another approach to looking at the work
It is dry on the mountain. More so than i remember – for quite some time. It is an extreme. Too much of one thing- out of balance. And the work i am making is about less. As a colleague of mine said the other day, sometimes they think they would like to retreat to a place of quiet – where there is no negativity from society; currently negativity feels to be at such an extreme.
Aggression in so many forms and so much losing of the mind. An expression we often hear, “They are losing their minds.” As a meditator, that phrase has a particular significance because we work with our minds. To lose one’s mind means something much greater than the easy phrase used to describe an individual’s passing moments of behavior that make them and us uncomfortable. “They have lost their mind.”, “Have you losing your mind?”, “I’m losing my mind…”.
In a contemplative practice there really is no such thing as losing one’s mind from the standpoint that you keep track of your mind all the time. We see what our mind is doing, its behavior. We see it out of control, we understand what that is and with practice we dissolve the neurotic behavior that could occur. As a result, awareness and silence are our greatest allies.
To keep some type of sanity in a world where many have no control of their minds – nor wish to. Outrageous and hurtful behaviors to self and others. In this case, it is not about a god. But instead about the self. Owning one’s behavior and not placing that behavior on someone else. Realizing a projection when it arises (and there are many). At this time of immense ego; self preservation being mistaken for self awareness, which becomes selfishness, which becomes about self, which if focused upon intensely, becomes neurosis.
Hence the notion of a middle path and working with that middle always. Middle path in speaking, eating, celebrating, working. In today’s society we refer to it as balance, which many of us are out of.
Out of balance – not having balance. Another curious term if one thinks of losing their mind or being out of balance. It implies a center mark that one is not on. Off center. Who would want to be around that, or further, who would want to impose that on someone else?
To be whole – and to be in the world; of service – but not sacrifice. Meaning not so far that you harm others because you are out of balance. The neurotic side of Ratna- it can go to either extreme. Working: engaging so hard so that everyone will “love” you or pulling in so much that one is mean and nasty. This goes back and forth because there is no balance. Because we want things we cannot have. A type of perfection that does not exist. A magic made of fairy tales as opposed to the magic of the phenomenal world. Being with this takes unceasing practice. “You are never off ” – you are never out of balance.
And so; it is dry. What this climate, at this moment, is presenting to us is off balance.
To be in balance; centered – to sit- to stay with it. Straight – not twisted. To recognize your breath – to listen and to hear. This is another way to approach looking at my work.