It’s not other peoples opinions that drive us mad, its our own. The ones we dwell on, cherish, nurture, groom, pet and take to the doctor when they get weak. We take our opinions to the hospital(ity) of our like-minded friends and family and build up their strength, ’til we can feel assurance, once again, of our rightness and insight.
We treat our opinions like our favorite dog. We take them to the public park (let’s call it the Agora just for fun), and we see lots of other dogs and wonder sometimes how people can love a dog like that; we wish they were kept chained up, or at least not brought out in public. Many opportunities for WTF moments. Oddly, that often actually makes us feel better. It’s good to have a well behaved dog that’s clean and friendly yet barks when there is danger or worry of upset nearby, like a different opinion.
I’ve been investigating my opinions in general and more specifically this weekend as an aspect of a “retreat” mind, for a few days. There’s lots of good Buddhist Dharma in regard to that general topic especially as it relates to meditation and actual mindfulness.
One can see meditation as a way to gain peace and comfort and ease for the mind, and that is a major side effect yet it is kind of not the purpose at all. The purpose, as I see it today (around noon), is much larger than that. It’s so large it contains all the dogs in the universe and lets us know that dogs will always be dogs and to expect them to be something else is a waste of time and effort, and the “training” of them has to be scrutinized as to why are we training a creature to behave the way that makes us comfortable with them, but often goes against their own true nature. (As the Dog simile starts to crumble like a stale cookie in an earthquake?:)
Anyway, I was connected to a new medical provider which is really a helpful resource. They’ve done loads of tests and co-incidentally also arranged for a Covid Vax appointment. The place for the appointment was in east Oakland in a small shopping center with a spot tucked into the back part of a parking lot and it was raining and the two tiny little tent-like structures were sufficient to handle three people at a time. A staff of about four people checked me in and moved me over to the other tent, thirty feet away, all the time holding umbrellas for all us folks, coming and going, because of the drizzle that started up. The whole process took less than ten minutes and it seemed like all low-income folks. After the injection the lady told me that I would have to wait for 15 minutes to see if there was any adverse reaction and could I please do that in my vehicle if I came in one, and if there was a problem to honk my horn and they would come and check on me.
I sat in my vehicle and just watched their operation from about twenty-five yards away.
My heart opened up and I was filled with gratitude for this effort of so many people in a tiny little corner of this Universe to help others with courtesy and dignity. Then a larger UPS van pulled up and the driver ran around to the back of the truck and lifted 3x3x3 box out and rushed into the clinic, and I like to think he was bringing more Vaccine but it could just as well have been any box of stuff that a clinic would use in their daily activity.
Around all of that reality there could be clouds of opinion, yapping, barking and whoofing, what with the times and all; yet all I saw was humanity at its actual purpose.
Caring, helping, giving, respecting and offering help.
One could weep at the wonderfulness of it all.
The great and wonderful
Things we dream when
Internally empty are
Nothing to what we can
See within gratitude for
Life as a human being
Willing to help,
Rain or shine.