Notes at the end for this ongoing study:
This is the twenty-sixth weekly installment. To start at the beginning go here.
My experience is I can’t deny ego and have it disappear. Ego fights harder. Instead, I soften and listen, like you might patiently listen with a hard-headed little kid, curious about where they are headed. I want to know what is underneath, especially as my ego is a strong fighter. Usually I find fear. By softening with my strong fighting ego, by listening in meditation, I usually can get underneath the anger, the fight, to the frustration. I don’t stop there, but go a bit deeper, to helplessness, to fear, to weariness.
From that place I can comfort, be objective (is there a real threat or is this monkeymind?) and make sane choices. Action from sanity is better than action from a crazy defensive ego. I get to know my better so maybe in another situation when I don’t have time to look I can remember and say, “Ah, I know this response. Thank you for sharing fear.”
This is so important now. I pray that France does not do what we did during 9-11,
a knee jerk reaction to fight a holy war. Killing the man who is aiming the gun at you is one thing, bombing the hell out of innocents who happen to be living near or under a crazy regime is not the answer. It breeds more hatred, more war, more retaliation.
Trungpa says, “Don’t be so predictable.” (Another lojong saying? Perhaps.
It is now part of my vocabulary of sanity.”) Fighters want retaliation.
Many politicians want war, because war and fear mean the people can be controlled and manipulated. War means more war machines, good for business, or someone’s business. The world feels out of control and this is the time to mind your ego, think about what your fears are, be rational in your response. We drive the freeway and the odds there are far worse. There is a canyon between killing the one or ten people who are doing the bombing, imminent danger, and becoming the terrorists yourself.
I am using Weeping Buddha and the lojong sayings and commentary from Training the Mind and Cultivating Loving-Kindness by Chogyam Trungpa as a study, together.
I’ve been practicing tonglen for almost three decades, and it is my main practice.
Some have asked me about my ongoing studies of Weeping Buddha. What is now called “Weeping Buddha” felt to me as a humbled figure long before I heard it called that. I called him “Buddha Ball’ for years, and regret his common name — but for this figure to be found I comply. I would rather not name him and let you feel his emotion for yourself.
They are all drawn in an OE or OKINA NOTEBOOKS (my favorite journals, also known as Cadic), and this one was drawing with a Preppie pen and Lexington Grey Noodler’s ink. Daniel Smith Primatek Amethyst watercolor paint.