Shoshin – The Beginner’s Mind

Sounds a bit paradoxical, but I can easily say that despite lessIknow45.pnghow much I’ve often thought that I knew throughout my life, or how hard-won that advanced knowledge came into being for me, the older I get the better I appreciate how little I actually DO know.

In truth it seems that with every passing day I feel this almost humorous certainty growing stronger within me: a certainty-of-my-own-ignorance—that jolting realization that what you once believed to be truth, actually wasn’t, and you may never know the REAL truth no matter how old or knowledgeable you become because that TRUTH exists in a realm that is incomprehensible to your present existence.

This body shock of awakening to our own innate ignorance can be scathingly honest and quite humbling.

It certainly was to my ego.

But to those who study Zen, this isn’t some new concept—some might simply call it ‘cultivating the Beginner’s Mind.’

What is Beginner’s Mind?  Here’s a good explanation first from Wikipedia, then from a Zen master himself.

Shoshin (初心) is a concept in Zen Buddhism meaning ‘beginner’s mind.’ It refers to having shozinbeginnersmind.pngan attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions when studying a subject, even when studying at an advanced level, just as a beginner in that subject would. The term is especially used in the study of Zen Buddhism and Japanese martial arts.”

Text source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shoshin

Master Shunryu Suzuki can explain it far better than I can:

“People say that practicing Zen is difficult, but there is a misunderstanding as to why. It is not difficult because it is hard to sit in the cross‑legged position, or to attain enlightenment. It is difficult because it is hard to keep our mind pure and our practice pure in its fundamental sense.

In Japan we have the phrase shoshin, which means ‘beginner’s mind.’ The goal of practice is always to keep our beginner’s mind…

For Zen students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our ‘original mind’ includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self‑sufficient state of mind.

This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind. If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.

The most difficult thing is always to keep your beginner’s mind. There is no need to have a deep understanding of Zen. Even though you read much Zen literature, you must read each sentence with a fresh mind.

You should not say, ‘I know what Zen is,’ or ‘I have attained enlightenment.’ This is shoshinmaster.jpgalso the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner.

Be very, very careful about this point. If you start to practice zazen, you will begin to appreciate your beginner’s mind. It is the secret of Zen practice.”

Shunryu Suzuki
from Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind

 

So I acknowledge that here I sit in my own ignorance while trying to make sense of our life existence.

These are the very things I often write about: What is reality?—What is consciousness?—What are we doing here? Why are we here? Who benefits and how do they benefit from our incarnating here during this time period or ANY time period?

All those unanswerable questions come down to the battle in our minds over the relevance between our DOING and our BEING.

Here is a basic truth as I presently know it:  I AM.  I EXIST.  I EXPERIENCE.  I OBSERVE.

And I try like the dickens NOT to judge the value of what I am observing because to do so implies a comparative knowledgebase that I do not have—at least not from my humble human perspective.

the-older-i-get-the-less-i-know-by-that-i-mean-the-less-i-am-sure-of-i-view-p-403x403-nkb3nfSo each day I open my eyes and wonder what this day will bring to me. I wonder what new realization will occur to my sensing abilities. I wonder what type of sense I can make of whatever is happening to me and around me, but knowing full well that ‘making sense’ is a judgment in itself.

However, I also know that only through shoshinbeginner’s mind—can I simply observe all and note those observances without judgment or expectation—knowing I must simply allow all occurrences (and not labeling them as ‘good’ or ‘bad’) to flow along with the river of life into the great sea of consciousness that connects us all and patiently awaits our return.

This I also know:  Beginner’s Mind is not easily achieved nor sustained for long unless you willingly intend it.

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Sunday Chuckles

I am a fan of NASA’s Facebook page because they post such amazing images of our solar system and beyond.  So this morning, they posted this fantastic image of Jupiter up close and personal; and it got personal to a few folks out there which made for some much needed laughter.

nasalodo987.jpg  NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration

 “Inkblot test!    What do you see in this image by NASA’s Juno Mission to Jupiter? We keep finding new shapes hidden in Jupiter’s swirling clouds. Look closer: https://go.nasa.gov/2qMt8ih

jupiteratmosphere56.jpg

To which the viewership responded in hilarious fashion:

  • Scott Dew I see our lord and savior Cthulu
    • ( according to Urban Dictionary: “A character in Lovecraft’s tale ‘The Call of Cthulhu’. Cthulhu is a monstrous entity who lies “dead but dreaming” in the city of R’lyeh, a place of non-Euclidean madness presently (and mercifully) sunken below the depths of the Pacific Ocean.Cthulhu appears in various monstrous and demonic forms in early myths of the human race.”)
  • Марио Колев Here come the religious people, even if their god is fictional….
  • Daniel Harden It’s a lady giving a Velociraptor the Heimlich.
  • Liz Gaffney Air quality in Los Angeles right about now due to fires. (So sorry California.)
  • David Jobling I’m not religious but I can see the full nativity here, which is a bit of a head trip.
  • Arun Krishnarayan A Bird of prey on the right and Gandalf with a bad cold.
    And at the bottom is a shark with a wide open mouth & woman lying face down in the middle.
  • Saranda Tessera The only true god is Zeus.  Scripture tells us so. Anyway the picture of Jupiter (Latin for Zeus) is breathtaking. What a chaotic creation.
  • Steve Parkinson Keep your sky pixie nonsense off scientific fact pages please.

At least the comments made me chuckle. 🙂

Our minds constantly associate familiar memories to objects and items that we are unfamiliar with in an attempt to identify the threat or safety of them before we proceed further in encountering them. And likewise, if you want to see something that others may not see in a burnt piece of toast, you will do so mainly because you are looking for it no matter where you look.

Unimaginatively I see an amazing image of Jupiter’s atmosphere with wild weather interactions.  (But I totally concur about the lady giving a Velociraptor the Heimlich–it’s clear as day.)

If You Can’t Say Anything Nice…

“If you can’t say anything nice about someone, say nothing at all.”

That’s a tough mother-ism to live by in today’s world.

monkeynospeak6I do think that silence is a blessing seldom appreciated. In fact, I could say nothing about many things and many people, and I would be the better for it.

But…. also in today’s world, saying nothing allows the more vocal hordes to flood the airwaves with venom and lies.

Democracies aren’t maintained by the silence of its members. It takes willing voices and willing voters to make serious changes in our world.

The next couple months will be a nasty time for impassioned outcries and claims, true or non.  I have my own opinions on much of what is occurring politically and in our government, as well as having my own thoughts on how best to change the current problems.

However, none of my opinions matter other than on Tuesday, November 6th, 2018 when we the people have the opportunity to express our beliefs on voting ballots across the nation. THAT is the day for expressing opinion. THAT is the day when what you think really matters.

So you can be as vocal as you wish—or as allowed by laws until that time—but the only time what you think really matters is on November 6th, 2018.

Vote!  It can be the single most important thing you can do for yourself, for your loved ones, and for the world in which we live.

VOTE  Tuesday, November 6th, 2018!votemontage

And if you are really impassioned with your candidates, then get involved in those campaigns and help others understand why those folks most appeal to you.

Those are things that you can do.

When it comes to the President of our country, I honestly can’t think of anything nice to say about him—NOTHING—NADA.   So I will actively promote positive changes for the people that I can easily speak well of.

Recognize that this is your chance to make a difference around you—get involved in positive change and work toward a better future for ALL of us—not just for the richest 1 percent, of which I will also say nothing good about, so they shall remain unmentioned.

Stand up—speak out—and organize your friends to make positive changes in our world. These are things that you CAN do.

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So just DO IT!

On Creating Your Reality

I really hadn’t planned to write today but when I listened to this interview with Wendy Kennedy from yesterday’s “Beyond the Ordinary Show” (April 3, 2018), I realized that wendykennedy4.pngshe was eloquently elaborating on what I have been saying in this blog about ‘creating the reality you desire by holding the energy frequency that makes it possible for that reality to exist.’ To get the message directly, use the link I provide, but otherwise I’ve paraphrased below as she spoke. (And yes, much of this is channeled info—just saying, if that bothers you. But channeled or not, it felt like TRUTH to me.)

https://www.beyondtheordinaryshow.com/replays/?inf_contact_key=8874ac10566758a7743475da9173ed503f445e7d6e05e4e054555eb4ef208abe

“Your reality is based on your belief systems. And you place yourself on a NOW moment that is aligned in that.  If you change your frequency, you change to different versions of your reality—so your reality is all of your own making.

It’s about you—not other people. It’s about what YOU are doing that creates your reality, not what others are doing. Put yourself back into personal power and build for yourself what you want to see in your life. You are NO ONE’s victim. Stand in your own power. Build it—but be inclusive—build your own reality—the reality you wish to live in.

WendyKennedyS14-main-graphic-1024x1024.pngYou aren’t separate from others and yet you are not dependent upon them for your Spirit growth, or for the reality that you create.

Work on your state of BEING. Consciously and intently, work on your state of BEING. Live in love, not fear. Live with the highest intention for goodness and light. BE that person you wish existed all around you. BE the love, BE the light. Hold that frequency you desire to create the reality that you wish to live.

You are inherently safe. But what you believe about your present reality is what attracts the things to you that you fear. What you truly believe about yourself and the world around you is what you attract to you.

This is a continuing process. This is not a one-time effort. Every day and throughout the day, you consciously bring yourself into that higher frequency of Divine Light and Love, and HOLD that frequency as long as possible. Then later in the day, do it again; then later, do it again.  Day after day throughout the day you keep doing this—keep raising and holding that higher frequency. You keep releasing your old limiting beliefs, now allowing yourself to feel your Oneness with everything and everyone.

Let go of the old. Dream a NEW dream. It is time for NEW dreams. Vision the New dream. Feel the NEW dream within you. What would it feel like to live this NEW experience? How does it feel inside to be safe and secure, to be loved and aligned with Spirit’s highest intentions? THAT is the emotional energy you hold in your consciousness to call that more desirable reality to you.thinkingfeelingreality.jpg

To create the NEW dream, you have to not only envision that future reality, but you have to feel the emotions of it as well—you must feel the joy of living it. Your emotional energies (these are the frequencies that your body generates) are what substantiate the reality that you call to you. …

Watch your attachment to the ‘form’ of how you think something should materialize for you. Instead, watch for the energy frequency that comes to you that matches the frequency of what you wanted—don’t be as concerned with the manifestation ‘packaging’ as to what is IN the package. Don’t discount the content because it didn’t come in the package that you expected it to arrive in.  caycerealitythought

Get quiet to recognize the frequencies that are around you and that you attract. You have to be able to read subtle frequencies, and you can’t do that when you are madly interacting with your environment.

Stop. Get quiet. And FEEL what is happening around you. Be ready to receive what you had requested, but be ready to receive something other than what you might have envisioned for yourself. Don’t look for the matching form of your desired reality—look/feel for the matching frequencies of that reality to know whether what you have requested has arrived. …”

***

Personally, I (RAH) thought this interview was worth hearing and only wanted to share the opportunity to do so with you.

The Cultural Tsunami Begins

kidsmarch

This is what real cultural change looks like: teenagers taking back their futures from adults who are too self-focused to care about them.

This massive, collective movement only happens once every 5 or 6 decades, but it is definitely happening now; and I

marchsing.jpg

predict that this wave, along with the continuing women’s movement, will bring BIG changes to American politics—and more importantly, it will bring BIG changes to Congress.

If you watched much of it yesterday, you had to be impressed with the poise, grace, and determination on those stages around the nation—articulate youth vowing to bring massive political changes in November. This should be very interesting the next few months if Congress continues to sit on its hands.

Tyoungboymfol.jpghe NRA might hope this movement will lose steam after yesterday, but I see them only amping up to larger venues with larger cheering crowds.  Funding will pour in.

And this united movement is doing it with peaceful protest, which is how you really make a shift higher in consciousness.

capitalmarch

This is exciting!

 

Living Beyond Fear

These are my lengthy notes from hearing Sara Landon speaking sara-landon.pngon “Reclaim Your Power” from 3-13-18, on the “Beyond the Ordinary Show”. (Hopefully this link will work for you, if not you can join the “Beyond the Ordinary Show” where you can access all of the speakers.) This one is definitely worth hearing.

https://www.beyondtheordinaryshow.com/replays/?inf_contact_key=b131e9fd0c693e475c31655b56f40538b9b7fc9a178e657498960ad4d4142e2d

(Most of these notes are either direct quotes or are quickly paraphrased as I listened to Sara, so please pardon my not using quotation marks. If it is MY opinion, I put it in parentheses.)

We are allowing our deepest core fears to come to the surface now. We must choose a new way to be—a new way to react.  It takes courage to live now. Give yourself permission to see what your deepest fears are and how they have controlled every part feargraphicof your life—how those deepest fears have caused chaos, confusion and suffering in your life.  People are now leading others through promoting fear.  Our visceral responses to watching others lead through fear—living in fear—is adversely affecting us. By living in fear, we are giving our personal power over to others. So this time period in the world is all about you taking back power over your own life.

5 signs that you are giving your power away:

  1. Dysfunctional relationship patterns repeating over and over
  2. Health Issues
  3. Money Issues
  4. Addiction issues
  5. Career/financial stability problems

We are at the time when these fears have come out of the dark and into the light.  Now we can process through them and change them.  Are you feeling isolated and in self-doubt?  How do you take power back over your life?

What is power and why do you want it?

Power is the ability to create a desired result. You have the ability to create a desired result. You can get what you want. Sometimes we live our lives in avoidance of unwanted things rather than focusing on creating the things we DO want in our lives.

What is your deepest fear?

Ask yourself this.  Many say they fear not being loved or fear being alone.

We often do things to avoid being unloved and to NOT be alone, so we tend to give our power away to others, just to avoid those things.loveyourselfmore

Her Council said that: “Our greatest achievement in this life is SELF-love.”   If we can love ourselves, we can change the world and learn to love all others again. Self-love is not narcissism. It is a deep acceptance that “I am okay at my core being. I am really okay. It is okay to just be ME.”

There are only two innate fears that we are born with: Fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. All other fears are learned.   That means that all other fears were created in highly emotional personal experiences, either personally felt or witnessed interacting with others, or from media sources—like watching a scary movie or TV show.

We experienced the trauma and felt the toxic emotions associated with that fear, whether real or imagined, and we replayed it in our mind until it became a subconscious behavior program that now frames every aspect of our lives.

How do we reclaim our power? Our deepest instinct is to be a part of the tribe—it is survival related. Your chances of survival were stronger within a group community rather than on your own alone.

There’s a survival instinct for connection. So we often give our power away just to fit into the group or to be loved or accepted by others. The fear of not being loved or not being enough turns us into people-pleasers. We give our power away to fit in and feel accepted. The “unacceptable by others” aspect of us is the part that we hide or push down, or deny that even exists.

All of your true power lives in the NOW.  NOW is the power point. Fear lives in the past powerofnowtitleand the future. NOW is the moment you can change and address with love and determination rather than cower in the shadows because of your future fears. Your fears keep you from experiencing your peace and joy in the NOW.

 

What do you desire to create? That must be your focus. So address the main fear you hold.  Ask yourself, “What is my main fear?” Get quiet—go deep—be honest with yourself.

We bring the fears to the surface so we can examine them and release them—let them go.  (ME: Do a ceremony over releasing your fears.  Write them on paper, say a prayer of release, and then burn the paper. Exhale forcefully and physically blow those fear energies out of your body. Repeat 3-4 times.)

When fearful situations arise, they are good things!  They help us recognize the fear behind our motives and actions, and enable us to address it and release it.  Sometimes these base fears arise during our childhood when we are unable to defend ourselves, so back then we felt helpless, defenseless—now in the childhood fear.jpgpresent situation when similar emotions are triggered, even if it isn’t exactly the same situation, that same base fear arises and we are stuck in that fear and feel as helpless as we once did as a child. So we have to examine the fear and deconstruct it for all the components to see that we are now inherently safe because we are now able to better protect ourselves and to choose our responses and actions, rather than having the intentions/actions of others forced upon us.

This is when we learn to react differently in the NOW—stopping the looped pattern of reaction and behavior—and creating new patterns of response, and to reprogram our neural networks to develop new ways of looking at similar situations and new ways of reacting, or NOT reacting, to whatever is happening around you.

If you are feeling fearful, then stop yourself, calm yourself down, breathe deeply expelling the fear energies, and put your hand on your heart and say to yourself, “I’m okay.  I’m really okay.” And breathe through it. Keep doing that until your energy shifts higher.

Once the fearful thoughts are neutralized, then shift your awareness to that of feeling deeply at peace inside. Feel that peace in your heart area.  Really feel the peace of the moment where you are holding peace for yourself. Neutralize the once fearful thoughts using the desired feeling of peace and wellbeing, then you can move forward with your life from that still-point of peace and being in your own power w/o allowing any fear to adversely affect you. You eliminate the fear from your life.ichoosetobeme

Keep this thought in mind:  It’s okay to say NO to other people.  It’s okay to create space for yourself. That’s how you take back your power. Clarity often comes with a little bit of solitude where you can actually hear yourself, rather than hearing others barking at you.

Create time for yourself. Take time, like early in the morning, to create in your mind your perfect day ….no matter what you might actually face that day—create YOUR perfect day first in your mind.  That’s the energy you want to attract.

What do you really want in your life? That is your new focus. Make the time for yourself to determine what you DO want, and decide what you need to do to get it.

On limiting beliefs expressed around you …If your vibration is high enough, a limiting belief doesn’t matter. …When you are in alignment with your soul, limiting beliefs do not matter because you are able to easily release those beliefs from your consciousness.

But if you find yourself reacting adversely to others, then there is a subconscious program within you that is allowing you to be triggered by the person or the situation. That is actually the opportunity to allow the deeper hidden fear to surface for release.  We release those fears to move forward in creating the life we desire. So getting triggered by others is simply a good way to recognize another deeply held fear for your intentional release. (It may not feel like it at the time, but that person is doing you a favor by aggravating you.)

bringittolightWe bring it from the subconscious to consciousness to deal with it. 

Bring it from the darkness to the light.

That’s where you can look more closely at it, and then let it go.

You release your fears to feel your true inner peace.

When you are living your true potential, you are living your highest joy.

That is living beyond fear.

“Systemic Shifts Are Underway”

Systems are a series of logical dependent processes that exist for a purpose with a circsytembeginning point and a desired end result.

Our circulatory system, for example, exists to supply the body’s mass with blood that fuels it.

Our digestive system exists to process the body’s intake of food sources into usable nutrients that then supply energy to power the human vehicle.

Systems are those linked processes that have a reason to function, and hopefully do so with efficiency and success.cogs and people.jpg

So when a systemic shift is underway that means that an established system of some sort is undergoing a change in operational process or a change of intended outcome.

When that operational process is the government of the United States and someone on the news who is experienced and knowledgeable in this respect declares that “systemic changes are underway in the government of the United States,” I pay attention.

systemicchange poster.jpg

 

Shifts in this respect can mean in attitude, in focus, or in operation—how governing of the nation and her people is regarded and executed.

We actually do have a document that already defines this “governing system”. It is called the United States Constitution. To change that document would take some serious legislation and congressional agreement on what congress felt needed to change and why.

But to dilute the existing laws in affect or to dissuade the judicial branch from upholding the US constitutional laws, is a much easier task to achieve. Those, I believe, are the shifts that are occurring—ones in attitude and congressional oversight.

After enduring almost one year of Trump’s government deconstruction attempts and boiling frog.pngpathological lying, we are sitting here like near-boiling frogs in our ever-heating pot. At first the slow-heating water starts out kind of warm, but not too uncomfortable, and then it just keeps getting hotter and hotter until we feel so relaxed and zapped of energy, that we can’t jump out of the pot to save ourselves.

Those are the systemic shifts underway that self-interested congress men and women are allowing to slow-cook all of us. Yes, we do have laws in place to stop despots from taking over our government.  But we don’t have laws in place to make members of congress and the justice department enforce those laws if they have no sense of duty and moral integrity to make sure that it doesn’t happen.

When our government can be bought by rich autocrats, then there is no democracy—no true Republic “for which we stand, one Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

There is only autocratic rule with multi-dollar dispersion to the loyal followers.

As 2018 looms on the near horizon, we the people of America have a choice of continuing boiledfroggyto float about in our ever-heating pot, or to say “I better get out of this pot while I can and turn off that burner.”

It’s now time to turn off the burner, folks. Time to take a stand. Time to make your voices known that you refuse to be boiled alive without a fight.

It’s time to stand up and speak out while you still have the right to free speech. Don’t assume that freedom is always going to be there for you if you don’t defend it while it is under attack by the despot’s propaganda machine.

If you can’t be bought, you need to run for government offices nationwide—local, state, and federal.

Make that your resolution for the year ahead:yates.jpg

I stand up for the constitution of the United States of America, and I oppose those who try to destroy it.

And hopefully that resolution effort lasts longer than most diets do.