#OccupySamsara: Toothache and Ambition

January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Like an elastic band the pain in my mouth snaps me back to the dharma, the reality, of my fragile body in this singular moment in space time.  All my hopes and fears, all my activism and frivolity, all my sins and virtues are rendered meaningless by this dull ache.  The irony of wisdom, it pushes everything else and necessitates a new paradigm.  Like it or not physical reality is what it is, the pain, the pleasure, the dull neutral and bright neutral qualities are here and then gone.

Reaching for the Stars

My ambitions are numerous, stupendous, exuberant, vibrant, and hovering just out of reach.  My experience is vacillating between an open glowing compassion, pure maitri, loving kindness for all beings and the gnawing irritating ache in my gums.

Is extraction the right option?  Take out the wisdom that’s causing so much trouble?  Remove it?  Get rid of it?  It’s just a tooth… a tooth by the name of wisdom.


I love everyone.  I hate everyone.  I love me.  I freaking hate me.  I loathe this painful existence in a tender body that can be damaged easily by teeny bacteria, by an eight-wheeler truck, by a thoughtless comment.  There’s a heart inside this unstable structure that bleeds for the suffering of the world, for victims of war and famine, for the hungry children, for the struggling parents, and this same heart twitches trembles cracks and weeps at the silence of the phone, the eyes turning away, the lips speaking words which ears fear to hear.

Inner and Outer Reality

What is this paradox?  The ability to comprehend the gigantic suffering of the world and yet barely able to hold the weight of such understanding without collapsing into a futile pile of wood chips, salt and viscera.  It doesn’t make any sense.  And also somehow it all makes perfect sense.

Individually we can grasp the ungraspable, and collectively we can alter the very fabric of reality.  Lean into impermanence and recall: this too shall pass, this too shall pass, this too shall pass.




#OccupySamsara is a column dedicated to the heartfelt yearning for all sentient beings to be safe, happy, healthy, and free from suffering.  Samsara is a Sanskrit word used by Buddhists to describe the cyclical nature of our own and societal suffering and dissatisfaction.

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