Good morning! Welcome to the DKos Sangha weekly open thread.
This is an open thread for members of the DKos Sangha and others who are interested in discussions concerning how we integrate our progressive political activism into our spiritual practice. If you have observations about the political discourse of the week, or about practice, or about anything else related to walking a spiritual path through the political world, if you wish to share, or if you seek support, or if you simply want to say hello, please do; this space is for you.
If you would like to write a diary for the DKos Sangha, please let me know.
If you care nothing for spiritual practice and only wish to denigrate and disparage, please do so elsewhere, and respect that this is a community diary for the DKos Sangha.
One of the things that I've noticed in attending the public satsangs of various teachers is that frequently they start with a few minutes of silence. This gives the attendees, many of whom have just been driving in city traffic to get there, perhaps searching for parking, perhaps rushing from their workplace, a chance to let go of some stress and tension, to slow down from a rushed and hectic day, to get centered in the body, to breathe.
Thus, from hurrying into the bookstore and taking a seat before the teacher comes in, to opening eyes after the five minutes of silence, there is a significant change in the way we are in the world. And from that place we are more attuned to the teacher and what they are sharing with us.
We can, of course, do this anytime. At any point during the day, we can stop and just sit silently for a few minutes; returning to center, establishing a more intimate connection with the world around us.
It can be helpful to notice how we use language, in the thoughts that arise in mind, in our conversations with others, in what we write in Daily Kos comments and diaries, etc. And it can be useful to notice how others use language, the politicians, the press, our friends, the people we work with.
As we begin noticing our thoughts, and as we begin noticing reactive conditioning, we see that how we use language is significantly informed by our conditioning. Just the noticing of this can be helpful in breaking down the momentum and energy of our conditioning; the framework of the separate self story begins to weaken.
There is a simple question we can ask when we look at a thought that arises within mind; is this true. Is the thought that arises in reaction to what we read, when we bring our attention to the thought, when we are honest and feel deeply into the core of our being, is this really true.
When we look at the stories that arise in mind, the dramas, the conflicts, the blaming, all of it takes the form of separation, it is all the conditioning of separate self, and it is all given structure by how we use language.
Part of the process then of seeing through our conditioning, of seeing through the illusion of separate self, is just noticing the words, the pronouns, the sentence structure, and inquiring into the truth of the story being told with these words.
When we bring our attention to the stories that arise in mind, we can also notice a charge; we can notice a feeling, something felt that is associated with the thoughts that are arising; something felt, a charge, that alerts us to the separation, the conflict, the suffering that is bound up in the conditioning.
And in the noticing of what is felt, in the noticing of the charge that arises with the story, in that noticing too there is a lessening of the momentum and energy of the conditioning. And there is an opportunity, an invitation, to open the heart to that.
This is the alleviation of suffering. As we notice the thoughts that arise within mind, as we see into the structure of the stories, as we notice the charge associated with conditioned responses, as we become willing to open our hearts, to meet our conditioning with love, the stories begin to lose their momentum and energy; they aren't quite as convincing. We've seen into how the whole thing is held together; we've inquired deeply and honestly into the truth of the stories and the truth of who we really are.
And as our suffering abates and our hearts open, our relationship with the world around us changes. The separation and conflict begin to weaken and fall away; and what we contribute to our world becomes more beneficial.
This path you are on, it is not easy. But it is a good path; a path with heart.
You are welcome to join us each week in our Monday night group meditation here at DKos Sangha. This online group meditation is hosted by Ooooh, and the diary is posted at 7:00 Eastern. So that we are able to be together for as many here at Daily Kos as wish to participate, the meditation period runs from 7:30 to 10:00 Eastern. This group sitting is open to beginners and advanced, and is not restricted to any particular traditions or practices. It is not expected that you sit for the entire period; sit for as long as you like, when you like. The idea is that we are here together; supporting each other, holding space for each other.
Enjoy your day!