lac mahon, la peche, qc.

lac mahon, la peche, qc.
photo by graham law.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

could be right might be wrong.

i lived way up on chemin rockhurst several years ago, in a big old house with a big old cat.

one late night after basketball, after a hot bath, i wanted to open a window. it was too hot and i just needed a little air. i didn't need a lot, just a little. however, the big old front window of that big old house was stuck. it really shouldn't have taken a moment to open, but it was stuck. eventually, frustrated, i jumped onto the sofa for better leverage. well, i was buck naked standing under a hanging lamp on that big old sofa pounding that big old front window to loosen it up when a neighbour just happened to be on a late-night jog. how could i have known? of course, he may have thought i was knocking on that big old window to get his attention. i will never forget the look on his face as he turned to see me and my big old, well, you get the picture. suffice it to say, things are not always how they seem.

dr. arnold toynbee, a respected british historian, (1889-1975), once said that the modern problems begun in the west will need an eastern solution. the ancient eastern sages knew our ideas were wrong. they realized long ago that a lasting peace would not come from wealth and power, sense gratification or even relations. they knew a lasting peace would never come from a mistaken 'us and them' mentality. rather, the ancient sages talked about simple living and higher thinking. they talked about oneness. and more and more westerners are looking east and considering that advice. those ancient sages went further. they determined a system whereby that idea and way of living becomes a practical reality, in a moment and for the life.

meditation is simply the practice of stopping for a while, of stopping our grasping, striving, hoping, desiring. but, that's not eastern or western. that's just life experienced in its pure formless being-ness. i would venture to say that the problem is a basic universal mis-understanding: we are so sure that we're separate and different from each other, but maybe we're not. there is one string needed to connect each bead of a necklace. one sap courses its way through thousands of leaves on a tree. all the individual ocean waves are nothing other than the water. ancient saints and sages, from east and west, have tried to tell us that there is essentially one life, irregardless of the much more apparent differences.

my neighbour may have mis-concluded, but who could blame the guy. it was not a pretty picture and perhaps a terrible example, but i kinda like it. still, it's a big old fatal flaw, whether by one of us or by all human-kind, to believe completely in ones conclusion. there is always a chance we got it wrong, so let's get it right. one life. one love. peace.

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