Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Higher Road

Like a constantly flowing river, life is ever changing. Happy one minute, depressed the next . . . I find that my practice (almost) always deepens during the not so glorious moments. Yesterday, there were many such islands of perceived adversity. Each time, aversion raised its head and threatened to take me down a gloomy path. Each time, (almost), I was able to survey the land, and choose a different route, paved with wisdom and right intentions. Looking back on those pivotal moments, I wondered what was it in the mind that made go down the higher road?

Here is what I found:

Feeling down, 
I told myself this is life, 
this is dukkha (unsatisfactoriness) 
in action.

Feeling down, 
I told myself this too shall pass, 
this is anicca (impermanence) 
in action.

Feeling down, 
I told myself this is a mind-created moment, 
this is anatta (not self
in action.

Feeling down,
I told myself all those things,
and embraced the misery,
with whole heart.

How do you 'survive' the difficult moments in your days? Please share.


  1. I reflect on impermanence and non-self. Reflections on death have helped me, esp. some years back, when I didnt know 'experiential non-self' (understood it only as concept:).

    Difficult times help to deepen the realization, the search, help me recognise what is more true, where is security-right in my mind

    Pleasant time make the idea of impermanence and delusion very clear

    Autopsy I watched over the net, kind of helped to understand non-self

  2. Thanks for sharing, Pooja! Yes, contemplating death is very helpful. Working at hospice has certainly deepened my understanding of the true nature of life . . .

    And yes, difficult times are particularly pregnant with opportunities for mindfulness, and deeper realization.

    I find pleasant times to be less so. I really have to practice sustained mindfulness to find the gold in such moments. Also remembering Ajahn Chah's wisdom, "Not sure, not sure" and his simile of the soon to wilt flower. More and more I see the true nature of the beautiful flower as the transient phenomenon that it is, with built in decay, and hence great unsatisfactoriness. Nothing worth getting attached to . . .