Monday, June 27, 2005

Highway One

Highway one

Highway one runs up the California coast, hugging cliffs, trees, wild life, and light, so it was, and driving it in the afternoon, from San Francisco, was incredible. I was watching the landscape and seascape and suddenly poetry began pouring into my mind. I wrote it down from memory when we stopped.

Heavy, Heavy light rubs its body across my face, and I dissolve into the blanket like a cloud in the sun. Oh Color goddess, please let me up. Your light body is too much!

Pregnant Light, heavy with Highway One, and high above midwife moon waiting to deliver me back to simple grays and silvers.

But still, Still, nothing else can scream as loud as the silent beauty of nature spilling out of the afternoon sun. Surprise! It shouts, jumping in front of my eyes without warning, then fucking my attention until time totally stops and peace torments my simplicity. my mind dances with her shadow, then swims in her light, and breath leaves me to sing with the angles in heaven.

Ecstatic mind leaps and trips over
the light, pregnant with this world
revealing its sexy self in front of me,
giving itself to me, asking me to take it and
love it, I enter its wetness and feel it lick my
mind till I am aroused with peace and clarity
brilliant clarity like a diamond sparkling, the ocean
is like an ocean of diamonds.
Shadows give me a break from the dancing.
But even in their cool hearts I see colors so enchanting
I am trapped for a moment unable to move.

I’m exhausted after all the celebrations, the car window is wet, I now wish only to paint and chant across a stretched canvas, nothing else makes any sense.

Part two

Heavy light, pregnant with an ocean,
the reflection I can see in the sea, is it me?
I and the sun make the sky, liquid silver,
shit this beauty is painful,

Tiny haiku scatter across the road
dancing fairies holding mirros up to their faces,
Did a goddess lick this earth with a golden tongue?
If I was blind id have to listen to this light as the wind
I am deaf now, for the wind is muted behind the light,
And if Christ is the light, then praise him, praise the Holy Spirit that created
This glowing world, this light licked surface of nature, this cloud colored christ comes,
If it is all a hologram, if it is all just an interference pattern of energy waves projected from a spaceless dimention like the scientists say,
Than fine with me,
The void glows as a sunset across water,
And nobody can say that isn’t divine.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Amma, the hugging saint

Arrived in oakland, saw Amma, the hugging saint. backstep, I spent the first night in oakland talking with raphaell,an old friend, all night we talked, for he had to leave for arizona the next day. We left for the airport at 4 am, walking the cold dark streets of san francisco, singing, he taught me some flaminko in the subway station,people stared, but it was not too uncommon, im sure. surprisingly awake, i had to find my way back to 41st and braodway all by myself at about 6 in the morning, got home and slept till noon. woke up, travel mates gone, i go outside and find a nice old man smiling on his porch. i ate breakfast with him and his wife, they live below the place i am staying. they loved me, much to tell, then, in the evening, we, my travel mates adn i, went to see Amma, the hugging saint. she has an ashram/community living here in the bay area, most of the time she sang with an 8 peice band behind her, EXTRAORDINARY indian music, she would throw her hands up into the air and look up, as if a shaman summoning the spirits. then, after her guided meditation, i waited in line to recive her darshan-her famouse hug.

It was i approached, one of her helpers said "put your hands here, and dont get too close." Amma looked up, laughed and repeated with a smile "dont get too close! ha ha ha." then grabed by head, pushed it into her shoulder, then up to her face, she kissed my ear and cheek, then pressed firmly my cheek next to hers, rocking back and forth, she wispered something into my ear, laughing, crying, she repeated "dont get to close, dont get too close." with a laugh so light, she squeezed, then, releaced, and i was sent off, free. (many people left her hug crying or blissed out and spent time in meditation by her.)

she does this hugging deep into the night, into the morning, until everyone is done (there were hundreds of people. the paper a few days ago had a caption "ten hour wait, three second hug." (the hug was more like ten seconds). some people longer. . (usually it takes all night to finish her hugs. then, she goes to the next town and does it again. this saint barely ever sleeps. IN india i hear she spends days hugging thousands of people without any break. she pledged over 22 million to tsunami releaf. she builds hospitals and schools that give services for free. check her out on the web,, please. and see her if you can.

Putting aside the reliougeness of it, that is, she is a "saint" and "guru" and has a following, and putting aside any sort of mystical experince people have while in her presence, just imagine a 50 year old woman taveling around giving hugs to complete strangers. all day, all night, all year. is that not amazing!? The story about her origin is that she gave one girl a hug that really needed one, and another person said "hey, i want a hug too." and then a line formed. i must say that i felt very, very good after i got a hug from her. and watching her effect on others, well, it made me tear up, and know that the path of love is the spritual path, "my religion is kindness" and a true religiouse language is hugs, smiles, and kisses. this world is amazing.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Thoughts about art

My life on this planet is so brief. I am a visitor who found a messed up world, and I can feel the humanity (out there and in me) scared shitless of death, scared shitless of failure, of hunger, of torture, of rejection, of change, of loss. This humanity torments deep within like a fire, or like a darkness that never gets warm. I have an innermost condition that is literally screaming in terror, tormented by its loveless fate of annihilation, as well as its isolation that leaves it alone in a haunting swamp of disgusting mistrust and exploitation, its isolation alienated and alienating, and alone forever in a prison of mortal flesh and lust that will, in the end, die alone. I have a part of me that hates by the way this world looks (the industry, the war, the pain and misery, injustice, etc, etc) And yet, and yet, there is another part that is only amazed that any of this could be happening at all. It's all so amazing! To quote Kerouac: “this is the impossibility of the existence of anything.” Indeed!

(And when I inquire into my own self, into “who is doing the watching” into the source of my own thoughts and dreams and fears and attachments and desires...when I look for that looker that I am I am stunned and awed at that vast emptiness I find in all direction, behind me and within me, the luminous clearing through which this world I perceive springs forth. Sometimes I lay awake at night waiting for it all to dissolve away, for me to plunge into the deep, dark abyss, the void of sleep, which is my original state before any of this dream world flashed itself before my eyes and took my identity and attention away. I lay awake, breathing, and listening to the thunder roll though my head, and the rain begin to fall in my mind. I listen to the rain as I listen to my thoughts, my doubts, my fears, my dreams, my memories, and I have to confess that they all pass, they all pass through me, not staying even for a second, like a river or stream they pass.

When I think “how can I be useful” or how can I help others while I am in this brief incarnation, as well as “how can I keep a basic sanity while being thrown into such an unjust, insane world,” I stair at myself in the mirror, my drooping eyes, not me, but my mask, and yet, the person I see looks afraid, and yet… I find that the part of me that is sensitive to this world, this suffering I see everywhere, the suffering I see in the mirror, the part of me sensitive to that pain, my "soft spot", holds within its tender hands as a precious gift the answer: Compassion.
Compassion holds a space that resonates as sanity, as freedom, as care, as concern, as consciousness. Compassion is the key, or so it seems to me. I can generate more of this love, more of this care, within myself, and, if I succeed, I can leave this world with a little bit more compassion, a little bit more care, than there was when I found it.

Whenever I feel the doubt; or whenever I feel as if I am not doing enough to help, I can look into that place, that place where I care about all the suffering beings, and I can find my savior, my guide, my compassion.

Hopefully, I can then direct some of this into my actions, into my life situation. Right now I am a painter. I paint paintings that I hope others can feel comfortable around, can fall into, can take refuge in and rest. I paint pretty paintings. Is that good enough? Sometimes I wish I was like my dad, a doctor, where it is clear; someone needs help, I can help them. Easy. No question THAT is helping. Can I use my paintings to help people? To help heal like a doctor? Can I help people find rest, even if just for a moment? This world needs more rest. Needs more sanity. Can I share hope? Can I share peace with the use of my art? That is my wish. I feel it singing out from my heart. I want to help! But how can I? What is the best way?

Artists want to share what they know, and what they know is important, they think. Or maybe the artist wants to show the viewer what the viewer knows. Show them what it is that they posses and can use to help free themselves, or to help keep their own minds sane and secure. Maybe the artist wishes to show the viewer that this world is a shimmering reflection of energy and changing processes. Maybe the artist wants to show that fear and anger and hatred and love and passion indeed exists inside us all. Maybe, just maybe, artists are providing mirrors for us to look into and find not our individual selves staring back, but our highest positional, our highest Self, our divine nature or ground that exists behind our eyes, our connection to spirit just waiting to be discovered or remembered. (art is a mirror shining deep into the part of our psyche that intersects God/dess, or something.) I think art has proven to be used for all these things.

We could say that artists depict what they see as attractive. It might not always be beautiful, but it is always attractive, attractive because it is true. They see a world that they wish to translate into a visual language for an audience. Why? Possibly it's because the artists want to save the world. flat out. (I know I do.)

Did art come from the heavens, from aliens, or does it come from some unknown and unseen source that is the ground from which all thoughts and ideas spring forth? To me, art holds my mind, holds my attention, and I can, for a moment, feel something mysterious. I don’t know what, but when I leave a gallery or museums or studio, I feel recharged, filled with new ideas, and a new appreciation for this nature I continually find myself living in.

Maybe the purpose of art is to feed the Spirit, and not a Spirit like a mythic God, but the Human Spirit, the shared humanity within us all. Maybe it is to feed our sense of sanity? As Kandinsky put it, the purpose of art is to “proclaim the reign of Spirit…to proclaim light from light, the flowing light of the Godhead…” And this proclaiming art can be anything, really, because, as the mystics point out, the light of the godhead is present in all realms of the human experience, from a flower or landscape, to color fields and abstractions, to sculptures and painting of the human body, whatever. The content of the art makes no difference, as long as it points to the “reign of Spirit.” Or to quote Ken Wilber: “Art is the Beauty of Spirit as it expresses itself on each and every level of its own manifestation.” the landscape and lust of the earth.

It is known that art does indeed affect the viewer in ways they are not completley aware of. This includes very physical reactions to colors. For example, a juicy red might remind the viewer of a bloody accident and their body might tense up, or the softness of a blue might remind the body of swimming in the ocean, and the body might relax (or tighten up). To quote Kandinsky: “Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.” Music is the same. It enters directly into the deepest parts of the soul or psyche, feeding or massaging or rearranging the subtle energies there, which then correlate with physical responses such as tension or relaxation, anger or joy, contraction or release. And the body and mind carries the music or art forward into its life, for once the music or art enters the being, the being is changed forever. How romantic.

In art school we learn about how striving for creativity and uniqueness can produce art that is only understood by a few other artists or intellectuals, while the masses are left untouched and unmoved. This art usually also carries with it vanity, greed, pride, and and atmosphere of elitism that pollutes the mind and the world. It is taught that only when we relax into our own "uncontrived naturalness", our own intuition, that real creativity can spring forth, and it will be a creative impulse that is understood intuitively by everyone, uplifting each and all to a wider identity full of new hopes and dreams and potentials. Romantic?, yes.

I am going to write a lot about the process of making art and the strange impulse to create and how that effects me and viewers, and I hope that you reading this will respond and give me insight into how art (mine or anyone else’s) effects you. Please help me with this.

some thoughts about morals, the transpersonal, the importance of atheism, some problems, art, and change

On moral or conscious development, which is also the development of who or what we identify with and therefore who or what we can care for, researchers Carroll Gilligan and Ken Wilber found that men and women move through three main stages of moral development.

The stages of moral development are selfishness to care to universal care, also known as preconventional care, to conventional care, to postconventional care, or as Wilber calls it, egocentric, to sociocentric, to worldcentric. And it is this third stage of moral development, where the circle of care and concern extend out to include everyone in the world, that is the platform and gateway to all higher "spiritual" dimensions or potentials. I believe it is at this third level of moral development, this world-centric circle of care, where the individual’s identity runs into universal love, or global consciousness, which is also a deep, passionate identity marked with the basic humanity, or a shared feeling of being. It is our sore spot, or sensative, soft spot that hurts when it sees others in pain. At the world-centric level of moral development we can embrace the universal dimension that we all share, that identity deep within us that contains the pain and humanity and desire for happiness that is identical with each and every soul on this earth.

Individuals grow through these moral stages from infancy to adulthood. For example, a child will first just care about the mother (the mother is their entire environment) and then they will care about themselves, their food, their shelter. This is the egocentric, or the selfish level. Then, the child will begin to learn of and care for their family, then close friends, then the whole tribe, or race, or ethnic group, even if it includes strangers. This is the conventional care, or ethnocentric/sociocentric level of moral development. Only after those two levels are developed, the child can begin to care about everyone in the world, regardless of age, gender, race, class, or religion; this is the world-centric level or stage of moral development, and from this perspective, everyone is seen as the family. We can see only our brothers and sisters.

So, the evolution of morals involves an expanding circle of care and concern, or an expanding circle of identity. And the parodox is that this circle expands wider and wider as the depths of your own identity reach deeper and deeper. For example, when you only identify as a member of your family, you only care about your family. When you then identify as something deeper and more basic, like an America,or a member of a nation, then care for Americans emerges. If you go deeper, and find your basic human identity, then a care for all humans can arrive. Deeper still, you find that you are first and formost a mammal, or just a simple sentient being, and a care for all sentient beings without distinktion or descimination can begin to bloom. (Now it is almost impossible to kill another being if it isnt totally nessary.) Here you know by experince that all beings want to be happy and do not want to suffer. So the deeper you go, the wider you go. The deeper the embrace, the wider the embrace. Sounds parodoxical, but it makes sense, I think.

Finally, if we are lucky, the individual can find an identiy with matter, or earth, the mother, and we can confess that we all share this earth and are dependant on it for our lives. All of us breathe the same air, are sustained by the same soil, the same oceans, the same rivers, so the love for Life transforms into an environmental concern that brings tears. This is where the worldcentic level of moral development (or the worldcentic level of identity) actually includes the world herself, and not just all her inhabitants.

Of course, any environmentalist knows that they cannot force people to care about the earth (in the same way all vegans know they cannot force people to care about animal rights). It is not until people have developed a certain amount of depth and understanding about themselves that they will see just how important this environment is. And that, i am afraid, can only take time, so it seems.

The transpersonal
After the individual’s identity grows to embrace the humanity deep within that is shared with everyone, and thus, after the individual can actually love everyone equally, she begins to perceive glimpses of what are known as the “transpersonal” bands or dimensions of her being. Here she will discover that shared Self, the "Oversoul", which is the “Devine in me that is the Devine in you”, and it is this transpersonal light that is pure awareness and that shines consciousness onto and within everything equally. It is aware of your ego, or your personality in the same way it is aware of the room and your feelings and thoughts. It is the only self aware of anything, actually. It is very subtle, but there nonetheless, reading this sentence right now.
Also, this Light of Awareness, the transpersonal Self that we are exists outside of time, and can thus never be touched or changed (like the moon in the sky unchanged by the clouds passing by in front of it), and it can therefore never be harmed or imprisoned, it is already a free spaciousness through which all thoughts and experiences are appearing and passing. IN fact, if this aspect of your being were not already open, free, and clear, nothing would be able to be in it at all. No thoughts, no experiences, no sensations. It is the opening or clearing through which all these experiences come and go, and come and go, ceaselessly.

This transpersonal self, connected to all life, opens up to a place where we are not separate, and we can merge as love. We all fall in love, and this soft presence that opens up is a shared space of infinite freedom and infinite power. “God is Love” is meaningful here. Or Gandhi’s “God is Truth.” Or Bjork’s “All is full of Love.” All is full of God. There is nowhere God is not; Truth is Omnipresent, the immediate present moment, the one reality, the Alone. God, Truth, Love, or Life, Reality, and Beauty.

Our unrelenting thirst for peace, justice, freedom and love, is the fuel generating a wider love and clearer presence or sanity within, a sanity or presence that permeates out across as our shimmering new identity, our new potential or personality, our new protector, and it shimmers across the vast awareness that we ultimately and profoundly already are. Our nature, pure presence, pure love.

The importance of atheism
Atheism will always serve its necessary and honorable position of clearing out the mind. Meaning, atheism is the stage of development between the mythic mind and the rational mind, and thus, it should be honored and understood in that context. It clears away old views and faiths in order for new logic and understanding to blossom within the new mind, and from there, a light can begin grow and grow, a light of a true, altruistic compassion, a true faith, which had not been able to bloom before because of the previous obsession with a previous, self-centered view.
I have heard that in Judaism, for example, atheism isn’t just accepted, it is expected as a necessary stage of development. And almost always, after the young Jew renounces her previous faith, the emergence of a new, truer faith, based upon direct experience and analysis, begins, and the Jew eagerly returns to her roots.
Therefore, it is my belief that without atheism, or some sort of doubt and renunciation, growth is impossible, as well as any true faith. We all must die to our previous ideas in order to be reborn in a new, deeper understanding.

The core error in many spiritual movements is that they see suffering, or attachments, or life in this world as a problem and something that needs to be transcended. And this isn’t “transcend and include,” this is transcend and get rid of. Therefore, they don’t see that suffering is grace, that it can be used as a vehicle for compassion and freedom, and therefore by desiring to get rid of it they are only stuck in the cycle of suffering, desires, and dissatisfaction.

If you are running from suffering, then you are not free. If you want to transcend anything, you are not free. Freedom means not pushing anything away or turning anything off. Freedom is only acceptance, embrace. Radical embrace of everything. Be free to occupy as much of your being as you can. Be free to embrace all levels of understanding, all people and perspectives, simultaneously. Be free to suffer and feel pain and humanity. Suffering, after all, only deepens your compassion for the world. All suffering can really attack is your sense of separateness anyway.
If anything, it is only through fully suffering that you can clearly see that which suffers (and that which wants to transcend suffering) and you can see that part of you that has always already been transcended or free from the suffering (or the part of you that is looking AT the suffering).
You have always noticed, or been aware of, suffering, or problems, or thoughts. You have been seeing them, for you have been the Seer, always. A Seer always free from what is seen.

To me, artists, poets, speakers, and thinkers like you, illustrate possible perspectives, possible human capacities, social attitudes, theologies, experiences, and by demonstrating or illustrating or translating these worldviews, they actually change and transform the collective consciousness. People who see or hear new ideas are forced to not only accept them as new ideas (and thus new possibilities), but also find that they are now invited to explore, even take on, any new capacity mentioned or exhibited. Viewers can take the translation given by the artists to aid in the transformation of their own minds (a transformation toward a more embracing, more whole, more compassionate, more conscious, more responsible mode of living).

Fascination turns to fear

We are fascinated with that which changes. You know…a sunset, fall leaves, water, clouds. Change fascinates us endlessly. However, when the changing phenomenon is our body, or feelings, or emotions, or relationships, then our fascination turns to fear. Things change and our thoughts and feelings and relationships and ideas are things, and those thigns we often do not want to change. And our resistance to those things that change is just old mind patterns that we keep reliving over and over. And as soon as we break those patters, as soon as we look on all changing phenomena equally, then we are free. It just watches with equanimity all the changing phenomena. Sogyal Rinpoche suggests that we look at our changing emotions and thoughts as if we were a wise old person watching children play. It think that is a very powerful suggestion. Look at them as children, or waves, or clouds flowing across the sky. Sit back and relax watching the scenery of the movie of life pass by, and giggle at the predicaments and dramas and coincidences. And rest as the witness, abide as awareness, and feel all the textures and layers of life pass through the space that you are.

We all share this planet of ours, and this means that we are all connected in a very intimate way. Taking care of each other’s happiness only ensures that our own happiness will flourish. Generosity benefits everyone.

If you are sad today, chances are you are sad because you are, or were, feeling and acting selfishly. The remody to this sadness is to look at your sadness as the effect of a past action, to see it as your own suffering that you own and have created for yourself, and, by looking at it this way, it will immediatley move on and change into strength. It always works like this. We always emerge from sadness and suffering stronger.

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Right now i am in grass vally california, living in a house made of hay and clay, a timber frame, totally self sustainable, with a windmill, well, and solar panels, AND, the family, whoes parents are followers of yogananda and practice kriya yoga, and their four kids, two of which are addopted from india, are vegitarian, no tv in the house, (there is one is the yongest son's room), all seem very happy, their skin glows, did i mention they own dawn publications who puts out childrens books about the environment. and they talk about beauty and death and the meaning of life and the depth and textures in this dream we call our reality, are skeptical of paths leading to god, as if we were ever separated, etc, etc, and their home is complete with a garden/small farm, two cats, a cute doggy, and it is all perched on a mountain overlooking a raging river, humming insects and frogs and the windmill and the river rush us to sleep, we sleep in the barn, and open air garage also made of clay, shit this is peaceful shit, with beauty so radiant, so full, i wish to hurl myself to the ground in supplication and reverance and surrender, to the awsome beauty, the wild flowers and the wheat, so silent, and yet each proclaiming a thounderouse certainty too loud to ignore. i canont ignore this. This morning, sunday, i woke and sat with a bunch of other citizens in a meditation hall, in front of shrine with pictures and sculptures of jesus, mary, yogananda, babaji, buddha, avalokiteshvara, and more, singing about the spirit and love in us, om, peace, amen, i am he, i am she, blessed spirit, i am he, i am she, ...feeling the stillness and darkness from which all light springs, and knowing that love alone will heal all the pain we feel, and then we went to "ananda," the nearby spirtual community, to their sunday service, outside, by the lotus pond, the preachers, cloaked in white and yellow, talked about christ conciousness, and the citizens inside us that judus, mary, and jesus symbolize, how judas askes us to get back to the world, to our work, to our money, and mary asks us to come back to devotion, to surrender, to forgivenenss, and Jesus is the light in our forheads that guids us up the spiralling ladder that is our soul, etc, etc, afterward i walked around the pond, oh i wish to hug the ground, the radiance, the land, and as i do, hear her whisper faintly in my ears "you are hugging your self. dont you know? this is your body, your heart you hug. your eyes are my eyes. your body, my body. so dance and sing on the surface of my face, feel the love, and peace and grace." the earth will call to me like the moon on a crystal clear night, and i will follow her song. follow her song deeper than the earth, deeper than my feelings, than my thoughts, deeper than my thoughts, i find my heart. deeper than the earth, a shimmering radiance pours out from my heart, and i fill up with a love and reverance for this preciouse opportunity---to be alive on earth, to walk on this rock, this being, to be alive in this body, skinny, queer, and full of creativity, feeling, sadness, happiness, to be in this body to witness it all unfold, heaven and earth, from the stillness, from the darkness, comes the light. the Light. and this Light shines through me onto this land, so i can see it shimmer in the afternoon sun. and this Light shines though me onto my body, so i can feel it suffer and love and ache and get high, and is shines through my mind onto my thoughts so I can get lost in my drama again and again. This Light, This Awareness, the unformed conciousness, pure subjectivity, the pure Self that sees but can never be seen, the Witness that is the mirror-mind of all space and time, the radiant Emptiness that is the transparancey of the entire allness that is my universe, the Nature of all natures, the Condition of all conditions, so many names and discriptions for the spaciouse Presence of Awarenss that i am, The Source, the Suchness, the Spirit, the Self, the Heart, the Light, flowing within all things, dwells inside as my own formless essence, my own one allness, my own birthless deathlessness, my own buddhamind, my simple feeling of being, blablah blah geeko.
well, um, ok, now that that is said, i hope you are having fun to. next time you go for a walk or bikeride, look out at the colorful disply projected around you, or in you, or you, and think of your death.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Some Buddhist Wisdom

Buddhist Wisdom

“A human being is part of a whole, called by us the “Universe,” a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated form the rest---a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves form this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Albert Einstein

“A wave in the sea, seen one way, seems to have a distinct identity, an end and a beginning, a birth and a death. Seen in another way, the wave itself doesn’t really exist but is just the behavior of water, “empty” any separate identity but “full” of water. So when you really think about a wave you come to realize that it is something that has been made temporarily possible by wind and water, and is dependent on a set of constantly changing circumstances. You also realize that every wave is related to every other wave.”
Sogyal Rinpoche

This is not only a profound way to contemplate our own lives and deaths, but also to understand the empty nature of all of our thoughts. A thought is really just the movement of the mind, and every thought is connected with every other thought. Also, there are physical correlates as well as linguistic/cultural/environmental backgrounds that support and make our thoughts possible. Put in another way, the whole universe is actually thinking about itself through you. You have no free thoughts at all, for thoughts are interrelated with every other changing phenomenon in the universe. And there is no separate “you” to have a thought to begin with. You are also a wave appearing briefly on the surface of the ocean, a wave seamlessly connected with every other wave, and made of the exact same wetness as every other wave.
Which makes me think of the idea of no-self. Early Buddhism has as one of its central teaching the idea of no-self, or “anatman” in Sanskrit. The mental stream is said to be composed of five aggregates or “skandhas,” none of which is or has a self or independent existence of its own, but together the aggregates give rise to the illusion of a separate, grasping, desiring self. A careful investigation or analysis of this self or mind stream, which is done in the beginning stages of meditation, reveals that the skandahs do not constitute a real or enduring self, but are instead transient elements of experience. The self is then seen to be a sensation that comes and goes like every other sensation in awareness. This is a very liberating discovery because it is a momentary release from the pain, or suffering (dukha) of defending an entity that isn’t even there.
The realization of no-self then gives rise to the discovery of the Great Self, or maha-atman, which is the only enduring presence that remains constant. So, while the skandhas and the self they seemed to construct are indeed “empty” of inherent existence, the become ”full” of Presence, or the Clear Light of Pure Being or Emptiness that is the Ultimate Identity, or True nature of the mind, as well as the true nature of everything; the wetness of all the waves.
Moreover, about the moment of death, Sogyal Rinpoche says “Stripped of a physical body, the mind stands naked, revealed startlingly for what it has always been: the architect of our reality.”
Chagdud Tulku Rinpoche writes “From the day we are born until the day we die, our life experience is an ever-changing relative truth that we hold to be very real. It is not, however, absolutely real or permanent. This is very important to understand. When you wake up from you dream of life, all of your experiences which seemed true were not really true in the absolute sense.
“The criterion we can use for understanding truth is permanence. If something is permanent, it is true. If it is impermanent, it is not true, because it is going to disappear. To wake us up so we can see the illusory quality of our relative reality and understand our fundamental absolute nature is the goal of Buddha Dharma. A completely awakened state is enlightenment, the unwavering recognition of the absolute nature of our being. Absolute nature pervades everything and is separate from nothing, but we have gone so far into mind’s dualistic delusion, that we have lost sight of what is absolute. Seeing separateness where there is none, we suffer in our experience of relative truth, quenched only by the unchanging, deathless absolute, the unchanging bliss of enlightenment.

And finally, Namkai Norbu Rinpoche: “There is a great deal of difference between a sensation of pleasure and one of voidness, but the inherent nature of both the two experiences is one and the same. When we are in a state of voidness [or no thoughts] there is a presence that continues all the time, a presence which is just the same in an experience of pleasurable sensation. This Presence is unique and beyond the mind. It is a non-dual state which is the basis of all the infinite forms of manifestation.
“All that appears to us as a dimension of objects “out there” is not, in fact, really something concrete at all, but is an aspect of our own primordial state appearing to us. Different experiences can arise for us, but the presence never changes.”

Thursday, June 09, 2005

red rocks

We just passed the "vally of the gods" utah, the sun is gone, and we are surrounded by dark purple beings standing over us like gods, so it seems, on our way to the "vally of the goblins." i remember the daylight; pink earth adorned with mintgreen bushes, red rock monuments, gray, black, cream, purple, blue hills and mountains taking my eyes back to the sky, where black birds soar and tumble, across the celestrial stage, earth, the land, i feel small. I saw the grand canyon today. it took my breath and my eyes away, i imagined leaping into it like a bird.
Both my travel mates eat meat, so i am constantly watching my mind get defensive and rightuouse, prideful and pregnant with arguments for care, deturmoned to proove they are wrong, dishing out guilt and expecting them to take it, how absurd, i still am. The three of us get trapped again and agian in philisophical debates-what is suffering? is it useful? should we elleviate it? what is arrogance? trancendence? spirit? can god be any thing? (can it be entered or united)? is there a path? is there time? who am I? relative and ultimate truths that are identicle, nonesense, chewing gum for our minds, and mouths, we finally decide, thank god. the clouds and mountains wait patiently for us to shut up and return. to be with the land, in the car, with our bodies (because that is where we are). it is funny that as we become enchanted with the colors and shapes of the land our mouths stop flapping; the silence shows we are here and lost in the land, or taht we are finally found in a mindfullness within which no arguments or philisophy can survive. lost in the dream, becasue is it a good fuching dream, full of sunsets and stars, mountains changing so slowly time aches.
sunsets, stars, planets, people, dust, and blues on the radio--alone on the road in the middle of nowhere, darkness lies beyond our carlights, a glowing dome of sky sits above and inside: a mindscape, a landscape of consiousness, a slight headache and hunger, a sadness, a longing for friends and my mother, my mother, my mommy, so beautiful, and sad, her sorrow and sadness also sits with me on the road. Sadness for my leave, my leap to the road, and to Japan, and i remind her and myself that it will not last, nothing does, accept for a Love inside that connects us, surrounds us, and stands way, way outside of time. the love in us that softly merges into a space where we are not seperate but are one. Now i will nap and wait for the goblins. i miss my sisters too.

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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