When you totally rest, your mind stops differentiating. You realize the world as one and you feel it is actually pretty good to feel that way (I mean you have the peace).
Life is moving very quickly. Follow the flow. Then there is peace.
When you move, you stay with one. When you don’t stay with one, there is karma. To go into more details here, when you cannot stay with one, there is a self that is separated out and you start doing things catering to the interest of that separated self (thus the so called self-generated activities), then there is karma, which means you will have to make more efforts to make up for it. So it is better to just stay with one.
We human beings have limitation. To live in the dynamic life process, it helps to have some very simple minimum guidelines in your mind. What helps me in practice is: only three things to do — play, learn, and create (I have posted on this a lot. They are the basic living activities.); friends (Friendship is the most basic human relationship. All other relations, such as parents, siblings, lovers, have no base if there is no friendship.). These are the most basic reality. Just keeping them in mind when your mind wonder wasting time in emotions like anger, being sentimental and so on. These are basic feelings and you can start experiencing immediately. They will easily get you on the path, and you can start just doing the activity quickly. When you are following the flow of the world, you can have the peace and the absolute.
Don’t expect Buddhism can solve all your problems. This is modern time and human civilizations have accumulated a lot of knowledge. As an individual, you have the responsibility to learn the knowledge to function responsibly in this world. You need to rely on thinking because you cannot see society clearly. That is the limitation of human being. If you are able to learn of the human world both horizontally (across different geographic regions) and vertically (historically), you will be able to see and act without thinking.
Human beings are limited, and we don’t know everything. When we need to carry out responsibilities that require us to obtain knowledge that is outside of our existing scope, we need to know how to obtain that knowledge. But it is not always easy to learn of new knowledge. So sometimes thinking helps, to a degree. But by thinking, we also easily send us to a path of confusion. I will not go into details here since it will require a lot more words to describe.
But when we are carrying out things that don’t really require us to obtain a lot of new knowledge, for example, brushing the teeth after getting up in the morning, we just stay with what we already know. There is no thinking. Then your consciousness is perfect and there is no problem at all. You are directly connected to the world and there is no anxiety. With that, even you encounter situations that require you to obtain new knowledge, you know how to learn without thinking. Also you need to know that you will never be able to know everything. So it is fine to just do according to what you already know now. When you just do that, your consciousness is perfect and you have no problem.
With all that said, how do you start your practice? When you brush your teeth, just brush your teeth. When you eat, just eat. When you sleep, just sleep. If you are able to do that in these simple situations, it will be easier for you when it comes to more complex situations, especially situations that require learning.
Don’t learn Buddhism. But find your own way of how you want to live your life. If Buddhism can be of any help in that regard, it is a big blessing. You don’t really need to learn Buddhism if you can just see what is going on.
I found this from an old note of mine (more than 3 years ago), and felt it an interesting thing to post here. So far below is the original note and I didn’t make any change.
Let me become a social person. Let society change me.
There is no such a thing as a Chinese community in US. Those Chinese work in American companies and schools. They buy stuff from American stores. They participate in American economy. They need to abide by American laws. There are no Chinese music, movies… So there is no such thing as a Chinese community. They just have no community, no society. They still read Chinese news (news from China), watch Chinese movies, but that is from a society on the other side of the planet, in which they don’t participate at all. Without a community, without society, how can they establish themselves as human beings? To become a full human being, they have to participate fully in this American society, in the local community. When I was in China, participation in society greatly changed me. I grow from a person confined by family to a person of society, bearing social responsibility and participating actively in society. There are many people who didn’t finish this process and thus still confined by small family things. There are people who become socialized totally unconsciously and trapped in all the negative things of a culture. Even so, I still have to say, no matter how negative a culture or society is, we have to fully participate in it. That is the only way we can realize ourselves as social human being. At the same time, it is important to go beyond. Human beings are never just by themselves. Human beings are always under various circumstances. To be a full human being, I have to know and encounter those cirmstances. I cannot just be myself. (I focused too much on software these years, although it was well needed. Doing book reading for too long is really a bad thing.) Let me DO things. Let me encounter all those circumstances. Let me fully participate. (Actually software study is also full of circumstances. It is actually what it is about.) Instead of always complaining (which is symptom of bookworm), I should embrace the circumstances. Work with them. As I was sitting in the deep night, I suddenly realize that this night is exactly the same nights I have experienced when I was in China. No matter how different America is from China, the nights are exactly the same. We felt a lot of difference just because the culture put on a cover on it. Although with different covers, the things underneath the covers are the same. Yes, the nights are exactly the same. I have exactly the same feelings aroused by the quite noisy nights. Oversea Chinese are disguised by the difference of the covers and refuse to know more about this new cover in the fear of losing their culture identity. However, by refusing to know about this new cover, they also lose the most important thing, which is the night underneath the cover. They cannot feel the night again. Their feelings are lost. This is how I feel after coming to US. I lost all those strong feelings. They used to be so strong. I wonder how they can get lost. But after I went back China for a visit, those strong feelings come back to me again and I have to tell myself that those feelings are true. It might be relatively easy to enjoy the nights again. We might just need to get rid of anxiety, close our eyes and forget the different covers, listen to the sound, then it will take us back to those feelings. This is how I have felt in those naps. I always flew back to China in those naps. But to enjoy the human relations, to enjoy a culture, which nurture human’s feelings of sound, pictures… , is a lot more difficult. This is how I lost my creativity. To be a social person again, to be a fully-fledged human being again, is difficult. This is how I was again confined by many small things. I want to enjoy the nights again. I want to be creative again. I want to be socialized again. Then I will see those things underneath again: the nights, the beautiful scenery and the beautiful human being. I guess humanitarian is to care about the respectful human being under various conditions. I guess this is one of the things I learned the most from the west. As there is no enough concern in oversea Chinese to understand the conditions we are in, I hope to raise such concerns. It is a tragedy that so many people live in a foreign land as FOREIGNERS for their lives. If we think ourselves as humanitarians, we have to care about this.
People practicing Buddhism know that Buddhism teaches of no-self. But here I want to tell you that self exists.
Why do I say self exists? Self exits because you have it.
People like to say that there is no self because you cannot find a solid separate independent entity as self. Saying that sounds like there is a solid separate independent entity of something else. Buddhism doesn’t deny existence. So what exists then?
I say self exists also because we probably can find a material basis for that self. If we envision (surely we are speculating a little here) every thought like a bubble in your mind, then concept of self also have a material basis. When you have a concept of self, probably there is some material generated and it stands in between your being and your direct experience. So this self is quite real and it hinders you from performing your activities. When you have a self, that self keeps doing self-generated activities. So all your problems come up.
However，Buddhism insists that there is no self. That is just because Buddhism is very stubborn, and many people don’t understand that.
As we are living our lives, e.g. as we are doing our activities, we have a self which is embraced by our past (memory) and future (expectation). Otherwise, how do you know what you want to do next? How do you make decisions? The self is also embraced by inside and outside. The split of male and female is the different take on that split of inside and outside. So you have a self. And we say that self is born out of the parents of past and future, inside and outside (subject and object). You recognize the world because of the split of subject and object. Although the self is born, it doesn’t have to be separate from its parents. The parents will take care of the self. However, if the self is separated from the parents, all problems come up. When you are just doing the activity, you still recognize things and you are functioning. But your self is not separated from your parents. This is a big topic, we can talk about this in another post.
So we see how terriblely wrong it is to just blankly state that there is no self.
I watched the screening of this movie about one month ago. The prisoners in the movie had practiced in a very sincere way. Here are just some quotes from them (I don’t remember the exact words, so it is more a paraphrase):
“it is ok if i don’t get out of here for life. But it will be very sad if i die without having known my self…”
“just sit, have the courage to face myself”
Just these already made them far better than many Buddhism teachers.
Sorry I haven’t been able to post much on this blog recently. After returning from China, I opened a Chinese blog so I can write for my parents, relatives and friends in China. This trip made me realize that I owed them too much all these years. There were many sad things that wouldn’t have happened if I were in China. I feel very bad about it and try to make up for it.