(56) LIVING HERE: As It Happens, and Other Issues

August 10, 2017 | | Comments 1

Eyes that want, search in darkness.
Open the curtains, let in a little light,
Everything wrong doesn’t have to be right.


An astute commentator (Carina Chocono, NYT) suggested the following, and I’m going to copy and paste it here: “He’s in hell, basically, basting in his own issues.”

Now that’s a quote about a politician; but the weight of what was said takes on added implications when we expand the “he” to include “we” thusly:
“We’re in hell, basically, basting in our own issues.”

Could it be that, in part, our media-head versions of reality are driving much – and perhaps most – of our contemporary American experience? We’re not just feeling overwhelmed, we are overwhelmed, kinda like New Orleans with floodwaters and stressed pumps. So it’s increasingly important for each of us to find that higher, dryer and level ground on which to stand. Indeed, that may be what’s happening these days, personally, collectively, nationally and globally.

Perhaps now as always, what is being called for is for us to reflect on our own inner issues with reality; to respect and release our issues like they’re hot coals; to see and embrace lovingly, whatever happens, because it’s happening – with, or without, our resistance.

In an appropriate response to times like these, it may help each and all of us to look under, beneath and behind the “issues” to listen to what’s actually being said, as we might with a friend; to ponder things a little, to wonder if perhaps we need to reorient toward something more universally sustainable – environmentally of course, but also physically, psychologically, politically, spiritually. Actually.


I’d like to tell you a little story our old friend Dogen told me this morning as I sat by the window with a cup of Dragonwell and his book – an old 1985 San Francisco Zen Center translation I just discovered bought and buried deep inside my bookcase. It’s about the wisdom of non-interference. It’s called “Moon in a dewdrop”… Writings of Zen Master Dogen” and it goes like this:

“Long ago a monk asked an old master, “When hundreds, thousands, or myriads of objects come all at once, what should be done?”
The master replied, “Don’t try to control them”

What he means is that in whatever way objects come, do not try to change them. Whatever comes is the Buddha-dharma (life, happening) not objects at all…do not understand the masters reply as merely a brilliant admonition, but realize it is the truth. Even if you try to control what comes, it cannot be controlled. “

It’s useful to understand that aligning with reality involves not so much doing as not doing. To cease from all doing. With a little less doing, and a lot more inner peace and quiet, good things will get done. By spirit, god, the prime doer – love. In these complicated times, what we are asked and urged and perhaps pushed to do, comes from the universal goodness of our one, indivisible, self nature. We can serve this moment only, with our recognition of, and loving attention to, whatever is actually, factually, happening, here and now.


At bottom, living “on the level” is about surrendering to what is; it’s about balancing and an engaged dancing with reality as it presents itself. It’s about living in the real world. We delight, indeed we bast, in the rythmic revelations of beauty and goodness.

We allow life to astonish us. And it does. 🙂

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  1. Laurel Adams says:

    Dear Mr. Waite,
    Thank you for this insight. All of your offerings mirror the conscious unfolding . I review my life segment at year’s end, practicing awareness of the abundant flow, the lessons learned, the creative tension of that liminal space held symbolically between the years. I humbly set my intentions to the Light each year as more of an honoring practice than a ritual.
    The Power of powerlessness continues to tickle my consciousness as so many ants open a peony in Spring…and so, I asked for lessons in surrender.
    Paradoxically, (isn’t this the Process?) with my intention safely tucked in my hidden space, I’ve been about this year with its familiar offerings and extraordinary ordinaries…until, quite out of the blue…yes,,I well now recognize serendipity….I was sent to a website for artists to view the works of a friend. Imagine my surprise! This non-TECHY lady was beckoned thru a “tour”, chuckled approvingly thru a well devised, customer friendly site that gently coaxed one thru…PLAY: tap, tap, tapping…so easy, so guided and, again. Then, from a recognized place deep within, I KNEW I was being gifted with another major life mile marker, ” i am” within, thru and surrounded by the “I AM”.
    The long “story” short, in one week, i have almost half of my 20 year life collection uploaded for global viewing. I cried in the power of the powerlessness.
    I spent last year navigating this “aging” process, excruciatingly aware of the teetering on the precipice fearing not the Unknown but the familiar which has become so damn Unfamiliar. Elegance, Beauty, Aesthetics…I anguish in the long lost but not forgotten shadows of them. I light the tiny flame each day in the surrounding darkness realizing I am a tiny ember in a tiny flame in this dimension but knowing there is a cosmic Light burning in a dimension of Unknown.
    I have been so uneasy about my third body of Artwork (the prior two having been destroyed by water). This body, largely Watercolour, is of Spirit trapped in density of only two dimensions and who would adopt them, I fretted to the Universe? I began GIVING them away…
    Now, the Universe of virtual whatever holds them in a strange foster parenting that gives me Peace knowing I completed the Interface for what I was born to BE, the Flow of Beauty I was meant to gift to this space.
    When I caught up on reading your awarenesses from the final half of 2017, I had to smile. Your service is with the pen as mine is with the brush.
    I finally have honored my Mensan dad’s dying edict that I complete his book, “The Creative Gradient”…not with his language of physics but with my language of Living my Art. He was a visionary who believed Science, Art and Mythology held the questions and the answers in Cosmic dance.
    You understand! It is understood by your assertion that any of our True doings emanate from our surrender to the Love Dance and the delight that Is “in, with, and through” the Pattern, Process and Paradox of Beauty’s song, Order, Revelation, goodness…AWESOME WONDERMENT.
    Thank you for your glimpses!
    Be well,

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