Postcard From Samsara

I think freedom must mean freedom from something.

The great yogis say that I have to get free of the usual human motivations. 

No more chasing pleasure and praise. No more dodging pain and blame.

Tall order.

It’s not the pleasure/pain, etc. itself that is the problem. It’s being too much motivated by the prospect that has to be dealt with.

Still a tall order.

Do it first; talk about it later. That’s good advice.

I’m going to talk first. I’ve been banging on this one for a while. I’ve been asking myself whether freedom is worth the effort.

I’m thinking of what I’d have to get rid of…

A certain amount of my consciousness is more or less permanently occupied by the anticipation of a cold Tecate with my enchiladas on Friday night. Is that an obstacle to my freedom? What if they’re out of Tecate and I have to drink Modelo instead? What then?

My opinions are how I keep track of what I think about things.  They make me feel good in a righteous sort of way.  Do they have to go? And how about my characterization of you – or myself, for that matter? I’m feeling pretty satisfied with how I’ve got us summed up. It would be unpleasant to not have you and me figured out.

I like the feeling I have when it seems to me that others like me. How much energy over my lifetime have I expended in an effort to present myself in a way that I think will make me appear to others to be someone they would like to like?

I like being told I’ve done a good job. I don’t like being told I’ve done a bad job. So, for that reason I will do a good job. Or maybe I’ll just conceal from you that I’ve done a bad one.

What about animosities? I have some. Funny how carrying around a little irritation feels good. If I’ve got something against somebody, it’s because I’ve caught them doing something that displeases me. And since I’m my own standard, I’m probably a little better in some way than someone who falls short of that standard and thereby causes me displeasure.

Anger feels righteous.

Craving is an unpleasant feeling that can temporarily be relieved by its gratification.

How much of  my life is in the service of desire?

How much of my life is in the avoidance of discomfort?

Freedom starts to feel like I’m killing off pieces of myself.

What do I get out of it?

To figure that out I’d have to figure out how much pleasure and praise I get by freeing myself from my attachment to pleasure and praise.

Ego is sitting on the couch reading the paper, and when I get restless like this he looks over and says… If you could do it, you would have done it by now. That shit’s not realistic. You want real? Grab a beer and come sit down. We’ll watch the game. You’ll feel better.

I know.

I’ve been hanging around in the parking lot for a while, thinking about it.

I want to be better than I think I am. I want you to be better than I think you are. I want the whole damn species to pick up its game a little.


Happiness fugitive in what is not.

I’m pulled by craving and pushed by fear, and many are the times I’ve said to myself…

Wouldn’t you like to be free of that?

I’m always hearing that freedom isn’t free.

Yes it is.

Yes it is.

It’s all that other shit that will make you bleed.

I can’t talk to myself any more about whether freedom is worth it or whether I can do it.

My question to myself now is, Have you begun.


12 responses to “Postcard From Samsara

  1. I have thought some of these thoughts, but they didn’t have any words fitting them like a comfy old jean jacket. Thank you for the fit and the warmth…


  2. When the shadow falls off to reveal the light on an object, it’s called the turning point in still life painting. I dont’ know if shadow falls into light or light falls into shadow for life that is not still but it’s all how you want to see it. I see it’s both. Despair comes before light and then there is despair again. If we like light we have to accept darkness. If there is neither, there is nothing. So to break samsara we have only the choice to change our attitude. The fluctuations vary in strength with the strength of our embrace. There is nothing so passionate as embrace but it has it’s shadow when we embrace what hurts us or what does not embrace us back. These are the jokes. Why did Emerson run away to the woods. It was easy, no?


    • We see correctly that we have a mountain to move. The hard part is seeing that all we have to do is raise our open hand to our lips, and with the softest puff of breath, blow away the dust.

      Thank you for your vision, my friend.


  3. So my dear one, I’ve been chewing on this post of yours for a few days now. Letting it float around in the space between my ears, ping off the insides of my cranium like a ping pong ball, then plop back out only to be sucked in by the cosmic wind of my thoughts again.

    Wasn’t until I was driving today that something finally went “hey, over here…what about over here…check me out”

    So my question to you is this….is it freedom from something or freedom to think and be? Is it freedom from feeling and being attached or is it freedom to feel and be open to all?

    Back in the day, I had a record album “Free to be you and me”…remember that one? Marlo Thomas and company. That was my first foray into the vast concept of “freedom”. Freedom to just be…be who you are or be who you’re not, but no matter what, “be” in all your glory. Just simply be.

    Why is it that that simple concept of simply “being” got lost along the path of becoming a taller human (notice how I didn’t say “growing up”). Why is it that we believe we need to be free of anything at all? Wouldn’t it perhaps be “easier” to be open to all; to be free to receiving all? Free to be ugly and beautiful; angry and joyous; quiet and loud. Unless I’m waaaaaaay off the beaten path (entirely possible) if you’re open to all, then aren’t you already free? You’re neither running towards nor away from anything; nor are you giving up anything…you simply are….


    • I like this Pixie Girl.

      I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle’s “New Earth” and like his pragmatic approach. He says stuff like, don’t even try to become detached from things, status, appearance..etc. Just try to be aware that those things are coming up and very “there”.

      David, where is the compassion in your approach?

      It’s the knower that is having the craving and the avoiding and then getting bent out of shape about it. The known is there, underneath, un-perturbed and flawless. I find that acknowledging these flaws, without judgement, without OWNING them, is the best way to take their power away. I’ve only just begun, but I’ve done a lifetime of beating myself up. That’s just another form of Samsara.

      So glad I found your new blog David, I was wondering why I hadn’t seen your posts.


      • I’m very happy to re-connect with you, Mandy. When I moved to my new blog I lost a lot of connections and I’m glad I’ve gotten yours back. Thanks for commenting.


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