I found it hard to get motivated today. I have been in Thailand for 15 months, the longest stay I have had here, I usually go back to England at this point but this time I will stay. I pray that all of my work back in England is over. England was like a prison for me. It was where I fought my demons. As I overcame them it was like some prison guard somewhere said ok let him out he has had enough, he has paid his dues. So I found myself in Thailand. I had to return back to the prison 3 or 4 times before the prison guard was completely convinced that I had attained a certain level of balance. I am so grateful to be here in this magical land.
I feel that the prison cell started to open about ten years ago, looking back I can see now that I had a nervous breakdown. It was the first of 3 breakdowns each one more subtle than the next. I see those breakdowns as the breaking of a cocoon that had surrounded my being. Ever since that time I have grown ever more free until I finally felt my wings spread. Learning to remain in pure awareness is like learning to fly. At the beginning you are like a little sparrow flapping the wings of meditation, but you cannot fly for very long. You look up at the great eagles like Dilgo Kyhentse Rinpoche or Rumi or Lahiri Mahasaya and feel like you will never fly for so long or so high. But wings go strong and balance comes in time, Soon we can all soar effortlessly in the sky like nature of mind.
What is needed is nothing less than a complete nervous breakdown, the complete death of the self, the self that grew from an erroneous view of reality, completely giving up on the idea that life can give you any level of satisfaction. A complete realization that everything is impermanent, everything is transient, nothing lasts. Jobs, money, relationships and the environments in which we live will absolutely disappear. When one realizes this on a deep psychological level it is horrible, it is the heart break of all heart breaks, every lover that has lost their partner, every dream that has ever been broken and all of the gnashing of teeth and lamenting from all of the broken hearts throughout history arrived at this depressing conclusion: that nothing lasts. All loves are lost forever. So when one realize this it’s a very, very disturbing time and a true sign that you have realized impermanence is that you become completely depressed and horrified at life. This depression and mental misery can go on for years but it’s through this realisation of how things exist that one will uncover the pure awareness of ones being.
When one realises the tragic nature of the universe and if one can survive this realisation and not get sucked into the delusion of bi-polarism and anti-depressant drugs or the temptation of alcohol or heroin or something of that nature, if you can get through this stage of misery and go inside yourself you can uncover and discover a level of consciousness that transcends the ego. You can uncover the ground of the mind. You can come to understand what the Buddhists call Shunyata. A blissful, joyful pure awareness of the now, behind thought and emotion a sky like awareness from which everything else arises.
So I couldn’t get motivated today, I wanted to paint but couldn’t feel the energy so I sat and waited. My wings were tired. I am so grateful for Thailand and the sun and the heat. Sometimes, however, it is hard to start flying and when that happens I have learnt that I must be patient. To run my business or paint or write successfully I must be at least close to the pure awareness state. I am no eagle yet.