Next Friday I plan to start a drive around the U.S. Basically starting out from St. Maries, ID on the 20th of September after a Segaki (Feeding of the Hungry Ghosts) Ceremony, in the forest on Lotus Mountain above a stretch of the St. Maries River. I’ll be participating in this with the Sangha of the Benewah Buddhist Temple (Sandpoint Meditation Group). It’s one of the most important ceremonies in Buddhism and the only one I’ve heard of that was initiated by the Buddha to help one of his main disciples; so it goes way back.
I’m looking forward to my little adventure and at this writing I feel a little “privileged”, because I’m in a position to undertake an activity like that in times that are fraught with astounding instability from a human point of view, and all sorts of downsides looming for all of us.
I’m in Walla Walla, WA and it is midnight and the air quality index is officially 451, out of a possible 500 (Hazadous) and it’s not expected to lift for several days. I was walking through the Walmart store earlier and it looked like it had a fog in it from all the smoke which out of doors has a visibility factor measured in hundreds of yards, not portions or increments of miles. It looked grim and forboding.
I realize I have choices that many people in that store do not have. There were families with loads of kids, groups of teens just flocking around the Walmart on a Friday night; it’s the first weekend of the school year, but of course they’re not going to school; they’re Zooming or some sanctioned equivalent. Everybody except the teens looked pretty miserable and harried; I certainly felt that way, and I wanted to move next Friday’s departure date up to right-now but I have some precluding obligations.
It strikes me that we are in this mess because we have entangled ourselves in “ideals” that are not actually real, they seem to be merely functions of various greeds; others and our own. That’s uncomfortable and perhaps something to work with, in the sense that we need to identify the real problem before any lasting change is envisioned. After identifying the cause of our sickness perhaps we can determine if there is a cure and what that would consist of. and require of us.
We are past the stage of any sort of new Normal thats comfortable or a return to a former Normal. The shit is hitting the fan, and we are the one’s who plugged-in the fan, set it on high, pushed Start and are flinging stuff; all the while looking around and wondering who started all this mess.
We insist this is not what we asked for or ever wanted to happen. Yet, here we are. While we are scrambling for solutions and context and understanding and others to blame, we will need to get down to the nitty-gritty of it all, and do something, or some things. Not big things, maybe smaller things in smaller groups, maybe not as Nations? Everything will be on the table? Maybe.
The worst part of this evening’s trip to Walmart was to see the teens and young kids getting a taste of the world we are leaving for them. Yes, at some level we’ve all been blind. The majority of the herd has run over the cliff. Now what?
We have to change.
We have to. Change?
Will we? Sure!
Why not? Maybe
Then we’ll have an