Checking in here after nearly a month, coming around to a more settled rhythm. My sense is that of rich undergrowth having spread more fully between insights and events, highlighted by sunbeams innocently playing their way through domes above. I finally stopped to look around, finally noticed, after happening upon a protective cool spot in the middle of a scorching day.
Inner, outer: who can tell? And who wants to?
It’s a wonderful thing to let oneself be a little lost, leaning into phenomena as though adventuring with a wise and rugged friend. Deep listening is available, loosened grip, easing the industriousness of the last few months, so as to accept an invitation to quite intentional appreciation. The richness of What Is.
The pull is close to that of aimless wandering practice, which I first engaged in at what used to be, and I guess still is, Windhorse Farm. Was that back in 2012 or so? It always strikes me as especially delightful when the practice finds and captures my attention, even here in the city, with the same persuasiveness once experienced in that lush old-growth forest.
Beautifully, that land has fairly recently been returned to the Mi’kmaq. The following letter is from the website linked to above:
Sadness for the hundreds of years of colonization of these bountiful and beautiful lands and people. Joyful that the Land is returning, through gift and sale, to the loving hands and hearts of tthe Mi’kmaq through Ulnooweg Education Centre, an Indigenous Charity.
The Wentzell and the Drescher Families have lived here for 180 years caring for and protecting this place, in reciprocity with all the other beings who live here. In effect, we have been mere placeholders waiting for this auspicious “land-back” event to occur.
We are in deep appreciation to all of you who have come to play, work, live, learn and heal here at Windhorse for 31 years during our “watch”. You and the Forest Families have offered warmth, moisture and nourishment to the legacy.
Now it will return to those who have been here for 15,000 years – to the loving care of the First People, as a place of healing, education and ceremony – to those who have known and respected the sacredness and healing medicine of the Land.
These First People are teaching us all the power of, and need for, living in reciprocity with all beings – the leadership necessary to carry us all through these uncertain times.
A cause for celebration and gratitude.
Looking forward for seven generations, may all beings, seen and unseen, benefit.
Love, The Drescher Family Located in Mi’kma’ki, the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Mi’kmaq on Atuomkuk Wentzell’s Lake and Pijnuiskaq LaHave River
I’ve been experiencing such dread on Spanish Class days. Thanks to COVID and other challenges, I slid behind the rest of my group, and have struggled to make up the difference since then. I can handle not being ‘best in class’, but don’t like to be a drag.
I’m taking as my practice the backward step, what a good friend calls sheer appreciation. Even should I drop the class with just a week to go, it has oriented my view differently than before embarking, and has helped me to approach life in Miami with the enthusiasm of viable learning curve and endless opportunities. I turn my attention from the content of the painting, to the paint itself, appreciating a wider, less time-ordered view.
It’s okay to evaluate and revisit a goal, but if one forgets appreciation within that, the goal, meant to be one part of a complex universe of relationships and connections, becomes a sticky web.
In practicing open awareness, I’ve found it helpful to think of existence—the entire play of sounds and thoughts and bodies and trees—as the foreground of life, and awareness as the background.
In the Zen tradition, the shift from focusing on the foreground of experience to resting in pure being is called “the backward step.” Whenever we step out of thought or emotional reactivity and remember the presence that’s here, we’re taking the backward step.
If we wake up out of a confining story of who we are and reconnect with our essential awareness, we’re taking the backward step. When our attention shifts from a narrow fixation on any object—sound, sensation, thought—and recognizes the awake space that holds everything, we’re taking the backward step. We come to this realization when there is nowhere else to step. No anything. We’ve relaxed back into the immensity and silence of awareness itself.
By contrast, the feeling of ‘endless opportunities’ is the opposite of what’s been going on with my work as of late, not just due to management shifts and the loss of an important presence on the scene, but general plateau. I’m still learning, but haven’t shifted gears in a while. I’ve been wondering if this is the restlessness I’ve sometimes felt intuitively, signaling a change of wind direction or something new out on an edge. I can appreciate this open question.
From this stance, I found myself captivated by one of the writer George Saunders’ [excellent!] “Story Club” emails. In it, he described ten ways of approaching endings.
Another way I’ve talked about this is that we want to always be escalating, even into its last lines. So, I’ll spend a little extra time goofing with the ending, sort of, you know, Rubik’s-cubing it, trying to see if I can get just a little more light into it. I’m thinking something like, “Dear story, do you have anything else you want to tell me?’
This is where I’m at with my work in the store, Rubik’s-cubing it. Not a bad approach when dealing with restless edge states. And the idea of tweaking, playing, and backing up to open up to new meanings, brings to mind the Beatles documentary that came out during the last few years. I highly recommend it. Most of the promos rightly center around a fascinating moment when Paul is just playing, like a child in a bathtub plays with sounds and toys, and out of that comes Get back.. get back.. get back to where you once belonged...
“All feelings are positive”, says Jenny Lim, yet so often, by the time I even consider inquiry, fears and discomforts have whirled by feverishly, leaving a mess to attend to in their wake. The window in which to sort through what was felt in any systematic way has already closed, rendering such guidance quaint.
I did okay with it today.
I left work deflated, having been busy from start to finish, wrapping up a series of designs in what I felt was the most efficient way–only to be (albeit lightly) scolded just before leaving, for taking too long. It had suddenly gotten busy just as I’d gone off floor to wrap details. Still, I knew I’d balanced my time well, and that the other person was operating from a blind spot. If anything, they’d spent twice the time with their clients I had with mine, after having come in hours later.
Mind you, I have a lot of respect for this other designer, and know the nature of things when there aren’t enough people to manage a rush. Everyone is handling more than they can, so it’s hard not to think the next guy isn’t doing their part. I’ve definitely fallen into that pattern myself. Still, rather than feeling put upon, it would have been better to ask more detail about what I was working on. I’m fairly confident they would have comprehended the deadline more clearly, but even If not, I wouldn’t have felt quite so shot down in a flash at the end of an exhausting day.
Granted, there was a time I would have cried, and I didn’t, though I am tearing up a little while writing here. That’s progress. And maybe therapy is finally clicking, because a few hours after arriving home, after tea, I was calm enough to ask a few probing questions.
What emotion were you actually feeling? Disappointment. Looked over. Unsure whether it is worth trying to be heard. Why even try? Sadness (I tried my best and still didn’t meet expectations) Pride. **Don’t you know who I am?
This last one is funny, I guess. It’s the gist I boiled down from a longer rant about being taken for someone only capable of, or not even capable of, such a job. I realized how much I wish to be seen in a totality rather than as a body performing tasks. When I feel reduced in such a moment, especially by someone I’ve worked with a while, I’m especially sensitive and prone to catastrophizing.
If everything isn’t perfect, I jump to, “Oh no, I have to leave!”
Why is the discomfort so strong (disproportionate)? Fear. I fear this isn’t the right place for me. Simultaneously, I fear that this IS the right place for me, and I’ll leave prematurely just before things get better. It’s always so close to ‘getting it (life) right’.
There’s more, but you get the idea.
Hidden in the bundle also arose spiritual perfectionism. Looking at the attachment I feel to my role, not just as a ‘good designer’, I see myself taking being an excellent worker and colleague to be a fractal of mattering to/in the world on the whole. I get through my day by seeing what I’m doing as more than what it seems to be a lot of the time.
Perhaps I’m not holding my roles very lightly. “For Hongzhi the whole purpose of practice is to “graciously share yourself with the hundred grass tips [i.e., myriad beings] in the busy marketplace.””
-from “Cultivating the Empty Field: The Silent Illumination of Zen Master Hongzhi” by Taigen Dan Leighton, Yi Wu
“Looking back, I guess I used to play-act all the time. For one thing, it meant I could live in a more interesting world than the one around me.”
From Tuesday afternoon until Friday night, I slept, then Friday night through Sunday, attended an online (Dzogchen) retreat. Today, Monday, I’ve spent restless, neither sleeping nor awake, neither up nor down, watching snippets of things on my computer, half interested. I should be studying Spanish, but feel blurry-minded.
[ Entry: The week of our Covid-19, 2022. ]
Honestly, I’m already looking back on the retreat time, acknowledging the opportunity with a sense of importance and awe, although certainly, I wasn’t able to live up to what I’d envisioned my part of things to be: meditating in between sessions, taking contemplative walks. Quite ill, I had to make an on-the-spot exception, choosing to believe that given my situation, the teachers would have permitted my dizzy slouchy attendance.
At some point one of the Rinpoches did ask those in attendance not to take formalities lightly, not to lean back lazily listening. I was laying on my side as he said this, contemplating the ethics of recording the teachings, my eyes struggling to stay open, stomach cramping. They couldn’t see me, but in that moment I thought, even if they can, let’s just be really real. As my therapist says, life is “Come as you are.”
There’s a discussion to be had about accessibility, but this is a good example of why practitioners are encouraged to meet with teachers individually, address particularities and receive permissions in line with unique aptitudes and situations [a la skillful means].
In any event, I’m glad I made the call to attend; drowsiness and all, it was truly wonderful, and interestingly, my condition may have rendered me more receptive than otherwise. No temptation to multitask nor worry about what needed to be done in the apartment (there was plenty), I lapsed from time to time into vivid little dreams animating what was being transmitted, letting the boundaries blur until ‘I’ was neither here nor there.
It was especially interesting to lose myself into dynamics of translation, where it was sometimes impossible to see where translator left off and teacher began. The process was just so easy and wide open, not like work being done. I’ve experienced this a rare few times… ‘no doubt’ within some relationship dynamic; it can be close to the experience of creative flows one can’t consciously recognize until looking back, like “Man, where was I!?”
It was a loving retreat, focused precisely where my last blog post left off: timelessly luminous nature of mind.
After we closed, I fell asleep listening to a beautiful White Tara Lunar yoga nidra ritual through Tibet House US, feeling cradled and soft. Tara has been active in my awareness persistently for a few weeks now, as Green Tara in a sadhana shared by a friend where I also learned the Condensed Praises; as a friend at work by the same name who has been helping bring more awareness to the way I treat my body with food; to this practice; to happening upon another Lama suggesting Tara practices when praying for Ukraine, earlier in the day. Ah, and actually a few weeks ago I went into Second Life, showing the Green Tara Temple to another friend, and meditated there.
It’s funny to me that my friend Tara is not only not Buddhist, but doesn’t seem to have even referential knowledge of Buddha Tara. It reminds me how disparate our worlds can be, even as people who occupy the same city, job, age group, etc. I made a little comment once, that she was a buddha for me (I’ve learned a lot from her at work as well), and her face hardened a bit, not complimented, so I’ve never brought it up again, although we did have a nice conversation about faith in general.
I think she considers my Buddhism to be ‘belief’ in Buddha the way many Christians would say they ‘believe’ in Jesus. And that’s fine with me, for her to think that. Who am I to say it isn’t, anyway.
A strange thing has happened now that tossing and turning has fallen away from nighttime explorations; I find myself reliving alternate scenarios such as “What if married life with G had taken this turn?” Last night, I was the one working more, coming home to be shown our baby’s head lifting up with strength for the first time, other things. The dream was bright, not magical, but there was contentment.
When I have these dreams, there is often then residue of other dreams remembered, fragments of scenarios wherein I see my true wishes and have a chance to play them out, even if just a bit. They become experiences I have had, therefore are in a different category from pie-in-the-sky wishes. These desires genuinely feel sort of checked-off, although not fitting into what the circumstances of my life say is true.
Exploring virtual worlds was like this, too. Had I kept a journal then, I could have written that I began the day with a morning balloon ride before landing in a field of flowers where a deep international discussion ensued. I could have described dancing in outer space with someone who felt familiar, but I didn’t know, just as I might recount a dream. These accounts would have been true, suspending so-called knowledge that neither balloon nor flowers were real balloon and flowers. But what is real?
In some ways, those experiences felt more real, exactly because of the layer of true-knowing that they weren’t. That’s hard to describe, but neuroscience so far concurs that vivid imaginations and memories can weigh as much, matter as much–if not more–as so-called real life happenings, when it comes to our day to day responses and choices.
I believe we are less alive and awake in our lives when we forget what we’re experiencing at any given time, is not the whole truth. What we know about one another’s intentions, wrapped up in past experience and read-outs of such, is a story we’re actively telling that would disappear if we stopped actively telling it. So really, we have a great deal of freedom.
The starkest of my recent nighttime dreams remains that of mourning my grandfather’s death alongside my mother and sister, generating care and okay-ness, moving into a next, more loving phase of life together. That’s not the scenario that played out, but it has brought me comfort to go back to that dream, and that dreaming self, and say “I see you.”
When accused of ill intentions, or when I imagine that I’m accused of such, there is a deeply rooted knowing there, reminding me of what I really aspire toward when my guard is all the way down, which is love. Forgiveness too, yes, within that, but not a keep-the-fragile-peace forgiveness: an honest forgiveness, wherein people who love each other love each other in full view of failures and misunderstandings and doubts, as well as victories and reliefs and good works/intentions. Who wish each other well, even-or-especially in ways that don’t benefit our (material) selves.
One reason so much spaciousness occurred when my mother exited is precisely that the shaky ground which kept me on-guard all the time, finally just gave way as I feared. Which doesn’t mean I wanted it that way.
For a long time I couldn’t look objectively at my background, because to do so would make it very hard to continue that relationship without some kind of acknowledgement–not for the acknowledgement itself, but what the acknowledgement would mean for our future. Since then, I’ve been able to see that choices had already been made, to build a new life and backstory my existence contradicts; love for me might indeed require risking that construction. Judging by the way I’ve so far kept specifics mostly to myself however, only willingness to risk would be required.
None of this means love itself isn’t possible. Indeed suffering occurs when I try to deny love its place. I want to let love have expression, even when I don’t understand, even when I want to cry “Unfair! Unfair!” Leaving aside individual responses to particular situations in moments which arise, in general, I have to be on love’s side to be happy.
I’m reminded that during my first real therapy sessions, when (the first) Dr. W tried to take me through visualizations of support, building layers of ground beneath me, I still couldn’t find stability. Something insisted on holding out for The Real Deal. Those visualizations indeed turned out to be a kind of priming before the insight of groundlessness took precedence.
“The bad news is you’re falling through the air, nothing to hang on to, no parachute. The good news is, there’s no ground.” ”
― Chögyam Trungpa
Is there a chance the current wish-fulfilling dreams point to something yet deeper as well? What is the territory I’m actually meant to explore? Buddhism loves the concept of the wish-fulfilling gem, which I’ve taken to be (the mind of) Naturally Occurring Timeless Awareness, a la Longchenpa. These dreams may themselves act as objects of meditation, or taken together, as a singular koan.
“Naturally occurring timeless awareness—utterly lucid awakened mind— is something marvelous and superb, primordially and spontaneously present.
It is the treasury from which comes the universe of appearances and possibilities, whether of samsara or nirvana.
Homage to the unwavering state, free of elaborations.”
The loop messages have been playing at high quality, as though a layer has been sloughed off, leaving programming clearly exposed. This time, it isn’t a critical voice, but an even more constant beat, surely affecting the rhythm patterns of movements and breath overall. I hadn’t realized this further layer before, perhaps because when I compare what it was like “before”, mind is deeply open and quiet much of the time. Sill, it feels great to notice the minuscule skips. When the loop is exposed so well I can, as though undoing a mistake in a knitting pattern, easily reach my needle in to release it.
The most common loop I’m picking up on? “I’m tired.” I’m not even tired half the time I notice this! And there’s the feel of a shield of some sort, likely deflecting the previously-expected critical voice that dropped away. So far, I’m able to stop to ask “Am I, actually, tired?” Or sometimes, more accurately, “Are you?” “Who are you, saying you are tired all the time, anyway?” “Let’s teach you some new tricks. What’s more fun to say?” More fun than “I’m tired” is “I’m happy”, for instance.
If I am tired, I might still ask “Who are you talking to?” Is there someone (in memories) I’m trying to get not to exhaust me further, someone I wish would allow more space, rest? What if I offer that? Even just being willing to let go is relief.
Speaking of new tricks and phrases, I had a few ‘proud of myself’ Spanish moments in the store today. An older couple beamed at my attempts to help in their more comfortable language. My heart was so moved by their appreciation. Overhearing the exchange, a co-worker praised our attempts to understand each other as well, adding that she likes to hear the way I use English… “so many different words.” When this coworker was growing up in Nicaragua, no one took much time to help her along, so she too feels limited and is learning from our diverse Miami community, where so many Spanishes are spoken.
Her compliments, and the story behind them, sparked a pause as I reflected on neglectful periods of my own upbringing. There’s certainly a case to be made for my being left to my devices too much as a child, while at the same time, I managed to enjoy many enriched experiences and friendships along the way. I’m so thankful for an attentive early education, for instance. It wasn’t either/or.
A common thread through my journals is the difficulty of weaving contrasting narratives when one cares about being and becoming genuine. There aren’t many heroes or villains in my stories, but there are a few, and I’ve become capable of honest apology alongside becoming capable of giving difficult feedback when needed. Like learning knitting and Spanish and qigong all at once, capacities grow together.
In line at the market, buying writing icing for the Congratulations cake we bought to mark successful getting of the big job by a family friend (intensive process they went through beforehand, getting a hotel to prep, for weeks, basically falling off-grid). An older gentleman looks back to ask if I’m in a hurry, gesturing that seeing I have so little, he would let me go ahead. I explain I just have “I’m in a hurry” energy, whether in a hurry or not, which gains a chuckle all around. I’m not sure it’s true, but it might be.
Everyone continues through the line. All is pleasant, normal. By the time I reach my car however, I’m highly sensitive. I look around and see many older people walking slowly, carefully. Some help one another. I felt sore most of the morning, a little worried about how work might go later, but now I’m standing still, deeply wondering how anyone manages anything at all. Everyone seems so very frail.
I watch the well-mannered gentleman get into his vehicle–a small van, although signage isn’t clear–and realize he must spend long portions of his day waiting.
I’m not waiting, but I’m not going anywhere, either.
Trying to put my finger on this sampling of experience, I’ll call what occurred ‘all-in-the-same-boat-ness’. It was profoundly strange, a little Lynchian. I’ll resist the urge to attach meaning or value, just remark that everything was certainly thin.
A few times this week I noticed, more exactly than usual, rippling effects of small gestures into undulating patterns, noticed how I can’t precisely tie them together, but as in this case, find myself in a wide mind then step back to trace. This gentleman’s gesture seemed to slow everything down, which was a reminder to appreciate the whole scene and all appearing in it–including me–as a shimmering mirage. Everything, including fragility and pain became ‘wonderful’, in a way.
While I know I’m still to some extent drawing the lines myself, in TSK terms, I’m also asking to see that the level as changed by asking when that so-called change occurred. Of course it never did.
Andrew Holocek on Buddha at the Gas Pump. So many wonderful quotes, but his passionate interest in dream yoga is why I’ve read some of his books several times. I may not lucid dream much these days, but the interview was a spark ignited to remember this way of being.
“Awareness of Being, is bliss.” Nisargadatta
I’ve felt a little shamed out of sharing dreams over time, concerned doing so was full of self, rather language to study with others inclined. I do actually believe, as many teachers do, that dreaming can be a rich practice ground, coupled with view, yet know that becoming fixated on what dreams mean to “me, my fortune, etc.” solidify rather than liberating experience. Over-editing what one shares may be as much of an issue.
Whether small amounts of practice in sleep are equivalent to large amounts of time in other kinds of meditation as some say, I’m less sure of. “Dreaming is code language for manifestation of mind” Andrew says, and an awakened one (Buddha) wouldn’t experience dreaming and daily life differently. They might live life itself as a malleable dream-like reality.
This wonderful image and description is fromOkar Research Blog, which I highly recommend glancing at:
Gyuma Chenmo (Dream-Dakini)….is the Dakini of dream., invoked and visualized in dream yoga-practice in the Ma Gyu (Mothertantra).
A few new-to-me terms came up in the interview. as well I’ve studied very little Hinduism or even Advaita Vedanta, but it comes up along the way.
Turiya In Hindu philosophy, turiya (Sanskrit: तुरीय, meaning “the fourth”) or chaturiya, chaturtha, is pure consciousness. Turiya is the background that underlies and pervades the three common states of consciousness. The three common states of consciousness are: waking state, dreaming state, and dreamless deep sleep.
Turiyatita – state of integration where awareness is never lost [“beyond fourth”] / pure consciousness/non-dual awareness
Turīyātīta (तुरीयातीत):—Pratyabhijñā claims that the state of perfection achieved by its sādhana is beyond and above the turīya, the “fourth state” of the Upaniṣads: it is Turīyātīta, Śiva-consciousness, in which the individual experiences the self as identical with the entire universe and with Śiva. [Wikipedia]
Turiya, also called Chaturtha is the stage of transcendental consciousness where the individual experiences ultimate reality and truth. This state is inexperienced by the five senses and indescribable, incomprehensible by the mind which is tied to continuous cycle of births. The transcendental mind is within itself a possibility of creating anything and everything that mind conceives and the possibilities are infinite. In this state the individual experiences the sleepless sleep or bliss, witnessing similarities of macrocosm and microcosm and is well aware of the union of Self and Absolute. Here the individual is aware of his own consciousness but remains in object-subject relationship with the world around. This is intermediate Savikalpa Samadhi.
Turiyatita or Chidakasa is the stage where the Self ceases to function since the ‘mind-space’ transforms itself into mindless-space in absolute spirituality, which never manifests itself. At this point, there is no question of return to oneself, since it becomes one with the Supreme by the grace of unmanifested spirituality and obliterates dualism. Here there is selflessness, no-mind, no-duality the object-subject relationship disapear. This is ultimate, highest state of non-dual union with ones own consciousness this is Nirvikalpa Samadhi. https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/five-stages-of-consciousness
I couldn’t help but hear Krishnamurti in this. There’s also a section in I AM THAT where Nisargadatta describes knowing himself as timelessness. “Timelessness” he said, “knows time, but time can’t know timelessness.” (You can’t get there from here.)
There’s an ‘ocean is also in the drop’ argument that might be made, but maybe another day. 🙂
I set out to do a few restful-yet-meaningful things while out on a leave this month. Yet, surprise surprise, found several other rabbit holes instead, all of which led predictably back into my comfort zone of philosophy/creativity. The hook this time, was serendipity, looking into what progress might have been made on a study exploring such since last I checked (nothing that I could find). See: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-018-01405-7
This scientist identified a few ways serendipity seems to come about, an intriguing one of which of which is ‘controlled sloppiness’. The word itself traces back to a 1700s Persian fairy tale about The Three Princes of Serendip who were “always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things which they were not in quest of.” (Wikipedia) The description conjures a Monty Python skit, doesn’t it? Or something along the lines of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
I found a few podcasts, which led to audio books (I’d recommend The Flip as pretty okay with flaws), which I listened to while playing Archeus, a Pokemon game. 🙂 I then wandered over to Audible again and for laughs thought to look at Tibetan Buddhist offerings (I had low expectations). One can easily find Pema Chodron or a few others on audio, but what I wanted was something in keeping with my theme: imagination-based, tantric.
And what do you know, there are a few books by Lama Thubten Yeshe, even free with my Audible membership; the one I’m reading so far is perfect! Well, perfect without being perfectly read, for instance “Rinpoche” is pronounced “Rinposhe” throughout. Once you consider how often that word is used in any Tibetan Buddhist context, you’ll understand it is no small issue. 🙂 However, the pronunciation soon felt like a small price to pay for the wisdom that unfolded, resonated, soothed. It even became endearing after a while.
It’s an odd thing, but probably not as unusual as it feels to me, that I’ve never finished preliminary practices in a concerted way. I fell in love with certain mantras and visualizations, have practiced those fervently at times. Nevertheless, I’ve also been unusually fortunate in teachers and spiritual friends, some who have practiced traditionally for multiple decades, others who have beautifully cobbled together practices of their own. Life keeps giving me a lot to take in and far too much to narrow down, endless windfalls.
I want to remember something stated strongly in the book: Empowerment (ritual) only activates what is already there. The practices are about allowing allowing. Whether or how I do them is about my own receptivity, whether I give myself permission… sabbath for man rather than man for the sabbath, etc.
I once asked a teacher to help me grok the idea of karma in more than a zero-sum, exchange-level sense. It was early on and I’d not yet learned much about dependent co-origination. Even if I had, all that would have changed about my question is that I would have articulated it with more complexity and confidence.
What I wanted to understand was the experience of karma to a person, viewing their own life, but what I said was something like “A grand blossoming tree, heavy with fruit, grows healthily in the same grove another withers. Why?”
Perhaps I should have asked, “What’s a good way to work with the uneven and contradictory way (my) karma appears?”
“Appears” is a key word here. Being presented with a paradox/puzzle is a signal to grapple with non-duality; one is being asked to stay with a koan long enough to see meaning evolve. That’s tantra. The Bliss of Inner Fire: Heart Practice of the Six Yogas of Naropa talks a lot about the “stubbornly persistent illusion” of karma and time, without using those terms, but I hear it. There’s even a me who groks it… the me who believes cultivating the inner garden comes first, trusts doing so. She’s the Mary, of ‘Mary and Martha’ fame, who leaves the guests and dirty dishes for later while Jesus speaks.