31. Enjoying a Beverage
In the previous blog "The One Vital Thing that Dudeism is Missing" I explained how I see that my role is to help dudes to become "The Dude". To direct people to what mystics have been trying to describe for hundreds of years; the Root of the Sage, the Heart of the Saint, and what have you.
And some might argue... Yes, but mysticism isn't about Dudeism, Dude. You are poking your toe over a line that shouldn't be crossed.
But am I? I hope to show you how this mystical, yet quite natural aspect of what we are, is central to Dudeism, yet is being overlooked by it, and as a consequence, it is missing a depth of being that is vital to our understanding of the Dude.
Enjoying a Beverage
So, in the previous post, we were having a coffee, reflecting on how we had been completely undude at work the other day, and how we needed to deepen our practice to learn to abide better when such situations arise, instead of being an uptight reactionary when we least expect it.
I would first say, forget the moment of being out of your element. Forget the need to bust yer agates trying to fix something that ain't wrong. And have your coffee.
I don't know if you are enjoying a beverage right now, but I do know that you are looking at a screen, reading these words. No shit, Sherlock.
After this paragraph, stop reading for a few moments. Whenever we have a situation where we have noticed that we were undude, and we are reflecting on it afterward, stop. Don't bother. And secondly, if you are thinking, well, I must take it easy more, need to have a limber mind so I don't get uptight, etc., stop that too. Stop reading this for a moment and take a look around at what is actually present in this very moment. Do that, then come back to this post.
Your Career Has Slowed Down a Little
It might be that your moment was crap. It could be that you were happily reading this post to get away from your present moment. But even if that were the case, is life presenting you, right now, with an unsavoury moment, or is your mind thinking it?
When we stop, and we pause from our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions, our sense of how we should or should not be, we can be. We can be part of life's moment.
It might go something like this... I'm in a comfy chair, enjoying the fragrance of fresh coffee, feeling the warmth of it in my hands, noticing the sound of birds twittering outside my window, and so on. Despite our troubled thoughts, when we stop and engage with life as it is showing itself to us right now, then we are in the immediacy of living.
In the above example, I have gone from a moment of being consumed by concerns of how I overreacted the previous day at work, to being confused by my Dudeism practice, to feeling how I should be more Dude-like, to in future, needing to try harder to have a limber mind, and abide better with the current moment. Need, need, need.
And in doing that, I am missing the current moment, where there is no need. I overlook the lovely smell of coffee, the feel of the warm mug in my hands, the comforting seat, the birdsong by my window. I miss this, and have a head full of stuff instead.
By slowing down, by dropping the idea of a career (whether a job, or whether an idea of how life should be), we give ourselves the chance to notice Life. Am I wrong?
Life Without a Self
The coffee, the chair, the birds singing... they are all happening. Just happening. They are Life unfolding as those things. And Life is present as you. It is the same Life that shows up as a bird, that is appearing as you.
And if you want to live it, it is not the stuff of should be, could be, must do, wish I had done. It is in your experiencing of it right now.
Only your sense of self gets in the way.
In Christianity, the sense of self; the thinking mind, is the Devil. By whispering its thoughts in your ear (inside your head), you are missing the still presence of God. This is why the Devil is the enemy of God. Your thoughts, emotions, and feelings are all noise covering endless Silence.
You act on your thoughts, feelings, and emotions because you are yet to realise that you are the thing that is simply aware of them, and yet, is untouched by them.
While having a coffee and thinking of the undude reaction to yesterday's tense work situation (as example), the thought of it arises from nowhere, then a connecting thought links to the first one, and so on, until we have a train of thoughts, which when strong enough, elicit feelings and emotions.
And yet, this actual moment is one of comfortable sitting, with a warm coffee, listening to birdsong. Yet, our thoughts are on yesterday, and what will happen in the future when new, similar shit, comes to light?
And this is how most of us live our life. But we are not living a life. We are Life living us.
A dude attempts to be dude-like in each moment. It will take some effort, until certain situations become easier to deal with, when new things will cause greater problems that we must learn to deal with.
In contrast, the Dude knows that he or she is the thing that is witnessing thought. Thinking is happening. It arises in the great space of consciousness, and when the thought has ended, the great space of consciousness still remains.
The Dude has experienced that he or she is the awareness of thought, of feelings, of emotions, but is not those things. In a tense situation, the Dude might become aware of a feeling of resistance arising. But by seeing the falsehood of the self, the Dude lets that feeling of resistance pass, and listens instead to the untroubled, utterly settled, calm presence that has noticed this resistance. The Dude knows that he, or she, is not the resistance itself but is the subtle quiet presence that is noticing it. And this creates a sense of distance, which in turn, creates a space between action and reaction.
In the next blog post, we will return to the coffee moment, but this time, we will look at the birds to see how they are living, and how the dude can learn from them.
Until next time.
The Reverend Thomo