Early morning, clear
palisades with crisp edges stand on
flat water, shimmering.
Bridges are sturdy
steel turns golden,
trains glide over a bed of white.
Feathery branches, open sky.
Stalwart brick towers respirate
clouds and dralas.
Silent for a while, I’ve been in a late fall mood. I’m a summer solstice baby, born the brightest day of the year, and late October through late December are my winter. There was a tough virus going around and I caught it for a couple of weeks. My Ngondro practice came to a complete halt, it was kind of a relief. I was 3/4 through the first stage and felt like it wasn’t doing anything or going anywhere, had become rote. It’s supposed to prepare you, to make you a “worthy vessel” by clearing out obstacles of neurosis and other kinds. Something was happening – I was feeling more neurotic than ever. For example, I was no longer satisfied to make a mug of coffee, I had to make a whole pot and drink it…but it was a pressure build that didn’t seem to have an outlet. I allowed practice to dwindle for a few weeks and nuzzled into some old habits of mind for a while, reacquainted myself with them and their friends. This of course is exactly what you’re told not to do when you get stuck in practice. But I’m stubborn. In the thought machine found myself wondering how much I’ve made practice a place to hide, to stay dull to the aches, pains & elations of life; made it a chase of illusion, disconnected with the nature of things.
Then the fog cleared and I spent the weekend doing group practice, all of us in the group hoping to finish this in the 9 months we have left before the Abhisheka (empowerment) this Ngondro is preparing us for. I realized this morning, in a rare clear moment these days, that I was wanting Ngondro to change me in ways I could conceptualize, and that fit in with my current job and life and aspirations…instead of accepting the huge transformations that are possible. We could all be Buddhas, after all. But it would mean giving a rest to so many attachments.