Archive for September, 2015

No Man Is An Island

Posted in Uncategorized on September 26, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

I was moved enough to share this…
Indeed…all things lead to the One (in each of us) and therein lies our connection, like an archipelago of souls.
Thanks.
Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent

Zen Flash

Tathagata is one of the names
given to Gautama the Buddha.
It means one who lives
in the suchness of life,
who accepts whatsoever is the case,
who accepts everything totally.
Even death is absolutely accepted
because his trust in existence is infinite.
It knows no bounds, it is unconditional.
To accept all
is the highest peak of meditation,
all the sweetness of life
and all the bitterness of life,
with equanimity, choicelessly,
with no likes, no dislikes.
Once this starts happening
you become a rejoicing,
you become a serenity,
you become utter silence
and a silence which is not dead,
a silence which sings,
a silence which dances,
a silence which is not empty,
a silence which is overfull.
This is going to be your method:
Learn to accept life as it comes.
When something happens, accept it;
when it disappears, accept it.
When pleasure comes, accept it;
when…

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On Letting Go, Part X: Our Children, Our Parents

Posted in Letting Go, N o Escape on September 16, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

On Letting Go, Part X: Our Children, Our Parents

For those who aspire to pursue Authenticity within our lives we are faced with the daunting task of first losing our attachments to the Illusions of Life, as well as finding acceptance of the inevitabilities of what it means to be alive.

We will be born and we will die. From this there is No Escape.

We have no control over when or where we will be born. We have little control over how we will be raised, at least up to a point long past our accumulation of Primal Experiences.

We may or may not even know our parents. For some not knowing might be a blessing compared to what and how we were treated as children, but good or bad, well-intentioned or not it will at least initially shape how we view the world and how we behave within the course of our lives.

Even the best, most well-intentioned parents may pass on a legacy of lies and illusions that reflect their own childhood inheritances. Many will vow to not repeat those mistakes, only to adopt a different set of paucities, prejudices, and failed intentions to which they will subject their own offspring.

It is not a given that we will birth or raise children of our own, but if we do, whether it is by choice or accident, as we stretch like pearls on a string skewered along our accumulated heritage, we have the opportunity to recognize our connection, realizing that for good or ill, it has shaped our past and will influence our future.

My grandfather used to say “We all serve a purpose on this earth, even if it is only to serve as the horrible example.”

We have all read countless tales of how unfortunate, cruel or disadvantaged childhoods seemed to catapult certain individuals into fame, fortune or notoriety, but few of them had joyful outcomes in terms of their own personal realizations of happiness.

Perhaps they were just reacting.

This much is certain: we will be born. As we become adults, we may move away from our parents, or we may feel that we are prisoners of their lives. Some will leave as early as possible, others may stay close while maintaining their independence. Some may never return. Some may go as far away as possible, or somewhere in-between.

Both of my parents as well as my younger brother have died within the last four years.

My two older sons are living their own lives and are reasonably close to home. We see each other on a fairly regular basis. My youngest left for Army boot camp three weeks ago and is in training over five hundred miles away. By November, he will be in Colorado for almost a year of additional training before shipping out for parts as yet unknown.

Less than four days after graduating from college, I moved over nine hundred miles from my parents’ home. For months at a time, they did not even know my whereabouts, or how to contact me.

Our two older sons contact us on a regular basis and we always get together on holidays and special occasions. One lives less than ten miles away with his fiancée, and works full-time while going to school at night.

We visit two or three times a month, and yet I feel like my heart has been ripped from my chest for not seeing each other more often. It’s not his fault or mine. He is just young and full of ambition. We talk about going into business together someday.

When I reflect on the years that I was estranged from my parents, it is only now that I begin to grasp the pain they must have felt and I am consumed with gratitude that my own children have not shunned me as I did my parents.

Then again, I did not routinely beat, verbally or emotionally abuse my children.

My relationship with my parents was difficult and complex. My father was an abusive, overbearing workaholic and a philanderer. He was a brilliant scientist with expertise and degrees in numerous diverse fields.

I idolized him, and spent most of my life trying to gain his approval and recognition.

My mother was a nurse. We were “latchkey” kids with a television for a baby-sitter and homework and chores to keep us busy enough to stay out of trouble…at least for awhile….

We all lived in the shadow of my father, yet because my mother was educated and pursued a career of her own in addition to providing a nurturant environment within our household, I viewed women as strong and smart collaborators, rather than subservient “housewives”.

I am grateful for that.

My father often left for work before I was awakened to go to school, and came home long after I had gone to bed. I often went months without seeing him awake, except sometimes over the weekends.

They were loving and well-intentioned, but incredibly misguided. We were the first generation of nuclear families who had been separated from their extended families by distance, ambition and wanderlust.

They had no role models to emulate, no paradigms to govern their actions or decisions. Child psychology was in its infancy.

Their parents were loving, but stern and violent disciplinarians who espoused such adages as “Spare the rod and spoil the child” who were not adverse to slapping the face of a child who was insubordinate enough to speak out of turn or disrespectfully.

My parents largely followed their lead, despite the fact that they believed themselves to be less draconian or authoritarian than their parents.

And yet, at times when my grandparents were around, they were the first to intercede on our behalf, having been afforded the perspective of time and wisdom that they themselves apparently did not possess during their own parenting years.

As I have grown older, I have come to recognize more and more times that I would swear I could see remarkable physical resemblances to my father within myself that were not so apparent in my youth.

At first, I was alarmed and appalled. I came to recognize that I had come to regard him as an opponent and I resented the resemblances.

For three years, while pursuing a career change, I moved my family and myself back into their home. They were thrilled. I rebuilt two automobiles for them and helped with numerous repairs to their one-hundred and thirty-year-old house. I acquired an amateur radio operator’s license, like my father and grandfather. My youngest son was born there. They had the opportunity to really get to know my wife and children.

The prodigal son had returned.

Familiarity has a distinct tendency to breed contempt however. The longer we were there under their roof, the quicker they became to criticize how we spent our money or the nature of some of our more free-spirited social interactions.

(We never divulged or discussed that we were occasional “swingers”, or recreational drug users, but we lived close to a small-town sort of city, and our associates as well as the clubs we frequented had no small degree of notoriety, which seemed to be a source of disquietude to them.)

They resented the money we spent on the cars we drove.

When I located employment back in Florida I sensed that they felt a mixture of sadness and relief. It was time to go.

Each summer, our children went out to visit them for a month.

I few years before my father died, I brought my family to my parents’ home for a week to spend time together. It was a thoroughly enjoyable time during which we all acknowledged our love and made numerous confessions and apologies to each other.

It was a time of Satsang. We were able to view each other as human beings, rather than projecting expectations of who or what we were supposed to be, or what we expected of each other. It was a time of forgiveness and reconciliation.

After that we spoke every Sunday on the telephone.

Since their deaths, I have become increasingly aware of a feeling of their presence, almost as if one of them had lain a hand upon my shoulder. We saved a number of items that we very special to them and brought them into our home. Sometimes I could swear I see them standing there out of the corner of my eye. It is comforting.

The struggle for autonomy is over.

Although I don’t believe in a God or his angels, I do believe in disembodied spirits.

They meant well and loved us dearly. I grew up faster than they expected and left before they really had the chance to savor how precious my time with them had been.

I started a family relatively late in my life, and greatly desired to be a father and raise children. I was very participatory and involved in my role as a parent. I watched every step of my children’s developmental stages and availed myself of every bit of knowledge I could get to nurture, support and celebrate their lives.

Although it was exhausting during their infancy and early years, by the time they were housebroken I felt like I had been given a chance to catch my breath long enough to appreciate them in ways I never anticipated…these tiny living people…with minds and spirits of their own….

They were a part of me, and yet they were something new and unique in and of themselves. They needed me and depended upon me for everything.

They were like ripples in a still pond…reflecting me and yet already moving away.

I talked to and with them even before they could speak and listened to them as soon as they could.

As fascinated as I was, I was amazed by how gratifying it was when then began to emerge as separate and discrete personalities.

From about eight years of age on, as their unmistakable personalities began to emerge, they seemed less like dependent babies and more like young people. We began to do things together while they presented themselves as interesting and unique beings, rather than mere extensions of my or my wife’s ego.

We were all jointly involved in the activities of mutually supporting ourselves as a family.

Soon they were helping me, sharing the responsibilities and work of our lives.

…And then, they grew up.

Ten thousand tomorrows pass like water under a bridge without our notice.

PS: Shortly after the start of my writing of this post, we were informed of the date of my youngest son’s graduation from boot camp next month.

My personal vehicles are not currently up to the task of transporting us for such a long distance and my beloved twenty-year old 300ZX was hit while parked in front of our house and will require extensive repairs.

The insurance check proved to be a timely windfall.

We contemplated the pros and cons of airplane travel and a rental car, a train, or even a bus to attend the graduation ceremonies, as well as lodging. It would be expensive in any case, but not attending was not an option for us.

My middle son owns a very “nicely appointed” Chevy Tahoe that we have borrowed before. It is the perfect vehicle for road trips such as this.

He needs a new set of tires. He does not have the money right now to replace them. We decided to use the money for the trip to buy them.

Last night, my eldest son suddenly called to say he wanted to go with us to attend the graduation, and offered to cover all our other expenses like fuel, rooms and meals. He had been the “wild card” in our family for quite some time.

He said he saw this as an opportunity to express his gratitude for the love and patience we have given him all these years.

As we circle the wagons in time of need, I am reminded of the image of the Uroboros, the snake that eats its own tail.

None of us needed to ask the other for help. It was feely offered as each of us saw the opportunity. We are connected by not only our needs, but also in our mutual abilities to fill them for each other.

I am filled with gratitude and as I am reminded of how blessed I am of the timely return of Kharma for all of us by the Dharma Action that was set in motion so many years ago.

All things return to the One.

Baraka Bashad.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

09/15/2015

 

 

 

 

Buddha was asked, “what have you gained from meditation?”

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

Yes!
Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent

Zen Flash

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On Letting Go, Pt. IX: The Big Lie

Posted in Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Letting Go, Mature Theme, Much Too Good For Children, NSFW, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone on September 6, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

(This post was a long time coming…it was almost painful to write by the time I finally got it sorted out…at least so far…it marks another leg of my journey of self-discovery that was triggered by…well let’s just say “…an interesting series of unfortunate co-incidences.” Only you can decide for yourself if it has any bearing on your own life.)

It should be no surprise to anyone who knows me at all that I should proclaim myself as a quintessential iconoclast.

I am no True Believer in much of anything. Faith has almost no place in my world despite the fact that as an incurable Romantic, I still desperately cling to Hope.

I am not afraid of apparent contradictions.

“We all need Love, but if you can’t find it, at least sustain Hope, but even when there is no Hope, at least try to find something interesting to do.”

I sometimes feel that I may be the Master of the Obvious by virtue of many of the things that I post, but there is at least some measure of originality within them by virtue of the often bizarre interconnections that I may make between the elements that I attempt to bring together within a story or post.

I am not delusional about presenting anything entirely original, but I have been told that I possess a colorful perspective, and there are some who find it amusing, or if not enlightening in and of itself, at least entertaining.

This is also in fact another of my notes-in-a bottle thrown from the shore of my desert island I call the Villa Chez Dreamland, still waiting for the arrival of the third lifeboat, not so much a cry for help as a shout-out awaiting a nod, a wink or a glimmer of recognition from those of like mind.

I also believe that everyone has to figure their own shit out for themselves, so it is hard to rail against much of anything without sounding like I am l telling people what to think.

So let’s be very clear on one thing…my advice is not what to think, or how to think…just please THINK.

This is one reason why I am very quick to criticize or even ridicule Politics, Organized Religion, or Organized Crime….

Most of us think that Organized Crime, for instance refers to non-Anglo organizations like the Mafia (or Costa Nostra), the Yakuza, African-American, Mexican or Vietnamese gangs or the like.

I have even heard it argued that unless you visit prostitutes, gamble and run up markers, purchase or use illegal drugs, borrow money from loan sharks or engage in other similar pursuits that involve criminal activities, that you are more in danger from disorganized crime (like the asshole that broke into your car or robbed you at the ATM, etc.).

The truth is that I am opposed to just about anything that is too fucking organized at all….

I am also something of an anarchist. I love the chaos that occurs when God rolls the dice that control the universe.

As much as we are taught to embrace Stability, both Motion and Change are the two universal aspects of not only animate, but all seemingly inanimate entities as well. (We just have different perceptions of Time.)

Whether it is a matter of Religion, or Politics, my issue is that they purport to tell you how or what to think, and inevitably they manipulate people to do something that is more likely to benefit them than you.

When it comes to Organized Crime, however, I would suggest that you are far more likely to be victimized by Healthcare Insurance Administrators, Congress, the IRA, the Treasury Department, most attorneys, the court systems, the Police, the Military (or more accurately, those who profit from them…what Eisenhower himself referred to as the Military-Industrial Complex), the Insurance Industry, or Pharmaceutical Manufacturers (just to name some of the worst), which are fear-based organizations that are primarily run by privileged white-collar white people who claim to be your protector or even friend, who have become the aristocracy of America…all the while amassing record-breaking profits by claiming to protect those who cannot protect themselves?

Who will protect us from our protectors?…or from all the good people?

But in truth, even that is just the tip of the iceberg.

When it comes to The Big Lie, there is no real charlatan worse than yourself.

There are many people or organizations as seemingly benign as the PTA that try to passive-aggressively get you to conform rather than to think, but if you choose not to question virtually every aspect of your so-called civilized life then you have no one to blame but yourself if you wake up one day feeling dissatisfied and disillusioned because you realized that you were robbed of everything which you once thought was important to you.

Of course that takes diligence, thought, and perseverance on your part…it might mean giving up a few hours of reality television each week…or even a few of the friends whom you would be better off without.

Many of them are the most insidious purveyors of The Big Lie because they are everywhere. They are so pervasive that they are in fact The Norm.

Once you begin to assess your life in terms of Authenticity, the paucity of truth governing our lives is as ubiquitous as Coca-
Cola, Mickey Mouse, Christ on the cross or fly-shit on a window sill.

More than one hundred and fifty years ago Henry David Thoreau penned the expression “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation…”. (Keep in mind that, at that point in time women had virtually no power or choice in determining their own destinies at all.)

Kurt Vonnegut used a number of expression like “Foma, Wampeters and Grand Falloons” to describe the interlocking series of lies that support our conventional modern “society in its discontent” (last quote courtesy of Erica Jong).

That was a long time ago…

In the Age of Mad Men, before even Masters and Johnson and only a little while after Kinsey, but no matter how much freer or more self-determined or self-actualized we think we have become, women are still marginalized and objectified, and spouses leave each other to go from one frying pan to another in record numbers while they are all working themselves to death pursuing an increasingly conformist one-size-fits-all lifestyle of mindlessly insecure, envious, covetous consumerism until they are either too old, infirm or senile to even remember how to dream, as their children denounce them “…’til all is dust”.

It may seem difficult now, but the longer you wait to ask yourself “What do I really want?” before you act on your answers, the more likely that it will seem impossible later.

One if the most baffling methods of self-deception is the art of weaving an interlocking series of seemingly unsolvable enigmas and paradoxes whereby one professes to despise or reject some action or series of behaviors, that are somehow justified by their mandatory participation in order to maintain their lifestyle, live up to the self-imposed “code” of ethics or behaviors related to some membership within a group with whom they identify, their religion, or because of obligatory familial expectations.

These people love to talk about their problems, and appear to be asking for your advice. They do not want your advice, or any solutions.

They may ask “what should I do?” but they are quick to counter with a host of reasons why any suggestions offered can’t solve their unsolvable problems.

Who hasn’t at least tried to politely listen to:

“I hate my job, but…”

“There is no love left in our relationship, but…”

“I feel useless and unfulfilled, but…”

“I’d leave this town and never look back, but…”

“I know it’s wrong to tolerate his (or her) abuse, but…”

“My parents treat me like a child, but…”

“I just have so much love to give, but…”

or:

“We need to talk about our problems…” (knowing full-well that if you try to counter, or address any of your issues, then the rational talk will stop and the screaming or ultimatums will begin)?

For many, their unsolvable dilemmas not only focus the attentions of everyone within their sphere of influence on themselves, but it also protects them from having to either seek effective solutions to the problems within their lives or face the Great Existential Void.

These are not in fact modern problems or questions, but the world in which we live has done a masterfully ingenious way of hypnotizing our culture as a way of disguising and marketing The Big Lie.

We keep doing the same things over and over again in the delusional belief that if we just do them differently next time, the outcome will somehow be different.

If your idea of expressing your true individuality is to buy from the “mix and match” collection from J.C. Penny (unless you are a cross-dresser and that is all you can afford) there is not much hope of self-discovery through any originality of thought.

You should never stop asking yourself “What do I really want?” or “Do I really need this?” or “What will this really cost me?” or “Just because everybody else believes it, is this really true?” or even “Are you fucking kidding me?”

You may be the one lone voice of reason in the midst of a lynch mob… (Only you can decide if it is worth the risk of doubling the number of innocent lives lost.)

Why are we so hesitant to say “I love you” (or “I don’t love you”) when we mean it most? Sexual intimacy pales in comparison to exposing your soul to another whom you love.

The other question is how much are you trying to promote a lie about yourself because you fear judgment from your peers if they only knew who you really were, or what you were really like?

It is important to know exactly how candid and frank you can be with whomever you are speaking at any particular time…I get it…no need to expose your vulnerabilities to someone who may take malicious action or judgment against you for reasons deemed necessary for their own protection….

It is tragic to think that we live in a society which is still so superstitious as to believe that the incantations of mere words or phrases can pervert or somehow kidnap our morality just by hearing them.

I am trying to address the question of being able to see yourself exactly as you are…exposing your own deepest secret fears that you have never been able to face even within yourself.

How much difference is there between your public and private life? …between who and how you wish you were and how and what you really are?

Could you summons the wherewithal to write an honest semi-autobiographical novel that used your own special knowledge of yourself candidly and without reservation? Could you portray yourself in all your unselfconsciously flawed imperfection with the same loving-kindness you so desire from others?

What do you most fear that others could learn about you that would expose you to shame, or ridicule?

Have you ever lied to your Doctor? Your Therapist or Social Counselor? Your Spouse? Your Children? Your Parents? Your Family? Your Employer? Your Peers? Your Friends? Your Lovers? Your Neighbors? The Police? Your Priest/Minister/Rabbi/Spiritual Master?

What does it take to get you to realize that you are not lying to them…that you are lying to yourself?

Who doesn’t crave the opportunity to grant amnesty for the confessions you already know you are owed by those closest to your heart, if only they would just admit their actions?

How could that not open your own heart to share the unbridled, unvarnished, unexpurgated truth about anything either of you desperately desired to unburden yourselves of, if only you knew in your heart of hearts that it would be forgiven?

And if it should be deemed unforgivable, why are you still there?

Is there a deep dark secret corner of your soul where lurks some aspect of your character, a hidden desire, a fantasy, a fear, a fetish, a phobia, an action, an addiction, an obsession, an ideation, a dream, a need, a neurosis, something you wish you could recall, or recant, or pay recompense or self-rebuke, for which you still hold guilt by virtue of its secrecy, but that nonetheless was or is regardlessly a legitimate part of your being that holds within its secrecy what constitutes your ultimate shame and humiliation?

Can you even acknowledge them to yourself?

How many people have you known in your life who thought that they were covering up some deep, dark secret which just about everyone around them already knew because it was so obvious?

It may be something as seemingly innocuous as that ridiculous comb-over, a toupée, shoe lifts, or dyed hair (in men), latent or blatant homosexuality, alcoholism, drug abuse or that poor soul who tries so hard in vain to stuff her size fourteen body into a size seven dress, or feels she needs to pad her brassiere…

The submissive, the cuckold, or the fantasizing Dominatrix who is afraid to ask for a date and has no boyfriend? Daddy/Mommy issues? Sex Addict? Gambler? Chronic Masturbator? Over-compensating tiny penis victim, or premature ejaculator? …as long as no one openly challenges their charade, they live in denial, if only to themselves.

Of course, you may think I am completely full of shit.

And you are entitled to that…at least you are thinking. The real question is if you are being honest with yourself. Only you can know that.

The Young are not afraid to lie to themselves because they have no acute awareness of the End of Days, but the closer we come to acknowledging our finite mortality the more precious each moment becomes…too precious to waste upon falsehoods, chimerae, or mirages.

Every lie that you eliminate from your world just makes room for that much more Life, Love, and Freedom.

Just keep asking for yourself. Dare to trust the truth within you.

You already know.

Stop lying to yourself.

…And trust your heart.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

09/05/2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

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