An inner dialogue
So no large actions occur in my life for almost five months since I got back from Burma. I don’t have a permanent home. I haven’t found a meaningful job or a new love. I’m not a parent, I don’t regularly care for someone else, I barley have friends in London or people to have meaningful discussions with or Dhamma friends. I’m still not sure that I will stay to live in London or the UK or the “west”. I have no possessions, no money and no concrete plans for the near or far future. For the past few months I’ve been living being unable to see anything beyond a day or two ahead or maximum one week. I don’t have a calendar or a diary. I’m not really involved in any project, I don’t create anything and sometimes I feel as if I don’t even have personal wills. Almost as if “I” lost interest in designing “my” life.
Of course there is happening all the time: I sit, I stand, I walk, I eat, I drink, I exercise, I meditate, I occasionally talk to someone, I write, I carry groceries from Sainsbury’s, I meditate, I sleep, I dream, I dress up, I shower, I pray, I brush my teeth, I use the toilet, I meditate, I talk on the phone, I see movies on my laptop, I meditate, I listen to music, I dance Salsa, I cook , I listen to Dhamma talks, I read books, I meditate, I’m being mindful, I laugh, I smile. I meditate. I do allot but no large actions. No manifestation of “life goals”.
Truth is that ever since I got back from Asia, I’ve been mostly content with life as it is. Even happy. Even very happy. However, lately, I’ve been feeling down with not doing more. Visiting home, remembering who I was, how much I used to do and how little I do these days generated some discomfort and raised questions about the balance between being and doing and what it means to be fully alive. So I spent the last few weeks contemplating my life over the past few months, trying to figure out where did the fire go – how come I don’t create, don’t plan, don’t wish for anything, don’t want anything. Initially I got really scared, thinking I may never learn to live this odd way with no-things and non-doing but as I went on exploring this present reality I found out that I actually enjoy it quite allot. Maybe, if I’m truly honest, I’m even attached to not having forms in my life as I’m really benefiting from it.
I write today not to complain but rather to pay homage to the no-things and non-doing that colors my life, to that void. For although it’s a very strange place to be in life, unfamiliar and very scary at times, it also allows the experience of grace and magic to follow me outside of the monastery, outside of Burma and Nepal.
I feel a larger change is manifesting. I feel “my” voice is gradually making a comeback and maybe soon there will be more somethingness . So before that happens I’d like to share with you some of that magic of having no big “things” that occupy the mind, the life. I share with you my inner dialogue over the past few months.
The bird has my wings
- I’m able to play my new favourite game countless times a day – search for people in happy moments and rejoice for them. Couples in a moment of warmth, friends laughing, a parent with a child, a pet with a human, clients and salesperson, flowers and insects . I look for any warm moment between beings and wish that this joy will prevail in their life from now until the end of their existences. It also makes me very happy.
- I’m able to play my other game – look for suffering in other human and non-human beings and wish for their complete freedom from sufferings
- I play yet another game, contemplating space and the ratio between space and “things”
- I have time to remember and look for the divine essence in as many beings as I can and feel excited by the mystery behind their eyes
- I remember to express gratitude to at least ten different people or things or situations – daily
- I have time to look at people’s hands and feel the wonder of how this “thing” is moving, grabbing, touching in different ways, loving, expressing emotions. I notice how the fingers move together and separately at the same time and think that this is so strange and even ugly on one hand but oh so amazing of the other hand
- I have time to contemplate on how amazing it is that I can walk. And stand up. And make my own meal and coffee and have eyes to see and ears to hear and that I can talk and think. As if everything I took for granted takes on a whole different understanding. How does the body know how to do all those things? And who gives the orders? And why?
- I remember to be mindful as much as possible also to moments of gratitude and joy
- I have time to think stupid and profound thoughts.
- I came to the UK completely skinned almost five months ago. I worked only 13 weeks and I managed to close the over draft in my Israeli bank account and secure enough funds to live for two months in London without having to work; If that is not a miracle I don’t know what is. And no, I didn’t do anything illegal.
- I have time to go to Buddhist gatherings and prayer ceremonies, healing events (as a healer) and clairvoyance nights.
- I have taken one month of my life to contemplate my present core values and life goals and think about who I want to become and what actions I want to take in the world, assuming I ever resume the capacity to take actions. At least I know my core values.
- I have the fortune of meeting complete strangers who share with me their awakening experiences and the capacity to rejoice for them
- I had the time to dedicate a month and a half to exchanging long descriptive e-mails with a wonderful man I’ve never met
- I have time to wander endlessly at London’s beautiful parks and at Camden market – my favourite spot of the city.
- I have time to listen to the sweet sounds of the birds that returned to the city in this early spring
- I have time to stop and see beautiful flowers and thousands shades of greens all over
- I try to bless as many people when I remember to do so
- I look for and see rainbows at least once a day
- I have time to read inspiring books and listen to inspiring talks
- I have time to look at how the moon develops every night
- I pay attention to the inner life inside the body times and times again. I love this game.
- I keep dwelling in the essence of it all
- I have time to contemplate how everyone and everything is responsible for the food i eat
- I recite the precious human life text by his Holiness the Dalai Lama every morning
- I remember to ask for miracles every single day. And remember to receive them.
- Every day I ask for an opportunity to do least one meaningful thing for another being. Many times I find this opportunity.
- I appreciate the small doings
- I remember that the bird has my wings
There are more but I think that this list gives a clear picture on why I’m, at least partially, attached to non-doing and having no-things. Right now I’m no longer sure why it is that I even want to have larger actions. I know it has to do with service and purpose and dedicating my life to other’s happiness and well being. It’s knowing that the practice and it’s results are not about me. I’m not sure yet what that means and if, or how, that will ever take form.
Rereading this text before I click the send bottom, I realize I put myself once again in a vulnerable position sharing my inner dialogue this way, I realize some of you might not understand what I’m talking about or why I chose to share and I apologize if I made anyone feel uncomfortable. But I also realized I got exactly what I was looking for when I set off on my journey – a different way to be alive.
It took me two and a half dedicated years of doing almost nothing but practice and there are no guarantees that I am indeed wiser or in “a different place”. Fact is that a part of “me” already wants larger actions to happen. Becoming something new yet again. Will I ever learn to live this way? Will I be able to integrate all those current mind states into a busy and more demanding life style? Do I even want that? Do I have a choice there? What is the equilibrium between being and doing?
I have no answers. Only questions at this point. Perhaps in a few months time I’ll know differently. Maybe not. I only know that much – the practice and it’s results are not mine and not about me.
May I be wise enough, patient enough and slow enough. And may I be humble enough. May I be able to dedicate my whole life and my whole being to the benefit of all others in any possible way and may I never forget the joy, the grace and beauty my life is filled with.
May we all accept patiently and peacefully all that happens in every single moment. May we know that nothing that happens is personal. May we all know the absolute joy of our absolute nature.