Knowing vs feeling (impermanence, attachments, desire)

For a long time I thought it was enough to know about something spiritual, but it wasn’t necessary to feel it. For instance, I’ve known about impermanence on an intellectual level, but to experience it in your bones, that’s the difference between a finger pointing at the Moon and the Moon itself. Robin Williams spoke eloquently about this difference on the park bench in Good Will Hunting.

Another topic is desire. There’s a Buddhist monk vow that says, “Desires are endless, I vow to conquer them all.” I’m not a Buddhist monk — I dropped out of monk school because of things like cookies, margaritas, sex, and love (not to mention pain) — but recently I had the very direct feeling of desire, and it finally occurred to me that if I don’t get past it, it will still be affecting my life in 2020, 2024, and if you believe in multiple lifetimes, I’ll still be dealing with it then.

It blew me away that this feeling is thousands of miles beyond simply knowing that I have that desire. For me it’s like the distance between (a) knowing that there are glaciers in Alaska vs (b) being right there and seeing and hearing the calving.

Editor’s note: “Desire” can be cookies, margaritas, etc. — anything where there is “want” with attachment.

Perform the work that has to be done without attachment

I like most of Dana Stabenow’s work, and while I didn’t particularly like Dead in the Water, I did enjoy some of the quotes in the book, such as, “Always perform the work that has to be done without attachment,” which comes from the Bhagavad Gita, of which there are many translations (such as this one, this one, and this one).

Taking care of others can be done with two very different motivations

Taking care of others can be done with two very different motivations. With one, we care for others in an unhealthy way, seemingly sacrificing ourselves, but really acting out of fear or attachment.

People who are attached to praise, reputation, relationships, and as forth and who fear losing these may seemingly neglect their own needs to take care of others. But in fact they are protecting themselves in an unproductive way. Their care comes not from genuine love, but from a self-centered attempt to be happy that is actually making them more unhappy.

~ A quote from Buddhism for Beginners, by Thubten Chodron

Ram Dass on “Entering the stream”

These individuals have embraced higher awareness in this life and, though realized, they are still finishing off their karma accrued from past lives. Perhaps their awakening is sufficient so that no new karma is being created and their acts are free from personal attachment. Yet they must still complete the karma of the body and the personality originated in previous lives or former acts in this life. The soul, the jivatman, carries the accumulated sanskaras, or tendencies, from birth to birth until the full realization of the greater ātman.

A Linux mail command tip

If you're ever working on a Unix or Linux system, and need to email a file to someone else, it may be helpful to know that you can send your email message right from the Unix command line. You don't need to hop into mutt or any other Unix or Linux mail client to email the file.

iPhone email photo tip - how to save an image you receive as an email message attachment

iPhone email photo/image tip: If you receive a photo/image as an attachment in an email message while using your iPhone you can save that image to your iPhone photo collection very easily. Just press the image with one finger and hold it down for a second or two, and a menu will slide up from the bottom asking if you want to save the image.

I use the iPhone Mail program as an interface to my Yahoo email account, and a friend just sent me an email message with three image attachments. By pressing and holding one of the images, a menu popped up with three options: