Wednesday 27 May 2009

Still sitting with it

Even though challenges present themselves and I can't find answers, life provides it's own answer. The old choosing not to choose reality is enacted. Even if my monkey mind is jumping through hoops I am just sitting with it, it is as it is. I must try to remember this and not get dragged through the hoops. I see that I must try to remain the watcher if I am to make wise decisions. Some hope!

Thursday 21 May 2009


A loose strings plays no note
I feel the red thread tighten
Ah, where is the sound of my flute

Again when this came to me I pondered with some equanimity the relation between meaning, desire, vitality, compassion, non-attachment, enlightenment, what seems authentic for me, the whole koan in a way, but I've much less equanimity now. And worse, when I was happy to search for the ox and to try to see all before me as just so much not to get attached to, then there was a way to peace of mind. Oh yes, I saw the danger of attaching to emptiness but I though I'd got a balance. But I had expected trouble to come in the form of loss of some thing in my frame of meaning, not a loss of meaning. Oh, this is dangerous water, this is for the experienced practitioner. I can't accept my koan, I can't accept a no answer. I seem to have broken one set of chains only to tie myself with the tools that broke them. It is that thorny point; I am always approaching from some where. Right now it is painful, so painful.

I am no doubt mixing metaphors in a dreadful way, but that fits my confusion. I am giving myself permission to be upset.

Monday 18 May 2009

Not posting

Traveling up to Forres last week the view from the train was emotive:

A beautiful yellow moon
Hangs in a pale Blue sky
Over dark water

I have not been posting. I have too much in my mind. It is very difficult stuff to sit with. I do not belong only to myself. I do not have as much equanimity just now as when the poem above came to me. The last line seems somehow troubling whereas when I composed it I was not thinking so.

Friday 15 May 2009

At Cluny

It is just after lunch here in Cluny. It is almost the end of the workshop; we have our completion this afternoon and there will be a ceilidh this evening. I am tired, quite drained. The re-entry into the world at large will be painful I suspect.

I have had ideas for posting and next week I'll see how my thoughts and emotions stir. But for now I want to keep it all inside, keep with deeper process, to write would be to dissipate.

Tuesday 5 May 2009


DC bought me a Sony MP3 player for Christmas. His plan to get me to take more interest in the music I like seems to have worked and having up loaded CD's on to it I've started down loading stuff from the net too. Having it plugged into the HiFi I find I play more music in the house too. It's something to do with the availability of the music in one compact handheld sliver of a thing. And it has an 'intelligent' shuffle which lets one pick tracks by mood, that certainly makes me listen to more stuff.

Anyway, listening to the radio the other day I heard a track by the Eagles. I recalled that I'd always liked that music and so decided to download some from the net. Playing the albums 'One of these nights' and 'Hotel California' I recalled the 70's. I must have had a slight sense of the 70's that was generating such tracks- California and the watered down version that reached the English perhaps left leaning middle classes, as a kid, but that was not my world. No, it was just a hint of something I sort of liked the look of but did not know and could not have; my 70's did not come as an extension to the 60's people think of as the 60's. My 70's were of the Northern working class and short of cash. The left was of tabloids and trade unions not of the broad sheets and the party either political or dinner...

I can enjoy the music and there is no visceral wrenching of the past. It's of a time when I was a sensitive loner but not yet in adolescence. So the innocence is sweet. It's music of the 80's that can generate the wrenching feeling. But the pattern started sooner...

But, the Eagles music left me in good spirits and feeling quite alive. Interesting to muse how I liked that music both sides of sexual awakening.

And, a copy of 'I Heart Huckabees' arrived today in the post. DC and I have just watched it and it's GREAT! So many of the metaphors match my own! Thanks to Jenny (who I met on a course last year) for the recommendation. The movie is based around a couple of existential detectives... Funny and heart warming.

Thoughts, emotions, our stories, our aloneness our interconnection, the triggers or cues that set us off spinning our webs...

I didn't have the childhood or the adolescence that I as an adult fancy I would have liked then or is it now? But that past did lead me to the present and a probably deeper understanding of the meaning of the desires around all this than I might have had. After all, the electrical and electronic engineering books are replaced on the shelves by titles by Huxley, both Suzuki's, Sekida, Kapleau, etc. I practice TaiChi and dance to music feeling the energy in ways I would describe with reference to chakras, have explored the Red thread koan, sit zazen each day and try to practice throughout the day, write like this, live in a very pleasant 60's townhouse with my partner, I have been out as a gay man at work since a time when that was an issue, DC and I were at a Wesak festival at a local Zen Buddhist abbey at the weekend and I am back off to Findhorn at the end of the week. How close I am in many ways to that other world I might have had as a kid. And looking back, is it not the same koan now as then?

Sunday 3 May 2009


I got my hair cut yesterday; number two back and sides, top short, chip the fringe away, leave the side burns at the ear lobe. I've had this cut for years and I am not sure how long my hair would get if I left it to get past the needing a hair cut stage so that I could consider something else. I don't think it would get much longer than the needing a hair cut stage and I suspect that it would not lend its self to to a longer style. I just go to a 'clip joint' but I once went to a more expensive place and I did enquire about alternatives; the response was not optimistic...'well with your hair...' he said. The cut took ages there and confirmed for me the great benefit of the 'clip joint'.

Anyway, sat in the chair I looked up and looking through the mirror and out through the large glass window I struggled to make sense of the view. More glass? Some people, was there further reflection? What? Some movement. What? Reflection from the other side of the street? No; the building there is solid. What? Bouncing back and forward trying to find the object and the reflection. Ah, it's a bus stuck in traffic! All in little more than an instant, but long enough to feel the mind searching for 'reality'. Umm, a bit like sitting zazen that was, I thought.

The guy in the adjacent chair was offered his usual; quick description followed by what seemed a slightly nervous acknowledgement and some small talk. I started piecing together a picture of the customer from the exchange. My mind building realities for its self...

Clothes shopping followed, not my favorite activity. Shall I reinvent my look? Is that an option? If I was somehow able to expand my consciousness to consider more options could I reinvent my self? I try to give it a bit of a go but always seem to end up looking much the same; it's part the choice open to the shape I am and part sensibilities. Still mostly I would say that upon reflection I'd 'do' me.

A colleague at work asked me what the purpose of my blog was last week. Umm I thought, now there is a question David, just why do you post? I responded that I consider what I seem to be with and try to be authentic with myself by posting in public. And that is part of it as well as the opportunity to try to be creative in this form. I thought the better of going into ideas of goallessness in response to the question. But that is relevant of course to the koan. This constant interplay of forms shaping and reflecting each other, but just who is it that is looking? Can I get get beyond this infinite regression of appearances? I seem to have a faith in non-duality.