I’m not an expert—on anything—only on my own experiences, derived from within and the world of ideas and systems of thought around me, through experiencing myself, and the world itself, both the smallest details to the overall picture, in general.
Part of keeping myself not as lost or fearful of my own feelings and experiences, and to help myself become more mindful, I cultivate and so to incorporate many tools, to cope with the stresses of life, thoughts, feelings, images, and experiences, in my mind and in all nature.
I see a cognitive behavioral therapist, and not long ago, I had asked him how he’s come to find such a way of working so well with an otherwise complicated client—myself. His response included such findings, initially, that first I have been a participant, engaging with him, asking questions, reading a tremendous amount about topics that come up when we’re in session—whether it be a book or two about cognitive behavioral therapy itself or onto such subjects as acceptance and commitment therapy and schizophrenia, a touch of biochemistry and other sciences. He had also brought to my attention that he’s found me, again, rather quickly, through our initial discussions, not to be one who works well with “being lectured,” as he worded it. I found this to be a revealing insight into perhaps why I have always taken ideas, for example, from any study, religion, class, or even conversation, in my own way—leaving some, and amending, even the most true of truths—in order to fit a model that I find works for me—in whatever way that it may, or may not. I believe this might not only add to my tendency toward creativity and perhaps the often eccentric nature of my overall personality; it seems to take me longer than others at times to actually get, or understand certain things, whether it’s a math equation, or some new concept of self liberation or acceptance. Yet I have developed a sense of patience that seems to make all the waiting okay and thus simpler. My vision into the world is indeed unique. I believe everybody’s vision is unique.
I ponder, and in doing so, supposing, altogether that I want, or desire to live with compassion and mindful attention so that the world, even if just to myself, might become a place where it’s a blessing for both myself and ourselves collectively—underneath all that we want, fear, like, dislike, and that in which we delight. Any formal or informal teachings, or even lectures of some kind, and any self-help ideas—they seem to ideally come down to a common ground of emptiness—that all things in the world arise for a certain time and disappear for a certain time.
In this emptiness, whether through imagery, actually, or a non-clinging, a grasping—a remembering to come into the silence inherent within us all creates a giant difference—creating my own peace of mind. No matter what form of practice or laws, with transitions or simply any informality by which one might be best led, lay an underlying infinite ocean of peace and joy. This peace and joy was undoubtedly discovered by such figures as the Buddha Jesus, and Gandhi… I believe it is inherent within all of us, and at any time. It could be just a matter, for myself, to truly discover it and in this moment, it seems to be a matter of remembering—remembering to remember—returning to discover and thus to rediscover, like the tide, the waves, rolling in and out—missing the mark here and there but always coming back.
I suppose like the Buddha, when meditating formally, at first, while striving for the Middle Way, though not under the Bodhi tree itself, I strive to resolve and awaken my heart through silence, through a middle ground—a way of living, discovering my own Buddha nature. To live compassionately with and without all other life in this truly peaceful world, both inner and outer which is available to all, no matter what might present itself in our own individual life experiences. We can, and I think we all do, sometimes without knowing it necessarily on a conscious level, access the overall knowing itself, with compassion, generosity, virtue, or just letting go, into our hearts—the peace that’s always found there, inside… It’s when we all know, that all of us as a whole, will always be able to access such an awakened liberation and freedom with ourselves, and the world that surrounds us. To awaken, for me, has its genesis with the remembering—remembering being the first step.
I remember through all the “noise” currently in my personal life experience that the peace—all of those peaceful words, and all of the best quotes in the world, that regard peace, well being, happiness, and joy—they begin with a starting point, even with every word I type, as I type, I remember, coming back to reaching my own middle ground, in my own way. I invite you to awaken in your own way, to use what you already have and already know to find whatever it is that you want or cherish the most—it’s already inside—all you have to do is find it. My own practice of this remembering it’s all right here inside me, and inside us—otherwise seems to be such a general, overall idea, in a way—but profound and true—true to me.
The more I feel either positive or neutral about any noise, disturbance, or fear, the less negative—the less I attach to it and cling to my own automatic “choice” to suffer. I remember—I remember to just keep coming back whenever I can. That’s where I am with myself and with the world, for just right now, in the moment, in the now. This is again the best day of my life, what else could it be? What else could this experience be without the now, which is all I have. In a way, the now is all that I am. Otherwise what’s written here would not have even been considered, or conceived, in any way, and yet I did choose it. I am choosing it—this day to keep remembering, to return.
The forces of fear, doubt, aggression and confusion come to me when I first come to sit in any meditation. At this time I keep calling these forces the “noise,” thus in order to resolve them, to awaken, and to quiet the noise, rather to balance it out. That is where I am, then in time finally coming to my own sense of peace and freedom of my heart. Looking at the world in a whole new way—with everybody including myself, just wanting to be happy, with joy and liberation in whatever way, through formal Tibetan Buddhism, or Judaism—any religious practice, or simply through one’s own. Awakening souls, starting with my own. Steps forward, backward, and back to forward again, and again—liberating the middle ground.
One doesn’t have to travel far away—to Tibet, to Israel, nor to any other place—to access any such teachings in this day and age from wherever we are, physically, emotionally, fearful, lost, hurt, agitated or even addicted, old, sick, or alive or so-to-speak—dead—voided with an emptiness, an extreme ennui. It all seems to be a matter of what we are grasping or clinging to, in my opinion, focusing on what we are—what we are doing, what others are doing, while all of us I believe both suffer and are awake—living with the changing things, both good and bad, even the good in the bad. It would otherwise seem so complicated. And that’s why I continue to go within to end suffering—not through any formal means, but in my own way, on my own time—I find and rediscover my own true nature, for real—to find myself in Nirvana, but without labeling it. I think Nirvana itself might be slightly misunderstood otherwise—by myself included.
I think we can all find ourselves in Nirvana even during suffering, so I continue taking in a little bit from all sorts of studies, ideas, and people, even just friends and acquaintances or strangers—even the homeless man sleeping on the street, witnessing everything I can to solve my own problem of suffering—which, when I cling to the suffering, when mindfulness might have wandered astray—to come back to it.
Having been mindfully within the realm of silence, I had forgotten. I had forgotten to remember. How do I think while not practicing mindful meditation, formally or informally—knowing? In black or white, in vivid pictures—often pixelated—in words, and moreover as a blog post, a journal entry, not necessarily true to traditional storytelling. In moments—I think in moments that are black and white, either/or, altogether or not at all—the things, the abstract baggage, in the form of thoughts, which then turn to feelings, then choices and action or behavior.
Was I becoming sick, coming down with a cold or nasty flu bug that everybody around me has come down with, except me? Had I been too excited and enthralled, creating some exaggerated epiphany of my recent 24, then 48 hours of continuous time with self, in self, mindfully and I suppose slightly in some Buddhist nature too deeply engrossed in my own deeply personal meditative retreat. It hadn’t been a planned event, rather a natural tendency deriving from discomfort and excess—of noise. It just occurred. It just happened. I hadn’t told those around me what I had been formally doing while it seemed to be a very informal choice to go within—for hours then days—in my own silence, where the noise had something to balance it out, all from within. It was blissful not euphoric necessarily—peacefulness kept coming into my thinking process. And as I sit here at my formal desk, sitting upon my formal chair, each stroke of the key onto the screen seeming automatic, extremely slow, effortless and graceful, caressed by something that feels almost transmitted through me—through my own heart. Often during times like this is becomes the case when I later discover, it’s my best writing, from the heart—similar to speaking directly from my heart source about healing, whether at support group or in front of an audience of some kind, regarding a topic or subject that is profound and meaningful—overcoming an addiction, talking to someone from far away who is considering self-injury. I just speak, or write during such times, and while the shape of my thoughts, with its “title,” thinking as a streaming blog post—metaphors slip in and out, adjusting, arranging—automatically—the content in my heart evolving into ever-shifting gentle and slow paragraphs, in my mind, as I write, changing, shifting again, readjusting and responding—by the end such speech or letter—creative communication—while at once somehow formatting itself, with some extraneous distractions, I fail to recall or remember what I might have said, or what I’m doing right now, what I’ve written or imparted—if anything at all. I would only remember afterward. Another person having been freed from his or her wrong thought, resulting in destructive behavior, or somebody shaking my hand and telling me that what I had said at the support group was exactly what they needed to hear, or that what I said or wrote caused somebody to come out of the closet, or begin on their own new quest for self healing, or change, to a brief thank you, to no response or reaction at all, and none expected—often just my own passive refection—onto such unfortunate interactions which by the end of some stormy and emotionally turbulent evening, it had simply been too late, and the world loses someone; then someone is born—Often it simply isn’t or wasn’t the right time in the life of a person on the other end of the telephone line to hear my heart in a way that I had intended to save—someone else. We often have to go within ourselves. Remembering as I have likely quite visibly, candidly and naturally just forgotten to come back and onto the next paragraph.
Breathing and relaxing, to return, as for this particular blog entry having not been written quite as I had visualized it at first. The outline in my own continuous meditation, still holding my own metaphorical porcelain and deeper into its own utopia which becomes mine once again, presenting itself as a mantra, in itself—porcelain, utopia, over and over. Feeling unbelievably real, and present, it was and is myself who was and is still present—out of desire, as a choice. Remembering to return to my own thinking, down to the feeling in my heart center, in order to change through not thinking, when thinking is still, and again, a part of my own way of non-thought. The moments become less and less moment-by-moment, and more continuous. Within my own inner recollection at about the 36th hour inside—I made a decision based on a familiar fear of actually reaching such a place of peace—in the silence, on my own way, moreover remaining until the time to part from it and become more with the outer world of materialism came… the clutter came back, the flickering lights, the flying bee above me who still looks for his way back out to his own home, not here to distract me, not here in order to sting me. I leave the bee alone—allowing the bee inside to be. He’ll find his way, as I shall and always—always finding my way back, back home—into my core essence, even if in the chaotic midst of the busy Grand Central Station—it’s always here, not close by—closer than close, within and right here. We all have this capacity. To some it’s more of a second nature, and for myself I still and may always yearn to truly know it.
At times it feels like my own soul can’t and shouldn’t be able to sustain it or allow it. I must—I must… stay.
Through this meditation, even just the sitting on the Adirondack chair outside in the sun where I came to visualize this blog entry, the only part that has remained is the title—the returning and the remembering. And all the while, even just remembering to sit down, to meditate, even to think, “If I thought—” there was and is nothing at all casual about it. It seemed to be at first, but that is one of the moments I shall remember most, when my soul itself might simply be incapable of bearing any noise or peace for too long again, to know that it’s about something being so near, right here, no struggling necessary, only what is—touch, feeling and sound beyond sound, an earth beyond earth, a presence beyond everything else. And only to now walk a few steps. —Of course, its end here being merely another beginning.