For my first posting, this year, I thought I would look at some new – perhaps different – implications of New Year.
This is a time for making resolutions,; we didn’t get it quite right last year – or the year before, as it happens, or, on reflection, the year before that! Lets get a grip on this thing; this year I am going to be positive, get it right, generally be better and kinder and bingo, all will be merry and bright.
The words and thoughts vary but the scenario is something like that, no? The depressing thing, looking ahead, is that we know we are going to be reciting the same script next year. Or, at least part of the brain does – the honest part.
Is it possible that the problem is that we think we are going somewhere? Can we look at this problem and open it up a little…perhaps the solution lies not in how we will be but rather, in how we are and where we are, now. Patently in the script above, we are not here; we are wherever we are going to be, doing whatever we will be doing.
Unfortunately, wherever we are, that doing, whatever we are doing then, will, at that moment be now and we are still GOING to do it. Does that make sense to you? It does to me; it is how I am most of the time.
I haven’t given up yet, however. A thought comes to me that maybe what I do is just a habit and that not a reflection of who I am but simply, what I do, a pattern. Perhaps I have turned all my habits into a composite that I regard as me. If there were no habits, no retained constructs, who would I be then?
Whatever that was, that me, would certainly be present as there would be no constructs of the past or future to identify with. There would only be whatever awareness is arising right now and I would be it.
Some might find the concept frightening but here I have to interject a suggestion that the someone who finds it frightening is a construct of past and future attachments, not the change that is constantly taking place in all manifestations of what I call Intelligence.
There is massive freedom in being pro-active. Re-activity is a bondage.
The real I is the present arising, just that. And because present, able to be pro-active to and in joint practice with, the present arising. As an aside, this can include planning for the future, whether it turns out to be effective planning or not, as opposed to planning for the future and living in and for the future.
I speak for myself when I say that we cannot hang on to this potency of presence. For most of us, it comes and goes; that is to say, the being present fluctuates. It is what is, sometimes, in my experience and I say this after many decades of never being present and ONLY being re-active.
Those moments of full presence are what I call rebirth. The Buddha said, “Oh, Bhikshu, every moment you are born, decay, and die.” He meant that, every moment, the illusion of “me” renews itself. Not only is nothing carried over from one life to the next; nothing is carried over from one moment to the next.
I do not know who thought of re-incarnation, it was not the Buddha, although he would have been well aware of the concept, prevalent in the society in which he was brought up. The Buddha taught that our delusional belief in “me” causes our many dissatisfactions with life (dukkha). When the illusion is experienced as illusion, we are liberated.
There is no enduring stasis, no enduring thing, to reincarnate but there is constant rebirth from delusion into the present. Form may change, the present is there to whatever form wakes up to it.
There is no path or road to here, it already is; the enlightenment is to wake up to that, not to go somewhere else.
I don’t know whether these thoughts are useful to anyone other than the practitioner of Buddhism, I only know that these little awakenings are precisely what enable me, from time to time, to put aside my nervousness and fear of not being good enough, or not knowing the answer, to relax and just listen to what comes out from somewhere, via my voice and state it as Truth. Truth as my now digested life experience, that is to say the state of being present, takes it to be.
2012 is a great year to wake up. There never has been and never will be a better one. Lets do it.
I love you all,