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All experiences, both high spiritual experiences and mundane experiences, are
expressions of what you are. There quite literally is not another place you need to go,
because every place, every experience, is already 100 percent what you are.
I'm at a day-long
meditation retreat, eight hours of watching
my mind with my mind,
and I already fell asleep twice and nearly fell out of my chair,
and it's not even noon yet.
In the morning session, I
learned to count my thoughts, ten in
one minute, and the longest
was to leave and go to San Anselmo and shop, then find an outdoor cafe and order a glass
of Sancerre, smoked trout
with roasted potatoes and baby
carrots and a bowl of gazpacho.
But I stayed and learned to name my thoughts, so far they are:
wanting, wanting, wanting,
wanting, wanting, wanting, judgment,
sadness. Don't identify with your
thoughts, the teacher says, you are not your personality, not your
then he bangs the gong
for lunch. Whoever, whatever I am is
in the walking meditation and the eating meditation and walks
outside with the other
meditators, and we wobble across the lake like The Night of the
I meditate slowly, falling over a few times because I kept my
foot in the air too long,
towards a bench, sit
slowly down, and slowly eat my sandwich,
noticing the bread,
(sourdough), noticing the taste, (tuna, sourdough), noticing
the smell, (sourdough, tuna),
thanking the sourdough,
the tuna, the ocean, the boat, the
fisherman, the field, the grain,
the farmer, the Saran Wrap that kept this food fresh for this
body made of food and desire
and the hope of getting
through the rest of this day without
dying of boredom.
Sun then cloud then sun. I notice a maple leaf on my sandwich.
It seems awfully large.
Slowly brushing it away,
I feel so sad I can hardly stand it, so I
name my thoughts; they are:
sadness about my mother, judgment about my father, wanting
the child I never had.
I notice I've been
chasing the same thoughts like dogs around
the same park most of my life,
notice the leaf tumbling gold to the grass. The gong sounds,
and back in the hall.
I decide to try lying
down meditation, and let myself sleep. The
Buddha in my dream is me,
surrounded by dogs wagging their tails, licking my hands.
I wake up
for the forgiveness
meditation, the teacher saying, never put
anyone out of your heart,
and the heart opens and knows it won't last and will have to
open again and again,
chasing those dogs around
and around in the sun then cloud
~ Susan Browne ~
Web version: www.panhala.net/Archive/Buddhas_Dogs.html
It's funny how many
spiritual pointers can be found in the tales and stories from our
childhood. I was thinking about Pinocchio today in reference to writing about the
body/mind being a kind of puppet.
Pinocchio is a perfect
allegory of enlightenment. The puppet, Pinocchio, is created out
of the earnestness and selfless love of Geppetto. What a great allegorical depiction
of creation. Geppetto prays for love, and it is fulfilled in the form of a life.
And Pinocchio himself, as
all who are created from love must, has to find the balance
of "supposed " free will and following his heart.
Pinocchio is a puppet who
wants to be a real boy. This is an ideal picture of the
"seeker ". Everything moves well, life is ok. School or work are ok. But there's this
nagging feeling of superficiality, like playing a part, being a kind of a "puppet", and
longing to be "real ". And what is it that makes Pinocchio, and us for that matter
"real " ? Unconditional Love.
Pinocchio learns that
"self " indulgence leads, quite literally, to making an
yourself. Sacrifice, as in the rescue of Geppetto, brought about the "real " that
The lesson here is clear.
Life is "created " from Love. And, even though a
the "puppet " still has the "choice " as to "who's " "puppet " it is going to be. It can
mistakenly view itself as a separate "got no strings " ego, me, I. But then it is a
puppet only to itself, without even being "aware " of it. The mind sees itself as in
control, the puppet now being "in charge" of the puppet. This of course, is ridicules.
Unlike with Pinocchio, in
a sense, there is no getting away from being a "puppet
body/mind is a puppet; a thing that is "born " and "dies ". It is the creation of Love;
the residue of the movement of unfolding potential. The "change " we all seek; this
becoming "real ", as it were, is the "handing over " of the "strings " to the heart. It's
as simple as that.
There is no need to beat
down the mind, or subdue the body. All that need be done is
to exchange the mind as a "puppet master " who calls and choreographs, and "makes "
the puppet dance, for the heart. The heart is a "puppet master " who lays out
potential like the well placed props on a dance floor. In it's hands the dancing puppet
is free to become the "real boy " it has aleays been.
Call it destiny, or call
it potential, we are puppets. These bodies, these minds are but
expressions of the unfolding universe.. We can live out our lives letting the puppet
imagine that it is operating itself, or we can completely surrender, and let the
creator of the puppet fulfill it's "purpose " in the unfolding. Then we can all be
"Real Boys and Girls"
by Bill Lindley on Facebook Notes
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