10 October, 2009

Essentially No Fun?

When I went to the monastery to meditate all night, one of the most interesting parts of the dhamma talk I heard that night was an explanation of the value of the precepts. What you do when you take a day off to meditate with the monks, you are really taking the precepts for one day. To live like the arahants do. This voluntary practice allows you to tap into your heart. It is with the recognition that Buddha dhamma has provided some help with your life.

The first five are fairly easy and make sense. Take Number 7 for instance, which is (Nacca-gita-vadita-visukkadassana mala-gandha-vilepana-dharana-mandana-vibhusanathana veramani sikkhapadam samadiyami) I undertake the precept to refrain from dancing, singing, music, going to see entertainments, wearing garlands, using perfumes, and beautifying the body with cosmetics. If you think about it, it means no Ipod, movies, clubs, bling bling, or moisturizer and essentially no fun. This is done to get your mind back under your control, void of external conditions and things(often called distractions), and ease your access to your own peace. If I am looking for a nice tune, great food, a large rock or a splash of wine to be happy, then I am seesawing between happiness, neutral feelings, and unhappiness. Tipping either way depending on whether I like or dislike a particular thing. The thing we love is really not the music, taste, rings, or the views but the place where it takes us in our mind. If I want wisdom, I have jump off this ride to access it. Back to more meditation and the thoughts of where I want to be mentally, using loving compassion with myself. This is not a punishment denying me what I “truly deserve,” from being a medical guinea pig that resulted in my brain injury, but really a natural offshoot of the fact that I survived it. And now, how best can I make the remaining time I have left? In the pursuit of more wisdom seems to be the final frontier for me.

I have to say Many Thanks to the two strangers from Macau that stopped me to ask for a smile when I was wrapped up trying to find a gift for a friend. Not unhappy, but I have to focus on task at hand with this silly brain injury. It is funny, because I bought lip protectant to help to smile more, and chocolate bars to give away on my walk downtown. I was in heaven with the funny conductor on the trolley, smiling a lot, just a few minutes before I ran into these two. Over glasses of wine we covered many topics, but how we as people have so much more in common than not. The others we are so afraid of want the same thing out of life as we do…to be happy.

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