“No one cares,” and the Tao of Talismans

“Oh, it’s not that they don’t know, it’s they don’t really care if it’s not about them.” – Ama Ma

I posted a new page on a perspective called the tasks. they are the “action components” of Gautama’s path. The “how to do” the Four Ennobling Truths. It’s a process, one that can be used quickly to ascertain my current status, the how of my experience, and will reduce suffering when applied.

But there is something that will block this process, one that takes seconds, and reveals the “How” of my existence.

Me. I’ll block it. I’ll learn a little, feel the acceptance and the reality, know that it works, perhaps write it down or get one of those nifty stapled packets that tells me all the details, but I won’t do it. I WON’T DO IT. (This will be interesting, I’m pretending this is sarcasm, but as I write this is sounding more like an embedded process, this always seeking “new” dharma. And then it immediately it drifts into the wake of memory, just in time for new dharma. What’s up with that?)

I’m not alone. More than a few Dharma sisters and brothers identify heavily with the “I won’t do it” syndrome. They have dozens of little formula’s for leading a balanced life, forgotten, sitting in the back of the drawer of filing cabinet. Or in memory, in the stream of thoughts wake.

Ama’s wrong on this one, at least a little, it’s not that most of us don’t care, it’s just we can’t remember. Our conditioned reactions cut off attentions ability to engage memory.

So the problem in application isn’t the process, we have lots and lots of processes don’t we? The problem is keeping the “process” in attention. It’s necessary to have reminders, because life moves quickly, and our systems process information at close to the speed of light and chemical interactions. And we also lose the information just as quickly, it flows into the wake of streaming thought. Life moves way to quickly to have to search the memory for some meme or Buddhist thoughts when you find yourself experiencing depression or having the fight of your life with a lover. (Conditioned separate personality has absolutely zero stake in you reducing your suffering. It exists, in part, because of the suffering itself.)

Funny how nothing “enlightened” comes up in the heat of social battle, isn’t it? Or when someone says something insightful and everyone O’oos and A’aas, “Oh that was wonderful” they emote, and then the concept drifts into the wake of memory, perhaps to return, or lie in wait for some associations to appear. We love to shout out, “You are only as happy as you want to be,” but can’t remember that spiffy phrase when experiencing sadness or anger triggered by interactions with others and conditioned personality. (Self-Talk.)

I carry mala beads. All the time. Yes I know in reality they’re just some beads I bought off the internet, strung them together, and now carry everywhere. But they remind me of what’s really important. How I experience life. How I embrace seeing the how of life. I must have reminders, I always did.

One of my Dharma sisters carries a rock, another, a feather, and yet another Brother carries a tiny bottle of earth he borrowed from South Africa. Talismans.

Talismans. People use them to decorate themselves, wrist bands, wearing malas as necklaces, and may have a room at home decorated like a Tibetan Buddhist Temple. So what? If they go through life suffering and enabling other’s suffering the decorations are meaningless.

Talismans, people also use them to remind, recollect, re-embrace, hold, and illuminate HOW they want to be in life. When used, they illuminate how our heart’s desire to live life in the best balance possible is real, and substantial, it’s just that we forget! We are Human’s, in the grace of Being.

It’s a choice isn’t it?

Bryan Wagner

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