June 2nd, 2010


"The beggar who guards his mind
And fears his own confusion,
Cannot fall.
He has found his way to peace.
         Dhammapada, "Watchfulness"

When another's safety is in one's hands, mindfulness is more than a spiritual nicety; it is a matter of life and death.
That the watching should be dispassionate, without desire, seems cold.
Eastern religions seem cold, especially when compared to the heat of Catholic and Sufi mysticism.
The Buddhist arhat and Taoist sage seem to say: trust us, our way is also the way of love
But we know that desire is not love.

When I am watchful and I am told to listen to my beloved's breathing, i will listen to her breathing and hear it as it is.
When i am told to listen for "rapid" breathing, fear and concern cloud my senses and it is essential that i listen with a
watch in my hand.  Otherwise my fear and concern will make me hear "rapid" whatever the actual rhythm of her breathe
might be.  My concern for her welfare only increases the chance that I will make a mistake in what I think or do.

The watcher's function is to watch.
The mind's function is to be still.
The soul's function is compassion.

Love, peace and joy to all.