Thursday, June 24, 2010

There Is A

There is a Buddhist meditation practice that encourages novices who despair of ever being able to still their thoughts and meditate. It says, If your mind wanders a thousand times, return it one thousand and one.

It took me some time before I understood that meditation was simply the endless return of my wandering mind. It is the soul of mindfulness: I am awake and I am aware.

The fucked on the other hand are forever asleep.

* * *

When I have been confronted by high stress, by intense emotions I sleep. I fall asleep swiftly and soundly. It is a most unusual feeling. When I resist it I feel drugged, the effort to keep myself awake a weak bolus of adrenaline against the onslaught of night. But when I don't resist it, when I simply let the emotions, the stress move through me without comment, without fear, when I let it go, I feel no such draw of sleep. The clarity in my mind relieves my body of all its stress.


What have you, my good friends, deserv'd at the hands of
Fortune, that she sends you to prison hither?

Prison, my lord?

Denmark's a prison.

Then is the world one.

A goodly one, in which there are many confines, wards, and
dungeons, Denmark being one o' th' worst.

We think not so, my lord.

Why then 'tis none to you; for there is nothing either good or
bad, but thinking makes it so. To me it is a prison.

Hamlet Act 2, scene 2, 239–251

Is not Hamlet trapped in the prison of the court, of the fratricide of his stepfather, the incestuousness of his mother? Yes, but he is also trapped in his thoughts - it's what makes for the tragedy.

Don't read that wrong: not wanting Hamlet re-written. But the traps and snares of our thoughts are the things that fuck us so deeply and without any of the pleasure of a good fuck. When your mind wanders a thousand times, return it 1001. When sleep tugs at your sleeve promising relief from the difficulties of living, don't resist it, let it pass through and so be freed of your self-made prison; and when your thinking fucks you the only way to unfuck yourself is to change how you think about the events of your life.

Again, don't read that wrong: not asking to sugar-coat or deny anything, but rather to concern yourself with what you can control - your thoughts, your actions - and let the rest go.

* * *

Thinking makes it all so.


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