Confused or Enlightened?

December 7, 2009 Leave a comment

HafizIt is our tradition at IISC at the beginning of every year to send out one of our “classic” postcards to all of our constituents reflecting on the year past and the year to come as well as to announce our upcoming training schedule. As I was writing the introductory paragraph for this years’ I happened to stumble across what I had written last year. With the exception of last years’ reference to “renewed hope for reinvigorating civil society” (this was before the inauguration), I was struck by the similarities and the focus on the ultimate paradox. At the end of 2008, it was about “the combination of these incredible forces for change- both the peril and the promise that is calling for deep social transformation” and at the end of 2009 it begins with “There is no question that we are living in a confusing time of turbulence and uncertainty, possibility and opportunity”.

So one possibility is that it’s just a lack of imagination to say the same thing year in and year out or the other possibility struck me when I came across a quote by Chogyam Trungpa founder of Shambala International and Naropa University he was one of the first and certainly most influential Tibetan teachers to bring Buddhism to the West. The quote says:

“The simultaneous experience of confusion and sanity or being asleep and awake, is the realization of co-emergent wisdom. Any occurrence in one’s state of mind – any thought, feeling, or emotion – is both black and white; it is both a statement of confusion and a message of enlightened mind. Confusion is seen so clearly that this clarity itself is sacred outlook.”

I don’t know about you but I find this really comforting!

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  • Gibran says:

    That’s trippy, you mentioned this in conversation and now I read it again, and I still need to sit with it longer, there certainly is a “not knowing” in my idea of enlightenment, but I’m not sure I relate to it as “confusion” – looking to see what emerges as I contemplate, thanks for the provocation.

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