“A man is hit in the chest by an arrow and collapses. Gravely wounded, he is on the brink of death, so a doctor is summoned to remove the arrowhead. But the man will not let him do this. First, he wants to know from what kind of wood the arrow shaft is made: then he wants to find out what sort of poison had been put on its tip; and what kind of feathers were attached to its end; were they goose feathers or hawk feathers? He wants to know what the arrowhead is made of, and who shot the arrow at him, and from what distance, and why? Naturally, by the time he finds all that out he dies. The story [from the Culamalunkya Sutta—Ed.] represents our tendency to ask questions about all sorts of important details instead of practicing those things that will lead us out of dukkha.” – Ayya Khema, Who am I.
Today we tend to get caught up in philosophies, concepts, beliefs and ideas even in our most honest attempts to transform our selves. What does it mean to reach a place of wisdom, that is free from ideas and concepts? The wise say that what we call and feel in the deepest parts of our conscious and unconscious, as ‘I’, ‘Me’ and ‘mine’ is only a false conception, which we simply have internalized so deeply that it is very hard for us to believe there is a reality that we can dip even now, without the hold of that concept. It is hard for us to believe that there can be that feeling of love without the concept of an ego or a self, whether that is individual or universal.
In the meditation that I learn ( Vipassana – the insight of seeing things as they are by internalizing a habit of seeing things in its impermanency at the roots of our consciousness ), this is what we do. We try to dip into the hub of the wheel and keep training to do that more sustainably. The constantly turning wheel of our mind and of our life, represents our concepts, ideas and perceptions of the world. The Hub represents the absolute reality free from even a trace of falsity or concepts.
Even if we are deep into the conceptual world, so to say, we are still able to access a place closer to the hub. Vipassana is one of the methods of training to move closer and closer to the hub. We often find that when we move even a little bit towards the hub for sometime, many things get cleansed up and things begin to show its true light without much of an intellectual effort on our part.
Sharing some excerpts in an article related to this theme:
“Real transformation arises from nonverbal attention. When we are fully present and able to pay attention in a sustained way to our experience we can begin to see directly, uncolored by our ideas and concepts. Placing our trust more in loving attention and less in analyzing the story can allow space for a new way of holding the question. But this trust does not come easily and takes practice. Sometimes we worry a question to death. We give it too much attention and ignore other aspects of life. When this happens it is often a sign that we are too attached to finding an answer.
When we are in touch with actual experience, the way it is without any interpretation, our investigation becomes quite direct and we begin to see underlying truths. We can begin to see the changing nature of all experiences, whether painful or pleasant. This understanding of the changing nature of all experience leads to a fearlessness and willingness to face difficulties more openheartedly. We are sometimes afraid to feel certain painful emotions because we don’t think they will change. But through paying attention when we are in pain, instead of trying to avoid the pain, quite naturally the truth of change is revealed. Instead of clinging to changing pleasant experiences, we open to them fully, yet we continue to pay attention and we see them change and we let go. This investigation and seeing of change leads to the freedom of equanimity.”
Check out the whole article at: