Sunday, September 16, 2012

Wanderlust Versus World Weariness

"If we are beset by this kind of spiritual ennui, it is vital that we shake it off, that we get completely away from any feeling that life--spiritual life--is dull and boring." (p.6 The Inconceivable Emancipation:  Themes from the Vimalakirti-Nirdesa)

There's an old saw in the TBC, when someone comes along who's younger than 32.  For some reason 32 seems to be the magical number when the hard drive starts to get bugs in it, and we seek out something beyond our usual programming.  We can not solve the equations on their basic terms.  

(I'm jealous of the ones who come to the dharma younger, I read it, and maybe that built some foundation, but I read Zen, and that was utterly confusing, I didn't have the context to put it in.)

I think a lot about the book The Unbearable Lightness of being, where one fellow feels like life is meaningless, trivial, and he can be a hedonist, and just pleasure himself.  His girlfriend takes everything so deeply.  She is overwhelmed with meaning.  And there is a third one who takes things playfully, dances with the mysteries.

(I haven't read it in a while, and maybe I'm misreading, perhaps I should reread it again, but I take those distinctions whether or not they derive from that book.)

(The women order members up at Aryaloka have that playful spirit, I haven't really felt that amongst most of the men up there.)

I recently read a blog post about ennui, on a fantastic blog.

Recently, the question was asked in my study group is based on the quote, "Every moment is unique."  How can we cultivate this?  My answer is notice differences and change, instead of seeing the sameness.  There's a richness in mindfulness, life is not boring.

I think I've lost the quest for utmost wondrousness that I set out for myself.  Like the blogger who drifted into ennui, I've grown world weary, a sure sign that I've lost my mindfulness and kindness.  Catching myself falling short of my ideals can be dispiriting, if I take it the wrong way.  But when I gain a little mindfulness, I can catch my negative undertow and use my ideals as my guiding light.

I'd hoped that I'd established something that was irreversible.  That was hubris.  You can always backslide (until you become a stream entrant).  "Beware the thin part of the wedge," is one of my favorite sayings.  I got puffed up.  I have been deflated.  I hope that is the basis for true spiritual progress, the humbling.  I hope I can choose to move toward the ideas, the richness, the unbearable heaviness of being, utmost wondrousness.  The words vigilance and discipline have been standing out to me.  I'm constantly challenged by the writings of Bhante Urgen Sangharakshita, and my spiritual friends.

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