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insights from a forest monk

I like to read Buddhist books because it serves a radical narrative compared to the ones we’ve been served in mainstream society. It teaches us to understand the nature of our suffering,…

@colly on his stream

Came across this post by Simon Collison (@colly) on his stream, which I obviously resonate a lot: And so, I was increasingly aware that I was letting many interesting or essential thoughts…

puppet

The older I grow, the more I come to realise I am actually like a puppet: I am at the mercy of my psyche and hormones. I am subject to their swings,…

2021: little bits

I am still not sure if there’s any point to writing a post like this because no one can know what will happen in an entire year, but I thought it may…

looking back at 2020

I’m not entirely sure how accurate can a review post be, versus being a snapshot of how one feels at the very end of the year. Memories are always sort of fuzzy,…

The key to freeing oneself

The key to freeing oneself from the repetitive cycles of reactivity and beholding nirvana is attention (manasikāra), the fifth nāma factor. When attention becomes embodied through contemplation of the transient, tragic, impersonal, and empty nature of the bundles, our relationship to experience begins to shift in disconcerting ways. The practice of embodied attention challenges our habitual perceptions of self and world as permanent, satisfactory, and intrinsically ours. By stabilizing attention through mindfulness and concentration, we begin to see for ourselves how pleasurable and painful feelings trigger habitual patterns of reactivity and craving. These two insights not only undermine our inclinations to hold on to what we like and to push away what we fear but open up the possibility of thinking, speaking, and acting otherwise.

Nirvana, therefore, does not refer to the attainment of a transcendent, absolute state apart

Nirvana, therefore, does not refer to the attainment of a transcendent, absolute state apart from the conditions of life but to the possibility of living here and now emancipated from the inclinations of desire, hatred, and delusion. A life not conditioned by these instincts and drives would be an enriched one. No longer would one be the victim of paralyzing habits; one would be freed to respond to circumstances in fresh, unimpeded ways.

the sudden opening up of a space

Nirvana can be compared to the sudden opening up of a space within one’s experience when one’s innate inclinations die down and reactivity fades away. One glimpses in such moments how one is free to act in a way that is not determined by reactivity, thereby enabling the use of practical reason to decide on another kind of future.

55 months of weighing the costs

When we got together I told her I would like to celebrate a monthly anniversary. At first it was because I was hugely skeptical of our relationship, and in general I was…

to uncover a self

Last week I read about Kodo Sawaki, a zen master who apparently called himself the most deluded human being in the world, that is why he must meditate. This is why I…