Isn’t that the whole point of the mandala offering–to give up everything for the sake of realizing we never had anything in the first place?
If there is an object of practice, it is to stop trying to be something, to unwrap the most subtle layers, progressively unmasking the operation and direction of the CEO, the games, identities, directives and assumed capacities of ego, until there is nothing left but living in the stream, free of all bardos. Non-meditation.
A quiet heart is a still place within a storm. It is where the voices of ego, judgement, instinctive self-preservation and grasping may penetrate, but to which an aggressive response is not automatic. A quiet heart is not immune to desire or greed, not dissociated from attachment, anger or sadness, confusion or grasping.
It seems perfectly logical to say we will all be confronted with a series of moments tightening the grip of death in which we will have to decide what we believe and what our conscious role shall be in attending and adapting to a process that is both in and out of our hands, that is entirely real and entirely illusory.
There can be no real distinction between the geological phenomenon we’re promulgating and the broad socio-political drama unfolding daily. We have become the monster under our own bed.
It is so painful that now, given the helplessness of it all, whatever humor there may once have been in the infinite variety of human foibles is subsumed by the poignancy and terror, the desperation and bewildered hatred at the heart of mass delusion.
This is the imperative of evolving spirituality, realizing Sufism’s unity of fanaa and baqaa & of Buddhism’s Two Truths, to be here and everywhere at all times, to simultaneously be emptiness and embodiment.
Bodhicitta is a way of connecting to other lives, of saying we are nothing without that connection and that our connection to each other is deeper than we can ever truly know.
Maybe I could see it if I had eyes on the side of my head instead of looking straight, as if I’m a fish, perpetually suspicious about the possibility of water—as if I once knew of it but have forgotten. That is, if I, a fish, believed in existence.
Reading Andrew Harvey’s 1994 book, The Way of Passion, about Rumi’s relationship with his teacher Shams i-Tabriz is a riveting and enlightening dive into the poetry Rumi produced from that time.