A friend named Michael, aka @Skandasattva, on Twitter said this morning “Dealing with insecurities and mental garbage this morning. Where the hell is the handle so I can flush this shit from my head?!”
My response was “the handle is in the same place as the shit, give it time, go slow and let the shit settle, than you’ll find it.”
I was a bit quick to respond, but reflected afterward on what I said, and in a way, I think I was talking to myself. I’ve felt similarly the past couple of months, in particular with my “practice”. It’s felt like I’m stuck in “Groundhog Day”, doing the same stuff day after day, after day… where’s the snooze button already??
Some may think I’m a quitter here, but, as many of you know I’ve been doing a ngöndro practice since roughly Labor Day weekend. Last week I decided to give it up. Why? Well, something seemed a bit amiss. More like a few things…
1. I’m not sure the path I “chose” as far as the ngöndro goes is/ was for me. It felt right at the time, but as time goes on, it feels like I’m just going through the motions. It doesn’t feel like a practice, it feels like something I HAVE to do. To me, that doesn’t gel.
2. The particular school/ tradition doesn’t feel right anymore either. While I was wholeheartedly into it, as time passes, it feels less and less like where I need to be. There just seems to be to much extra involved, and that is meant as no offense. There seems to be to much ritual, to much hands on training, so on. As time passes, I feel more and more disconnected from it. I loved it at the beginning and see the reasons why. I’ve recognized the reasons, and have come to the realizations that they are not the right reasons. The heart needs to be there and mine is not.
As I’ve said in the past, the beginning is where I need to go back to. What I am looking for, and hoping to find, is the bare bones. I am not looking for the hocus pocus, the magic or the religion. I am not looking for the history, the cultural overtones, the tradition, etc. Again no offense to anyone intended here. I understand completely that people choose their own paths, and that is fantastic, more power to you all for your comfort in doing so.
I truly have come to a place where I feel I need to try my best to be who I am. Who that is, I don’t know. I’m still trying to figure that out. Here I am five years later, back to where I started. I feel drawn to the path of the Buddha, nothing will ever change with that. But I think I am looking for a more stripped down version. With all the shit set aside, I am trying to look directly at the path that was laid out, without any obscuration.
I know it won’t be easy, this path never has been. We all fall down, the key is to get up. Like I mentioned above to my good friend Michael, it’s time to let the shit settle. I believe with time, and a sense of determination, under all that shit is something more beautiful than any of us could imagine.
I think what I am looking for is more miraculous than the present state of things. Thich Nhat Hanh said it best when he gave us this precious jewel, “People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
The video below was an add-on, the title of the post sounded similar to the band name for some reason…