The Bottom Line. Deciding to not do something that one could do, is to invoke one’s executive function in other words, has for me a profound meaning well past that of the opposites of desire and aversion and the opposites at large. Could it be that deliberately deciding/not doing what we could do returns us, time and again, to our fundamental ‘selves’? Bright Buddhas in a universe without edges.
Currently, I’m very much thinking of those in solitary confinement whether it be in prison in ones home or some other way of being incarcerated. There is indeed a lot of ‘confinement’ going on in this world at the moment. It has ever been thus I imagine. Yes, physical isolation has such devastating consequences on the psyche as well as, of course, physically emotionally and spiritually. All creatures suffer in their depth when in isolation and confinement, the evidence is clear to see. It’s not their choice and largely imposed from the outside. Such situations etch away at the human ‘spirit’. This has to be more than lamentable. Here is a quote linked to this business of disempowerment.
In isolation, man remains in contact with the world as the human artifice; only when the most elementary form of human creativity, which is the capacity to add something of one’s own to the common world, is destroyed, isolation becomes altogether unbearable… Isolation then becomes loneliness.
As I contemplate ‘renewal’, spiritual renewal the matter of exercising choice has been exercising me, in my thoughts and to some degree my actions as well. This is because I believe choice has to be exercised to make it real, to make manifest the individuals ability and ‘power’ to BE individual within the collective world. Which brings choice directly to the core of Buddhist practice, formal meditation. Politics (the exercising of power) is clearly in the picture in terms of exercising choice, or personal agency, however it is not at that level I am speaking.
Onwards to a look at setting aside and planning for time with yourself. Formal meditation has a unique place in our lives which I point to at the start of this post, at no other time do we chose to do nothing in such an absolute way. For a sustained length of time with nobody standing over us making us sit there! Then emerging into daily life the heart of meditation comes with us where we navigate the not altogether easy world of the opposites. A world of leading and following; freedoms to chose and times when we don’t have that freedom in a real and practical way.
This is that old ‘chestnut’, ‘how can I bring the mind of meditation into the activities, the trials and joys, of daily life’? Don’t get me started! So much to say to that, but I’ll refrain. I’ll do a ‘save’, review the text and PUBLISH.