Sunday, June 3, 2012

Six months on...

A good half a year since my last posting.

Seems like as I stopped posting, consequently my physical practice also takes a pause as well (or should it be the other way round), and a whole list of excuses pops up almost defiantly jumping to my self's defence. So far this year has been eventful, having accomplished almost nothing significant at work, shifted office twice and only just to a beautiful immaculate office, having my advances rejected by a wonderful lady, and to cap it up I probably touched my faithful meditation cushion only a handful of times.

So what prompted this sudden urge to write something? I guess last night's dream that I was correcting my posture during a meditation sitting did the job. This was the only detail I could recall from a vaguely long dream usually about nothing in particular. And so I decided that I must write something today.

As I am now typing and typing, I realize that my style has somewhat changed. No longer am I compelled to write about the experiences of Anatta, for during this period of exodus I realized that even if we express such experiences in the most direct and elegant way the only people who can understand and appreciate are those who have direct experience as well. To all the rest, the words just fall back onto their dualistic, logical left cortex and it will be a case of playing the guzheng to the rocker. So this realization loosened my ego's need to share the truth of non-self to anyone and everyone I encounter who starts a conversation with me on philosophy or religion.

But This is my realm, my personal Pureland! Or at least it's what I imagined it to be really! So the ego's urge to write to it's heart content can be indulged. On this note, there is a little insight which have been nagging to be written, which is a point on self assurance.

Self assurance is not to be confused with self confidence, thanks to the wonderful lady who pointed this out. On further exploration, the realization is self confidence is a quality which can be easily developed with external stimulus. We can be good in a certain field, we can be eloquent, we can be rich, and I'm too lazy to think of more scenarios where we can surely develop self confidence. Self assurance is something else altogether. Self assurance stems from within, a quality that has got to do with experiences of pain and hurt and the ego's responses to it. It's present in every sentient being, even in our pets I'm very sure, and the degree to which it is present enables one to function properly in all areas. And it seems like most of us are not as self assured as we'd like to be, why is this so? Using external stimulus, it's easy to define who we are, what we do, the car we drive (so un-Buddhist to be so showy), the house we stay, the money we spend (why so materialistic!). So based on societal norms the more of these, the more self confident one can be! What of self assurance?

Well, already it's not usual that the normal joe looks within any fine day and ask oneself "Am I self assured?" So it's probably strange that anyone will try to consider how can I be self assured, assuming if one feels not. Anyway, just that I was pondering this question of how the term 'self assurance' is in itself a paradox, considering the brief encounter, which will last a lifetime, of Anatta. Then as quickly as the moment that was pondering, the insight came.

Self assurance is when the self realizes it's non-existence, and merges with the environment (dualistic lingo alert!). In other words, the more we are able to suspend our egos, or at least temporarily believe that they don't exist, and immerse our selfs into the environment, the feeling of self assurance emanates.

If I were to go on and elaborate on this, it will end up looking like a nonsensical piece of writing. However the urge to write on the self as a reflective illusion of the Skandhas, and the skandhas as dependently co-arising conditions spanning lifetimes, and so on and so on is burning. Ok enough already, talk about burning, and immediately this monkey mind wants to go check on his Diablo 3 auctions (Oh forgot to mention this excuse upstairs).

Hope not another six months until my next posting.

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