I don’t know what the fuck is going on but the boundaries of my world have broken down and the numinous has overrun the bulwarks of my heart. Everything is radiant.
Perhaps it is mental illness. Perhaps it is mental wellness. I don’t mind either way. I have resolved to love you. I have resolved to love you. I have resolved to love you. You. In your particular manifestation. But without differentiation. I won’t love you better than anyone else. I won’t love no one else better than you.
I’ma love all y’all bitches.
I got this thing that’s happening, I’m practicing pretty hard. I’m working on attaining shamatha, this profound mental state- I’m not there but it’s a meditative state, an objective one that manifests certain qualities, and I am in pursuit of it. Pursuit gives the incorrect connotation, but does point to the kind of motion toward what I seek. I’m cultivating bodhichitta, or what Trungpa Rinpoche calls “the genuine heart of sadness.” Compassion towards all sentient beings. But there’s two kinds, there’s relative and absolute. This is a big deal for Buddhists, man, this relative and absolute thing. You gotta pay attention to that aspect of things or you can get bad lost. Just sayin’.
Anyway, relative Bodhichitta is that everyone is suffering and you aspire to relieve their suffering. You aspire to take on the suffering of others and to give them your own happiness. That’s the Bodhisattva ideal. So, I cultivate that aspiration and I try to see that everyone is suffering in some way, and that everyone wants to be happy and wants their suffering to end. This is a powerful tool in making hateful assholes turn into sweet, tenderhearted best friends.
Before I began this practice the world was chock full of hateful assholes. Those motherfuckers were everywhere, standing on every street corner, occupying every position of power, running their sucks on every television channel 24-7.
Now, they’re all my friends. Are they confused, hurtful, causing a lot of pain to others still? Yeah, they are. But I like ’em now. I got a tender regard for them. I can see how they are trying to stop their pain. I want them to be happy, I want for them to find a way out of that suffering. I genuinely do.
That’s on the relative level.
On the absolute level, there really isn’t any suffering. There really isn’t anyone to do any suffering. There’s just the ground of being, there’s natural mind, and there’s the play of forms, the endless exuberance of the physical world, and everything is a dream, an illusion, everything is fine.
It’s akin to the woman who dreams that her child has fallen in a river and is being swept away, and she leaps into the water to save her baby, and her other child is still standing on the banks of the river and as the mother is swept downstream a tiger eats the child on the riverbank and by the time she gets to the baby in the water he has drowned and she drags herself out of the water and lies on the bank of the river, stunned and bereft and inconsolable in her loss.
Then she wakes up, and, you know, everything’s cool.
So, yeah, she suffered. That suffering was as real as if she really had lost her children, it was not one bit less because she dreamed it. But it dissolved upon waking. It wasn’t real in that sense, it didn’t remain because the whole thing had been a dream.
It’s like that for us now.
That’s the absolute level.
And that absolute level allows you great freedom in taking on the relative level suffering of all sentient beings. They suffer terribly, we all do, and it’s correct to do your best to alleviate that suffering for everyone you possibly can. And keeping the absolute in mind greatly mitigates our own, personal suffering, because we can see it for what it is and it loses some of its power over us.
So, working on Shamatha and cultivating Bodhichitta. Also doing lots of reading and going to all the teachings and retreats I can find. Also, working on lucid dreaming with the aspiration that I can turn my dream time into practice time as well, which is a very good preparation for death, also something I’m working diligently on. Keeping death in my mind at all times, my death, and letting that knowledge guide everything I do.
Also doing this Science and Buddhism seminar thing and doing lots and lots of reading on quantum physics and neuroscience, watching lots of youtube talks and reading papers and books and thinking, thinking, thinking, thinking, probing, pushing, going deeper and deeper and deeper and also wider and wider, farther and farther afield, and then also having all of these smart people talking back to me and probing my own ideas, making me question things I’d never thought of, etc.
Anyway, what feels like is happening is that on multiple fronts everything is coalescing around this numinous experience of the world as profoundly dream-like, profoundly non-solid, but very vividly manifest and astoundingly, achingly beautiful, and peopled with the most wonderful beings, all of whom are potential Buddhas, all of whom are wounded and suffering, all of whom are loved and loving, many of whom are deadly and dangerous and very badly confused but still have the seed of enlightenment buried somewhere within them, and this very brief, very provisional opportunity to experience all of this wonder while I have this body, this brain, this madly beating heart.
I can’t believe my good fortune.
PS- it might seem like I’m bragging here, taking credit for all of this change that is sweeping over and through me, but it is not the case that I feel that I am in any way responsible for what is happening, except that I am bringing myself deliberately to this place and opening myself to the change and asking for it.
I just read something from Jourdie that talks about how profound a time it is just after a great teacher’s passing:
“The death of a great spiritual teacher is considered an incredibly auspicious time for practice. It is both an invaluable reminder of the Buddha’s teachings on impermanence, which is the nature of all things in this life, and an opportunity to connect directly with the teacher’s wisdom, as he is present not physically but in force of mind and spirit.”
I have no doubt that Shamar Rinpoche’s death has had a profound effect on me personally. I feel very strongly that he is guiding me, removing obstacles from my path, and fostering my growth as a spiritual being in order that I may be of benefit to others as quickly as possible.
So, you know, props to him. It ain’t me doin’ this.
That is all.