Friday, January 15, 2016

As I See It

"Mind is the forerunner of all evil conditions.
Mind is their chief, and they are mind-made.
If, with an impure mind, one speaks or acts,
Then suffering follows one.
Even as the cart wheel follows the hoof of the ox.

Mind is the forerunner of all good conditions.
Mind is their chief, and they are mind-made.
If, with a pure mind, one speaks or acts,
Then happiness follows one.
Like a never departing shadow."

These are the opening lines of the Dhammapada, and were supposedly spoken by Buddha 2500 years ago.

I don't know. I wasn't around 2500 years ago.

Or was I?

I like the words. They express perfectly where my head is at in 2016.

I am looking for ethereal change. I am looking to get happy by fixing my mind. These words sum up exactly what I already know but have been eternally unable to practice.

Quieting the mind. It is all about quieting the mind.

My mind is like torrential rain on a tin roof. My mind-voice is so loud and so persistent that there is no room for me in there.

I have been crowded into a corner of my brain so my mind-voice can run the show.

This is no longer acceptable. Obviously, it has gotten me nowhere.

I have flirted with Buddhism over the years, but this year I am going to make love to it.

I am drawn to it precisely because when I read words like those above, they connect with me deeply. They provoke an emotional response and inspire an awareness.

I began exploring Buddhism and quieting the mind this morning and this was the first thing I came across.

Bullseye. Not a bad start.

2016 for me is all about family, all about simple pleasures and appreciation associated with family, all about one drastic real world shift - retirement, all about feeding my soul and fearlessly expressing what is in it and especially all about making myself happy through real change, the only change that matters - "changing" my mind.

If I am to succeed in 2016, I have to travel from the first stanza above to the second stanza.

I don't think it will be easy. But I am talking about my life here, talking about being no longer willing to create my own unhappiness, talking about an acute awareness that my life is severely limited in longevity at this point.

I am talking about changing the man I have been and the life I have lived.

I am better than that. I have the intelligence and the desire to become fully who I am.

It all comes down to doing the work.

I'll keep you posted.

(Amusing editor's note: If you have the energy to read the post, the quote, that follows this post, you will say "Hey, what the hell is going on in your mind, Bubba? Aren't these two sentiments diametrically opposed?" Why, yes they are. And that lays out the central dilemma of being a human. I like the movie quote, I like the Buddhist quote. The contradictions in my mind are a twisted lot; unraveling them will be challenging. But what the hell, who knows what I will discover when I shine a light into my brain.
Ciao, baby.)

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