Middle Pane

absurdism, philosophy, science, music


October 2012

Conference – Change – Cheese

We had our first parent teacher conference with our son’s teacher today.  He is doing great and is excelling in reading and math.  She did mention that he does hurry when he is doing his drawing or writing.  It ends up being done, but it is sloppy.  She tries to tell him to slow down and focus.  Just because there are five minutes left, that does not mean that you have to be finished then.

And I can see the same things in my life.  I often rush to finish a task, but the end result is not as shining as it could be.  And it is not that I am not capable of doing it correctly, it is that I get in a hurry and focus more on the time aspect.  I am going to try to heed her advice in my life and see if my son follows suit.  More importantly,  I have learned today that I should always take the advice of a teacher, even when she/he is not talking about me.

We watched “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” tonight.  My wife picked it out and I was hesitant at first writing it off as chicky drama just by the title.  She explained that it is about a group of retired individuals that are “outsourcing” their retirement to India.  That got me a little intrigued and I remembered that I forced her to watch “That’s My Boy” last week, so I let go and we watched it.

I ended up enjoying it not too long into it.  It is about dealing with change.  A change that is a little down the road for me, but I can identify with going through different periods of change in my life.  It also falls in line with things that I have been reading and seeing lately about adapting to change.

It had some great writing and quotes like

“If everything is not alright, then it will be alright in the end.  And if everything is not alright, then you must trust me that it is not the end.”

Ancient wisdom, but there were also some great analogies made by the characters like

“Change is like a wave.   You can be knocked down by it or dive in and come out the other side.”

I was in a meeting yesterday and we were discussing customers moving from one version of the software to the next.  And they were clinging to the old version.  ”Who moved my cheese?”  Which was an obvious reference to the story/book by the same name.  The book deals with change and being able to look for change.  Nothing is constant.  Cheese that is there one day, may be in a completely different location the next.  The good thing is that we can see the signs along the way and be prepared for and adapt to change.  If there is anything constant, it is change.


I realized tonight that 10 years ago I almost had an experience like Tolle’s.

First a little background…

Growing up I had lucid dreams and semi-lucid ones at the end where I feel myself pulling through layers to return from the dream world to the waking world.  I have also been heavily interested in religion and in particular Revelations and what happens after we die.  At that time I had purchased “Wherever you go, there you are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn, and I was familiar with meditation and the lying down meditation in particular since that is the easiest for a beginner.

… So I was lying on my couch not really sleeping, but drifting some.  I felt a roller coaster rush and I was being pulled through a tunnel.  Those that have drunk before know how the darkness spinning can feel if you have had quite a few.  I was not drunk at the time, but it had a similar feel to that.  However, instead of darkness there were colors.

Quite honestly it scared me.  It felt like death, and I was not ready to die.  I was not ready for the experience that Tolle was able to accept.  I didn’t understand what was dying.

I do now.  I recognize that as the ego.  And in some ways I kick myself for not recognizing it then.  For not being able to accept it, but if it wasn’t for that experience and all those in between and before, I would not be writing this now.  I needed to swim in the sea of ego and ride the waves.

I am ready to swim to shore.

I am not my thought.  I am not my feeling about my thought.  I am not the observer of the thought or of the feeling.  Who am I?  The only answer that I can come up with is everything and nothing.

It is crazy how looking at the ego can be like looking at a clone.  I want to identify with him because he looks so much like me.  He is very tricky.  Sometimes I want to kill the ego, but I think that I will need him later.  As long as I stop the identification with him, he should stay at bay.

10 Bulls – 4. Catching the Bull

My commentary in blue.

4. Catching the bull

I seize him with a terrific struggle.
His great will and power are inexhaustible.
He charges to the high plateau far above the cloud-mists,
Or in an impenetrable ravine he stands.

I saw him and captured him.  He is separate from me, but we are the same.  I have to remember that he is not my identity.  Please let me remember.

Don’t fight any feelings that you may be having.  You are observing the moment and you may be making a judgement on it.  Understand that feeling and do not try to turn it off.  Try to trace the cause of the feeling back to the source.  Understand why it is making you feel that way.  Realize that it is making you judge.  And then step back from it.  There he is.  There is the ego.  You got him.
Original Comment:

He dwelt in the forest a long time, but I caught him today! Infatuation for scenery interferes  with his direction.  Longing for sweeter grass, he wanders away.  His mind still is stubborn and unbridled. If I wish him to submit, I must raise my whip.

The frontal lobe inhibits the rest of the brain preventing the immediate from happening. Standing back in time and space from the immediacy of experience.


10 Bulls – 3. Perceiving the Bull

My commentary in blue.

3. Perceiving the Bull

I hear the song of the nightingale.
The sun is warm, the wind is mild,
willows are green along the shore,
Here no bull can hide!
What artist can draw that massive head,
those majestic horns?

Something felt and not just seen.  All senses are engaged, but this is beyond all senses.  Something is realized.  This is when the seeker starts to understand the truth.

The bulls seem to be experienced in a cyclic manner.  We don’t progress from stage to stage one at a time and that is it.  We progress through all the stages throughout time.  There is a subtle transition between stages and when doubt is overcome, the migration to the next stage is made.

Original Comment:

When one hears the voice, one can sense its source. As soon as the six senses merge,  the gate is entered. Wherever one enters one sees the head of the bull!  This unity is like salt in water, like color in dyestuff.  The slightest thing is not apart from self.

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