Musings & Meditations

The Self, Unplugged

Posted in Philosophy, Spirituality by Pam Keesey on September 1, 2010

Robert Wright reflects on Buddhism and the power of silent meditation in his article in The New York Times. I was particularly taken by this passage:

So there you go: covetousness, schadenfreude, anxiety, dread, and on and on. It’s the frequent fruitlessness of such feelings that the Buddha is said to have pondered after he unplugged from the social grid of his day — that is, the people he lived around — and wandered off to reckon with the human predicament. Maybe his time off the grid gave him enough critical distance from these emotions to discover his formula for liberation from them. In any event, it’s because the underlying emotions haven’t changed, and because the grid conveys and elicits them with such power, that his formula holds appeal for many people even, and perhaps especially, today.

It echoes my own experience with Vipassana meditation. I’m thinking it’s been too long since I’ve made meditation a regular part of my daily life. Time to unplug, even if only for a little while each day.

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Into the Green

Posted in Family, Philosophy, Spirituality by Pam Keesey on April 4, 2009

Jenny was killed around 1:30 a.m., April 5, 2007. It would have been 10:30 p.m. April 4, my time. So tonight, at 10:30, I lit candles in Jenny’s memory and prepared for my meditation.

Sometimes, before I begin meditating, I turn to my Chinese oracle sticks and the book Kuan Yin: Myths and Prophecies of the Chinese Goddess of Compassion. Tonight was one of those nights. I chose at random one of the sticks, and came up with the number 15. I turned to poem 15, and what I read made me cry:

Into the Green
Thirsty and footsore, as you walk in the heat of the day
Sudden disasters come out of the sky, out of nowhere —
Like a bird whose nest has plummeted out of a tree
To find yourself in peace, go deep into the wilderness.

I think I’d been circling the wilderness for quite some time, but Jenny’s death propelled me head on into the vast emotional unknown. It’s been two years now, and I am only now beginning to feel like I’m finding my way out of the wilderness, not just changed, but fully transformed, and — perhaps for the first time ever — at peace.

I am struck by the realization that it is through coming to terms with Jenny’s death that I have only really started to learn how to live.

I love you, Jenny, and I miss you so very much.

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Posted in Philosophy by Pam Keesey on August 27, 2008

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, & resign yourself to the influences of each.

—Henry David Thoreau

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