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Submitted by Meredith Arena on Wed, 2/22/2012, 4:29pm
"Our existence is very wild. It's very crazy, like the mad elephant"
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
Ponlop Rinpoche said this in a talk about The Four Foundations of Mindfulness. I realize that I love this wildness and that a big obstacle to my practice has been the actual lack of desire to let some air out my trip and come down to earth. Being HERE is challenging because it means being present for things I don’t get to choose: The annoyances of other beings, the actuality of cooking for my single self, the complications of community, the reality of our political situation, my bad hair day, my aching foot, my mistakes and those of others…basically suffering or dukkha.
We say we want to be present for others, but when they are imposing upon our self-castle, when they disagree with us, we bring up the drawbridge, we ready the cannons. “My trip is so much better than all the other trips going on around me”, I think. The mad elephant, when tamed can be boring or uncomfortable, but is also the beginning of being a bodhisattva.
But let’s back up a bit, to the Four Foundations of Mindfulness practice. The first is mindfulness of body, which we will work with tonight at IDP SEA. This is the first step, the ground of mindfulness. Being with the body. When it is blissful, like in a hot tub or Yoga, being in the body is great, but when a situation such as physical pain arrives, we may try to escape into our heads. In fact I think we do that in the face of the discomfort of others too. We just suddenly aren’t there.
So let’s stop tripping and when discomfort or boredom of any kind arises, float back down into your corporeal self and look out of your very real eyes.
“When you see, just see. When you smell, just smell. When you touch, simply touch. And when you feel, simply feel"
- Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
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