Its become a bit of a custom to walk around the cemetery here in Walla Walla most days and babble into a small recording device. I actually have babbles from almost ten years ago walking around Tekoa Cemetery. It’s been very instructive because all that talking was nibbling at the edges of the same Koan of insecurity that has been ripening and unfolding for me, now blossoming, in a very deliberate way. And, it’s quite uncomfortable. I know pretty soon (September?), I’m going to need to do a small private retreat somewhere really quiet and just allow some time for non-judging, just looking at this very old structure of my insecurities that are just showing up. Like blowing sands in a desert uncovering a shrine that once was sacredly used but fell into disuse and then, became visible again. Perhaps to be re-purposed, as they say.
The use of the babble is that I have no expectation of anyone ever listening to it. It’s not super private or anything but it does reveal the slow appearance of an insight.
What it really shows, I think, is that we are all instruments for our own awakening and nothing is ever wasted or too late or not perfect for the moment. Since the babble is not for consumption as such, its a bit more introspective than if produced for the audience of another person. It slowly touches on, and then begins to embrace, the difficult karma that has been so shy. like a lost dog overcoming caution and fear in favor of the food being offered by the kindly voice.
As an old AA friend used to say about the 12 Steps. (And is true of all spiritual effort.)
“It’s a process, not an event!”
I don’t like myself well enough to listen to old recordings of my voice without wincing. Although now that I no longer have what could be called a “normal voice” it might be interesting to hear what I sounded like back when I did. I have a real serious tendency toward viewing my past thoughts and beliefs in a horribly judgmental light. I was looking at some old photos recently and found myself getting into an orgy of self-hatred. Not self-pity, that’s another thing altogether. No, it’s self-hatred and harsh self-judgment. Probably should sit with that and at least try to figure out where it’s coming from. I know what the immediate cause is–I made a decision (based on self, as the literature describes) that came around and bit me in the ass, as they are wont to do. But I was taken by surprise by just how deep this well of, well, whatever, is. Perhaps if I have time to get to the other side I’ll know. The only way from here to there, though, is through it.
Please remember that your thoughts back then had the same power that your thoughts today Have. None; unless you attach to them and reinforce them, by either hating or absolutely believing them. We can make the decision to see them for and as ‘what’ they are. The only thing that matters is what we do with them.
If you have changed from those previous thoughts, then that proves the truth of an important part of the teaching.
“The Buddhas and ancestors of the past were as we are now. AND, in the future we will become as they are now.”
We change. Its nice to see it, because we were actively involved in it at some level. go easy, even though that is hard at times 🙂