Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pluto's Present Challenge - Contentment versus Complacency

Each day of facing this present reality, the conditions of ordinary life as they are right now (particularly at home, at work, and the immediate surrounding neighborhood...), one is challenged to reach a point of "radical acceptance" or surrender, which in the heat of the moment seems unreasonably demanding. For all the great teachers speak of "accepting what is" and being content... the future will unfold naturally from a successful present. Yet when the present moment is so very dull, and the people surrounding have so little to offer you personally, then all one has really is the ability to remain bored without getting overwhelmed or over-reactive to the outside world (i.e. customers and patrons). This being what Buddhist Pema Chodron refers to as "cool boredom".

What happens however when one becomes too comfortable with being bored, accepting and surrendering, thus feeling passive in the face of circumstances and not having the will or faith to really take that next giant leap? Perhaps one is bored merely from having not taken that leap into a world of much greater possibility... and learning to accept this boredom that I myself have created is the only choice for this given moment. So it seems there is a fine line between positive contentment and passive complacency... with room for that discontentment which initiates change.

As important as it is to keep flowing positively with a hectic yet mediocre existence, which offers little for my time and effort, I still will only be happy fulfilling my true (external, creative) purpose, which at this time is to write. So to not complain (under my breath) too much about wanting to be elsewhere, while at the same knowing that to stay here indefinitely is entirely unacceptable is the trick. As much as some people say they are proud of how long I've held the library job, what makes others happy (no matter how close they are to me personally..) does not make me happy. It's been suggested that I really try hard to make a boring job interesting, which I believe I am already doing quite well... considering.

It really comes down to embracing and accepting how crummy it is to be here, to be totally present with this and not expect it to be anything better or other than what it is... not running away from the reality of how much it sucks. Maybe then and only then does one really and truly find the indomitable will to change and transform present conditions, from the inside out.

In anticipation of a brighter better future...


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