Friday, April 07, 2006

Dream and Nightmare

Here's a nice talk by Lama Surya Das on enlightenment as "just being".
True meditation is wisdom, it is the Buddha's way of life. In this manner, we come to be living the enlightened life. Not just trying to catch the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, but appreciating every step along the way. The whole rainbow, not just those colors in the distance, but everything as a form of light. And not just the rainbow, but also the shadow, the cloudy rainstorm. Maybe not always smiling. Also appreciate the tears, the concerns, and so on. Everything is part of it. Let's not just be love-and-lighters, but learn to appreciate the entire spectrum of dream-like, magical experiences, just as they are.
I've found much of my practice lately consists of being sick and tired of being sick and tired. It's like the story of Ananda becoming enlightened after he gave up on achieving enlightenment. There's nothing to achieve, nothing to "get". There isn't anything I can obtain, spiritually, that isn't already my essential nature.

Seeking the Witness or nondual awareness as a goal or path is just more of the same: more grasping, more desire, more suffering. I find myself repeatedly and pointedly asking my mind, "Why can't you just give up? Reality will never bow to your conceptions of perfection. Why do you persist on witholding happiness and joy from yourself and others? Why are you constantly making yourself miserable?"

I've been a big proponent of process and working to absolve one's self of "obscurations". Lately, I can't help viewing that all as crap. So long as you're constantly believing you have to purify yourself of obscurations, you won't get it. So long as you're waiting on a lama or guru to nod his head sagely and bestow upon you this or that empowerment or blessing, you won't get it. You'll keep denigrating yourself, setting yourself back, deeming yourself "unworthy" of receiving the Great Truth. You'll talk yourself straight out of the direct perception of who and what you really are.

And isn't this what we do every second of every goddamn day? From the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, life is a constant confusion of our true selves with the objects of awareness. The Witness is fries, and we insist on drowning it in ketchup. We see ourselves in our minds, our thoughts, our feelings, our spouses, our kids, our bank accounts, our jobs, our cars, our worries, our hopes, our fears, our plans. We're like Leonard Shelby in Memento: we may have a passing realization of our true nature while walking through the woods or driving to work - but just like that, it's gone, our memories wiped clean of everything true and good, forcing us to fill the emptiness with alternating doses of dream and nightmare.

It's frustrating. Maddening. Insane.

And it has to end.

Now.

Comments:
So that's the underlying current that make Memento so fascinating. Wow. Very cool.

Nice post.
 
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