Thoughts on Naturalness

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    I explain to you matters
    Pertaining to enlightenment,
    But don't try to keep
    Your mind on them.
    Just turn to the ocean
    Of your own essence
    And develop practical accord with its nature.
    - Yangshan
    The above is what leapt to mind as I wondered what to write here. It is something found while looking for pieces which others might find inspiring before meditations, and I like it because it suggests that even thoughts about enlightenment are thoughts not to get caught up in nor distracted by. What then would it mean to Just turn to the ocean Of your own essence And develop practical accord with its nature?

    Stim Morane: I would add another factor, which is that our minds must be restored to their true context, or ground, which is the whole human nature. Hence my interest in "naturalness".

    We often discuss openness and sharing, relaxing, letting go and giving up. Maybe we don‘t quite discuss what/where/who we are giving up TO… That seems harder. What IS mind's true context?

    In places/moments wherein patterns overlap and line up with a precision which goes beyond anything we could have dreamed up, it seems what has happened is a strong shifting of attention and awareness from the center to a kind of vast periphery beyond logic which feels to have been all along. What appears then makes ’more’ sense, though it often unravels our former notions of how things must be ‘done‘.

    Natural light has a nurturing quality, whereas synthetic light drains. Spending a day near the ocean can calm one for days beyond. A tree can give support like a friend.  So when I asked myself "What is natural that we 'do' in the world?" I thought "Well, perhaps many Beatles songs are natural in a way. They seem to not intrude. They are often like childhood lullabyes in their simplicity... like something one has heard in a dream. A house built with respect for the environment it is placed in can show affection for something essential.

    Fefonz mentioned that words like harmony and simplicity are discussed in shallow ways most of the time, and I agree. We get flaky-flighty when we look for signs and TRY to capture moments of flow, synchronicity, and chemistry, or try to manufacture waves to ride. Pila mentioned the undesirability of seeking bliss, for instance.

    But I like the idea of cultivating accord with true context...   

    Dao’s question regarding ‘technical’ and specific terminology was something I took into consideration when forming this sort of question for everyone (including myself). My sense is that Naturalness is an expression of Sunyata, or emptiness, which we discussed a few weeks ago…not having and not expecting to have a place to land…or center… not expecting to capture or keep...

    A natural 'not intruding' ? 

    This is something I'm paying attention to in dealing with my children. For instance sometimes I am there with them physically, but really I'm worrying about something down the road or trying to make up for something: contriving. They know when I am not really hearing/seeing *them* through my agendas. When I let go of that, there is often something nice and really special which happens... a relaxing out of the surface level of things and into a feeling of rightness from which we are often quite productive.

    So the piece above says Don’t try to keep your mind on them… This to me implies that they (‘matters pertaining to enlightenment [and just daily lives which feel to make better/smoother sense]) arise naturally when we cultivate a knowing connection (accord) with an essence deeper than logic/thoughts and pay attention to not intruding ourselves. The description of an ocean seems particularly helpful, as it surely cannot be contained.


    Adding a little here due to the shyness topic which came up on Sunday and which Dao mentions in her piece. What I described is an exaggerated self-consciousness/shyness which I dealt with from earliest memory, and which I thought was conditioned before my younger daughter was born with much the same affliction, and yes affliction is a strong but accurate term. It is something which can be quite paralyzing, causing one to close all kinds of doors before they even open.

    AND there has certainly been a shifting with regard to this, over the last few months. I've mentioned this a little, but in this context it is interesting to note that the change was quite effortless, which doesn't mean I think it is 'gone' but it certainly isn't the taskmaster it was. 

    I called this shyness something 'genetic' because in the realm of what might be called 'mental illnesses' it seems to fit and certainly there were times when others suggested I might want to medicate myself. I went to therapy which helped with all sorts of things, but not this. :)  So my point was that I'm not convinced that even genetic afflictions can't be affected by 'natural' insight.

    Of course that is just my sense from this one personal example.






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