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Mar 08, 2006



"So that's the word I was looking for all along Thursday: (not mindfulness, not awarenesss) yep, nakedness."

There is nakedness in the sense of being open and laying bare the personal self. (Buddhism would ask if there really is a personal self that needs to be unmasked) There is also a nakedness in the sense of an ungloved hand that knows the touch and feel of things. In this sense, mindfulness is nakedness:

Mindfulness is non-conceptual awareness. Another English term for "Sati" is "bare attention"...It is not analysis which is based on reflection or memory. It is, rather, the direct and immediate experiencing of whatever is happening, without the medium of thought...It is not intellectual awareness. It is just awareness. The mirror-thought metaphor breaks down here. Mindfulness is objective, but it is not cold and unfeeling. It is the wakeful experience of life, an alert participation in the ongoing process of living. -- by Venerable Henepola Gunatarana from "Mindfulness in Plain English"

In the message that he delivered to a gathering of poets, Thomas Merton said:

When the poet puts forth his foot in that ever-moving river (of life), poetry itself is born out of the flashing water. In that unique instant, the truth is manifest to all who are able to receive it. No one can come near the river unless he walks on his own feet. He cannot come there carried in a vehicle. No one can enter near the river wearing the garments of public and collective ideas. He must feel the water on his skin. He must know that immediacy is for naked minds only, and for the innocent.

"basic fundamental nakedness. Or, a fresh dynamic unabashed innocence" That's how you described it, right?

My present thought is that this fundamental nakedness on the side of the perceiver is the absolute sunyata ("suchness") principle on the side of the perceived.

Chogyam Trungpa says that wherever there is the absolute sunyata principle, we have to have a basic understanding of the ultimate bodhicitta or absolute compassion at the same time.

Alan Gutierrez

A hyperlocal guide to the big E. That's cool. I like it. It's the local thing, again, attached to something that is universal, or at least universally across the places I've lived, the search for elightenment.

I've been trying to find a mission lately, or at least some goals, and I'm stumped, since for the longest time, that is, five years living in Ann Arbor, I'd say that all I wanted from life was a feeling of contentment, for ten minutes a week. Eventually, I compromised. They didn't have to be consecutive minutes, I'd carry a watch with a second hand.

Now, I'm nothing, if not content. Is that akin to enlightenment? I've no idea.


"...spirituality is what you are when no one is looking..." Exactly.

Evelyn Rodriguez

Romy, I so wish you would blog. Anyway, I see your point. I hunt for metaphors, but I am pointing beyond mind consciousness or body consciousness (which can be confused by the 'naked' reference) or even ordinary awareness to pure consciousness (or pure awareness), or what Upanishads call prajnana (full consciousness).

It's that pureness that maybe the term nakedness comes closest to. I am trying to make enlightenment something more comprehensible to people that don't have a history of reading sutras, vedas, scripture or with meditation practices. Basically if I use all that language I imply that it is for very special people.


It is right here as close as our own skin. (Right now saying that there is no "I' that is enlightened would be confounding. The Dwelve blog will however go deeper.)

Is there an unmasking of the personal self? Within time and space to the concept of "me" it appears to be so. "You see a reflection in the mirror and the mirror. You know the mirror to be the reality and the picture in it a mere reflection. Is it necessary that to see the mirror we should cease to see the reflection in it?" - Ramana Maharshi

Bodhichitta arises naturally in that suchness - no forced effort of trying to be a 'good, compassionate person' is necessary. That's why I leaned towards saying it's not cultivated. It happens. It arises. There's simply compassion, but no owner or recepient of it.

Alan, It's interesting you used time in your comment. I loved Kathy Sierra's presentation at SXSW. She talked about flow. "You know you are in flow because you lose all sense of time." She went on to say that when you're wrangling code it's the belief that "I'm just one compile away" that keeps you immersed. She ended her talk saying that studies show that people report that time spent in "flow" are among the happiest of their life.

Enlightenment is eternal flow.

Brian Fenton

"I guess it's time to strike the word spiritual from my lexicon."

Thank you for this - I've never heard a "reasonable" definition of the word (Ken Wilber says there are 4 (or is it 5) definitions) - and it really is mostly an unhelpful term - it actually leads us away from reality. "Enlightenment" is another one, I mean what the hell does that actually mean?! I've tried to reduce my own use too in my quest for more "Reality" (whatever that means ;-)).

Evelyn Rodriguez

Hi Brian,
Thanks, I'm not sure I've really kept to my promise to strike 'spiritual', but more importantly I don't think in that way anymore. There is no spiritual time or place vs a non-spiritual time or place. So it's a meaningless term.

What is is. Reading Ken Wilber's 'No Boundary' was a turning point in my life four years ago.

Another definition: Enlightenment is simply allowing Reality 100%. There is no quest - it's here right now. We're Buddhas seeking for Buddhahood which makes it ever-elusive.

"The measureless universe according to Prajnaparamita is a boundless field of subjectless, objectless awareness where, without trace, Buddhas freely and joyfully roam." -- from "The Mother of All Buddhas: Meditation of the Prajnaparamita Sutra"

Mike H

What you are when no one is looking. Your spirituality, your morality, your nakedness, the "true you". If we could all only see the "true you" of the rest of the world it would appear so much different.

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