Higher Ground

There are times when I fall out of my practice. And I feel bad. I wish I had done something differently.  How could I have done anything differently?

I have to find the right base. Where am I operating – little self or big self? If I am grounded in sense-ego self, I’ll continue to be distressed. That goes round and round. It doesn’t go anywhere. Samsara.

Am I fighting from a weak position? I have to get to higher ground. Renounce the lower ground. I have to reconfigure my consciousness. How do I do that?

I have to want it. I have to want freedom more than I want bondage.

What do I want my mind to be? A clear instrument? Do I settle for the drone –  jerked around, reactive, enthralled, deluded by the senses, absorbed by prejudice and opinion? It’s a bootstrap thing. I have to move myself. I need something that will start the movement. How about humility?

How would I do that?

  • Stop thinking that I know better
  • Stop thinking that I am better
  • Stop thinking that everyone should be better
  • Stop thinking that I should be better

This must be comforting, I hold it so close.

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6 responses to “Higher Ground

  1. Be permeable. Take in everything and keep nothing for yourself. Others will then choose to view you as tranquil or at peace, while others will choose to view you as distant, disengaged or uncaring. Those that view you as being at peace will take your hand, enjoy your light and walk with you. Those that view you as uncaring will simply drift away until such time as they wander back. Such is the way; or, such is a way.
    But…I digress….
    LIke the warm breeze…simply breathe, take in everything and keep nothing…

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  2. I love your last line about holding something close because it is comforting.

    I found myself thinking that what we think comforts us is often so because it is familiar but on examination that very thing may actually be causing discomfort that we hadn’t noticed.

    So I loved this post for bringing this up in me. It’s so hard to sit with the hard questions.

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    • Thank you, Hilary. We’re on the same page. Doing the hard practice is a stripping away that can be very painful. Really hard to do. Easier to stay “comfortably numb.”

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  3. Yeah. You gotta wanna, that’s the key. To want freedom more than I want bondage, it is helpful for me to give myself a brief experience of freedom while I am still picturing myself enslaved, so that I am reminded of how it is more real than the slavery. I go out and look at the sky at night, or feel very grateful for something very small, or remember how animals love so unconditionally, or sing along with Leonard Cohen:

    “So come, my friends, be not afraid.
    We are so lightly here.
    It is in love that we are made;
    In love we disappear.”

    BTW, he has just come out with a new CD: “Old Ideas”. Lovely and profound poetry about the restrictions of samsara and the breakthrough into higher ground, set to music and sung by this Zen monk who sounds like he snacks on gravel.

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    • Thanks, Martha. Buddha described it as swimming against the stream. It’s difficult, and I have to keep reminding myself why I do it. Love the Leonard Cohen lyric – right on. Thanks.

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