Sunday, February 10, 2013

Whew +

During the ceremony
It is a very interesting process naming someone (especially in another language!) If you're on Facebook lately you will already know this part. But in case you're not: Yesterday at the public ordination, Dawn became Hridayashri. It means "Radiance of the Heart". Laura and Jon were there which was nice.

It's also interesting wearing robes. I like it. It feels simple. I don't really know how to do it, so there are hazards. Like walking upstairs and tripping over them, or wrapping them so tight that I can't sit on the floor! I had it pretty much figured out for the ceremony.

Today: brunch with Trebor (visiting from Berlin), Laura, Jon and Julie, at Pomelo in Noe Valley, and a stroll to the excellent chocolate store. After a nap, Pasadini (visiting from Scotland) and I went to Sports Basement, REI, and T Joe's. I often find shopping such a chore, it's great to go with someone!

I feel good, tired.

Here is an excerpt from my journal during Hridayashri's ordination retreat:

The "Tender Hearts" chapter 
From left, Karunadevi, me, Hridayashri, 
Padmatara, Dayamudra, and Viveka

Identity seems to be fading a bit. I thought it might.

Am I young or old? Sick or healthy? Weak or strong? Rich or poor? A meditator or not? Worthy or unworthy? Anxious or calm? Tolerant or irritable? These identities come into sharp relief as words that stop meaning anything.

Who is my self? Where is my self? Who is the self that angsts, that narrates, that projects into the future? They don't feel like me. They feel like something happening.

Wow. All that meditating. Now let me think...I have been here seven full days. Including morning pujas and sitting meditations, I've meditated...260 minutes a day. So 30 hours since I've been here. I had one rewarding meditative experience today, say for around half an hour or an hour. Is that a good reward, good odds? You can't even know for sure that anything like that is going to happen. You can meditate for years and it doesn't happen (potentially). Of course the rest of it was good. It's not like that was torture. If it were I couldn't spend 30 hours voluntarily doing it. It's a kind of being - or leaning in a direction of a kind of being - that is its own reward.

And in any case being able to drop, or rise above, the narrow confines of the way I usually experience  myself for a few minutes is worth...whatever. It is the most subtly liberating yet undefinable experience. And when you're having it, it seems like ...normal. The rest of your life, plus those other 29 hours you were meditating, those are the hours that are weird, that don't make any sense. If you thought about that, but you don't.You see through the conceptions of world and self for what they are: pain fantasies through which experience gets filtered. Every single possible metaphor has been used. The veil etc. Things as they really are. Nothing can convey an experience of mind and heart that are free, however temporarily, from delusion. Nothing to defend, destroy, protect, create, explain. Nothing, even, to understand.
But "astonishing" is an epithet concealing a logical trap. We're astonished, after all, by things that deviate from some well-known and universally acknowledged form, from an obviousness to which we've grown accustomed. But the point is, there is no such obvious world. 
Wislawa Simborska  

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