Thursday, October 28, 2010

At forty, I could no longer be confused nor tempted

Chinese sage Confucius famously said this about his own life:
- When I was fifteen, I was determined in my studies.
- At thirty, I was self-established.
- At forty, I could no longer be confused nor tempted.
- At fifty, I understood my divine destiny.
- At sixty, I was undisturbed by anything I hear (ie, opposing views).
- At seventy, I could do whatever I wish and still stay within moral and ethical bounds.

(Original text: "吾十有五而志于学,三十而立,四十而不惑,五十而知天命,六十而耳顺,七十而从心所欲不踰矩。")

As I turn forty, I realized that not being a sage myself, I've miss every one of his development milestones.

I didn't learn Dharma at 15, I did so at age 20.  My delta with respect to Confucius was 5 years.

I didn't become financially independent until 33, my delta was 3 years.

Having turned 40, I still can be confused and tempted.  Given my historical trajectory, I'm hoping the upper-bond of my next delta will be 3 years => I should reach that milestone no later than age 43.  I hope.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mind is vast, self is a dick

As I was sitting in meditation, I observed the sense of self getting increasingly subtle.  It reached a point where identity disappeared.  This is a mind where there is an observer, but there is no identity.  Since there is still an observer, this is not full-blown “no self”.  I call it “subtle self”.

The greatest quality of this mind is freedom.  Identity is nothing more than a mental construct.  Once you experience this, a vast, beautiful open space becomes accessible.  Freedom from self, even at this limited level and even for just a short time, is the greatest freedom I have experienced so far.  Mind is vast, self is a dick.

It gets funnier.  The moment I emerged from the meditation, the first thing, literally the very first thing, that arose in my mind is my “to do” list.  The “to do” list may be the thin line between nirvana and samsara.

UPDATE (10/29/10):  I realized I'm closer to the truth than I thought.  One of the classical descriptions of Nirvana is "Nowhere to go, nothing to do, that's it".  So, it's true, Nirvana is not having a "to do" list.  Another one of my jokes turning out to be true.  Life is funny.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Never become a vampire on a bad-hair day

Is it true that once you get turned into a vampire, your physical form can never change again?

If that's true, please give me 6 months notice before turning me into a vampire.  I would like to do 6 months of intense workout before my physical form becomes unchangeable.  I can probably use some dental work too.  And, oh yeah, I need to do something about my hair.  Thank you for your understanding.