Mindfulness, awakening, and enlightenment are dreadfully and wonderfully ordinary. These days I sometimes say, the consciousness of God, a dog, and a rock all taste the same. Be at home in this moment – this relationship, this job, this face; truth is knocking – do not send it away in pursuit of truth. Ask yourself often, am I awake? Don’t just do something, sit there!
Karma refers to the conditions of our current life. I was relieved he did not get into past or future lives, which I cannot take seriously. Karma is a gridlock defining my current self and reality. Mindfulness changes the “energy patterns” of current reality; it warps reality. Feel the malleability of the current moment. That last idea I sometimes find potent enough to be scary. I keep finding that sense of vertigo with Buddhism. An idea that seems almost too simple is suddenly spooky in its depth.
Buddhists say there is no self, which is tough to wrap one’s head around, but as Kabat-Zinn says, self is real in practical sense. It is a changing shifting construct we build as a point of reference, handy but not permanent. It is a “strange attractor” of chaos theory, “a pattern which embodies order yet is also unpredictably disordered.” A less rigid self is open to the universe making things happen.
Some think meditation is an escape. Meditation is not about zoning out, but zoning in. Rushed time is wasted time – hurry patiently; patience increases clarity and right action; impatience causes suffering. Desire is a stickiness, compelling us to drag the world around with us; let go for more satisfactory wholeness. When the universe is your employer, interesting things start to happen, even if another cuts the cheque. Ahisma is the philosophy of walking lightly on the planet. Be gentle to oneself and others. It is the core of non-violence. Finally, do not discuss religion; as Eckhart says, you are lying. I suppose when I stop talking about it, I have it right.