by Josh Baran
to 365 Nirvana Here and Now
you dive into this book, I invite you to stop for a moment and let
me guide your attention to your experience right now. Do this as
if you are a newborn child, noticing everything for the very first
time. Bring your attention to your breath as it moves in and out
of your chest and nostrils. Hear the sounds around you, whatever
they may be: cars honking, dogs barking, the wind in the trees.
your eyes as they move back and forth across this page. Feel the
weight of this book in your hands, the sensation of your back against
the chair, your feet on the ground, and your clothes against your
skin. As you read these words, you may be silently saying them to
yourself. At the same time, thoughts appearstreams of words,
images, bits of conversation. Be aware of these as they come and
go, appear and disappear, one leading to the next.
of this is being experienced specifically by someoneyou. Who
is this you?
a moment to explore this. Who is reading these words right now?
Who is seeing and hearing? These questions might seem absurd and
the answer obvious: Me
I am, of course. You might
answer with your name, age, race, physical description, and so on.
You might speak about your past, where you were born, or your credentials.
But exactly who or what is this I that occupies the
center of every instant in your life? In what ways does it seem
special and unique, distinct from all the other Is
in the world? What do you really know about this I?
may be so immersed in this automatic, habitual, and nonstop stream
of I thoughts, that you are unaware of them. You may
have never even considered what this ongoing drama really is. Can
you begin to see that this I is a nonstop storyteller,
spinning tales of the past, the present and the futureconstantly
editing, interpreting and directing this inner movie?
a few quiet minutes. Begin to notice how the I shows
up (e.g. I am
). Observe each thought as it arises. Now, ask
yourself, Who is thinking these thoughts? Is there a
somebody thinking them? Do not look to past experiences, assumptions,
or anything you have ever read or heard. Rely only on your direct
experience in this moment.
notice the awareness itself that is inquiring into this I.
What is this? Where is it located? Where does it come from? Look
closely. It is not I. It is not thoughts. It is not
a state, a place, an object, or a concept. This knowing is clear
and transparent, and contains and permeates everything. This sense
of being is always present, unchanging, and does not come or go.
presence-aliveness is intimately here and wholly now, with no past
or future, beyond all concepts and opposites. You need not close
your eyes, meditate, or try to see this. Simply observe this is-ness.
It has many names: Nirvana, the Tao, No-Self, Buddha Nature, the
Now, Original Mind, Enlightenment, the Unborn.
book celebrates this awakened statewide open and available
in every moment.
here to order a copy of 365 Nirvana Here and Now.
Josh Baran is a former Zen priest, a contributor to Tricycle:
the Buddhist Review, and currently a strategic communications
consultant in New York City. For many years, he has managed media
relations for the Dalai Lama's visits to the Eastern United States.
In addition, he is a longtime student of the Dzogchen tradition
of Tibetan Buddhism and now works closely with Byron Katie. Click
here to visit his website.
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