I am most amazed by this mind. Counting the days and tirelessly listing down the cravings of food during the past 16-day rice & water fast, what I had thought would be a blissful feast on the 16th day at the time of break-fast, turned out to be a no-big-deal experience. As I walked along the stalls of the Suan-Lum Night Market, sourcing for the list of food that I already had planned in mind that I would savor at the time of break during the period of the fast; nothing appealed to me. I had a hard time picking out dinner, not because they all looked delicious and I couldn’t choose from them, but because they all didn’t seem to appeal to me as they would have during my fasting period. It was one of the most astonishing experiences I had. I had no doubt that Thai food would be simply sumptuous, but somehow the taste of food which I eventually picked to break-fast with was hmm… believe it or not, like the taste of rice which I experienced during my 16-day fast. It was weird. Even when my partner offered me his yummy tom yum koong, I felt impartial to it despite the appearance of my enjoying the tom yum. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, but the feeling was just… impartial.
Maybe what I didn’t realize then was that I was again, the observer of the experience, rather than being the immersed experiencer. The excitement which I had thought would arise did not materialize so to speak and I questioned the wonderment of such experience. I was well aware of the expectations based on my teachers’ experiences, but it was still very strange to me.
Later in the night, I realized that I was experiencing something that I’ve always known, but was not conscious of. When I was fasting, I wanted to get away from fasting but being aware of the commitment that I had already made to myself – thus the decision to list down all the food joints that I wish to patronize once the fast was over; and yet, after the fast, the interest to relish the list of food was simply non-existent! It was as if, now that I could have what I want, I don’t want it anymore. How ironic. So, I was fully experiencing how: when the ego is deprived of something, hence the wanting of what is deprived; and yet when it is finally given what it thinks it wants, the wanting goes stale. Does that mean that the wanting is not really from the space of love and joy, but simply from the space of fear since it thinks that it is being deprived in the first place? The point is this, if it was not really in the ego’s interest anyway, then how could it be deprived at all? Can you see, it is all a trick – the trickiness of “I”-ness?
I remember during the period of fast, there were days where I felt absolute peace with myself during the rice & water fast, simply content and calm with consuming just rice and water. There was a sense of tranquility, quietness and stillness that accompanied. And yet, after I, or rather the ego, was aware of such peace, the whole drama plays again – “is this what I want?”; “this is nonsense”; “I want to eat something else!”… creating never-ending storylines to emphasize how “I” was a victim. It was ‘suffering’, yet comical; if you get what I mean.
We can never win the ego, at least that is true in my space at the moment; but I could always observe it and allow it to dance in the mind. This requires remarkable amount of practice attainable by anyone who is interested in ceasing sufferings and doubts in their lives. I’ve mentioned before in one of my previous entry, The Chattering, where I am living in two worlds – one that sees the truth, and one that lives the lie. I live the lie when I am mindless, totally bought into the stories which makes me a victim, or a victimizer; and I watch the lie, when I am mindful, curbing the lies within the mind level – seeing the truth of what it is.
There is indeed no right and wrong in this, or anything but the mere recognition of such nature. After this entry, I am pretty sure the state of mind will change again, as it always does. Perhaps, when my husband packs supper later, I will feel differently about food again (other than rice, that is). Who knows? My job is just to observe, and recognize. 🙂