Energetic Pukery

Image taken from Google Image search

Image taken from Google Image search

Do you ever do something and then IMMEDIATELY afterwards you’re like, “Get me away from this, kind of right now”? With the exception of a few rambunctious years in my early 20s, I’ve always been pretty self-aware, however, more recently I’m noticing this energetic “thing” that occurs within myself – and I don’t know what to make of it. Allow me to paint you a picture.

So… I’m sitting in my living room doing a whole lot of nothing (usually reading) when I’m rather suddenly struck with this longing – intense desire and craving – for something. Could be anything. It might be Cadbury Eggs. It might be Doritos. It might be water. I usually sit with that craving for a minute or two. During this time a number of things could happen: I assess the effort needed to satisfy that desire, I assess whether that effort is something I care to put forth, I assess where that desire is coming from, etc… And then, often but not always, I take care of that longing. I go and get my fill of Easter Candy. I go eat many Dorito chips. I drink a bottle of water. Fine. Dandy, even.

But then something else happens, almost invariably, and regardless of the degree to which I engage in the aforementioned want. The closest mental-emotional label I think I can assign to what happens after would probably be aversion – but I’ll tell you right now that’s not the best fit. I long for the taste of Cadbury Eggs, so I eat one (or ten, the amount truly is irrelevant) and the desire is fulfilled and then right after that I feel very strongly that I want nothing to do with Cadbury Eggs. I don’t regret having eaten the one (or ten), and I’ll (probably) absolutely do it again if/when that feeling next arises, but no matter how many times it happens this is the pattern – predictable as the seasons. This applies to many things whether we’re talking work, food, sex, books, gardening, … you can just about name it. There are naturally a few exceptions, but all of those aside this is 100% applicable to any desire or want that hits me in this way. I want, perhaps very strongly, and then I do not want – at all. It’s quite like some kind of switch is flipped. Very clearly on, and then very clearly off.

I don’t really know what to make of it.

I don’t fight the craving or the want. I never really feel any form of regret or guilt because of it. I think what might be happening is that I am increasingly able to fully let go of the want that “attacked” me. I think this process is one where I’ve recognized when it arrives, I have a brief look at it, and then after (usually) engaging it I let it leave fully and cleanly.

It reminds me of what we’re advised in meditation which is not to fight thoughts that arise, just observe them and subsequently release them, or rather allow them to keep moving. My hopeful side says that this advice translates into this scenario regarding wants – I’m seeing it arise, I observe, I engage (which is an exception to the meditation advice), and then I release (I think this translates as realization that the usefulness has passed). Of course the release part is what’s trippy. And if I can continue to speculate, I’ll say that it’s not true aversion, but rather my conscious mind making something out of nothing – literally nothing, meaning the absence of the usual attachment to our wants and desires, and then trying to give that nothing a label.

But let’s suppose that I’m giving myself too much credit. Then what? I mean that question pretty much literally – if not the above, then what’s going on here? Why am I experiencing wants, sometimes quite intensely, and then upon satisfying them feeling no connection thereto? Maybe this is a silly thing to question.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha
Aum Shanti


संन्यास / वैराग्य

Image take from Google Image search

Image take from Google Image search

My best, as mentioned in the last post, is going through a bit of a rough time right now. If he were inclined at all toward writing, I’m sure he’d have more than a few readers who would read his words and relate all too well.

I think also indicated in the last post is that my best is moving into my home and will be residing in my temple room. Would you believe, one evening around the time of my regular sadhana (and for about 15 seconds), I very seriously considered giving him the master bedroom in my home and moving the beloved and I into the temple room instead of bringing someone from the “outside” into that room. It really is very nearly hallowed ground for me. But that notion passed, for obvious reasons.

When my best makes the transition into his new residence, he’ll be downsizing considerably. He’s already posted on Facebook a number of pictures of virtually all of his furniture – he’s taking the best offer he can get. He needs as much cash as he can get while also staying focused on the purpose of the downsize, and retaining the context that all of this was brought about in. I believe most of my readers probably, not knowing him well at all, don’t realize what a cut this is to him. He has one of two choices though – keep the big picture in sight and decide things according to that to allow doors to open and progress into a better life condition, or decide things (like how to part with his material belongings) according to the mode his old self usually operates in and continue his self-inflicted struggle through life.

My best has made some incredibly poor choices that don’t actually reflect what’s in his heart. His actions belied his true values. Sadly, our actions are what our karmas are built on and now he’s dealing with some very nasty, unfortunate karma.

Truth be told – and I hope by now, dear reader, that you know I’d tell you nothing else – there’s amazing potential here. For a long time, the best has wanted the best but not really deserved it – and so he’s struggled. He’s wanted a better life. And he’s done SOME of the work for it. And prior to recent events, his life wasn’t bad. He’s now facing a period in his life where quite literally EVERY choice he makes matters much more than it might have before.

In situations like this, for most people, the pain is usually great. However, the potential is even greater. He can finally start working through some karmas – building new ones without negative consequences. He can help others who need the material things he’s parting with, but can’t pay much for them. He can test how “big” of a person he really is and use that as gauging while he moves forward. And he can begin steps in the direction of nonattachment – vairagya.

I can already see the sweet humility he’s developing and I’m looking forward to the person he’s becoming and will be when this is done and over. I hope he is, too.

Aum Shri Mahaganeshaya Namaha
Aum Shanti

For the Love of God

I was very glad to have the weekend away from the spa. I’m finding lately, and since about last fall, I seem to require more and more “down time.” I have no idea what’s up with that, but whatever. I slept in today and then started a few new posts for Sthapati. Eventually my beloved awoke and we found ourselves setting out from home on a mission. I needed a picture frame.

I have a photographic rendering of my ishtadevata that I grabbed up quite inexpensively at a sale at my temple once, over a year ago. It’s not an orthodox image of Him, and in fact has a spotted and even debatable history. Nonetheless, it’s a depiction I’ve been able to appreciate and have even been drawn to in theory. Conveniently enough, the image is somewhat three-dimensional and also comes with a brass plate on the back upon which has been inscribed Ganesha’s yantra/mandala. These characteristics, however, make finding a suitable and well-fitting frame nearly impossible. This has proven frustrating for me. I have plans for this item and wanted it inside a frame with glass to protect it. The tricky part is that since I’ve moved my Ganesha murti into His fancier and more spacious abode (the new mandir is all kinds of fancy, but not nearly as photogenic), I planned to devote some of that space to holding this questionable but endearing other image, meaning that the framing needs to do its job but still cannot be too bulky. Below is a photo of the new digs for my murtis that I pulled from online, followed by one from my cameraphone of the real thing in my puja room…



The result of my search is that I ended up paying $100 to have the thing professionally framed. I sure didn’t plan to do that. I sure didn’t have the $100 when I paid it, either.

But then, interestingly, I found myself aware of some craziness internally. I know, I know – what’s new there, right? Here’s a glimpse of the weather in my brain while I was at the checkout counter:

Initially, I was like, “whoa – you’re going to charge me $100 for THIS little thing to be framed?” And then almost as instantaneously a thought that is very much unlike me ran into the room with, “Anything for God! $100 is nothing! This will be a great chance for you to express a bit of bhakti. Do it and surely Ganesha will bless.” And while my rational and devotional sides duked it out, something rather sly crept in. Something from another framing experience earlier this year came back to me… In January the same framing place (which is actually pretty much the cheapest around) robbed me when I had two He-Man posters framed for my beloved’s birthday. After giving them more than a couple hundred dollars for two piddly posters in simple black wood framing, they actually confiscated the posters and retained them during the framing process – I received a call two weeks later telling me they were ready.

Suddenly, and quietly although not peacefully, I realized the same was about to happen with my prized Ganesha image. Oh the turmoil! I so hated the feeling of parting with that thing! I’m not exaggerating when I tell you the whole experience began the formation of a lump in my throat. I seriously considered requesting to hang on to it and just leave them with the dimensions required for the framing. I’m sure they would have obliged, but I withheld my request and instead forced myself to face an attachment I wasn’t aware has become so strong.

I can’t imagine an instance in which I’d ever need to take my mandir’s mahamurti anywhere to be worked on – in fact, the very idea is ridiculous – but you can be sure I’d be camping out in some store’s back room until said work was done. Why? Because, often, I’m also ridiculous.

Om Shanti