THE AFTERMATH OF VACATION

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THE AFTERMATH OF VACATION

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THE AFTERMATH OF VACATION
December 8, 2014
By Michael Erlewine (Michael@Erlewine.net)

Well, not your normal vacation, but a vacating of many of my attachments due to dire circumstances. I certainly don't go looking for opportunities to vacate my Self, although perhaps I should. Since for me it takes a very serious event to turn my mind away from my distractions, I wouldn't know how to do that. Yet in the course of living, these major invasive events do arise from time to time and they are "upsetting." These things happen despite attempts on my part to avoid them, like when someone close dies. And this recent upset I was able to experience pretty much with my eyes open. I was aware as it went down and I now find myself coming out of it, returning to normal, albeit a "new normal." My "Self" is trying to figure out where I went.

As they say, this is not my first rodeo, so I have been here many times before, and can see that how I have described it in the past is pretty-much correct. There are some addenda required, but they are kind of minor.

For one, I have written of how the self is shattered when we lose someone we love or some such impacting (invasive to the Self) event takes place. That is a good way to describe what happens, but another perspective is that of course we don't actually lose our Self when life-shaking events occur. Our habitual self-secretary is still on duty, but what we do lose is our attachment to just about everything. And since I like to say that attachment is the glue that holds the self together, it is correct to say that we vacate our self's attachments, which is pretty much all that the self is to begin with. Most (at least many) of those attachments go void and are non-starters for a time. We just don't feel like it. We are unattached.

For example, I lost my attachment (i.e. my desire) to write dharma-related stuff like this blog. I did not lose the "dharma" because the dharma is just natural law, the same laws that we call Mother Nature. What I did lose was the desire (and attachment) to write things for others to read, as if I know anything anyway. And so I stopped writing. Writing suddenly made me nauseous. And this is that "Fourth Thought" that turns the mind toward the Dharma kicking in: "revulsion of Samsara." Normally that is a hard one for me to keep in mind for me, but not lately.

Also, I could see that I had written here about everything I already know, and in triplicate. It was time to turn my attention to the situation at hand, and to fill my pen with more life experience and then perhaps write something like I am now. Writing this now is proof to me that I am emerging from my dip into pure experience.

As the smoke clears, it is interesting what I did do during this recent downtime, which was to massively clean out two large basement rooms (and other things), with all of the dirt, dust, and memories they contained. I was very happy to just not-think about much

(I couldn't), but instead simply to work hour on hour at something physical. I tackled stuff that was probably, who knows, at least twenty years in accumulating. Normally, such a feat would be beneath the bottom of my list of things to do. At least, up to now, I had avoided doing it. And then suddenly it was just the right thing to do.

And now that the event has passed, my desires (or self-attachments) seem to be coming back (arising) in a certain order. Apparently my need or interest to write dharma stuff was farther down on the list, thus my recent blogs on music, for which a desire came back earlier. In fact, as makes sense, in this time of self-vacancy I could hear music all the better. Music indeed does soothe the soul; at least it does for me.

Therefore, for a while I wrote nothing or next-to-nothing, posting what I could to keep up some continuity, but even that was tough. Then, gradually, my Self began to stir and reanimate. It reminds me of a trip to the Sault Sainte Marie Locks between the Great Lakes, where those huge freighters come in the lock, the great doors slowly close, and the water fills up the lock, raising the boat.

The reanimation of the Self is like that. The empty self is gradually filled once again with the desire to do something more than nothing, bit by bit, one attachment at a time.
Eventually it all comes back.

Anyway, I am feeling more "perky" (and attached, of course), not to mention my habitual touch of arrogance is back. You can see I am once-again volunteering my opinion on what I see going on in my mindstream, although during the crisis I had zero interest in sharing anything. I was too busy "emptying the locks" of my attachments as I lowered myself ("To be or not to be") into the physical experience that crises involve and invoke. Anyway, I am getting comfortable once again in the busyness of life and have even begun to garner what wisdom I can from this recent experience of detachment.

So, these great Self-vacations and their renewal seem to happen in extreme slow- motion, like motionless waves that in-fact finally do move, just slower than we can see. And in the end we move with them like a bit of flotsam dancing in the surf.

My attachments wax and wane like the Moon, depending on how life-sober I am at any moment. Being human is tricky that way, stuck between Heaven and Earth, reaching up and being pulled down. I notice that the asana of the historical Buddha has him demonstrating the mudra of touching the ground. There is significance in that.
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