The Buddha Nature

‘Buddha Painting at Amazing Banyan Tree’ – Utsav Rock Garden – Wikimedia

When you see the representation of a Buddha in meditation — or a Shiva or a goddess —, it is not about a person or a god, not about an entity, no matter how mythical or divine he or she might be. It is yourself represented. It is the description of your own aware being. Present. Self-sufficient. Undisturbable. Undivided. Not dispersed. It is a representation of consciousness — that thing or essence of which we are made, and with which we are all having our many experiences. It is the very form of being. It is an attempt to make seen what cannot be seen, to make graspable that which cannot be grasped. It is the form of the formless. It is teaching itself. It is truth in a condensed and visible form.

To see it that way will never make you laugh again at the expressions of devotion in front of statues. It is not to say that the immense majority of believers do not see in these statues the representation of a person or a god, but rather to emphasise the truer significance behind these objects of devotion. They are reminders of truth, wake up calls from the bottomless being contained in your own being. They are beseeching you to direct your attention inwards. You are being asked to devote your attention to your self, to worship your own being, to not disperse yourself in the ten thousand things and the endless dance of thoughts and feelings, but to focus on that which is before them, that which is seeing them all. That is your true self, and that true self is Buddha-nature.

A Buddha in meditation is not a Buddha in meditation. It doesn’t tell you that you should meditate. It is rather the expression of the very being that sits as your very self or awareness. In other words, it is you. You are this close to a Buddha sitting in meditation. A breath away. Less than a breath, you are it to a point that you can never even envisage. That’s what keeps you so far remote from it. This is the real belief: to think of yourself as being a common person and not a Buddha. Imagination is taking you far away from your true self. Don’t let it do that to yourself. Don’t be so malleable as to follow the injunctions of a voice in your head. Sit down in yourself and look within. Surrender to the presence of your innermost being. Stay with it. Admire it. Your true nature is nothing but Buddha-nature. It is the only thing that you must not be asked to believe. It’s just for the realising.

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Text by Alain Joly

Painting by Utsav Rock Garden

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Website:
Utsav Rock Garden

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Other ‘Ways of Being’ from the blog…

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Taking Sides

Don’t you want to be just made of that? To wholly embrace this experience? Not to stay in a little corner, to be always wanting, claiming, hoping, complaining, but to find yourself being the bearer of all things, merging with the ten thousand colours of experience — not being just one side of it? To be whole is never a matter of choice, but parting is. Awareness is always choiceless. If you exert a choice, in the form of a chooser, then chances are that you don’t know the true nature of living. You’re not aware, no — not yet aware. You’re still sleeping in a dark cave. You haven’t contemplated all that life is. You haven’t truly been amongst the trees, and been taken by the harmonious course of a bird. You haven’t been a lover of the grass, and a true partner of that heap of dried, dead leaves in the autumn air. You haven’t quite yet mingled with the clouds, and merged your being with the being of the sky. No, not quite yet. For now, you’re just being a chooser.

Don’t cheat on your true self and being, by partnering with a thought, a feeling, or some particular object. Don’t be abused by the noises and colours of experience, to the detriment of the silent presence that hosts them. There is something profoundly sad about taking sides — identifying with opinions, beliefs, preferences, judgments. For really, to take sides is to be a self. It is to play in the limited courtyard of your thoughts and feelings, and not be touched by the immensity of not knowing, of having no preferences, of not being a chooser. To take sides means: you haven’t let reality be as it is. You have intervened, and in doing so, have limited your self, have made it into a poor little thing.

For taking sides will send you on the dangerous road to fear, loneliness, and confusion. It will make you retire in the fake refuge of your separate self. Remember this: every time you take sides, every time you exert a control, you are not being ‘you’ — I mean your true ‘I’. You have been dragged and caught by the cunningness of a thought. You have been robbed of your essential self. You have made yourself into a point of view with a limited scope and understanding. You have been squeezed in a little corner of your invention. I am begging it to you now: Stop being anything. Don’t think yourself to be a body, and therefore be an insider. Don’t push away experience, and therefore be an outsider. Don’t be sidetracked with a sideshow. No. Make your true self the real show of experience. You won’t regret it. You will be standing on the stage of life under a shower of light and applauds. For then, you have vanquished all that separating gig. You have given your life the colour of life itself. You have treated your being with the being of all selves and things. And you have exchanged your never ending complaints with a life lived in utter thankfulness. Just by not taking sides.

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Text and photo by Alain Joly

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Other ‘Ways of Being’ from the blog…

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Awareness is All

‘Conscious Capability’ – George Harvey (1806-1876) – WikiArt

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The very fact of being aware of what is is truth.”
~ J. Krishnamurti

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If you observe yourself carefully, awareness can be felt as a truly overwhelming presence. It is actually all there is, and that can be easily proved. Let’s take an experience like our current experience, since no other than this one present, living experience, has ever existed and will ever do. We cannot divide experience, make it into bits and pieces to be compared or analysed. Experience is not limited to its content. You cannot separate content from its recipient. That’s the first clue for our investigation: Experience is undivided, unbroken awareness.

But let’s not be too quick on this, and jump to an easy conclusion. Let’s look thoroughly at our experience. What are the things that occupy us? What is actually filling this presence of ours? Let’s take our thoughts for example. There seems to be a steady arrival of them in our mind. All kinds of thoughts. The organised ones and the messy ones. The scared, confused, barely audible ones, and the vindicative ones. The happy ones and the weeping ones. Some that are useful in the course of a day, and others utterly useless and gratuitous, that are here solely to soothe our broken sense of self, or escape from a dreadful, imagined reality. Let’s face it: most of our thoughts are actually mad thoughts owned by a barely identifiable owner.

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Explore how the nature of our experience is made of awareness… (READ MORE…)

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The State of Things

‘Self-portrait’ (detail) – Rembrandt, 1658 (Frick Collection) – WikiArt

It is crucial in life to have a clear view of the state of things. Not to be left behind with an erroneous understanding or interpretation. For there are wolves out there, that want you to go astray. They will lure you to adopt their own inherited beliefs. They will push you in the direction of your fall. So be watchful of everything you don’t fully understand.

They will want you to believe that you are surrounded by people or others. That these ‘others’ are objects of fear, pain or pleasure, that you will be drawn to either avoid or use for your own happiness. Nothing could be more remote from the truth. At no time or place will you be asked to meet anybody but yourself. Your own glorious self who happens to be also the self of all apparent others. People are but the varied and beautiful expressions of the one being that stands as your being too. In consequence, they will become colleagues, partners, sharers of that same one being, and therefore beloveds. You will see them as blooming flowers that belong to the same aware field of consciousness. This field is the only self there is, present in everyone and every being as your very own being too. This, truly is the state of things.

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A meditative reflexion on the state of things in our experience… (READ MORE…)

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An Invitation from Silence

‘The Philosopher. Silence’ – Nicholas Roerich, 1940 – WikiArt

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Of the unknowable only silence talks.”
~ Nisargadatta Maharaj

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Silence is always called upon us. Once we have stopped engaging with our endless thoughts, once we have released the rage of our permanent search towards happiness, once the dance of our daily relentless activities has died down, then silence is here always present. Silence is here to re-collect us into itself. It is a never failing embrace, always available, always ready to mother us, always pregnant in and behind every one of our failures or pains, of our battles with ourself and with the world.

In a way, silence could be said to be the mother of a symphony of sounds. Silence is a sound enhancer, and by extension, a revealer of objectivity. But notice that we stop hearing anything when the space of silence is filled with an overcrowding of sounds. Any sound is then only participating in the general cacophony. This is the same with awareness. If our mind — this presence that we are — is filled to the brim with objective experiences, so as to seem to become itself a big object, it then becomes impossible for this mind to find any space within itself to experience objects as objects, and to notice that in which these are appearing. The space of awareness goes unnoticed with the pregnancy of objects, just as silence goes unnoticed with the cover of sounds.

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A text that shows how silence is revealed as our very own being… (READ MORE…)

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Humanity’s Healers

‘Clytie’ – Frederic Leighton, 1890 – WikiArt

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The moment I realise I am humanity,
that is the greatest action
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~ J. Krishnamurti

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Why has humanity left this whole field of knowing oneself — all the spiritual endeavour, the extraordinary adventure that it is — outside the conventional and widely accepted way of living? It is a difficult thing to understand, since the door to it is so wide open and evident. Of course, religions are there, and have taken an all too consuming place in the past, but yet to no real avail. For an immense majority of people, religious faith didn’t go very deep, and didn’t put much of a light on the everyday suffering of humanity other than being a widespread system of morals and rituals destined to give some rules to society, and to instil fear, consolation or respect. So why has this understanding been confined to only a few, scattered individuals? Why has it not yet become the one accepted and necessary endeavour of our lives?

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An essay exploring the place of humanity in our being… (READ MORE…)

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Being Spiritual

‘Sea View’ – J.M.W. Turner, 1820-1830 – WikiArt

This whole adventure of knowing oneself is not about being spiritual. It’s about being alive. Not just a little bit alive, with holes here and there, where unconsciousness can creep in, and steal us the best portion of what it is to be truly alive. For life is not a collection of deeds or experiences. Life is an energy and an essence that you can feel or know as the totality of your own being. And life extends to everything and everywhere. It is not about you. It never was.

To realise our true nature is not about being spiritual. It’s about being happy. Not the happiness that shakes and crumbles at the least twist of life’s circumstances. Happiness is not meant to be so fragile. And it is not something that you have to attain, or perform. You are not meant to work for that which is your inborn due and essence. Happiness is when you cannot even form or comprehend the concept of unhappiness. It is the distinguishing trait of being.

This understanding is not about being spiritual. It’s about being wholly a human being — inhabiting this whole experience while staying rooted in your true essence as awareness. There is immense delight in being awareness through your whole body and mind. Don’t leave your human experience at the door of consciousness anymore that you should leave consciousness at the door of your human experience. Include your humanness in your understanding.

To recognise our real identity is not about being spiritual. It’s about being in a world. Feeling what a world is — its golden nature — its sacredness — its dazzling presence. Having a world as our own being. Don’t think that you cannot know it through its essence. Knowing the world is like knowing yourself. And that will make you equip the world with ravishing beauty. The world is not about an outside. It is all inside yourself, curling itself into your own being.

I don’t want to be spiritual, or special, or humble. I want to be so fully being that I cannot even formulate such ideas. I want to be so fully myself that I cannot even know the meaning of these words. And I don’t want to be perfect. I want to be soft and malleable, and utterly vulnerable. Not fragile or brittle, but open to every passing feeling, to every hue inherent in living. This is how life shows its greatness. This is how you are truly grateful for being human.

I don’t want to have the identity of being spiritual. I want to have no contours where I can be fixed and localised. I don’t want to be anything that can be bumped into, and get hurt or scarred. I want to be being only being, to leave no room for an other, or for a difference. Why should I define myself? To be truly living is to be undefinable. And to be without objective identity is to belong in everything and in everyone. This is the true meaning of love.

I don’t quite fancy being tagged as spiritual. Being spiritual is only a nice word for everything in myself that cannot quite let go and espouse the pure essence of being. These are the leftovers on the failed path of being one with my essential being. I don’t want to be spiritual any more that I want my true nature to be identified with being French, or being this or that. I want to be what I ought to be when every form of control is seen detrimental and abandoned.

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Text by Alain Joly

Painting by J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851)

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Website:
J. M. W. Turner (Wikipedia) 

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