We are exploring the meaning of Accidental in this series of talks, and tonight I’m looking at the Accidental Word or Speech or talk. In Buddha circles this is called a Dharma Talk, a talk from the heart without notes or plan. You just take a seed idea and riff it. This is the Poetic Word, or Rap…Dharma Rap, that’s it.
Hey, now that is a great Accidental Word or Title for what I discovering how to do. Dharma Rap. The way you get to Dharma Rap is through surrender to controlled accidents. The Rap is controlled in that it takes place in a controlled situation like this, having an ipad and Facebook (that’s controlled) and you have the control of a germ idea that, in my case, I get when I mix the martini. Then you riff it. This takes absolute trust in your surrender, for if you have one thought that your surrender will not produce a talk, that you will be exposed in the headlight, vulnerable, babbling, paralyzed by stage fright, you don’t have enough trust.
There is a joy in surrender to the Dharma Rap, which you can tell in my talks because there is a contagious joy here. I can feel it. So can you. The Joy of being fearless, but in a controlled situation, which means being in relationship. I’m in relationship with you here, and that is the control. I’m not alone babbling in the woods. But the talk is spontaneous and free. I wise old Greek told me this.
If life is accidental. You know the Newtonian world view that is now our commons sense view of life, is that it is like a pool table with things just bumping into each other. We are never satisfied with this view that the cosmos is just blind dumb stuff playing bumper cars. There is no purpose, no plan, and no meaning. This view does not satisfy us, so we turn to religion where God has a plan—if we could only find out what it was or surrender to it.
AHAH! That’s it. Religion never works like it should do because we can never quite surrender to God’s Plan, so when accidents happen, we feel we didn’t surrender enough, didn’t trust enough, and didn’t believe enough. So we either give up and become atheists or we keep trying, feeling somewhat inadequate.
So what I’m doing here with Dharma Rap is surrendering to NO PLAN. And it works! Here’s the problem: If I surrender to God’s Plan it’s like surrender to my prepared talk. I have notes to prevent accidents. That’s the whole point of a prepared talk. I’m not saying one shouldn’t prepare, I’m just saying we are missing something here when it comes to making my life work joyously.
The Dharma Rap (I just invented this term, BTW) is about surrender to the present moment. Now, is there a hidden plan in the Present Moment? We don’t believe so in our culture. The present moment or Nature is chaotic and needs our plan, our imposed order, or else nature reverts to weeds. The English know this well, as they tried to make an English Garden out of the whole world, imposing their order on chaos. But I digress.
The point is that we have misplaced God. Surrender to God is not to some Law laid down in the Bible (or if you are into science, natural law). That is not true surrender because you surrender to God for protection, for insurance against accidents. BAM! Right there. We fear accidents, and when there is fear you can’t surrender. Period.
When J. Krishnamurti was asked what his secret was he said he didn’t mind what the world did to him, or he didn’t mind accidents. Eckhart Tolle said the same thing. The point is that life is accidental, and if you don’t mind accidents, you don’t mind life. And, of course, we like good accidents but don’t like bad accidents. This is hypocritical, isn’t it. It’s like Trump; you just like the good ratings and not the bad ones.
Life is One. When we make it two—and we have to in order to function—we have a rub, like when two sticks rub together to create a boy scouts fire. When a bad accident happens—you step in the dog poop on the way to a meeting—we have a bad rub. But when you stop to clean off the dog poop and avoid begin hit by a car, you thank Jesus. Same accident. Same rub. Does not our suffering come because we split accidents into good and bad accidents, and, BTW, if we give a bad accident enough time, it will turn into a good accident. “If it had not been for that accident, I would not be where I am now.”