I am caught in a web of intrigue.
There are the stories I tell myself about me. There are stories I tell myself about others. There are stories I tell myself about me reflected in others and they in me. These stories sometimes are woven intricately, threads so tightly intertwined as to be inseparable. Sometimes the threads are loose and tenuously linked, snagging on some external point or edge that unravels it all.
All stories are a refuge from the truth of who I am.
Thich Nhat Hanh writes beautifully about the joy we feel when we watch a friend emerge from “the chaos caused by the annihilation of his last refuge.” (from Fragrant Palm Leaves: Journals 1962-1966 by Thich Nhat Hanh). This is to be my work: to burn down the huts of my delusions, the books of my illusions.
I knew early that finding truth is not the same as finding happiness.
You aspire to see the truth,but once you have seen it, you cannot avoid suffering.
Otherwise you have seen nothing at all. You are still hostage to arbitrary conventions set up by others.
It should come as no surprise that I live my life based on the measure of others. I don’t mean the negotiated truths we all use to create relationship. Nor the conventions that ease the flow of a day. I mean the objects that signify what should ring the bells of praise and blame.
Truth cannot be borrowed. It can only be experienced directly.
The fruit of exploration, the suffering, and the direct encounter between one’s own spirit and reality –
the reality of the present moment and the reality of ten thousand lifetimes.
For each person, it is different. And it is different today than it was yesterday.
Thank you for practising,