Imagine—we’re floating down a gentle river in inner tubes on a blazing July afternoon. Our butts hang in the cool water, the tube surfaces are warm—growing hotter where the water does not splash on them—and the sun beats down on the exposed parts of our bodies.
Then, abruptly, a whirlpool catches your inner tube, and for a little bit, the tube is spun in place in the river, and you are seemingly separated from the main flow—then the whirlpool disperses, and off the ride goes again.
A while later, an eddy pulls my tube into a bend—a quiet nook in the river—and now I appear to be independent of the main flow. Then the eddy gives way, and the tube rocks a bit until the current grabs it and pulls me back into the main body of the river.
We are always one with the river, but seemingly separated at times. What a delicious metaphor for awareness and embodiment. Awareness is the river—always there, always alive and flowing. The whirlpools and eddies are embodiments—where for a little while, we show up on the planet; we look separate, we may feel separate, but we are never separated—or independent—for one instant from the grand flow that we are.
Then the body dissipates just like the eddy back into that from whence it came, and once again, only one awareness, one river.
Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015
Paradox: that’s what we’ve got. It’s not something unique that shows up on occasion, it’s the whole, wild, everyday display.
My relative offers deep insight into his friend’s abuse of his body, then drinks himself into a stupor, displaying no understanding of self-care.
The Texas floods sweep away this family, but not that one. The tornado slices through an Oklahoma town—half of it is pulverized, the other half remains untouched.
A terrorist group, in the name of their God, brutalizes children and sledge-hammers ancient sacred sites, while monks chant, meditate, and pray for the awakening of all beings.
Many people busy themselves with asking why.
I find all of it without meaning—the apparent good or the apparent bad. It’s just the phantasmagorical, endless, erupting Now.
The terrible, magnificent Now.
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015
In our western culture, we assume that the source of thinking is the mind.
This was deeply embedded in my parents’ belief system, and passed along to me. It was an unquestioned assumption.
But how could this be? The so-called mind (which is a concept; I have never found a thing called “the mind,” have you?) is itself an apparent object. It is a thought; it cannot generate thought.
Thoughts bubble up in consciousness, like every other apparent thing that manifests. They arise in in it, and are made of it.
©Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015
I come across this photo. The mind squawks, “No! Poor bird!”
Pausing, I start here. Here, now. Quietly notice.
The dog’s lip is curved around sharp teeth. In the retrieving world, this is called “soft mouth.” The bird’s feet are not clamped in distress, nor do they seem dead. They may be registering surprise, but again, that’s the mind commenting. I can’t know.
Smiling, I imagine the dog opened her mouth and, the bird, sensing fresh air and opportunity, took flight—another comment of the mind.
© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2015
photo origin: unknown. If you are aware the source, please contact me so I can properly assign credit.