the turning wheel turns

i am staying sober, for good this time! i will admit that i have renewed interest in committing to this new state of being because someone i admire seems to be doing very very well newly sober and is ecstatic about it, but the fact still stands.

to abstain from drinking altogether isn't extraordinarily easy or extraordinarily difficult, but it feels like the absolute right thing for me to do. the feeling i used to find so pleasurable is actually quite sickening - i can hardly even think about being in that place, two drinks or so in and already feeling the pull downward into a need for more, without a dizzying nausea.

nope nope nope.

and it may be more difficult this way. in order to fully face reality's absolute fullness, to embrace all of the confusing and painful and absolutely maddening parts, one must carefully create space to accept and a willingness to experience. the creating and the willingness are the key elements of the practice, they are where the central focus must go in order to become truly independent of desire/perpetual unfullfilment. to be open you must accept your own power to change your experience.

i think the less you hide from discomfort the more your body and soul will respond with a stronger resilience.

resilience is the mechanism by which perseverance thrives. if you are mentally and physically prepared to persevere, you are more able to do so without any thought of giving up. there is something in me, and perhaps in you too, which desires laziness. the monkey is quite apathetic and bratty about life in general, and would like nothing more but to lay in bed eternally doing nothing and hiding from its responsibility, generally hating existence and projecting nothing but negativity into the world. the more one faces this unfortunate and self-destructive aspect of their humanity with a trained mind and soul one is far less likely to succumb to it.

exercising virtue is how one gains virtue. it is in the practice, moment by moment, that we grow stronger, more resilient.

prosperity. compassion. purification. peace. knowledge.

yamamoto kanae - garden, 1918


my partner and i put up tibetan prayer flags yesterday at the front of our house with a shared intention, together. he said something about imagining that the flags, five-colored fabric squares blowing in the wind, are like the sails of a ship pointed towards our intention. on each of the flags is printed a symbol, some text, and one of the five words shown above ( ^ ).

the physical ritual can be incredibly important when done with full intention - a symbol is useful or effective only if properly understood, respected. to physically demonstrate that i am on this path, to be unafraid to share that with the world and especially myself, a new page is turned. a new awareness is cultivated, a new plane attained.

there's something very right about a ship set firmly on its course, i think.

if you have yet to arrive at your destination... perhaps it is best to keep going.


erykah badu - "sometimes," baduizm (1997)

^ can. not. stop. listening. ^


the tree must not be painted, but manifested.

true tree-ness comes through the painting as itself -
no process of creating the tree required.

as the wheel turns, 
realities merge
and that which was and will be now is.

there is no more distinction.

there is no more separation.

there is only the one unfolding.

the one, unfolding.

do you still resist?

yamamoto masao: tori 

lately i've been in that place of defeat. it really sucks. somehow i have accumulated so much negative energy either from others or from my own thoughts that a cyclical loop of these thoughts will often play in my mind without end, a constant dialogue of negativity that hounds me morning til night. i think i have just become used to it. on some days i find distractions through work, a hobby, or obligations and the voice gets drowned out. sometimes, though, these distractions don't really work, and the negative internal dialogue feels almost amplified out over the field of my life and it's hard to ignore.

when you have a bully constantly shouting at you, attempting to take away any power you might muster, it is very easy to completely collapse. to hide inside the shelter of your dark cave, to mistrust anyone and anything, to despise even yourself. in this place i do not come out for anything. it is too hard to imagine things going well for me if i do, so i project into the future that there will only always be failure and pain.

i know, it's not good, but it's real. it's really what i've been dealing with. and i have come to breakthroughs regarding this particular thought pattern many times only to lose track of my progress, bringing me back to a place of not being able to imagine a way out.

thankfully i have recently discovered something seemingly obvious but that had been hidden from me in regards to digging out the poison root once and for all. a way to actually be happy all the time, in any situation, at any point or place. and it is mine.

hashimoto okie

awareness is all. once my consciousness can be trained to expand outward so that i am looking at the looker, watching the feeler, seeing the seeker, holding the thinker - once i am beyond my immediate self - then i am tapping into primordial consciousness, the very fabric of the One that includes me but also includes everyone and everything else. and from this place i can start to see that i am not merely a victim of a constant mental barrage, i am a powerful creative being;

something i have begun incorporating into my daily and even momentarily experience is the diagnosis and calling to awareness of wasteful, repetitive thought. thought can be a great servant to the mind, and the mind can be a great servant to us as individuals, but without proper awareness of its power we are likely to succumb to wasteful and repetitive thought patterns. the great hamster wheel of the mind will turn itself ragged, endlessly, and take you along with it. there are no laws which prohibit the mind from turning and spinning, projecting and analyzing, idling and plummeting downward, all at a clip seemingly beyond our control.

More than those who hate you, more than all your enemies, an untrained mind does greater harm. More than your mother, more than your father, more than all your family, a well-trained mind does greater good.

i didn't quite know all this starting out. i also didn't know that most of my depression was because i was stuck on the hamster wheel, turning and turning, slaving away in a repetitive cycle of wasted energy. i would almost constantly be wasting my waking energy thinking about the future, trying to imagine what was going on in other people's heads and hearts, trying to micro-manage my emotions and my life, all to the point of not being able to function, or at least with any degree of fluidity. it became a trap all too easy to fall into.

since making this realization (perhaps not for the first time in this lifetime, or even others), it all has become very simple, once you get the hang of it. it's very much like walking on a tightrope, this meditative state of consciousness - too much slack or too little can cause extreme imbalance, and the more times one cannot strike this balance the practice gets forgotten, and one feels defeated. it's incredibly hard to walk on a tightrope in real life, and i'm not good at it at all, but the metaphor still works well for how i have found taming the mind to be.

georgia o'keefe - light coming on the plains, no. 1

so what does this look like?

well, i can tell you that today was one of the best days i have had in a while. every moment has felt full, full of itself and full of my awareness of it, and my unconscious mind hasn't been secretly draining itself away in the background.

"but if it's an unconscious process, the mind wasting energy on worrying, how can one consciously attend to it?"

the practice requires that you are always looking at yourself, indelibly connected to what thoughts and projections are flashing across the broadcast of your mind. when we look out at the world we see what we want to see, we are concerned with exactly that which is related to our karmic destiny. if we are depressed, we look out into the world and see misery, poverty, suffering, emptiness. we are projecting that out onto the world, and of course it feels like it's confirming some truth we have created. but it's important to note how our thoughts affect our entire momentary existence.

Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is theirchief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts suffering fol-lows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.

i'm having to live this life in a state of relative solitude in order to heal the rift in my very existential fabric. i'm taking each moment as more important than my whole life put together, because in a way it is. when i feel myself start to ruminate over that which i cannot see or touch i gently guide myself away from that abyss, back to the present, and that includes the presence of my body. i listen to what my body wants and needs in this moment, and i obey, no questions asked. if i am tired, if i am hungry, if i am bored, if i am inspired, i am aware.

i am.

and that is all i ever need to be.

max ernst - paysage de choix


rain run

you ever get so high you need to climb back down the rope to earth and find your feet again, find your own little patch of earth?

that's kind of what i've been dealing with for the past few hours, but it's fine - i am already seeing myself step back into the /usual/ normal, whatever that is.

it's been the same rainy day for a few weeks now. every day we get that it is not raining has been a gift, and i've tried to use them wisely by being out in them. rainy days are also beautiful, and i can hardly remember when they weren't part of my every day.

frank wilbert stokes  - the phantom ship

one of the things i like about the rain is that in it i have started running again. running in the rain is almost more fun than running in the sun. you are constantly getting cooled off by the drops and the surroundings are alive and moving in ways often overlooked under the sun's glare. running with my dog is an even more interesting phenomenon. with her leashed to me, i feel almost as though i am driving a sled, and she is pulling me. i have to stop when she stops to explore whatever smells she must because it's about mutual respect, in the end. and then we are off, together, back into the mist and the green.

where we run it is as if we are at the bottom of a giant bowl with a mountainside wall of trees spreading above us in a giant semi-circle. looking far up the sides of that darkly green and lush wall the white mist claims the tops of the trees and the sky seems both far and not far. me then green then white then beyond. to stop amidst the onward push of your body's pumping machine and find yourself right in the middle of that giant crater of beauty, surrounded by birds and the rushing of the river water and the wetness of the dripping leaves, is to be placed right in the center of an all-encompassing experience of nowness.

heart racing and breath acutely aware of itself. that's why i run, in the end... to feel the most alive i possibly can, to be as close as i can stand to the physicality of what my body was made to do.