As I sit still with my thoughts today, a blustery day with the wind from the east, whipping trees that result in leaves falling onto the ground, I found a moment of well-being that is hard to explain. It isn’t explained away as happiness or sadness, a mood of some sort that could be understood through some sort of psychological or physiological analysis. It is almost as if I can stand outside of myself, and by that I mean step outside of my controlling ego. I took this photo, ostensibly for my journal where I chronicle some of my life, especially anything to do with naturism and being skyclad.
Why this particular pose? It was meant to simply record a nude state of being with the temperature outdoors included. However, now that I see the result, I find something else being exposed. The almost smile is in sharp contrast to the original intent of the photo. Regardless, I had an image for my journal and then retreated into the warmth of the house. Rather than beginning to write in the journal, I opened up a book on my shelf written by Pema Chodron called No Time To Lose. It was a random choice, and just as randomly, I found these words which were originally written twelve hundred years ago, words that I somehow needed to hear.
“What I have to say has all been said before
And I am destitute of learning and of skill with words,
I therefore have no thought that this might be of benefit to others;
I wrote it only to sustain my understanding.”
[Shantideva, Bodhicharyavatarta 1.2]
For some time, my ego has inflated itself with the idea that I have something important to write for the world. Perhaps my wisdom would touch someone through the novels I write, or the poetry, or my autobiography, or even here in my blog posts? Of course I know that most people have never heard of me or will ever read my words. And the truth is, none of that is very important. I mean, I’m just another wounded person wandering around the planet who hopes that he doesn’t pollute the world too much.
I’m not the smartest person regardless of what my ego often tells me when it points out the high IQ scores, scores that don’t comfort me when I screw up doing basic, ordinary stuff. I’m not the most talented in any area of the arts or life. Yet, I am not the worst either. No matter how hard I study myself and the world, I continually come back to the truth that I am just a man, often naked – nothing more, nothing less. So why do I write? For whom am I writing?
As Shantideva said so long ago, “to sustain my understanding.” I get to understand physically, visually, and psychologically that I am me in a time called now, a being that is not to be weighed with judgements. This is something that I need to meditate upon.