Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

I think I have come to many realizations over the past months, and I felt like it was time for me to say something again. I'll jump right in.

  • What I have to say is not all that important, and I don't want a bunch of junk being accredited to me.
It's funny. I thought when I started this that I had a lot to say. I knew that I would just be overflowing with interesting ideas and cute anecdotes outlining my path through Buddhism. However, as I fall deeper down the rabbit hole, I am finding my words to be very useless.
Don't get me wrong; I love writing, and I love the comments. They help. There seems to be this intrinsic suffering involved with having a blog. There must always be something new to read. Something exciting! Something thought provoking. Something detailing what it's like to be me right now.
I think this is coming from recent posts in Zen Habits, which outline the benefit and process of making your life a little simpler. Weeding out unnecessary things. It alleviates a lot of suffering, not having to provide post after post...keeping all of you on the edge of your seats every day. Who do I think I am? Carrie Bradshaw?
Also, I find that when I am not really involved emotionally in my writing, I end up filling space. There is an intense problem with that. Space is important. Space begets thought. You don't want your initial point to be digested through pointless banter. It's not beneficial for readers.

  • As I progress in my practice, I am able to see and understand others' suffering easier.
I was very skeptical of sitting at first. My opinions of "new age" practices and sitting in silence were hard to get over. However, as I fall deeper down the rabbit hole, I realize my own suffering. I feel it, I connect, and I let it pass.
What an amazing practice! "Why do I suffer?" "What is causing this terrible feeling?" "How much power does it really have?" These are not only amazing questions, but they offer amazing, shocking, revealing, and sometimes painful answers. My suffering is caused by my attachment to self, my attachment to permanence...all the things that we grow so fond of and then realize they don't really exist. It's life changing.
As I realize my own suffering, it only becomes easier to let it pass, and I can't help but notice others' suffering as well. I know most of us are caught in this sea of confusion, denial, and attachment. It's suffocating us. Rather than run away, (with Gazelle intensity, as Dave would say) we feed it. We throw all of our attention into it, and let all of our time become consumed by this false sense of self....it's saddening.
Whoa Ryan, you're getting a little depressing. Not at all...let me tell you! This is a discovery that I cherish more than....well, a lot of things. Where I would normally lose my temper, go off the deep end, start ranting and raving, ruining others' opinions of me, I find deep understanding and compassion. I know they suffer, and I wish them well. It's a state we are all in, regardless of our paths.
  • Thoughts are not what define you..but your reactions can.
I look back on past mistakes, and I sometimes cringe. How could I have let such things happen? What was I thinking? Well...the truth is, it doesn't matter. As I fall deeper down the rabbit hole, I realize thoughts happen. They arise, and they fall. If you don't believe me, go into a room by yourself, and sit for an hour...count your breaths. One to ten...ten to one...back to ten... They don't stay long, and one thought has no more weight than another.
So before you beat yourself up about the next "terrible thought" you have, remember that it's not a defining quality. Right at this moment, I could be thinking, "Man, Rush Limbaugh listeners should really be put to a public death" (Much love everyone...just an example...) or I could be thinking "I could really go for some hot water and Vietnamese Moon Cake right now"... Where does the definition of me as a person occur? Well...when I said or wrote them really....without the action, i.e. attachment, there is nothing wrong with the thought itself. I can dismiss the lesser as silly and rather menacing, and the latter, at this time, unnecessary and unimportant.
Thought is thought; action is action. I need to spend more time filtering my thought. More than not my thoughts become actions...afterward I feel anything from relieved to inappropriate, or anywhere in between. Why not be a little more mindful about our action. That will drastically change your view on thought.
  • Conflict rarely alleviates suffering, much less settles differences.
I used to be a very confrontational person. It gave me great pleasure to tell anyone when they were wrong and to enlighten them with my intense insight and knowledge. However, as I fall deeper down the rabbit hole, I'm trying to get in touch with the human experience in general. I come from a long personal history of hating people as a rule. I would always spout my babble, "One person is beautiful, insightful, and caring....but more than one person, this idea of "people", ruins everything. It is their nature." I am becoming more and more uneasy in that position. I can't even place my finger on the source of my changing thoughts.
People are just a collection of these persons...these things I find so intriguing...I know people make mistakes, and when you collect mistakes you end up with this huge ball of regret, definitely something that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. We don't really think about people as a ball of insight, or an accumulation of years of experience....a source of intense wisdom and patience. We've all suffered, and we are all right where we are. The only difference is the actions we take based on these otherwise meaningless thoughts. Karma, anyone?
It doesn't seem as if conflict ever sounds like a good idea to me...It glorifies this attachment to self. What better way to defer non-attachment than to feel as if you know not only your path, but the path of those opposing you? It's a slippery slope, and a rather controversial topic, but there is this grace involved in compassion, and I don't think I have ever witnessed an instance where compassion and understanding wouldn't have made a situation better.

Needless to say, I think quality over quantity is best for me, rather than the norm of the twitter-obsessed nonsense of the age.

1 comment:

  1. I sometimes go a week or two between posts. Whatever works for you, as long as you don't abandon the blog altogether. That is something that happens quite frequently.