Who am I?
I'm trying to make some sense of life without settling for any of the 'reasonable' defaults we learn as human beings these days. I'm not sure that we know enough to be able to say anything definitive about anything. And yet I will answer as best I can who I find myself to be right now.
Let's start with what I do. Foremost I'm a contemplative student of life, who enjoys meeting fellow explorers. I often have the pleasure of other's company where I lightly hold the role of a 'meditation' facilitator & 'retreat' leader. I put those two terms in inverted commas, as the more I think about them, the less those words make sense. I don't believe retreats are retreating from something. A lot of people feel reticent to join a retreat, "I could never be silent for 'x' days". Part of that is being afraid of what retreat will touch into. So we can sense that retreats go forward, press into, and open us out towards something new, something unchartered.
Meditation is a wrongly translated word standing in for something far easier to express. In the old Pali texts which record the words of Siddhārtha Gautama (who is known as the Buddha) the word we tranlate into meditation was 'bhavana'. This means coming into being, which has the flavour of cultivation or development. When we sit still in meditation we are not contemplating life, or thinking about experience, we are going towards something, and we are far more involved. Sometimes we are dismantling constructs of the mind, liberating ourselves from the chains of habituated conceptualisation. Sometimes we are planting seeds or tending soil for heart qualities like immeasurable kindness, unlimited compassion, uplifting lightness, and expansive peace. This is the radical practice of harmonising heart and mind. It is liberating, and it is transferable to all we do, it is not tied to eyes closed stillness. It is active, creative, engaging, and it isn't limited to just that either. It is life.
Another passion for me is to explore improvisational music. There is clearly something happening in and around music. Music may be a simile or a metaphor for life. Yet music is also one of life's wondrous ways of expressing itself, a way we can attune to and learn from. Both through the individuated voice of melody, and via the harmony of community, to listen to life is to absorb the musicality of life. Then, to play music, or live a life, is to participate in life's creativity, and hear your part come through in the whole composition.
I seek to be a devoted playground leveller via various means. I'm an animal liberationist feeling good on a plant-based diet. I heartily recommend it, particularly if that feels hard to do. It isn't inherently hard, nothing is, things just take time.
We change all the time. I've had my time as a 'luddite' sensibly resisting the new, the modern. Once we perceive the particularly dissociative impact of technology, it is hard to engage with it wholeheartedly. But I also see tech is a form of energy to be used skilfully, it just rarely is. Just as money is not the root of all evil, technology is not the root of separation. A shared dream of an anarchism based on love, and aimed at true equality, is an ideal that is calling for the use of money (or it's future replacement) and technology in innovative ways. So I am an artful technologist & computer security novice, I wish to support the web towards being an expression of, and tool for, freedom for all.
I would wish with this life to create a disturbance in my and your flow of assumptions. Assumptions or presumptions are hidden beliefs, they're all that we haven't yet seen that we do unconsciously and fall for. Seeing deeper we may sensitively and firmly feel for the edges of these cages of persona we play as real fixed identities. Maybe we can revel in the unravelling of the game we’re playing, or at least get to the point where we can see it is a game we’re playing. A game we co-create the rules for in the very way we play. Then let's play for real, and really play, playfully, with reality.
I want to explore what we can effectively change, and help us all to embody our response ability for changing that into the best possible thing. Starting with how we shape the world through the way we see it, (see my website DependentOrigination.org for more about that), and then with enacting loving connected actions out in the world (see my other projects like SanghaSeva.org for more about that).
I declare myself to be unashamedly interested, curious and concerned about:
- Evolution of Humanity though Introspection
- Enlightening of Humanity through Service
(and while we're at it)
- Protecting Humanity's rights through Secure Technology
Evolving Humanity though Introspection
In cultivation practices (AKA meditation) we are not looking for control, but for a method of regaining the position of major influencer. There is nothing in life we can control, and it is futile to act as if there is. Far better to understand our own nature; our evolution, our tendencies, and habits of body and mind. Once we gain a deep understanding of how and why we tick, react, and relapse, we can train ourselves towards our deepest aspiration.
Equally, we have to recognise that if there is something in the world we do not like we hold a responsibility to act. It’s not that we are inherently to blame for life looking this way, but if we turn away from the challenge we become complicit. We have no blind eyes to turn; once seen, we must act. But an action does not necessarily have to express itself in the world around us, yet it may well, and I hope it will. What remains essential though is the change must be rooted within.
I feel we should understand our complicity in the mystery: I cannot demand a decrease in actions of greed without examining my own desirousness. Nor can I insist on the end of wars without declaring peace with who I am. To rail against acts of ignorance, selfishness and harmfulness, without investigating what I don’t yet know, see or feel, is absurd and unhelpful.
Enlightening Humanity through Service
We are one in 7 billion (and that is only counting the humans), if we live in accordance with an excessively self-centred attitude, we are doing a disservice to this reality.
We do not know why we are here; why we are alive, yet rather than try to live with the insecurity and perplexity knowing this demands, we fabricate a certainty of self existence and protect this fabric to the detriment of all around us.
Our lives are full with craving for fulfilment, but we are not looking in the right direction. Seeking happiness though other people and things has failed for generations. Yet contentment in this lifetime, even in this moment is not an illusive impossibility.
Let’s turn this crazy bird around with random, and purposeful, acts of kindness. Join together with other good souls to practice generosity, sensitivity and wisdom at every opportunity. This way we can create gateways into the freedom of being enough, and share life with all beings, and live for the common good of the whole planet.