Friday, February 5, 2010

Reality? Who's?

DHS 86/100

This has been a hard week for these Daily Heart Sutras. I've tripped and slid all the way down into the bottom of a nasty rut and they have become a chore rather than a pleasant half hour. Not exactly sure why that happened, but.....

Hopefully next week i'll be able to claw my way back up the sides of the rut and get a fresh breath of air. In any case, though, it's hard to believe that only 14 remain. Where did 86 days go?

Tomorrow i'm heading out to REI to pick up my camp stove, some propane, 5 or 6 dehydrated meals to test and see which ones i like, a new set of rain pants (i gave my old pair to one of the porters after my trek to Everest Base Camp a year and a half ago and forgot, until this morning when i was ransacking my backpack looking for them), and a few other small things. It difficult for me to shop there because i'm like a kid in a candy store, i want to pick up almost everything i see, and i seem to be able to invent an absolute need for almost everything i put my hands on, whether i really need it or not.

My front panniers are due here on Monday, and my Therm-A-Rest NeoAir sleeping pad is due here on Tuesday. Other than food, that is the last of my purchases. All that is left is figuring out how to get my bike to VA and how to get it back home from OR, figuring out where to drop ship food to for pick up while on the road, buying airplane tickets, and training. A hint on how that last one is going.... it's snowing as i type this and we are expecting another 1-3 inches by morning. Damn that groundhog!

Spent part of the day reading some Dōgen, specifically his Mountains & Rivers and The Ancient Mirror chapters.

From Mountains & Rivers, he pointedly tells us,
"Generally, when we look at mountains and water they are seen in a variety of ways depending upon the circumstances ... Different standpoint, different interpretation. Like this, the view depends on the eye of the beholder. Let us investigate this a little further. Does looking at one object give many different views or does it occur by mistakenly thinking one object possesses various forms? We must consider this carefully."

Does reality actually have many different aspects? Or, do we just see the one reality as having many different aspects because each and every one of us brings a different standpoint, a different interpretation, to our perceptions? What is reality? Who's version do you accept as your own? Once you choose, how do you integrate it into your daily life? Once you integrate it into your daily life, how do you not get angry at those ASSHOLES in Washington and the various state capitals, and the talk show hosts who believe that reality is nothing but money, power for themselves, power for their friends, more money, more power, and the inalienable right to screw the middle and lower classes to get what they want, i.e., money, power for themselves, power for their friends, more money, and more power. I have come to the conclusion that here in the US, the problem is no longer conservatives versus liberals. No, that delineation is no longer accurate. In today's US, the issues are being fought out between fundamentalists on the right and fundamentalists on the left, with the greedy bankers and businesses supporting whichever side will give them the tools to screw everyone else out of their money. The issues are no longer about what's best for Americans, not even about what's best, period. We have become every bit as fundamentalist as many of the middle eastern countries we eviscerate.



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