It’s going to be a spatter week! Oh and, Joseph… note the white balance! I’m too embarrassed to explain why I wasn’t getting the right effect for all the advice I was getting. But that’s the problem, isn’t it? There are subtleties in the join-these-dots-please of a teaching I tend to be oblivious to.
The nuances of getting the ink to spatter was one of those moments. However, it ended up being a good lesson about the physics of objects in motion and letting go of how I think something should happen. And it lead me down a rabbit hole about mass, velocity, and attaining enlightenment. If I recall, mass X velocity = momentum. Which says a lot about the effect of my surplus baggage on sustaining momentum in anything I’m doing – mental or physical – including getting enlightened. One of the excess bags is the one that I call Wishfulness. It carries the shoulda’s, woulda’s, and what if’s. (The coulda’s are in the Resentment bag.) It gets heavy at times, these moments of wanting a second chance – or even a better first chance.
To some degree we all find life difficult, perplexing, and oppressive. Even when it goes well, as it may for a time, we worry that it probably won’t keep on that way….Nobody believes his or her life is perfect. And yet there is something within each of us that basically knows we are boundless, limitless. We are caught in the contradiction of finding life a rather perplexing puzzle which causes us a lot of misery, and at the same time being dimly aware of the boundless, limitless nature of life. So we begin looking for an answer to the puzzle.
Joko points out that we tend to look outside ourselves – that bigger car, higher salary, better vacations, and so on. These are the “if onlies” that we go through hoping for a resolution to the puzzle of feeling our suffering and intuiting our boundlessness.
First of all, we wear out those (if onlies) on the gross levels. Then we shift our search to more subtle levels…we turn to a spiritual discipline. Unfortunately we tend to bring to this new search the same orientation as before…. “If only I could understand what realization is all about, I would be happy.”
Enlightenment is not something you achieve. It is the absence of something. All your life you have been going forward after something, pursuing some goal. Enlightenment is dropping all that.
I’m getting the sense that just dropping off those excess bags at the Salvation Army is not enough. Velocity has to drop off too. A full stop? It suddenly occurs to me that the velocity of the ink is most powerful when the brush comes to a sudden stop on the paper.