My therapist said I looked like Carole King today. (Therapists have therapists.) Now I can’t stop singing, ‘I wanna be home again and feeling right.’ Is enlightenment ‘home’? Are we ‘home’ if we rent? Is home a person, place or thing? Listened to part of a dharma talk this morning on Right Desire…repressed wants and needs boil under our surface till we erupt with lust, hunger, greed. Turning mindfully in to our yearnings reveals something; the need or want under the surface substances we crave, some longing for a deeper satisfaction, at the root of which is presumably love…or becoming the embodiment of the truest self, actualized, our divine nature. That sounds awesome. How much? $$$ Is my divine self available at Target? Brother Phap says the end of suffering is releasing all attachment to these sweet and savory bites of life in exchange for the main course. He says we can nibble but shouldn’t enjoy earthly pleasures too much. But dude, my occipital lobes are stahvin!!! Complex trauma plus poverty equals every hunger imaginable. Both him and the Dalai Lama only let themselves have two cookies. High five guys. (Mmm..Five Guys.) But! Here’s my big but, what if we hunger for basic needs like real food, shelter (preferably not *a* shelter), clothes, safety, equality, clean water, belonging? Buddha chose to leave his palace and go find adversity. What if all we’ve ever known is adversity? Hey brother, how do we let go of what we never had? Is enlightenment an elitist pursuit reserved only for a special few? I’ve yet to find the book or talk that comes right out and says it but reading between the lines it sure looks that way. What do you think? Is there room for the rest of us on the path to nirvana? (My velvet shirt feels like nirvana) xo

4 thoughts on “Dharma Snacks

  1. What is it we say – I’ll get to the good stuff when the house is clean? Nowadays, it’s more like, soon as I have all my stuff, I’ll make sure you get a little. Still, I’m not offering to walk out of my house and let strangers take it over. I guess I still want three cookies, not two.

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      • There’s a story in Judaism that in the beginning, God’s presence filled the world. In order to make space for creation, eventually for humans, God had to contract God’s Self. The Hebrew word for contraction is tzimtzum. Isaac Luria, the rabbi who is credited with the doctrine of Kabbalah, or Jewish mysticism, identified it as the vacant space that allowed God to be concealed, making God ineffable. This is one reason that the Jewish idea of Revelation is considerably different from the Christian.

        When I taught religious school, fifth grade, I made a tzimtzum jar, a gigantic plastic pretzel container covered with papier mache. The kids were encouraged to write on piece of paper what mitzvoth, good deeds, they had done during the past week, and put it in the jar. It was never a requirement to write a note but no identification as to the writer was allowed. The last day of school, the kids reached in and pulled out a note to read aloud. They rarely read the notes they had written, which was part of the lesson. (Yes, I pre-read them to make sure nothing inappropriate had been written, and yes, there were always a few. They were kids. Adults can be worse.)

        Many Jews (other people as well?) believe that we must be vulnerable, we must contract and leave an open wound, a place of pain, confusion, and questions, in order to create.

        Today is Saturday, Jewish Shabbat, so I guess I did religious school today.

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      • Tzimtzum! The ultimate cookie jar. (Cookies as metaphoric mitzvoth) I love it. Now I want to make my own tzimtzum jar. 💜 I like the idea that our open wounds are opportunities for creation. In one of the Deepak talks I’ve watched over the last couple of weeks he shared a similar idea…that chaos/pain/suffering are the agitators that prompt creativity. Makes sense. Thanks for sharing this beautiful lesson. 🙏🏼

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