Practice Circle on Wisdom2018-05-15T11:38:32+00:00

Practice Circle on Wisdom

Buddhism

Without the attainment of calm abiding, (Mindfulness)
Higher perception will not occur.
Therefore make a repeated effort
To accomplish calm a biding.

When the practitioner has gained calm abiding,
Higher perception will also be gained,
But without practice of the perfection of wisdom,
The obstructions will not come to an end.
(Atisha , Lamp for the Path to Enlightenment)

In this step of ISM, we are focussing on the generation of a profound Wisdom that can emerge from within and through our relationship with that which we call sacred or divine.  This Wisdom has a chance to emerge once our minds our properly prepared by the first five steps of this meditation.  It will be shaped by our life experience, the teachings of one or more spiritual traditions, and by years of meditative training.

Please write about Wisdom in your weekly journal.  Why is wisdom important in your life?  How do you understand the truth of your existence, the nature of the universe and the source of life and love?  Who are the teachers, traditions and resources that are most influential and meaningful to you?  What meditations have you discovered to help wisdom to emerge in you? Don’t worry about sounding wise or profound.  We are all engaged in a lifelong dance of wisdom.

Please share a summary of your present meditative insights on this step in the practice circle below. Condense your journal writing (into 2,000 characters or less) and post it in a comment box below. Your personal experiences with this step of the meditation will be gifts to everyone.  Please don’t be shy about sharing.

4 Comments

  1. Ed Bastian April 15, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Please share your meditations on wisdom in the comment boxes below.

  2. susiej@jetbroadband.com June 3, 2018 at 6:05 am

    First I’d like to say how grateful I am to Ed in offering this course. I feel I’ve gotten so much insight from his direction, quotes, videos, and video conferences (as well as the input from all of you around the world who are taking the course!) that will influence my practice forever. And I don’t know about the others, but from the first day of the course I knew this process is something I will return to again and again and adopt as a regular part of my practice.

    Regarding the development of wisdom, I so liked the material on “calm abiding” and how it leads to “higher perception”. Just those four words alone really encapsulate for me the bottom-line value I see in meditation and neatly summarize my intention for practicing. (And calm abiding in and of itself immeasurably improves the quality of my life!)

    The whole process reminds me of George Harrison’s song “My Sweet Lord” (a personal favorite). I love the paradox of two lines when he refers to MSL, saying in one stanza “I really want to see Him…but it takes so long” and in a later stanza, “I really want to see Him…but it won’t take long” A spiritual practice does take consistent effort over time, but when the path is undertaken joyfully, without striving or being impatient for the benefits to manifest, it truly is a “labor of love” that makes the time and work invested seem irrelevant. (During my years practicing karate this was explained as “effortless effort”. And a Japanese term that also seems relevant is “shuhari”, which translates as ” shu-learning from tradition, ha-breaking the chains of tradition, and ri-transcendence”). What is so beautiful about ISM is that it draws on various traditions to see the connection to people from many different cultures who are on spiritual paths that embrace the same goals.

    The whole process of transformation and developing wisdom is so interesting, happening in an instant or over a lifetime. It brings to mind something I remember from seeing the film “Life As a House”, a forgettable movie with one unforgettable line: “Change can be so constant that you don’t even feel the difference until there is one. It can be so slow that you don’t know that your life is better until it is. Or it could just blow you away, make you something different in an instant.” This seems especially applicable to the process of development through a spiritual practice.

    And a change can come out of the blue, with little resistance. I’m thinking of when I became a vegetarian. People have asked me why I decided to do that but it was not really a decision, it was a shift. I live in a rural area where the landfill is next to a livestock auction. On some days when I go to dispose trash, if an auction is scheduled for that day, I can hear the sounds of the penned cattle, and they don’t sound happy. One day when I heard their sad chorus something shifted inside me and I knew I could not eat meat anymore. But through my meditation practice and its cultivation of compassion and empathy, I feel I was primed to make that change effortlessly, without any angst over what I’m missing by not eating tangy barbecued ribs anymore.

    Oh goodness, I didn’t mean to go on so long. Anyway, that’s my two cents.

  3. awolfe June 3, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    It seems to me that wisdom develops later in life – it is not something we achieve, or even work on much when we are young. But wisdom is a perk of aging – not an automatic perk, but still something to look forward to. Wisdom to me is the ability to ask for God’s guidance, to pray that “Thy will be done”, knowing that God is oh so much wiser than I am. What we are here to do can be difficult to discern, but if we want our greatest good as God sees it for us, then the least I can do is ask. And listen – carefully – softly – patiently – waiting for that small still voice, for the inspiration. It can come during a mediation, writing a poem, during a run or a ride, or perhaps talking to someone else and suddenly hearing something that inspires us to know what it is we are meant to be doing. Perhaps wisdom is a hint, or an inspiration, or a knowing.

    From Ecclesiastes Chap 4

    Wisdom teaches her children
    and gives help to those who seek her.
    Whoever loves her loves life,
    and those who seek her from early morning are filled with joy.
    Whoever holds her fast inherits glory,
    and the Lord blesses the place she enters.
    Those who serve her minister to the Holy One;
    the Lord loves those who love her.

  4. nancy.bray@yahoo.com June 11, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Can I eat my journal?

    Did I enjoy my week off? Oh, it wasn’t a week off?

    Hence my struggle with resistance these last two weeks – with the false comfort and wooing of distraction (including food) vs dedication vs devotion vs discipline.

    These are my new 3 D’s – discipline, dedication, devotion that have come out of my journaling and meditation. These are here for me to learn to own.

    I see that it doesn’t work for me to rely on “organically” waiting until I feel like meditating or waiting for it to just pop up during the day. When I do this, which has been much of the time, I either meditate and journal between 11pm and 12am or not all all.

    I didn’t like how I felt going several days without meditating and ever so quickly sinking into almost complete distraction.

    I am hopeful again. For never before have I had the slightest willingness, let alone my own personal invitation and coxing to introduce a deliberate (wow now a 4th D) discipline, dedication and devotion as primary and foremost in my daily routine.

    In choosing a reading to introduce step one – Motivation – for tonight I address this.
    Gratefully, Nancy
    “Patience is the key to joy. You were born with wings” Rumi

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