Thursday, August 18, 2011

Charting Life.

In school all of us learned how to conduct research and chart the results. Nobody answers research questions exactly the same so some answers chart high and some chart low and when we plot all of the answers we can see a picture emerge that tells us a story. We can even apply certain formulas to help us get a more accurate picture by “smoothing” the data and making projections based on what we learn. A good piece of research combined with properly done analysis helps us to evaluate conditions and understand our world.

But look again at how a chart is arranged. On one axis lies the range of the variable being measured and on the other axis lies a frame of reference such as time or space and if our chart is really sophisticated it might be a three dimensional chart where we can get a more sophisticated picture. But whether two-dimensional or more, there is always a base line that doesn’t move so there is a constant by which we can map our work. If the base line moved as the data plots moved there would be nothing learned.

When you think about it, this is a metaphor for how our mind works, and it must be this way, otherwise what we would see would just be a mish-mash of confused data: No picture. So how does this metaphor apply? Our true mind is the unmoving base line and the moving data is our perceptible world. The data moves. Our mind remains constant. If either of these were different (e.g. moving mind or constant data) the result would be inconceivable. Now overlay the Buddha’s teaching on this map and see what you get. Our unconditional, unmoving mind is joined irrevocably to our conditional and moving world. Simple, yet profound awareness. Right? It’s right there staring us in the face, but who can see what doesn’t move? The chart of life reveals the answer.
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