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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.



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