The other part of Gil's talk earlier this week dealt with the other side of clinging. Here are my notes:
If you have to let go, you have already missed the boat . . . the boat of staying in touch with peace, that is. Hopefully you will come to a place when you don't cling, you don't pick up, you don't react. This can happen once we have let go deep enough, and we can lean towards that non reactive stance. The more we get to know it, we can call upon our visceral memory of that experience. We recognize, there is stillness there, right in the middle of the day. And when something occurs, we don't let it ruffle us. The mind is so open, that it does not move. If you have let go, and have experienced some degree of peace, notice what you are willing to give it up for, e.g. letting go of peace for a red light, or for the sake of righteous clinging to a noble cause.
What are you willing to give up peace for? What do you sacrifice it for? Is it worth it?
The birds have vanished into the sky,
and now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me,
until only the mountain remains.
~ Li Po (8th century Chinese poet) ~
Many times throughout the day, the possibility of choice arises. This road, or that one. Will I let mind go the lazy way of clinging or aversion? Or is the mind now convinced enough, and willing to let go? Been there, done that. In the end, it is a matter of remembering the suffering involved during times before, the pain from more constriction in the body, and in the mind. It is also about having the presence of mind to notice what is really happening.
Back to Gil's questions, sitting this morning and dwelling amidst the peace of breath coming and going softly, and birds happily tweeting, it was clear where the risk lied. Thoughts about 'I' kept interrupting, 'I' in various situations, mostly in the future, and I could notice the beginning of trouble. Back to the breath, back to hearing sounds, and peace could become a possibility again. Still, I wondered, why this need of the mind to create such stories about 'me'?
Until only the mountain remains, many more moments of sitting, with myself . . .
What is your answer to those questions?