Upgrading my Attitude

I wasn’t planning on writing a blog today. In fact, I was in the process of resigning myself to a new reality. After years of posting blogs every week or so, I lost the ability to make any changes to the contents of my website.

When I clicked a button to update the website software, an hour later I was left looking at a bleak screen telling me that the update, which usually take about a minute, hadn’t finished. The search for someone to help me led to unhelpful ‘help’ screens with everything but a phone number for a human being. Knowing that I lack the technical skill to do anything but push keys on the keyboard, I knew that I had reached a turning point.

With surprising ease, the way I look at my website shifted. I saw that in the past it has played an important role but now it is a surviving artifact of an earlier time when I was posting links to my books, to pieces published in journals, and to copies of reviews and interviews. I realized that my automatic desire to keep it up and running is mostly a reflex left over from another time.

Then unexpectedly, several hours later, I received an e-mail informing me that the software update had been completed. I’ve no idea what was going on, but it now appears that I can still compose and post new blogs. After I finish this, I’ll give it a try.

So, assuming that I will soon be posting this, has anything really changed? I think something has. I find myself feeling more appreciation for the years in which I tried to follow up on my own intentions. Now the horizon of my future feels like it has shifted inward; but what happens next doesn’t have to eradicate my appreciation for what I have already been given in life.

I am reminded of close calls in my earlier life after which I would realize that everything to come was a gift that I might not have had. I feel something like that now. Not just about the website and the possibility that I may now be able to continue posting blogs into the future–when it looked like that had ended. Posting or not posting blogs is not at the heart of whatever field of possibilities remains in my future.

I simply feel grateful that many of the conditions of my life continue to function, while never completely forgetting that I am living in the good graces of an unfolding flow of impermanence. That impermanence has always been beyond my capacity to control. The main change is that now I have been introduced to the inevitable undoing of any circumstances on which I have learned to rely.

One comment to “Upgrading my Attitude”
  1. Loved your Blog piece. The immediacy of the act of appreciating is a doorway to a wider, more inclusive perspective. It seems to open heart and mind together, a unity that is more than dispassionate conceptualizing or self-involved emotionality. With ‘appreciation’, impermanence is not just about the loss of me and mine resulting in—a fearful ‘nothing’. Instead, whatever arise may be imbued with the intimacy of love and loss together.

    ‘Nothing’ is a label we ordinarily use to overlay the openness of not-knowing. So, what is not-knowing? Before we rushing to overlay it with another label, can we simply rest in that openness without judgment or opinion? As Rinpoche writes, “allow not-knowing to inspire knowing.” What could arise is appreciation for impermanence.

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