Thinking about thinking

Too often parents and teachers teach children what to think rather than how to think.

What we need to impart to students is wisdom, not more knowledge.
Teachers should be teaching how science works, not just what science has discovered.

– inspired by Michael Shermer’s book “The Believing Brain”

Recuperative stillness

Most of the time when we are sleeping, our body and mind are active.
We toss and turn (yes, while asleep).
We dream.

There is short period in our sleep cycle when we become motionless.
Even our breathing stops.
This is the recuperative stillness.
The longer we have this stillness in our sleep, the more refreshed we are the next morning.

One of the goals of meditation is to enter this state of recuperative stillness.
If you can remain conscious while in this state, you are aware of the energy movements (qi) in your body while recuperation is going on. With practice, you can even channel some of this energy flow at will.
This is how you can transform and modify your physical body towards nirvana.

Mental transformation is not enough; it doesn’t last long. We need a physical rewiring.

Appearances

We think too much about what others think of us.

The smart worry about appearing stupid.
The rich worry about appearing miserly.
The high-status worry about appearing uncultured.
So they are busy with the busi-ness of putting on a show, putting on a facade, putting on a mask.

What’s behind the show, the facade, the mask?
Nothing much.
Normal human beings that eat, shit, sleep and hurt.

If only people are enlightened to what their true self is, they would awaken to freedom.
For blessed are those who care naught what others think of them.

Why waste time and energy and give yourself stress worrying about other people’s thoughts?
Do they do you any good?

The prison we’ve built

We chose safety.
We chose comfort.
But perhaps we’ve brought safety and comfort to the extreme that they’ve become the cages we are physically imprisoned in.
And now we long to be free.

The thing about living is: we can’t have both at the same time.
We can’t be safely and comfortably free.
Freedom entails physical thrill and danger. It can be scary. But know that, whatever happens, your consciousness – spiritual self – cannot be hurt.

Because:
It is the thing that knows hurt, and not the thing that is hurt.

Seeing

Closing the eyelids does not mean that the eye sense gate is closed.
When you shut your eyelids, your eye is still seeing – a patch of blackness and some squiggly and spots of coloured lights.

Try shutting your eyelids now too see that.

When the eye sense gate is closed, no more sensory input comes in from the eye.

What are you going to do?

When you are about to die,
none of your fear and sadness and anger can reverse the inevitable,
none of your friends and relatives and family members can take over your death,
none of your money and status and knowledge can save you.
At this moment, what are you going to do?

Nothing.
Precisely, you do nothing.

If you can meditate like this, you can rest in peace even in your waking and alive moments.