Category Archives: Buddhism

In the End It Is the Same.

 _MG_1953Hil_new year's 2011_cropped_websize

Morning meditation and a minute in when you whisper:

 

Let go of being right, let go of being wrong.

The unsolicited lesson is plain as the bare daylight that’s new by the calendar but not new yet for me.

Being right is an endless defense.

Being wrong is guilty or stupid.

 

I didn’t realize that took up so much room until

A knot in my belly I hadn’t noticed before abated with those words and

I realized I’d been tossing other people’s problems for them lately but forgot to let them go.

 

Isn’t there always something to be right or wrong about?

Life is a continuous wheel of riddles.

Opinions of right and wrong are essential in knowing how to proceed but

If right thought creates right action the gloating might choke you.

If confused thought creates wrong action the guilt might kill you.

 

If I am right without desire to defend that, if I am wrong but carry no shame

I cease to be a storage unit.

And then it’s largely opinion anyway.

 

Let go of being right. Let go of being wrong.

Who said that? I don’t have a face for the messenger in my head.

Overstuffed from a feast of yesterdays, this body is instantly and unexpectedly swept bare.

Conversations past and battles gone by, go by now.

 

And today you whispered; despite and because.

Two sides of the same coin have the same worth and pay the same bill.

Whether heads up or heads down may seem to make a difference,

In the end it is the same.

 

No memory comes but I am aware of itching angry gnats under my shoulders.

I pour imaginary water over them and sense them sink and disperse.

What difference is it what flame beneath the skin pushes us forward?

Positive or negative may be mute where reaction to either compels us to choose the same path.

In the end it’s the same.

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Filed under Buddhism, meditation, new age enlightenment, poetry, social commentary, Uncategorized, yoga, yoga wisdom

The Storm Descends and There is Only This.

 

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Downloading lessons I once knew but forgot and will forget again is time taken that might be spent howling at the moon.

 And howling would feel better and righter and holier than those efforts that disconnect me from my own downloads forgotten in the dust of bins unused and forgotten. ~Hilary

_MG_1953Hil_new year's 2011_cropped_websize

Unseasonably warm under an almost sunny sky I shun my winter coat and scarf and head down the lake road to the woods that I hope will be empty of visitors today. I am not disappointed and choose the long lingering South Cove trail.

Approaching the highest and farthest point of the forest, black clouds surprisingly storm the sun on a furious gust of wind. An upward gaze at the fast moving masses tells me I’m in for it but I press on undeterred by fury’s company.

The storm is upon me.  Rain makes no entrance but descends with unnatural gravity. I’m dodging furiously flung branches and bracken by trees trained for turbulence; arching and flexing madly to stay upright. This is no breeze but a gale force wind and I am far from shelter, a lone lately delicate human without a phone.  I’m in danger and turn ready for a battle home. Lightening scorches the suddenly pitch sky and thunder’s beating hooves pave my way as I hurl myself up and down the winding path taking my chances with woods as there is no shelter by the lake and though the trees have no thought for this rootless companion, I feel secure on their turf.

Weightless, I’ve left gravity’s heavy domain. Feet that struggle to stay the course on solid earth lift me effortlessly as I navigate twisting hills and valleys, heedless of roots and rocks that trip one up on the most cautious of hikes. I watch myself from outside this self, aware that this galloping wingless flight is not possible. I am nature’s simple creature nimble as the deer scattering up the hill to my right, ears back and eyes narrowed against steely rain.

Not breathless or tired or fearful of falling, I’m sharply aware that the hip that at times cannot even stand a step has been reborn. I don’t falter though the earth has turned to rivers of mud and I do not slip on these shiny rocks or down these ravines and I watch myself do the impossible pressing forward at top speed urged on by the screaming mayhem.

I hit the lake road just as the wind releases its final weapon; hail. I have to make it through the unprotected path between the lake and lagoon. The white caps on the lake threaten the banks and I am strangely curious whether my ankle that cannot run more than a dozen steps on paved surface without seizing will carry me on. I have no choice but to hurl full speed against the wind, hugging the left bank against a wind so strong it threatens to toss me into the snapping turtle lagoon. I beg my legs to hug the road and lean into the wind getting farther than I’d thought before my ankle gives way.

Not self conscious, not unconscious but I am one consciousness while the mind hovers idly by and wonders; is this adrenaline? What a marvelous drug.  No. Adrenaline has carried this body, this mind, this matter through impossible odds and this is not adrenaline alone.

This is the taste of truth, the glimpse of immortality of energy manifest as divine and not separate from but one. I know. I have been here before; a reckless and trusting member of that which makes and moves everything, I’ve been taking my chances, playing the odds in untamed circumstances since I was a kid on a bicycle.

 

Some things you just trust from the beginning.

Home and I realize my hair is tangled with ice and my clothes and shoes can hold no more moisture and what’s this familiar thing still clinging to my face? It’s a shit eating grin.

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Filed under Buddhism, meditation, nature, new age enlightenment, poetry, Uncategorized, yoga, yoga wisdom

The Life Before Us Is Disappearing

Photo courtesy of Lin Tun – Buddhist Temple

Where Is the Forest?
It Just Looks Like Trees.

Slung over this desk,
phone on shoulder and hands on keys
in the fourth waking hour of a day
marked by earth shrieking heat,
I’m Shiva the destroyer,
an octopus of intentions and limbs.

The time thief plied me with good coffee
and a careless hour of early morning comfort
then stole the rest from me.

What you engage, you will become:
A web.
Flimsy, unsubstantial,
covered in dust for the sitting too long,
you are a trap for thoughts
you can’t digest.

Scanning the web;
watch out for the links.
No way am I going down that foxhole.
That’s how daylight is lost.
Open no link until the reading’s done
or disappear on Riding Hood’s scavenger hunt
bewildered in the woods
forgetting where you started,
wandering exhausted and hungry.

Don’t kid yourself.
You can only do one thing well at a time.
You won’t remember what you were reading
before the first link is done.

Words, so many lovely words
shove their way onto this tiny screen;
I anxiously scan them for the sake of time.
But my head turns just slightly north
to the horizon beyond this window
and at once there is no rush
or refusing the invitation
for wordless thoughts.

Here time is not clipped
but expansive as the horizon
till I turn back
and all is compression.

And what are we talking about?
It seems there are two topics.

One: We are fucked and this is why.
Two: We are perfect
and life is beautiful
and this is why
and this is how.

Guess I know which this one is.

Link it, like it,
share it, pin it,
tweet it, stumble upon it,
tumble over it and sell it;
especially sell it.

And what changes while we’re talking,
I wonder.
Perhaps time will tell.
That’s what we people say
when we don’t know.

Perhaps the leadership of this planet,
that behemoth global constipation of intransigence
will shift as a result and meanwhile……..
Busy so busy. What a joke.
How’ve you been?
Oh man, I’ve been so busy!
Oh really?

Task: Another name for burden.
We are multi-burdening.
Buried in burdens
multiplied by complicity,
we do more than we want to
and agree to do all halfway well.

We have made a new agreement.
If we are to succeed
it will be in partnership here.
That partnership does not rest
to wake at dawn
but never stops.

Who is leading this dance?
What consciousness created this?

Awash in this confounding confusion
of metal and plastic bits
that I can’t touch
and that I can’t really know
despite all its offering,
Has allowed access
to souls I have touched
or been touched by
and how much I have learned
even if most is forgotten!

This world is open wide
and I might be wise to stay the course.
But the life before me
is disappearing.

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Filed under Buddhism, new age enlightenment, Uncategorized, yoga

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo

Thirty some years ago I began a life in Manhattan.  I don’t remember how we were friendly or even why but a couple of folks dragged me to a mysterious meeting. They said it was a cool group of people who got together to create prosperity or something vaguely like that and suddenly I was shoeless in a spacious, barely furnished living room sitting in a huge circle of undernourished looking folks who reminded me of the Macrobiotic crowd from my old Aspen days.

I went just once and I don’t think I continued that friendship as I have no memory of the faces or names of the people who brought me but the bulk of the evening centered on an unforeseen event which was the seemingly ceaseless chanting of “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo”. The reason for chanting was money. You could chant in cash. It was a sure thing. There was proof. They said so.

It was my first encounter with what looked to be Buddhism. It didn’t seem too appealing. I can’t pretend I remember any details but I’ll take writer’s license to say that I thought it was a real turd fest.

I had forgotten about that until I read this piece in the New York Times about the Buddhist folks who decided to retreat to huts that looked like crypts and tombs including a couple of them who appeared to have lost their minds and died.

Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, it turned out, is not a chant for money but roughly translates as a call to devotion from the Nichiren Daishonin Buddhist sect in hopes of attaining happiness and fulfillment. I am no Buddhist scholar so forgive me if this is not accurate or complete. I guess the folks running that group years ago narrowed the meaning of the chant for their own purposes; probably because they needed money and they believed it worked. I don’t think that sounds reasonable but someone reading this does and you may or may not be right.

It seems there may have been some tweaking of the chassis of reality within this recent Buddhist group and I don’t find it surprising. They were free.  They made a choice. Perhaps they narrowed the field to accommodate the vision or desires of the group. It’s nothing new that people stretch or mold what the larger population calls the truth to make all the pieces of their own puzzles fit.

Is it cliché to talk about the surprise of someone who was “such a nice boy, such a sweet girl, from such a good family” going wrong? Sometimes there is no apparent reason; no abuse, no poverty, no divorce, no chemical imbalance or disease, no obvious thing that would point to a person’s reactions. I think reactions before behavior because isn’t our behavior usually a reaction to something even if it’s not something immediate?  What that is may be a result of something we can’t fathom. That’s the crap shoot of humanity. You just don’t know.

      Where did that come from!

     But I raised both of them the exact same way and ….

Any kid on the playground has seen what happens when one kid becomes a self proclaimed leader and a break out group follows. But what they see is in the eye of the beholder and there it is.

Now people have joined another cult of their own free will as they have before and will again and things have unsurprisingly gone wrong. Get rid of the cult and you eliminate the symptom of human confusion but not the cause so that cause may just slip in the back door to stir up something else, somewhere else.

If we had genetic markers for harmful behaviors like we do for diseases, we might prevent behavior from surfacing as symptoms. The symptoms are many but they all beg the same question; why and how can we prevent them.   There is a common genetic marker for humanity that says there is a pre-existing condition for confusion.  We keep coming up with methods of sobriety and reasonableness to prevent us from doing harm to ourselves and others.  They are not infallible. And there is a choice not to use any of them. And there is chance that they will be reinterpreted. There is Yoga is among them.

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Filed under Buddhism, cultism, new age enlightenment, Uncategorized, yoga