Simplicity Achieved. (Tathatā For Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
-Albert Einstein

The alarm blares a sound reminiscent of Nickelodeon’s Figure It Out. Remember the neon green slime.

I roll over and reach through the darkness intentionally trying to smack the snooze button in my own displacement. The immediacy of my waking gesture results in nothing less than one finger pressing firmly on the touch screen of my fourth generation iPhone. The dreaded noise stops and I am reminded that my ideas are so much more dramatically fashioned than what is actually applied. Instigation begins even in the early morn.

As much as the idea of smacking my phone seemed to be my intention, I know I don’t really want to break my phone. It’s the ridiculous alarm that needs to stop. It’s the one I set. I’m talking to myself again. Somewhere between these thoughts, there lies a silence. One I must find. Parting through a sea of vanity and ideal worldviews to find what is actually happening, it emerges.

I am not fully conscious yet, of where I am.

Thoughts are shady. I lay in bed swirling from a night of deep sleep. The inner cavity of my chest stirs back into and outside itself. As of yet, the room’s curtains have not been pulled open and the mystery of the dark room remains undisturbed. Along the shadowed walls lies a grey paint untouched by the sun’s daybreak. I notice the room’s urge for illumination is my own. The walls are scowled in suchness. Grey, graffitied Tathatā.

Still, I must get up.

Today is today. 

Always is at hand.

By the time I am fully awake, I’ve slid into the kitchen to brew some cheap local coffee grounds and commenced showering. Index fingers serve as aids to rubbing the neon green sleet out of my tired red eyes. Slime. A look in the mirror reflects only crimson sclera. Wide and white; so beautiful even at this hour. Awe.

After a few yawns, washing finishes.

Once the shower handle is firmly pressed in and down to the point where any advance in pressure would bend or break it, I know showering is finished too. The water stops spewing out in consistently thick streams that once warmed my cold, lifeless body and all that remains is a spout dripping. I reach for the same towel I used yesterday and begin drying myself off as methodically as usual.

Instead of thinking of everything I must do today, I watch the drying process. The towel’s ability to absorb each showered dewdrop is miraculous. They all disappear and to where? Does some unperceived kingdom of rest lie within this stringy towel, or do they remain in their pristine droplet form only slightly below my attention’s gaze? From the shower head to this super-absorbent clothe, the drip drops seems to have transcended numerous terrains in less than a matter of minutes. More than I’ve done all day. From rusted inner city pipes, to an individual’s nude flesh, to the synthetic yarns of a cotton towel, all in less than a day’s time. Wow. Dripping resides attentively from the leaky faucet above me onto the tile floor. There’s two wet feet.

In the bedroom, I dress plainly as I do every day and walk into the kitchen.

I open the fridge and notice the friendly light inside pop on as the door edges wider. How convenient! I reach for the Ziploc bag containing the German bread I like. The outside of my hand feels brisk inside the refrigerator. This is cool air rising.

Thankfully, I have a toaster to crisp my bread. Two pieces enter the miniature furnace. I pour a cup of black joe in a ceramic mug. The clay handle is thick enough to grasp comfortably with a big palm without getting burned. A hand resting above the bitter black sphere absorbs the rising warmth. The steam evaporates any dew leftover from careless toweling. Suddenly, gone.

I eat exactly two pieces of whole grain toast smudged with peanut butter for breakfast. The salt is sweet and yet, all there is is chewing. Notice that is all I do while I’m chewing is chew. The chewing is all there is to do, so I chew. And continue chewing. Mmmm…..Tathatā.

I go to work. At work, I work. All I ever do in time.

My lunch break is quite enjoyable, peaceful, and again, I settle my attention by simply chewing, tasting, and swallowing my food. Every moment is one bite. All I manage is the next swallow. Nothing less, nothing more than getting this down.

Later, I finish work and drive home.

In the evening, I exercise or meditate for roughly an hour. Doing only that which the day calls for or I decide to be immediately relevant. Either way, it’s finished.

At dinner, my jaws move more like coupling rods on a moving locomotive than anything else. Chugging back and forth. Choo-choo! Again, there is only chewing. Enough to be enough. Extra Tathatā.

Finally, I rest by laying in bed. My body relaxes and soaks into the mattress-covered frame from once it rose almost 15 hours earlier. I  become immersed into a book or watch an interesting movie on my laptop. I am reading or watching.

Sometimes I just lie there. I am silencing.

When it’s time to sleep, both are closed, and a third falls to slumber.

Before closing my eyes, I enjoy the solitude of the room’s darkness. As I close my eyes, something inside seems all too familiar. The darkness behind my eyelids feels vaguely similar to the unlit room from this morning. I go on in wonder. More and more slime, but words become self-defeating. Complexity, too, must rest. For now, I guess. Nothing matters more. Or anymore.

A realization occurs.

In the darkness, I realize how simplicity is. How simply it is.

There is no outside, no inside. No both. Not one. Neither nor, nor.

The the move harmoniously as one.

Again it all disappears and I slip away.

Back to the start of forever in today.



The photo above has not been edited and was captured by the gracious David Mello.



About Stephan Stansfield

Stephan is the owner, creator, and editor of Peregrine Poise.
He is currently traveling and teaching around the world. When he is not helping others discover their true potential, he finds time to surf, read, and reflect on the important issues of living a good life.

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