One of our ancient cats is nearing the end.
She’s starting to frail—losing weight and having digestive issues. She’s also totally blind, but that’s nothing new. She used to get around pretty good, but she gets turned around a lot these days.
When she’s in an open space—without anything to bump into for direction—she starts to walk in circles until she bumps into something again. Her poor eyesight gets her whacked by a few of the other cats from time to time too. A few of the more mild-mannered felines don’t mind, but if she bumps into one of the grouches, then they sometimes his to swipe at her.
This whole situation is a living metaphor for us, really. We’re free, all of us. Totally, completely, breathtakingly free. But, we’re blind. So, instead of using our freedom, we spin in circles until we bump into something familiar.
The world is open, but we tend to limit our territory to a few miles, and we try our best to keep chaos out of our routines.
Sometimes we bump into each other. And, just like with cats, sometimes we get whacked in return. Sometimes, even the thoughts, views, and habits we bump into give us a beating.
Samsara is just nirvana at night. We spin around and around because we can’t see where we’re going. None of this is because we’re bound and chained. It’s not because of destiny, karma, or conditioning. It’s just that we keep our eyes closed because it’s super fucking bright.
Meditation is just about finding the confidence to open our eyes, the strength to keep them open, and the compassion to navigate this open world in ways that prevent us from bumping, or being bumped into, by others.
If we can, we actively try to remove the things someone’s about to bump into. Or, we can at least say, “Hey, you’re about to run into that.” If we’re really into it, we might have the audacity to say, “Open your eyes! It’s beautiful! You’re beautiful!”
Stop and see, that’s the practice. See that everything’s together, that there are no beginnings or endings. That this moment, with all of its pain and shit, is clear and bright straight down to the bottom.