1hohmsanghagain

This is for anyone who considers themselves sangha.

Puja Sahdana

Puju’s

I’ve been wondering about the recent prominence of Puja practice.

A Puja is of the world of feminine form as is the rest of the manifestation. It  is useful if it opens our hearts and so connects us to Lee and the lineage. If it’s not doing this then it may be repetitive ritual worship. Much of the practice of the Vedas in India is about ritual observance and I haven’t seen a commensurate presence or practice of Karuna, compassion, here.

From Wikipedia on Vedanta.    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedanta

The Vedānta-sūtra are known by a variety of names, including (1) Brahma-sūtra, (2) Śārīraka, (3) Vyāsa-sūtra, (4) Bādarāyaṇa-sūtra, (5) Uttara-mīmāṁsā and (6) Vedānta-darśana. The cryptic aphorisms of the Vedanta Sutras are open to a variety of interpretations, resulting in the formation of numerous Vedanta schools, each interpreting the texts in its own way and producing its own sub-commentaries. Consistent throughout Vedanta, however, is the exhortation that ritual be eschewed in favor of the individual’s quest for truth through meditation governed by a loving morality, …

Don Juan also criticized ritual activity.

“The new seers realized the true role those sorcery practices played and decided to go directly into the process of making their assemblage points shift, avoiding all the other nonsense of rituals and incantations. Yet rituals and incantations are indeed necessary at one time in every warrior’s life. But only for purposes of luring one’s first attention away from the power of

self-absorption, which keeps his assemblage point rigidly fixed.” (This isn’t the more critical quote I remember. –Sounds like he is saying that it’s a means to an end, not an end in itself, so don’t get stuck there. – KK)

As far as I can remember Puja’s are not one of our practices. It was just something we did to close certain group spaces. Not as an end or a means. But maybe Lee said something about it that I’ve missed and certainly the times they have a changed.

Though I don’t appreciate the value of incense waving I heard indirectly from a more knowledgeable friend that burning incense attracts entities or the teacher. So what do I know it’s a big universe out there?

In a film about Nisargadata Maharaj, He is one of the 2 primary contemporary presenters of nondual thought, (though he had a definite edge to him that most contemporary nondual popularizes don’t.) it show’s him doing daily pujas to a host of Murtis displayed in his apartment and and elsewhere. He said something like, “You see me doing pujas and wonder why. This is a mystery for you.” Clearly despite of his awesome presentation of nondual thought, (I much prefer his words to Ramana’s, the contemporary Jesus of non-duality.) he, Nizargadata, had gotten whatever he did through the help of a Guru (Unlike Ramana.) and was grateful for the help and wanted to keep his Guru alive in his heart. (And it may also have been, probably was, a habit, or so goes my interpretation. – KK )

Another story along similar lines contributed by ‘Loud Sue’

…… Yes. There is a similar story about Gary Snyder’s first visit to Japan to study with a particular Zen master (whose name I don’t remember). He arrived at the temple to find the master doing all kinds of worship to the Buddha (incense, prayers, candles, the whole nine yards). He questioned the master later saying, “I thought that you were supposed to kill the Buddha” and the master  said “You kill the Buddha, I will worship him”.  So I guess we all have to draw our own conclusions.

Pujas, like Murtis and by Murtis I mean photographs, are they in themselves useful agencies without intent? Said another way – more rituals and murtis doesn’t necessarily mean anything more than more Pujas and Murtis.

Loud Sue again – You know whether or not pujas are useful for YOU. Of course we actually have to do the pujas fairly consistently for a while to draw some valid conclusions as to their usefulness for oneself. –

Murti-worship as distinct from idol-worship http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murti

The notion that the term murti is equivalent to the English word “idol” is a misconception. The scholar Steven Rosen notes that early European missionaries were largely responsible for conflating the two terms by informing local Hindus that “idol” was the correct translation for “murti”. Furthermore, scholar Diana Eck explains that the term murti is defined in Sanskrit as “anything which has definite shape and limits; a form, body, figure; an embodiment, incarnation, or manifestation.” Thus, the murti is more than a likeness; it is the deity itself taken “form”. The uses of the word murti in the Upanishads and the Bhagavad-Gita suggest that the form is its essence.” Thus, a murti is considered to be more than a mere likeness of a deity, but rather a manifestation of the deity itself. The Murti is like a way to communicate with the abstract one god (Brahman) which creates, sustains, and dissolves creation.Some further words from Loud Sue. There is little attraction to pujas / rituals for me,  so I participate in the ones I like My form(s) of Praise are just different than that. They show up for me in more ordinary ways.

The previous paragraph notwithstanding, I’m saying be vigilant we don’t consider forms as expressions of holiness or devotion.

 

Shadow finale 3

Shadow 3, final shadow installment.

Apparently i’m still early on in my learning curve with this and this is the 3rd try now to post this on Happydaysangha. I hope third time will indeed be the charm.

This is the final aspect of shadow content I’ll be covering. Then back on course with more school and sangha specifics.

While editing this material I saw that even if we have worthy plans with committed actions yet have significant un-owned shadow connected with what we are up to, then we will still be tripping ourselves up to varying degrees or at least feeling needlessly unhappy. So these ideas are important and useful for successful functioning.

I’m seeing that though I’m intellectually working with this material I am still getting blindsided by my shadow on a regular enough basis. It seems to me that you would have to read this shadow material twice daily, in the AM and evening, for it to have a good chance of making an immediate difference and no one is going to do that.

So what’s the point of this presentation I now ask myself? (Maybe your memories are better than mine is and so this information pops to mind when you need it.) Other factor needs to be active which I would guess are a stable witness with a sense of curiosity about life. Then this  background information regards the shadows workings would spontaneously be brought forward as insight.

External Is Internal

This is another area where shadows pop up.  We often don’t see that, when others confront us and we get defensive, the others are simply presenting an unseen, repressed aspect of our personal story.  

External pressure from others is internal drive.  We will call that the pressure shadow.  External criticism from others is really internal self-criticism. 

The Pressure Shadow

All external pressure is internal drive.  Let’s illustrate this with an example:

For the last several years, John has been meaning to paint his  house.  In the last year, painting the house fell off of John’s priority list. Other things became more important, like work and his hobbies. His drive to paint the house never actually left.  It just became overlooked, repressed.  It stopped appearing as a story or a drive within awareness.  One day, John’s wife says, “I thought you were going to paint the house!  It looks awful!  Are you ever going to do that?”  John gets automatically defensive. “Stop  nagging me,” he replies. 

John doesn’t see this as a shadow.  To John, it’s his wife’s problem.  She is nagging again.  “If she would only stop nagging, everything would be ok.”  He doesn’t realize that his defensiveness carries great wisdom.  The external pressure he feels from his wife is really internal drive.  The external pressure from his wife is revealing or bringing back into his awareness his own internal drive to paint the house.  His drive to paint the house fell away.  It became repressed.  Other things became important.  John’s wife is just reminding John of his own drive to paint the house.  But because John doesn’t see it for what it is—internal drive—he mistakenly feels it only as external pressure.  It’s experienced as an “other.”  So instead of “I have a drive to paint the house,” it’s interpreted as “My wife is pressuring me again.” 

Here is the kicker:  all external pressure is internal drive.  There aren’t any exceptions.  We know that statement is accurate by examining something obvious in our own experience.  We never get upset when others pressure us to do things which we have no internal desire to do.

   For example, imagine if John’s wife had said, “I thought you were going to paint the neighbor’s house!  It looks awful!  Are you ever going to do that?”  You see . . . John never had a drive to paint the neighbor’s house.   Chances are the neighbor hasn’t asked John to do that.  There is no internal drive within John to paint his neighbor’s house.  And so no defensiveness appears when his wife asks him about painting the neighbor’s house.  He doesn’t experience her request as pressure because there is no internal drive.  

Re-owning the Shadow (This author states that witnessing the shadow is not enough rather one needs to dialogue with the shadow.- KK)

What does it mean to re-own the shadow?  It means to stop pretending that there is a self and an other.  Specifically, it means to look at your own story, what is happening in your thoughts, and see that the very trait that you are reacting to in the other person is a trait operating within your own story.  It means to actually re-own the trait.  It means saying, “I am controlling.”  “I am greedy.”  “I am whatever story I’m reacting against.”  It means to actually list the ways in which you have exhibited the very trait you are attacking in the others.  Feel how that feels, to own what you have been denying.  See where you are or have been controlling or greedy.  By re-owning it, the self-deception ends.  The trait is no longer being placed on the other side of the self boundary—out there in the imagined “other.”     

Postscript: This shadow material becomes of greater import for us as a group. Organizations, like individuals, have shadows. The opportunity to expose or clarify the shadow is both increased and made more difficult in a group. With a number of people it’s more likely that someone(s) are sensing or seeing something is amiss and is often more difficult to address those concerns. We can be uncertain as to our own perception, unable to articulate it, afraid of group censure of some kind. My take is our sangha, for me that’s the AZ contingent of the school, is doing well with having the spaces and open atmosphere for speaking up. Yet it is still up to each person to individually to present their concerns and insights.

Can anyone, in other regions with a group of sangha that meets regularly, or irregularly,  comment on what they are seeing?

Image

Happy Days Sangha

Shadow 3, final shadow installment.

This is the final aspect of shadow content I’ll be covering. Then back on course with more school and sangha specifics.

While editing this material I saw that even if we have worthy plans with committed actions yet have significant un-owned shadow connected with what we are up to, then we will still be tripping ourselves up to varying degrees or at least feeling needlessly unhappy. So these ideas are important and useful for successful functioning.

I’m seeing that though I’m intellectually working with this material I am still getting blindsided by my shadow on a regular enough basis. It seems to me that you would have to read this shadow material twice daily, in the AM and evening, for it to have a good chance of making an immediate difference and no one is going to do that.

So what’s the point of this…

View original post 829 more words

Unposted Comments

Below are 2 comments i received that i haven’t been able to get to show up in the postings. KK

SDE- I found this blog about shadow hugging and projection/obsession to be synchronistically helpful. Projection tends, don’t you think to obscure much chance, whether with a teacher, lover, or just reality, of real relationship. Just as i read your blog I was watching a DVD about Carl Jung. Two things really struck me. Firstly, the example of transference of a patient who insisted she marry Carl Jung. He explained to her that he was already married but she insisted. So he accepted. She planned the whole wedding, printed announcements, and on the eve of their “wedding”, she had a dream, wherein God told her she could not marry him. I was deeply moved by Carl Jung’s trust in this woman’s process. Apparently she was fully recovered to sanity. I wonder at the kind of compassion and skill it takes to remain open to one who is projecting on oneself. The excerpted comments in your blog about how we obsess on the teacher or another because of positive traits we refuse to take responsibility for in ourselves compliment Jung’s story.

The other thing about the DVD that got me was the idea, in my words, that one must be with lonliness in order for the unconscious/shadow to breathe. It describes that the only thing you can do is confront yourself where you are. Most of us go through life and our unconscious is not part of our “reality”. So, in any way we can we must actively turn towards our shadow side, support it, and then it can help us. That is the value of lonliness. We are conditioned to run away from what we fear in ourselves. This seems, to me, to be the driving motivation powering all human addiction. this need to get away from ourself, to distract ourself form what we are afraid we will see, positive or negative.

There is so much to this, but as a beginning i am very enlivened at the prospect of being with myself so that i might be with others. running toward that which i am used to running from.   -Sin Doll Ella

SB, hi, the shadow thing i find a bit bringing again a new therm in the already over filled with “special” words teaching language we have, and often it felt to me that we are proud to be much special to other there are not in the club, but of course we think we don´t have one, a club, but maybe just a sub club…all this new therms we come up with let us feel special, it has not to do like this , but the danger is there, and to be proud of something or at OUR creation is very common in a world that is all about new “things” and new “thinking”, maybe it should like this, what els we would have to do instate ? so we need to bring our focus on “some” “thing”, other wise we get crazy, (what we should, sooner or later, thats our club : ) even we are in a spiritual school, we need to do something…as stupid it sometime looks, thats the reason also for but why i m give my stupid answer to this block is more about the last command; it should be like: “…sooner or later we will all shine brightly, also the so called blockheads will learn…”because, they can´t put for ever there head in the sand, and also who knows, and will tell us really,, who is the Block-Head and who is the Bright-Head? Anyway, sit straight and you will find your own Blocks in your own Head!

Shadow 2

Shadow continued -2

I’m breaking this shadow material up into parts, partially so as to keep my postings short but also to provide one idea at a time, for better assimilation.

Shadow-stalking isn’t all there is to the work, but it appears to me to be one of the easiest, most desirable, to overlook, and costliest to community when it erodes trust.

Awareness of this material is needed for looking at community shadow. Community shadow is a kind of unconscious agreement. Whatever these agreements are they are there for reasons, generally to protect something such as positions, individual and collective. Probably all organizations have unconscious elements -I could see it in L…mark- but is there an ongoing effort to become aware of these unconscious elements? We become an awake-organization not because there isn’t shadow content, there always will be until everyone in the organization is stably awake, rather we become an awake organization when there is open acknowledgement of the possibility of community shadow along with individuals who are willing to speak their concerns as to what they are seeing.

In a group of people it is much more likely that at least one person is awake when others are knapping. But we need to take the risk of speaking up and disturbing the sleep of others. There is nothing wrong with shadow, collusion etc, this is just a part of the natural landscape along our journey as a sangha.

These postings on the different aspects of shadow, are preparing the ground to explore specific observations.

Shadows and Beliefs/Positions

Do you react strongly to positions or views that differ from your own?  It is difficult to see that we are often boxing our own doubt when we find strong disagreement in the realm of religion, politics, science, morality, culture, spirituality, and other worldviews.  Beliefs and positions are not ultimately true.  They are thought-based.  There is no such thing as an absolutely true thought (including that thought).  Thought is relative and dualistic.  When we look to thought for ultimate truth, we often don’t see the hidden, repressed doubt that underlies our own positions and beliefs.  But the doubt is there.  It comes screaming to the surface when we attack others’ viewpoints.  

All viewpoints are equal viewpoints of the undivided awareness that is our real identity.  We attack those viewpoints that we have repressed within ourselves.  In order to convince ourselves that we are right about any subject, we have to repress all internal arguments against that position.  We have to repress our own doubt.  …

…  Attention is focused on what we think we know or would like to know as truth.  We are looking for mental certainty.  We repress that aspect of ourselves that doesn’t know.  But opposites never actually get split.  The opposite arguments are still within us.  They appear as others “out there” who are wrong.   We then find ourselves in conflict with the others.  We box them, not realizing that we are fighting our own doubt, so to speak. 

The Criticism Shadow 

Similarly, all external criticism is internal self-criticism.  If someone calls you fat and you get defensive, that appears as external criticism.  Similarly, if someone calls you greedy and you get defensive, that appears as external criticism.  It could be any trait:  materialistic, self-centered, arrogant, or unintelligent.  Defensiveness always carries great wisdom.  Your defensiveness is revealing that you are carrying a self-critical story around.  You have a story that you are fat.  You have a story that you are greedy.  This is why you are defensive.  If there were no identification with the thought, “I am greedy,” then someone calling you greedy would provoke no defensive reaction in you.  Next time someone criticizes you, thank them for revealing your self-critical story.  We see that both our personal stories and the opposites “out there” that we are boxing or hugging are equal, inseparable appearances or views.  In re-owning your shadows, you may still have an opinion.  You may still state that opinion, even forcefully. 

I heard the Dali Lama quoted regarding what is the most important thing people need to do. He didn’t say meditation. “Critical thinking followed by implementing action.”

An Extraordinary Step

By exchanging ourselves for others, we are taking an extraordinary step. We are developing the most extraordinary understanding ever comprehended in the history of humankind, the entire history of the universe. Learning how to let go of our pleasure and receive other people’s pain is such a noble gesture. It allows us to become soft people, genuine people, extraordinarily good people. And with that merit, we begin to become worthy of receiving the vajrayana teachings, the tantric teachings of the Buddha.

Trungpa Rimpoche

 

 

Shadow Hugging

Sangha friends,

Regarding shadow work, mine in this case . Very recently I got into two heated situations here with different friends who have similar communication style. After the first one I knew that I was somehow half the picture, it took a repeat scene for me to go deeper into how I could be creating this, why I’m creating these unpleasant shadow boxing scenarios

The content below is on shadow-hugging, it’s excerpted from a piece of writing I found on the internet. I’ve done some major cutting and pasting from the original. I’ve perhaps changed the intent or the author for it to fit my more narrow informative or educational intent. I further divided this Shadow chapter into 3 segments that I’ll post separately. I did this to keep them short as I’ve heard that some of my blog readers don’t wish to spend much time on emails and such. I’ve rearranged the order into what seems to me the most useful first, rather than the original order that it was written in. I did this as perhaps there will be a few people who read only this post and go no further and I believe this was the most important of the shadow materials.

Also the additional bold and italics in the text are mine emphasizing some ideas I really agree with.  

 If you are interested in the rest of this material, the shadow chapter, or the rest of the short excerpted book, write me and I will attach your request in an email. The rest of the Shadow material will be in the next 2 postings.

 Shadow-Hugging. –or the light-shadow.

…shadow-hugging.  Just as we can repress or disown negative aspects of our personal stories, we can also repress or disown positive aspects.  Shadow-hugging happens as we disown positive traits or attributes and then project them outward as “others.”  We then feel a strong attraction to those others.  A classic case is the spiritual seeker who disowns the love, peace, and wisdom inherent in her true Self (i.e., awareness) and instead projects that onto a teacher.  The teacher then seems larger than life, “enlightened.”  Another example is sexual or romantic obsession.  We idealize others in various ways, not realizing that these others are really just repressed and projected aspects of our own story.  These positive aspects are too powerful, too beautiful, too loving to own.  It becomes easier, so we think, to project them onto others.

Victims stay victims by constantly idealizing (shadow-hugging) others who seem more fortunate or who seem to possess great qualities that are lacking within the victim identity.  In doing shadow work and re-owning these projected positive traits, it is impossible for a victim to remain a victim. 

… In shadow work, both the good and the bad (and all other opposites) come fully into view as equal appearances of awareness.  There is no more idealizing.  No more shadow-hugging.  

Other examples of shadow-hugging include obsessing on another’s intelligence, personality, success, or wealth.  Envy and jealousy are classic projections.  We find ourselves fixated on other people who seem to have everything we would like to have within ourselves.  …  Good and bad, attractive and unattractive, nice and mean, spiritual and unspiritual, and all other opposites are seen to be equal appearances of awareness.  The “other” you are hugging is seen to be none other than what you are. 

These traits may still appear.  In other words, some may appear more intelligent or more attractive.  It just won’t bother you as much.  It won’t be personal.  

“You know we have some people in the school who shine and we also have some blockheads. If it weren’t for the blockheads the ones that shine perhaps wouldn’t get the chance to shine as brightly. And sooner or later we all trade places…” -KK

Shadow Hugging

Sangha friends,

Regarding shadow work, mine in this case . Very recently I got into two heated situations here with different friends who have similar communication style. After the first one I knew that I was somehow half the picture, it took a repeat scene for me to go deeper into how I could be creating this, why I’m creating these unpleasant shadow boxing scenarios

The content below is on shadow-hugging, it’s excerpted from a piece of writing I found on the internet. I’ve done some major cutting and pasting from the original. I’ve perhaps changed the intent or the author for it to fit my more narrow informative or educational intent. I further divided this Shadow chapter into 3 segments that I’ll post separately. I did this to keep them short as I’ve heard that some of my blog readers don’t wish to spend much time on emails and such. I’ve rearranged the order into what seems to me the most useful first, rather than the original order that it was written in. I did this as perhaps there will be a few people who read only this post and go no further and I believe this was the most important of the shadow materials.

Also the additional bold and italics in the text are mine emphasizing some ideas I really agree with.  

 If you are interested in the rest of this material, the shadow chapter, or the rest of the short excerpted book, write me and I will attach your request in an email. The rest of the Shadow material will be in the next 2 postings.

 Shadow-Hugging. –or the light-shadow.

…shadow-hugging.  Just as we can repress or disown negative aspects of our personal stories, we can also repress or disown positive aspects.  Shadow-hugging happens as we disown positive traits or attributes and then project them outward as “others.”  We then feel a strong attraction to those others.  A classic case is the spiritual seeker who disowns the love, peace, and wisdom inherent in her true Self (i.e., awareness) and instead projects that onto a teacher.  The teacher then seems larger than life, “enlightened.”  Another example is sexual or romantic obsession.  We idealize others in various ways, not realizing that these others are really just repressed and projected aspects of our own story.  These positive aspects are too powerful, too beautiful, too loving to own.  It becomes easier, so we think, to project them onto others.

Victims stay victims by constantly idealizing (shadow-hugging) others who seem more fortunate or who seem to possess great qualities that are lacking within the victim identity.  In doing shadow work and re-owning these projected positive traits, it is impossible for a victim to remain a victim. 

… In shadow work, both the good and the bad (and all other opposites) come fully into view as equal appearances of awareness.  There is no more idealizing.  No more shadow-hugging.  

Other examples of shadow-hugging include obsessing on another’s intelligence, personality, success, or wealth.  Envy and jealousy are classic projections.  We find ourselves fixated on other people who seem to have everything we would like to have within ourselves.  …  Good and bad, attractive and unattractive, nice and mean, spiritual and unspiritual, and all other opposites are seen to be equal appearances of awareness.  The “other” you are hugging is seen to be none other than what you are. 

These traits may still appear.  In other words, some may appear more intelligent or more attractive.  It just won’t bother you as much.  It won’t be personal.  

“You know we have some people in the school who shine and we also have some blockheads. If it weren’t for the blockheads the ones that shine perhaps wouldn’t get the chance to shine as brightly. And sooner or later we all trade places…” -KK