People who are from the Shambhala tradition are probably familiar with this term, Ordinary Magic, and if you’re one of these people know that I have read very little of Chogyam Trungpa’s writings. However, I find this phrase particularly important in my life right now. It is that which I misunderstood during my last spiritual peak.
What’s I confidently but wonderfully odd about my spiritual path is that it was amazingly strong, present and so colorful for so long yet I knew nothing of Buddhism. Yet, as I learned of the Buddhist teachings I found myself grasping at the states, jhanas or meditative absorptions that had been experienced. The teachings told me that they were something but how I had experienced them was in a rather innocent and ordinary way. For some time now, I’ve grasped at them to return because I greatly desire them. But as it happens, grasping crushes what it’s grasping.
As I see it, my present moment challenge, and everyone’s place on the path is different so your’s will be, is to recognize this ordinary magic as common place. That it’s not anything special and that I am not at all anything special. The reason that grasping occurs is because ego is present and creeping in. The view that I hold, consciously and unconsciously, is that ordinary magic is a thing. When mind makes it a thing it destroys it. It destroys it because there is no thing called ordinary magic. The reality of the experience is fleeting, elusive and perpetually transient. The task, therefore, is to be able to acknowledge the experience in the moment without engaging something mentally. Without following mind to the point of solidifying an experience and giving it a name.
So how does one, how do I go about this? I don’t know. This is what I need to learn about, experiment with and reflect upon. But now that I have more space in my life, which allows for more space in mind….whatever that is!…there’s room to play, practice, fail, learn, grow and hopefully hone this crazy monkey mind that resides in this skull that I ironically call mine.