Harvest of Gems - One

01 - 02 - 03

I had come here to listen to a doctor about Ayurveda. It was an ancient Indian holistic science and at its foundation stood the three humors. One was like sludge. One was like fire. The last one was like wind. These three humors were in everybody. I had them. We all have them. But in different mixes. The thing then was to find your mix. See how unbalanced you were and put things back into balance. You did it with herbs, the right diet, and the right life-style. Even the environment you lived in was critical. So were the people you were associated with. It was this all-encompassing science of well-being. It really was.

I mean there was so much to explore here. This doc was a spell-binder. He even talked in a sing-song way to you. At times he would get agitated, but he would quickly correct himself. We all looked at our tongues and learned to take our pulses to discover the humor mix in each of us.

Yeah, there were a lot of desperate people at this little talk. The message seemed to be that emotional problems generated imbalances between the humors. It was important to love the body and let the process of healing become an emotional one. All stress led to imbalance. Duh. This often lead to a subtle dis-ease. Dis-ease generated a lot of toxins in the body and they could spread all over it. It was critical to localize and then release them. Most dis-ease was pretty self-regulating, if caught in time. That's what meditation and herbs were all about.

It was really important to know your limits. The humor mix told you these limits in a very personal way. Most wind illnesses involved toxins in the colon. Poorly digested food often turned toxic and blocked the colon. Thus food actually could turn into poison. This was kind of scary. The big C was a wind derangement. It was repressed emotion in a most lethal form. This weakened the immune system and allowed toxins to accumulate in the organs. But it was more complicated than that. Junk emotions were a form of psychic pollution and eating in a lousy mood often harmed the digestive process. Turning often pretty good food into physical pollution. Most people were on a slow suicide trip.

Financial speculation was a wind deranged activity. Our very culture was wind deranged. Our culture moved too fast. We had now created a technological dark age. The pace seemed to enflame our psycho-emotional constitutions. On a subconscious level I had already exited the market. This action would ultimately manifest in about nine months and I would be back with the doc again. This guy had put the final nail in the options coffin. He really did.

But the doc wasn't finished. He urged all of us to identify emotions as they came up and then quickly detach yourself from them. Repressing them was suicide. It was important to listen to the body. If you were hungry it was important not to eat too much. If you weren't it was important not to snack. If you were tired then it was important to rest. RELEASE was the buzz word. Blow your nose! Fart! Belch! Piss! Shit! Don't keep it in! Social etiquette be damned. It was more important not to accumulate toxins in the body and psyche. It was kind of like vipassana. Let every emotion come up. Identify, experience, and release it.

The doc talked about relationships as well. As far as he was concerned, they were sacred mirrors. All conflict was an opportunity for an intense learning experience. Emotions needed to be resolved. That's what life experience was for. Intimacy needed clarity. Clarity brought compassion and love. Love was never blind. Only fixation was. Love brought ultimate healing. Unresolved emotions brought up problems.

Love of life was the law of life. This wasn't really Buddhist. I think the Hindus are a hell of a lot more like us. Ah, well, anyway. Fear and anxiety led to judgment. This blocked love. All conflict implied a lack of communication. Communication was possible if both partners could learn to listen with an empty mind. This wasn't easy. Listening with an empty mind was an art. If listening was not clear, all metaphysical practice was just circus. You had to forgive. This was like a final forgetting. So forget and live the next moment. Real togetherness was real perception. Not mechanical routines, you know what I mean?

I arrived at the ashram around noon and checked in. I was given a room and told to do as I pleased. This place had been founded by a Jewish fellow who was a real Vipassana nut. I was finally here. I had somehow made it. It was my final journey of the year. It was the last inner pilgrimage before the a-bomb exploded in San Diego and I knew this. I really did.

It was back to vipassana-land. " Don't feed your thoughts! Observe them. They go on forever.." So said the new teacher. I sat in the shrine-room. It was large. I just kept watching my mind. There was nothing else to do. I tried not to duplicate my experiences. I tried not to expect anything. I tried not to get attached to my emotional fluctuations. This was the real challenge here. I was ready for it. For I was now a veteran. I wanted to win the battle with my mind. I really did.

The sitting continued. I hated getting up so early, so I drifted into the grave-yard shift. I sometimes would sit next to the Buddha statue in the shrine-room and see my thoughts just kind of regress into certain patterns. The observer was watching his thoughts and then another observer would watch
the observer and so on. I wondered if this was how one could eventually bump into astral realms.

There were periods of intense weeping and this would kind of clear the heart-space for a while. I was learning to be attentive and aware. I mean, to what was actually there this moment, and no other moment. It was harder than it sounded. Your skill determined just how subtle your awareness was. I mean, like what was your touch-point of sensitivity? It was an important question. Thoughts seemed to always chunk into constellations. Thoughts were really tricky. I mean you could observe them, but it was also very easy to get lost in them. They were a tough concentration vehicle. That's why the breath was less hairy. I mean, you could always go back to the breath. Once you were at the movies, it was easy to get lost in the show.

As I watched the snow silently drift from my window, I realized it was really important to learn how to concentrate on an object. Different objects interested the mind with different kinds of intensity. The mind loved going to the movies. It was hungry for tons of objects. The mind needed thoughts like
the stomach needed food. CHUM, CHUMP. It was endless gluttony. Greater awareness was the key to survival here. Vipassana was the science of micro-awareness. The mind would be fed with less and less thoughts. It was put on a diet.

DIRECT EXPERIENCE. This was the thing. It turned all experiences into a less polluted form of reality. Direct experience even made the object vanish after awhile if you got deep enough into it. All shells needed to be stripped away. No husks could remain. That's what you had to do to get aboard the enlightenment express. It was leaving off track 109.. So you had to really hurry.

I mean it was silly to get attached to ghosts. It was kind of important to let the awareness come out. To just let things reveal themselves. It was important to observe. If the mind got confused, you just went back to the breath. That's how you kept awareness focused and aimed. There was nothing to really judge. You just did it. I mean, all perception and feeling were just temporary. So why judge? This non-judgment brought a new lightness to your mind. It was great.

When one really experienced directly an object, it just disappeared. I mean, it wasn't really real to begin with. But to get to this level of experience was hard. Our minds have a nasty habit to make things as real as possible. I mean all normal experience was indirect. All illusions thrived on this indirect experience. The breath cycle was your anchor. If you wanted to focus on these emotional and mental cycles you could. The focus if it was intense enough made them dissolve. That's what you wanted. After they dissolved you were free to go back to the breath and anchor your mind there. Or if you couldn't dissolve these mental and emotional cycles-that's why you then went back to the breath. The direct experience of the cycles betrayed their illusory nature. It was spooky. The breath was like a training tool for the ultimate goal of casting away mental ghosts. This is what ultimately generated a calm and forgiving mind.

I walked into town when silence was finally broken. As I walked through the snow, the wind slapped my face. I thought about forgiveness. It was dumb not to forgive. It was fucking useless. It hurt. It felt heavy. You had to give it all up! It was important not to be defensive. To just breathe a little easier. The little town, near the ashram was filled with many war memorials. I was so amazed how such a small place could have lost so many men and it really made me sad. All these men had died because somebody, somewhere had held a grudge. You had to practice forgiving. It made life a lot less miserable. You had more space to feel a little better inside. You were less isolated. This was true wisdom. And it didn't come out of a sermon. It came out of my own experience with my mind and body.

The Tibetan phase was in full gear. I was exploring the Maitryi rooms and the five Buddha energies. The founder of the place I was in had been something of a radical. He was now dead and his organization was in chaos. But he had left quite a legacy. He had left behind these finely tuned boxes. Each room was bathed in a particular color and had certain shapes inside it. Once you got in
you were supposed to get into a certain posture and just keep still and silent. Eventually the neurotic or sane aspect of the energy would hit you. Then it was cruising time. After the hour was up, you would walk in silence outside in the forest. This is how it went until all five rooms were explored.

I kind of freaked out in the yellow room. I saw myself as a hungry ghost. I saw myself losing everything in the market. The green room made me feel strong and brave. But it made others envious and kind of weirded out. The red room was seductive and lusty. A woman who had left this room got kind of angry with me when I refused her advances. She was pretty cute, but I wasn't in the mood.
The white room bored me to death. It just slowed me down and made me not care about anything. But it was the blue room which made a deep impression on me. I was filled with caring and compassion and wept with great ease in there. I could feel the blue light soak me up with powerful healing waves. The Rocky mountain plains were eerie and inviting. I lost myself in the vastness of the space. I was beginning to understand space much better. It always seemed to shrink if you tried to control it. The retreat was well organized. We would sit in the shrine-room with our eyes open, Tibetan style and bells would be skillfully used to allow a gradual transition to the next phase of the day. Space and time were demarcated with these handy tools. It was artificial and everyone knew it, but it was also kind of important. Time and space were forms and they were temporarily dissolved. Then the formless would suddenly fill you and every breath that was inhaled would vanish, as you followed it out of your nostrils. There was a point where the breath just simply dissolved away and if you could just ride it through into this subtle point of transition the effects could be startling. You yourself would start to dissolve. It was hard to describe this sublime state.

Away from the lodge, a huge tent city had been filled up with people doing meditation in shifts. I would sometimes go over there and stare at the banners flapping around in the wind. The energy was intense. I entered the main tent when it had been emptied out. Portraits of the founder could be seen everywhere. I chuckled about how anyone could take this stuff seriously. There was a crisis atmosphere and you could really feel it. The more I chuckled the more the room started to shake as powerful winds hit the tent with great force. I high-tailed out of there pretty fast. I wish I could describe to you all the sense of urgency I felt in this place and it wasn't just the urgency of some particular crisis. It was the very urgency of just being. It was pretty simple. The very fact that you were alive meant that there was urgent work to do on yourself. This was already a given. This was being engaged moment to moment. It was like a continuous empowerment. I was receiving a transmission from the founder of this place in a powerful and subtle manner. That's what the howling winds were about. There was a wrathful energy here that had to be respected. Somehow things were now getting accelerated in my life.

01 - 02 - 03

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