Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wild Raspberries

This deal we make to take human form does not exempt us from the cycle. Just as with the wild raspberries, some dry on the twig, some half eaten by a bird or slug, some flower and never bear fruit, some ripen and fall, some ripen and rot, some get plucked for jam, and as the canes die and the summer storms rage, there are those not yet ripe, those pink and hard, those purple and dropping, those red to perfection.

I do not care which I am, but understand these raspberries: bushes thick, brittle and thorny; berries fragrant from a good distance in the hot sun.

Just as I understand these raspberries, I find myself to be that oriole waiting in a nearby thicket for a safe moment to swoop in and feast.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Separately We Seek & Seek What Exactly?

We meditate and struggle to find awareness. In fact what is being asked or sought? Aren’t we simply asking to open the mind; making the time, taking the time, to cultivate focus in order to cultivate open mind? Perhaps not knowing anything about what that is, and that, in and of itself, doesn't matter.

I think meditation is this gift of time to watch oneself be. To experience being, to find out something about awareness and see reactive mind in action. To see our own habitual postures, attitudes, judgments. To notice and drop the frantic (and constant) grip on thinking, judging, making oneself into something. So scary, and full of judgment cycles, to drop that grip -- until it happens and the world does not collapse.

Why do it? Approach this question of cultivating awareness in order to do or gain what? For a while we imagine there is a goal or specific benefit. Do we want to target and pin down the self as someone or something? To allow for self acceptance and find peace from the constraints of judgment? And just how does that result from this gift of just sitting and observing the self, of training the mind to focus?

Perhaps the simple act of consciously sitting the self down, or walking or laying the self down, with all it's burdens and stories, is enough. This is already the success being sought. The step is the goal.

So maybe by breathing in and saying "breathing in, I am breathing in" we allow space for a subtle structure in which we discover in ourselves that we can cultivate awareness without gripping.