“Your task is not to seek for love,

Posted on July 7, 2011

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but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

~ Rumi

 

Here we begin, always fresh and new, with the search. Herman Hesse encapsulated the path of a man working through various levels of society and searching, until he  was enlightened by the world, and the summation of his prior experiences.

In many ways, I believe that most of us spend some portion of our life searching for true happiness. The bulk of us, I have witnessed, give up on the search and settle into the rut. The cycle of wake, work, feel stress, feel unfulfilled, feel like there is not enough time, come home, eat a processed meal, sleep in fits and spurts aided by some sort of sleeping pill. It is an oppressive cycle, and there are numerous factors that feed it. Most people can’t step outside of themselves, or look inside themselves, to reflect on what it is they want. It is easier, yes, more normal, yes, to be swept into the river and rush along, take your two weeks paid vacation, retire being barely able to walk, ship off to an old folks home if you can afford it, until eventually _____________  (insert your personal religious conviction here for what happens when you die).

The definition of what happiness is has changed over time, as all things evolve to meet the utilitarian purpose of its peoples.

 

I’d like to think of myself as a salmon most of the time. I find my struggle to be swimming hard against the current. It is not fear of death, though I know that lingers somewhere (evidenced by the way I still ask some sort of higher power to watch over every time I step foot on a plane).

But now, I think after reading more and more of Thich Nhat Hahn, I should borrow the image of the pebble. The way a pebble enters a river, becomes part of the current, but is not swept in the rush, does not struggle to move forward or backward, but is like an anchor, that exists within the river, will be the river in time, and sinks to the bottom in time. I like that, I believe it is a very helpful analogy for this beginning meditation practitioner.

What is your intention? As a writer, this is a question that is frequently asked, and I seldom have an answer. I like to play with words. I like how things sound. I can’t not put pen to paper when I bear witness to something beautiful. I want to contribute to this mass flux of information in our world in a way that brings just a moment of deliberation. One small moment of pause. I believe in hope. I believe in transformation. I believe you can take the worst of things, the worst of people, and still have capacity for enlightenment. I know this is naive. I am sure there is a school of thought to refute it, but to be honest, I feel like stopping the studies for awhile and really learning to focus. Really learn to hone in on this, mind, body, soul.

It takes a discipline which I have not known in myself for a long time. I am in the beginning stages of really attempting to begin. I am beginning. I began a thousand times before, but now there is an intention.

I want to live a happy, deeply fulfilling life, full of love with my beautiful partner, and make a deep impact on the community of people I encounter (and perhaps someday on a grander scale).  At the same time, I want my footprint to be negligent, as if I floated just inches above the earth.

I find it harder and harder to do in my country. I understand why artists of yore became expats. I understand leaving the big mad race.

 

Especially with ideas like the following: Planned obsolescence is a business strategy in which the obsolescence (the process of becoming obsolete—that is, unfashionable or no longer usable) of a product is planned and built into it from its conception. This is done so that in future the consumer feels a need to purchase new products and services that the manufacturer brings out as replacements for the old ones.”

From http://www.economist.com/node/13354332                                                                                     If you have read this far, you  can make your own opinions. Many in the “market” believe this to be a good thing. It creates more and faster improvements. It leads to cheaper goods. The high def flat screen plasma 3 D that I bought last year could already be out of date next season. The void of wanting to have that new model, to go broke, skip the summer vacation with the family, already begins to form. That is the seeking to fulfillment that many of us are after. Because of capitalism, and its many tenants for how it has evolved in this country, because especially of corporations and their ties to the political governing bodies.

I like Rumi’s idea better. I am searching for those barriers within and allowing them to melt. I am working on purifying this body, mind, soul, this way of being within the world in ways that I have never done before. It requires giving things up. It requires replacing “bad” habits with positive habits. It is work and a struggle. The beautiful struggle.

 

 

 

 

 

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