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Sid Berman on Mindfulness

Colors of the World

The naval isn't that important. The contemplation is everything.

Empowerment cannot thrive in an atmosphere of mistrust.

I don't mind people telling me what they think. I do mind people telling me what I think.

For the easily amused, life is a fabulous buffet of tasty delights.

The scholar divides the universe into small boxes. The sage smiles in amusement.

You are not the play. You are the theatre in which the play takes place.  

Nothing is ever the way it's supposed to be. Everything is the way it is.

Whatever you think you're waiting for has already started.

The purpose of thinking is to convince ourselves that we know what we are talking about.

You do not meditate to heal yourself. You meditate to discover that you are well.
If you wish to save the world, you must first find it.
The songbird sits still on the telephone cable, singing it's sweet song, and marking my place in eternity.

Saying "no" to religion is not the same as saying "no" to God. 

When things go our way, we are happy. When we discover the present we become happiness.

If you have too much on your plate, get a bigger plate.

The purpose of a mindfulness practice is not  to keep one from acting like a moron.

Once you know why, how becomes secondary. 

A Quiet Mind

You say tranquility of the mind and a peaceful heart are essential. Is that so? Or is that merely a theory, merely a desire? Because we are so disturbed, distracted, we want that quietness, that tranquility --- which then is merely an escape. It is not a necessity, it is an escape. When we see the necessity of it, when we are convinced it is the only thing that matters, the only thing that is essential --- then do we ask the method for it? Is a method necessary when you see something is essential?

Method involves time, does it not? If not now, then eventually --- tomorrow, in a couple of years --- I shall be tranquil. Which means, you do not see the necessity of being tranquil. And so the "how" becomes a distraction; the method becomes a way of postponing the essentiality of tranquility. And that is why you have all these meditations, these phony, false controls, to get eventual tranquility of the mind, and the various methods of how to discipline in order to acquire that tranquility. Which means, you do not see the necessity, the immediate necessity, of having a still mind. When you see the necessity of it, then there is no inquiry into the method at all. Then you see the importance of having a quiet mind, and you have a quiet mind.
J. Krishnamurti (Wiki link)

Recommended reading:

365 Nirvana Here and Now: Living Every Moment in Enlightenment

The Tao of Pooh

"Rabbit's clever," said Pooh thoughtfully. "Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit's clever." "And he has Brain." "Yes," said Piglet, "Rabbit has Brain." There was a long silence. "I suppose," said Pooh, "that that's why he never understands anything."
— A. A. Milne in The House at Pooh Corner
The Tao of Pooh is a guidebook to happiness.
Benjamin Hoff's philosophical spin on the beloved Winnie-the-Pooh stories walks us through Milne's Hundred Acre Wood from a Taoist perspective.
He inserts himself into Pooh's world, imbuing the instructive narrative with playful fictional interactions between Milne's characters and himself, almost as if recounting a timeless bedtime story. The chapters are set against the scenic backdrop of Pooh's idyllic adventures, and as with many parables of yore, they channel universal truths and observations about people and life and the world around us.
In his illustrations of Taoist ideals hidden within the pages of Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner, Hoff shares with the reader lessons from which anyone can discover value.
Taoism is just as Pooh just is.
The essence of Taoism is the Uncarved Block or P'u. It's a principle that emphasizes that things in their original simplicity contain their own natural power, and that balance should be respected.
Those of the Uncarved Block, once freed from elements that get in the way (e.g., arrogance and complexity), discover a simple, mysterious truth: life is fun.
In a way, Pooh is the Uncarved Block. Why? It just is.
Listen to and know yourself.
Everything has its own place and function. Too many people don't recognize this, and so they put up with the wrong job or the wrong relationship. They accept the status quo, having never tried to discover what makes them unique.
Conversely, some people refuse to accept their own limitations to their own detriment. It doesn't mean we stop changing and improving; it just means we recognize what's there.
The wise know their limitations; the foolish do not.
Stop and smell the roses.
As Hoff points out, "A way of life that keeps saying 'Around the next corner, above the next step,' works against the natural order of things and makes it so difficult to be happy and good."
We always seem to have to be going somewhere. More money, better job, bigger house. Anywhere but where we are. We spend our lives chasing after what's next, what's after, and somehow it's always farther along than where we are.
Likewise, the problem with our perverse obsession for saving time is that you can't save time. You can only spend it. Most people have no time at all, because they're too busy wasting it by trying to save it. And by trying to save every bit of it, they end up wasting the whole thing.
Henry David Thoreau writes in Walden:
Why should we live with such hurry and waste of life? We are determined to be starved before we are hungry. Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take a thousand stitches to-day to save nine tomorrow.
For the inquisitive or the philosophically inclined, Laozi's classic text Tao Te Ching serves as a better primer to Taoism and higher enlightenment. But for those of us who too often find ourselves at the mercy of the gales of daily routines or tossed about in the waves of life's demands, The Tao of Pooh hands us a compass to find our bearings, reorient our perspectives, and learn the Way.
Like the colorful stories of the Bear from which it draws inspiration, The Tao of Pooh is a book about life. If anything, walk away with this:
Do you really want to be happy? You can begin by being appreciative of who you are and what you've got.
Reprinted from:

On Enlightenment

“Enlightenment means waking up to what you truly are and then being that.” 

Is there effort required on this path? Personally I find I have less and less energy to make an effort in any direction.

You can't make an effort without rension. But why do you make an effort?  Only because you're looking for some result, for something outside yourself. Once you really know that what you're looklng for is your real nature, you lose the impetus to strive. So first, see how you are constantly making an effort. As soon as you are aware of this process, you are already outside it. And it may come as an original perception that you are really stillness.

But doesn't seeing this require some effort?

No. This seeing is your natural state. Just be aware that you don't see. Become more aware that you constantly react. Seeing requires no effort because your nature is seeing, is being stillness. The moment you're not looking for a result, not looking to criticize, to evaluate or conclude, just looking, then you can perceive this reacting, and you are no longer an accomplice to it.

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