Looking with fresh eyes: quitting samsara’s storyboard. Public Talk, Mannheim, 2009

James Low

Transcribed by Daniel Beierstettel
Edited by Barbara Terris

Evening Public Talk in Mannheim, 20th November 2009

Excerpts

…In Tibetan buddhism there are many styles of practice and many different lineages. However, the main point for us, in the West, when we do  practice, is both what kind of intention does it develop in us, and what kind of understanding do we develop from it—about who we are and the nature of our existence. So it’s a question of how do we understand our own life. This is the beginning point of buddhism. …
…After his excursions outside the palace walls, Prince Siddharta started to look around at life in the palace where he lived and he started to see that things were not quite what they appeared to be.  He was looking with fresh eyes. So he left the palace and spent many years practicing different kinds of meditation, many kinds of self-restraint, diminishing the amount of food he ate, holding postures for a very long time and so on.  But after some time he found that these practices were not taking him very far. And he decided that he needed just to sit and be with himself….
…By doing nothing, everything was achieved. Up until that point he had been pushing himself … but then he was just sitting: breathing in and out, thoughts and feelings were coming and going, but he was  not getting involved in them. And through that, he was able to see what is actually the case. It’s not so complicated…

Contents

SIDDHARTA’S AWAKENING
LEAVING THE PROTECTIVE CIRCLE
DOING NOTHING, ACHIEVING EVERYTHING
THE DRAMA OF OUR LIFE
‘THERE MUST BE MORE TO LIFE’
‘I WANT TO BE IN THIS BETTER PLACE’
THE PATH OF DZOGCHEN: STARTING TO SEE HOW THINGS ARE
CAUGHT IN CONCEPTS AND ENDLESS STORIES
CONTENTS CAPTIVATE OUR ATTENTION, SPACE IS TAKEN FOR GRANTED
EGO-SELF MEANS RESTLESSNESS
OUT OF EMPTINESS EVERYTHING EMERGES