Passing Moments (written 2013)

23/12/2015 08:46

Watching how experience flows and shifts. These are moments passing:

 

Equanimity. Companion to contentment. So interwoven are these two that the distinction is artificial almost, like sifting blue and yellow out of green: you know both are there when you gaze on the fresh green of the woods on a sunfilled morning, but it's all just brilliant and green to the eye. So, despite life's ups and downs, green is stable for me right now.

* * *

I've been ill. Emptiness this morning following an odd sit. Peaceful. And then plunging into sad regretful memory of bad parenting moments when the boys were young. Loss of patience. Reactivity. Wishing I'd had this calm, this equanimity then. Ah, yearning. The root cause of suffering. So that now, nearly 20 years later, a memory causes pain, pricks tears in my eyes and a turning in my heart. The self. This is the subject of Dhamma study I do the last while. The no-position-taken view of the Buddha. No doctrines of existence or non-existence. Only this. Just this. So the self I create as a solid thing from this memory, in this moment, is a phantom only. An idea. A fleeting thought. How I have to work not to board the train that carries it into a long winding story. To stay here at this juncture, this breath and only note the face in the window, a blur as it whistles by. No nightmare ride then. I have enough presence not to go there. But a dark moment. A shadow. Grief in the window as it passes.

* * *

A mood like shifting sands this morning, lingering from the weekend. Not a roller coaster of ups and downs but a sense of unease, not quite sure of my footing. I want to delve and dig and try to figure it out but resist more than a surface dusting. No good reasons. A terrific storm Friday night with torrential rains beating up my coddled flower pots and washing areas of gravel into runnels in the driveway and piles in our “creek bed” laid beside the drive. The constant cloud movement is like a movie scene in fast forward time lapse and it gives rise to a sense of vertigo, human insignificance on this ball floating in space.

* * *

On the weekend a bout of world weariness and blues haunted me. The news full of all the problems of the world. The blundering of humans still pursuing ideas and territory as keys to happiness. But Monday morning a peaceful, clear and deep sit. Looking at my own anxiety. How I still hold to some deluded view that the world can be different. It is as it is. Through time human beings make these choices unable to see how their own views and desires are the roots of their pain. And in seeing my own confusion I feel my heart open and the aching drain and just a tenderness remain. The day goes on and I am balanced again. Seeing but from a place of loving mindfulness. So different from letting myself fall weeping into the mud we've churned.

* * *

I lose it with our pup this morning when he scampers across the rug with muddy feet. Shouting at him and sending him to his kennel. Then I am quiet and stunned. There is such a fine line between repressing “bad” emotions and the more skillful holding and non-reacting to emotions that arise. So through the day I see disappointment in my “self” arise and try to hold this. Letting it be and letting it go. Not pushing it away. Seeing my labeling as “bad” but knowing this is labeling, part of the self-making I do that leads to reactivity, the human problem at the core of suffering. I talk to a good Dhamma friend who reminds me this is the work. So much more significant than the verbal tirade I slid into. I did not get lost in it. I saw it. I examine it. This is the path. He offers a lovely metaphor of an old road marked by “danger” signs. We went down there and got in trouble before. And for a long time we note the sign and drive by but one day we are distracted for just a moment and we make the turn again.

* * *

Yesterday a dhamma talk and a poem. The poet said: “If I had my life to live over again I wouldn't change a thing, except to have my eyes more widely open.”