Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dharma talks and the Cosmic Owl

A strong treatment and strong dharma talk, at yesterday's acupuncturing.

One of the major points was "the Palace of Weariness;" the place where one goes to have one's weariness cared for and relieved.

From the one being treated's point of view, it's square in the middle of the palm. Ouch. But worth it. This is one of the points that brought me to the conclusion (correctness confirmed by the laughter of yesterday's practitioner) that eventually, anyone being treated by five-element acupuncture will say, "You want to stick a needle where???" but the promise of that point is that it's that very point that you need the most, and that in seconds after the needling is done, you'll be glad you had it done... and you'll remember this conversation.

My "regular guy" is currently out of town on vacation; I was treated by one of his office mates, who is the very one who treats my regular guy (they treat each other). He has the same, and yet a different, take on things. Sometimes he has precisely the same take on things, he just explains things differently.

We talked a lot about "forgiveness." I'm still finding "not letting go," non-forgiveness, and years after the fact, still harboring gut-wrenching anger at, people at my former workplace who were central to (from my POV, at least) catalyzing my departure from said workplace. My dharma talk centered around "HOW to forgive," which I had begun the session with by telling him that wisdom traditions (with which I was familiar) which are very clear about the need to forgive were very un-clear about the method. His take: "They" (which might just as well have been the more specific "we" or even "you, I, everybody") do things for exactly the same reason: seemed a good idea a the time. And whether something "seems" to be a "good" idea all depend on the perceiver's state of mind, state of consciousness even. They (we, aka "I") only see what they can. Nobody has any intention to do things that don't make any sense, ever. They (we/I/everybody) does what makes the most sense, but that "most sense" is completely dependent on what the perceiver is aware of. And central to "forgiveness" is compassion. They/we/I/everybody sees what they can see; and for all of us--all of us--to "forgive" begins with compassion for the person being in the state they're in, compassion for seeing what little they can see. And really, what we can do, all we can do, is to love the person. What they've done is not "on the list" of what needs love... but they are. (He also reminded me of "Forgive them Father, the know not what they do.") This has been a personal conundrum for a while; knowing that I need to forgive the blind for not knowing that they have no eyes. And the answer is that it all starts with compassion... in my metaphor, compassion for those who are living in the darkness of Plato's Cave, who cannot even see the shadows on the wall.

He likes quoting Gautama Buddha, whom he tells me said that "Everything that is born, dies; seek that which was never born."

And that the Dalai Lama's physician of many years once said (again, I'm paraphrasing) "Why do we treat anyone? So they can transcend." The core of my practitioner's take on this message was "We don't treat people so they can 'do s--t,' to 'stay busy' and immured in this world; we treat them so they can transcend this world."

So here we MSers are, courtesy of our neurology brought to a full-on face-plant into how ephemeral these bodies are. Everyone eventually comes to this place (see above under "all who are born, die"), but we come here through ... oh, let's say "accelerated" means. And not just the truth of ephemerality, but its inescapability. Its f--king inescapability.  So what do we do, then?

Seek transcendence. Seek that which was never born; and is thus, eternal.

So I guess that's on the "to do" list, then. It actually was on all of our "to do" lists... But traveling the MS highway does reprioritize things; selecting the real priority of "what we gotta do," even of "what we want to do," is something we have very special struggles with. Very, very special... very personal.

Adventure Time fans will recognize MS as our very own Cosmic Owl. And as everyone in that world eventually realizes... when the Cosmic Owl talks: Listen. Listen well. Listen carefully.

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