Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Practices are for the Mind and Not for Enlightenment ~ Katie Davis

There are three universal life forces that are constantly acting upon the physical human being. In the East they call them "gunas." I just call them life forces. The first is "active" (rajas), the second is "dull, with a certain lassitude" (tamas), and "harmony" (sattvic).

Today while you are taking a walk or simply driving your car or whatever, notice these life forces in action. Wind blowing madly through the trees is active. A lazy calm flowing river is lassitude. Perhaps a beautiful sunset might be labeled harmony. You are able to observe the forces acting in all living creatures. Enter a restaurant and notice which is the predominant force that is present. Of course, since they are always in movement, they are always in constant change as well.

Now, begin observing "your" thoughts. Are they active (compulsive thinking)? Do they have a certain laziness about them? Or does the mind seem in harmony.

This is where practices are handy. Through attending breath or through meditation, thoughts will shift from active or dull and eventually rest in harmony. It is the sattvic or mind in harmony that is nearing enlightenment.

To be clear here, it is not that a harmonious mind "causes" enlightenment. Practices can help the transformation of our thinking in a manner that is harmonious to realizing who you really are. Awakening and enlightenment is totally beyond causality ... call it Grace.

However as soon as the active or dull thinking mind is in harmony, the practitioner then becomes an obscuration. The practitioner itself must be surrender one the mind is concentrated and in harmony. Who is the practitioner? "I am." Ask this question everytime ... "Who am I?"

For discussion, maybe we could share what we observed in watching the life forces throughout the day or watching the three forces within our thinking. What did you notice?

What practices have been tried? The result? Have you ever asked the ONLY essential question ... "who am I?"

Katie Davis Website:

No comments: