Mindfulness

Blast these infernal body chemicals!

I’m not sure what it is, but my libido, or sexual energy feels uncharacteristically pronounced today.

It is an acute awareness, to feel desire kindle in the filters of my perceptions. To feel, what is likely, a rush of chemicals enter my blood-stream when I see a pretty face or fertile, young looking breasts and figure enter my view. Simple neurological responses.

Switching my filters from clear-headed nondirectional-ness to the radar for sexual fulfillment: stupid!

Blasted chemicals I have no control over.

Physiological body responses quite easily override my desireless and content train of thought. It is a body feeling too, contentedness. Like a calm lake, throwing a boulder of chemicals into it just riles everything up. I want to channel this sexual energy into my higher charkas. Through breathing exercises? I am not sure. For the moment, it is just an awareness. “Tim is feeling sexual energy inside him. Tim’s filters have changed and now the kind looking young woman standing over there has noticeably attractive breasts and legs, long hair, a beautiful face.”

It is just an awareness right now, making a note of it, observing how this change in my body’s chemical balances has altered my consciousness. It seems slightly dangerous. I am not sure if I can trust these chemicals.

Desire creates seeking, and seeking plants the seeds of expectation – the possibility of gratification or disappointment. Desire is the feeling of your domino tipping towards something, a tipping away from your self and towards what you are seeking. But when we tip over on edge, our position is shaky, and in seeking we can lose our balance and fall over.

It is the Scorpio’s weakness perhaps, his virtue and his vice.

Now, my understanding of The Way is good. My intellectual and mental understanding holds all the keys, you could say, or many of them. And I can use these keys to unlock an understanding that allows me to feel compassion and composure in some moments, but the winds of life can still knock me off balance.

So, while my understanding is good, my practice in consistent every day life is still shaky. The plant is still young and needs much nourishment before I can remain mindfully loving in all situations. To be sure, true strength of understanding is acquired by practice: everyday living.

I am still young, which means every day after I have an “old mans” experience of the unity of the world, fresh in the morning I am still a passionate young man, full of potent, vital energy. When a beautiful woman enters my life that I have strong affection for, it becomes quite easy to be overcome by these powerful, natural feelings.

You step on the growing plant in your hastiness to run for the thing or person you desire. You do not even notice you stepped on it until the person disappears, and you realize your domino had been precariously positioned for some time now. This has been my experience in the past.

But today, I am not too concerned, because to be aware of our selves and the changing currents is to be mindful. It is to be ready for each new moment. And as Shunryu Suzuki said, “It is the readiness of the mind that is wisdom.”

I have learned the secret of understanding. Understanding without practice is useless in any situation outside of a peaceful mountaintop. True understanding, a solid, centered and stable rock to stand on as we live our lives, is based on every day practice. Every day we wake up and remember our insights from the previous day. Each morning is a new enlightenment. It is a very ordinary thing. Just keeping the same, pure effort each day: bowing to the universe, saying the mantras, practicing mindful breathing. You water the seeds of compassion and love in your garden each day until you have quite a beautiful garden to care for and look after.

Then, when you feel some desire and your senses lead you towards its fulfillment, and you begin to get excited and start to run towards your goal, very quickly, sometimes in an instantaneous sequence after that first body impulse, you see the beautiful garden. It is too big to step over or forget it.

You see it, and you notice the flowers, and your nose turns to the pleasant smells mingling in the air, and quite quickly you take a deep breath and regain your composure. You step mindfully towards your goal, taking in each moment as it comes, each breath, each step, content to enjoy the path to your goal, even if you never get there.

Mindfulness is the ability to see things as they are: to be present to the moment, to look into the eyes of the people around you and care for all of them, to have complete pointedness, and take in everything.

When your attention isn’t bound by a particular desire or goal, you can attend to people’s deepest needs. You can look into the eyes and expressions of each person and see completely into who they are and where they’re at in that moment. You see their complete vibe and manifestation: laughing, happy, grumpy, reserved, shy, engaged, absent, aloof, craving, hurt, angry, or in love. You see into their hearts. You see whatever’s there, like a mirror.

And when someone is sad at a party, you are tuned to it immediately, and can care for them in the way they need care.

If your friends are laughing, you can laugh with them.

If a friend is crying, you can hold them, and love them, without needing explanation.

If someone does something kind, you appreciate their kindness and tell them.

When someone hurts you, you understand they are suffering as well, striving and sometimes stumbling along the same path towards happiness that we all are. Because we understand their basic human nature, we can love them. We will step out of harms way, but love allows us to deflect these energies and remember our garden.

When we get hurt and make mistakes, get angry or do something we regret, we can forgive ourselves and love ourselves. We can care for our hurt feelings and not be too hard on ourselves. Mindfulness in such situations manifests as compassion for your self. You have compassion for your own human shortcomings.

We are complete as is.

July 2006

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