the quiet space

POSTCARD#383: Bangkok: Switch off the TV and switch off the media in my head, their weapons of mass distraction that blind and deafen the population. Leave it alone, disengage from all things hateful before it starts burning down the house. Enter the quiet space and the silence is deafening, random notes of birdsong far away and beneath that, a deep quietude. It’s so remarkably neutral, I feel I’m sometimes not here at all. Seated on the sofa, watching my own breathing, I need to clear the mind of self, starting with the word ‘self’ itself.

Focus on nothing, despite the tendency to think of nothing as something. Nothing becomes both subject and object… what’s happening? I am not here, incognito perhaps, concealed in a makeshift identity. I don’t really know, it all seems to vanish as each new day dawns and deletes the memory of the previous day, an hour passes, replaces the hour before it and I can’t remember anything that recently happened.

A shipwreck of unrelated remembered things is cleared away and forgotten. Does anything still linger? An immediate awareness of self held in the act of endless seeking comes to an end. There is no seeker but there is seeking. There is seeking but no object. Seeking non-objects means seeking the motionless space in which the answer is, before the question is asked. The place where everything is and is not.

No-self, nothing exists anywhere, any time, ever. Deathlessness is the death of death… this too shall pass, the fragility of newly born beings, finely tuned creaturely beings which appear briefly, limited lifespan, and all that remains is the breathtaking tracery of what all this was, on an immense scale, a moment before it passed.

Lifetimes of sensory input, arising and passing away, karma of circumstances. A story is created in the mind, a few pieces get stitched together, switched around, and let’s say this is how it began: ‘Once upon a time.’ A story inside a story (inside a story) leading back through all the generations of previous segments of the story like this and linked to a lineage of ancient stories interconnected through a great number of former lives in the distant past.

An alertness is all there is, receiving the world and, since we are also the world, so to speak, it’s an all-inclusive enfolding, unfolding, and remaining in the present continuous form, ‘listening’ and ‘seeing’ and here comes the in-breath hurriedly at first, followed by the long, long out-breath. The in-breath comes again and so on like that until the mind forgets and most of it, then all of it, drifts into the past tense and gets forgotten.

“There is no thing there. There is no real substance, no solidity, and no self-existent reality. All there is, is the quality of experience itself. No more, no less. There is just seeing, hearing, feeling, sensing, cognizing. And the mind naming it all is also just another experience.” [Ajahn Amaro]


13 thoughts on “the quiet space

  1. A lovely post! The poetic turn of phrase, a lite touch as words explore the explaining of the almost unexplainable. Words, like an artist’s brushstrokes, create an impression, a mark of what is.

    • Thanks T
      “A mark of what is.” The impressionist painters created a mark that was (and is) gestural, like expressionism except there was a story that went with it.

  2. I am loving your most recent posts. They help round out what I listen to every night by Eckhart Tolle. You sound like him. Also no mention of headaches. Are they gone? I am having the migraines quite often. Anyhow wonderful, poetic words. So soothing.

    • Hi Ellen good to hear from you and sorry I didn’t notice your comment, busy with the latest post which describes the headaches. So they are still with me, although I think I understand it better now. Sorry too, to know about your migraines. Yes, Eckhart Tolle, one of my earliest influences. There’s something about him, a very careful, measured pace of describing the phenomenon.

      • No problem. I am sorry you still have the headaches. I amying down with a bag of frozen vegetables on my head. Your writing does sound so headache free lately. I was hoping you escaped from the daily pain.

        Oh I am so glad to hear Eckhart Tolle was one of your earliest influences. Maybe i have finally found someone who can help me change. I like his use of humor, too. Thanks for the note that gives me hope.

      • This is the one I was thinking of, the comment that has you lying down with a bag of frozen vegetables on your head. Inspired me to do the same but it was ice-cream hidden in the freezer for M, our niece (remember ‘Toong Ting’?), who is now sixteen. She is staying with us to attend SAT classes and exams.
        I had a CD of him at Findhorn, a spiritual center near to where my mother lived – must be 10 years ago. She listened to the sound of his voice in her bedroom, shortly before she passed. I started looking for Eckhart today but got caught up in Papaji’s kind Indian voice with the sound of traffic passing by his room.
        You should leave that dreadful political noise behind. There are so many non-duality teachers on YouTube, explore more…

  3. Yes, leave the political noise behind but our country is changing horribly before our eyes. Will try… Meantime also doing a practice with a friend who follows a Swami who studied in India under Siddha Yoga and gives shaktipat. Tom and I will receive an intensive online tomorrow night.

    Yes, of course, I remember Toong Ting. She must be a proper young lady now. The forbidden ice cream must have been quite a temptation. 🙂

    • There’s so much political passion brewing, it’s hard to remember to get out of there and take a breath of air. The blog dialogue and keeping that going with friends helps me to step back from the rage.
      I looked up shaktipat in Wikipedia – an interesting account. I wonder how your online encounter went last night.
      M had her hair dyed yellow for a while, she changed it yesterday to a blue grey metallic look. Dynamic! She is staying with us to do preparations for her SAT scores. I hardly see her because she sleeps all day. It’s important I leave her ice cream store untouched or replenished.

      • Hmmmm… M with blue grey hair. Could be smashing. So her ice cream reserves are sacred. Well that must help in keeping the fast.

        Shaktipat… Tom saw white lights and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. But an interesting meditation today. I have mixed feelings about this guru because he had been involved in a huge sexual scandal. Think i will stick with Eckhart Tolle for awhile.

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