velocity


IMG_2403POSTCARD #192: DELHI: Photo shows the hoarding (with part of the word ‘caution’ in Hindi) behind which, work on the Delhi Metro underground is taking place. The construction zone encroaches on to an already crowded roadway as three lanes of slo-mo traffic are bottle-necked into two, then one – all that earth has got to be shifted out of the hole I suppose… traffic congestion so bad, road rage is a palpable thing… static electricity flashing and sparking in the spaces between metals very close but don’t actually touch; a kind of unseen neon percussion hi-frequency zizzle in the surround-sound of car horns in a musical composition on alto sax, trumpet, trombone and all the various combinations of horns in the brass section of the orchestra. Yes it is quite bad. Ok for me, I’m not the one driving, just sitting in the car interior here, trying to not be upset by it and get a headache coping with the traffic jam in my mind, What’s needed here is breathing; a long deep in breath, and slow outbreath….

Thoughts without substance arise and fall away. The good feeling is nice when it’s here, the bad feeling is nice when it’s not here – and the often overlooked position of neutrality situated between the two extremes; the Buddha’s Middle Way. It was a turning point in my life when I first saw that if I could remain in neutrality as the feeling comes on and be aware, observe how it’s possible to sidestep the clinging thing, the Velcro of self that’s always inclined to attach itself to the same old thing: this-is-mine-so-it-belongs-to-me, then the chain of events is interrupted and everything that happened moves on, ungrasped-at… as simple as that.

The sense of being in a state of no-self is one of astonishment and the relief that the whatever-it-was THING did not take place… wow! how good is that! This feeling moves it all forward in such a sensible and wholesome direction. These small successes are necessary in a world that doesn’t educate children about this basic truth and the moments of conscious experience are instead allowed to form events that occupy our thoughts. No teaching on how to liberate oneself from unrest and the state of always having to make something out of it; the present moment cloaked by Mind pondering over either some past memory or preoccupied with something in future time that hasn’t happened yet. Never really at ease, never able to witness this peace… the inherited karma of generations.

Forever unable to see that thought processes lead nowhere in the end, maintain themselves hesitantly, and are forgotten in the on-going awareness of what’s happening now. I’m part of it, but I’m not ‘in’ it. The present moment is not the near future, it’s happening now – so fast, you could say, look, there it goes, into the past. Yep, history taking place before our very eyes…

We learn from the principle of dependent origination that things and events do not come into being without causes. Suffering and unsatisfactory conditions are caused by our own delusions and the contaminated actions induced by them. [Dalai Lama]

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12 thoughts on “velocity

  1. Pingback: velocity | Ben Naga

  2. Yep, history taking place before our very eyes…

    … or after them.

    When I was in my early twenties, calling someone a ‘velcro’ was a quick way to start a fight. Haven’t heard the term for decades now. An insult with little sticking power.

    • I was just looking for a metaphor to describe the clinging thing or attachment and it’s so unpleasant to ‘rip’ it separate but no problem to undo – not difficult to step out of the PS cycle at Vedana and that was the idea. I never heard of it used as an insult but can imagine the kind of plastice cheapness of it being kinda provoking…

      • It was probably a short-lived Australian urban insult that didn’t spread far. It was used to describe someone with the social skills of a geek but none of the redeeming technical abilities. I think the ‘velcro’ metaphor referred both to lack of stylishness and the perception that such people ‘stuck’ with their parents well into their twenties (back when that was unusual).

        These days a velcro would probably end up with a diagnosis on the autism spectrum so it wouldn’t be cool to sneer at them anymore. You’d have to patronise them instead.

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