SHADOW as judge – Toni Packer

The Wonder of Presence and the Way of Meditative Inquiry – By Toni Packer

Toni Packer on the shadow part of us that misses the magic of the present moment by judging.

“We are habitually absorbed in our ideas and judgments about each other and are little aware of the actual moment-to-moment happenings between us. It feels so true that your are what I know you to be, and that I am what I know about myself. We don’t realize easily that what I think I am is to a large extent the picture-story about myself. I can think endlessly about the characteristics of my body, its looks and its needs, my name, my age, my inherited qualities, my parents, my history, my experiences, my artistic, mathematical, or athletic talents and potential I think I have. And there is a reaction to everything I think about myself — I like it or I don’t, I want to get rid of it or keep it forever.

“So we become identified with our characteristics and abilities and identify others by theirs. There is a feeling of ownership here: We think we are the owners of our traits, our personalities, our bodies, our knowledge, and our opinions. And we feel that we deserve to be what we are as though we ourselves had brought it about. ‘I have worked hard on myself,’ we like to say. The working hard on oneself is also part of our personality. When we feel that we haven’t accomplished anything worthwhile in our life, we feel responsible for the failure — it’s our own fault that we don’t amount to anything. Can we look at all this and question it thoroughly?

“In my delusion I feel that somehow I have brought myself about the way I am, that I own what I have become, and that I can get better if I put my mind to it and work on myself with determination and willpower. I also believe that other people should do the same thing. We somehow feel it’s their fault that they are the way they are. Finding fault is part of our relationship with each other — blaming each other openly or tacitly for what we are, what we have done or what we don’t do.”

Go HERE for full article –

Juxtaposition: light from Sufi, Buddhist & Jewish sources


The first quotation is by from Sufi teacher Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee;

“If we can allow ourselves to live an ordinary life while also staying awake to the great void at the center of all that is, then we can be this intermediary place between that intoxicating, mystical bliss of oblivion and the wonder of how the Divine creates and reveals Itself in all the forms of life. Our lives are the expression of this bridge – ordinary and extraordinary, all things in their place, everything free to be as it is, and our consciousness, our heart, free to be used as needed.”

The great Master Dogen said, “To study the Buddha Way is to study the self, to study the self is to forget the self, and to forget the self is to be enlightened by the ten thousand things.” To be enlightened by the ten thousand things is to recognize the unity of the self and the ten thousand things.

The search for reason ends at the shore of the known;
on the immense expanse beyond it
only the sense of the ineffable can glide.
It alone knows the route to that
which is remote from experience and understanding.

Neither is amphibious:
reason cannot go beyond the shore,
and the sense of the ineffable
is out of place where we measure, where we weigh…….

Citizens of two realms, we must all sustain dual allegiance:
we sense the ineffable in one realm;
we name and exploit reality in another.
Between the two we set up a system of references,
but can never fill the gap. – A J Heschel

NB The Sufi quote is from a book review on the wonderful ‘Spirituality & Practice site by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat here;

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee – his site is here –