Toilet Ruminations #36

I am terrible at maintaining a Buddhist state of mind. A state of mind that is not completely wrapped up in all the thoughts and feelings that bubble to the surface. In Buddhism there is what is called the pure mind. This is like a glass of fresh spring water. Nothing in it. Then there is the impure mind. This is like the ashes in the clear spring water. In Buddhist practice a person is aware of the ashes but remains the fresh spring water. I on the other hand, forget about the fresh spring water and get caught up in all the ashes. The ashes consume me. They take me over and before I know it I am ready to destroy my life. It is a terrible affliction. I don’t know what to do. My Buddhist friend tells me that it is good that I am aware of this. That 97% of the population is not aware of it. They are caught in the endless cycle. But maybe it would be better to not be aware? To just be continually caught in the endless cycle of misery without knowing there is an alternative. I am aware that there is an alternative. I am aware that I can separate from my thoughts and feeling and remain undisturbed by them. Unmoved by them. Free from their misery. But I seem to be really bad at playing this game. I am a skilled writer but not a skilled meditation practitioner. I meditate for thirty minutes everyday. I feel great when I meditate and am good at it. But the moment the meditation ends I am back in the negative stuff. The ashes consume me the moment I get up from my cushion. If I was not aware of what is going on, maybe I could be at peace within the misery. But because I am aware of what is going on, I feel bad. I feel like I really suck at something. I feel like I did wrong once again. This is the story of my life and it seems as if the awareness or knowledge that I can be free from the cycle of suffering but am not, makes me feel worse. But I am not so sure I want to be free from it. A part of me seems to prefer the ashes. I seem to be attached to the negative thoughts and feelings always bubbling up to the surface within me. The thoughts about how unhappy I am, the thoughts about how messed up everything is, the thoughts about everything people are doing wrong, the thoughts about wanting to have sex or get drunk, the thoughts about not succeeding in life, the thoughts about feeling sick and death, the thoughts about failures, the thoughts about how dissatisfied and empty I feel; all these thoughts and feelings I seem to prefer over the attainment of a pure mind. It is crazy! I could obtain a pure mind. I know how but it is as if I resist it! Why? I resist happiness. I resist being at peace. It seems as if I live in a culture obsessed with being happy and at peace. Happiness is the trendy thing. I see these people and they disturb me. I do not want to be like Jim Carrey. What an idiot he appears to me to be. I don’t want that for myself. So I rebel against happiness and inner peace by keeping myself buried in the ashes. If I could find a different way I would. A way to be like the glass of fresh spring water but not become a complete idiot. It is as if my misery is a refusal to become like all these happy people. But my misery is a drag. My anxiety, depression and despair takes up a lot of space, energy and vitality from my life. I don’t want to be consumed by these ashes, which seem to cover my life in the same way ash will cover a car when there is smoke in the sky. I don’t want this anymore. But I also don’t want to become just another happy idiot. I need to find for myself another way. Maybe this is what these toilet rumination is all about. Finding another way for myself.

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