A revolution in our consciousness

By Sal Barba, Ph.D, a local Buddhist | May 08, 2013

“All I want is the truth! Just gimme some truth!” – John Lennon

In Buddhism, we aren’t attempting to examine just the physical world of phenomenon; we are trying to develop our attention to understand the nature of our mind, and its intentions.

We train in the science and art of meditation and analytic skills through study, practice and reflection. We study dharma teachings, and listen to a respected teacher, and we acquire support from a Sangha.

We learn to develop an observing mind, and examine how the mind acts and relates to our daily experiences of all that arises – from thoughts, emotions and behavior to external phenomena.

To accomplish this, we need a special set of tools that can transport us beyond our mind’s limitations. Tools such as meditation and analytic reasoning sharpen our intellect and help us to deepen our personal and collective ethical and moral behavior!

As Buddhist practitioners, we must closely examine our intentions on and off the cushion.

We ask, “Am I willing to let go of my attachment to my beliefs? Am I present and open to the possibilities of an inconceivable reality that the truth reveals?

How will the truth change my life, and will I have the courage to live that truth?! Will I have to let go of grasping on to a life of creature comforts, etc.?

The Buddhist path requires courageous effort to grow beyond our blind faith, and to meet our selfishness and obsession with worldly concerns directly and honestly.

We would like to consider ourselves as rational human beings who live in the age of science and reasoning. We would like to consider ourselves as people who base our beliefs upon experience and good judgment.

However, if we take the self-inquiry a bit further, we might realize that our ordinary assumptions about our internal and external world are things that we have been told, some of which we discover is propaganda!

Our “Rebel Buddha," a state of mind that is compassionate and ruthless disables the propaganda button! Mindfulness, introspection and analytic reflection open us to the realities of our life.

Without it, we risk living in a potential horrific realm of suffering!

Our Founding Fathers, deified by the liberal class and the ruling elite, have never desired a popular democracy. These communities of oppressors were terrified of allowing a popular democracy.

The result of their fears is that they disenfranchised the majority of people in our country – Native Americans, women, folks without ownership of property, indentured servants and African Americans (see Chris Hedges talk: Corporate Coup d’Etat, July 2012).

Our Founding Fathers mechanistically oppressed the possibility of popular rule. They did this by establishing the Electoral College and the Senate.

Our American society was accomplished through the “blood of the disenfranchised and the American working class.” The elite class developed the idea of having war as an answer to break up the movements rising in our country.

Dwight Macdonald calls this “the psychosis of permanent war.” Permanent war seduces the masses to “call for their own enslavement!” Positive psychology is oblivious to the realities of how pervasive the history of our enslavement has been.

Our self-effacing enslavement can be seen during the dismantling of the radical movements of the 1950s, whereby the “disemboweling of the liberal class” occurred under the famous titles of “anti-communism,” commencing the “witch-hunts, and the Red Scare of the 1950s.”

This was a political and economic war that annihilated thousands of university professors, high school teachers, social workers, artists, writers, film directors, journalists. These progressive movements were gagged and hung out to dry!

Our internal Radical Buddha is important! It doesn’t leave of us out to dry! It serves as our safety valve, so that when groups and individuals like the elite, its corporations and shareholders (Wall Street Cronies) engage in immoral and unethical conduct, our Radical Buddha makes possible, through the compassionate slicing of destructive behavior, incremental transparency and accountability.

Our Radical Buddha nature revolts against the corporate elite’s propensity to indulge in deception, to murder, to poison our bodies, our air, water, food sources, rule carelessly to the brink of global destruction, and rapes the land for profit and privatization!

Does this stir up our drooping britches a bit, adding a little starch to them? Walking meditation might be useful in this moment!

We can’t pay lip service (nor can we afford to continue on our merry way with our spiritual materialism/self-indulgence) while on the revolutionary path of transforming our consciousness.

This would be like engaging in virtuous activity with a destructive motivation; like a gourmet dinner with poisonous ingredients in the main dish. It may be delicious while you’re enjoying it, but eventually it will kill you!

Therefore, as Dharma practitioners, we must always alert ourselves to our intention. Mindfulness and introspection carefully guard the kleshas of our non-virtuous intentions.

Let us use our altruistic intention to provide a good legacy for our future global generations!

May all beings awaken to their true potential and truly be free!

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