the orange tree

IMG_2323bPOSTCARD 151: Delhi: Wake up in the morning and it takes a moment before I remember who I am. There’s a sense of having to press START to get it going, then the pieces fall into place… some parts of the jigsaw are late in arriving, fit into position as the image appears; it’s somehow reassembling to become a different picture as the moments pass… becoming another new picture, and more and more pictures. Then there’s the remembered pain – head turning on the pillow, stare at the ceiling; must have had it all through the night, but… not as bad as it was? Gently sit up and see how that goes, balance the cranium on top of spinal column, get up from the bed and gently walk through to the front room as if tight-rope walking… start the day.

Years go by, living on received sensory data and just taking it all for granted. Tiny molecules of experience passing through the organism in great rivers, and all of it goes unnoticed… until it malfunctions in some way. The buildings collapse, a natural disaster, illness – herpes zoster virus, shingles; permanent headaches. Through necessity I develop more of an investigative attitude to actions and reactions, monitoring the mind-body-world situation I am in, we are all, always, in… consciousness. Then the remedy, the simple homeopathic miracle and immediately some easing, enough to make the return to ordinary things seem possible.

Birdsong outside. A dog barks. Voices in the street. I go up to walk on the roof terrace. Look over the edge, the orange tree encroaching on our roof – see the first ripening orange this year. It looks out of focus because it’s arising out of the green it was before. Curious magic, the orange is changing colour as I stand here watching it in the early morning sunlight; object of consciousness becomes who I am – the ongoing transformation…

Beyond the mind there is no such thing as experience. Experience is a dual state. You cannot talk of reality as an experience. Once this is understood, you will no longer look for being and becoming as separate and opposite. In reality they are one and inseparable like roots and branches of the same tree. Both can exist only in the light of consciousness, which again, arises in the wake of the sense ‘I am’. This is the primary fact. If you miss it, you miss all. [Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj]



Lower photo: last year’s oranges
Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj quote source: This Unlit Light
~   G   R   A   T   I   T   U   D   E   ~


7 thoughts on “the orange tree

  1. Great description of the experiencing, sensory human being. The big obstacle to mindfulness and Buddhist practice is the ‘trap’ of seeing oneself as an object. It is all too easy to become over-self-conscious. This way lies duality and big NO- No in Buddhism.
    Great Master Dogen succinctly points to this in his –
    “to study Buddhism is to study oneself, to study oneself is to forget the self, to forget the self is to be enlightened by all things.” ! From Genjo-Koan

    • Thanks for your comment. Like most of us, I’ve experienced the ‘trap’ of seeing oneself as an object so much, so often it’s as if that were simply another aspect of consciousness. And when I can forget about the grip that wrongly identifies it then it becomes only this small part of the whole story…

  2. Hi Tiramit. I like the term “malfunction”. I see it as the crack in the glass that allows one who can see to see through the reflection of duality. Although others who don’t see simply see it as “bad”.those that do see, see it as a keyhole to look through the reclection that lives in a cage of “thinking” it knows.
    All you can do though is throw words at it and hope someone doesn’t use them to think or know but instead see what they can never know.
    It makes you feel like your trying to get Helen Keller to grasp the word your pressing on her hand and feel what it is trying to say.

    • Thanks tommyg, the Helen Keller analogy is good. Words attempt to create an everlasting identity; the crack in the glass happens sometimes and in the end, inevitable. It’s a built-in obsolescence that many of us try not to see… too involved in the flawlessness of the glass, or looking for more words to ‘think’ it with.

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