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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Deep Down Within Us

" . . (D)eep down within every man, woman, and child is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there. . . ."

Alcoholics Anonymous, page 55
 * * * * *
"All sentient beings are buddhas,
But they are covered by temporary obscurations.
Hevajra Tantra
* * * * *

"This temporary obscuration is our own thinking, If we didn't already have the buddha nature ("that Great Reality deep down within us") meaning a nature that is identical to that of all awakened ones, no matter how much we try we would never become enlightened." 
. . .  
"Recognize your mind and in the absence of any concrete thing, rest loosely. After a while we again get caught up in thoughts. but by recognizing again and again, we grow ore and more used to the natural state. It's like learning something by heart - after a while, you don't need to think about it. Through this process, our thoughts involvement grows weaker and weaker The gap between thoughts begins to last longer and longer. At a certain point, for half an hour there will be a stretch of no conceptual thought whatsoever, without having to suppress thinking."

Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, "As It Is," Vol. II, pp. 48-49

* * * * *

"There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakeable foundation for life. Now and then we may be granted a glimpse of that ultimate reality which is God's kingdom."

Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, page 98

* * * * *
"And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Luke 17:20-21


  1. ...a great post rabbi,Thank you! practice of daily meditation and prayer has develpoed nicely i think,but my attempts to incorporate an end of day routine of self-examination has not become established so far..i think its that i do not yet fully comprehend its potential and importance though i am aware that certain christian and monastic tradions as well as AA teach and encourage this practice....i will put forth more effort and see what happens.....

  2. The end-of-day inventory is part of Step 10 ,and as such, of course, involves self-examination. There is also, however, the self-examination that occurs throughout the day when we catch ourselves caught up in the web of our own incessant thinking. Each time we become aware of that stream of thinking, we emerge from that self-centeredness. I often acknowledge that this has happened by simply affirming, "relieve me of the bondage of self."

    In "The Sermon on The Mount," a valuable book used by our AA pioneers, Emmet Fox talks of three succeedingly higher levels of prayer. First, prayer as we typically think of it, but a prayer of simple 'affirmation' and 'invocation' (e.g. "OK, God is everything. Let me be part of That. Relieve me of the bondage of self.). The next higher level of prayer is meditation, where we sit and practice the presence of God, watching our minds and letting go of the thoughts that stream into it. Eventually, through this practice of the presence of God, we improve and prolong our God-consciousness. Lastly, Foxx talks of the "highest" level of prayer: contemplation. It is going out from meditation into our everyday lives, and recurring to the state of God-consciousness found in meditation each time we realize we have again been caught up in our egoic thinking.

    In "A New Earth," modern spiritual teacher, Eckhart Tolle observes that, "thinking without awareness is the main dilemma of human existence." The on-the-spot "self-examination" allows us to think, but with a conscious awareness that we are doing so. In that way we are not prisoner to the incessant, involuntary mind-chatter which is focused upon past events and future imagined ones.