Day 7 – Secular Bodhi Day Eve

Bodhi Day gear.
Bodhi Day gear. From bottom left, clock-wise: Singing bowl, bell hammer, Rubber Ducky Buddha of Joliet, the Three Jewels, Bell, Dorje, singing bowl mallet.

Here we are at Day 7, the last day before Bodhi Day. Notice there isn’t an exclamation mark – that’s because it just Is, no good, no bad. There is just what Is: “Judge not, that ye not be judged.” – Matthew 7:1

Our brains are judging machines. From each neuron firing or not firing, the Boolean duality of webs of neurons emerges as a judging machine spewing out verdicts of yes/no, good/bad, better/worse, bigger/smaller, guilty/not guilty, wrong/right. We are a slave to that judging machine, a judging machine that hardly knows anything.

Before our sentience, as single-celled eukaryotes, we cared only about hot/cold, light/dark, closer/farther. As multi-celled eukaryotes we cared about more complicated things, like recognizing other creatures as food, friend, or foe. As humans, we have sentience, and it is the bite of the apple that drove us out of the Garden of Eden. We now know too much for our own good. We think we’re smart in carving out objects, including ourselves as objects, and build a model of the world in our brains with that we’ve “discovered”. We’re caught in the ugly stage between animal and enlightened designers.

We long for and are haunted by the past, and we fear futures, most of which will never come – this is Dukkha, the angst of our brains that makes us like a wobbly wheel on the car – which is actually the origin of the word. All that the Sakyamuni Buddha promised is to remove the angst, suffering, which is just illusions of our deluded brains – that judging machine making its judgements based on pitifully inadequate models of the world – so that we can comfortably continue on our journey.

Know that above and you are already enlightened – the light switch is on and you can see the once dark room in its entirely – not in the serial, fragmented manner in which you used see it by feeling around in the dark. For you, tomorrow morning, Bodhi Day, will just be a vow to this conviction. You will drop the heavy bag you carry that is the thinking of the brain, look around at the wonder of One, and pick the bag back up to continue on your path unimpeded by Dukkha – the wobbly wheel is fixed.

Me: But Rubber Ducky, the World is full of assholes!!!!
RD: That is their Dukkha, not yours. They have a brain of judgement as you do, a model of the world much the same as yours, but different, based on their unique experiences. Are you offended by the yapping dog assaulting you with barks of threats? They do what they do, and to paraphrase a very wise man, they know not what they do. We’ve taught each other how to be judging machines, we share the delusion of the fragmented world, so don’t look to those others as confirmation of the validity of your pain. Be their Uke (the person in Judo on which someone may practice), and in return, you get to be the tori (the person practicing the throw) sometimes, usually with a yet another person. Being the uke is a small price to pay for getting to be the tori sometimes. You’ll never learn without the uke, and for the enlightened, the uke actually learns more.
Me: I’ve been enlightened before, but I just get dragged back into the shit of the world.
RD: Those old enlightenments were after horrendously stressful times, when there was nothing else to do but say WTF, go to that nice place beyond mad. With that kind of enlightenment, that temporary enlightenment, the judging is still there, all that your brain knows is still there. You have not emptied your cup to refill it with seeing the One, the Now, not the computations of your brain. Those ties in your brain will just drag back in the crap of the world. You are cutting all of those ties! Empty your cup of every drop so it can be filled with living the One.
Me: But I need to pay my bills!!
RD: Then pay your bills. I never told you not to work, never told you life is “peaceful” – I told you how to remove your angst by being in the now. For your human body, the One appears as constant change, for which you constantly polish yourself (Kata) so you may flow along with whatever comes your way (Randori) with no Dukkha. This doesn’t mean you will have Super Powers, no dominion over others – you will be enabled to explore this World without pain. Your attention to your normal work is your kata – it will help you learn to focus your attention to now more than any zazen (sitting meditation). But unlike the river rafter who tries to practice every contingency, you will practice your focus on Now. You just need to turn off that judging machine and have 100% acceptance of what Is – everything that you currently see as bad … and good … will pass … eventually you will see one cannot exist without the other.

Bodhi Day Script

Twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to go. Mara turned out not to be a demon preventing me from leaving “Hell”, the tyranny of Dukkha, but an Angel challenging me, the Yin to the Yang of Rubber Ducky.

Tomorrow morning at 5:45am I will leave for my “Bodhi Tree”, recite the Hannya Shingyo three times, 112 repetitions of the Morning Star Mantra (Nobo Akyasha Kyarabaya Om Arikya Maribori Sowaka), go into sammadhi (pretty much what we know as mindfulness meditation) for an hour.

We then answer Mara’s question, “Do you believe your brain or the One?”. To that we touch our right hand to the Earth and recite Psalm 23, with “The One” in place of “His” – with all due apologies to Christians who may take offense to that – which it should not as The Lord is the one and only One:

1 The One is my Sheppard, I shall not want.
2 The One makes me lie in green pastures, The One leads me beside quiet waters,
3 The One refreshes my soul, The One guides me along the right paths for Its name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 The One prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. The One anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely Your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of The One forever.

I’ll close the ceremony by reciting the Heart Sutra in English, and a few minutes of meditation.

I will see you aspiring Buddhas at the “Cut in the Reef” at 6:00am tomorrow morning (December 8, 2017). Please do not talk to anyone until after the recital of Psalm 23. Just show up, get comfortable, sit quietly, no phones, no video or audio recording devices, and wait for Rubber Ducky to ask me to start.

This is the last public message from the Rubber Ducky Buddha of Joliet. His work is almost done. The work of Fishnu, Rubber Ducky’s Sensei was done a few weeks back with Rubber Ducky’s enlightenment, but he stayed around longer to see us, his spiritual grandchildren, to Freedom as well.

Rubber Ducky’s last advice, which goes on even after your enlightenment, paraphrases what Ringo famously said, “What you have is what you have.” – yes, the tired, old, “Count your blessings”. But if you can do that, realize that all there is is what’s right here, right now, you are One with Now, you have 100% acceptance of what is and will live without angst.

Rubber Ducky and Fishnu are moving on to other “assignments”, but I’ve recorded volumes of notes from their teachings, and will transcribe them over time – both in English and in SQL/C#/Python/Cypher … hahaha!

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