Oxherding Interlude

What remains when all falls away? How do we remaining standing? Just as the Earth supports the clouds, the clouds hold up the entire cosmos, but no effort is ever needed.

I will write next time about the next Oxherding picture, but for now, I wanted to simply write about how wonderful life can be, even when things seem stacked up against you. Today has not been a particularly good day. I woke up very tired, as I did not sleep well, nor long enough… ‘Is it morning already?!.. ugh! I am still too tired!’ Then I had to hurry to get everything ready for work and was fairly rushed out the door. Then after a long commute, I started my work day… which was busy busy busy.. Lots to do and not enough time, and not sure where to start!

I have recently been keeping in my mind an utterance from the extremely clear-minded and wise woman, Pema Chodron, a Buddhist Nun. It is also the title of a book of hers, and it is: “Start Where You Are”. How wonderful! How perfect for a cluttered mind! How simple yet profound… Where else to start?! Right here, right now…

Writing this reminds me of a story I have read… It tells of the Buddha’s life and how a drunk man stumbled upon (quite literally!) one of the Buddha’s discourses… Many of the people listening wanted the man removed.. He was a disgrace and should not be there.. But the Buddha said he should stay, and it doesn’t matter if one hears the truth of the Dharma whilst drunk or not drunk,.. if the heart-mind is listening, it hears the Dharma clearly, drunk or not! So, this drunk person started right where he was! So, no matter how depressed, drunk, ill, or happy, elated or rich you are, just start where you are!

So, after hours of near frantic work, it appears I got nothing of substance actually done, just filling in time cards, expense claims, booking out work cars for visits to customers, getting visit times and dates booked… but no reports written, no visits attended…nothing much to show for all that time ‘working’! It was frustrating. Then various other personal issues arose that I won’t get into and these too made for a bad and a sad day.. Then, as I was to leave work, I found out that my long commute home would be very long as part of the road was blocked from an accident, and another road along my route was also partly blocked from a fuel spillage… So i stayed late at work, got more work done and waited for the traffic to clear (Where would I be without travel reports on the internet!)..

Finally, I started my journey home, and the traffic was still very bad, and it took a long time to get home… But something happened during my drive… I was happy… I felt genuine happiness inside me, although my surface mind and heart felt sad, I felt this melting from within and all the sadness, it fell away. I felt so very lucky.. I was driving home to my amazing wife and our wonderful little boy… What more could I want? Life can always be worse, it can always be much, much, worse… equally so, it can always be better, much , much better…. But, really, that’s all subjective.. that is ego-mind, and it all doesn’t matter… Every bad situation will always fade away, and every good situation does the same… so what remains behind? What is left standing to hold us when we are down and to ground us when we are high?

Deep faith. Knowing the Universe has our back. It is always on our side. Our Enlightened nature is always within a nose hair from us, yet forever far away. When we have tamed our Ox, we then will ride our Ox home, which will led me to next time, my next post… Riding the Ox Back Home…

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2 thoughts on “Oxherding Interlude

    • Thank you for your words. I think you are right about how life actually is compared to how we wish it was…. If we always have this ‘ideal’ life we are wishing for, we kill our true life we are already living! Easier said than done though! 🙂

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