Friday, September 9, 2011

Disintegration of Clarity

When one's character begins to fall under suspicion and disfavor, how swift, then, is the work of disintegration and destruction.

Mark Twain

I really like this quote, although I would maybe replace "character" with mind, or something along those lines, since character implies something a little too fixed or at least continuous for my taste. Anyway, it's petty easy to see how, when your mind is covered over by worry, suspicion, or any other powerful emotion or story - there's definitely a disintegration that occurs. Not only don't you see things as they are, but you also tend to see things that actually aren't. In other words, your clarity into life as it is right now disintegrates.

Consider worry, and it's attendants over-thinking, over-doing, and over-planning. At their roots is really a failure to have trust in the ok-ness of the present moment. That no matter what, at some level, everything is truly ok just as it is. Which is not about having some naive, rosy view of life, nor about letting destructive words and actions go unchecked. It is about the bone deep recognition of the sacredness of all beings - of the buddha-nature being expressed continuously, everywhere.

So, I've been working with all of this recently. Noticing the appearance of anxiety and worry about a few specific issues in my life. Mostly related to, ironically, my zen center and my yoga practice as it is and might be in the future. Feeling the bubbling up of tension in my chest and stomach. The rising stories that want to spin out and sometimes do. Remembering to return to the breath, stopping and doing a few yoga poses, or calling up the Jizo mantra - an old friend in practice. Experiencing the fading tension and noise in the mind. Moving on.

Kind of amazing to think of how much "internal drama" must be going on in this world full of people we live in.

* Image is of Salvador Dali's "The Disintegration of Persistence of Memory"

1 comment:

Srisuda Hongthai said...

Hi there, Nathan, and “Sawadee Kha” as we say in my home country of Thailand.

Firstly, I am sorry that I am contacting you through a comment on your Dangerous Harvests blog, but I didn't see an email on your blogger profile and I couldn't find another way to contact you.

So I hope you will forgive me for posting this as a comment instead of emailing you.

We are conducting a survey on Buddhism in America in the ten years since the 9/11 Tragedies, since many people found solace in the teachings of Buddhism after 9/11. The survey is at:

Wouldn’t it be great to know why so many people become interested in Buddhism after the 9/11 attacks? Does Buddhism still play a role in their lives ten years after the attacks? How do the attitudes of new Buddhists differ from those who were Buddhists before 9/11?

No matter how long you have been interested in Buddhism, we encourage you to take this survey yourself.

We also kindly ask that you will join other webmasters like you by telling your readers about the survey and encouraging them to take it as well. You would be doing a great service to the Dharma community.

Will you kindly let us know if you will be joining hundreds of like-minded bloggers and webmasters by linking to the survey, or mentioning it on FaceBook or Twitter pages?

Thank you in advance, and sorry again about posting this as a comment, and Sawasdee Kha,

Srisuda Hongthai
The Buddha Garden