One definition of mental health could be to say that what is healthy (what leads to our psychological well-being) is when there is a movement away from the self, away from who we think we are. This of course is counterintuitive in a big way; we would tend to see…

We wear out the shoe of samsara by walking on it, says Chogyam Trungpa. This is a very radical statement and completely contrary to mainstream Western spirituality, it is contrary to how most of us would see ‘spirituality’ because ‘wearing out the shoe of samsara by walking on it’ does…

dakiniasart.org

When we’re ‘thinking all the time’ this has the effect of making us fundamentally insincere — it makes us insincere with other people and it also makes us insincere with regards to life itself. It might seem a bit much to say this but when we consider the implications of…

Oddly, ‘detachment’ and ‘intimacy’ turn out to be the very same thing. We wouldn’t normally think that this could be the case but it is. Detachment (in the Buddhist sense of the word) may be thought of as distance (or separation) from the ego-construct. It is in (or through) this…

There are two modes in which we human beings can exist, so to speak — one being the spontaneous mode and the other the purposeful one. These are like the ‘two gears’, so to speak. These are the only two gears we’ve got. When we are in Purposeful Mode then…

There is ‘a piece’ that we never seem to get and this causes a particularly vicious problem that we are quite blind to. The problem is that we end up solemnly dedicating ourselves to purely futile endeavours — we end up being wholly absorbed in meaningless activities that we don’t…

Humanity is divided into ‘the dreamers’ and ‘the doers’, or — at least — that’s what we love to say in the West. We’re nailing our colours to the mast when we say this; we’re making our position very clear. We are showing where we’re coming from in a big…

The world that we are in is the world in which we lose ourselves. It’s a ‘lose yourself’ world — it’s an invitation to lose ourselves that we can’t refuse! We lose ourselves in identity — we think we are this, we think we are that, we think we are…

I was talking away to myself, trying to cheer myself up. ‘Now that’s not so bad is it?’ I said, ‘that’s not so bad, that’s not so bad’ at all…’ Things were bad but they weren’t too bad. I was to be returned to the Bland Amalgam you see. My license had been revoked by the authorities. I was to be returned to the Bland Amalgam and that was that. ‘That’s not so bad after all,’ I said to myself reasonably, ‘that’s not so bad, that’s not so bad.’ All around me was the Dreamscape: innumerable interlocking conflicting perspectives all jumbled up together. Long views and short views, wide open spaces and confined corridors of misery that seemed to stretch on forever. All jumbled up together in some kind of impossible jigsaw. I was hoping for the good things to happen and worrying that the bad things might happen instead, the same as we all do. We are all alike in that way aren’t we? That’s one thing that’s true for us all. That’s one thing that binds us. Thicker than blood and stronger than concrete — the Glue of Conditioned Existence. We’re all the same in that regard, I mumbled again, forgetting what I had been talking about but gaining satisfaction from the words all the same. Yes, they were good words — pungent words, salty words, words the taste of which linger for a long while in your mouth. Deeply pleasing words, words to conjure by. I was composing a poem in my head. I had the title already, which was the main thing. The title of the poem was to be ‘In praise of good things’, and I was waiting for the rest of it to come to me as I sat there in my favourite armchair in the imaginary living room in my head. ‘Good things are so great,’ I began but then couldn’t get any further. The multi-dimensional panoply of the Dreamscape played out all around me, shifting and changing all the while. ‘The Dreamscape contains all possibilities,’ I said to myself solemnly, and then drifted off into my characteristic state of amnesia again. Hoping that the good things were going to happen, rubbing my hands together in anticipation, reciting potent self-affirmations. Although I couldn’t help realising that I didn’t know what the good things were, nor why they were so good. The answers to these questions were persistently eluding me, dancing away from me every time I approached. ‘The important thing to remember is that they are good,’ I reproached myself, ‘it is important to keep on telling yourself that the good things are good. It’s very important to keep on repeating that. It is important to keep on telling yourself about how very good the good things are and how truly wonderful everything will be when they happen…’

Nick Williams

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