The Many Paths To Mindfulness

Leave the first response October 29, 2012 / Posted in Mindful Leadership, Mindfulness

The Tree of Contemplative Practices

Years ago, I first came across an introductory page in a book by Ida Rolf with the title: Admonition For 1977. It’s one of those pieces that has sat in the back of my mind over the past 35 years, especially when I get tangled up in my own righteousness and knowing.

At the time I did not know it, that it would become a foundation in my practice of Mindfulness.

Lee Thayer talks about being in the learning mode. The problem is that I can easily be caught up in the Knowing Mode. Being in the learning mode means I need an unrelenting curiosity about anything that might bear upon my performance of my role of becoming more present, aware and living my life intentionally. Becoming more aware, present and intentional tomorrow than I was today. And each future day beyond.
Yet if I want to know the future, I create it by being in this present moment.

There are numerous translations if you search the internet for : Buddha “Do not believe anything merely”.

This is my composite of Ida’s and those other translations I’ve read.

The Kalama Sutra

The Kalama Surta is the Buddha’s reply to a group of townspeople of Kalama. They asked Buddha who were they to believe of all the ascetics, sages, holy ones and teachers They came through their town confusing them with their contradictory truths, teachings, beliefs, and one true way.

• Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it,
• Nor traditions because they are old and have been handed down from generation to generation and in many locations,
• Nor in rumor because it has been spoken by many,
• Nor in writings by sages because sages wrote them,
• Nor in one’s own fancies, thinking that it is such an extraordinary thought, it must have been inspired by a god or higher power,
• Nor in inferences drawn from some haphazard assumption made by us,
• Nor in what seems to be of necessity by analogy,
• Nor in anything merely because it is based on the authority of our teachers, masters, and elders,.

However, after thorough observation, investigation, analysis and reflection, when you find that anything agrees with reason and your experience, and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, and of the world at large; accept only that as true, and shape your life in accordance with it; and live up to it.

These words, the Buddha went on to say, must be applied to his own teachings.

Review The Contemplative Tree and see where your practice is.

James Hollis in his book, Finding Meaning In The Second Half of Life, touches on this issue under what he calls “personal authority” or more appropriately the recovery of personal authority. You can summarize that task in the above Kalama Sutra or in Hollis’ definition: “Personal Authority means to find what is true for oneself and to live it in the world.”

So ahead is a wonderful experience of a lifetime.

Some quotes from Buddha to bring home the point

As the Fletcher whittles and makes straight his arrows, so the master directs his straying thoughts. All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think, we become.~ Buddha

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make our world.~ Buddha

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.~ Buddha

All acts of living become bad by ten things, and by avoiding the ten things they become good. There are three evils of the body, four evils of the tongue, and three evils of the mind.
The evils of the body are, murder, theft, and adultery; of the tongue, lying, slander, abuse, and idle talk; of the mind, covetousness, hatred, and error.~ Buddha

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