Curious about Contemplation?
As I wrote yesterday, I would go to bed listening to the Quran and then to a mystical text. The Quran was to get as immersed in the Arabic religion as possible, while still letting my mind be open enough to not fall into traps of dividing people into identities, but to see that God is the actual God of infinite infinities, beyond any names, ideas or models of the human mind. I did this for about half an hour, and experienced some cool sensations like visions of aliens along with a cosmic sense of unity.
Then for the mystical text, I went to librivox.org, which is an awesome archive of audio-books continuously updated by volunteer readers! As you enter the site, you can choose to either become a reader, which means volunteering to record books, or just listen by browsing the catalog. Since I was going to listen, I chose the latter, and then I typed in ‘mystic’ in the search field under the catalog.
Browsing results, I saw the fantastic book ‘Mysticism, a Study in Nature and Development of Spiritual Consciousness’ by Evelyn Underhill, brilliantly read by Joy Chan, which I already listened to in full and can warmly recommend.
I have begun listening to Musings of a Chinese Mystic: Selections from the Philosophy of Chuang Tzu, but felt it was a bit too analytical to be tonight’s choice.
I am finally starting to get the game of being a proper guru, and thus hand you out the best contemplative questions gathered from the session:
- Are there two ways of knowing which may be called reasoning and intuition? If so, is either to be preferred to the other?
- Is all reality and its divisions illusory?
- Is time unreal?
- What kind of reality belongs to good and evil?
15 minutes of silent contemplation of each in a comfortable undisturbed place is good.
I could write pages about the answers, but that it is totally worthless in comparison to what you can get by doing a contemplation yourself. If we can spam enlightenment practices enough, the world might awaken together =D. It may be that yesterdays contemplation leads to today’s joy.
My mother telling me the story of how she did meditative drawing during a course once reminded me of this awesome practice to let go and free the mind. I just sat down at the desk with a paper and a few different crayons, closed my eyes and let my hand draw how it pleased. Here’s how it turned out:
The grid with the grey color was added afterwards, and while doing so was reminded of how amazing mathematics is at modelling just about anything.
The rest of the day followed in a joyous breeze. I purged an old email from about 3000 emails of an old lost wiki-server I had set up and probably got hacked due to poor security standards. I went through all my other email accounts as well, as a digital sustainability practice. The name I used in the email account is an old nickname of mine, consisting of my first name ‘Björn’ translated to Japanese 熊 (kuma), with the endearing diminutive ちゃん (-chan) but spelled as according to modern Basque language conventions in Latin letters.
I was in such a good mood that I went against my usual habit lately of not doing activism and instead participated in Greenpeace’s campaign encouraging citizens to send a selfie directed at their elected leaders encouraging them to step up for the upcoming climate summit at the Marshall Islands.
Maybe you thought I had stopped posting food? Turns out I haven’t, and that unplanned is sometimes the best plan!
I had no idea what to do for dinner before I entered the kitchen. I took advantage of my improvisational mood, and just took out five bags from the freezer: cauliflower, corn, spinach, blueberries and falafels (seasoned chickpea balls). I felt Indian and African influences and warmed up coconut oil in a pan, letting the frozen food slowly melt while adding spices: carnation, curry, and coriander. I also sprinkled in dried cocoa flakes and poured over the remaining boiled chickpeas I had in the fridge, this gave a nice added liquid to simmer everything in. To compensate the spices I mixed in a banana and an apple in slices along with a few spoons of soy yogurt. I sprinkled in cashew and peanuts for proteins.
I also made a salad with fresh spinach, kelp noodles, tomato, cucumber and pumpkin seeds, seasoned with avocado oil, apple vinegar and a pinch of sea salt.
Someone had failed with boiling couscous the other day, getting it burnt. I wanted to find out why and boiled half a deciliter of couscous with just a bit more water at very low temperature. It still got a bit dried to the bottom of the pan since I didn’t attend it, but it was well cooked and a perfect complement to the stew. To the top of the served portion I added some soy yogurt again, cloud-berry and lingonberry jams and a spoon of peanut butter.
Today’s Synchronicities and Applications for Enlightenment
Synchronicities are a fun phenomena: The more we ‘obsess’ or emotionally engage, or energetically invest in any symbolic content of consciousness, the more it turns up, and when it does in enough frequency or in unexpected places ourselves as usually distracted beings can become aware of it.
- Spontaneously writing on a paper: ‘One who catches a joy that flies, enjoys an eternal sunrise’, probably a variation of the poem Eternity by William Blake
- Joy Chan
- Revisiting Joy of Painting with Bob Ross
- Carnation flower in my drawing and as carnation as spice in the food. And being carnist is sadly still so common around the world thinking it is so ‘normal’ that dropping it needs a name… =X
Synchronicity could be described as observing underlying associative properties or principles of reality. Even if ultimately void of both space and time and at the same time, infinite-dimensional, the mind, of which there actually only is a single one, (If we doubt this, we can ask ourselves: How can we know what thought is really ours? Do we actually know what a thought is?) as a subset is able to create ‘stickyness’, or in terms of physics we could say quantum entanglement between observations.
- The present moment
- Any paradox
- Unanswerable questions
- Iterative questioning of answers. For example ‘Who am I?/Who are we?’, then, if getting a name as an answer, keep asking ‘What is that?’. When getting ‘a sound’ as an answer, ask ‘What is a sound?’. Then we can start observing the thoughts generating themselves, which is what is called ‘getting traction’, one of the first step to deeper meditation.
- Any particular sensory phenomena
Contemplation for a Good Night
Questions for tonight:
- What is love?
- How many infinite ways of love aren’t there?
- What is love outside of all typical conventions?
- Does love actually exist when there is an idea of right or wrong, or does it only exist as a concept, which is actually something else in that frame of mind?
- What is love outside the drive for procreation? How come such a love exists?