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Stop Lying
21m

Stop Lying

Meditate on truths we may not be speaking or hearing.

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Hello, and welcome to another episode of Mindfulness+. I'm your host, Thomas McConkie. Thanks so much for listening today. If you listened to our episode last week, you heard me introduced a theme of advent. Advent, this Latin term that we've brought into modern English and it has this meaning of a coming and arrival. And very broadly speaking in the language, the universal language of wisdom, what is coming, what is arriving all the time, whether we realize it or not, we could say is greater light, greater love, greater life into our lives, into the collective life, into the cosmos. So I want to, since we're in advent season here in December, I wanted to take time to record another episode, kind of reflecting on advent and particularly this theme around when we wait and we watch expectantly for greater life, greater love, greater light, greater truth to pour into the world. When we put ourselves in that posture, we actually find that it changes things. I don't know how it works. I don't have any grand metaphysical claims about how it works, but I know in myself, when I put myself in an attitude and a posture to receive more light, more truth, it seems to just happen. Life's crazy like that. So to kind of get things rolling here, I want to share a scripture. It's actually a logion from the gospel of Thomas. I have a whole episode on the gospel of Thomas where we interview an ancient language and biblical scholar Lynn Bowman on the gospel of Thomas. It's a fascinating text. If you love truth and beauty and wisdom, I recommend just spending a little more time with the text if you haven't already. If you're new to it, you're in for a treat because I'm gonna read logion six from the gospel of Thomas and this is Lynn Bowman's translation, which I love and highly recommend. Love you, Lynn. So the scene, I'm gonna read the saying and then I'm gonna unpack it a little bit. This is Jesus and Lynn Bowman refers to Jesus as Yeshua which is the Aramaic form of his name, the original form. So if you're wondering who that Yeshua guy is, you know him, he's Jesus. These are Yeshua students kind of asking the wisdom master about like how do we live a life? What do we do? How do we be spiritual, something to that effect and here's what they say. His students asked him do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give offerings? From what foods must we abstain? Yeshua answered stop lying. Do not do what you hate because everything here lies open before heaven. Nothing hidden will remain secret for the veil will be stripped away from all that lies concealed behind it. One more time. His students asked him, do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give offerings? From what foods must we abstain? Yeshua answered stop lying. Do not do what you hate because everything here lies open before heaven, nothing hidden will remain secret for the veil will be stripped away from all that lies concealed behind it. So this is a hard saying, this is tough doctrine and I want to kind of go slow here and talk about it a little bit. Now again, so there's this scene where these followers of Yeshua, they feel there's something here. There's a truth, a power of goodness, they're seeking it. And they're like, what do we do with our lives? How do we pray? Should we give these alms, these fast offerings? Is there a certain diet we should follow? How often should we fast, et cetera. Like all of these rules around religious law, which presumably were top of mind at this time when this conversation took place and Yeshua in his peerless wisdom style cuts straight through it. And he just says, stop lying. And really there's nothing else to say in this conversation, stop lying. What does that mean? Like, what does it mean? I wanna deepen here and as I often do, I wanna shift modes a little bit to a school I'm very familiar with. A Buddhist teacher who's quite well known in the United States by the name of Adyashanti, he describes the process. In Buddhism, we talk about awakening. We talk about liberation. We talk about enlightenment and so forth. Adyashanti describes the process of awakening as a coming out of hiding. So I want you to just feel this in your body as I lay this out a little bit. What does it mean if we come out of hiding and reveal ourselves to one another, reveal ourselves to ourselves, reveal ourselves to our loved ones, reveal ourselves to God, to nature, to society, whatever we feel called to reveal ourselves to. What does that feel like? What it mean to come out of hiding? Adyashanti also talks about his teacher who taught him something similar but with a different emphasis, his teacher said to him only phonies don't get enlightened. So whether you're an avid Buddhist meditator and you're seeking enlightenment or not, there's something really universal about this. Like why would a wisdom teacher say only phonies don't get enlightened? Why am I bringing this up? Because I think Yeshua in the gospel of Thomas and I think Adyashanti and I think his teacher are talking about something really similar here. And what is that? When we pretend to be something we're not, when we lie to ourselves, when we hide from ourselves, how can we possibly discover the truth about ourselves or about life? It's a difficult saying, I mean, the question and it begs is well, how do I stop lying? We think of lying on the surface of like speaking overt falsehoods and most of us most of the time have that covered. We learned in kindergarten, like if you stole a cookie from the cookie jar, you better fess up, but this is a subtle form of lying that Yeshua is speaking to and Adyashanti and our Buddhist mothers and fathers. Stop lying, do not do what you hate. So I have a personal story about this. This is a teaching that's kind of deepening in my own life and I'm exploring it and I'm gonna invite you into a bit of an inquiry in a moment here about what does it mean to you to stop lying? My story comes by way of a friend who's raising her child and I'm raising a child now. And a big question that's up for a lot of people throughout the world, I would say, is do I take my kid to church or not or to synagogue or whatever faith tradition or not faith tradition. If we were raised without a faith tradition, a question comes up, well, some of my friends were churched and I wonder what that would be like for my kid. So we have this question, like, how do we raise our kids, with what values, with what cosmology and worldview and what matters and how do I wanna shape this delicate little life and soul? It's a big question in the 21st century as the wisdom traditions and the world's religions are changing. My friend asked me, so Thomas, you talk all about like faith in your career and you teach meditation. Are you gonna take your son to church cause I was brought up in a church environment and I was totally stumped. Like I didn't actually know how to respond cause I realized, I didn't know for sure what I thought was the best way to raise a human being. And I just sat with a question for a good long time. And there's this image in the Zen tradition when you get the koan or the unsolvable riddle from the master, it's like a hot iron ball in your gut and you just wanna like spit it out, barf it up. Like you're not okay. You can't be okay with it cause there's no answer to it. And this question felt like a koan to me, like are you gonna church your son? And after I think weeks, maybe months of writhing and twisting and like not knowing, I had this opening that to me relates to the saying of Yeshua and it has everything to do with getting clear on what we value and what we love and celebrating advent. And it was essentially this, I realized in a moment that I could take my son to church or not. And when he grows up, he will go to church or not. And I felt a kind of humility like who knows what my son is going to become, but this I know he is already drinking in my being, my being as his father, the deepest level, I'm totally revealed to him. I can't conceal anything. I can tell him stuff and I can tell him it's important to be honest with people and it's important to go to church. I can teach them whatever lessons I want, but if I'm not that, if I don't embody it, he's going to learn from my being. And this is what Yeshua is saying to his students. Like you're asking me about all these rules. Do I fast? Do I pray, do I give alms? Yes, no, I don't know. But let me just tell you that you're totally revealed before heaven. You can't hide from yourself. You can't hide from your creator. You can't hide. That's the wisdom teaching and I'm so inspired by it, I'm haunted by it too. If anyone's been around kids or is raising kids, it's like oh man, I am utterly revealed to this child but it's also a great teaching. Like okay, I'm revealed, I can come outta hiding and I can maybe in an honest moment say son, like, I don't know. What do you think? I just don't know. It reminds me of a teaching from Ramdoth, a beautiful teacher from the Vedantic tradition. And he says, let me pull it up. He says the only thing you have to offer another human being ever is your own state of being. The only thing you have to offer another human being ever is your own state of being. Yeshua says don't do what you hate because everything here lies open before heaven, nothing hidden will remain secret for the veil will be stripped away. The veil already is stripped away. There's no veil, it's already revealed. The veil is already stripped away from all that lies concealed behind it. There's something about this constellation of wisdom teachings that like I said, it freaks me out cause I'm so revealed, but it also relaxes me like oh the gig's up, you got me, I'm a liar, I'm a hypocrite, I'm a cheat. Every day I fail to live up to my higher values. And yet when I admit that, when I come out of hiding, when I stop being a phony, I feel this kind of energy like a lamb come up in me like help me. What can I do? And in that moment when my heart breaks and I feel that heartbreak, there's this in-pouring of love and light in the world. And this is advent. This is advent. This is the season, we observe it some of us on the Christian calendar, we observe it at this time of year, but it's every moment, advent is every single moment that we come out of hiding. We reveal ourselves and we acknowledge... We come up against this question. Is there a truth I haven't been willing to tell? Is there a truth I haven't been willing to hear and that question is always up in life. And so I love these teachings for this reason. I love the opportunity advent brings us to reflect on like how can I make more room for life, love and light into my life? Well, I can come out of hiding. Well that scares me to death, but you can do it and we can do it. So let's do it. I want to just invite you into a little reflection here. Just the moment of practice, transitioning here from the words to just going a little more inward in the spirit of not being a phony and coming out of hiding and not lying and recognizing that all we can ever give ever is our own state of being. If our heart's contracted, if we're jealous, if we're blameful, if we're loving and forgiving, all of that is revealed just as you sit and rest in your own stillness in this moment, your own beingness, you are emanating your beingness out into the world. It's your offering and it's revealed. There's no hiding. Is there some truth I haven't been willing to hear? You can just reflect on this, open your heart, your mind, breathe. Just take a moment to take inventory. Is there some truth I haven't been willing to hear? Is there some truth I haven't been willing to tell or to speak more fully? Just holding this question in our heart draws us out of hiding. It asks us to stop lying in a beautiful, graceful way. Keep asking this question. Just hold it deep in your heart and your awareness. Is there a truth I haven't been willing to hear, haven't been willing to speak? And let this truth set you free. Let yourself be revealed. Feel the body relax as the truth frees you. You don't have to shout this from the rooftops just yet. Maybe that'll come later, but right now it's just an encounter with the self at a deeper, more honest level and feel the way this energy of the lamb tends to come up. When we realize we've been lying, but that we can stop, we can stop lying, we can be truthful. A greater measure of life and love and light just naturally pour in. Good, take another few moments. It's a process here. It doesn't always happen all at once. Just hold in this question. Letting the question do its work. Is there truth I haven't been willing to hear or speak? The gig's up, I'm totally revealed. And what a relief that I can just be myself, live the life I'm given. What a grace to be invited out of hiding. Thank you everyone for practice. That's our episode today. Special thanks to Skylight, our sponsor, for season five. Also a reminder if you didn't hear our announcement last week, we're offering new content at Lower Lights which is the nonprofit umbrella of Mindfulness+. The content is gospel meets Dharma, a very deep dive and exploration into the dance of Buddhism and Christianity in the 21st century. So if you're interested, check that out, post a link in the show description. Be well, enjoy this advent season, relish in this process of coming out of hiding, no more lying, no more being a phony. See you next week at Mindfulness+.

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