Contentment

Posted: 19/02/2012 in Insight
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Being content is why my journey stalled. In many ways being content is not a bad thing, but neither is it good. Contentment has an element of stagnation attached to it. If I look at my contentment rationally there is no arguing with what I was doing yet I still became stagnated. In particular I became focussed on politics to redress a balance – leading to becoming too attached to politics. Equally a similar process occurred with food where I became too attached to improving my health through eating. At the same time contentment arose because although I would like to do more I am doing my bit. And what is stopping me doing more is that the conditions for doing that more have not arisen. Apart from ongoing learning teaching is my bit, and I want to teach more. But teach what? Somehow I would like to be a spiritual teacher – without the institution. And those conditions rarely exist. Krishnamurti established it, but he was exceptional. Eckhart Tolle’s books hit home at the right time, maybe my book(s) will do something – certainly the scifi didn’t. I do a bit of teaching in the system but as Matriellez I would simply say that I am teaching them to fail. So the conditions for genuine teaching have not arisen. Having accepted these external limitations contentment easily follows. And that is why I need to incorporate “Beginning Anew” so that I don’t stagnate and let the journey stall again.

So what is the journey about? Quite simple – enlightenment. For a long while I thought enlightenment was an aspiration – a word that in my mind substituted for desire, but enlightenment is not a desire – it is a law of Nature. Seeking enlightenment is not a desire that we have to manufacture. Enlightenment is Nature’s purpose – it is in our Karma. We have no choice about it. When I was young and I first learnt about the Path it was as if I became disturbed when I wandered from it. So often conflict would arise as a consequence of my Path, and I would just have to say “C’est la vie”, that is the Path. I would just be forced to act in a certain way. I could never work for money alone, although many times I wished I had more. I still don’t own my own home nor a car – but now that is more of a choice. I always had the potential to earn more money but I never wanted the level of compromise that earning required. I still have to accept that there was too much compromise in my life but I could never compromise for money. That was my Path. And this Path I now happily call the Path to Enlightenment. Not that that changes anything, I don’t do anything differently, I just now recognise that Enlightenment is not something we choose – it just happens.

So if it just happens what is all the fuss about? Why aren’t we all enlightened? Simple – our minds screw things up. Instead of accepting that the process towards enlightenment is happening and doing the best we can, our minds interfere by becoming attached. This attachment needs a lot of clarification.

Attachment is a process that starts in the cycle of death and rebirth. An integral part of this process is karma. That part of Nature which is our personal karma is born and attracts to it that which becomes our existence (through the chakras). Within this existence is the mind, and the mind’s function is to keep us on the Path to Enlightenment by living in harmony with Nature and doing the best we can. So our very existence is a Karmic attachment, and by doing the best we can that attachment gradually disappears within the cycles of death and rebirth; at this level the letting-go process means the end of the cycle and enlightenment happens.

Meanwhile the mind gets in the way and as described in the 4 Noble Truths we become attached to cravings leading to suffering. Now this attachment we can control as opposed to the Karmic attachment in which we have no direct control. By following our Paths and not becoming attached to desire we work through our karmic issues, and so become less attached to samsara leading to enlightenment. The control we have is through our minds not being attached to desire rather than controlling the karmic process itself.

So why did my journey stall? First and foremost because I let the meditation slip, and because of this I didn’t control my mind, becoming too attached to politics and too attached to food. Neither food nor politics are permanent, they are part of this temporary incarnation and are therefore temporary manifestations on the Path. Whilst it is essential to use our insight in the correct use of food and in the correct understanding of politics, neither food nor politics are objectives. From last June it was clear that my political awareness had become limited, and it was correct in terms of the Path to use insight to understand politics. Equally over the last 5 years I have become aware of the importance spiritually to look after the body through correct eating, but neither body nor community are Enlightenment they are just the way we live together in this incarnation.

Recognising this our minds can give correct priorities to the different aspects of our Paths in harmony with Nature as opposed to what usually happens where our minds become attached to craving. In my case it led to contentment, a stagnation of the Path.

Warning:- I have discussed about enlightenment on the Buddhadasa page, I am now not happy discussing enlightenment. 20/9/13

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Comments
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