Thursday, December 02, 2004


I found the paragraphs below. Written, I suppose, in September, always a month of openings and beginnings, for me. I've lost my way, since then. Groping. Never sure what to make of these bardos, when I'm seemingly in between lives. Waiting for something to happen. For the way to open in front of me. The writing below struck me because today I am so heavy with grief and worry. Was this really me? Musn't it have been some other person, in some other world?

Suddenly the door of this cell blows open, and fresh air rushes in. I wonder why?

I feel free and light as I often used to when I was an undergraduate. Something has lifted off me, for the moment anyway, which has been weighing on me since long ago, since my dear friend Shauna was murdered, maybe. A darkness came to live in me then. Came to stay for twenty-four years. And suddenly it's gone.

I was flirting, lightheartedly, at the school potluck the other night. I can flirt now without "meaning it." Completely without meaning it. Which means that that particular light-heartedness no longer carries a nasty hangover with it, in the form of contemplated secrecy or cultivated obsession. It's light now in a way that it's never been light. I'm free as I've never been free.

I was reading The Jew in the Lotus in the doctor's exam room. (Another small example. Why have I never before taken a book to the doctor, for that inevitable wait in the exam room? Because the waiting room is a place to wait, I guess.) Both the nurse and my doctor started conversations with me about it -- my doctor told me about a friend of his who went to shoot the video for that conference (The Jew in the Lotus is about a Buddhist-Jewish dialogue, a meeting between the Dalai Lama and several Jewish leaders) -- and who came away spiritually tranformed -- not something he had been looking for.

I have gone through life assuming that no one I know "in the real world" cares about any of this. I've always assumed that my spiritual yearnings (even before I knew enough to call them such) were something no one else had. As a child, and ever after. And so of course I've carefully avoided ever revealing them to anyone -- which means that no one has had any reason to think I'd have any interest in theirs.

I think I need to backtrack. Start again. Back to the shrine, back to Machik Labdron and Milarepa. I have been too willing to wait patiently. Patience is not always a virtue.

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