nothing


buddha

OLD NOTEBOOKS: DELHI: Sitting quietly on the meditation cushion, together with this headache that’s moved in recently, and I’m wondering if it’ll quieten down too – sometimes it does. At first it’s like there’s this energy of time and space moving through me from the past into future in continuously transforming evolving forms – but it’s more than that; internal processes happening by themselves – there’s no ‘me’ involved here, because I’m engaged with this swirling mass of headache and also just on the edge of understanding it’s like that when the whole thing becomes transparent – there is no beginning/no end… and it all slips into what you’d call the bigger picture.

So the meditation becomes more of a: let’s see now where are we at? (the headache and me). The outside world is not outside it’s inside too, every time I look/watch/see an object, it’s internalized. The brain creates a customized picture of it for me – and we all agree – who says the sky is blue, it could be a fantastic different color?

The pressure points on the cushion and floor where my legs are folded, and right knee supported, also parts of the body that are in contact with the surfaces of mat, form sensory data which reach the mind and give me balance, and I slip into this physical position like a hand fits the glove.

But then later as I’m walking through the rooms, the thought that I am as much inside as outside is a bit unexpected. The music I listen to becomes me, it is who I am, the alto saxophone sounds of Paul Desmond enter the hearing mechanism and I’m immediately on a 4D wave of melody floating out the window, I just take it for granted.

Then I smell lunch, go through, and eat the outside world. It enters my body. It goes to create flesh, blood and bones. Fingernails and hair grow. It’s quite an experience. The headache is a long swirling blue veil unravelled all around and caught in gentle aircurrents, of the saxaphone music – you could say it’s not getting the attention it deserves. Then all this becomes momentary, the headache disappears again and there’s the curious awareness of nothing. An experience of ‘open moments’, nothing in itself – but how did that happen? Where did the subject go? Suddenly there’s nothing in ‘here’ where the ‘me’ ought to be.

Virtue and the mind itself shows the way to go; the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path. Everything else in this great mass of no-thingness is an intuitive part of the whole, while functioning as form which is what we are on one level, everything else is too, and here we can study and learn so much from each other, while all of the world is comprised of particles that become increasingly smaller until their structure is formless space.

The knower and the known are one. Simple people imagine that they should see God, as if He stood there and they here. This is not so. God and I, we are one in knowledge. [Meister Eckhart]

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Source for Header Image
Note “open moments” comes from a post in the blog:A Buddhist Year titled, ‘Time
Music I was listening to: ‘Polka Dots and Moonbeams’ by Paul Desmond:

19 thoughts on “nothing

      • I that the members of the old Dave Brubeck quartet — Brubeck, Desmond, Joe Morello (drums) and Eugene Wright (bass) — were four of the greatest musicians of the 20th Century. Many don’t know that is was Desmond who wrote the melody for Take Five.

      • Yes I’m inclined to think he was the quiet genius behind it all, has a quality that’s gently understated. Like Brubeck took the credit for the Take Five tune and actually it was Paul Desmond, this is it exactly

      • Brubeck took the credit for the Take Five tune and actually it was Paul Desmond

        That’s a recurrent theme in jazz groups, the band leader taking credit for the compositions of other members or refusing to credit collaborators. Charlie Parker and Miles Davis were among the big names who were notorious for it. Several famous jazz artists also appropriated wholesale from other composers, especially classical ones, without giving credit. I wonder what’s behind it.

      • You’re right of course, I suppose you could ask the same question in the context of movie production but I never bother to read the credts at the end anyway….

      • I suppose you could ask the same question in the context of movie production

        Or academia, where professors stealing credit from their post-grad students is practically a given. Nonetheless I’ve long been puzzled by its persistence in jazz.

        Davis used to justify it by saying that white guys were always stealing credit from blacks and so turn about was fair play, but that doesn’t explain why Brubeck thought it was OK to steal from Desmond or why Parker used to steal from Davis (or why Davis himself stole credit for the work of other African-Americans like Sonny Sharrock and Herbie Hancock).

        I used to put it down to the guru culture operating within jazz. That up and coming artists derive a lot of their initial credibility from the big names they’ve apprenticed under so the masters feel that lifting the work of the acolytes is only their due. But that doesn’t explain why it’s seen as acceptable to steal large passages from Mahler or Debussy without acknowledgement.

      • The Brubeck/Desmond, Take Five example really sticks out because it was a musical ‘hit’. I’m thinking of a black bass player whose skill was un recognized but can’t remember the name (you see?) and the bands he played with must have all benefitted from his contributions but he preferred to stay in the background (I think) kinda understated. It’s that sort of situation that a stronger member of the group takes credit. But anyway whay I was going to say was it’s a good question because now we have the internet anybody can copy anything (if they want) without giving credit. There’s a clip of Bob Dylan answering a question about his exhibition of paintings and the interviewer said something about the being copies of Dufy (I think) and Bob D. had a really good answer for that… which I can’t find at the moment.

    • Yes these wide open empty moments when nothing has happened yet 🙂 Thanks for drawing attention to that in your post (details here). So, yes the headache is a problem but not all the time. It’s a case of being able to live with it like a friend maybe…

  1. who says the sky is blue

    The sky is the same colour as the gods because to look upon it is to gaze into infinity.

    But are the gods blue because of Doppler shift? Are they rapidly approaching? Is the sky falling?

  2. “But then later as I’m walking through the rooms, the thought that I am as much inside as outside is a bit unexpected. ”
    Cool insight!
    Even if inside and outside collapse in awareness, I still hope the inside headache gets better at some point.

    • Well the neurologist said that it may take 5 years before the situation improves, who knows maybe inside and outside collapse in awareness, by then or maybe before! Actually it’s not as easy time for me now. Anyway that’s the way it goes, thanks for your good wishes Karin

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