POSTCARD #127: Delhi: Jiab sent a photo from Madurai in South India, people go to work, life goes on. Meanwhile I’m hanging out my laundry on the roof terrace here in Delhi in an immense dryness of heat, knowing I’ll have to take them in an about one hour because if not they will become crisps, weather conditions being as they are and also the leaves of the bouganvillia plants and palms all around are soaking up the moisture in the air. I water the plants too of course but every day they’re dry in the morning. Somehow, everything survives.
It’s an ordinary day. And I was starting to write about that… then there was the small earthquake in Delhi, buildings shook for a few moments, nothing compared with the 2nd quake 7.4 Richter scale in Nepal. In fact I was there in Kathmandhu in the earthquake in the early 90s The thing I rememember about it was I was in a hotel on the 4th floor and suddenly the sky was full of birds, pigeons dashing around, hovering in the air… then the building started to move. The birds felt it first.
This is when blogging becomes a kind of mind-bogglingness. The aloneness of the solitary blogger in some time-zone in the world – an aloneness, maybe that’s what motivates this reaching out. ‘The internet is an extended sense organ’, bloggers in the world scattered around the planet, but really all contained in conscious awareness – we couldn’t be connected in any other way! I can’t see you, or hear you. I can’t touch you and will never ‘meet’ you in the normal sense of the word, I just know you’re there, or here inside me, or where we all are… curious how it’s the awareness of the connection that activates it.
‘There’s no other time than now, so how could we be elsewhere? We’ve always been “here and now” ―there’s nowhere else! Whether we think we are living in the past or in the future, we’ve always been squarely in the present moment. When we “stroll down memory lane” or “boldly go where no one has gone before”, we’re still exactly wherever we are, in the same time and place. Our memories of the past and plans for the future are nothing but present mental fabrications. Wherever we are, that is “here”. Wherever we were before, that was “here” then. Wherever we go later, that will also be “here” then. We can never return to yesterday, nor can we advance to tomorrow. Yesterday was now, only then. Tomorrow will be now, only then. It’s always now.There are no geographical or temporal alternatives. It’s HOW we live “here and now” that matters: avoiding harm, doing good, purifying the mind.’ [Nying Je Ling – Jonang Buddhism]
Update 13 May 2015 The Hindu Newspaper. Nepal again on edge as second quake kills 57. 7.3-magnitude earthquake strikes 68 km west of Namche Bazaar, close to Mount Everest. [Further update, the Himalyas dropped by three feet after the earthquake]Quake’s power a fifth of the 7.8-quake that struck Nepal on April25: US Geological Survey. 8 tremors hit Nepal in two hours, quake an aftershock of April 25 Quake: IMD.17 dead in India: 16 in Bihar, 1 in UP: MHA. More than 160 after shocks recorded since the first April 25 earthquake: Nepal Seismology Centre
“Avoiding harm, doing good, purifying the mind.”
It’s really all there is…
Here’s to when that now comes round to all.
Yes, here’s to that. Wonderful idea…
Another great photo! I love Jiab’s photography. Yes, the aloneness of bloggers, some know more about us than our friends. Hope you got good test results! And, yes, all we have is the present but why do I find it so hard to focus on, instead of being upset about the past and worrying about the future. Thanks for the great quote! Take care!
Indian friends tell us the man’s topknot in his hair suggests he is a Brahmin who serves in a Hindu temple. The lady is his wife, has no connection with the temple and they all love to wear jasmine flowers in their hair.
We learn so much from others’ blogs, don’t we? And there is this fascinating situation of it all happening everywhere in the world at the same moment. I find it hard to focus on the present moment too, partly because there is no language, no images usually. Sometimes blissful, sometimes ordinary – I think the main thing about being ‘here and now’ is that it gives the mind a great rest from constantly thinking about things. The more you practice this the more the mind learns to ease off from the compulsive thinking about past and future…
Hope all test results will be good. I find the same, reading lots of blogs instead of writing or writing lots of comments on other people’s blogs but it is hard to balance both. Sending Reiki tomorrow AM 11 EDT.
Thank you Ellen, Friday 11 AM EDT is Friday 8.30PM Delhi time. I will be taking a shower and doing my affirmations then going to sleep. Perfect. Test results are good so far, BP is not so high I’m focused on exercise and diet. Troubled by all kinds of memories of things that were ‘wrong’ in the past… trying to let go of these…
Maybe you are reviewing your life and going through some sort of purification. Working through past events. Hope you will find peace. Okay, see you on the Reiki waves.
Thanks for the Reiki waves. I was lying in bed flat on my back, aware of a twinge in the heart a movement around kidneys and liver then an overall peace…
Yes, I have learned so much from people’s blog. Yours taught me a lot. About Buddhism and writing. And elsewhere I have learned much about customs and life in other places, in India in particular. I think it is great. Am trying very hard to be in the present. Tough at this time. My doc gave me a mantra to say when worried about all the endless what it’s of the future… “I will deal that when it happens.” Works pretty well. Hope you are okay.
“I will deal that when it happens.” I like that, but it’s not happened yet so I don’t have to deal with it. It could be that thought and impressions go on most of the time and being actually in the present can’t happen all the time. It is possible though to be aware that a particular thought or impression is taking place and simply know that that’s what it is, allow it to finish and return to present awareness for however long it takes before the next thought or impression begins to arise. Being conscious of this process is enough.
I am okay here, still going through all kinds of tests and no results yet. About blogs, it occurs to me I spend more time reading other people’s blogs than I do writing my own…
I like the quote at the end about here and now.
I’ve been wondering about this mindfulness business and being here and now, too. Of course, we are always here and now, and it is just the mind which generates thoughts about past and future. Or about how to debug computer coding. Or when to schedule train tickets, which is a thought about the future.
I think, that a mind free of avalanches of thought spirals is the result of the falling away of the illusion of the self. It is not, however, a means of losing the self. But that is what it is used for. Make sure you stay focused in the here and now and we promise you that you will become enlightened.
I don’t think it works that way.
I have a cartoon in mind. A tree. The root is the falling away of the separate self. The branches are the results , like detachment, a mind which is free of thought spirals, fearlessness, compassion.
THIS is a tree.
Then the other picture. A person holding cut-off branches in his arms.
Branches of detachment, mindfulness, compassion and so on.
This is NOT a tree.
Practising the fruits of enlightenment as a means to see through the illusion of self seems like putting the cart before the horse.
Thank you Karin, I think I agree with you; there is a purpose in having the self-construct, how would we get around without it? For me it’s an ongoing process, a way of life. Enlightenment is not the point: ‘putting the cart before the horse.’ Although sometimes I’m curious about enlightenment, it’s about a maintaining a mind which is free of thought spirals, that has fearlessness, clarity and compassion…
Thanks for your response and for clarifying what your main interest is.
And thanks for your interest. I should have said, Insight meditation and Yoniso Manasikara
I enjoyed your description of the connectedness between bloggers and the subsequent exchange with Ellen on this topic. It’s inside of us, isn’t it!? The space where we meet. It seems to me at times a very tangible reminder of the fact that consciousness and relationship cannot be quite pinned to the physical. You feel different than Ellen, than Karin, than Ben, etc. There’s an aliveness that emerges that isn’t quite you and isn’t quite me, but speaks to both…
The birds know what we’re talking about… 🙂
Thanks Michael. Yes, the birds know and all creatures have an inkling of it too, plants included. Seems as if human beings somehow lost it but there is that space inside of us, yes. Perhaps a diversity of connectedness is so vast it’s beyond ordinary comprehension. Just knowing it’s there is enough…