Category Archives: thoughts

I have a plan

planHow many times have we said, “I have a plan” over our lifetime?

When we approach life with a plan, there is always some part of us to improve, to correct, to change.

I remember that I always had an idea of what events, relationships, or even my hair styles would look like, but they never turned out the way the mind envisioned. I had self-improvement schemes, too. For example, if I were kind enough, other people would be kind in return. Not necessarily so…

I no longer live with a plan. However it is, is how it is. This makes this wild experience we call life much simpler and easier. Much less stress, resistance, and drama.

Not having a plan makes life interesting right now, because I’m taking a year-long real estate course where I’m required to make a business plan. Which, of course, I will–because I’ve committed to completing this course. I will put close attention to what they ask of us, and attend to the details. But do I “believe” in it? Do I really believe I have individual control over my life? No longer–because this is so obviously not “my” life. I’ve spent hundreds of hours noticing, and I cannot find a “doer.” And yet doing happens, and life continues to unfold. Occasionally events even turn out in a pleasing way. Just as often, they do not.

I soaked in the hot tub tonight. Abruptly, the body-mind stood, and stepping out of the tub, wrapped up in a towel. There was no plan–or even the premonition of a thought–of leaving the warmth of the tub at that moment. And yet it occurred. I slipped into bed, looking forward to deep rest before an apparently very busy day tomorrow. Forty-five minutes later, I found myself sliding my feet into slippers, wrapping up in a hoodie, and returning to the computer.

Do I have any sense of when writing will stop, and I’ll return to bed? No idea at all. Perhaps writing will go on all night. Perhaps, a couple of minutes from now, the body will put itself back in bed. Whichever occurs, or something else completely unforeseen–I’m sure to be surprised by whatever shows up. That’s part of the delight of living now–it’s all so surprising.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
image credit

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Filed under Advaita, Dzogchen, Musings, Non-duality, simple pleasures, spirituality, Surrender, thoughts, Truth, writing

desire

rocks like a waterfall smallerYesterday’s post didn’t satisfy me. I rewrote it, and it’s still kind of… unrewarding. Onward–now is now!

Desire is a harsh taskmistress– we both want and don’t want the object of our desire. For example, Breyer’s mint chocolate chip ice-cream tugs at me in the evening, but I don’t want to put on extra weight. I yearn to find a home in a community close by and move, but sigh deeply, pondering all of the heavy lifting involved. Easily, tens of additional examples are available.

That’s the mind’s game: desiring. Another name for it is seeking–seeking other than what is here, right now: warm cup of coffee, Phoebe-the-hummingbird sitting on her fresh clutch of eggs on the monitor to my right, the small, burbling fountain in the background. All perfect, when the mind rests in the present. If I rest here and notice the stream of desires that arise, I can also take note of what is aware of the desires.

That-which-is-aware has no preferences. Desires can roll on by like waves on the beach; they simply show up and fade away–if we don’t grab on to them. It has become rather playful to watch them come and go.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit: I took this photo in December, 2000, on the Oregon coast

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is it a barren nothing?

black eye galaxyIs it a barren nothing? So fun when deconstruction has to begin with the first five words: “It” is not an it, but we call it that in order to use words at all. Otherwise, it would be necessary to remain silent.

Both my husband and I went through a period we now call “the bardos.” In 2008, meaning in our lives fell away, and life felt very flat. Barren. Even unappealing. I no longer understood how to live, and was afraid that life would be boring, or uninteresting.

Ha! Not the case, and the bardos turned out to be a phase that lasted a couple of months. Life’s vitality returned–on its own terms! Now life lives–and it’s engaging, challenging–all that it was before, except it has no meaning, and I’m absolutely clear that I have no control at all. It’s all one big life unfolding–beautifully, horribly, confusingly, touchingly.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit: NASA’s incredible archives

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what’s in it for me?

MeWhat’s in it for me?

Absolutely nothing!

“Me” is simply an idea attached to sensations in the body.

The graphic represents the misunderstanding perfectly–the very misunderstanding that is playing out on the world stage right now.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
graphic credit

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the voices

mind voicesI still have mind-voices murmuring to me–but not the kind that folks are medicated for. These are not loud, and they don’t order me around. But they are persistent.

I believe we all have voices that talk to us–the specter of our parents and how they raised us, the teacher who shamed us in school. I remember the day that I cried at our neighbor’s home, and Mom busted me, saying, “We don’t take emotions to the neighbors. What will they think? If you want to cry, cry in the privacy of your own room!”

I’m not denying what arises, but not giving it energy, either. So the voices are no longer locked up. What I’ve learned to do is notice, and walk on by. Notice, nod a greeting, and turn my attention elsewhere.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
photo credit

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relative truths

undivided-1Relative truths are like small maps–you see the neighborhood, but not the limitless universe it is part of. We need these little truths. They help us navigate life, prevent us from careening our car into the one in the next lane.

But small maps cannot open us to deep beauty, or dissolve suffering. For that, we need a truth so huge, it is undivided.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013

image credit: Julia Hennock

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private, or not private?

privateWe believe that our thoughts and feelings are private–and are grateful that this is so. Who of us has not had mean, murderous, or lecherous thoughts from time to time? We hold them close, enfolding them in a metaphorical cloak, hiding them away. Perhaps we’re ashamed, or fearful.

But is this privacy really true?

Thoughts, feelings and perceptions to occur to this body-mind, but not the one sitting next to me–that is true.

But the awareness that knows my thoughts, and your thoughts is not private. It is the awareness that knows all experience, and receives that experience without comment or judgment.

© Amrita Skye Blaine, 2013
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