Sunday, December 11, 2005

Kinda I Want To

(from Pretty Hate Machine, Nine Inch Nails, 1989)

It's been an anniversary year, of sorts. 10 Years Ago This Year, I graduated from high school. Ten Years Ago This Year, I had sex with a guy for the first time, my first serious boyfriend, my high school sweetheart, of sorts. 10 Years Ago, this time exactly, I was on the last leg of a three-month backpack tour of Europe with my eldest brother, David. I haven't checked the dates, but December 10th would have likely put me in Germany, likely a tiny town in the Black Forest called Kirchzarten, spending the last of my vacation with a lover and a friend. Soon thereafter, I took a speedy train to Brussels, a reluctant plane home, all to find the relationship I had secretly hoped still waited for me, didn't.

Hadn't. No one has really been waiting for me any of these ten years, except myself.

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"in-'säm-nE-&: prolonged and usually abnormal inability to obtain adequate sleep".
(Courtesy of the good ole Merriam Webster)

What if you can't sleep enough on a regular basis? What if not sleeping enough is sometimes enough? For a large portion of my adult life I have been convinced that I live on a schedule which is more like a 28-hour cycle. I have read about 28 hour cycles in terms of propaganda to shift us to a less survivalistic cycle:
http://www.dbeat.com/28/ (for a nice newage example) but there isn't much testimony out there about folks who did it because they naturally figured that they actually function on it. I have experimented with it, and sometimes, it has experimented with me, like tonight.

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It's four AM. Generally, four AM is a "bad time" to think or write about anything as crucial as sleep. Then again, who would be at the most open position to re-consider its timing than someone immersed in its mis-timing? Four AM though is still probably a bad time to be thinking about how long ten years is in many ways. And how one day can seem to make up for that wait. Seem to.

A lot of things are returning with Saturn. Again, even if just taken analagously, it is seemingly effortless that the things that have worked, like patience are slowly becoming rewarded and the things that don't work, like my belief that I must work jobs which don't support me fully as a being, are falling apart. Of course falling apart is a bit more painful, outrageous even, but I appreciate them even as much as the things that are being rewarded.

Who knows what today means? It was a perfect day in many ways, due to many different factors. I opened a lot of doors I am conscious of opening. Others opened doors for me through which I have yet to walk. I am sure I closed doors.

I used to imagine my life (about ten years ago, in fact) as being a round room, the walls composed solely of doors. I spent all my time opening and closing them, often through force. Now, it is more like I am still, in the center, and they are opening and closing, naturally, as I observe them. When action calls, I commit, and for no longer, when I go back to sit.

Tomorrow, I will take my first Buddhist vow, the refuge vow. I met with a senior teacher earlier this week to confirm my choice. He asked "How do you feel about this vow?". I said "Everything I have read about it feels exactly like how I feel about it, already". He smiled. "Taking a refuge vow is like drawing a line in the sand. However, that is still really open to interpretation. The only thing it should be is effortless. So you are ready".

Ready.

Yes. Yes I am.

"I've had some time to think about you...on the long ride home..."
Dedicated to Scotch Hall, 1984-2005

2 comments:

  1. "I used to imagine my life (about ten years ago, in fact) as being a round room, the walls composed solely of doors. I spent all my time opening and closing them, often through force. Now, it is more like I am still, in the center, and they are opening and closing, naturally, as I observe them. When action calls, I commit, and for no longer, when I go back to sit."

    Very lucid. This thought seems so fluid, something so fine. I sort of get what you are saying here. And again as your teacher says, "The only thing it should be is effortless. So you are ready" - so it seems. True Vipassana is about observing, breath, body, cycles - the rise and fall in everything.

    I like so many things about Buddha's teachings, but am forever reluctant to commit, to follow consciously. I am searching for a teacher who has not been "categorized" as yet, maybe I am just searching for a living teacher to lead me to others?

    But, I guess to be really searching for something - one has to "live the search". I was at the beach today, generally taking photographs. I think I understood something about what you say "contemplative photography" is. You should really come next year and do a workshop here!

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  2. I am planning on travel before school. My plan is to do one month in India/Australia and one month in Europe (mostly London) this next year, if time allows. If not, one will happen this year, one next year. This is if I get into Naropa. If not, I will have time to travel, for sure, to both this year. Around the world ticket! And Miksang is getting queries from Europe for teachers...

    It was wonderful how the teacher who accepted our vows kept saying that he knows that for the most part Buddhists are "non-joiners" by nature, skeptics. And that although we were drawing a line in the sand, it was up to us to decide what that meant. So open. I can commit to non-commitment.
    : )

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