I, without a doubt, have been transformed. I’m not perfect, but my baseline has gone from a place of need to a place of fulfillment and happiness. These past few weeks I’ve caught myself being so grounded that I surprise myself. And it fills me with joy and hope for others to know that it is possible. Instead of mentally struggling in the battle of the desire for alcohol and the self-loathing of knowing that what I was doing was wrong I’m settled in the wonder of a ‘normal’ feeling. Simple bodily sensation and the narrative of said sensations. This is what most people feel like. I’m sure of it, as simple human condition.
In conjunction with these physical and emotional changes I’ve had some spiritual changes as well. For types of people prone to nihilism, such as I was, sensate deconstruction can easily confused for destruction of the baseline. In the practice of sensate deconstruction in meditation we seek to use the baseline as a fulcrum to wrench us into directly experiencing the buddha-nature. The truth of self and nature is always present for us to discover but we don’t naturally experience it. In meditation we deconstruct experience from its component parts to its underlying core. From its ephemeral, non-satiating, impersonal form to find for oneself something permanent, immensely satisfying, and personal. When experienced on their own the components can seem a demoralizing field of nothingness. And when kept as mere concept, buddha-nature can seem something far off and even to be worshiped. This is the other heresy of Buddhism, eternalism. Coupling with nihilism, these two make up the twin heresies. But when the components are viewed in conjunction with the buddha-nature a wonderful dance takes place. The miracle of the ordinary. The true meaning of the simplicity transmitted in zen stories, chop wood carry water. Far from meaning life sucks before and after enlightenment, that we must pay taxes and die, it demonstrates the miraculous of the ordinary. Existence itself an impossible event that somehow is taking place. We can’t quite put our fingers on it but damn it’s beautiful.
My southern roots are showing here but, “thank you Jesus” for the baseline!