Here we are...

Just off the Port Bow—a place of uncertainty, adventure, and insight. Thank you for your ears, eyes and hearts. I hope to bring compassion, grace and beauty to your day.

Jack Kerouac - reflections

I am working through a massive collection of Jack Kerouac writing, a collection from his notebooks entitled, Some of the Dharma. The bit I am reading now is dated 1954. I was four years old at the time.

Here are two bits that jumped out at me.

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Happiness won't come from coddling the senses but from cultivating the mind.

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The effulgent door,
The mysterious knob,
The bright room gained
Is the only job.

The collection I have is a super large book with wide margins inviting the reader to add his own talmudic like notes and reflections. And, I have done so.

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Happiness won't come from coddling the senses but from cultivating the mind.

The mind...great enemy and elusive friend.

For years I have mused on the fact that "living in my head" has not been a healthy lifestyle choice. What does Kerouac conceive of when he sources happiness in the cultivated mind?

I remember my therapist talking about the perils attending the unobserved mind. Observation (with curiosity) is not, he would point out, the same as head-tripping. I believe that Kerouac is pointing at mindfulness, the repeated remembering of the present state of things in the mind and body.

In mindful meditation one does not "coddle the senses" but rather observes and makes a mental note.

"Tension in the leg." "Heat in the upper chest."

Curiosity with compassion is that which cultivates. It is, in fact, like tending a garden by cultivating the soil. The sought for end is not the soil itself, nor the process of the cultivating, though both of these are a part of what we call gardening, but rather the fruit or flower that blooms and grows.


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The effulgent door,
The mysterious knob,
The bright room gained
Is the only job.

Is it so? Is it "the only"?

Radiant, mysterious and bright. I do feel that the mindfulness practice I have been pursuing these past five years is like knocking on a mysterious and desired door. The brightness I have not yet experienced. Right now it seems to be "the only" practice that opens me up. I have only a tentative grasp of the knob.




Thursday Images

In and Around - Grafton Peace Pagoda - a few more shots