14 August, 2009

Punting Distractions

Running around my house, avoiding this post, by nibbling on walnuts(good for heart), and drinking a quarter size(10B) splash of Sharbat Rooh Afza in sparkling water. Which is like drinking grandma's underwear drawer sachet, my best description. If I satisfy myself with good things, then I avoid the unpleasant things that reside inside myself. I procrastinate writing this post, because it is a difficult topic, and at the same time I don’t want to come across as beating myself up. With a lot of contemplation, hopefully, I can access the little bit of wisdom that floats to the surface above the quagmire of life. It came me yesterday as a flash, while not in a depressive mood, that my ability to have fine skills of discernment came out of the dissatisfaction I had in myself. From early on, I did not have a love of myself, based on #1-being gay and #2-having a generally unloving father in the formative years. So, I ended up with a fragile ego, until I came out at 18. This lead to some understanding of who I am. But in the process of growing up, my dislike of certain aspects of myself made me turn to try to find pleasant things in life. I began collecting things that were beautiful, and later trying food that pleased my senses. Honing my skills in visual arts, and developing my good taste in just about everything. I could not stop my pursuit of finer things, trying to put out the fire of discontent. So, you say, you transformed!… stop and think. Sure, it worked and it helped with my career choices, health choices, partner choices etc. I am still alive and healthy, really. I made a few bad choices but who hasn’t? I am not on any drugs, or drink to excess. I have great friends, a great partner and a loving family(dad passed). So, why am I thinking about this? It really seems foolish. I will tell you why. A life built around trying to make the world more beautiful to oneself is fraught with constant misery. The potential of never being satisfied.

Now, how can I become wiser? And what legacy do I leave? The nice things I have created are temporary, and in ten years they will be gone and forgotten. I will exist only in the heads of people that know and respect me. That truly is rebirth to me. What tasted good me now, will never translate to a positive thought of me in the mind of a close friend later. I am putting too much into things that will cease to be a true cause of happiness for me. Looking at all the art I have collected, and now…even though I like it and still marvel at the artist’s devotion, it only becomes a force to tie me down to indecision. Let’s just say, if I die tomorrow, my things will become a symbol of me, that my loved ones have to dispose of.(don’t worry, this is not a cry for help). How wise is giving pain to those you love? Even indirectly. So, what I am getting down to is that if I want an even better rebirth, I had better work on creating the good karma of helping others. To really help others you have to be truly happy in your heart and being. Whenever you see a wise monk or even the Dali Lama, you see their core being is a wisdom being. They know that attachment to anything is a cause of suffering. That everything changes.

The Abbott of the temple I was at in June, had wisdom that he did not have to speak about for me. His pure intention and action I observed were dhamma. Sure, I can go to temple here and make some progress, meditate on my own and in a group. But living the good life and the spiritual life will not be a fast path to enlightenment. We never know when our death will happen, and I am not getting younger even with all the creams and vitamins. Big Surprise. So, I can keep safely living my life like I do now. Or, I can try the monk’s life again in a slightly longer time frame like 3 months leading to a year’s trial. It is only talk at this point, and I am not irrational or running from anything. What I am running towards is wisdom and a wish to make valuable contribution to those around me. That will be my legacy.
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