Work, Money and the Rest of It

I was reading the book WORK, SEX and MONEY by Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche and thinking about spirituality, compassion and panoramic awareness with regard to the kitchen sink, the wallet and the bedroom. How does the animal self relate to the spirit? What happens when the angel within us, comes to ground?  How can we hold the highest view and still enjoy a good burger? In short, how do we join heaven and earth?

The key is the heart.

Touching the heart, and unlocking its resources, opens the middle way. Connection to the heart allows the energy of heaven to descend, and the energies of earth to rise. This is why I love Tibetan Buddhism. Its earth magic from the top of the world. Tibetan culture was, by nature, the joining of heaven and earth.

Joining heaven and earth allows us to synchronize with our lives and learn to work, play, procreate and administer resources with great insight.  The heart is key to the actual experience of life, rather than our imagined experience. Imagined experience is conceptual imputation by the mind to protect us from the raw pain of experience. It is a way of protecting ourselves from the truths of life. We develop “rational lies” that allow us to keep the heart protected behind conceptual frames, its edges dulled and power muted.  Unfortunately, we get cut off from resources such as intuition and insight. In order to access our full inner power, we learn to develop the stability of mind that allows us to remain in the fire and not take the easy road out.

Yet, again and again, we do exactly that; choose the easy road out. We abdicate responsibility for our life,  get lost in cycles of dreaming and end up throwing ourselves away because we can’t stand the itch of wakeful living.  Our habit patterns describe arcs across our karmic stream weaving a protective ego cocoon to separate us from suffering. The great lie of ego is the belief that we can find freedom by escaping our pain. This is a perfect lie. It is such an extraordinary lie that we accept it without question, devoid of evidence.  WE BELIEVE. WE TRUST. We barter true experience for the temporary rush of make believe. The grand exit we’ve taken is, in fact, an easy road to imprisonment.

Sadly, aside from the blind rush of craving there is no freedom in running from our experience.  Hypnotized by grasping, we become fooled by the usual lures. We bite the hook and off we go again, blinded by speed and moving too quickly to gain sustenance.  In this way, we never have enough of anything and need more and more of everything. We become slaves to our own need, worshiping money, sex or status in order to feel worthy enough to justify taking space space on the earth. Eventually, we become slaves to the very things that would serve us.  Instead of money working for us, we are working for it. Instead of our job supporting our life, we are giving our life away for a job. Instead of sex empowering our spirit, we deaden our spirit for sex that becomes more complicated and less satisfying with every failed partnership. We lose ourselves in everything, and wake up each day in shackles of tension.

Freedom, indeed.

But, this is a lie. The truth is we are worthy. We were born worthy.  We are fundamentally good and deserving of our place in this life.  We were born perfect. Then we forgot, and in a second, we became indentured servants to the bi-polar wheel of grab, gulp, purge and crash, constantly reaching for the stick, only to find the stick unsatisfactory. We do this again and again, because, again and again, we believe we are free.  But, freedom is a myth. Reality is here, bound to earth, our mother with, all her limitations, gravity and demands. The earth that gave us birth. The earth that also reminds us of mortality, as it calls us home, again and again.  It might feel like a trap to the manic mind, but that earth is where we belong, and every time we  settle, we begin to flower, and open to heaven.

So, how do you get off the wheel of fortune and actually flower into a world of consequence? The best tool I know is < cue eye roll > meditation.

Yes, meditation is a fairly unsexy choice. Certainly, to the part of us that believes we are so bereft we need something big, sexy an outside of ourselves to rescue the us.  We yearn for something to whisk away the mundane drone of existence. Something to make us happy. But, how can anything make us happy? Or, sad? Or angry, for that matter? We choose all of that for ourselves, don’t we?  We make ourselves happy or sad, or lonely, or depressed. But, unable to rest in the simplicity of our feelings we assign blame, and begin to look outside ourselves for something / anything to kiss the boo – boo.

Meditation is a perfect tool, precisely because its unsatisfactory. Its unsatisfactory to the unquenchable thirst of need, to the never-filled space of longing and the ever critical eye of ego. Unsatisfactory and, as such, the perfect tool to loosen chains of expectation. Unsatisfactory because it will not bring the happiness we crave. But, if we’re going to spin around on the wheel just to be unhappy at the end, we might as well cut to the chase and begin where we are.

Be here and unhappy now!

Just sit and breathe and remember that’s all that’s happening. You are alive and breathing and here, now. That’s all.  All we need to do is sit up and settle down into our actual experience, clear away the clouds and find our way to a lasting sense of joy and liberation.  Joy is different from happiness because it is not devoid of sadness, or actual experience. Liberation differs from the myth of freedom, because it is not an escape from the responsibility of life. It is the synchronized body and mind movement of that life.

We join heaven and earth when we sit on the ground and touch the heart. In this way, we enter a creative flow synchronized in spacetime. We relax. And with relaxation comes confidence. We can allow money to work for us and allow work to build our spirit. And the rest? Well, when we enter a creative flow with the universe, the rest happens naturally.

Though the key is (still) the heart.

When we squeeze the heart, trying to protect it from emotional Pterodactyls, we separate ourselves from the body, and hence, the earth.  In way, we lose our flow and disconnect from our experience and lose the power of heaven and the security of earth. When we sit on the earth and open our heart, we feel the secrets of the body and the insight of the mind. Then we can relax and allow an interplay with the universe, as though it was our dancing partner. Its easy. If we want to dance, all we need to do is sit.

On the earth.

When we connect to the heart, we connect to the body. How we feel. We can scan through the body for clues to our experience. Are we tense, tired, excited? In this way, it gives us cues as to what we need, or what’s actually happening. When we find the space within ourselves to feel our personal joy, then we have freedom. If we can join that to heaven and earth, we have liberation. Its when we are grounded that we touch the sky. In this way, the temporal is tinged with wonder, and the spiritual is made real.

So, instead of chasing dragons, we might actually fly them.







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