It has been quite a while since I last posted. Some of that has been due to my trip to New York to see my mother. She had a bad fall in April, and there was a lot to do in terms of getting her squared away.
I find New York to be a difficult part of the world to be in, and I’m pleased not to be living there anymore. Here’s an example. I’m driving on a local road in White Plains, speed limit 40mph. I’m driving at 40mph, and I see a red light maybe 60 or so yards ahead of me. Naturally, I begin slowing down, gradually, so I don’t have to slam on the brakes when I arrive at the light. I glance in the rear view mirror, and there is a car practically in my trunk, wanting to maintain their previous speed until the last second, and then slam on the brakes. This goes on constantly, so that driving on local, rural roads becomes a stressful and tension-filled experience. Let’s not mention the highways, which on this trip were a total nightmare. Uh oh, I mentioned the highways!
Now imagine that kind of stressful behavior permeating every facet of life, and you’ve got New York. And this isn’t even the city! Is it a coincidence that I live over 6,000 miles away? Something in me knew that If I hung around that part of the world, well, it wouldn’t be pretty.
Is it possible that so many of us have been sold a “bill of goods” when it comes to enlightenment? If you’ve ever noticed your thoughts for any period of time, I’m sure you’ve noticed there is one constant theme – SEARCHING. Thoughts about the past emerge, probably about things we regret, or mistakes we have made, or why something happened the way it did, or what caused something else. These thoughts are immediately followed by other thoughts about how we will do things differently in the future, or something we dread is about to happen, or there is something we can look forward to, etc.
When I started to notice my thoughts, and how it was upholding this search, I was amazed at the percentage of useless thoughts flowing through my awareness. If I had to put a percentage on it, I would conservatively say that 98.6% of my thoughts were and are completely useless; they are simply upholding the search in some form or another, and thereby reinforcing the concept that there is a separate self here that needs to improve, needs to continue searching until….
Until when? Until all negative feelings are finally gone once and for all, for all time? Until I have reached nirvana, enlightenment, oneness, perfect love, whatever you want to call it? Until I have a samadhi experience (a particular favorite of mine)? When do we actually arrive in the present moment?
What if that isn’t going to happen the way we have imagined it will? What if there isn’t this long-sought-after goal to reach, that instead, THIS IS IT? That wherever and however we find ourselves right now, is it?! That the whole enlightenment game is simply another searching mechanism, cleverly disguised as a way out of the searching?
But how can you search your way out of searching?