Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Daddy was a musician at heart. He liked to entertain and amuse new people he met along the way. In return, they would like him and enjoy bumping into him again.
He once told me he had dreams of the Dalai Lama but didn't think much of organised religion.

Under the surface, however, he had no friends.

Anger and frustration seemed to be ever-present, waiting to overflow for no particular reason - like a deep river breaking its banks and devastating entire villages, crops and insects.
Yet, Daddy was also capable of the most unexpected kindness and compassion. He had a strong sense of the world's injustice.
All of these qualities seem to have manifested in me too.

I am my father's son.

Before he developed alzheimers, Daddy confided in me something most profound...

He was not his father's son.

Daddy's mother's husband had always despised and brutalised him. He had been born the result of his mother's short love affair with an Englishman, Mr Reynolds, while she was unhappily married to Mr Walsh.

This new information brought out all kinds of interesting and challenging insights for me personally - especially into the nature of one's identity [whether assumed or self-created].

So, Walsh [our presumed family name] was, in fact, without any real meaning.

Somehow, beforehand, I had already arrived at this conclusion myself quite independently.

Some of the family called themselves Walsh, others Welsh.
In school in Ireland, one was often known by one's family name in the Irish language - in my case that was Breathnach [pron. Bra-nok].

But "what's in a name?"...

Indeed.

Even first names were shortened or dropped altogether in favour of nick-names.
This was also the case with me.
I have ended up with a passport that bears the wrong surname and a much more glamorous personal name.

Who the hell am I then, if I am not what I appear to be?

I am not my name - it has just been made it up.

I am not even my personality - I created that too.

I am not my body - I have received this precious gift from my ancestors, but every cell is constantly changing, being replaced, dying and being reborn from moment to moment.

I am not my past - it has partially shaped me, but it is not who I am now

I am not my future - it doesn't exist yet.

I am not even my present - all phenomena, thoughts and emotions rise and fall like waves on a beach... temporary manifestations... without intrinsic existence.

I am not here - here is not here! ... more waves rising and falling back into the ocean from which they came ... the surface energy of something much deeper.

All this is simply the display and movement of something else.

Deep at the very core of all in existence is a heart full of Peace, Compassion and Wisdom.

You can call it Spirit.
You can call it Buddha Nature.
You can call it Mind...

Right now it is just stretching and yawning.
Eventually, it will become fully awake.
Inevitably, it must wake up.
Ultimately, its activity will benefit all beings everywhere.
Pure and Simple.

The Spiritual Path will enable this Natural Mind to awaken.
Once awake, it can never again fall into slumber.

Starting right now, little by little, as we gradually awaken, our True Nature is manifesting, revealing itself, unlocking its limitless power to benefit others.

Its Peace, Compassion and Wisdom have already begun to trickle - like a gentle stream.

May these three noble qualities, as soon as possible, surge forth like a Blissful Torrent!
A deep river breaking its banks!
Over-flowing, in order to Liberate all beings to Wakefulness!

[Indian Himalayas, '08]

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