Archive for the Zen Category

“Spirits in the Night”…? (or How many Monkeys…?)

Posted in Buddhism, Crazy Zen Wisdom, Much Too Good For Children, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, Zen, Zen on December 6, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

Isn’t it ironic that we seem more preoccupied with trying to figure out what happens after we die than we do trying to figure out how we got here in the first place?

I ask that because although we are now beginning to be able to scientifically speculate as to the origins of the universe to a degree that may lend clues as to the very nature of existence itself, we are still unable to track where the mysteriously unaccounted for twenty-one grams of weight that allegedly leaves the body goes at the moment of death because no one has been able to come back to tell us. (With the possible exception of the occasional disembodied spirit that has allegedly either been witnessed or felt.)

My mother was a college-educated, Registered Nurse…and a most reluctant spirit medium, so I try to keep an open…and eternally questioning mind.

When I was very young, my father was a research scientist . He was the one who first told me how “…theoretically speaking…an infinite number of monkeys on an infinite number of typewriters will eventually produce Shakespeare.”

I was maybe ten years old at the time. It was the same year I lost my faith to agnosticism.

He was attempting to help me conceptualize the inevitability of all things in a quantum world. He meant well, and the image worked…in my mind, I could see a sea of monkeys elbow to elbow for as far as the eye could imagine in all directions.

I could hear their typewriters clattering, clicking and clacking away until the sound grew to a rhythmically swelling, collective singularity that sounded like the roar of the ocean as heard from a long distance.

(This often happened at nights when I could not fall asleep, and it beat counting sheep.)

If you have read any number of other posts of mine, you may have already assumed by now that I did not have a normal childhood, but in the back of my mind, those monkeys were just typing away… forever…and then one day I thought “So what happens when they finally do produce Shakespeare?…do they at least get a couple weeks vacation?…the rest of the week off?…early retirement?…an extra banana?…within the eternity of infinity, does it make any difference?”

Inquiring ten-year-old minds want to know….

I had a feeling that they did not; and after all, one thing just leads to another anyway…so after they wrote “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for instance, perhaps they could go on to write something truly original…(but hopefully, more accessible than Finnegan’s Wake).

The Cosmic Microwave Background discovered during the last century functions as a sort of photograph of the moment of the Big Bang.

In order to understand what it took to discover it, and then to interpret the findings in ways that might lend clues as to where we will go, we have had to re-align our thinking in ways that are still recognizable and repeatable to other scientists, mathematicians, and theoretical quantum physicists.

I’m not referring to just our individual lives, but as a species, and further, any existence at all after the inevitable collapse of the entire universe, which quantum physicists tell us will happen.

Everything out of Nothing and back again to Nothing at all.

Eventually.

General and specific relativity and quantum physics still have a few gaps between them that do not entirely explain each other in terms of a working continuum. It is speculated that those gaps might be filled in by the discovery of a universal factorial, or constant.

Dark Matter and Dark Energy may hold the clues, if not the explanation itself.

Perhaps.

Now, slowly repeat from five to zero backwards as you complete one full cleansing breath for each number…if you can do that while reading or walking, so much the better, but either way I’ll still be here when you get back…and while you’re at it, at least try to sit up straight….

You thought I meant that rhetorically, didn’t you?

Unless you just finished doing it, all I can say is that I would hope nobody has to hold a gun to your head to get you to do something that is good for you….and anyway, this next segment takes a bit of a leap in continuity so I thought the cleansing breaths might draw attention away from it.

Whether you call them Gods, Angels, or Ghosts, virtually all cultures that have existed on this earth create various degrees of acknowledgment, faith, fervor, and encouragement as to their existence; something occult, outside of our nominal, solid, three-dimensional state.

Did we create them in our own image because we needed to believe in something more than just our meager, finite existence?

Why do we feel so compelled to create a God to do so?

Is it possible to imagine a scientific explanation of sorts? Where do imagination and speculation end, and religions begin?

Are there other alternate parallel universes beyond or outside ours?

Is it possible that one’s vital life force (aka: soul?) could pass relatively undisturbed and intact, held together by something like a Higgs-boson field; something to lend it cohesiveness and coherence?

If they were only visible when they lingered for anything longer than Planck Time, they would be free to move from one dimensional plane to another in a completely fluid state of existence in no particular place at all.

In Planck time they can come and go, lingering just long enough to be visible, but allowing the Persistence of (our) Memory to make them appear solid in more than one place at a time.

(Planck Time is something on the order of one nanosecond to the negative twenty-third power, and is named after Max Planck, the German theoretical physicist and originator of quantum theory)

(And btw, certain sub-atomic particles travel even faster then the speed of light.)

It is postulated that the vacuum of space is not just completely empty, but rather filled with Dark Matter or Dark Energy…the void of presumably empty space from which our entire universe erupted.

Absolute nothingness is a very unstable state in terms of quantum mechanics. Given enough time (which is presumably non-existent in a non-existent universe), something will happen and something will appear out of what appears to be nothing, and it has all the time that has, will ever, or never has existed to do so.

The further down one goes in size, the more obvious it becomes that relative to its size, no matter how dense we may perceive a presumably solid object to be, it is almost entirely empty space.

Deep space is just as empty as sub-atomic space, and suns, planets, solar systems and galaxies resemble electrons , nuclei, atoms and molecules. It would appear that the Higgs-Boson field that provides coherence on a sub-atomic level is mirrored in the rest of the universe by gravity.

The Higgs-Boson particle, and its associated effects are thus far, the most elemental of forces in the known universe, as well as possibly whatever houses it, and may represent a fifth force (including the continuous classical force of gravity and the other three discrete quantum fields of electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces).

Without Higgs-Boson, there would be no binding effect within the substrates of sub-atomic particles, resulting in zero mass, zero existence.

Perhaps Higgs-Boson is the equivalent of Gravity on a sub-atomic level, as nearly as can be interpreted in terms of quantum physics.

Infinite (Im)Probability eventually yields existence out of what appears to be nothing. In terms of quantum physics, no matter where you are at this exact instant, you are at the exact center of the universe.

On a quantum level, under particular conditions in a cyclotron/ particle accelerator, particles appear to not only pop in and out of existence, but even occupy two spaces at the same time. It is even possible for two of certain particles to occupy the same space at the same time.

The Heisenberg Uncertainty principle allows that in simply observing a phenomenon, we influence and affect it. (perhaps vice-versa as well).

“They became what they beheld.”

Density is relative to velocity. To what extent do particle accelerators affect the results that have been observed?

The story of Schrodinger’s Cat illustrates how a minimum of three outcomes exist simultaneously until the moment we open the vault.

…Sound familiar?…Perhaps….

“All existence is an illusion.”

“All is impermanence”

“Form is Emptiness; Emptiness is Form….

No Form, No Emptiness…

Absolute Freedom…

Form is Form, Emptiness is Emptiness…

Everything is exactly as it seems.”

(Basic Buddhist Doctrine 101)

Not based on any sort of scientific evidence, experiment or research, it would appear that they reached the same conclusions and anticipated the same results as theoretical quantum physicists.

Witness the power of the mind to envision a reality completely occult to casual observation, just by imagination, long before the existence of Scientific Method.

Both disciplines are filled with paradoxes and enigmas that seem to contradict the common wisdom.

One might even be inclined to be encouraged by the apparent intersection of two divergent paths of Knowledge and Wisdom that arrive at the same conclusions.

Or maybe…just maybe*…it is simply the results of beliefs which are the natural product of how we wrap our heads around our origins as well as our present existence…something like the lowest common denominator that our brains can process.

Or maybe it is the equivalent of “Tilt” due to inherent gaps or defects built into either the hard-wiring of our brains, and naturally, also our computers…or the result of the programming created within cultural biases, and other a priori assumptions locked into the Zeitgeist of either science or religion, since both are the results of human minds…thinking.

In my perfect world, however, I envision how an infinite series of Chimpanzees and word-processors eventually will not only write Shakespeare, but will go on to write Tom Robbins, Hunter Thompson and Dave Barry verbatim in unison while a mixed chorus of Chimpanzees and Bonobos perform perfectly synchronized reenactments of every Busby Berkeley dance routine ever performed, witnessed or filmed, while another “Universe out of Nothing” springs to life after an as-yet undetermined amount of time passes after the end of the Universe as we know it now. (Keep in mind, our universe is not infinite, although our theoretical primates are.)

“All existence is created within the mind.” (In this case, my mind.)

Unfortunately, by the time that event occurs, no one will be likely to even have the slightest clue as to what the fuck English was, and just regard it as gibberish and throw it away, further attributing the dancing to the results of Cerebral Tunnel Syndrome due to Repetitive Thought Injury (a long-overdue diagnosis within our most recent human culture, btw & imho).

Of course, even that pre-supposes that somewhere out there, some One or some Thing would be omnipresently witnessing, acknowledging, keeping score and/or even controlling everything outside of everything else; primates, word processors et al…an Uber-Sentience.

Or does it?

If a universe collapses, and no one is there to witness it, does it make a sound…did it ever exist?

Would it matter?

No matter, no matter.

No matter, no suffering.

And maybe…just maybe*…the Buddha was wrong and in fact, Suffering follows all Existence….

No existence, no suffering.

Does res ipsa loquitur with no one to speak, and no one to hear it?

Just a thought…

Just another Buddha dead…

Anyone hungry?

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

12/04/2015

*apologies and/or acknowledgements to Louis CK for the catch-phrase, as well as Dr. Lawrence Krauss, and Douglas Adams for additional inspiration and bon mots.

(“…and thanks for all the fish” to everyone else….”)

Why not? A nod is as good as a wink to a blind horse.

Sayonara, y’all.

 

 

 

 

 

How do I Feel? (revisited)

Posted in Buddhism, Confessions of a Mad Philosopher, Escape Velocity, Post-Neo Dharma Bum, The Liberation Through Hearing, this thing we do with words, Zen, Zen on October 14, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

How do I Feel about my World Today?

Who is Asking the Question?

Today’s Mantra.

Before I get in touch with My Gratitude, I feel the need to assess my current condition in terms that better lend themselves to self awareness as a way of exercising the Ever Questioning Mind.

Something to gnaw on while doing T’ai-Chi Ch’uan perhaps.

Once you see the illusion of life as well as its impermanence as we experience the Folly of it all, it is easier to choose which path to take at any given moment, as one might a hat or a pair of shoes.

This is not to rule out emotional considerations. They are a part of the equation, just not all of it.

I just ran across an old quote by Kurt Vonnegut. He was giving advice on how to write and called the semi-colon(s) “Transexual Hermaphrodites”. …as if that was something bad…at least that’s the way most of the critics of the day viewed it; however, only one source I found noted that his next statement was that in case no one knew if he was kidding, “…from now on, I’ll tell you when I am kidding.”

There is excitement in illusion, in intrigue and in the commission of The Act (whatever it is).

Kurt would not like my works, I think. Most of his advice goes completely against the way I write. OK, I get that.

I think I like the semi-colon more than ever, viewing it in the light Vonnegut suggests; and I also disagree that one cannot fragment and creatively use words in the fashion that John Coltrane or Pablo Picasso might with notes or paint. James Joyce already did that in Finnegan’s Wake, after all.

I want the reader to feel like they fell down the rabbit hole. (That’s where all the good [fun] stuff is).

By the time they reach the bottom they will have everything they need to know to figure it out for themselves…of course, they already do… even if they don’t know they know it yet.

Or maybe that’s just me.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

10/14/2015

 

 

 

One Step Beyond Everything

Posted in Buddhism, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Mature Theme, Much Too Good For Children, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, Zen on August 17, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

Something happened to me last night. I felt myself take another step that brought me closer to where I began.

Not backward…Forward.

Away from Religion, or even Zen Buddhism. Away from seeking something outside myself. Away from Denial. Away from attachments to words, or shape or form.

One step closer to a destination that was my origin. One step closer to a destination which I am not likely to reach anytime soon and in which am in no hurry to arrive.

One step closer to my true self.

It was written in the first-person, but if you can see past the repeated references to my self it is my hope that you will see that it is written not of ego, but gratitude and a profound desire to share it.

Some time ago I tried to leave pre-conceived notions and attachments to words, ideologies, credos, party platforms, agendas, catch-phrases, clichés, prejudices, hatred, convenience, convention, and my seemingly endless addictions to sensation and strong emotions with the belief, indeed the desire to find peace and gain insight and enlightenment.

I learned to love selflessly and fearlessly which meant enduring the searing pain of letting go of comfortable but unhealthy situations or intoxicating desires amidst a sea of pleasures long enough to recognize how to walk away and accept what must be done without letting go of the love; not hating the experience or the object of my desire, and accepting each instead as a person rather than a possession, knowing full well that nothing could take either the love or the experience away from me, not even them.

I hoped that they could do the same, but even then, I had to let go of my ego long enough to let them find their own way without my continued interference. I had to trust independently of either faith or belief with detached compassion for everything to which I am connected.

I had to earn to accept the bitterness and resentment that my actions have set in motion without self-righteous indignation or resentments of my own.

I had to learn how to heal without scarification.

It is not easy to maintain a loving relationship with your family and still travel to a place of complete emptiness where even the “Bone of Space” or Dark Matter is nowhere to be found, yet I was compelled to experience it in order to continue on my journey, despite the fact that I had no clue as to where it would take me, no matter how far beyond my home that journey might be.

It takes a great deal of imagination to be able to experience an eternity of complete nothingness, even for a moment of unbridled discipline.

But once that can be realized, your imagination becomes limitless. You will be able to know the entire universe without leaving your home.

All existence is created within the mind but experience can only be found in the world you create or destroy.

But something was missing…something had been lost, and I no more knew where to look than I knew what it was that I had lost.

There came a time when I felt myself being drawn to a series of vibrations…music the likes of which I had no recollection, yet which seemed hauntingly familiar, like Dark Energy rubbing the “Bone of Space”….

Then I began to recognize it everywhere…not just in old or new songs…but everywhere.

All of the apparent discord of the world was strangely harmonizing with everything else, from broadband industrial motor noise to the high-pitched whine of a mosquito’s wings…the drone of a telemarketing call center, or the wind in the pines above my cabin…all of it.

Every blade of grass was a tongue that harmonized a symphony that I had written to celebrate this beautiful life I had created as tears of joy ran down my one true face so overwhelmed by gratitude to be right here, right now…all of it.

I am so filled with passion and love that it drowns out all the arguments and conflict that once filled my head with cacophony.

The Music is back in my life in a very big way, much like it once was, only different.

If you let it, one mosquito can spoil an entire night’s sleep. It can bring about the death of dreams if you let it.

There will always be endless potential for suffering somewhere in your world, and mine is no different…sorrow comes…sorrow goes.

If you don’t take the bait, you won’t feel the hook of Shenpa.

Whatever suffering comes into your life is going to happen for a reason. We are taught to run from pain and chase pleasure, but both are inescapable.

Pain will make you stronger, and teach you something you were meant to learn if you can stop feeling sorry for yourself long enough to recognize what it is.

There is nothing wrong with pleasure or joy, and Love is the only reason for being alive.

I embraced Zen Buddhism because I was seeking enlightenment, Peace, Understanding and Wisdom despite the fact that I really had no idea what any of those things really were, but I thought I would find a better way to live my life.

There is no escape. Meditation and chanting can provide enough distancing and perspective to gain objectivity without the obligatory participation in the Saint Vitus Dance that has mesmerized so many of our peers and ancestors unknowingly, but the act of pursuit is not life; although it may return you to your true self, the person you were before your parents were born.

Zen is a path that helps us to recognize the illusions, impermanence and insubstantiality of all existence. Zen meditation is initially a journey into emptiness, and for a long while, it was an escape.

To experience true emptiness, you have to step away from everything, including God, Buddhism, Meditation, Sex, Food, Drugs, Pleasure, Friends, Family, Parents, Home, Earth, Knowledge, Enlightenment…just this…Nothingness…even Emptiness is gone.

This is what Buddhists refer to as Nirvana“No Form, No Emptiness”. In my blissfully ignorant Hippy days, (like most of my peers) I thought it was everything…The End. The Destination.

That misconception is still endemic to our culture, but although it did not continue for very long for me, it was nonetheless a very long time before I achieved it.

I seemed to have a preternatural avoidance to embracing it…I could feel myself pull away in fear…it made me fear for my sanity (whatever little there was).

True emptiness is unnerving. It meant that I had to loose the illusion of Control, and face my mortality, as well as how insignificant my short life was.

In the midst of fearing the emptiness of my eventual death, I asked myself what was it like waiting to be born?

What is it like to be in God’s waiting room? (…and I don’t mean Boca Raton.)

Wu!…(or perhaps Mu….)

It is believed that the earth took hundreds of millions of years to form, the result of the accumulated collisions of particles in space within our orbit.

Mars is believed to have had water on it five billion years ago, and possibly even life. Where did that life go?

I had been more than a little crazy for a long time, although even that was not good enough…so I jumped into the volcano…I embraced the Void.

I suddenly remembered an LSD trip I had experienced years before, In which I had witnessed my own beheading. As I recoiled in shock I saw my own head roll to my feet…for an indeterminate amount of time it felt like everything had stopped…I could not move, or breathe, and I felt as if Time had stopped. Even my field of vision was frozen.

Then, a quiet, loving, and clear, soothing voice whispered in my ear “Who is observing this?…all of this was created within your own mind…in here, nothing can harm you.”

In this state of mind, you can bend time and space, or conjure events or items under precisely the right circumstances if your heart and your motives are pure, but it is not a parlor trick to be performed like watching a dancing bear.

I have witnessed and experienced it myself several times, but it was not unlike Douglas Adams’ description of unassisted human flight accomplished by virtue of throwing yourself at the earth and missing it…

Twice it has saved my life, and once it reminded me of the possible consequences of my actions before I took a step that I am glad I avoided.

It almost has to occur as if it was an accident. I have never witnessed it as an exercise of will or ego.

I do not pretend to have faith in anything, so I was as disinclined to believe it myself as I assume you will be, but for what it is worth it is considered a part of the arc that becomes a circle.

I have recently heard and read about what is called The Nature of the Shape of Space as regards what is sometimes referred to as the force of gravity for instance.

My understanding of general and specific relativity and quantum mechanics is so limited that I only mention it because it may well be that everything we think we think we know is wrong, but that concept does not especially bother me any more.

As for the divinity of the Buddha, I regard descriptions of his birth and life in much the same light as I do the cult of personality concerning Kim Il Sung. (But I already told you I am not a very good Buddhist….)

I read a description of the birth of the Buddha in which it is said that he sprang from the side of his mother, pointed to the North, the South, the East and the West, and proclaimed that from the endless sky above to the Earth below, only he was holy.

I am also fascinated by Greco-Roman Mythology, Egyptology, Wicca, the Old Testament and the Kabbalah, and find them insightful and full of amazing concepts, but I do not pray to anyone or anything.

I wouldn’t know where to start.

I never was a very good Buddhist, no matter how hard I tried.

I am, however, grateful for the teachings and philosophies of the Tao and Buddhism that have guided me these many years.

I am no longer concerned with the Enlightenment that I sought for so very long. The seeking is over…what comes will come. There is no attainment…there is only this…just this…everything is just like this, but seen through different eyes.

I have experienced many epiphanies that have resulted in some degree of insight, each one like another step in the journey of a thousand miles, which I regard as a continuous and life-long series of experiences.

I still read the Koans. Some are as clear as still water; some are still not.

Yet I still sit.

I still meditate.

There is a time for screaming just to shut out all the madness and chaos that surrounds us.

There is a time for quiet contemplation of the silence amidst the chaos to prepare for the great emptiness of the nothingness of Nirvana.

There is a time for the freedom of madness, and majic.

But eventually the snake will swallow its own tail.

The water flows into an out of the lagoon as the fish swim with the tide.

Love fearlessly and selflessly.

Do not demean or scorn the ways or beliefs of others unless you are the one lone voice of Reason amidst a lynch-mob.

Do not lie, cheat, or steal, but neither be afraid to accept what comes mysteriously into your possession through no fault of your own. If there is such a thing as Providence that could well be it, and would be most ungracious to decline, even in ignorance.

Deny yourself nothing that gives you pleasure that does not harm or diminish yourself or others except in its excess.

Nothing is either sacred or profane in and of itself, but you will always know the difference in your own heart when the time comes.

Always listen to your heart.

Remember to be grateful for everything; it is not only here for a reason, but since all existence is created within the mind, it is up to you to figure out why and to what end you created it.

Love selflessly and unilaterally. It is in the act of loving that we are exalted above all situations and circumstances of birth, privilege or sheer luck.

If you are blessed to be loved by someone who loves fearlessly, selflessly and without regard for its return, have the good sense to accept it without reservation of equivocation.

It is never wrong to tell someone that you love them.

What is given to you cannot be taken back, because it was already yours before it was given, just as what is theirs already is.

What we give, we get by virtue of our own giving, not by getting back.

Have the good sense to know when and how to say goodbye without regrets. Just be grateful.

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

08/16/2015

On Letting Go, Part VIII: Denial

Posted in Buddhism, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Love, Much Too Good For Children, NSFW, Philosophical Sexuality, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Zen on August 11, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

With such a plethora of psycho-babble invading even common speech it is not surprising that the term Denial is most likely to evoke images of people who cannot face some form of dysfunctionality within their lives.

It is not my intention to dismissively disregard this blind spot that has such great potential for preventing us from being fully self-actualized human beings…far from it, but there is another aspect to Denial that is the primary focus of this post today.

My concern regards the denial of Pleasure in the name of higher consciousness and spiritual development.

The Precepts of Buddhism warn of the deleterious effects of Sex, or Drugs, or strong Drink as regards achieving Enlightenment, as well as the usual admonishments against Stealing, Lying, and Killing.

I have spent quite a few years studying Buddhism in its many forms, and the longer I pursue it, the more convinced I become that I am really not a very good Buddhist at all, despite the fact that I still regard myself as a spiritual person in many ways, although I am not the least inclined toward Religion.

There seems to be almost no end in the conflicting views I have regarding spiritual matters.

For one thing, although I am an Atheist I believe in the persistence of the soul, by which I mean that mysterious twenty-one gram quantity that would appear to constitute what we refer to as the vital life force that leaves us when we die.

There seems to be some emperical data to suggest that it may persist in a somewhat cohesive and coherent form after it leaves the body.

I am inclined to believe that this essence may be passed on and recycled, but I hold no hopes for any conscious memory of past lives beyond the occasional déjà vu, intuition, “instinct”, pre-cognition or the seemingly inexplicable recognition of people, places, or events.

There is also the matter of Universal or Cosmic Conciousness, One Mind or Common Mind. Sometimes it seems as if thoughts have wings that carry them like bees from flower to flower.

But the emotional crutch of believing in Re-incarnation has no appeal to me. From my perspective, it is just another way of diverting our attention away from the reality of our inevitable mortality.

I don’t know why people keep saying things like “I want to come back as a cat…” (or anyone other than themselves for that matter). What difference does it make? I see little evidence that most people learn from their mistakes in this lifetime, let alone from some previous lifetime.

I am disinclined to feel any comfort in the belief one way or the other, and gave up all hopes of Heaven a very long time ago.

So you could say that I believe in ghosts, but not in angels…at least not the kind in which we were taught to believe in Sunday school…(the notable exception being that several times in my life, I have met women who inclined me to challenge my disbelief…sometimes even with all our clothes on).

For the time being, this is my Kharma. I accept that, and realize that it is subject to change accordingly.

My initial introduction to Buddhism, the Hindu faith, and Vedic traditions, as well as Hatha Yoga came at about fourteen years of age, and was principally centered around both Mahayana and Hīnayāna Buddhism as practiced in India.

My childlike acceptance of Christianity had become untenable and I felt compelled to search for deeper meanings and a better understanding of the nature of my existence within the universe.

Later, I was introduced to the Tao, as well as Chinese and Japanese Buddhism, although the primary focus of my studies has centered around both Korean and Tibetan Zen Buddhism.

One of my issues with religion has been the requirement to believe in some sort of Supreme Being…a God who requires worshipful devotion. It may sound ironic, but for years I prayed for my faith to return without success.

Soon enough, I will be addressing that issue, but not today…at least I hope not today. Not because of some distinct or nebulous fear of a judgmental and wrathful God…it’s just that I still have a lot of things I want to do before it’s time to pick up the check.

Even in the absence of a God, the pursuit of Enlightenment, Deeper Meanings, or possibly even a sense of Purpose and Higher Consciousness remain, shimmering like the vision of a distant oasis in a desert of existential banality.

If they too should prove to be a mirage, the realization of just what it is…what it means to be alive will be my reward.

As marginal as that may sound, it is still better than tacitly accepting second-hand fairy tales from those who would pretend to know things that they admit they cannot comprehend in order to justify throwing your life away now for a promise of Heaven tomorrow.

A central premise of Buddhism is that all Desire is followed by Suffering…OK; I get it. If you are so consumed with desires that require reciprocation to the point that your self-awareness is no different than a dog chasing his own tail, it is the same as it is with any and all attachments.

After all, in chasing your own tail, you are following an asshole.

This series of posts entitled “On Letting Go” is concerned with exactly that…our Attachments, Addictions, Illusions, Falsehoods, and other Paucities of the Truth.

The eventual goal in Buddhism is to evolve to the point where one is “like a mirror…red comes, there is red; a man comes there is a man, a woman comes, there is a woman; Life comes, there is Life; Death comes, there is Death.”

“Everything is just this…only this…just like this.”

Most forms of Buddhism have a hierarchy of beliefs, characters, patriarchs, names, mantras, and sutras with various degrees of emphasis on one feature or another.

That was what led me to Zen Buddhism. I neither seek a Buddha to worship, nor to whom I would be inclined to pray, or beg forgiveness.

It is likewise unacceptable to entertain the thought of a god that would command me to either kill or die in his name.

Also, the Tibetan Zen Buddhists are less likely to condemn  sexuality, especially the followers of the Shambhala order popularized by Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

Of course Tantric, or Sacred Sex is a practice that is blessed in its own right, even amongst infidels.

But nonetheless, there is always controversy whenever any Buddhist cleric is discovered to have indulged in sexual relations, drugs, or alcohol.

Indeed, all religions seem to be infused with this preoccupation with the denial of sexuality and the suppression of Pleasure.

I don’t care why right at this moment. There has been plenty enough written on why it is believed it has to be this way.

I disagree.

My concern is for Higher Consciousness…some call it Enlightenment. How can anyone expect to comprehend or understand what it means to be alive without joyously and consciously participating in it?

As for Enlightenment, the more I seek it for myself, the more elusive it will become and evade me forever. OK…I get it. You can’t hurry the process, and you won’t find it sitting at the feet of any teacher. No matter how much you learn, you must experience life to know it.

I have learned to just be, and as enlightenment comes, accept it with loving-kindness, knowing that it is not everything…there is always more.

If a time should come when my desires for sensual and sexual pleasures should disappear, it will undoubtedly make sense if that is the right thing for me.

Although Sex and Love are separate entities…they sure do seem to make such a nice couple.

Love (or Sex) and Jealousy arise from our expectations of others. Most people love selfishly…they expect obligatory reciprocation from those whom they love, and may even come to hate those who do not return the favor in like kind, as if Love implies Ownership, as well as a form of control by virtue of obligation.

Buddhists aspire to gain enlightenment, in order to save all beings, bringing world peace through selfless love.

There is a Zen Koan: “How many people does it take to achieve World Peace?”

The short answer is one.

All existence is created within the mind. If you just learn to accept all beings with loving-kindness, in the place before thoughts or words, we are all of one mind, and there is no disagreement, like two mirrors facing each other.

Sorrow comes, we feel sorrow. Joy comes we feel joy, not just for ourselves, but for everyone. Through Dharma Action we learn as we teach. When we encounter deluded individuals who are suffering, we suffer for them; and we aspire to act in ways that will show them the way out of their suffering.

It is even said that a true Buddhist would venture into hell to save a fellow human being.

It may not be eternal and everlasting happiness, but at least there is Peace. I get it.

I have no doubt that the institution of Jealousy could have a great deal more potential for impeding Enlightenment than Pleasure could.

Jealousy is indeed an institution within our culture whose major economic concern is for generating mindless consumerism that plays upon our insecurities as well as our seemingly inbred potential for jealousy, envy, fear (especially of aging), greed, and covetousness.

And of course, the attorneys make no end of profit from it.

Ironically, Lust is the very first on the list of the Seven Deadly Sins, but Jealousy is not even a runner-up.

This is another of the points that need to be acknowleged. Jealousy is not a simple emotion, but rather a complex inter-dependent series of neurotic manifestations of fear, envy, covetousness, and insecurity.

It is a learned response that is programmed into us as a part of our culture that is in fact, not endemic to all cultures.

Anything that can be learned can be unlearned. Even the most conflicted Humanist can be taught through the right sequence of stimulus-response mediated experiences to abandon learned neurotic beliefs and behaviors.

The point being that sexual pleasure does not necessarily pre-dispose one to suffering. On the other hand, no good can come from the denial of healthy desires.

Desire may lead to suffering, but Denial is suffering. The satiation of desires is more likely to lead us to develop sufficient objectivity about our desires so that we can respond to them like any other basic need.

The Buddhists say “If you are tired, sleep; if you are thirsty, drink; if you are hungry, eat.”

To that I would humbly suggest adding “If you are lonely or depressed…love selflessly…and if you are horny…fuck like there is no tomorrow….”

(Tomorrow never comes, no matter how many times you do.)

The Past is a memory…a dream of what was, as full of regrets as it is of complacent reveries of past achievements and Glory Days long gone…or the smell of grandma’s cookies…not bad, not good, but gone; full of “the pain of remembering”.

The Future is a dream of what has not yet happened…whether a portent of joyful anticipation or fear, it is a dream of a dream.

The ever-present-never-present present moment is an illusion that is gone as soon as it appears. It is created within our minds.

I say “Govern yourself accordingly….”

Namasté

नमस्ते

Chazz Vincent

08/08/2015

Who Am I? (revisited)

Posted in Bardo Thordol, Letting Go, Polyamory, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, Zen on May 23, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

DSC_0037[1]

Who Am I? (revisited)
I am I.
I am You.
I am One.
I am All.
I am Nothing.
All is Impermanence.
All is Folly.
Even the coming and goings
are an illusion
created within the mind.
No inside.
No outside.
No mind.
Before ideas,
before thoughts,
before words
there is only this.
Just this.
Only this.

Just like this.

Who am I?

What is the Truth?
Twice daily
water flows
in and out of the lagoon
where fish swim.
Is this the only truth?
You already know.
Before thoughts,
before words,
put everything down.
The comings and goings,
Inside and outside,
All is illusion,
All is Impermanence.
Dancing in a dream of the past.
Dancing in a dream of the future.
I ride the three-hundred-mile-per-hour train
in the ever-present
never-present
present moment.
I look outside and all is a blur
but inside the car only I move.
I am I.
I am You.
I am One.
I am All.
I am Nothing.

What is my one true face
before my parents were born?
I am the truth of one mind.
Of clear mind
Of no mind.
So simple and perfect
staring back at you
as you gaze into the mirror,
yet if you
speak one word
to describe it
you shatter the stillness
that drowns out all the words and wisdom
of all the great teachers.
Already you know.

The truth is on the tongues of every blade of grass
singing harmonies
to the wind in the pines
and waterfalls,
the sounds of lovers
or the din of traffic
and industrial motor noise alike.
More eloquent than words,
more profound than all wisdom.
Seeking the truth or enlightenment
through thoughts or words
is like trying to hit the moon with a stick,
like a dog that chases its own tail,
that wouldn’t know what to do with it.
even if it should catch it.
If you open your mouth to speak
you are only another talking monkey.

Who am I?
I am I.
I am You.
I am One.
I am All.
I am Nothing.

What is the true way?
North
South
East
or West,
all paths come back upon themselves
if only you travel far enough.
If all things return to the One
where does the One return?
Zero.
The sound of the wind in the pines
and the crashing of the waves
upon the shore
are singing
a song of Selfless Love
as shadows grow longer
while the sun moves westward.
See your one true face in mine.

Who am I?
I am I.
I am You.
I am All.
I am One.
I am Nothing.
The sound of frogs
singing at night
comes in through my window.
So simple.
So true.
How did I not hear it
for so long?
Listen.
Smile.
Give.
Love.

All the wisdom
of all possible worlds
is within you now
if you will but listen.
Everything you need
you already have.
Everything you need to be
you already are.
I am I.
I am You.
I am One.
I am All.
I am Nothing.
Be here now.
Be nowhere.
Be now here.

Birds swim through oceans of fire,
while stone angels fly
and
fish dance
to songs
sung by
the rocks
as mansions of sand
crumble in the sky.
Just this.
Only this.
Just like this.

Who are We?
I am I
You are You.
I am You.
You are Me.
We are One.
We are All.
We Are Nothing.
Namasté
नमस्ते
Chazz Vincent
05/22/2015

My Muses

Posted in Acknowledgement, Appreciation, Collaboration, Dangerous and Unsavory ideas that are possibly harmful to the weak-mided and overly simplistic and religious, Erotic Poetry, Goddess, gratitutde, Jantor To The Temple Of The Holy of Holies, Liason, Liason Between Parties, Love, Mature Theme, Much Too Good For Children, NSFW, Poetry, Possibly Dangerous to Everyone, Sentience, Share The Love, Sorcery, The Knowledge of Good and Evil, The Wisdom, Theater of the Mind, Tsukimono-suji, What You Have Conjured Up, Zen with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

My Muses

Our souls breathe the same air

somewhere

outside of time and space

resonating

as we breathe out

we inspire each other

as we breathe in

provocative exhalations

evoking visions and dreams,

wonderment and admirations

that just seem to fit so well.

As each pronouncement

of the ideal

of the other

mirrors our own aspirations.

If you can imagine it

you can make it happen.

To hear you describe it

is to desire to be that man

who inspires you

to be that woman.

To read your thoughts

is to feel

your soul

breathing your words into my ear.

Each of you

nurture, heal and inspire

the very best of me,

inspiring me

to do the same for you.

Indulgences

of spirit and flesh

are exchanged

as fluently

as

passing from one hand to the other.

Breathless humours and vapors

of our common consciousness

in mutual resusitation.

 

Step into the Light

Posted in Crossing the Abyss, Much Too Good For Children, Poetry, Sentience, Zen with tags , , , , on March 16, 2015 by dreamlanddancing

Step into the Light

Anonymity is its own punishment in its very safety.

Time to step back out into the light of controversy and notariety.

Notariety is not fame

but

Dharma coupled to Action

is compelled to attract attention to itself.

The controversy is theirs.

Action attracts action.

Too much time spent locked inside the pink house

of many doors

is no test

of anything except solitude.

Time to be alive again

to feel joy as well as passion

through conviction.

How do I find the words

to enable me to envision the elusive,

the esoteric,

the occult,

the indescribable,

the transcendental?

What will trigger a recognition of a feeling?.

No matter how universal it may seem

it is purely

Subjective.

What is common and endemic to our nature

allows us to recognize

whatever narrow slice of enlightenment or bliss

that we are experiencing

in our own private present moments.

Be now here

instead of

Nowhere.

The inner peace of one lone soul

is world-wide

for that one soul

whose perfection is contageous.

Namasté

नमस्ते

 

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