Dharma Gleanings


cynthia rich

June 3, 2016—June 7, 2016

June 3, 2016
Christof Koch, a leading neuroscientist, says that even a cell or bacteria can have consciousness. To take in that our body is an entire world—with rivers, breezes, earth and heat—inhabited by innumerable beings that have consciousness, is to bow even more deeply to the principle of interbeing and non-separation. There becomes less and less space for a swaggering ego, since even our brain is the homeland for countless consciousnesses.

June 7, 2016
What is nirvana like? It is as though one has emerged from a dark, stinking prison filled with constant loud sounds, surrounded by threats of violence large and small.

What does one feel?:
“I no longer am in that darkness, I no longer need to smell that stench, my ears are no longer ringing with that cacophonous noise. I no longer need to live in fear. I am liberated.”

Or. To be more exact, nirvana is like stepping out into the air in that first moment of freedom, before we think we’d like to have a waffle with maple syrup, before we think that we’ll be seeing our children again, before we think that we’ll be sleeping in our own bed, before any of that wanting kicks in. In that instant of simple release from all the stresses of confinement, the freed person knows nirvana.

Or it’s like finally stepping off a boat that has been swaying and lurching, changing course uncertainly, banging against piers, ever since we came aboard because everyone said this was the boat we needed to be on if we wanted to get anywhere. Nirvana is that instant of feeling that we are on the ordinary, trustworthy earth of reality and freedom.