Michael Divine

Form, Formlessness, and Life

This afternoon, after a short time, I closed my eyes while sitting in the hanging chair suspended from the eave of my house. My sleepy sleep deep mind rocked back and forth like a babe in a basinet and I could feel each rise and each dip so supremely deep that I might have been rocked to sleep, if even for a moment. Eventually tho I rose again and put the book back – Shambhala: Sacred Path of the Warrior by Chogyam Trungpa – in which was spoken of and I read of the act of recognizing and indentifying oneself through countless reference points – now I am doing this, now I am thinking this – and then the act of forgetting, losing oneself in that. And then, if we encase ourselves in a sea of I’s – how terribly lonely it gets! Because we have separated ourselves from everything at that point. Good food for thought and meditation. I find myself meditating on these things while making dinner, petting the kitty, working on whatever my work may be, while walking down the street, into a store, driving my car. I find myself considering – form is formlessness but formlessness is also form.

I read somewhere someone once – we’ll say a monk or a lama – saying that, while form as formlessness/emptiness is relatively easy to understand – the reverse, that formlessness becomes form, is sometimes much more difficult to fully realize. We can intellectualize these things – we often intellectualize- we know this or that – but until we have the direct experience of it, it’s sort of a useless tool. It’s like having a hammer and knowing completely and thoroughly how it works but til we use it – til we actually lift it and heft it’s weight and feel it’s balance and swing it do we see how one might use it. Until then, it does us no good what so ever. the same goes for various concepts of form, compassion, wisdom, awareness. It feels that the more i understand the nature of emptiness, the calmer I am, the more loving, the more compassionate, and the less prone to whims of this or that. I’ve gotten better at it for sure over the years. but still… I get into arguments. I hold back. I do this or that. To be the warrior is to be exposed, to be raw, and to know that nothing – nothing what so ever – can hurt you because there is nothing, ever, that can be hurt that is you. Or me. Or anything. And so we are simply 100% honest – with others and, most importantly, with ourselves.

Read More: