where wisdom and compassion come from
Things come and go. Thoughts and feelings come and go without ownership, purely arising out of inner and external conditions.
It’s an average day in the galaxy. Take a galactic perspective on your practice. Enabled by Brahmavihara meditation, perhaps, say, Bodhicitta: “All the lonely people where do they all come from”. Or, “Beings who are ones own mothers and fathers wander In samsara and with an unbearable longing we all produce the unbearable longing to become a Buddha”.
Vajrasattva: when it happens, it happens. “All the lonely people where do they all come from”. Our constant story line about the past – what happened. Past is a story of the past. Told from a very partial perspective. The past is not real. It is not a thing. It is always a fantasy, an idea based on a partial memory. Even a video recording cannot capture every relevant aspect of every event. It is still a construction. A construction is not it. There is no past. Even the present is a story.
Can you even find the much-referenced present moment? You can say now, now, now till you are blue in the face but when was it, what was it exactly? We talk about being present in meditation but what is happening there? When we look it is not so clear. It’s like the self, a convenient label that is problematic if you take it too seriously.
It’s very important to look into this and see for yourself what is not there and what is there. See beyond the assumptions we’ve all grown up with. Reality is not like that. You can’t express reality in terms of subject and object, past present and future.
Ha ha ha ha ho. Realisation is hilarious. That we would cling to something illusory for the sake of someone imaginary, LMAO. Reality works fine without self and dharmas. There have never ever been selves and dharmas and there never will be. They are impossibilities. Like clock time, like past present and future, they are just ideas, constructions we find useful, that work in a way, that help the conventional world go round, but are not to be taken literally.
So the stuff we experience coming up – on retreat, say – is not actual events. The actual events happened long ago in the past. What we experience is the impression it made on the mind – and all we can do is make up a story about it. We are doing that all the time with all the impressions coming in.
Our capacity to make a story from events is amazing. Take for example any of these sliced moments. A child smiling in an empty garden. A hand reaching out of an open window, the window slams shut and there are muffled sounds. Frost on the ground, a tree, a dead rabbit, the crack of a breaking twig. The smell of champagne, scattered across the table is a half open wallet full of money, an upturned glass in a pool of liquid. A giant shoe. There’s a story every time. Immediately, without thought.
Dreams are like this too. The dreaming mind sees all the thoughts and feelings and images that have been received into the mind – especially recent ones that happened yesterday, but sometimes much older ones – and joins up the images into a story. Making stories is what minds do all the time. The story of my life.
Our experience is like a vast storehouse of all the impressions that have ever come in through the senses and the mind -every thought, every reaction, every event, every touch and smell. These impressions lay dormant in the storehouse of the mind, like seeds. At any time any of these seeds can be activated. Touch the seed and it arouses all kinds of sensations and the stories that are spun. It affects the whole way we experience the world.
Just notice this happening in the moment. It’s an average day in the galaxy. And there are vast numbers of living sentient and non sentient beings out there who believe that the past present and future are literally real and so are fabricating worlds of suffering.
This is where compassion and equanimity come from.