Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Change in Headspace.

For a long while, I have had a problem with Buddhist thought. I didn't disagree with it, but the teachings on emptiness and anatman, I could grok intellectually, but I felt like Willam from Mallrats ("WHEN GOD!? WHEN WILL I SEE THE GOD DAMN SAILBOAT!?") when it came to it sinking to a gut level. Because it freaked me out, or just left a bad taste in my mouth. Not just the teaching, but all of the residual thinking that came from that teaching. The fall-out so to say.

After reading Mipham Rinpoche's book, "Ruling Your World", which is basic buddhism, but from the Shambhala tradition. Very conversationally written, and the concepts.. well.. sink to a gut level. As such, I really understood concepts like Anatman, and the Skandha's at a visceral level.. and I was ok with it. It was actually quite liberating for lack of a better term.

If everything that I conventionally think of as me, is really an ever changing pile of stuff that I identify with, then by realizing that I can really chose what I make my reletive self out of, because my reletive self didnt go away. When you realize the space inside the jar, and outside the jar is the same "space", the jar doesn't go away. As such my reletive self hasnt gone away, but I have more freedom to resist conditioning, and other forms of karmic reactions when they occur, and steer myself into a life that is not often periodically much harder because of my own issues.

And understanding a bit of the mechanisms of suffering from a Buddhist view, I've honestly been suffering a lot less. Other than that, not much has changed. I still enjoy the same things I enjoy, and the things I don't enjoy, are much less of a hassel mentally.

I've also had a big block Re: Buddhism because my plate was full spiritually, so to speak. "I only have so many hours in a day, I can't take on another practice." But the essence of the teachings really are simple: How suffering arises, and how to not do that anymore. There is a whole lot more to the Buddhist world, but those are the basic teachings, and to me, they don't conflict at all with anything I do now. In fact it goes well with my Hermetic practice. In examination of both views I can see how Apollonius of Tyana was mistaken for a Buddhist when he went to visit India. my block was with the CONCEPT of what I thought Buddhism was, rather than the actual practice itself.

It's strange, nothing has changed but a bit of perspective, my practice remains largely the same, my life remains largely the same, but.. better. I don't know if this makes me a Buddhist, but I am not largely careing about the label at this point. The view holds water, that is all I care about.

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