He who knows that all things are his mind,Hundred Thousand Songs of Milarepa
That all with which he meets are friendly,
Is ever joyful.
Most of the time I have been posting these thoughts of the day I figured they spoke for me but today I realized that maybe they don't, maybe some of them need clarification.
I have consciously struggled over the last 6 or 7 years with depression and, to a lesser degree, low self-esteem. I now recognize that, more than likely, I have been struggling with these issues a lot longer and I just didn't know what to call it. For years I have lived a solitary, loner-esque life. I took refugee in music especially live music but almost without fail I tried to isolate myself from my surroundings, even in the middle of something as large as New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. I would take pictures or record shows silently or I would zone in so intently on the music that noone around me mattered...except the pretty girls. The pretty girls always matter. Most relationships I developed were half-hearted, on my part. I let then wax & wane and just let the wind carry me...or so I thought.
At some point after college I read "The Tao of Pooh" which attempts to explain zen via Thich Nhat Hanh and self evaluation I recogonize that I think I know the way the world works too well. A long time ago I stopped going church (St. Ann's Episcopal Church) b/c I academicized the liturgy which made it impossible to participate. I spent too much energy anaylyzizing why our society does religion the way we do it. Skip foward to meeting Tara and participating, albeit sporadically, in her church's activities (Edgehill United Methodist Church). They are a community of tremendous warmth, giving and, date I say, love. They are highly active in the community as well as refreshingly and strongly progressive on social issues. I cannot bring myself to join her on a regular basis b/c I say their liturgy makes me uncomfortable. Be that as it may, my mother-in-law has issues with some of this yet she is extemely active. I have decided that I am too proud, too desirous of my way, to suck it up and participate. I know, even though she says she doesn't care, it would make Tara very happy and it would make way too many of her church members happy. Why do I say this is my pride? Because I cannot bring myself to commit to a sangha either. As much as I have been reading, studying, using Buddhist theory and principals; as much as I try to be "dharma powered" I can't break down that wall of indepndence, I can't "Let go and let God".
I keep posting these things in an effort for my own breakthrough. That moment when I can say I want to be directly connected to the world around me.