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Luminous Jewel, Blake Walton


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Posted By Luminous Jewel, Blake Walton

Ego Ground

I walk with my dog, Shadow, every morning. (Actually these days, given his age and lack of eyesight, our "walks" are more like slow meanderings, which gives me plenty of time to contemplate things.) On our morning walks recently I have been thinking a lot about GROUND (earth and Mother Earth); BEING GROUNDED (stability and practicality); STANDING MY GROUND; and GROUNDLESSNESS (the fundamental ambiguity of being human).

The ground here in New Mexico is suffering from lack of rain, which is not just a function of being in the relatively dry Southwest, but also the effect of climate change on our Mother Earth. Shuffling through the sandy arroyos here, I feel a sense of sadness about what we humans, in our restless quest for more and more, have wrought on this earth. Has our greedy pillaging ultimately made us any happier? Possibly we have some momentary ego happiness, but ultimately our dissatisfaction returns tenfold. Trungpa Rinpoche called this cycle a form of insanity; i.e., endlessly repeating the same behaviors but each time expecting a different outcome.

Buddhist teachings say that this questing for more and more is the fearful grasping of the  human ego to stave off its fear of the inevitable: DEATH. Through consuming and hoarding material things, the ego feels it will be happy and have security from misfortune and harm. The endless strivings and distractions obscure the true reality that EVERYONE dies. No exceptions.

"How morbid!" us Westerners cry out. But Buddhists don't feel that way at all. The contemplation of death in Buddhism produces a sense of the preciousness of life and the acceptance of life, moment to moment, as it presents itself -- fresh with new possibilites for us to embrace, experience, learn, and grow wiser.


The Path

So, knowing that death is inevitable (only the time of our death is unknown), we set out on the Eightfold Path towards the cessation of suffering with good cheer and intention, walking to the freedom land.



Posted By Luminous Jewel, Blake Walton

Another dichotomy/duality that we humans suffer from is the artificial East/West split. I grew up in the 60s when things "Eastern" were all the rage, holding out the promise of exotic and romantic spiritual life far from the bourgeois humdrum of the Western materialistic world.



While I was on pilgrimage to Nepal and Tibet in 2007, Lama Wangdu imparted his fears to us that the real threat to Buddhist spirituality in Nepal was the onslaught of Western materialism that the Nepali youth were embracing whole heartedly. Maybe it's the grass-is-always-greener mindset that causes our restless seeking of something different than what we have. And so, in search of elusive happiness, the baby is thrown out with the bathwater.
Have we forgotten that the earth is round, and if you travel far enough to the East you will come to the West. And vice versa. It's all a continuum and wherever you are is neither East nor West but the center, the middle, the ongoing now.


My neighbors to the East
have forsythia blooming.

To the West,

My own yard is bare.

Will East and West ever meet?



Posted By Luminous Jewel, Blake Walton

The years have passed since I last posted an entry. What happened? Did water pass under the bridges that were burning? Did trees fall in the forest? Did I lie awake trying to wake up again and again? Did I make art and make merry? Did I inhale and exhale and eat and shit? All of the above. And then some.

So I will start again from where I am. OK? Ok.


Jack and Jill1       Building Block#2

Jack and Jill

Human heartache, thy name is duality;

desire and aversion, this and that,

self and other.


Jack-and-Jill parents, time after time,

bequeath these building blocks to their own innocents.

All fall down.


But the crown we thirst for is not broken.

It resides well within.

Beyond either/or, beyond now and then.