The Main Point, or, a Few Ignoble Truths
Monday, August 1, 2016 at 11:13AM
Elena Taurke in Feelings, Feminism, Healing, Interconnection, PsychoZen Meets Life, Zen

You may have noticed that I've been gone a while.  I've been busy doing nothing.  What happened is that I had a pretty good idea and I started to write, but then it went sideways and I had a hundred more ideas, and they led to a hundred more, so I started jotting everything down, and it was all connected, so I couldn't finish it, or, rather, them.  I suffered. 

So I decided to step back and remember the main point.  

In a Buddhist community, when someone complains, another might pipe up:  ah, First Noble Truth!  or,  Life is Suffering!   Sometimes this is helpful, a relief if the sufferer is also blaming herself.  Well, at least it's universal.  And sometimes it feels dismissive, like, yeah, ok, but what do I do?  

The Four Noble Truths go something like this:

The trouble with this prescription is that actually there is a shitload of stuff attached to it.  For one thing, when you finally get to what to do, there are 8 things!  It's like when you look up a recipe with 4 ingredients but the fourth one is a complicated sauce that you have to spend three days making.  Anyway, I would summarize it as the advice to think, speak and do everything right.  No problem!  For another thing, the guy who made this stuff up was a prince who was protected from suffering as a child.  People tell this story again and again presuming that we have all been protected in some way and that we have to wake up to the reality of old age, sickness, and death.

But what if we weren't protected?  What if we grew up sick, or poor, or excluded?  What if we had an early loss?  What if we are female and growing old in a culture where old women are discarded?  In a life where suffering is already the background, where do we find freedom?  

I say it is in desire.  

Especially for women, who, even if they are not mothers, have been taught to nurture, serve others and not take too much, I've come to believe that recovering desire is essential to awakening.  Sometime this spring, I stopped in my tracks.  Gradually and then with increasing intensity, I found I could not look at my todo list, could not fathom Facebook, could barely encounter email, did not want to follow a folded path.  All I wanted to do was lie down.  

So I did.  I started with that, and began a journey.   All those interconnected posts are in the floor in and in my body, waiting for the words that fit.  

Meanwhile, here is my version of a Few Ignoble Truths:

Like the original (if there is an original), each bit bursts into infinite iterations.   Here's one:  Neither good nor bad feelings stick around.  Trying to feel anything creates tension.  Accepting every single feeling without exception is peace in the storm.  Here's another:  We are not who we think we are.  Trying to be anything takes us away from our true self.  Just existing is surprisingly interesting!   Please feel free to make up your own version.

As for the fourth truth, the path, I think it is all about how we meet life, the myriad ways we wrestle with what seem like obstacles, until they don't.  But I don't want a prescription anymore.  I'm tired of trying to do things right.  I want to rise up and just do it this way.  You do it your way and we'll meet and collaborate.  

Up Next:  

In Defense of Marie Kondo, or, Insider Feminism

Coming soon:

Femme Zen
Methods for Moving from the Cener
Vote for a Vagina 


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