Never metaphor I…

In my experience and a degree of observation within myself and of others, it seems we try to express ourselves when  speaking about anger by attempting to access cultural and social beliefs as the basic ground for the explanation to the predicament of hate and anger. Actually trying to rationalize our anger/hate into a reasonable position. That is a major aspect of delusion itself; constructing a story within and outside ourselves that finds context as an excuse for our anger/hate.

“If only he, she or they weren’t so…I wouldn’t have too feel this way, etc. “If things were more the way I want them to be, or as they should be, I wouldn’t be so angry.”

To me that’s a good beginning towards easing the justifiable grip of anger, because those are just stories we can become aware of, through the process of sitting still and observing this little ‘Trickster’ we call our mind.

In many of the cultures of our Native population there was the story of the Coyote or Fox who made us see and think things that were not true, tricking us into foolish behaviors. Probably just a way for a Nature-immersed society to formulate aspects of what our own mechanistic society developed as Philosophy/Psychology. One way to subdue this Trickster was to partake in ritual and seeking through a Spirit Quest.

Isn’t that what we are doing in our practice? Trying through the practice of teachings and meditation to be able to see the Trickster for who it is? It is difficult, because it is us!(Appreciative nod to Walt Kelly and his famous ’72 ‘Pogo’ cartoon referencing the ecological disasters becoming visibly evident at that time).

So have we littered and carelessly maintained the landscape within us. The solution to the litter is to see what’s there, how it got there, how to begin cleaning it up and how to create less of it.                                                                                                                                     All of that takes caring. Caring is another word for Compassion without extra emotionalism and more actual understanding, without judgement or an assigning of blame.

The really hard part is to accept responsibility and then go slowly, with deliberation, towards a solution without going astray towards blame and judgement…

Always, we seem to come back to trying to be still. Within and without.

So it seems we have to deal with anger and hate by first mitigating the story of how understandable and relatable our angers and hates are, because misery does love company.

My difficulty has always been the deep love and belief of my story, about me, told too me, in my favorite voice in the world, my own. No wonder it’s seductive; It is completely me. What could be better? Nothing, that’s what.

To loosen the grip on my self, first requires a good look at my life’s actual environment and then find the space and time to deliberately engage in being physically still enough and begin to see my thoughts and feelings over time as they come and go, they come and, they go.                                                                                                                                               And, once I can be comfortable with that, I can begin a slow, again deliberate, looking into the process and, the content of it.

That is one way we can help convert our anger and our hatred from the solidity and fixedness of hurricane and tempest into puffs, whisps and sometimes puffy clouds of emotional weather events that appear and change and go on and will re-appear.

Over a period of time our disturbed climate will change back to its more natural balance.

Personally, of course I still have do deal with all of this “stuff”, and I have a fair idea of what I’m dealing with and it’s never easy. And sometimes I just have to seek sturdy shelter and hunker down; Sooner or later the Sun will re-appear and I have learned something. Or not. Another opportunity will present itself

I take Refuge in the Buddha. I take Refuge in Dharma. I take Refuge in the Sangha.

 

Seeking the impossible, I

Found over time, that being

Still allowed the possible to

Just walk on in and sit down.

Now I have to learn how to

Treat this unexpected company.

Being compassionate towards…

One of the nice things about the current Situation is that people are out and about being actually nicer to each other and waving, smiling, allowing, even slightly bowing and generally being more courteous. This is how compassion is made real.

Compassion is mostly seen as being a good ‘feeling’ that one generates and then sends towards others, which in and of itself is a good thing, but my observation is that real compassion is an activity of how one ‘is’ towards others; and most importantly how one ‘is’ towards ones Self.

The word compassion basically means to ‘be at one with one’s passions’, which is also a workable baseline description of meditation as an activity and a reasonable way of approaching daily life.

So, for me to be compassionate to myself is to look at and investigate, while being still; the whence, wherefore and the why of the passions as they arise, and where do they go when I don’t act on them.

This is time well spent. Promotes being a productive member of society and everything that may  entail.

 

Bored, looking for something to do, I

Investigate myself quietly and hope to

See what is in it for me to know and be.

Dharma, horses, rocks & stories…

chagdud tulku

This is a copy of a short writing by a highly regarded Tibetan Master who’s teachings I used to attend in the 80’s in St. Helena, Napa Valley…My wife Linda copied it out by hand onto a view we had from the Oakville Crossroad where we lived, to the Mayacamas Mountains where Sun would set.

He was a very powerful teacher and in the year or so I attended his talks I was able to steady my foundation in the Dharma. I didn’t know that at the time, and there can be a fair question as to the steadiness of that foundation today.

One story I heard him use to answer someone’s question as to the efficacy of sitting in meditation for only an hour each day was;

‘If you have a herd of 24 horses, only one of them is the leader, wherever she goes, the others will follow.’

 

Nevertheless, a rock is a rock, the

Only thing that may matter is 

Placement within its surrounding

Area and its current circumstance.

Free, in a wall or in the cement;

Perhaps in a brook, a garden or

Blowing as dust in the wind

It is where it is and how it

Got there is just a story. 

Many rocks, mountains of stories.

Corners of life (intersections)…

img_20200518_092635

I keep putting off doing an array of tidying things up a bit. It gets worse than this, but its not a bad picture of one corner of my mind too. Thousand words and all that.

We insist we are trying to get

Into the flow and want to observe

Simultaneously our place in it.

Very difficult to do, if not

Outright impossible, 

sunrise, sunset, cheer-up…

I’ve always been partial to the old saying that The Sunrise does not guarantee the Sunset. Life is unpredictable and there’s nothing we can actually count on in certainty.

It’s not exactly a comfort saying, but one that can come in handy when we are trying to sympathize or emphasize with a problem that another person may be having; ranging from the death of a loved one to the sudden interruption of a planned event. In other words, stuff that happens and leaves us vulnerable, disappointed or at loose ends. Because the sun comes up one day we won’t be around to see it set. No exceptions. (There must be a loophole, let’s put our heads together and think about this…Off to the races).

We have been given a free, seemingly endless resource, called time and most of us piss it away like there are endless tomorrows. I know that I can waste it by all the increments we’ve assigned to it; seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and sadly, years.

It all starts with the tiny trickle of those almost imperceptible seconds. Next thing one knows one is old or worse yet, older than one thinks they are.

So here I am, and have regrets.

Today, I have another day like always and have another choice. I can slow my flow into the future by being purposeful in how I expend my self. I don’t require meaning. The search for meaning, to me, is a fools errand, so I’m finding purpose in trying to be more care-full in the why’s and the how’s I do anything.

If its worth doing deliberately, intentionally (i.e. thought through), and slowly, then that’s a state of being. Paying heed to how I am, and how I do is the way for me to change from mere ‘doing’ into being.

Into action and into perpetual motion are not the same activities

Currently it seems we have more time on our hands and an opportunity to explore the implications of that; Gift? Problem? Curse? All three intertwining? Who knows? Here we are.

I’m not good at change and may never be but I am willing to change course, ever so slightly.

When we send a rocket at the moon we don’t ‘shoot it’ at the moon, we send it up and then start guiding it incrementally towards the goal. Minute changes in direction with some constancy of effort.

Tonight when I go to bed I will wake tomorrow one day closer to my death, whenever that will be. Within all of that is a constant presentation of choices. Whether I make  a decision out of fear, love, indifference or for any reason I proclaim, it’s always a choice.

Dang! Note to self!

“Must go to moon tomorrow!

But, slowly!”

Re Ligare…

It is my understanding that the Latin root word for  the word Religion, is ‘Ligare’. Which is also the root for the word ligament. It means to connect or to tie onto. With the ‘Re’ it means to reconnect, or to tie-back onto something.

Not being afraid of words can be very helpful. The way I see this as personally useful is at one point in my life when I had made such a mess of it, that I was willing and ready to die on the streets in despair and confusion. At one point I asked for help. A seagull had shit on my shoulder while standing in a line at St. Anthony’s on Golden Gate Ave. in S.F. and that oddly enough was the beginning of my saying “Enough! I don’t want to die like this!”

It takes what it takes.

The help started coming by the truckload, but I was not ready to accept it. I was not through running. I stopped running when I finally saw that no wanted to chase me any more. They had given up trying to help. The drama wasn’t sufficient. Finally I was actually alone

When I started to accept the help, I encountered and accepted a 12 Step program that changed my life, a month into it I declared myself a Buddhist and after almost 37 years I may be catching on to some basic things. Here’s one.

I had a deep hole in my gut and tried to fill it with many things and almost died. Then when I finally accepted help, I began to seek a way to commence a reconnection to that which I seemed to be disconnected from.

Even thoughI didn’t know what That was.

 

Feeling an emptiness.

Not knowing cause or what it is.

Yet setting out in search of it.

Empty hole,

Must fill! No!

Don’t create or

Excavate to leave yet again ,

An other empty hole.

Allow, to fill.