Reprise: Nothing Withheld

mmcalister Podcasts 3 Comments

Click HERE in order to listen to a reprise of Michael’s talk, originally given in August of 2005.

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Everything, the good and the bad, has led us here to this moment. In this talk , Michael deals with what it means to honor everything as the Path to Awakening regardless of how we’ve judged it. Questions deal with: ego’s difficulty in bowing to anything; how we best deal with the ticker-tape of thought that always seems to be running in our awareness; and, how enlightenment for dummies is the same thing as enlightenment for masters.

Comments 3

  1. efjay

    i recently bowed to a person who gave me grief by ‘bowing out’ of the project we were both involved in. although i see this person now as a teacher in my life and hold no grudge, i seem to have noticed two things – releasing this project was a good thing as this person seemed to have been the gatekeeper pushing me to make a decision by acting *perfectly* egotistical as a villain in my *play* of life, while – two – (unfortunately) i lost this person as a friend and no matter how much i can see them as a teacher and forgive them, the person does not see me so favorably and in fact believes my actions are, let’s say, ‘selfish’.

    so even though i have freed myself from a very unpleasant situation by facing what bothered me – triggering an exit by taking a stand against what i knew to be inappropriate behaviour on the part of the other – it has only been one sided. seems like only i have gained any benefit. will this other one day have a similar realisation and ‘forgive’ me some day? does this matter? seems like i didn’t do much to improve the universe even if the decision was a necessary one.

  2. admin

    Whether or not the “other” forgives you, ultimately isn’t of any concern. If “bowing” was only practiced to get something in return, then the bow itself is only a tool used for an egoic manipulation, rather than as an expression of open, uncontracted, compassion.

    This work isn’t about making anyone happy, per se, but rather about making choices that help all of us become more conscious. When we choose this way, we become an embodied expression of an appropriate response. This is Awakening.

    Bows,

    Michael

  3. Paul Martin

    I meditated for many years and wouldn’t be the person I am without it. One thing I’ve had to bow to in recent years has been tough: I simply am no longer physically able to meditate.

    I’m in my twelfth year of an undiagnosable progressive illness that includes progressive, widespread and intractable pain. Until a couple years ago, I’d become increasingly creative with adapting meditation and mindfulness techniques to working around the pain.

    At this point I’m no longer able to meditate even in bed – I’m semibedridden now, about 18 of 24 hours. Even as I fall asleep, I continually have to readjust my body’s position until I’m unconscious. There is extensive nerve and connective tissue damage, among other problems, and if I don’t respond to the pain by adjusting my postion the pain increases until I do. And if I try not to listen to the pain, I hurt myself. I had to get over trying not to listen to it years ago after a number of episodes of permanently heightening my baseline pain.

    I wouldn’t wish this on anyone – well, OK, Cheney-Bush, to put them out of action for the sake of the wider world. But seriously, I’ve wondered sometimes how the Buddha would have handled such an unsual situation and if his take on suffering would have been different in any way.

    Thankfully the years of meditation, along with certain other experiences, had permanent effects. I seem to be quite sane, probably remarkably so, under circumstances that include essentially no access to medical care.

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