Yesterday was a blissful day. I drove to Richmond to switch from Verizon to AT&T, found I saved so much that I contracted an iPhone 6 plus and my wife got my 5s. Wow. And I still save $100 a month. (Oh, blissful). On the way home I hit a pot hole and blew a tire out (WTF). But can just put on my spare (GREAT). But my Honda hybrid had no spare (SHIT). But there was an air compressor. (GREAT). But it didn’t inflate the tire (SHIT). A man stopped to help with a big compressor (A Savior!). But it didn’t work either. (DAMN). I called a tow truck. (YEAH) He couldn’t come for two hours. (CRAP) I got another truck and he would be right there. (YES). He took an hour. (SHIT). He came and he had no seats in the truck for two people (CRAP) We road in the car on the truck like camel riders. (FUN). We got to a Firestone dealer YES). He had no Mitchelen tire nor openings. (OH NO). There was a Goodyear next door that was not busy, (YES) but he had no tires (DAMN). He could get one tomorrow because they had no holidays. (YES) It would cost $300. (SHIT). The tow truck driver said he wouldn’t charge mileage (HOORAY). His bill was $75. (OKAY). We were hungry and a Wendy’s was next door. So handy. (YES). My wife fed her’s to the dog it was so bad. (CRAP). A friend came to get us. (YES) He almost fell asleep at the wheel and scarred the shit out of me (DAMN). I got home and had a big scotch. (AH….bliss).
The first movie I watched today upon reconnecting with Netflix was the documentary on Chogyam Trungpa, the Tibetan master who brought Tibetan Buddhism to America after the Chinese drove Buddhist wisdom out of Tibet in 1960. I’ve read all of his books over the last ten years and get a daily quote to write on. To me his gift was his ability to translate abstract Dharma principles into everyday life and mind. He was the MacGyver of the Dharma because he could use anything at hand as metaphor to transmit the wisdom.
Rather than wear Tibetan robes and culture, he fully dove into Americanism, living fully in the life of the senses as we do. Yet while confounding our idea of what an enlightened master should look like and do he was always an awakened transcendent awareness. Defying definition was his “crazy wisdom.” But his intention was always to awaken his fellow beings by not doing anything but being totally himself.
What’s’ happening to us? I can’t even go to the dentist without take a picture of myself. Do we just we want to see ourselves as other’s see us. Or maybe it just a form of pornography where we just like to watch ourselves. My dentist has Murphy’s Law on the wall to contemplate the absurdity of life while you are being drilled. Here’s my personal Murphy’s Law: No matter which way I turn the vacuum cleaner plug, it is always opposite of the socket’s.
My neighbor’s cats love our back deck where they can strategically perch next to the bird feeder. Cats always seem to be at rest while being totally alert. Aware presence is what a cat is. Cats are master meditators. A Zen master was asked how he became enlightened and he said: “By watching my cat.”
Birds are too restless. Dogs only focuse on you. Cats, however, have a 360 degree awareness that is always on. We too have that awareness, this background awareness, but we are more like the dog that focuses only on some object in the foreground. Our background awareness is rarely noticed and activate, except when we are day dreaming while driving a car, and we go for miles until we suddenly jerk back wondering where we are. Who was driving the car while you were gone? Ask your cat?
I take a picture of my shadow whenever I can. With the sun at my back I can see him. The dark boundaries are clearly defined on the bright face of the earth. My shadow is that which I project from an image inside that I hold to be opaque and solid. When the Shadow is active (and it always is), my world is divided and works contrary to my intentions, which are always to preserve my image. My best laid plans go astray.
The Shadow is the existential fear my self image has that it isn’t real. My self image only feels alive and real when it is resisting or avoiding the world as relationship. The more avoidance, the more real my self image feels. So what is it that my self image resists? Its own shadow.
You see, the Shadow on the lawn is the outline of a form, which is the dark inside, and also the light outside. These go together like the inside and the outside of a cup. We see the inside and don’t realize that the shadow is defined by that which is not the shadow. When my self image projects its shadow on the world, what it projects is the outside of the shadow as the Other, or the enemy. The Self image can’t see itself, so it sees the outside of its image, not realizing that the outside world and the inside image are the same world. But what is the light behind the image that projects it upon the screen of the world? The Light of Awareness, pure and simple.
The Shadow is our suffering as we battle to remove what we project on the world. Jesus said: Love your “shadow.” And then you can say with Jesus: I and the Father (my shadow) are One. Buddha also said the same thing in so many words. It is our willful turning our back on the world, our shadow, that is the cause of our suffering. The Shadow always knows what the self image can’t.
Take a picture of your shadow to see if I’m right. Truth can come in a Snap!