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  • Writer's pictureillanaberger

It is Only For Your Benefit Honored One

Updated: Feb 3, 2019

Mindful Partnership ~ Mindful Divorce™

For Your Benefit Honored One

The ancient spiritual teachers understood that the path out of our personal prisons was to stop building the prison walls in our minds. Everything that we do that is consistent with the ordinary way we understand things actually puts more bars onto the windows and doors of our personal prisons of pain.

There was a way, the ancient teachers taught, that you can have a different kind of knowledge and wisdom. Rather than more information that would just console you and allow you to accumulate more and more, they taught that there was a different kind of knowing that you could cultivate. So, rather than the path or cycle of gain and loss, right and wrong, good and bad, there was another way, they understood, that you could interact with the universe and your life. A way that was more generous, more kind and open. This open place and open mind, the ancient ones taught, was indigenous to each one of us. We all have it, we have all touched it and experienced it. They are those "ah ha" moments when time stops and an unexplainable joy arises in your heart, or the beauty of a moment takes your breath away, or suddenly something makes sense in a way it never had before. The way to cultivate this open mind, they taught, was stop using the methods that built the prison walls to begin with. Instead they suggested that we use and work in ways that can take us out of our habitual way of meeting the world. Reimagining your story is one such method, meditation or Koan practice are also tools that you can use.

I love Koans and have been working with them for the past 12 years. Koans are teachings, conversations, dialogues and stories from ancient Zen masters experiences with awakening and the moments that came alive for them and their students.

Koans have a way of restructuring the suffering in your life. There is a method to Koan practice of not accessing the Koan with your usual or habitual thinking mind. Your habitual thinking tends to diminish the world you live in as well as yourself. You tend to compare yourself to others, or the life you could have had if you did things differently. You tend to compare states of mind to the one you should have, could have or would have if only, etc. Koans give you moments of reprieve so that you experience bursts of joy.

When working with a Koan, the mind that assesses things will keep on doing that, but as you work with a Koan and you get to a place of criticism of how you are doing and you notice it - something begins to change. The noticing changes everything. For example, your might notice yourself saying to yourself, “See I am the person I always knew I was, and I know I will never change.” Then your mind assess that this practice is not for you. If you keep with a Koan despite the voices in your head the chatter of the mind, there is a way in which the universe is there to hold you and you are no longer separate from it. Suddenly, you find that you are being held by the vastness and you are that vastness. The mind may still have its other conversation, but the Koan mind is what is here, present in the moment.

Here is a Koan for you to experiment with and see how it works for you:

“Two teachers are walking along and a crane comes swooping down and grabs a frog and starts to tear it apart. One of the teachers turns to the other and says ;”why does it have to be like that?” The other teacher says: It is only for your benefit honored one.”

Everything in your life is there for you. Everything you experience is there for you. We all know that we cannot escape our death. We will at some point die. Everything about dying, however, is really about life. They often say, you will die just as you have lived. This is true whether you are actually ill and dying or whether you are in a struggle in your life that feels like death itself. Whether you are losing your marriage, your lover, a parent or child has died or you have lost your job and cannot find another one.

What is important is that you don’t have to believe all the thoughts that your mind serves up. And when you can stop and just be with the bird flying by or the sun shining in the sky, there is a moment of freedom from your mind and that moment is you too.

A Zen teacher taught that when you are able to just meet what is in each moment no matter what is being served up, it is what becomes “the bright road” you walk. On the bright road, you don’t abandon yourself and you don’t abandon the others in your life. You are just with what is. And that “what is”; is the bright road of life.

When you abandon yourself it is because you have forgotten that all of your life, every bit of it, is just for you. All of life is only for your benefit honored one!

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