Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Excuses; and a little talk about Siddhartha Buddha

Reasons that have been given for not joining a meet in person lineage group:
"This is boring"
"This is not what I expected"
"I don't like these people"
"These folks are not my 'type' of people"
"The sitting is tiresome"
"I had formed certain expectations which are not being met"
Things one loses by not proceeding against one's arguments and staying with the Group (assuming that they are direct lineage groups:
'Camaraderie between people that may cause friction because they can't stand each other"
'The sittings, where Mr. Gurdjieff's "secret inner exercises" are presented, always in first person singular"
'The possibility of being able to join in "movements classes"
The weekly meetings of one's "home group"
The opportunity to work together in one larger group, for a day, weekend, or week, and in the summer, sometimes for 10 day
The opportunity to be amongst people of greater and lesser "being", all driven to be there by the same aims, to work on themselves, with others and for the work itself"
The arousal of positive emotions such as compassion and tolerance towards those who seem lost"
The understanding that one is in a house of repair, and that the others are mirrors of one's own faults and vanities."
The strength of self-love preventing inclusion in a setting where you may not decide for yourself, the tasks to be undertaken" Of course we hear you say:
'The work seems too slow"
I would be better off on my own, than follow this motley crew"
'I am not a 'joiner" (then why go even to one meeting -- nothing can be ascertained by going to weekly meetings for sometimes a long time before a new feeling arises between members of your group"
'Nobody seems to be conscious here"
I am wasting my time with these idiots"
I am too smug and full of vanity to follow anyone else"
The leader is a jerk; the members are sheep"
The group is a fraud out to get my money"
It's a cult"
Gurdjieff was a shit, the memory of whom attracts morons and idiots"
I am as or more intelligent than anyone else here"
And So On....
So this list if for all of us to ponder; every new semester
(Yes, the foundations run in semesters and yearly cycles)
Every new semester begins with a question: "Why are you here? Why do you come back here year after year?" "Why do you spend your time in sometimes long travels to get here?  What do you expect to gain from coming here? And so on...
So I will ask it today: Why are the members here? What prompts some members to post a lot and others to remain silent? 
Once after a lengthy sitting (meditation if you like), a man approached Madame de Salzmann and told her it was a boring session and he kept falling asleep. He complained that the leader spent too much time between speaking and long periods of silence caused him great discomfort. She thought for a moment and asked him point blank:
"What did you do to help?"
That left our bored fellow with a great deal to think about. He thanked madame and turned and walked down the stairs in a much different state than when he sat through the dull and long sitting. Now here was again, life in his eyes, and Madame had bestowed upon him a precious gift, which changed his entire attitude towards the Work.
We Work to Serve: If I serve and there is excess, I "earn it" and little by little it adds up until it precipitates out and becomes the base of the Alchemical vessel that I need to create second body, and then nurture this new life within me just as I would an infant, whose blood is Hanbledzoin. The entire schemata of Mr. Gurdjieff's teachings are there.
Acknowledge the lower, Forge a proper vessel and become a vertical conduit and reach for the higher just as a schoolchild might raise his hand and plead: "Call on 'me', Teacher; Call on ME!"

Always ask of yourself, why? Ask of your manifesting self, WHY? Why am I acting as I am? What propels me? Self-love and Vanity, or having heard a call, perhaps a distant call, but familiar, and answer it by heading in it's direction. 
I call than being in possession of what is known as a "Lodestone". If you have a lodestone, you have found a rock that has become a permanent magnet. The ancient Chinese knew this, that if you strike off a sliver, it will float in water, and it will point true magnetic North and South; what Mr. G called a "Magnetic Center"

From then on, no matter the rush and direction of the lemmings, you KNOW the direction you are going, and knowing THAT yields a precious inner force, where nothing and nobody can dissuade you from reaching YOUR aim. Even if it takes turning around and going in the opposite direction of everybody else, YOU know you have the lodestone and can no longer be fooled, by anybody or anything.
Looking from above, even though a river ALWAYS runs down to the sea, it sometimes because of the obstacles and topography, seems to head in exactly the opposite direction - it still runs downhill to the sea. They call that a "switchback", and speaking personally, I have often been labeled with outlandish codes and snarky names and thought to be an imbecile who leads others astray, it has never been so.
Look at the life of the Buddha Siddharta: He ended up teaching the middle path for forty years, but he did not arrive at NirVana himself through the "middle path"; in fact, quite the opposite: he practiced austerities (Real Yoga and Study with many masters); When he looked like a dead man from a concentration camp he finally let a woman nurse him back to health.
After he recovered, his companions were mad as hell, hot under the collar that he had abandoned them. Siddhartha then chose a Pipal Tree and began a new practice of sitting and pondering:
"When did I feel the most happiness in my life?" 
And he remembered an experience when he was nine years old ad had sat under a similar tree and had suddenly been overtaken by sensations of the beauty of nature and not that he was loved, but that he loved, and he allowed this loving to grow; he felt compassion and mercy for all things as they grow, whither and die.
But this no longer bothered him, as he saw the rounds of nature passing through his mind. He then felt great indifference towards the inevitable changes that anything in nature is subject to; He felt a great friendliness towards everything and all creatures large and small; good or bad suddenly made no difference, because, and this is the most important part.
Buddha did not feel these sensations and feelings towards himself, but only outwardly from his innermost nature. Then he began to teach. He had reached NirVana, a compound word meaning literally No (Nir) Wind (Vana). In the state of nirvana one's flame of life burns without being subject to any wind or breeze. It is an equanimity with regards to ALL things, self included.
But Siddhartha Buddha taught the "middle path", even though he did not reach his nirvana except through "Super-Efforts" that nearly killed him.
Gurdjieff was asked, "Mr. Gurdjieff, can we become as you are?" and Gurdjieff replied, "Yes, only to have suffered as I have suffered." 
No easy task no matter how you look at it.

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