Enough is Enough

When is Humanity Going to Get That We’re All in This Together?

Archive for July, 2010

Villanelle for a Shot of Jameson

Posted by majutsu on July 28, 2010

A shot of whiskey joins ice and warmth
and does not question rocky errant paths
like humans who forget the final step

is but the last and counts as one of all,
the final sum of but forgotten math
a shot of whiskey joins. Ice and warmth,

and pleasure and pain do bind together all,
protect the self with swings of lust and wrath
like humans who forget. The final step

we take to realize we are very small,
a nothing, salt dissolving in a bath.
A shot of whiskey joins ice and warmth

and does not hide in casks or shirk it’s call
to rest in tapestries of days, a single lath,
like humans who forget the final step

arrives, and wanders-past aren’t tragic falls,
just narratives to unknown aftermaths.
A shot of whiskey joins ice and warmth
like humans who forget the final step.

Advertisements

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Box

Posted by majutsu on July 27, 2010

My wife, who’s a writer, often tells me it’s good for the soul to write. My protestations of lack of craft and sufficient free-time she over-rides by saying that making a sonnet is like making a little toy of words. I love little toys, trinkets, pieces of art, etc as they tend to re-awaken the child-like joy that is the state we aspire to when we seek to find the root one-ness of all, that state of what the Shiva Sutra calls “joy-filled amazement”.

So here’s my naive sonnet filled with fixed formal ideas about stanza purpose, force iambs, and anachronistic contractions: Enjoy! 😉

The Lacquer Box

An antique shop I passed on route to school
had on display a painted lacquer box.
Desiring leafy lacework ‘til I drooled,
I saved to buy the key. My piece, unlocked!

Between my hands, alive, wood resonates,
Enamel tendrils snake ‘round fingertips.
The tiny key’s intelligence innate
pries tumbler pins with clicking, kissing lips.

Once opened, red velour lined coffin walls
entombed a tiny, dazzling, crystal man
with probing sapphire eyes and chiseled jaws
the craftsman’s sacred message held ‘tween his hands.

The secret hid in carvings, secured by locks?
One chip of wood, a simple uncarved block

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Illusion of the Self

Posted by majutsu on July 21, 2010

The Illusion of the Self

We humans suffer from a serious mental illness which results in terrible crimes against others and the earth. Instead of correctly seeing ourselves as nothing other than the one, formless source of all life, consciousness and being, we identify ourselves with our personal narrative sustained by the running commentary in our heads.

Imagine, as a metaphor, that our thoughts – our past, our relationships, our likes and dislikes, our concepts about the world and its objects – are marbles. Imagine a big bowl filled with these diverse, multi-colored and enchanting marbles. Now, imagine ourselves as obsessive marble collectors, that we have insanely mis-identified our true nature as this collection of marbles. In that case, like an obsessive marble collector, we will perpetually be seeking to add another prize specimen to our collection to “complete” it, or, alternatively, be petrified of losing one of the precious marbles in our prize collection. In this way, we, like the obsessive marble collector, by mis-identifying with our collection of thought-forms, will vacillate between excitement to add another marble (another possession, experience, relationship or achievement) to our collection and fear of losing what we have in the unknown future. Because this chronic unhappiness, this emotional roller-coaster, is the necessary outcome of our mis-identification with the mind, our individual existence and its thought-forms, this unhappiness can never end, despite our stringent, but ultimately irrelevant, attempts to either augment or secure our identity.

As another metaphor, imagine a very skilled metal-smith has fashioned a water fountain, the top of which has an intricate network of twisting conduit-pipes and outlets, fashioned so that water coming from the bottom emerges as transient water-sculptures of birds, angels, people, landscapes, etc., in a dizzying show. In this case, our thought forms are the pipes, the conditioning of our culture, gender, race, and past. This conditioning turns the raw power of formless consciousness, the water in the fountain, into the transient, individual consciousness we experience, the show at the top. This is why we only perceive this cosmic consciousness as the transient dance of forms we call our individual life, and this is why it is so easy to mis-identify with the transient, individual self. This is also how it is that cosmic consciousness becomes imprisoned in our individual self. But it is the feeding of the cosmic consciousness that gives us life and is the source for any new idea we have, impulse to act, or creative endeavor. However, because of the conditioning of thought-forms, our creativity and cosmic consciousness become enslaved to supply the freewill to the actions we create to chase after future objects or achievements, or to run away from fears we may imagine. But as soon as one of the watery doves or other transient thought forms we experience disappears, we see the cosmic consciousness once again fall to reality and return to the source, much like the water from the top of the fountain falls back down and soaks into the earth and eventually back to the sea.

By learning to cease identifying with our individual selves and its thought-forms, we may experience the source of cosmic consciousness. We may be spared the agony of recurrent cycles of excitement and fear that ultimately make us miserable.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Notes from the zafu

Posted by majutsu on July 8, 2010

I recently acquired a zafu while buying one for my wife. I haven’t sat in about fifteen years. When I did sit, without the purifying that suffering over time provides, I’m afraid I was better at observing the trappings of Buddhism: sitting, dietary rules, and a book collection, as opposed to being anywhere close to an understanding of the profound change required in terms of the way one interacts with the world in order to have accepted the teaching of the Buddhist path. Of course, over time, one loses many things: people, money, objects, and opportunities, and this enables you to accept reality in its ups and downs versus building an elaborate fantasy world in the head to rage against the world-as-it-is on a stage built to your design. This unadorned awareness is the beginning of sitting and practice.
While I no longer think of myself as a Buddhist, and find Shaivism and Christianity interesting as well, meditation draws to mind, for many people, Buddhist teachings. Buddhism encourages de-attachment from the ego-centered world. Certainly, the source of much suffering in this world is people wanting many things when they really need nothing. Not only are “small-scale” sufferings like depression and anxiety caused by this wanting, but many large-scale sufferings like war, poverty and environmental damage to an extent incompatible with sustaining human life. But chasing down whiffs of ego and snuffing them out can be tiring and unproductive as I know from experience.
I prefer to focus on “the now” because it’s one of the few English word/concepts that is by itself formless and inconceivable. Grasping now is like trying to stop a river. There is no hunger right now, no poverty, no family, no possessions. If, for example, you were sad about not having friends, you could realize that if you had them or not, you could hardly make use of them right there at that moment on that zafu. If your partner is dying this week, s/he is not dying right then at the second on that zafu, and you don’t even have a partner at that instant on that zafu. You can’t lose your job at that second on that zafu. At that second, there is no oil spill, no political corruption, no environmental damage. All these concepts are contingent upon the passage of time. This practice negates the illusions of ego while performing a positive activity, being intensely aware of this very moment. In this precise moment, rather easily, a very peaceful, beautiful nothing is experienced – what I suppose many would call experiencing God. It is very easy to expand this awareness into compassion for every human being you meet. It is very easy to expand this awareness into an experience of the Earth as a cohesive whole that we should respect, love and enjoy.
I hope my thoughts and tips on sitting may be helpful to others. I know Eckhart Tolle and the Shiva sutras have been helpful to me. I hope I have communicated my internalization of some teachings well. Please share any thoughts or tips on sitting.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »