Beyond Extremes

We are extremists if we believe anything.

Holding onto ideas and beliefs
denies the next moment of clear space.

Without clarity,
the next moment becomes smothered by the past,
whereas the emptiness of clarity
allows wisdom to be present.

This empty clarity is not seeing something; it is the clear seeing itself, before whatever seen is judged. We cannot say this seeing is like this or that as, in clear seeing, there are no reference points.

Beyond extremes is empty nowness; fresh, immediate and spontaneous. When we do not react, we have the possibility of transcending present limitations and ascend, stepping beyond our usual ways. Our usual ways maybe very clever and scholarly, but then we find that we cannot drop our attachment and become bound – in the same as we can be bound by meditation practices.

It is said that there are levels of realisation: the words are the same, but the understanding changes to the extent that it cannot be described or even spoken about. Words are generalisations and hints. In the beginning was not the word: before the word was desire, and before that, forgetting. Not many want to hear – or are able to hear – that we may not be satisfied with our present understanding, and that inability to comprehend is, in itself, an extreme.

From the position of empty awareness, all ideas are an extreme. Beyond extreme is a clean break. Rather than thinking we know what something is, we have to ask: this is the difference between vertical thinking and lateral thinking. Of course, we have memories and experiences, but these shouldn’t impede the moment now.

Just repeating teachings smothers the moment now. Instead, we look at what is truly needed and that may be merely to listen and empathise, and then wait and see. Teachings shouldn’t be an expression of ‘the usual noise’, but should come from the needs of the students.

The middle way is beyond adornments and sophistication. We accept life as it comes, and take no stance unless it involves the whole community. It is true that we need a firm foundation on which to build the golden roof of the temple of realisation, but true realisation comes from the mind-quake that demolishes everything before it becomes our samsaric entertainment.

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