On the Preservation of Space

(BUDDHIST Television) Artwork by Lao Lianben. The title says it all. I’m still tickled by the clever depth of it. (Image sourced from manilaartblogger.wordpress.com)

When I think of my main sources of inspiration these days, I have to laugh. I usually end up alternating between the blogs of the bi-polar and the bereaved.

But whyever not? As the Buddhist treatises say time and again: our emotions, the energies underlying them, are all the same. Just fill in the blanks for cause, intensity and duration; they’re really all the same.

(Some people will object to this, on the basis of their fundamental singularity. I will say to them: even your belief in your fundamental singularity is shared. We’re really all the same. We’re really all in the same boat. And the boat is always sinking.)


I have a bit more space these days, which is why I’ve gone back to writing with a vengeance; writing for the sake of writing (there’s nothing that I have to say). The old discomfort with not having anything urgent to do is still there (no progress on that point), but I’ve managed to resist repopulating the widening nooks and crannies (considerable progress on that point), albeit with some guilt and occasional panic (some progress on that point).

Of course, once my introspection starts hitting nihilism-inducing levels, I will really have to do something (urgent or otherwise) because a sharp brain, left to its own devices, will only start cutting itself.

I haven’t reached the abyss yet, but I know I’m skirting around its edges. And simply staying in this place, enduring waiting, enduring potential boredom, is a big deal for me.

It’s the beginning of a very shaky, very fragile, very tenuous kind of wisdom. Or maybe just an approach to wisdom.


It seems incredible to me now that I used to be so busy. Or, let me say that more precisely: it seems incredible now that many things used to occur to me as important enough to be busy with. Having dispensed with many of those things—initially with much resistance—and then subsequently realizing their, er, dispensability, reintegrating them into my life holds little to no appeal now.

All of which means: I need to master the art of holding space, of preserving silence, of resting in the pause, of watching Buddhist television.



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