imperfection So, I remember learning how to differentiate between real plants and fake ones when I was a child by noticing their imperfections, and I noticed that virtually all -I suppose that there may be exceptions in certain flower arrangements and things like this but, virtually all plants, all real flowers, all of those have their imperfections, where the manufactured ones have no need for imperfections. So it makes you wonder, what does the natural plant have a need for imperfections, like why is that an important part of its life, and typically, you know, plants have so many factors to go into their growth, whether it’s the PH, you know, how much calcium is in their soil or whatever. Imperfections are just bound to happen, it’s just part of the factor, the levels of water and things like that in soil, so things have changed a little bit since then, because we now have hydroponics, and indoor plants, and growhouses and things like this. The amount of imperfection, so in other words, like dried leaves and things like that are drastically reduced, and that doesn’t happen nearly so much, whereas the manufacturers of synthetic or artificial plants have learned to build in imperfections. To make them look more real, more natural. So how do you know now, it can be more challenging in some ways to tell, but the, what differentiates is often the imperfections. So, when you look at a row of flowers, a field of flowers perhaps, and if you were to pick one plant from another, you may notice it is there, the differences between them, that become important. So as a field of flowers, the differences are unimportant, right, because it’s a field of flowers, it’s a count of 1. It is its own complete self. And yet each individual flower is also its own complete self, so where you might compare one field of flowers to another field of flowers, each individual flower within the field is recognized for its own attributes and those attributes are often imperfections, most notably. Now what do we know about people when we get to know them? We get to know their imperfections. What is it that jumps out at us? The way that they don’t conform with our ideals or our expectations, and so this is a way of communicating. What we communicate to each other is our differences, and what we communicate to each other is our uniqueness, if you will. I want to return to the reverse image toy, where a hand pressed into a series of small pins makes the shape of a hand on the other side of the pins, and then when you remove the hand, you have an imprint of the hand, so you have two impressions of the hand, one concave, and one convex, if you will. This is how we create our universe. We create gaps for others to fill.

Expectation Vs. Reality

Many of us create disappointment gaps. “Oh, look, I have this large area over here that is expecting to be disappointed, would you care to fill that?” You know? Or, “Hey, I have a large area here that is looking for a place where it can be generous, can you meet its need there? Can you receive from me in this area where I want to be generous.” disappointment gaps This general sense of what we attract, it has to do with what we leave room for. Our impression and our expectation in our pathway through life, do we allow certain traits and characteristics to be in the people we associate with? If we do, then that’s the way that that goes. If we don’t, then it goes a different way, right? So what is it that we allow to have in our lives by our simple expectation, or the acceptability of it? Certain individuals behaviour, what are we willing to tolerate? Or, certain individuals behaviour, what are our ethical or other standards, you know? So in other words, if we’re going to have certain relationships, what are we making room for in our being open to those relationships? This is the way that the Buddhist reincarnation thing works out, so there’s no actual reincarnation of an actual individual. There’s no soul. However, there are certain patterns that individuals create in their life, and those patterns largely repeat throughout the populous, right? So whatever patterns there are, I mean we all know that there are certain characteristics, there are certain types of people, but here’s the thing: There are all different types of people, but the type of people that there are is the type of people that we make room for, in other words, that we anticipate, that we expect. So this is how the great teachers of, say the Tibetan tradition, and their tradition of reincarnation, they exist because the students are available for it, because the students make the space available for that teacher, and that teacher arises. But each reincarnation is a different character, it comes with its own set of expectations and limitations and whatever else, and even though it may transcend those, it’s those that it transcends, it’s not somebody else’s. So if reincarnation occurs, it occurs because of the causes and conditions that allow for that to happen, it occurs by an enlightened being, and they leave letters and their students meditate and they do other things, and then they find the individual, or the candidate, and they proceed with certain verifications, certain tests and things that they perform to see whether or not the individual knows what’s going on, like does it recognise its own mala? Does it recognise its own begging bowl? Does it recognise anything of its former, or is it deceived by other maybe shinier objects or whatever else. So there would be a number of tests that would be done and things like this, so that then they’re verifying that yes, this is who we want to train to be our teacher. The actual individual in any way, shape, or form, does not reincarnate. However, the student’s teacher will reincarnate, and in many family’s certain characters will reincarnate. In other larger spectres, certain types of characters will reincarnate. I mean we could easily say that the different individuals that have tried to dominate the earth over time, are actually reincarnations of the same being. There’s a being among us that strives for world domination through military might, and it continues to reincarnate. I mean that is a more accurate representation of what’s actually going on than what most people think of as reincarnation, because reincarnation doesn’t exist in the way that people think of it, it makes no sense at all. “What do you mean, ‘An individual’s going to reincarnate’, it doesn’t make any sense?” In other words, because there’s no person to do that. I mean the individual can make it about the individual, but life is about all life. We control what we become, just as every species that has differentiated itself from its predecessor species, that every new branch, every new leaf, every new avenue of life, every species, and even every individual is an extension and an expression of life itself. There is only one life, and we are it. I want you understand the way that life is put together. Life is an interactive process. It’s a co-created everythingness, and everything that it wants to be, it is, and shall become. So we have individuals among us, perhaps we may not be able to readily name them, but there are individuals among us who are saying, “I am here, I am giving of myself, completely and fully, so that the entire world/universe and all beings may benefit.” I’m reminded of this story of a table full of people that had these four foot long spoons, and this was the only tool that they were given, and they could not feed themselves, they could only survive by feeding each other. I’m reminded of these stories and of the individuals and imperfections of the universe, because of the awareness that I have of the interactions of these different qualities, these different quantities, these different aspects of life. Pay attention to the way things interact, because if you can see things interact with one another, you learn about them, about each, and about yourself. I’ve been with many people who view life differently than I do, and sometimes when we talk, I see that they observe different things in people than what I observe. Some have a more refined ability to discern certain qualities than I. Each of us will know this world differently, and it’s okay to just allow that part of life to be. We will know the world differently. This uniqueness of each individual is one of the things that makes us so special. In much of my education, I have been taught with stories, and with metaphor, and questions, a descriptions of the failings of the mind, to comprehend what’s actually going on. Someone I learned a lot from, Za Choege Rimpoche, that’s his name, he’s Tibetan, but at any rate I learned quite a bit from him, one of the things that he used to say is that people tell themselves stories. They tell themselves all kinds of stories. In certain Buddhist traditions, even, there is a way to view life directly. Not even view it, to like experience life directly. To understand the nature of life through direct experience, even then “understanding” might not be the right word. I don’t think that we really have a right word in English, other than “experience”. To experience life directly. Unfiltered. As it is. Direct experience. In order to reach that direct experience, one sheds the self, the limitation of self. One sheds identity, and consider this, the self is the separation from the oneness. So the oneness-experience and the self-experience are mutually exclusive on the one hand. On the other hand they are simultaneously ubiquitous. Actually, the self-experience is not necessary. -Yeah, that’s not true. Self-experience is absolutely necessary in order for the self to exist, right? At whatever level that self exists, it exists! Whether it’s the level of the microcosm, the nano level, it doesn’t really exist on the quantum level, the observer is the change, it’s part of the change, part of the observation, right, so the self exists in that because there is the observer and there’s also the observation. However, how do you distinguish? Because an event occurs it is the event that occurs. Hmm, that’s too fuzzy. Let me say it this way: The self, and all of the selves exist. All selves exist. The oneness is simply- Hmm, okay so every self is part of the oneness, is part of the all-self, is part of the quanicosmic area, if we want to use that term, quanticosmic, or boundless luminosity. All selves are part of this, and this is one and the same with all selves. It has to be that both exist together. When I say that awareness of the self is not necessary, what I mean to say is that it is optional on a moment by moment basis. See, the clinging to the self, the clinging to the notion of what the self is, of who the identity is, of what the expectations and limitations of the individual are, this aspect cannot be taken into the oneness awareness and it is inseparable from the oneness awareness, that there be these conceptions. This experience can never be reversed. You can’t forget the experience. You can, however, behave occording to patterns, but you have to abandon those patterns and the attachment to those patterns for the moment to realise the oneness, the all-self. Because it’s a fluid, liquid movement, radiant source of the universe, kind of an experience. Mistake that for a high energy experience. This awareness is simply with us all of the time. I’m only saying that it’s okay to be okay with that. Alright, this is the state of affairs, and I just wanted to clear up the confusion that people have about the enlightenment state, about the state of awareness, here’s the thing about this, the understanding that comes with this awareness is compassion. Compassion goes hand in hand with the oneness, because here’s the thing: You see that other people just don’t see. They don’t see it at all, and they continue on believing that their experience does not include this state, and I’m here to tell you that this is the experience that is at the seed of all contentiousness. All awareness of self emanates from this, this infinite state, really, I think would be the best way to put it. And so, knowing that this exists, knowing that everyone experiences this and yet doesn’t recognise it, thinks somehow that they’re separate from it, although it’s at the heart of all experience. You could never be separated from your enlightened self, from that seed of enlightenment. I have to say that the unexamined mind, the mind that does not examine itself, that doesn’t seek to understand its own awareness, its own enlightenment, the mind that is caught up in the physical world and all of its attributes and the self, that mind is imprisoned. But it’s nothing at all to live and understand beyond that mind. It’s always as simple as paying attention to who you really are. By that, I don’t mean the behaviour, but the awareness itself, who is your awareness? Who are you when you’re aware? Who is your awareness? Okay so that’s the question to ask yourself, that question will lead you to a deeper understanding, to an understanding of who you are. So go ahead and pay attention to what’s paying attention.