the thing about spending so much time by choice – being able to select the influences that shape my worldview, being able to spend my time learning and contemplating and integrating – I know I’m remarkably lucky, even as I know that the conditions that allow me this luxury are also a burden. But the real rub is how do i still spend a portion of my day in fear or isolation or overwhelm? As often as possible I try to notice and surrender, but sometimes I go hours, multiple hours, even though I absolutely know better. I know my mind is taking my experience on an unfortunate trip. I know that if I relax into it, whatever it is, I’ll be better. Calmer. More at peace with the world, with myself.
But, no. Sometimes I’m too entranced by the story. Self critical or self aggrandizing, usually. All of the reasons – verifiable reasons – i have pride or shame.
i want off of the seesaw of pride and shame. I want to trade them in for the skillful means of insight and compassion.
I’m not sure if I’ve written about the Shambala Warriors, a Tibetan prophecy brought to the west by Joanna Macy- that at the time of potential destruction the Shambala warriors arise, from everywhere, wielding the weapons of insight and compassion to dismantle the weapons of fear and save the world. I know so many Shambala Warriors. This legend brought into perspective for me a frustration I’d held for so long about light-workers being sort of diffuse, dispersed throughout the world, rare, in my experience, for too much community.
But even the Shambala Warriors will have their moments. We are human after all. This idea that anyone is ONE THING, ONE identity… we have proclivities, some stronger than others, but we are multidimensional beings. We are different things in different circumstances – and to pretend any individual is above this human condition is… well, i think it is one of the big tragedies of our time. We expect our politicians, actors, teachers to always be what we think of them as. And that’s not fair to anyone.
Yesterday I watched a Mooji video and then decided to google Mooji and found allegations of sexual misconduct in his ashram. In the video, Mooji kept telling the woman that she was the light, and she kept crying and begging for his blessing, darshan, touch. He obliged her, but with obvious and expressive, “this is not what I’m talking about, you putting me above you.” To think spiritual teachers are immune from bad days or questionable personal morality is naive. Spiritual teachers worth their salt are encouraging followers to access the wisdom within themselves. “If you see the Buddha on the road, shoot him.” Presence is what we need in the situation, not expectations. Receiving the message of another’s wisdom as the gift to your own growing Buddha nature, not holding a person up to an unachievable ideal for the message to be valid.
Maybe I am wrong and there is an unassailable teacher out there. But if that’s the case, it’s because that person’s Buddha nature has overcome the human tendencies. Feels to me like that would be pretty rare. It seems to me, their message would be the same, but their personal experience would be greatly enhanced.
I would very much like for the experience of wholeness and trust and connection to be my emotional setpoint. And it is, part of the time. The other set point very familiar to me is the ‘unworthy’ set point. and i am sick of moving between them. The Ram Das special “Becoming Nobody” talks about his quest for the transcendent state to be sustainable. I think its time to watch that documentary!