Freedom is Being – Anand Amido

Fall leaves fallen

Fallen fall leaves

This offering has been pondered over, allowed to slosh around in my mind, in my interiority, and even spilled over onto a white page to be fiddled with, adjusted, and examined for tone.  (Light but not pedantic!)  No fight picking here, simple exploration, seeking understanding, and then deeper understanding.

When I sit of a morning, Japanese style since my knees protest the least in such a pose, fragments of thought cruise, gallop, creep seemingly through my skull!  Little strips of data from last night’s TV viewing, an old memory of something that jars and gnaws and has to be forgiven and laid to rest (again and again), self-reminders to watch my breath, closely followed by some genuine breath watching, until off I go again climbing onto that endlessly spinning merry-go-round.

At a certain point, my legs suggest we have all been sitting for quite long enough.  Now my legs respond very gracefully to a little wiggle, a little twitch, and we all settle down again.  But then, the mind with some considerable force declares, “Let’s stand up.”  At that point, I have to be really alert and not automatically follow its dictates! For, I have recently read Osho saying that we always stop “meditating” before something happens.  So, I ignore my mind.  Rude of course, but when someone doesn’t have your best interests at heart, is one obliged to listen carefully to their point of view and respond as your upbringing dictates?!  Sorry mind.  If I engage with you, I am lost, and so I turn away!

So then, I settle and yummy is the best word to describe it.

-Amido

How to not create a prison!

I experienced so clearly the sense of being imprisoned and constricted when I casually accepted the offer from my job some years ago to do a master’s degree.  My employer would, so to speak, pay for it.  I would work for them for three years after completing it.  I had always wanted to do a master’s degree!

I so enjoyed the studying.  I love integrating ideas, choosing just the right word, incorporating the learning and understanding into my daily work.  I always knew that having to pay the piper would cause problems and, boy, did it. I found it excruciating to be locked into a work position for a specified amount of time.  I may well have worked there, unconcerned, for three years, but the fact that it was written in stone, threw my mind into turmoil.

I struggled and wriggled and created much misery for myself (hopefully not others).  There would be moments of seeing clearly, all misery somehow magically vanishing, but then, I would start the whole storm up again.

Slowly, slowly, I saw the relationship between the hook of my desire feeding into a whole host of consequences which I found confining.  The more I wriggled and resisted, the more painful the situation proved.  But, it was not really the situation causing the pain.  It was the way I was choosing to experience it.

Confined

And, I, and only I, was the one who had initiated the whole conundrum.  It was such a strong lesson in how to be more conscious in my choices.  How an apparently simple desire can lead one on the road to great distress.  This small writing emerged from that experience.

I construct
With great precision
Domes
That imprison.
Thought, concepts
The ruts of repetition
Form crisscrossing beams
Diminishing space
Compressing my spirit.
I see my work
I abhor it
I struggle
Within its confines
And find
I only create
Further
Confining structures.
I seek freedom
But find myself
Flailing
In a barrage
Of constant
Assembly.
All effort to escape
Compounds
The imprisonment.
In despair
I stop!

-Anand Amido

What is Freedom – Anand Amido

Krishnamurti inspires a person to tackle human challenges personally, not to accept what either he has said on the topic or how your society defines such concepts. For Krishnamurti such questions burn and he encourages everyone to examine from every which side such questions as they emerge. No one has the answer for all because there really is no such thing as an answer.  There is only living the question and in so doing, one can live that which emerges in immediacy from a place beyond, before, encompassing the mechanical mind.

To begin with, I think of freedom as being able to do what I want to do!  This, of course, presupposes that I know what I want to do!  I experience disappointment, resistance, resentment, smoldering anger even, when I am thwarted from following my desires.  So what really is going on?  Someone wants me to go somewhere with him/her.  I don’t really want to; I am engaged in some other activity.  It is the person I love.  I want them to be happy.  I agree to go but have to monitor the underlying feelings!  I am not going cleanly, freshly, with joy!

So I look and look at all the thoughts and emotions that emerge and cause the pot to simmer ceaselessly.  I look some more.  Bubble, bubble, toil, and trouble!  Distractions occur but I return to the topic.  The question changes.  What is preventing me from living a fresh life filled with joy?  What am I hanging onto and why am I hanging onto it?  The idea that I wanted to do this rather than that?  What is that all about?  When my gaze becomes steady, looking within, sustained, something changes and nothing changes.  All contradictions die in the pool of now, the soundless, I am no longer identified with my small petty mind, my casual desires that pull me from all directions and really are not the avenue to joy but truly the road to hell!  In the steady silence there is no space for choice.  Love pervades that vibrant energetic nothingness and out of there right action, choiceless awareness.

Is this my own experience I wonder or do I simply have a geometric understanding from reading the books of those who live in such grace?  I can only say that once in a while grace descends or expands, or overwhelms.  Love fills the heart and I am home.

-Anand Amido

This post is from Amido’s blogsite.

Become a Blissful Buddha – Osho

[A visitor is hesitant to take sannyas: I keep hearing you talk how your old self dies when you become a sannyasin…]

But a new self is born! And the old you have known already, so what is the point of keeping it? You have lived it, you have experienced it. It has no more any significance; going on living it will be just repetition. You should be able to die every moment so that the new becomes possible; then only do you live. That is not a difficulty! And what is there to cling to in the old? The old means that which is gone, which exists only in your memory and is nowhere else, which is no more a reality, is not part of existence; there is no point in it. And if you are too burdened with it and too attached to it, it will not allow you to live this moment. It will interfere, it will take you backwards.

It is as if you are driving a car and you go on looking in the rear view mirror; the car is going ahead and you are looking in the rear view mirror, out the back, at the road that is gone. You are in danger, because you have to look ahead! It is good that drivers don’t follow this rule, otherwise there will be only accidents and nothing else. But people follow this rule in their lives, that’s why life is full of accidents and nothing else. People move forwards and look backwards.

If god wanted you to look backward he would have given you eyes at the back (laughter) but he has not done that. He wants you to remain looking ahead, towards the new. Say good-bye to the old! You are already sannyasin… unnecessarily creating trouble. Become a sannyasin. Close your eyes… close your eyes!

Look! – You have died to the past, there is no problem.

Anand means bliss, Amido is the Japanese name for Buddha. The Sanskrit name is Amitabh; it means infinite light, light and light and light. The name moved from India to Tibet, from Tibet to China, from China to Korea, from Korea to Japan, and this much change has happened: it has become Amido. But it is a beautiful change: it has become more soft, more round, more feminine. Amitabh looks more masculine, Amido looks more feminine: and Buddha is a feminine personality.

So become a blissful Buddha!

And it is just the idea that the past is valuable which creates the problem. The past is not valuable; the value is in the present. Out of the present the future is born. And we should not burden the present too much with the past, we should allow the present to have its own space. That’s all that I mean by dying to the past and being born to the new.

You can move easily; I don’t see that there is much of a problem in it. Just a decision on your part and you will become new.

-Osho

From Believing the Impossible Before Breakfast, Chapter 19, February 19, 1978

Copyright© OSHO International Foundation

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On Considering the Story of Sisyphus – Anand Amido

dsc_0026On considering the story of Sisyphus, an ancient Greek, destined to forever push his rock up a hill, resonated this morning.  Thinking about this story has filled many a lapse in attention.  To begin with, what a waste of time, how dedicated, how stubborn, how relentless rattled around the paltry brain but today the inter-relatedness of the two emerged.  Sisyphus would have been unable to accomplish his life’s work without the friendly rock.  No rolling down, no pushing up.

Years and years of grappling with the rock’s surface must have engendered in both of them friendliness, compassion for each other’s task, even love for the skill of the other.  Perhaps the rock felt playful on some days, giving Sisyphus a break, wiggling to stay in place while he wiped his sweaty brow or downed a much needed snack.  Other days, perhaps the rock dug in its heels and refused to budge causing Sisyphus to despair, rage, weep and possibly, ultimately, laugh.  Some days Sisyphus may have handled the rock with appreciation for the handholds provided by its ridged surface.  Others he blamed it for his ceaseless, apparently futile, labor.  Day after day, what goes up must come down, toiling in frustration, joy, pain, anger, impatience, even love, in all weathers of emotion and the elements.

Is there a deeper meaning to this tale? Sisyphus is attempting to rise.  He is putting his life on the line.  There is nothing more important to him than to reach the peak.  To do so, he must struggle against gravity, the world, all that attempts to return him to a base condition.  Is the rock totally indifferent to its position?  Would it prefer to be the peak or the base?  Its level of cooperation bespeaks indifference.

And so it is!  Engagement with the world is colored by demands and desires.  It cares not, playfully tossing the waves of humanity this way and that.  The conundrums faced provide the strength, and determination to continue on (provided self-pity is not indulged in overly)!

-Anand Amido