Bodhi Season 2020
The Bodhi Season of 2020 starts in a month, December 1, 2020. The Bodhi Season consists of seven days of spiritual contemplation, ending with Bodhi Day, December 8. After seven days of contemplation, on Bodhi Day we may awaken to seeing the true nature of the Universe. Or at least we can set our minds on accepting that maybe there is such a thing as perfect contentment in this Earthly Life.
My past few blogs, starting with Two Months Until Bodhi Day 2020, presents topics for contemplation leading up to Bodhi Season 2020. This blog offers more such contemplation to stew on before the Bodhi Season.
You’re reading this, so you’re still here after all that has happened in 2020. That means you’re primed for a successful Bodhi Day!
Our brains need the space between words, the space between sentences, the space between paragraphs. Our bodies need rest between workouts. And, our minds need space to cogitate and assimilate between lessons.
Some things I write about are blatantly obvious. But these things must be stated periodically because we become mindless to them over the course of our daily lives. For the case of space, its purpose is lost in the constant push to be the value-adding fiends we’re trained to be at work.
During the very early years of my software development career (during the 1980s), I worked on software for managing dental practices. The software I worked on was a scheduler to ensure everyone was busy every minute so more patients could be squeezed in. There was no waiting around while someone else took the patient’s vitals, anesthesia to take hold, or for assistants to wait around for the doctor humanely chit-chat with the nervous patient.
The end result is a calendar schedule, a mosaic of 10 minutes blocks, color coded for various tasks by assistants and dentists. What did this calendar look like? It looked like Tetris. The goal of that scheduling is the same as Tetris – minimize blank space.
One of the primary directives of my job as a business intelligence architect is to figure out how to outsmart the current processes. How do you make processes, often already good, faster, cheaper, and better? Squeeze out the waste of space through relentless compression.
There’s nothing wrong with that in itself. With our gift of sentience, efficient and diligent work produces value for our fellow creatures. And that work is our individual way of honing our Zen mindfulness.
However, the collateral damage of insatiable zeal for optimization is squeezing out the space our mind needs to assimilate lessons we’ve pick up along the way. Like the waste of nutrients from poorly digested food, we are starved of the wisdom we need to grow.
It’s true that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but that’s with the condition that you’re provided the space to “digest” the lessons presented to you by that “attempted murder”. Without the space to heal and assimilate the lessons, it instead knocks you down a peg until there are no more pegs.
How do we regain the space for our spiritual, emotional, and intellectual processes to flow freely? That’s easy. How else would you make space? Throw out the unnecessary trash without mercy … distorted social media guilty pleasure rubbish, manipulative news propaganda, hate, cringe from your past, addictions, fear of failure. That’s a lot of trash!
But making space is just the start. With the healing power of space your mind can now build power for yourself. You can be more than just an impeccably optimized machine where power is drained as fast as it’s made. With that space, build up your mastery in an awakened manner of open-mindedness, diligence, and patience.
There is no choice but to take the time for your mind and spirit to heal, just as you take the time for a cut on your skin to heal. Your mind often begs you to sit there are veg out. Maybe that “depression” thing is something by Nature’s design and not just some malfunction. At least sometimes?
If I’ve been struggling on some critical problem at work all day long and my brain is shot, I can heroically work through the night attempting to finish it off. Or I could go home to sleep. Much more often than not, by taking the latter choice, overnight my mind somehow coalesces everything. I awaken knowing how to finish it up in half an hour. Not always, but in the long run, I’m way ahead in terms of balancing my productivity and kindness to my human body and mind.
It costs you nothing to step off the merry-go-round for a bit because the price is paid by that trash you just threw out. Start with sitting outside enjoying nothing more than what’s left of the Fall colors. Go for a walk several times a day with nothing but your legs. At least working remotely during this Covid-19 period of time, your co-workers won’t see you leave … ha.
Faith and Patience,
Reverend Dukkha Hanamoku