Hi there Lazy Yogi, If you were to give the book, The Power of Now as a gift to someone who means a lot to you, what would you say your reason for giving them this book is? How will this book benefit them?
The only reason I ever came across The Power of Now was because someone put it into my hands as a heartfelt gift.
During the summer that followed my sophomore year in college, one of my best friends killed himself. He was a brilliant academic and an incredibly talented musician. I’ve never met another being like him.
After I graduated college, I had lunch with his parents. As a graduation gift, they gave me a copy of The Power of Now, the last book he had ever read. I had no idea how significantly that book would impact me.
I have leant or given a copy of the book to several people since then. None of them bothered to read it.
There is no way to know how someone will be benefitted. In my case, it was a very intimate revelation. In those other instances, it was like dropping seeds on bare rock. Nothing grew.
In the end, I suppose it’s love that moves someone to genuinely wish to share these things. It’s like someone getting out of their car at a trafficked intersection and helping to guide traffic. They themselves are not benefitted with regard to the destination. They don’t go anywhere. Yet by helping the traffic to flow smoothly, everyone including that person will be safer.
That is the motivation behind compassion. It is summed up well in both Indian and Tibetan spiritualities: May all the beings in all the worlds know peace and happiness.
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“Mindfulness practice means that we commit fully in each moment to be present; inviting ourselves to interface with this moment in full awareness, with the intention to embody as best we can an orientation of calmness, mindfulness, and equanimity right here and right now.”—
We must leave the entire collection of conditioned thought behind and let ourselves be led by the inner thread of silence into the unknown, beyond where all paths end, to that place where we go innocently or not at all, not once but continually.
True freedom isn’t ‘I am free.’ True freedom is ‘everything is free.’ Which means everyone has the freedom to be who they are. Whether they are awake or not awake. Deluded or un-deluded. Freedom is that everything and everybody gets to be exactly as they are. Unless we’ve come to that point, unless we’ve seen that is how Reality sees things, then we are actually withholding freedom from the world.
'When we look back, at the time of death, the experience of this life will seem like a dream. And - just as with our nighttime dreams - it will seem useless to have put so much effort into it. The fear we experience in a dream is gone when we wake up; feeling afraid was just an unnecessary…
“The Buddha taught that there are two kinds of suffering: that which comes from the outside world, and that which comes from within you. With the latter, only you can do anything about it. Where does that suffering come from? Emptiness. Examining the thoughts and feelings that arise from emptiness is one tenet of Buddhism. Why do we suffer? What is at the root? Where did it begin? When we see the answers to those questions, our suffering, which has arisen from emptiness, returns to emptiness.”—
True peace is received whenever we completely eradicate this root of suffering. In other words, cessation of ignorance, attachment and anger is real freedom, true peace — the peace that never changes; the peace that once received can never change, is everlasting.
In the book The Places That Scare You it talks about allowing every moment to soften you regardless of whether it's good or bad. I feel like the bad moments, the moments where I feel helpless don't soften me even though I'm accepting them and welcoming them. What is it about those moments should I do so that they soften me from here on out because I experience them often.
Being vulnerable means less doing, less controlling. Acceptance is not something you do. It is more like a total and heartfelt allowance.
The problem now is that you think that there are two different things, one called a good moment and another called a bad moment. That isn’t acceptance; that is judgment.
The teaching is to stay with the moment, regardless of how you feel about it. Only then can it soften you. And yet it is the quality of that staying that is also the softening. The more we stay, the more we soften. The softer we become, the more we stay.
We are always helpless; to accept that truth from a place deeper and more immediate than the mind itself is to know the real meaning of surrender.
Don’t look for the moment to be different in some way from what it already is. Success is not signaled by how the moment changes but by how thoroughly you become acquainted with this unending moment.
Wholly allow the moment yet also meet it head on. You are always more real than the qualities you perceive in the past, present, and future. You are that grounded emptiness upon which everything depends and yet it depends on nothing.
Compassion practices rely on what the Tibetan Buddhists call Absolute Bodhicitta. It is a kind of roodtness—or rootlessness—in that untouchable “empty” stainless quality of your nature.
Then where is the reason to avoid or control our experience of this moment? Instead, you can be entirely intimate with the living phenomenon of consciousness.