Friday, January 27, 2017

Bodhichitta on the Street

A few days ago I was walking around in West Hollywood and ran into someone I was so happy to see that it was like a gift. My heart was open, there was an effortless connection, and it inspired me to reach out to other people that night. And that interaction made me think about two other people I had randomly met earlier in the week that made me tense as I anticipated every 'typically stupid thing' they were going to say, mocked their LA speech patterns in my head ('oooh, that's so magical.'), and tried to figure out a way to end contact as soon as possible. It's funny b/c I wasn't even aware of how many negative feelings were pre-built into that interaction until I stumbled into a random pleasant meeting. And it made me think about the actual difference between that gift person and that garbage person, which was almost nothing. A long time ago we had a very small but pleasant exchange and I decided that this person was a mensch. And years ago I had a very small exchange with these other people I had labeled as condescending. And those moments were re-enforced by me acting and creating new moments that confirmed my suspicions. And the gift person did some not-so good things but I ignored them b/c they were overall great. And that garbage person actually did some nice things for me, but I discounted those moments b/c...well, they're a shitty person so that must have been an accident.  And now I see all the intricate emotional latticework my mind had woven together which was giving me two viscerally strong and diametrically opposed reactions to chance encounters, that was then causing me to act in wildly different ways. And that's how I live most of my life, treading on these seemingly solid paths that were built from tiny moments. And I just realized that when I came home, saw Je Tsongkapa patiently staring at me from the book cover of "The Principal Teachings of Buddhism," and decided to pick up the dog-eared copy and read about bodhichitta. It would be nice to wish everyone well.

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