This week’s slogan is – Self-Liberate Even the Antidote. According to Chogyam Trungpa, “[t]he idea of antidote is that everything is empty, so you have nothing to care about,…nothing really matters very much. It’s like a backslapping joke in which everything is going to be hoo-ha, yuk, yuk, yuk…All is empty so who cares? You can murder, you can meditate, you can perform art, you can do all kinds of things – everything is meditation, whatever you do…Antidotes are any notion that we can do what we want and that as long as we are meditative, everything is going to be fine…The whole point of this slogan is that antidotes of any kind are not appropriate things to do…we are not particularly seeking the simple experience of tranquility – we are trying to get over our deception.”
Even though we have been talking about softening and emptiness for two weeks – this week is about letting go of the idea of emptiness as a concept. We need to see that unless we are willing to see through our deceptions, no amount of discussion around meditative concepts will liberate us from delusion and as long as we live in delusion we will suffer the pain entangled within that delusion. It starts with a daily (or at the very least weekly) meditative practice of sitting still, softening and observing the mind. We take the time – or rather make the time – to withdraw from the impulses of our habitual mind. We watch how the mind seeks to create and control experience. There is no better way to see the deceptive nature of mind than when we are still and quiet.
This inability to see our deception is at the root of aversion to loving-kindness. We are deceived into believing that life centers around us – individually; that we move through life – individually; and that, while we have no control over the larger world, we do control our individual world. When we meditate, however, we see just how insignificant we actually are. We realize that we have no control over the sounds, thought, images, sensations, emotions, smells, tastes and moods that show up nor do we have control over how they impact us. This Thursday, we’ll explore how we get trapped in antidotes and how to self-liberate ourselves from them.