People sell things. People buy things. It’s kind of what we do. (Or is it? Sometimes, we trade or barter). Sometimes, we are pretty greedy. I figure if I work on my struggle with it, maybe it’ll encourage someone. So I try for a simpler way of being, living, deciding.
Clouds happen. What is clear gets covered up with all the clouds of longing, aching, and striving in our minds and bodies. We have the choice to solidify the cloud and believe it will never change. Basically, there is the idea that things suck. We believe we’re that damn grey cloud, all wispy and drippy.
Then there is understanding that clouds dissolve, roll by, move on, and we were the sky all that time.
Kind of like stepping in bubble gum. Ruin your morning or scrape it off? Stepping in bubble gum is a sticky mess, but not the end of the world. It’s a situation, not who you are, unless you let it take you down. What’s it going to be? It’s just gum. It’s just a fender bender. It’s just a craving. It’s someone yelling at you. Let go. Consider for a moment that we can see through the phenomena, the moment, and know it is a reflection of confused ego.
What is it about stepping in it – bubble gum, dog poo, spilled milkshake, a puddle – that sets us off? It’s jarring. Messy. Wet. Stinky. Inconvenient. A few weeks ago, in my meditation group, we talked about the idea of when we are impatient or irritated with something, it’s because we are inconvenienced. We were reading “Ruling Your World” by Sakyong Miphan Rinpoche, and in it he writes about the “me plan”.
I’ve been rubbing that phrase like a touchstone lately, in hopes of seeing my own “me plan” and where it is causing me to react in a bratty way. Wow, was I amazed when I looked at it through the lens of being inconvenienced. Who is it that cares if I don’t get my way? That “Who” is what I’ve been exploring.
About two months ago I had the kind of realization, moment of waking up, that took my breath away. The idea that there really is no fixed me, nothing static or concrete. Like I’d been hearing this for two decades, but in that moment, the clouds rolled away and there was the sky. Deep gust of wind blew through, the kind of wind that blows in November, a refreshingly chilly morning kind of wind, maybe on the lake, with some trees bending, the last leaves rustling in the gust.
So, back to the beginning. We buy and sell. We experience moments of greed or generosity. I think these things might also come down to whether or not we feel inconvenienced. It’s not a good moment for me to give you what I had to work so hard for, and that work was really inconvenient, right?
What about if I loved what I did to make the money? And I love spending it on something that makes me feel good, safe, secure, glamorous, wholesome, interesting, healthy, decadent, whatever. Does generosity come from feeling good about giving our time, money, attention – as in it’s not diminishing my return on investment?
What if giving away is simply allowing wind into a situation, moving clouds, and letting go of what we cling so tight to? Does giving need to be an investment? Or is it like bubble gum on your shoe?
I’m working with these ideas these days. Just trying to see what it is that really liberates. The sky is the sky, always there. The clouds that obscure it are just bubble gum. But the sun doesn’t stop shining. It knows its goodness and brightness, and it knows the wind will move things along. What is the wind? Perhaps wisdom, perhaps energy. Both. Yeah, both.
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