Perfection of the simple things creates space in our lives and transforms us into living masters of the dharma. Creating space by simplifying and then concentrating our focus like a kind laser beam on every activity throughout the day of our ordinary lives cultivates peace and welcomes purity. Perfection is created by repetition and nothing else. Imagine how you might be perfecting a bad habit and stop today. Instead perfect the simple things you do by seeing them as the path to liberation and enlightenment -because they are. Your mind and body must become one. The mind loves to leave what it considers boring or repetitive, abandoning the body to perform these actions, only half of your heart is in it. Your whole heart must be there. Emotions are fuel, we must be wise where we let our mind travel because it effects our feelings. Choosing the right thought becomes very important. We are not puppets to our mind.
So by doing the practice described yesterday, ordinary becomes super ordinary. This is the only way to know what is deep within the unconscious, slow down. Pay more attention to the language of your body. Your body is holding all the residue of past experience. You have enough to do right now, just with that. You need nothing more. If you listen and stop trying to complicate, glamorize or escape some other way. It’s normal, we all do it. But we need to stop.
You are not different then a great zen master living atop a mountain surrounded by sky and light. This world points to another place where holy people are, but the holy people must be us. In this normal working class neighborhood, with these limitations. It is my intention to prove what is possible for us all. In each and every situation, we can create the hermitage, we can walk as the masters walk. Through the neighborhood, through the dirty city.
It’s easier the more clutter we can strip away. Clutter to the mind, heart and body. You know what and who you don’t need. You know what you need to do. First, don’t try. Do. Second don’t say- “I should” say- “I must.” Day by day, moment by moment, come back to the breath and empty your weary mind. These things don’t matter. The Buddha said, “If you want to end your problems, stop thinking.” It’s that easy and it’s going to take some discipline. A shaolin master said, “Self discipline leads to self responsibility, self responsibility leads to self care, self care leads to self love and self love leads to compassion.” Take this to heart. Think very highly of yourself and what you might be worth. Low self esteem is what keeps us down and then we over compensate with defense mechanisms that become so mechanical we don’t even know how we are sabotaging our potential anymore. This is why perfection of the simple things creates the space in our lives to unravel these patterns and transform us into living masters of the dharma.
Washing a dish, walking across a room, feeding the dog, lying still and staring at the ceiling, picking a flower, sweeping. These are huge poetic gestures. They are not meaningless activities. You are the entire universe circulating the light of divinity. Do not let your restless mind fool you that an irreversible mistake has been made. This is your bodhisattva training. You have everything and nothing is in your way. *Back to your body, back to your body, back to your body. Your sweet humble servant. The temple of your sacred heart. Do not abandon yourself there, hidden under your flesh all the answers wait. Feel yourself and don’t imagine that a spiritual person only should feel, happy….content…etc. At the same time, don’t act out either. Observe and experience with total self acceptance . Be honest and feel the tensions without judgement or fear. Let it all pass through you. The bardo is where we are now. Let us live with that victory in mind. How capable we actually are of traveling through this passage yet once again. (*When the body relaxes and tension decreases simultaneously the buried traumas can rise to the surface to be released. This may cause further anxiety however as these tensions are making themselves known. This is a replica of being in the bardo, facing and feeling the demons that we ourselves have created due to the disowning of ourselves for whatever reason.)
Like I said, repetition creates perfection. Every act is a practice of yoga. Nothing and nobody is separate. Nothing and nobody is more or less important than another. Then because of this you know what to do. Clarify and represent as you have always felt you were born here in samsara to do. Show this world what is possible starting with you and your life wherever you find yourself in the mess of things. This is the truth. You can be the one who is missing from your life. You can be the love that everybody searches for. You can stop the suffering that leads to another dead end. You can be free from the imaginary past, the pain that time and space has caused. Because we pushed it down to survive, because we didn’t know better, because we weren’t paying attention. But now we are and we can just sit still and let the past catch up in our bodies. We can listen to the language that has no words. We can most definitely be free.
This is a poem written by a very wise and well known astrologer named Isabelle Hickey. In the poem she is personifying Saturn, the lord of karma, as being female. The feminine approach is the way of the Tao, also the idea behind Aikido. You use the weight of the opponent to overcome the battle. There is a riddle to this way, but once you get it, it’s yours.
Saturn, Angel of Discipline
“In the deep darkness of grief and pain I found the angel of light again. She wore no lovely garment of white, But was garbed in robes as deep as night. I saw in her arms no flower fair, Instead, a crucifix nestled there. She didn’t walk with joyous tread Or offer me relief from dread, But I felt her peace and her quiet power, And knew in that night of awe filled hour, She was the angel of eternal dawn. Lifting her hood, I saw her face And knew the glory that hid her grace. From earth blinded eyes too dim to see That only through her, could we ever go free!”