A week in Hell #05

A week in Hell #05

Terror, if you subscribe to it, will open up the Gates of Hells. You may be sucked in. For playing along with those living in Hell, or bound to it, will suck you in. There is no need to suscribe to terror, what are you scared of? How helpful is that fear to accessing happiness and liberation? 

What to do then with those exercising torment unto themselves and others? Completely stuck. They believe the only way to escape Hell, may be to dig further into it. That, I suppose, is the delirium of those without groundedness, those who create their own noise. Unaware that silence is the ground of being, and that being silent is to recognise emptiness as empty of a defined, fixed self, freedom could not be further away even though they’re in it. 

There is a large emphasis on what the family of a person, dying and destined for a Hell realm, can do in scripture. Empowered to do. But let’s widen scope, let go of family boundaries and fixed, rigid concepts of death as the only opportunity for rebirth. What can I do now for those of Hell anywhere and anytime? To me, that is more pragmatic, more to the point and of the moment, more useful. The answer, for me, lies in boundlessness…

To sit with love for love and of love.

Maybe one of the best, pragmatic thing we may do living a contemplative life is to meditate on True Love, on the Four Immeasurable Minds “brahmavihāras”.  If we cannot love ourselves first, free of guilt and, and just plainly free. To love is to understand. To understand is to listen deeply, in silence of mind. Listening deeply to ourselves, we learn to listen deeply to others, the cries of the World, the screams of Hell. Then we can act in a way that nourishes ourselves and others, with equanimity we wish to soothe  the torment of those in Hell. 

That’s the aspiration, and there have been moments in my life when I felt I was in some way close to this, but the bar is set. We know what must be done, for as long as there are those suffering in Hell, suffering will beget suffering, and samsara will continue to turn. 

“If with kindly generosity

One merely has the wish to soothe

The aching heads of other beings,

Such merit has no bounds.”

-Shantideva 


Thank you for reading,

-dharmacaterpillar 

A week of Hell #03

A week of Hell #03

Who knows you well enough to bring upon the worse kind of Hell? I know who knows me enough- me. It’s important to remember that to blame is futile in the eyes of codependent arising, and the only way to have any chance in changing the stream, is to first slow it down, which is to say- to slow oneself down. So this is not a post to cultivate any kind of guilt, but to explore our own role and experience in Hell. Sincerely, the demons of Hell, are the aspects of what you call you, not because of anything weird, but just because my demons couldn’t touch you in comparison to yours. We hurt ourselves more than anyone else ever could, or at least we have that potential, and we wouldn’t even know it. It is torment every single moment, without rest, because we are always with ourselves. 

Fear Hell if you want, but that won’t stop it imprisoning you if it happens, if you let it. And, my opinion is that just as Nirvana is always possible, so is Hell. In my experience, Hell is not the raging storm of hatred and relentless anger that colours everything differently, narrowing perception and charged with energy and momentum. That’s more like the road to Hell. Or the fall. Hell is bleak. And within Samsara, it is the realm with most silence, the most awareness, the least energised. But the emphasis of this focus is on suffering. In Hell, reality equals suffering only. Time passes by but feels an eternity. Nothing needs to be said. Nothing needs to be done. Nothing can be said or done. There is no space in Hell present do so. When the mind is Hell in Hell, there is no opportunity to escape. 

Hell is of Samsara, Hell is impermanent, it will too pass. In this state one’s heart-mind may be exhausted, but there is no pretence here. Once the mud has settled, clarity is gained. Truly, I believe from my own experiences, that the state of Hell is a place whereby great realisation can occur; plunged into darkness and void of pleasures, there are no distractions, only the suffering you’ve done. No escape. Until the heart-mind explodes. 


Kind wishes, and thank you for visiting OY once again,

-dharmacaterpillar  

  

Just ask. 

Just ask. 

Life can be sticky, it’s easy to get stuck. You feel like there is no way out and this is often accompanied by hopelessness. 

Ask the correct questions and find out the nature of the stickiness. What are you stuck to? And how for how long? I hope that by asking and enquiring into the nature of how you are stuck, you can unstick yourself! 

Why would this be the case? This may happen because what you are doing when you ask these honest questions is that you exercise one of the most magical faculties you have; imagination. The very phrase “I’m stuck” derives from a place of imagination. Extrapolate. By exercising the imagination, solutions become available, and asking is a great place to start this process. 

Who are you asking? You are not alone. No one is. Not truly or absolutely. You may, or may not, feel alone, or experience periods of loneliness. I don’t deny you of that experience. But fundamentally, you are not alone. So when you ask, even if there is no person you feel you can ask and explore your life’s trends with, ask outwardly. Ask the Cosmos. 

Some people would call it prayer. You may also, but you needn’t give it a name. What’s important is the process. Get grounded, sit with a confident and open posture, sit with silence for a while and then just ask “what am I stuck to?”. 

Be patient, be diligent, be receptive. 

Kind wishes,

dharmacaterpillar 


Abhyāsa

Abhyāsa

Are you committed to your practice? 

  • Many will say they are, and many of those will be committed to a headache. 
  • Many will say they are not; for they do not want it to become a rigid thing.
  • Many will say what practice? That has got to be a joke?!

Abhyāsa is the coming back, with gentleness, to the breath, to the cushion, to the Buddha within and around us, at every available opportunity, with regularity. 

More than we commit to act out the desires of our egos, good effort put in can help us commit to practice. 

Why practice? We practice for a whole number of reasons, each of us have different ones, but when it comes down to it our healthiest, and truest answer, is surely “to practice”. In this way, the difficult times in meditation don’t make it feel wasteful, or make us question it’s assumed efficacy, and our successes can be enjoyed but not expected; appreciated and not taken for granted. 
The cushion awaits

And expects nothing. 

There is no extra burden here,

In the Land of the Do-to-do. 


Thank you friends for reading,

Be well, be aware,

– dharmacaterpillar 

What Matters is That Which is Real

What Matters is That Which is Real

Patience. Patience isn’t a waste of time, even though it may seem like a literal waste of time on paper, it is anything but that. Patience paves the way to insightful thinking and view, thoughtful speech and receptivity. Sadly, patience is severely lacking in the modern world.

People’s perceptions of you and the workings of the world are incorrect and incomplete, they are mostly false and limited to cynical imaginings of vaguely recollected memories of experiences gone-by. And without a grounding spiritual practice that offers routine silence, cultivation of gentle awareness, compassion for all beings, and limitless insight into the workings of the world, is there any hope? 

Please, please be aware of one’s own misperceptions, and rash and harsh speaking. It can do damage beyond the scope of your intended damage. But instead of putting one’s energy into feeling guilt from acting in this way, or fighting the feeling of guilt with a dangerous self-righteous facade; please let us practice patience. 

 
Before you step onto the pedestal of righteousness and cause unintended damage onto the lives of others, which is never healthy for anyone, please let us be humble for we can not know fully any other person. 

Those affected by another’s rash and harsh words, all of which are incorrect and harmful conduct, please let us continue to practice compassion towards all beings. You may have been affected but take a look into your own depths, your own life, and the good work you put in; for what matters is only ever that which is real, that which you can know but never coherently utter. 

My beautiful daughter teaching me what’s really real 🙂

Blessings Friends 🌟🙏🏼

-dharmacaterpillar