Action in the Absence of Choice


Clear Lake sunset

Enlightenment is seeing through your belief in a person that chooses and realizing it was always just a delusion about how things are.

(stirling, “The Dao Bums”, “Differences between dualism and non-dualism”, May 3 2022)

I think it’s necessary to experience action in the absence of choice, before “belief in a person that chooses” can be abandoned.

The experience of action of the body without the exercise of volition (choice) occurs in the fourth of the initial concentrations, according to Gautama.  I would say it’s also possible to just drop into such cessation, Rujing’s “drop mind and body”.

That’s because such a cessation basically depends on the freedom of the mind to move, as experienced right here, right now.  I would contend that it’s an experience of this freedom that is described in the Tibetan literature as:

… the Clear Light Dharmakaya experience which can be had at death, falling asleep, fainting or in advanced tantric meditations.

(“The Mahamudra Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance by the Ninth Karmapa Wang-ch’ug dor-je, with commentary given orally by Beru Khyentze Rinpoche”, p 142)

I focus on the way the mind moves just before falling asleep, in my own writing, as a place to begin.  I finish my writing with a description of the linkage between stretch and the freedom of the mind to move, stretch that meditators take the seated posture to realize, the freedom of the mind to move that leads the stretch.

I’m not aiming for the experience Gautama had, that gave rise to his enlightenment.  I would like to breathe free.


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