I can’t say for sure what caused me to sit this morning. Maybe it was a growing contempt for my own proclivity for distractions and wise-cracks, or maybe it was reading the 37 Practices of the Bodhisattva. In any respect, I sat today, across from a dusty altar, my three carved buddhas sitting back at me, their gentle smiles and single-raised hands instructing me on how I have taken refuge in illusory things.
I’ve taken refuge in the opinions of my professors about me, in the opinions of my peers. I had chased after a favorable identity for myself, yet, by neglecting my practice, strayed farther from the person I am. I’ve taken refuge in the frail comfort my humor, a deflecting reflex spawned from my investment in acceptance.
I had intoxicated by the pleasure of new and old friendships, had been turning a blind eye to the bridges I had burned and had discarded the unfavorable perceptions of myself with them, all replacing a house of preferences with a mountain of cards. But I know, I always know, when the silence comes, how clean the slate really is. I know how the story I tell myself washes off me as much as the story others have of me do. In this life, nothing sticks.
I have been letting grad school identify me, through my voluntary participation of restructuring my goals, and I fell into the river of doctoral plans and lost why I am really there. Everyday, while I have been scrambling for acceptance and praise, another person rots away in our prison system, in our schools, on our streets, and under our florescent task-masters. I have lost sight of my calling; I have replaced the values I had set for myself with those of the container that holds me- Upaya, John Jay, my family and friends.
Perhaps when I read this in the future, lost again as I inevitably will be, I will remember that solitude is my only refuge. That regardless of my surroundings, my mind must be resolute and firm in its convictions, but soft in its approach. That regardless of my preoccupations, what good can I do with a mind that has wandered, with a half-mended mind like a pail with a half-patched base?
"When unfavorable places are abandoned, disturbing emotions gradually fade;
Where there are no distractions, positive activities naturally increase;
Awareness becomes clearer, and confidence in the Dharma grows.
To rely on solitude is the practice of a bodhisattva.”
seekforothers asked: Hello! Thanks for the follow!! I love your blog so much! I literally want to study and do what you are doing when I go to college! (:
I couldn’t encourage you more! I love forensic psychology and I’m at your service if you have any questions about it!