I rose late yesterday, with a plan to travel to Kobe to the only IKEA store in Kansai. I have just relocated, and found I needed a few storage items to be able to truly unpack.
No time for any of my usual morning practices. And my MacBook Air was not starting. I tried a few prescribed possible fixes. No dice. So I called Apple, spoke to a very lovely rep, and determined it needs the repair shop. This call pushed my start time back.
Then I realized the next train was soon, so I ran to the station, only to find the times and trains indicated in the Google maps were incorrect. I was now feeling rushed, anxious and bewildered. A wonderful station attendant was kind enough to point out the error of my planned route. With the correct information, yet still a bit anxious about it, I caught the train to my first change over.
Again, anxiety reared. I went to the ticket window. Again, a station attendant helped, but in a rather dry, simple way. And I misheard him at first so, as I was buying the ticket, I thought the train was due in 3 minutes, then found out that it was due in 13 minutes. I went to the platform, stood, waited.
Another train pulled up. The photo above is that train. To the far left of the numbers there are two Japanese phonemic “letters” – ‘mo’ (モ) and ‘ha’ (ハ).
In English, no meaning. In Sanskrit, ‘moha’ yields the meaning of, “delusion.” I saw the word. Really, the message.
And the day before came rising into my mind. I had been given a bunch of tasks by a person in a way that, to me, felt excessively demanding and ungrounded. Though a few times my words were sharp, for the most part I stayed centered, grounded, and happy. Even though I was meeting what felt like continual resistance and irrational behavior, I was able to experience and respond mostly from a place of calm and settledness.
Seeing the word, “delusion,” brought the sharp contrast between yesterday and today – thus far – into crystal clarity. The rather silly but effective image of a split screen rose in my mind’s eye. One side was me atop a high, powerful wave, surfing it with ease. The other was me tumbling down into the deep trough of that same wave.
I then felt that my harshly judgmental view of the person I dealt with the day before, and realized it was way wrong. My experiences of feeling so tense and anxious yesterday related to not only yesterday’s experience, but the accumulation of all experiences that had come before, especially the morning’s encounters with my apparently defunct laptop, and the pell mell sprint to the station with the thought of missing the train looming large in my mind.
We are each an accumulation of all that has come before. I know that, have taught about this countless times.
Recognition of my incorrect assessment – my delusion – of not only the person’s state I dealt with the day before, but my own present state, brought a huge wave of sadness, rising like I had envisioned myself the other day. A moment later that wave crashed – tumbled down – to dissolve into a quiet calm, in which I could clearly see the other person and myself, and allow the judgement of both of those beings to be let go.
A few deep breaths, and all was again centered.
There are so many valuable lessons in this experience for me. But the primary take away today is that it is good to keep in mind that moha – delusion – is a powerful state changer. We can be taken to the heights of feeling good and the depths of feeling bad by this emotion.
Delusion sits very, very close to the state of ignorance. Ignorance is even stronger than delusion, and a constant companion to most everyone.
Ignorance is the ground upon which we are often standing, but delusion is the rolling fog covering that ground. A fog that comes and goes with each emotional wave to position us in extreme places of looking down in arrogance or looking up in despair, and various degrees of both.
The solution, for me, to lessen these trips into unclear assessment and emotionally charged reaction, and their intensity when they do occur, is daily practice. Which I missed that morning. However, at times, a trip into these not so pleasant places in myself can also yield insights into previous situations, that allow me to soften my previous stance in favor of a more spacious and grounded perception. But this can only occur through daily practice having already been in place.
It is a complex and intricate weave, our body mind consciousness. This is why we greatly benefit from a daily practice of some sort, whether meditation, mantra, conscious movement, or another useful method as ways to mitigate our delusional reactions and transform them into responses that reflect the true reality of a situation.
How do you lessen your own forays into the Land of Delusion? What tools do you have that help transform harsh judgmental reaction to spacious and grounded response?
Feel free to comment below. I look forward to hearing about your experiences.