Sunday, June 29, 2014

Awakening: Compassion, Contentment, Etc.



...saw a group of young guys...looked like college kids...a block or two down Sansom Street from where I live...standing on a corner taking pictures of themselves and laughing...a second look showed what was so funny....a homeless man lying unconscious on the sidewalk, and they, arrayed in their brightly colored polo shirts, tennis shorts, and unexamined privilege, taking selfies with him...

...from my bike, across the intersection, I wanted to yell you stupid assholes!!!!...just to let them know that somebody passing by didn't think they were nearly so clever as they thought...to just maybe make them think about what might be wrong with finding amusement in the suffering of those less fortunate than themselves...possibly thereby awakening apparently dormant compassion in an admittedly roundabout and perhaps contradictory way...but didn't...

...wondered what someone more enlightened than I might've said....not that it was hard....no doubt, there could be all kinds of gentle ways to start a meaningful dialogue, and I'm sure that if Thich Nhat Hanh or Nelson Mandela had been there, that's just what they would have done...

...but...in order to do that, myself, I realized, I'd have to awaken my own sense of compassion...for them...and as it was, couldn't think of any way of doing that short of knocking their heads together...

...maybe the point here is that sometimes you need to work on yourself first...one's own angry, cynical, yet still strangely idealistic self that can't stand the thought of people finding fun in an unconscious homeless person, even though worse things happen every minute...and one might in the moment like to make worse things happen to them...

Sunday morning, and I'm falling...
Lou Reed, Sunday Morning

What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams?
Wallace Stevens, Sunday Morning
 
...I just dunno...right at this moment, I'm trying to practice contentment...sitting here on a late Sunday morning in the threadbare but ever-comfortable Ikea chair in a filthy apartment in my (clean) underwear, listening to some really really good music, reading and writing stupid shit on Facebook, and alternating between a tall glass of room-temperature water with lemon (the yoga crowd says it's good for me) and some tasty hot coffee (in Sanskrit, they call it prana), having been too lazy from the past couple days' bike rides to get up and ride across town for morning sangha practice...grateful there's nothing much that absolutely has to be done today except to figure out what I'm teaching in my 7 pm Yin Yoga class this evening...and pay some end-of-the-month bills...but eyeing the three books I've started reading in the past couple days (not even mentioning the novel I'm ever-so-slowly writing)...kinda wishing I had a smart, sensitive, beautiful girlfriend with whom to share an endless lazy brunch, but....recognizing that it's all okay...really not bad...not bad at all...pretty good, in fact...practicing that...

4 comments:

Eleanor said...

Your blogs are always good value Dr J.
Your experience with the homeless man and the 'entitled' young men is food for thought for me too. One hopes that the 'selfie band' never find themselves in the same position as the homeless man - however, there is no gainsaying Karma

Meredith LeBlanc said...

As always, well said, thought inducing, and wishing I could hear what you're listening to as you write...

Suzanne said...

I found myself thinking....Yup, yup, yup, yup, oh the dreaded Facebook, I can relate, and you are so right the entire time I read this post.

Very much on point

and *cyber pat on the back* for you because I feel sure I would have said something to those "humans"

Carlos de la Parra said...

Great insights about yoga and life,not necessarily agree with everything, but who cares.
Writing is a discipline in my view that should seek the interesting or the remarkable.
There are already too many blogs more boring that anyone can bear.
People who make us aware of what they had for breakfast and other nuances that no one could care less about.
One reason my blog is exclusively fiction is to spare humanity of my own ego and try to return in amusement so many blessings that life has bestowed me with.
Yoga by the way, also demands constant practice.