“The #Death #Illusion”

Best quote (from Conclusion) from this important, lengthy instruction and explanation of the illusory nature of self and death: “The appreciation that everything reflects everything else, is the undoing of the belief in inherent separateness and along with it, conflict and fear. Under these conditions, the heart opens. There is the recognition that even the autumn leaf is not fundamentally different from the spring leaf. The autumn leaf is life, in a borderless, impermanent flux of causal continuance. It never was itself, and so the appearance of its ultimate death is an illusion.”

Emptiness Teachings



Humans tend to regard themselves as supreme by nature, in contrast to what is viewed as a primitive world.  We live with a sense of divinity, assumed to distinguish us from everything else.  People commonly assume that they are at least subtly God-like, marked by what is called consciousness.  A dividing wall is imagined to separate mind from matter, the animate from the inanimate.  Consciousness is our divine self, and death, a fall into lowly materiality.
The inseparable interrelatedness of people to everything else generally goes unacknowledged.  The world is provides us with things, but we are not of it, hence the extensive environmental disregard.  This dualism also requires that we either accept eternal selfhood or be doomed to oblivion, death, as a descent into a senseless abyss.

While the notion of human privilege appears to be an advantage, it is our affliction, resulting…

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“‘Who’ or ‘what’ is watching” my “inner brain movie show?”: #inspiration from #Buddhist #Psychology

Today I’m inspired by this post, from which I quote. I hope you’ll go read it all, contemplate then meditate on it, enjoy and share it.

“‘[W]ho’ or ‘what’ is watching that inner brain movie show? …[I]t turns out that the one watching the ‘outer world’ is also part of the inner show. The brain configures a self or seeming ‘person’ as the observer. The illusion of there being a self or person inside the body as the body is generated from memories, body images, conditioning and subconscious drives. This ‘person’ is constructed exactly in the same manner as who we seem to be in our dreams at night: a projection of memories, conditioning and other subconscious material.”

“There is no person or ‘me’ beside the imaginary one generated by the brain. The whole idea or concept of a person or a ‘me’ is also just a concoction of that same brain. Understanding this clearly is seeing the real meaning of “emptiness of self.'”

from Jackson Peterson, “Teacher of Non-dual Traditions: Dzogchen, Advaita, Zen and Mahamudra at Meditation Teacher and Life Coaching”
a posting on the “Buddhist Psychology” group’s page on Facebook that he entitled: “Deconstructing our World and Sense of Personal Self”

BookSmart,Newark Park Mall, CA

What fun! Thanks so much to the Fremont Area Writers, especially Carol Hood and Tony (Anthony) Pino for organizing and to Tony for moderating this “Open Mic,” and to BookSmart at the Newark Park Mall, which provided a venue for my first public reading.

Some reactions from the audience, all fellow writers:
“YOU are a WRITER!”
“That was amazing! I really want to hear more!”
“You really know how to get us involved. It was so real!”
“That dialogue sounded so natural and you read it so well!”

It was a lot of fun to be there and very inspiring to hear the poetry, short stories and excerpts the other writers shared. Plan to go monthly, if you can: 4th Mondays, 7 – 9 PM. See you there!

BookSmart, Newark Park Mall, CA

First public reading from This Changes Everything, Volume I, The Spanners Series, Sally Ember, Ed.D. author/reader

More photos on Facebook: The Spanners Series by Sally Ember page and my personal page. LIKE my page or become my friend! Sally Sue Fleischmann Ember is my FB name for my personal page.

http://www.cwc-fremontareawriters.org/events/ leads you to their calendar and possibility of becoming a member of this and the California Writers Club, of which FAW is a branch (which I have done!).

#Buddhist philosophy: Clean my face, not the mirror

I threw out my third glass of water, believing there was another bug or dirt swirling around in it, before I realized the intruder is in my right eye, not the water. I have another detestable “floater.” Almost 60, I am acquiring more of those suckers each year. I HATE FLOATERS! But, did I need to waste all that water to figure this out? Right.

I feel even worse that I was easily fooled into believing the problem was external to me. I should have known better.

About 25 years ago, still in my thirties, I noticed the phone at our house was not working right. I kept having to ask people to speak up because their voices were coming across too quietly on our phone. It was an old, corded phone (remember those?) but our only one. Easily could just be that it was defective, but we couldn’t afford to get a new one (they were quite expensive and we were poor).

Over the next few months, I would go to others’ houses and use their phones on occasion. I began to have the same issue. I wondered for many months “What is wrong with all these phones? Is it the phone company’s lines?”

Until I heard myself saying to too many people (mostly men, with low voices) I was talking to who were right in front me, “Speak up. I can’t hear you. You’re mumbling (this last to my innocent son and male partner) and heard echoes of both my father and my grandmother (his mother) in my impatient questions, I never thought the problem was with my own ears. But, it was. It is.

I had my ears tested: I found out that I will continue to be losing my hearing, slowly. Just as they did. Right.

According to Buddhist philosophy, whatever the problem seems to be rooted in, we should actually be in the habit of assuming the cause is in us, not “out there,” regardless of the “evidence.” When we are upset: angry, worried, sad, hurt (especially hurt), we should not look out the window at the world, at others, to find the source of our discomfort. We should look in the mirror.

When my face appears dirty, do I clean the mirror or clean my own face? Right.

Prior to practicing Buddhism and understanding something about my own mind by doing so, when my life would get difficult I would often go into hyper-control mode. I was not nice about it, either. Sorry, family; sorry, friends.

Buddhist teachings offer and I slowly became able to understand this metaphor: when I am walking on a very large field filled with sharp stones, is it feasible and effective to cover the entire field with a protective blanket to protect my feet or should I just put on some shoes and cover my own feet? Right.

Easy to understand, harder to apply. Especially when I feel that surge of righteous anger at being disrespected, misunderstood, mistreated in some way by another, I can still forget to apply these incontrovertible facts:
1) this situation, this relationship arises due to my karma (prior actions, thoughts, words in this and/or other lifetimes);
2) these current thoughts and feelings are in my mind and are mine to manage;
3) the only aspects I can actually successfully control (and not always, even when I try) are my reactions and responses.

Regardless of how strongly my knee-jerk reactions are, such as “How could this be my fault?” “I did nothing wrong!” “It’s her fault!” “It’s his responsibility!” “These are their mistakes: they’re WRONG!” “They’re to blame!” it’s all on me to manage my own reactions and see my part in the human drama we’re all playing out.

Better to save the water, keep the phone, put on shoes, clean my own face and look more closely in every mirror than to keep misunderstanding my life and wasting resources on wrong turns, dead-ends and misplaced attempts to change others and circumstances out of my control.

I apologize in advance to everyone I forget to apply this with; I will forget. But, I also will try to remember. Got the washcloth right here.

Free: I will profread…proofread 5 pages if you interact!

Authors, bloggers, other writers: I will trade interaction for light editing/proofreading! Trying to build my “platform” for pre-orders of my first ebook: Volume I, This Changes Everything, The Spanners Series and build buzz for sales. Pre-orders, $1.99 (50% off), 11/5 – 12/19/13, via Smashwords.com, iBooks, Kobo and Barnes & Noble. Release date: 12/20/13, via Smashwords and many other retailers, including Amazon, @ $3.99.

I will proofread/lightly edit 5 pages of any text you have for FREE for every way you interact with me between now and December 20, 2013. Choose one of the following for each 5 pages you want proofread!

1) comment on a post on my blog (http:www.sallyember.com)

2) follow me on Twitter (@sallyemberedd) and RT at least one of my Tweets

3) LIKE The Spanners Series Facebook page and leave a comment on a post there (https://www.facebook.com/TheSpannersSeriesbySallyEmber)

4) follow my blog and share it with your own blogosphere (http:www.sallyember.com)

5) write a brief review of This Changes Everything (TCE) which has excerpts posted on my blog, http:www.sallyember.com , and two other sites (http://authonomy.com and http://wattpad.com)
****5 pages proofread for EACH!
For each site, read and rate what you read, comment, back the book, put it on your shelf (whatever ways you can uplift it).
BTW I’m NOT telling you how to rate or rank TCE!

6) become a friend of mine on http://Goodreads.com and comment on any post I put on any group I belong to there (Sally Ember, Ed.D.)

7) add me to your circle and find me in any Google + Community to comment on any post I have in a g+ group (ssfember@gmail.com)

8) Become a follower of my 10 boards and re-pin at least one pin on Pinterest.com/sallyember

To “cash in” on the proofreading, contact me and send notice of which interaction(s) you did. Send your 5-page (or more, if more interactions) attachment to: sallyember@yahoo.com as a MS Word doc. I will use “Track Changes,” “Save As” with my initials appended, and email your proofread text back within 72 hours.

Thanks. SHARE this and let me know and you get another 5 pages proofread!

Happy interacting!