Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Perfection in Groundlessness


Last night while watching the PBS special, Bill Moyers on Faith & Reason featuring an interview with Ani Pema Chödrön, which you may view online, here- I said to my wife as she was reading, "did you hear what she just said?"

My wife, being one of my Master Teachers (my son is another of my Master Teachers) replied something along the lines of, "...but I don't understand, you don't practice anything of what you preach. "It was the most perfect thing she could have said!! It was in fitting exquisitely with what Pema Chödrön was saying, which is: "one can't know one's true self, until there is groundlessness beneath one."

At first, Cathy's words cut me, because as a Master Teacher she often holds nothing back in telling it like it is. But then I realized, "Tommy, this is one of the many experiences of "groundlessness." The rug's been pulled out from under you and you have nowhere to stand. It's true...there are many instances of you not practicing what you believe."

But that's precisely why I am so drawn to the spiritual teachings that I am...because they do express all that which I feel to be perfect and true- all that, which "I am, too" yet, can't quite perfect within myself.

There will never be perfection equal to what I desire. I want to be perfect in my spiritual practice but, I will always get in my way- until I choose to learn the lessons of groundlessness and realize... "It’s all good- it's all perfect as it is, here and now." Even feelings and thoughts that matters aren't perfect are in order; it is a "perfect" opportunity to choose and align myself again with higher awareness. Any opportunity that allows us to realize where our awareness is and to be drawn back into alignment with that which is perfect- is a blessing.

All this time I've been searching for my true Master Teachers. What perfect teachers I have, my wife and son, for they show me the way...when I choose to see.

10 Comments:

Blogger anonymous julie said...

Teach everything, be nothing;
teach nothing, be nothing;
love everything, be nothing;
have nothing, be everything.

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Cathy said...

It was so NOT my intention to hurt or cut you...I, too, am trying to find my way and sometimes get a little lost. There are so many things that you HAVE perfected within yourself. Instead of questioning, I will strive to support you in your quest and perhaps join you on your way.
I love you, Tom.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Kozi Wolf said...

so simple and so true.
your writing appears as if it has achieved your goal.

10:29 PM  
Blogger christy said...

And thank you, for offering this masterful teaching!

1:30 AM  
Blogger Meredith said...

Our teachers are everywhere to be found. My family has been among my greatest teachers, too. I love that this is true. It may not always be comfortable, it may even feel very groundless at times. However sometimes it is this discomfort that nudges us, that actually pushes us toward perfection. The increments we move may be very small, yet we we are moved in this one direction all along, which is right where we already are.

Perfection is illusory, I think. It is a conception of mind. As you hint, there already is perfection in this moment, just as it is. We just need to open our eyes and hearts to see it.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Irving said...

Groundlessness is nothing more or less than loss of the small self, the ego-centered existence. Then you have nothing of this world to stand on, no ground, and the higher Self, tha divine spark that is the soul, shines forth, and since it is connected to, and is, the One, we become nothing to this world all to the One. We see and hear and know all in that nothing that is everything.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Good one, Tommy!
Good ones, Commentors!

10:27 AM  
Blogger Trev Diesel said...

You guys are inspiring.

RE: Other people as teachers-- I was reminded of an old saying I heard: "Pretend that everyone is enlightened but yourself." That's a way to live with an open spirit where we see everyone as our teachers.

11:17 AM  
Blogger Buford said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:24 PM  
Blogger Buford said...

Do we really believe that simply accepting things without question is productive to ourselves or each other? Of course not. That is why we blog. That is why we reach out to strangers and leave comments. Our blogs are nothing but an attempt to understand our world better-Our blogs are proof that labels matter. By blogging you become a blogger, by practicing a certain religion you become what that religion calls its follower. By dismissing labels you by default prove their importance. We may feel we have accepted the world on face value but we haven’t. Total acceptance of the human condition lends itself to complacency. It seems to me that people attempt, with great fervor, to remove themselves from this world, this beautifully flawed mortal existence. Reality and our mortal existence will always control us, until death of course. People participate in this removal in many ways. Religion as a rule uses the concept of salvation to remove their followers from “bad” things we humans must endure. Some of you bloggers attempt to discredit labels, announcing that good and bad, pretty and ugly, right and wrong are human constructs and therefore should not be given credence. Even if this is true and these things are human constructs, they are real in their consequences. i.e. we feel the effects of labeling and it is foolish to say nothing is bad or good, right or wrong, pretty or ugly. These labels are important guide posts that help us navigate our world. Disregarding labels absolves people of any responsibility.

For example, to achieve this quote an understanding of labels is essential. Find out who you are first, then you will find your way in this world - with grace, with love, with understanding. You can not determine who you are without labels. As I said before, labels are the guideposts’ of life. Also, the terms grace, love and understanding all imply labels. All give the impression of goodness

Why do we think circumstances and people
need to change to fit our expectations of reality? Because, as humans, we construct our reality. Although we do not have complete control over reality, we do exert great influence and power over reality. To totally accept reality is lazy at best-irresponsible at worst.


What are we so afraid of? Afraid? We’re not all afraid. It takes more courage to build the reality you want than to simply accept things as they come.

Ultimately, most people think that humans are a big screaming deal, the pinnacle of earthly evolution. This is why we ponder mysteries, this is way we validate death with an afterlife, it is why we blog, it is why we give each other awards. Sadly, we’re not the big screaming deal we give ourselves credit for. We’re simply animals on the same road as every other living creature on earth….extinction. And I take great comfort in that fact.

True enlightenment is unattainable without actively manipulating our reality and our environment. We, as humans, would not even have a word for enlightenment if we had not manipulated reality.

12:32 PM  

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