She keeps coming closer, saying ‘I can feel it in my bones…this Schizophrenia is taking me home’. – Sonic Youth
A review of my posts from the very first on November 29, 2016 to the present reveals an enormous inconsistency of viewpoints and emotional responses to situations big and small. I can cut myself a little slack due to the fact that the country in which I live transformed from a flawed democracy to a fascist dictatorship in that brief time frame, but even my words about that situation have run the gamut from “Please, don’t hate those with differing viewpoints,” to “Kill the motherfuckers!!” So what the hell do I really feel about it? The answer, as usual, isn’t very easy to pinpoint.
I feel compelled to say that the ascendance of Donald Trump to the presidency has had a nearly fatal effect on my quasi-Buddhist spirituality. But that’s a dishonest placement of blame. The truth of the matter is that I have allowed the ascendance of Donald Trump to the presidency to be my scapegoat for lazily tossing the Dharma onto the funeral pyre just when it is most needed.
Humor, even aggressive humor, is a good and relatively healthy outlet for me to vent my feelings of anger and frustration without actually hurting anyone. I don’t intend to alter that approach. However, meditation and contemplation of universal unity is far more important to my psychological well-being and I have to find my way back to a place of equanimity if I intend to be of any help to anyone, myself included.
I learned long ago that grand proclamations starting with the words “from now on, I’m going to…” are pointless because they oversimplify the mental strata that have built up over a lifetime in response to decades worth of situations and stimuli. Honestly, I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do “from now on”. I can, however, reasonably plan out the rest of the day. So tonight, I will go home and walk my dog. Then I will pet her on the ears and belly and say, “I love you, Bernadette” in a cutesy voice that I would be far too embarrassed to use in front of people. Then I will eat a small dinner, finish the last 20 or so pages of the Bruce Springsteen memoir I’m reading, grab my meditation bench, sit and breathe. In, out. In, out. Om mani padme hum. Then I will watch some TV as I drift off to sleep hemmed in by my cat and my dog. Nothing exciting and perfectly blissful.
Come to think of it, that last sentence describes in a nutshell what I aspire to be: nothing exciting and perfectly blissful. I’ve got the first part of that equation down to a science. Now I just need to work on the blissfulness.