a lake of sleep


lord-buddha-golden-idol-widescreen-desktopOLD NOTEBOOKS: Take all my meds out and put them on the table one by one; colors and shapes like planets from another universe. Swallow, swallow, and swallow. Have to open my case from the journey to get here. Bend down to find the zip, forgetting about the baseball in the head… rumble, crash forwards against the inner front of the cranium – bash! It’s the headache that lives with me, okay, it’ll settle in a moment.

Zip open the case and it seems like it’s totally occupied with a flat pillow gradually inflating to its normal size – a small pillow but it’s soft and I have to have it everywhere I go because other pillows, I find, are cruel and lead to sleepless nights with headache problems all through the next day. Fling that on the bed. Inside the case it’s still a little cool from the aircraft luggage section. How strange. All these ironed T-shirts folded flat, enveloped and layered inside this cuboid capacity; memories contained, waiting to escape from the case. Find some nightclothes and put them on – balancing the baseball in the head. Get into bed; cold in North India, and the heating we have is inadequate, but there is always the HOT-WATER BOTTLE! Yay! Jiab calls it the hot-water bag and the connotations are strange, which she doesn’t realize of course so I find I’m unable to say why and it’s left as hot-water bag. Winter is so short here I keep forgetting to explain.

Get in and lay down. Baseball rolls to the back but I can feel the meds building a thin soundproof wall around it that means I can’t feel the pain. Staring up at the painted ceiling, the solitary light bulb of a rented house it has no shade – must do something about that. Thinking about this and all the other things I have to do, want to do, would like to do. Thinking about things I thought about already, last night, the familiarity of thinking about it. It’s just there; not attached to it, not caught by it and free enough to see it, like Dolphins diving down and up to the surface and down below again. It’s not the content of thought; it’s the context, the awareness of thinking, the IS-ness of it. Watch the in-breath, the out-breath…

What’s going on here? I try to be in present time and the mind goes quiet. This quietness means the “now” just comes along by itself. It’s about the awareness of it – the human condition, investigating this…the meds are having an effect, the pain is gone. The Teaching on sila (virtue) is something that makes me feel good about myself, there’s the sense of being sure I’m on the right track. It means I can focus clearly, get things properly sorted out. Now I can close my eyes and get comfortable, thought processes that maintain themselves hesitantly, and other things without substance appear and fade away. If I don’t reach out for the next thought, there’s nothing there. The darkness is filled with light, moonbeams just at the edge of vision. “We cannot see we are filled with God because we are filled with a concept of God” That reality is beyond description. Best to leave it undescribed.

“The same intelligence that grows trees from seeds,
that lets birds fly,
that waves the ocean
and gives birth to new stars – that same Intelligence
also breathes your breath, beats your heart,
and heals your wounds.”
[Annie Kagan]
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Note about the quote, I don’t remember where I found out about Annie Kagan, it was one of my WordPress blogging friends. Please let me know if you recognise it, thanks

23 thoughts on “a lake of sleep

  1. Really loved this post. Envy your ability to tame the thoughts. I am giving up on ever being able to tame my wild mind. In a low ebb of consciousness. Right now, listening to the 40 mph winds of our near record blizzard, 24 inches. Have been uneasy all day. Gone are the days of delighting in the beauty of the silent white. The years have focused the fears. People have died today in this blizzard. People are flooded. It is the misery of being the person but I am trapped there. Sorry to digress. A great post!

    • Hi Ellen, about taming the wild mind, if it’s wild, it’s wild but it helps if you constantly note to yourself in some other place that this is so; it is wild. Everything ceases. then you note that it has passed; it’s not wild. Maybe it’s devastated, totally catastrophic, if it’s like that, note it down in another corner of the mind. But I think you know aleady about ‘noting’ or ‘noticing’ I just wanted to emphasize how good this is, kind of duplicating or summarising everything that’s going on. This is how it is for me, I live in the world of hindsight, and things are usually pretty quiet, simple schedule of dealing with the pain and then getting on with things. Thanks for dropping in again, sorry to hear about your blizzard, maybe it’s a time of hunkering down, animals hibernate…

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