darkness and light


Library - 1POSTCARD #204: DELHI: I’m sitting on the meditation cushion in the darkness of a very long power cut. What else is there to do? The back-up system keeps one fan working at slow speed creaking around, then it goes out too and we fall into a quietness of no fans at all, no air con. Look out the window and no street lights either. It’s fortunate there’s still some cool air here, upstairs in the bedroom as I get settled down on top of a short pillar of cushions that sink into the soft bed and the top is just the right position for me and my folded legs. So, here we are, just the two of us, corpus et mente. The agility of Mind senses body mass, tubed liquid of intestinal gurgling, body heat and wind of breath gusting around. Mind sweeps around the limbs up to the head in a high acrobatic somersault then down to the lowest point as if called to do so, and loosens leg muscles consciously. Ease and empty space creep in; the facility of it pervades everything, enters, becomes, or seems to be already here… it was always here.

It’s as if I’m part the way through something not experienced yet. Access at some middle point with nothing to indicate what has gone before, nor what it is now, only the empty space of what it could be… but not going there; held somehow in the neutrality of the pause before anything or everything arrives. There is only this surging through, it seems, an on-going movement, then a flicker of physical sensation somewhere sends Mind off to that location to be there with that small consciousness. Then another sensation and Mind seems to be able to travel around and through the cavern of body, front to back, no barriers, rushing through the invisibility of body structure, into the elbows, up to the base of the skull, everywhere.

Attention is drawn to a zizzle-zizzle sound and I’m fully aware of what it is; the ever-present, insistent mosquito, whizzing past my ear, then back again: zizzle-zizzle. I can picture it in its slight weight, tiny wings-blur of movement hovering for one brief second near to the ear… in proportion, a canyon swirl leading deep inside the brain with hot cloud of air all around that mossies like; that inner ear smell, blood capillaries and aspects of the vast organism it feeds on, the great mountain that is the human head. I twitch in response and it changes course: zeeet. It returns again and I do the head twitch, then it stops zzt… we know it has chosen an unseen piece of skin to land upon, unfelt, and getting the needle-sharp proboscis ready, positions it at the chosen point of entry: Em… now you may feel a very small prick here… please don’t move, it won’t hurt at all…. Mosquito arches her small abdomen (yes only females do this); the treasured insertion tool pierces the skin and plunges down deeper and deeper searching for a blood vessel further into the redness…

I try generosity; okay, go ahead! Giving it away free like this, letting go of the intensity, but it’s not working. Fall sideways off the cushion, defeated by a mosquito. All the other cushions that were underneath me spring up immediately and I’m flat on the bed surrounded by cushions; vigorous face and body slapping, fingers ruffle through hair on head for a moment then it seems it’s gone away.

Eyes closed and there’s that wonderful light coming in at the edge of vision that I haven’t seen for a long time – a kind of unreal ‘heavenly’ warm creamy white moonlight light. Open my eyes again… where’s it coming from… any light on in here? Nope total black out conditions. Close my eyes again and lying flat, waiting… in a moment it returns. Not seen, indirect, it illuminates the space as if it were just about to appear. So it’s okay to be here lying on the bed, coping better in this position with the mossies circulating around breath exhale, and the mystery of the light that has returned, light in the darkness – darkness and light.

‘What’s happening now is the position that I’ve always wanted to be in, I was just trying to get here.’ [Prince, 2014]

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photo above: wave on the beach at Hua Hin collecting shells with M

10 thoughts on “darkness and light

  1. Man, I’m starting my day and I just walked out of my morning twelve step meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous. I’m in a shitty mood. I was sitting in the school type hard fiberglass chair listening to the idiotic ramble of someone who has over thirty years sobriety but acts like Seven year old thinking he’s all that! Because he thinks he is a number of years but has no now.
    I’m listening to the ramble of others as I’m “listenin”,, to my unconscious or conscious ramble of my thoughts and as I’m doing that, I realize I’m not listening, like in a conventional sense, to my thoughts in a volume of speech and I’m not reading them like on a chalkboard in my mind. So then were the hell is this awareness of a internal dialogue coming from.
    I start thinking of a movie I saw recently that was done through the vision of someone’s eyes. So I feel like I’m trapped in someone’s body watching what they see as Im watching the movie and it’s was irritating as I wanted it to stop and be a “normal” movie that simply sees over everything but after awhile I got use to it and eventually it seemed normal.
    I then saw what ever I am in this body sitting in a grade school fiberglass chair watching a movie through some lens called eyes. This body is simply a way for what ever I am to experience a experience. Consciousness for lack of a understanding of something beyond understanding is using this limited vehicle to experience a experience.
    I am so it can be. If I am not then being is without awareness of itself. So being needs the vehicle the mind thinks it is so it can be.
    Now I’m going to go back to sleep and pretend the movie is real and who I am

    • Thanks tommyg, I hope your world is a bit easier now you’ve had some rest.
      It was a bit difficult to understand at first because I know you’re using the speech recognition app, but I’ve got it now.
      “This body is simply a way for me, whatever I am, to experience an experience.”
      That makes sense to me. The next part makes sense too:
      “Consciousness, for lack of a understanding of something beyond understanding, is using this limited vehicle to experience an experience.
      I am so it can be.”
      And this next part is completely clear to me too: “If I am not, then being is without awareness of itself.”
      The last part could be a description of the AA-30 years-since guy we met at the beginning:
      “So being needs the vehicle the mind thinks it is so it can be.”
      Thanks for dropping in, I hope you get some grounding and stability soon because it’s not looking good where you are right now. Take care, keep posting…

  2. Blackout, creaking fan, mozzies, and then toppling off your cushions! Wonderful description, it made me feel as though I was right there. And have to admit I was chuckling! 🙂

  3. It is amazing to consciously let a mosquito take a sip.. due to the awareness i could actually feel the blood pumping as it was sucked out in small amount. Really weird process..

    this as a side note to a wonderful post. You really have a talent for describing the ordinary, making it special again – or showing what the ordinary actually is –> neither special nor ordinary. Always a pleasure to read your ponderings tiramit!

    Kind regards,
    Pieter

    • Weird indeed, non-dengue mosquitos are everywhere in the city, so there’s an opportunity to give way and stay calm sometimes rather than follow the conditioned response – a characteristic of the Ajahn Chah teachings. Thanks Pieter for these kind words, I try to convey the experiential process in clear and simple terms, not in a scholarly way. As you say, neither special nor ordinary.

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