Sunday, March 13, 2011
This fortune cookie has been hanging in Me Voy's salon for the duration of the restoration process. Its meaning used to be simple:
Dream = sail away to a tropical paradise
Fear = obstacle to be overcome in order to realize dream
That was four years ago. During that time, the boat(s) and other teachers, have been kind enough to appear in our path and shed some light into the dark corners of our minds. Thanks to them, dear blog, our definition of both "dream" and "fear" has changed significantly.
Let's start with dream. I love palm trees. To me they are a symbol of peace. I used to imagine myself sitting under a palm, sipping delicious milk from a freshly cut coconut, watching waves roll across the vast expanse of ocean.What could be better then this? I thought and pushed myself to sand even faster, believing that if I work hard to get there, then I will be rewarded with peace and happiness. After all how could I expect to be happy while sanding? Sanding sucks, everyone knows that. So if I can suck it up now, work hard, then my peace will be waiting for me, under that palm tree, in that paradise, in the wonderful future.
Yes, dear blog, I wrote to you many times in the previous years, posted pictures of our accomplishments, and even took a little pride in how hard we were working. It was all done with relatively good humor, because I knew that soon we would be posting pictures from that paradise, where all this work has paid off. Now don't get your white digital page all in a tizzy! I know what you're thinking, but rest assured, I am not giving up on the boats, or on the tropical paradise. I have not changed what I am thinking about, just how I am thinking about it.
You see, I know now, that happiness and peace cannot come from the fulfillment of any dream. Dreams, desires, even wishes, are all bound to the material world, and the material world cannot give lasting peace because it is always subject to change.
A dramatic example of this is the recent Japan earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Immeasurable human and material achievement was destroyed in seconds. Seemingly indestructable structures crumpled in minutes, leaving a landscape strewn with worthless garbage that minutes before was valued as someone's wealth. Seeing these images it is easy to see the unreliability of the material world for providing lasting happiness.
But, if we look around this impermanence surrounds us all the time. My young skin is slowly getting lined with tiny wrinkles, which I know will soon fractal into even more and deeper lines. The varnish on our boats fades with the passing months and if left neglected will soon peel away to reveal bare wood, which if left unprotected will soon turn to mush. Things always change. If we rely on things to supply us with peace and happiness, we will always suffer.
So what is the solution?
The monk to your left, is a dramatic example of this knowledge. As his physical self burns, his Inner Self remains untouched. This is the Self that does not get wet when it rains. This is the immortal and immovable Self. This is the God, the Allah, the Jehovah, the bliss consciousness, Transcendental Awareness, Enlightenment, Nirvana, the kingdom within, the Higher Self, and the Quantum State. Whatever word you label it with, it is this wordless experience, that is within all of us, that is the only reliable source of peace in this changing world.
So can you guess my dream these days?
At this time we can search hundreds of techniques and teachings that were otherwise unavailable to most seekers at any other time in history. Some think this is not good, that it dilutes the teachings, and leaves most people paralyzed, by the overwhelming amount of choices. I'm of the opposite mind. I love the variety. The more I learn from various traditions, including the very exciting field of quantum physics, the more convinced I become that we are all fighting about the same thing.
So dear Blog, looks like change is coming. You began as a blog about one sad boat, became a blog about two demanding boats, and now? Well I don't know where we go from here, but thanks for listening.