Not this…

I take comfort in the unimportant.

I’m out and about and some tempting event enters my perceptual field, or maybe it’s just a memory. I feel the pull and ask … Is this important?

If no … then I send it to a room I have.

I’ve collected some old fears and wants, old friends, really, in that room. I can go in there and reminisce, but it’s better if I don’t.

I try to keep my distance.

I could take some comfort there. I could visit some of my favorite fears and cravings and remember the good times. But, sweet as they are, each one I exile feels like a bit of freedom gained. It’s good to know they’re not out there on the loose getting in my way.

Less maintenance.

They do get out, of course. I run into them around town.

Mindless reactions, big and small. Done a thousand times. No need to think. Just let it run.

I must go back. Begin again.

Ego is of the nature of fear and want.

If I am motivated by want, then what is the motivation for freeing myself of wanting?

My ego is delusional. I have the pleasure of my delusions.

I can’t have ego in charge and expect to get anywhere. I see that.

Seeing sharpens the sight.

Desire for my dharma.

Neti neti – not this, not this. Ancient practice of negation used for clearing the mind of distraction.

Sightless way of seeing Self when only non-self can be seen.

Each elimination of what is not, a small awakening.

In practice I ask myself – Is this important?

Is this Spirit talking, or is it Ego?

Does this lead to my dharma?

Is this me?


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15 responses to “Not this…

  1. I was talking to a friend on Friday about grasping, grasping, grasping and then the attachment to not grasping to setting things aside and saying so what. Then Philip Seymour Hoffman. Is it ego asking? Is it the self? Does it matter? Or is the point to get to a place where we aren’t concerned with the questions let alone the answers. Thanks for the post Bharat- I’ve missed them. Om shanti.

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    • I think, by definition, ego is self-serving. So listening to ego is going to keep us always asking, What’s in it for me? And our actions will be selfish. Of course, even apparently unselfish actions can be motivated by the ego’s desire for approval. Ego can be subtle. If there can be found within consciousness some place that is not bound by ego, then we can have a choice about why we do what we do. That’s when it matters what we listen to. I don’t think we’re trying to get to a place where we aren’t concerned. We may get to a place where we are no longer motivated by praise or blame, and still we can be fully concerned with the suffering of others, for example, and the question of how to act in the face of that suffering. We could still care about the passing of a beloved actor, but not out of selfishness, not out of attachment. You pose good questions, my friend. Important questions. Thank you. Om Shanti; Om Peace

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  2. Thank you dearest Brother. I LOVE your writing, and your “writings”. Always. (even if I don’t get to comment in this forum, I often comment in my own mind – ha ha)
    “Is this important?” is so frequently my big question too…..

    LOVE YOU, MISS YOU, SURYA xxxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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  3. “If I am motivated by want, then what is the motivation for freeing myself of wanting?”
    I love that you Riddler!
    Me, I don’t try to get away from myself, from any of it. I just try to make what it is work. Keep thinking my friend, I love to hear your thoughts.

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  4. Wow. just noticed that word press called me anonymous. Do you think they were trying to mess with my ego? Actually I forgot to fill in the blanks. Surely that’s a metaphor for the way I make things work, eh? 🙂

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    • You, Hilary? Anonymous? You’re not one one who flies low to avoid radar detection. And if they’re messin with you I think they’ll be sorry. I, however, am very happy to see you over here. Thanks for the comment, my friend.

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  5. “Is this important?” What a good inquiry! I’ve been asking myself, “is it real?” And this is a little less clear, isn’t it? Because a fear is real even if it is based on misunderstanding. Satvada and avidya. But important…aaaah. I like-y. Because ultimately, the list of important is pretty short and remembering that at a time when ego is really elbowing her way to the forefront could be really useful. Thanks, Bharat. You’ve given us another gem to study!

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    • I’ve been using this question for a while and I like the way it works. Then in doing this post I saw the similarity with the classic neti neti. In neti neti, of course, the question being asked is Who am I. So, I take these practices to be ultimately about seeing those things that are not true Self or do not lead to true Self. I really like your image of ego elbowing her way to the forefront! Ego has her place – Bhante Gunaratana famously said, If you see a truck bearing down on you, by all means jump out of the way! So, useful for us – but not who we deeply are. Thanks, Amanda.

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  6. Dharma. The quest for dharma is powful for me now. thank you as always for your honest, powerful, thought provoking insights. Love, your Sister Joy

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    • Yes, Sister Joy – the quest for dharma. Never ending. You stand in front of a beautiful temple, and all around you see desperation. You ask for the thousandth time – Where lies my dharma?

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  7. Sometimes I can let go. My room is a still pool of water with sunlight dancing on its surface the ripples moving outward toward the shore and beyond, ripples of worries, thoughts, concerns gently moving, gently releasing these.
    Other times I feel myself as an infinitesimally small speck in a vast space, bathed in light, no borders, only consciousness connected to all consciousness. I am the stillness and the peace.

    But still fears and anger haunt and chase me, so outside that quiet space I ask what is this? How do I come to terms with the disappointment, not for myself, but for the way we are treating each other, all beings and the earth. It’s easy and comfortable to hide myself away these days but outside the anger finds me again. If I practice neti, neti (not this, not this) I can release the fears inside, but the suffering and insanity in the the world go on. I’m trying to stay with it, but not be a part of it.

    It is so good to be connected again to you Dear teacher. I hope that you are well and look forward to your return for a visit. Our little sangha is still going. Each week it replenishes me.

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      • Thank you for your understanding. That was an excellent question you gave me and in response, no this discontent is not my motivation to my conscious mind at least, but maybe I have without being aware, made it me. Maybe I choose discontentment, maybe I’d rather not choose it because then, I am that. I would rather be contentment. Maybe the practice is to see things as they are, do what I can do and also, stay rooted inside myself and this moment. ~ Your friend

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