Thursday, May 5, 2011
The Humble Musings Of The Manhattan Monk 5/5/11
How is it that we can become empowered through the most awful, difficult situations? My life experience certainly does not give me any practical clarity, but from the examples of others we see that when the veils are lifted, when one has to sink or swim, we grow in inconceivable ways to our limited consciousness when we persevere and refuse to drown wrapped in the vines of our false nature.
A mood of deep prayer must permeate our lives to allow us to develop the instinct to swim (although we may have to sink a bit a few times over in order to get the picture). Most importantly, the association of the saints around will always prevent us from fully drowning, if we genuinely feel the need for their presence, and cling to it with all of our meager might.
I have to pray for the most unique blessings, because look at my situation: agitated mind, slumbering soul, swimming upstream in a monastery at the locus point of Manhattan Island. But what relish in this courageous life, a life that finally has given me a deep and central meaning, which is slowly giving substance to these expressions and to my creative spirit.
I move slowly but surely beyond that complacency which yields no fruits with any juice, sweet or bitter. In this irrational, difficult, paradoxical struggle of a life I finally find the real way forward.
It's not so much the substance we crave as the craving itself which is the obstacle. It's something indeed to notice the same endorphin rush, the same nervous anxiety for the relief I hold dear, even if it's not of the same gross devious nature as before. Still, the boulder lies in the path my worn feet tries to walk.
No better chance to actually practice the detached mind when you get what you need, rather than getting what you want.
No better chance to actually practice the detached mind when Krsna deals you the trick material hand, when He liberated you of the unnecessary and the rotten.
Admittance of our weakness is not an excuse to act out that weakness. Instead it should be a compulsion to take greater care in whom we associate with and with what situations we place ourselves into.
What mystery lays there in Your presence so close to me, that I cannot even hear or understand, yet my heart, with even the slightest sense of You, tastes a yearning beyond all that is unreal, a magnetism that frees me from who I am not.