Reading the Room

Krishna and Arjuna

Writing about the illusory nature of problems can look like a denial, or outright ignorance, of what today appears to be a highly problematic state of the world. There is a battle going on, right? Many social media posts speak of love and mindfulness and peace. All well and good, but do they meet the demands of the visible unrest?

Do these mindfulness reminders create a restful moment of pause, or do they engender more anger as a striking lack of awareness? Seemingly irrelevant tropes in the face of powerful upheaval–akin to bringing a rubber knife to a gunfight?

Concepts of love, mindfulness, and peace are empty, and thus not a source of solace. We cannot talk or write or read about these ideas unless they are transformed and lived. Love is not the selective feeling of affection and connection to a delineated few. Mindfulness is not a scheduled respite, a moment or two taken out of time in the midst of conflict. Peace is not an impossible goal to be hoped for sometime in the future, and not really an agreement between two or more parties.

Peace is an allegiance to the calm that always can be found under or behind the storm. Not a break from it, but a dwelling as and in that calm. Mindfulness as a way of being. Ultimately, it becomes the realization of no-differences when the two or more are the illusion, the false segregation created by the split mind. The experiential realization of inseparability is love.

The hardest thing to accept right now is that the division is within, is projection. Anger and fear are the unavoidable manifestation of this inner conflict projected out there. Even if you don’t or can’t believe this premise, there is a close-enough proximation of being the equanimity in the midst of outbursts all around. See the power and the solace in the refusal to give in to the temptation of helpless fear or an over-wielding anger.

The need to be right is a powerful force. It is, however, a weak defense in this shadowy world of not really knowing, of honest uncertainty.

In those most disorienting moments of there-is-something-wrong-I-need-to-do-something distress, some response will and always does emerge in the space that is beyond fear and anger. It helps to realize we are not in charge, but simply vehicles of this greater intelligence. Simply allow the response, the doing/done, to emerge.

Let it come from the equanimity that comes from trust in this larger/largest Source. And it will be reflected, this trust, this returning, out there. You will then more often notice images like that of the young white girl jumping in front of the young black male as the police move towards him, or the National Guardsman who takes a knee in solidarity with the protestors. That is the unitive perception, instead of the fearful division.

That is why you are here. You are/I am the unbiased witness, like the sun, that does not discriminate where it alights. And fear and anger will dissipate, if only for a moment. And that is the moment that matters, that fearless space of clarity and inseparability.

And in the silence, the vastness, of the indiscriminating light, the response comes through you, not from you.

You don’t need to do anything in particular. Forget the particular, the perception of parts, of right and wrong. There are no parts in this Whole.

Why did Krishna tell Arjuna that he must fight, as he stood in the midst of the battlefield,? Is he not fighting the doubt he feels in seeing this world split in two? Where is the battlefield? The great divide, thus the great anguish?

“It was Vyasa’s (the author’s) genius to take the whole great Mahabharata epic and see it as metaphor for the perennial war between the forces of light and the forces of darkness in every human heart.” ~

Bhagavad Gita

To A Friend

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Shhh…now, Grasshopper. Be still for a moment.

If you let go of that question, that complaint, that frustration, that need, that anger, that belief/assumption—-its all mental, right? Let it all go by. And make no demands upon the bodily reactions to those mental instigations, just acknowledge how the body is playing its part in the scene building. If there is this pause, this intervention, two things can/will happen. Continue reading

Undddduck Yourself

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G-rated version

This post begins and ends in silence. What emerges in between is a little noise about a problem and seeking a solution for this problem.

Or, seeking a way out of the repetition of apparent problems and solutions, that is called a life. Silence all around. Continue reading

Cease and Desist

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Here’s the unequivocal thing: Nothing in this dreamstate makes sense. It is made, as an appearance, by an incoherent, split mind, exhibiting and manifesting nothing but fragmented reality from fragmented thinking. The experience of living in this incoherent world is then a striving to make sense of, and find solutions for, the “problematic” situations in which we appear to find ourselves. Like Don Quixote and his giants.

“What giants,” asks Pablo Sanchez? Continue reading

Around the Broken Heart

The story is strong; the story is saddening. The way things appear to be today, this disjointed, split vision of the world–yes, there is grief, but who or what are you in response?

There are not two worlds–one of peace (can I not find/return to it?), and one of painful division (please make it stop!).

There are only infinite perspectives, emboldening the division, or holding the peace. Can we not be the benevolent, generous, whole heart that surrounds and holds the broken heart that appears as the world?

Be as you truly are, the undivided that surrounds the perceived division. You/we are more than big enough.

Feeding Wolves and Wearing Wolf Suits

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In the post, What Remains, the point was made that nothing, no circumstance has duration; nothing is fixed. So what makes any situation, problem, or identification appear to have duration and substance? What makes it seem real and seemingly long lasting?

Attention.

Seeing this, that past and future are nothing more than random images and thoughts happening now, changes everything. How you can have a solid sense of self, or anything else, if there is no fixed past or future image for it to have been or to become? Attention to, to the point of what could be called “fixation,” is what appears to give it (anything) life.  Experience is quite literally determined by the wolf you feed.

The wolf is the problem or the identity. Attention is how it is fed.

Attention to fearful thoughts and emotions, creating deeper and deeper reality tunnels–is no different than being in the midst of a dream, a nightmare, and forgetting that you are asleep. If there is, for instance, a medical issue, by all means, seek medical attention. But then what? Is a diagnosis what you are? Or is it what you think about, and feel all the time? There is a mental proclivity to do just that, of course, but who or what are you absent the fixed attention on a thing apart? Shift attention away, from everything. Catch that, even if just for an instant. The sky is still wide open above you. Attend to that openness.

Max in his wolf suit, in Where the Wild Things Are tells the whole story. There really are no wolves, only kids in wolf suits, imagining things to be a certain way. But eventually it’s time to go home, to your own room, where dinner is waiting, and it’s still hot.

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Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak

Pre-Existing Condition (ΑΩ)

4DeD4fvSeekers seeking peace. The very act of looking for it is to step away from it, like a paper doll cut out of the paper, that then tries to find itself, and its source.

Peace doesn’t go anywhere. It doesn’t come and it doesn’t leave.

It is the unmoving eye at the center of the experiential storm.

Peace is neither a place to get to, or a status barometer.

It is not yours; nor is it mine. It isn’t personal. It cannot be owned, kept, found, or lost. It’s what is here when there’s no “you-ing” or “me-ing,” (i.e., hoping, looking, waiting for it).

It cannot possibly be had one minute, and then lost the next. Because it is prior to time; prior to the idea of looking for it; prior to hoping and waiting; prior to everything.

Peace is the pre-existing condition. It is just here, now. It is the absence of any condition.

Peace is the water, the ocean in which you swim. And you are not the fish.

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The Broadest Possible POV is No POV

“Any movement of consciousness toward the phenomenal is equivalent to a movement away from what is real. The Real is attained by a movement of consciousness in the direction opposite from that by which the phenomenon is experienced.” Wu Hsin

To opposite world: attention flipping.

Take a playing card from a deck. In the game, all attention is focused upon the face card–the queen, the ace, a six–all of which represent the phenomenal. That with which the game is played. All experience–of self, other, world–all phenomena is the result of attention limited to which particular face card, or cards, appears.

“Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.” ~ Alice in Wonderland

Continue reading

Lose Something Every Day

 

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My white dog just escaped through the fence!

A man you detest has become president,

Or is no longer president.

An excuse, from either lane, you see.

Detestation is dodgy,

like the white dog, slipping through the fence.

Where do all my ideas go?

I see that to lose is either disaster, or impossible.

Or, call it artful.

One Art

The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.

Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.

I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.

I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.

—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

BY ELIZABETH BISHOP