Saturday, August 28, 2010

a fantasy of ordination

I daydream about being ordained.

Before I get ordained, I will put in a push in my practice that I did not know was in me. And yet it's nothing special. I can't help but do this, and finally circumstances support my efforts, and in a weird kind of way I transcend my conditions. The same old mess is there. Somehow I take a small step back from that gorgeous mess and it makes a big difference. I try not to get too excited by all this. I get some traction, go to new places that are utterly unfamiliar. I won't so much as renounce as grow up.

My friends and the order that backs them up will have witness my effective going for refuge. Whether or not it is effective now, the bonds of friendships will bear witness in a profound way then, and the connections of these relationships will have an amazing vibrancy. It won't just be being asked to join an awesome group, it will be a joining to spiritual depth, that hitherto now, probably would have blown out my circuits. Even though I am deemed finally ready, it will challenge me to my utmost. I will raise to the occasion of the invitation to join the order, and it will be a happy day when the retreat begins.

I can't imagine the spiritual depth to which I will be in at this point, since I am not there yet now, but I have the hope that I will be there some day, and that I will have enough health to remain there for a while. Life is fragile and I have the fear that I won't live long enough to get to this point. This anxiety is at the root of my impatience. I have learned to face my anxiety and be more patient, but there's always room for growth. Asking to be ordained is in way a place to rest and stop my efforts.

The day i am invited, the hope will be fulfilled, and I will steel myself for the further journey. The rest of my life has a cast to it now that it didn't have, and yet everything is utterly the same. After the ecstasy, the laundry. I have come so far, but the ordination will accelerate me to a place I can not imagine now. And at the same time it will be nothing special.

On a retreat, I will experience a death. I will do lots of 6 element meditation, and dismantle myself. I have gone very deep into this meditation before, and held off on it because I want the rebirth of a new spiritual being in the order. I will let myself go in a new and profound way. Because it will be a retreat, from a week long to four months long, I will be in a deeper place, and will be mindful of what is happening. The journey will as usual be mundane and boring, amazing and vivid, intense, energizing and tiring.

At a certain point, being isolated in a tent or a hut, my preceptor will perform a ritual that will involve the gift of a sadhana, a visualization meditation practice. I will be filled with joy, and it will be a new kind of struggle with something new. I've done visualization before, but this will have a kind of profundity and awesomeness that is both not what I thought it would be, and exciting. A new name will be given to me, something like sravacitta, mind listener. I will love being reborn, and I will try and calm myself, try to settle in without getting too excited.

There will be a solitary period of time where I settle into my newness, my rebirth. It is the same me, but somehow I am different. I am becoming the Bodhisattva that I visualize and chant the mantra to. Like an infant, I will stumble as I try to walk. At times I will think the world is my oyster. At times I will feel profoundly resourceless, over-matched.

Then the public ordination will come. All these people from the sangha, my family. I will share my joy, they will share theirs. Like all rituals, I will be anxious and alert, but I will also be mindful and feel a kind of profundity that is not just intellectual. It will touch my depths. Great joy will break out and as the party wanes, I will lament it is over.

As I settle back into my life, with this experience, there will be many interesting things happening, and I will consciously hold back any negative tenancies after I achieve a goal. It's like but not like graduation, getting a new job, having a new child. I am in a way the same person, and in another I'm utterly changed. I feel a kind of gravity of responsibility and utter freedom. I am part of the order now, but I am utterly an individual.

I will go up to Aryaloka for quarterly meetings of the order. I will meet weekly with my chapter. I will attend national conventions and even go to an international convention and meet many awesome people. This will be amazing and sometimes boring and tedious. My friendships will impossibly deepen.

With the project of ordination over, I will naturally channel my energies into other projects that support the spread of the Dharma, the increasing of the sangha, the deepening of friendship, the deepening of meditation practice, of my practice in general. Our sangha will bloom, as it gathers momentum, and the NYC sangha will burst like a supernova across the universe. The combined spiritual energy will do amazing and awesome things, bringing health, purity, kindness, insight and focus to a troubled world.

No comments: