To Attempt Openness

image

Image by Andrew Gable

It has been brought to my attention, by some of the more laid-back voices in my head — they had to band together in solidarity to be heard over the rest of this rabble — that, by and large and for the most part and all that, our posts on this page have been somewhat heavy on the belligerence, whilst largely ignoring the dharma.

After some careful self-reflection (which was, of course, preceded by ire, indignation, denial, and not a small amount of surly, boisterous resistance) I am inclined to agree. Actually, this imbalance is — as allegorical symmetry is so wont to do — reflective of a physical and psychic disparity of serenity in my “real life” that I have been aware of for some time. And while I am keen on reflecting in ponderous deliberation a meriad of cause and effective methodology with which to address this pervasive disquiet, the lethargic, apathetic procrastinator in me is loathe to take any real and deliberate action.

This must change. And this change must begin now. I am very much aware of the things I need to do in order to progress along this path of steady calming. It is time to stop thinking on them, to stop talking about them, to set aside my fears and reservations and actually fucking DO something.

For now, that something will be this, a two-parter:

1.))) I must practice zazen much more often, and with deliberate regularity.

2.))) I must WRITE.

There can be no peace in life with such disquiet and upheaval in the mind. The zazen is intended to address this on a spiritual level, and the writing will address it on a cathartic artistic level. And I don’t mean more of the same of what I’ve been doing, simply churning out casual snippets of egocentric musing when the mood strikes, or because I feel I need to fulfill some personal obligation to post some drivel on WordPress every day.

I need to be writing in earnest, with passionate deliberate fury, writing honestly and unabated and without fear or reservation or expectation, without even intent of having what I write be seen by eyes that are not my own. I need to be writing madly and selfishly and obsessively. I need to stop shallowly pondering meanings and themes and intent and stop attempting to prematurely ejaculate some kind of superficial, pretentious grandeur into the idea of a thing and simply fucking WRITE it (I’m speaking about my “novel” here).

And don’t forget the zazen.

And, so it goes that I will be throwing my energy into fulfilling this two-part goal in the coming minutes and hours and days and weeks. I may share some of what’s produced on here, but my focus needs to be on doing these things selfishly and with absolute self-serving intent, for now. No expectations.

That being said, I’d like to welcome a new pen to the WordPress community, a madly brilliant young lady who is also a dear friend of mine on “the outside.” Monica unleashed her blog, Musings of a Baby Tiga, upon the world only a few days ago, however if you give her a follow you are sure to be intrigued, disturbed, inspired, obsessed, and otherwise enthralled with what she and her mind have to offer. She is most certainly One Of Us…

image

Image by InfernoTheRoyal

© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A musing on disquiet and simple acts of psychic upheaval

image

It occurs to me — over and over again, because I never learn, and usually at the least opportune moments, but I digress — that the primary reason I procrastinate and stall and make excuses and put off trying or fucking doing anything (besides being rooted, as all things are, in Fear) is that I get caught up in the percieved or apparent enormity/entirety of a thing, I overwhelm myself with obsessive monolithic dissection, I let loose the mental patients in my head, and we fucking bathe in the feces encrusted misery of our own paranoid compulsive immersion. The thing becomes an uncontrollable beast in the china shop of my perception before I even have a chance to move.

image

Take the act of meditation, for example. On a logical level, I understand and have even experientially witnessed the spiritually, emotionally, and physically healing properties of meditation. I know that practicing zazen would be the first best thing for me to be doing in this time of psychological disquiet and uncertainty. But, I am automatically consumed by the entire Universal scope of the idea of Enlightenment and peace and unity and understanding and nirvana and sublimely perfect cosmic alignment. And so I can’t see the forest for the trees. I am too caught up in obsessiving anxiously over the details of neurotic insignificance and distractifying minutia, and I am blinded to the simple, obvious beauty and wonderfully flawed delicate perfection of each magical moment.

image

So, today, an experiment. An exercise in detached observational experience and willful, conscious presence. I read something that, as with all of the most profound truths, seems so obvious now. Meditation doesn’t have to be the ritualistic, solemn, esoteric act of spiritual perfection that I sometimes picture it to be in my muddled mind. The simple act of observing and experiencing one’s thoughts without reaction to them is an act of meditative contemplation. My intention for today is to attempt to allow my thoughts and emotions to flow freely through me, but rather than react to them and allow them to direct my behavior and feelings, I will practice at simply observing these thoughts and emotions, analyzing and attempting to understand them, and in this way perhaps I can arrive at a deeper understanding of myself and my place in these moments.

image

And when I inevitably step off and engage and allow myself to become consumed with some neurotically poisonous snowballing wreckage, I must simply acknowledge, reset, and try again! This all seems so simple on paper…or LCD screen, as the case may be.

image

© Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ryan Scott Sanders and Dharma and Belligerence: Mad Rants from a Free-Range Buddhist Hooligan with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.