A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Friday, 17 September 2010

Piece Of Mind/Whole Mind/Peace Of Mind


I'm finding it impossible to write anything even mildly creative at the moment - let alone get my thoughts together about the South West Coast Path - because the virus I came back with (which I thought gone) has left my ears in a sorry state. To put it bluntly, I'm half deaf in one, and completely deaf in the other. I believe I may have an infection in the completely deaf ear, as it hurts. So I suppose I'll have to visit the doctor on Monday if things don't improve. I thought a purgative onion, garlic and chilli soup had blasted the virus away - but, oh no! There's often a sting in life's tail (or tale), isn't there?

The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche is giving me some consolation, so I thought I'd post a few quotes from this wise classic ...

Confined in the dark, narrow cage of our own making which we take for the whole universe, very few of us can even begin to imagine another dimension of reality. Patrul Rinpoche tells the story of an old frog who had lived all his life in a dank well. One day a frog from the sea paid him a visit.
'Where do you come from?' asked the frog in the well.
'From the great ocean,' he replied.
'How big is your ocean?'
'It's gigantic.'
'You mean about a quarter of the size of my well here?'
'Bigger.'
'Bigger? You mean half as big?'
'No, even bigger.'
'Is it ... as big as this well?'
'There's no comparison.'
'That's impossible! I've got to see this for myself.'
They set off together. When the frog from the well saw the ocean, it was such a shock that his head just exploded into pieces.

Dudjom Rinpoche described the buddha nature of mind thus:

No words can describe it
No example can point to it
Samsara does not make it worse
Nirvana does not make it better
It has never been born
It has never ceased
It has never been nonexistent
It has no limits at all
It does not fall into any kind of catagory.

And the poet Nyoshul Khenpo wrote:

Rest in great natural peace
This exhausted mind
Beaten helpless by karma and neurotic thought,
Like the relentless fury of the pounding waves
In the infinite ocean of samsara.

9 comments:

Bonnie said...

So sorry to hear that sneaky virus has returned. I, too, have an earache today - a jabbing, intermittent pain.

The last soothing 'balm' you offer, by Nyoshul Khenpo, resonates with its 'pounding waves' and exhortation to 'rest in great natural peace ... in the infinite ocean of samsara'.

Thank you Robert. One would think after years of study, contemplation, application one would not need these daily reminders. But it seems this 'one' does.

Hope some medical treatment brings you speedy relief. I just need a little dose of Motrin to calm a trigger-happy nerve and all will be well.

George said...

It's strange, isn't it, how one goes off and does something magnificent — something very life-affirming, like a 420 mile walk on the South West Coast Path — only to return and be reminded by the universe that everything continues to be impermanent and in transition.

So sorry to hear about your hearing problems. It sounds to me like you need to get to a doctor, pronto. During the meantime, I'm glad that you are finding consolation in some of the great Buddhist teachings. "The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying" has long been a part of my little library, though my wife often wonders why I read things with "dying" in their title. I remind her that the book is also about "living," that one cannot understand life without understanding death, and that, in any event, there is both life and death with every breath of our lives. May you be breathing better, and, indeed, hearing better, very soon. Best wishes on your recovery.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Sorry about that nasty little bug Robert - there is a lot of it round here too - it has floored me once or twice in the past two months - seems to rattle around ones nasal tubes, disappear and then reappear twice the strength.
Get well soon.

am said...

Take good care, Solitary Walker!

Thank you for the readings from the Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and the splendid photo from the South West Coast Path.

Lorenzo said...

The ear aches and deafness sound nasty. Hope you get the right attention and treatment soon. Good to know, in the mean time, that even deprived of hearing, you still hear the pulse of those "pounding waves".

Tramp said...

Hey, old chum, I agree with George on this one. Get yourself to a doctor on this.
Thanks for the wonderful coastal photo at the top of your post. I can't look at it without hearing the sea and feeling the wind.
Lady and I plan to get out for a short walk at the weekend, we need it.
Take care.
...Tramp

Luiza said...

Hey SW I am sorry to read about your ear problems. I agree with others that you should get yourself off to a doctor. It is a man thing that prevents you heading out the door to the doc? I hope to read that you are having treatment soon.

Keeping you in my thoughts .....

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, all, for your sympathetic good wishes!

fireweed meadow said...

You're as bad as I am. I don't like going to doctors and I'm also very lazy about getting around to it. I only go if I think death or permanent disability is imminent. I like to take the wait-long-enough-and-it-will-go-away-on-its-own-approach whenever possible.