I used to get excited like that.
His Dad just hmmm’d , not dismissively but it’s where it starts. We all loose interest in the wonder of things. We tire under the pressure of life. You can’t become a responsible whole human being without experiencing the pressure. Sure you can remain a childish dickhead and avoid responsibility and then seemingly appear to be ‘free’ inside. but generally I find those kind of people actually avoid facing up to life. I know I am one of them, or was. That changed when I landed in Australia, I had to change to survive.
I have recently started to look again at the Buddhist path of Vajrayana. I havent been doing Vipassana for a long while. I still do Anapana meditation technique daily, but it isnt enough. I felt I needed to get back on top of my spiritual journey now I was settled in Melbourne I had no excuse. Floundering leads to the pressure getting an upper hand. If the pressure gets an upper hand I start waking at night with the F.E.A.R.
When that starts.
The shit starts.
So to offset it, I began on one technique which involves meditating on colored Buddhas. BTW I am not a Buddhist nor wish to be, but the path aligns with mine and those guys knew their stuff. Vajrayana has made itself available to me and I see its value, so I sometimes find myself walking it some of the way.
So I started with a golden Buddha. That really worked for a few days. I felt it fill up golden light in the places within me that lack confidence, are a little fearful sometimes. The places in me that want to shy away when people are negative towards me, or I feel they are. Then maybe about day 3 I started to realise the Golden Buddha meditation wasnt doing much now. hmm. I shifted to Jade Buddha.
It took me a day to actually be able to envisage the color Jade. It was so difficult that I actually stopped by a crystal shop, went in and found some Jade and stared at it for a while. I needed to understand what this meant to me. I read the info on it. It started to make sense. It was very different to Golden, almost the opposite in fact. Where Golden was extroverted and Yang in its direction. Jade was peaceful, yin, healing. receiving. I started to see the Jade Buddha and then it started to be deep green Jade. It made me breathe and relax and as soon as that happened. I no longer needed the Jade Buddha meditation.
It is this point that we come to in the headline of this post. I was sat on a train going into town. I was doing my usual lazy eye gaze out the window as I sank into inner quiet. I saw an old couple with two young girls no older than 7 or 8, who were hugging them and big eyes looking round the carriage. Unafraid just looking as kids do. No sense of self-consciousness. One of the girls stared at me for a long time. I had my eyes half shut so I dont think she knew I could see her. But I watched her and it started to warm my heart. The recollection of being that young. When I ran through my grandparents garden and everything was just amaaaaazing. Then I heard it. Another kid sat a little down the train from us.
‘Look Dad , a purple train!’ he said. And like I said his Dad looked up, hmmm’d an acknowledgement and looked back at his paper. Something more important than purple trains existed in the words for him. But he was tired. It showed. He was done for, like the rest of us on that train over 8 years old.
The Pressure. It had gotten to us.
But I looked. I wanted to see the purple train. I smiled. It was the adverts on the side for Thai airways. All purple. Sure. I guess that made it a purple train but that kid. It had blown his mind like it was the most important thing to happen that day.
I looked back at the girls, they were looking at the purple train too.
Then it hit me. Purple Buddha. I started in on it. I couldnt get a grasp on it but I understood what that color meant to me. It was heart. It was childish innocence, it was all the magic of life and bursting wonder of being alive. It was protection against the pressure. Protection we all lacked but sought in God, Buddha, Allah, Football, Racing, Love, Sex, Children, Home, Pets, Beer, Hugging….
you name it, if it takes you back into that feeling , it is that.
One thing that started to come up. Something that meant nothing to me when I heard it but somehow meant everything to me there in that moment on that train with those kids and the sun shining down and life so short but sweet as we choose to make it. It is us. It is up to us. Each moment. You can miss it, you can put your attention into a newspaper and not hear it when your kid tells you to look at the magic of the moment,
Or you can hug it, as your daughter glows with it in her brief moment before, like you, the pressure gets to her. It takes a few years but it happens to us all.
I like to think I am under the pressure. I feel it. I always got crushed by it like the rest but I fought like a muthafucker against it for all my worth. I know I did. but it drove me mad. Then one day someone said something simple to me and like a seed it took a little while to grow and gain a hold but it did.
‘Seek refuge in the Buddha‘ is what they said.
I am not a religious man and I have been bombed and pinned down in the foxholes of life long enough to know. I am not a Buddhist. I never will be. More like a gypsy really, or maybe just a hooligan, but none of those fit either.
But when that kid pointed out the purple train, I got it. I heard it. The spirit of life calling back to me. Offering to help me against the pressure for a moment, for that moment. I took it.
I shut my eyes, envisaged the Purple Buddha, my mind became silent for a time, my fears didnt drop away, they bayed at me like hungry wolves outside the door. I just let them. You cant escape the pressure. That’s the truth. But you can seek refuge within and without, using whatever works for you. I am starting to get that now.