I’ve never been ambitious, never fervently wanting anything to the exclusion of everything else. I’ve never even had a career. Oh, I have some goals: My aspiration toward becoming an angel investor. My “Temple Remodel” project, where I revision weight loss, journal it & what I’m learning so far. Staying in loving, supportive relationship with my daughter, Luca, & a few others. But, at the end of my life, the measure of its success will be the wisdom I have gained, & expressed, & embodied. My goal with this blog is toward that end; it is an exploration of, & an affirmation of, working toward mindfulness, which I increasingly believe is the fundamental means of realizing what is wise & what is not.
At age 12, I heard a rendition of ‘The Little Drummer Boy‘ on the radio, really hearing it for the first time. And I realized THAT was how I most wanted to live – laying my humble gifts before the Divine ………… At some point, I realized that what I was after was to simply “become wise.” It’s the only real goal I’ve ever professed.
In the early years, say middle school through my twenties, when I thought about what this means, I characterized it pretty much like this: As long as I’m willing to learn from each experience, it doesn’t really matter WHAT I do! ANYthing could be a “learning experience” & therefore would get me further along the wending way toward Wisdom. Some ChOiCeS I made!!!
There was the next period, my early thirties into my late-forties, where I didn’t pay much attention to “becoming wise.” I was frazzled –raising a kid by myself, trying to make ends meet, & experiencing & exPRESSing a great deal of anger. This often took the form of depression (anger turned inwards), which was always a black hole of energy. But — without making intentional efforts toward wisdom – I did gain some along the way. I’d like to think this means my consciousness was evolving:) And then I’ve found my way back to a serious & (semi) diligent spiritual practice. This encompasses meditation, devotion to Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Buddhist practices to increase mindfulness & compassion, & also simply Choosing Happiness over Not……
Always interested in, sometimes concerned about, my metaphysical life, I’ve been one of those seekers who hopped from system to system, what Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche characterizes as “spiritual materialism”. Sometimes, this meant that when the going got rough, when I bumped up against something I didn’t really want to look at, I’d leave that ‘way’ & choose another one. But usually it felt more like I’d grown to need something that ‘way’ didn’t provide for. This rhythm of my life’s journey is/was really interesting, stepping stones toward that Wisdom, I guess. It’s gone like this …….. In kindergarten, looking up at the sky & wondering what happens after death. Born-again Christian (Southern Baptist) during my teens (I really envied my friends’ church community, but couldn’t stand the essential hypocrisies of the church elders). Flirtations with atheism (just trying on the idea, then scared of the groundlessness). Drugs, sex & rock & roll! (Live fast, die young & leave a good-looking corpse!) Zen Buddhism (1st time I attempted to explore the wilderness of my mind.) Some time trying to find The Answers through political activism (…not going to happen!…) Last stab at Christianity (middle eastern mother goddesses demoted to being merely the ‘mother of god’.) Pagan/Wiccan (discovered my affinity with The Divine Mother, in all Her guises.) Tibetan Buddhism (the idea of ‘bodhisattva’.) Devotion to Amma (a guru can get you “there” more expediently.) And, now, just living & working & playing with the dharma (mostly Tibetan Buddhist in orientation, with Amma as my personal spiritual guide.) Whew! It’s been a ride, hahahaha
The one who wanders is not lost.
And I couldn’t accurately conceptualize this “wisdom”, but I was sure that the path to it was somehow separate from ME. Along the way, though, I discovered that what “being wise” means is this: Awakening to my inherently awakened state of being. And THEN I came to understand: I am already IN that inherently awakened state of being!! This means: THE PATH IS ME. Eeeek! I am the path. Hmmmm, it’s not so far away after all, is it??
- Movie Review | ‘Crazy Wisdom’: ‘Crazy Wisdom’ Profiles the Buddhist Chogyam Trungpa – Review (movies.nytimes.com)
- David Nichtern: Work, Sex and Money — The Dharma of Everyday Living (huffingtonpost.com)
- Crazy Wisdom (theartfulblog.com)
- DVD Review: Crazy Wisdom (preciousmetal.wordpress.com)
- Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche (Review) (popmatters.com)
- Images of Tibetan Buddhism at PFH (picturesfromhistory.wordpress.com)
- The Buddha made me cut my hair: The teachings of my imperfect Master (dangerousminds.net)