Next week, on the 25th, I’ll be headed out to Arrow River Forest Hermitage up north in Ontario for some time. I don’t know how long I’ll be there, but I may go straight to another monastery afterwards. It’s hard to tell.
Tell me if you want to hang out in the meantime – I’d like to see people before I go. Maybe we’ll have one last bad movie night.
When I return, an anagarika position at Wat Atammayatarama in Woodinville, near Seattle, is probably going to be available. I hope to end up there for the foreseeable future. I can’t explain how excited I am right now – but I keep coming back to this:
There is the case, Moggallana, where a monk has heard, “All that exists is unworthy of attachment.” Having heard that all things are unworthy of attachment, he fully knows all things. Fully knowing all things, he fully comprehends all things. Fully comprehending all things, then whatever feeling he experiences — pleasure, pain, neither pleasure nor pain — he remains focused on inconstancy, focused on dispassion, focused on cessation, focused on relinquishing with regard to that feeling. As he remains focused on inconstancy, focused on dispassion, focused on cessation, focused on relinquishing with regard to that feeling, he is unsustained by anything in the world. Unsustained, he is not agitated. Unagitated, he is unbound right within. He discerns: “Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.”
Even this joy is inconsistent, a barrier to perfect peace, empty, unworthy of attachment. In times like this, when clinging and grasping seem like good ideas, I have to keep repeating the pure teaching of the Blessed One: sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya – all that exists is unworthy of attachment.
I’ll be pretty quiet in the next week before I leave, but please do let me know if you’d like to get dinner or just spend time together. I’m not ashamed of the unwholesome amount of affection I have for so many of the people in my life.
In the meantime, I’m listening to Modest Mouse. It’s probably toolish to say how much this song means to me, but I don’t even care anymore; perhaps that’s a good sign.
I’m walking away to another plan.
I’m gonna find another place, maybe one I can stand.