Over the last few weeks (written 10/1/2013 – the day the ACA went into effect) i’ve noticed that not only have i become more indulgent towards my own personal quirks and those of others, i have started suggesting to my friends they might want to become more indulgent as well.
You might want to read about Mind and Awareness in relation to what follows.
Why Indulgence Is Good
Indulgence has a bad name, and just saying “i’m more indulgent” makes it sound as if i’ve started drinking and womanizing and doing whatever i want. And to be honest, when it came to me that i was being indulgent i wasn’t so sure that was a good thing.
Here’s what happened. Part of my meditation/awareness practice is to just let thoughts be, without judging them and without rejecting/suppressing them and without chasing/following them. So I’m sitting behind a string of cars at a traffic light and the drivers are being VERY careful. So up comes the thought “that jerk in front of me needs to learn how to drive” and if i were being indulgent, i would just let the thought be.
But nooooo. I don’t let the thought go, i grasp onto it and run with it, or maybe I should say it runs away with me. What actually happened when the thought “that jerk needs to learn how to drive” I really went with it. The next thought was how nobody down here knows how to drive, and how ignorant these folks are…… and on and on and on. I really got angry, and actually felt my blood pressure go up.
That is NOT what i mean by indulging the thought.
Indulging the thought is letting it be. What I did was grasp the thought, hold onto the thought, chase the thought.
If the thought was a pretty woman, indulging her (in my sense of the word) would be appreciating her beauty, and just letting her be. Not indulging her would mean appreciating her beauty, wanting to own or posses her, chasing after her…..
Where i am coming from is more like this quote, from Shambhala Training.
i can be kind to my thoughts by just letting them be, and letting them dissolve (which is what thoughts normally do if you don’t chase after them or push them away.)
i can be kind to others by just letting them be, and not trying to force them to be what I think they should be.
Indulgence as an S-function
There is more work to do on this, but I wanted to publish it, just in case somebody should read it.
S-functions are how s-fracts relate or interact with each other. The important point here is the effect the s-function indulgence has on the “other” s-fract. So this might be one of the transitive s-functions
- When i let the annoying guy in the car in from of me, i don’t honk the horn or scream at him or cut him off as soon as II get the chance. So i’m making his life a little better.
- And when i indulge my friends and colleagues and just accept them as they are without trying to change them into what I want them to be, they seem to blossom bit.
Indulging my own quirks
- When i let the thought ‘he’s a jerk’ go, not acting it out or chasing it or justifying it or trying to pretend I didn’t have that thought, the though disappears. It is really strange that the way to ‘get rid’ of the thought is just to let it be.
- And when i indulge the thoughts or anger or lust or worry or happiness or anything, they also disolve like mist in the morning sun. And it turns out that I’m less likely to actually do whatever quirky thing the thought pointed towards.
Indulgence and the Buddha “buddha family” or wisdom
In Buddhist psychology (understanding the mind) there are five types of energy we all have, and these types of energy can can manifest in an ego-centric manner or a non-ego-centric manner. They are called the Five buddha families, because when we manifest them in a non-ego-centric manner they are the activities of a Buddha.
and then link to the other wisdom/energies