love.
But by practicing gratitude, by making it a part of our day, we reverse such issues. Suddenly the wisdoms of impermanence, interdependence, and love become accessible and appreciable.
When you can honestly and sincerely be thankful for what you have now to the extent that you feel overbrimming with good fortune, even the slightest act of kindness may bring a tear to your eye.
There are a few ways to bring gratitude into your day, and many more ways for you to discover. Some are:
Saying “thank you” to everyone, including plants and animals, and meaning it. Instead of making mental lists of desires for the future, make lists in your head or on paper of people and things for which you are thankful. Pay acts of kindness forward by passing them on to others. Gratitude prayers are also helpful, especially before meals.
The way we conceive of and relate to death is inextricable from the ways in which we conceive and relate to life.
Many people are scared of thinking or talking about death, almost superstitiously so. We fetishize death through movies and video games, we describe philosophies of death through religions, but we still avoid honest and frank discussions about our own inevitable death or the death of our loved ones.
Remember death. Remember the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths: There is something unsatisfactory about life in this world. This unsatisfactoriness comes from somewhere. It can also cease. For the cessation of life’s unsatisfactory and anxious suffering, there is a path.
Death not only keeps everything in perspective but it also lends a great deal of energy to our path. When people are feeling too lazy to meditate, I often tell them to visit a hospital, a retirement home, and a graveyard in order to see what is in their body’s future.
While waking up in the morning was akin to an awakening from the dream of samsara and the rebirth into clarity, going to sleep at night could be likened to a small death.
Going to sleep means letting go of the day’s activities, thoughts, and drives regardless of whether or not our expectations were met or all of our responsibilities settled. Death can take us any minute of any day, at least sleep can be more predictable!
Use the act of going to sleep as a conscious opportunity to let go. We are not residents of this world despite how much we pretend to be. Our stay is brief yet never without meaning, just as a child taken to the playground for an afternoon still has a hell of a good time.
Let sleep be a reminder of letting go, of not clinging to the past yet without fixation on the future.
By applying these five approaches to your day, they may act as seeds that grow into who-the-hell-knows-what. But it’ll be cool.
Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.
reflective-service said: Hi, I've recently invited spirituality into my life and I'm seeking to unite it within me to find zen, hope and enlightenment. I want to learn more of it's philosophical and behavioral practices but I'm very new and uninformed of practices aside from a few diluted postulates from Buddhism or noteworthy quotes from awakened people. What was your journey like on learning and incorporating this into you life? What are some of your favorite teaching books you'd recommend for beginners?
The first step into the ocean is always shallow. Initially, we might approach the spiritual path the way in which we have approached religion. Beliefs, sayings, and rituals/holidays are typically the first things we come across that usher our entrance into the stream of seeking.
But what distinguishes the spiritual way is that as much if not more emphasis is placed on practice, experience, and insight. These three things cannot be done for you by another person, no matter how wise and powerful.
The heart of the spiritual journey is your own heart. There never was another. As the path unfolds, you may come to suspect that the path is less about finding something you are missing and more about realizing what you and all of existence already are.
My journey was a bit different from others in that I came from an occult/supernatural/new age background. Crystals, foreign gods, rituals, and energy work were toys in my toybox from a young age. While they can be facets of many different spiritual paths, they are not the center. Just as neither the musician nor the instrument is the center of the show but rather the music.
The body and mind are instruments. Depending on where you are learning and from whom, different instruments for the spiritual path may be emphasized. What I emphasize here is meditation, as regardless of whatever path you may wind up on, a familiarity with meditation and a grounding in daily meditation practice will be of immense benefit.
Two books I really wish someone had handed me at the beginning of my journey are The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron.
The work ahead lies within you. Not just during those moments of harrowing fear and sadness nor moments of joy and ecstasy but the whole dance between the two. Whether you’re bored waiting in line, antsy hanging around strangers, or having drinks over dinner.
The Power of Now helped me to discover and rediscover as often as necessary my own aliveness. It is a book made of words dedicated to taking us beyond words. The Places That Scare You taught me ways in which I can utilize and bring the insights from that aliveness into daily life. I learned how I could afford to feel things like fear, insecurity, heartbreak, and still have space for love, compassion, and peace.
So that’s the place I recommend you can begin. Daily meditation you can read about on the meditation page of my blog. There is also a reading list on the last page of my FAQ, for once you’ve checked out those other two texts.
Namaste sis :) So happy for you and your aspiration to awaken from the suffering of confusion into the loving peace of clarity. Much love.
I regard consciousness as fundamental. I regard matter as derivative from consciousness. We cannot get behind consciousness. Everything that we talk about, everything that we regard as existing, postulates consciousness.
Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck. Nobel Laureate in Physics (1931)
winning combo: cup of ice, a dozen mint leaves 3/8 of a lime, diced cucumber, 1 tblsp sugar, 1.5 fluid oz white rum, grind fucking hard, and squeeze in club soda in whatever space is left
crimson-twinkie said: Yoooooooooo! Brother, I appreciate you. There is great love and grooviness and it is not within me, or within you, but it is the nature of all things. Namaste, and stay funky. *sunglasses emoji* (public)
Lol love you too brother.
It’s all just happening, innit?
meditateveryday said: Are you a writer or artist of some sort? I'm just curious, as I saw that you have a Facebook page and all, so I was wondering if the 'lazy yogi' was a public figure of some sort? Thank you for sharing wisdom Namaste
Nope, just a premed student.
We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.
Anyone feeling a Back to School/Back to Fall spirituality challenge?
adressbar said: Hi Lazyyogi, I've done many people wrong in the past and have made amends to some and mentioned where I've been wrong exactly without expecting anything in return. But I feel like I need to do more. I'm wondering if you've ever experienced something similar. And your thoughts on how you would maybe make amends (?) Thank you.
Making up for your wrongs is an act of personal transformation. It is good to make amends when and where possible—I’m sure you can learn something from the twelve step program in that respect. But you feel like you need to do more because you haven’t gotten to the core of the obstacle.
You’ve done wrong and you feel bad or “off” as a result. You seek to digest and make peace with that feeling by making amends with these people. But if this is how you deal with these things then you will always compulsively have to make sure you’re 100% square with everyone.
Again, it’s always good to make amends. But do not wait until everything is copacetic externally before finding peace and forgiveness and love internally. That is how you free yourself from unnecessary suffering while still understanding that you should apologize and make amends.
What is more important than the wrong you have done in the past are the mind and perspectives that gave rise to those actions. Without addressing those, without seeing your own ignorance clearly and forgiving yourself, you will only act out the same confusion and delusion but under different circumstances. That is called the cycle of samsara.
Liberation from that cycle with respect to your current obstacle is by means of self-forgiveness. Learning to forgive yourself can also help you to learn how to forgive others. Give up the hope for a better past and use your pain and regret as a tool for insight, surrender, and transformation. The transmutation of shit into bliss is a useful and important spiritual practice in modern society.
Tonglen meditation will be very, very helpful.
Lastly, I strongly recommend the book The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron, which will help you to bring the light of conscious awareness into the most tender and painful parts of your being.
Namaste :) Much love.
Be the person you are. Never try to be another, and you will become mature. Maturity is accepting the responsibility of being oneself, whatsoever the cost. Risking all to be oneself, that’s what maturity is all about.