Pair #38 You are the one you've been looking for
“What can other teachers do? If they don’t know for themselves, they are just swallowing other people’s saliva.” - Yun-Men*
Enlightenment. Sometimes I think the word should come with instructions and a Surgeon General’s label. "Warning. May cause extreme bloating of ego." Or, "Warning, May cause sanity defects."
The reason I think striving for something called enlightenment is so damaging to one’s health is that it sends us into paralysis. It is the disease of the seeker, who must by necessity, seek. Maybe we’ll wave a quick hello to acceptance, rest and peace as we dash down the road toward the destination called Somewhere Better.
There is no need to put off anything until such a time as we become a better person, a holier person, or a more enlightened person. I realized that I will not find love, be able to help people more, make more money, or change the world when I am all fixed up. Being fixed up isn't required. In fact, the last person I want to come and help me, frankly, is that perfect person (you know the one!).
Only an ego puffed on self-importance could ever think up the idea that you must be in a high place before you can engage fully and be of assistance to others. What better mechanism to keep a narcissistic, self-absorbed, know-it-all ego firmly in place than the concept of an enlightened state, which will be reached someday in the future.
What if, for just a few minutes we actually had a conversation that was more than an exchange of 'How are you' pleasantries or weather reports? This week I thought I'd try out actually answering the questions 'How are you?' - honestly.
I don't know what will happen, really. Could be very bizarre.
I did it today, fact. I stood in line at the Post Office. It was a very long line, so you hear everyone's conversations, and one of the people working today was smiling and greeting everyone with a great booming: "How are You?" I watched the responses. Actually, this has become so NOT a real question, that some people answered "Yeah, will this still get there by Monday morning?"
So as I walked up to that particular person I checked inside. How am I? I wondered silently.
When it came my turn to be asked, I responded, "Actually, I'm very relaxed and quite content, thank you for asking."
It might be really nice to say that what happened next was this great moment of human connection. Actually, he asked me if I had really been waiting my turn or cut the line. I needed to wait in line he said. Which was pretty funny, because I'd been there for 20 minutes in a very long line. I reassured him I had waited my turn and he seemed satisfied.
Was it the 20 minutes I spend checking into how I felt that made some kind of difference? I'm thinking that maybe had something to do with the fact that by the time I arrived at the counter I was really, just relaxed. Just: A woman standing in line.
What was interesting is not only that I felt good, but I also felt happy with my interaction with him too. I felt connected. I felt connected to me and yes, to him to for a moment. Even as he questioned my personal queuing integrity.
When he said "Have a Nice Weekend," I replied, "Well I wish that for you too."
And I meant it.
Anyway, I thought I'd continue doing this for a few more days and see what happens. Is anyone else interested in doing this with me?
Pair #13 I'm Fine, You're Fine, We're All Fine
© 2010 Elese Coit
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