by Michael Houston — Mindfulness, is where it’s at. What’s not to like about consciously or unconsciously being aware of something? Fast cars, the hotly sexually attractive people or things, items at brick and mortar stores and internet sites are all manifestations of somebody’s marketing cunning mindfulness or Karl Yung’s Common Unconscious.
Let me testify that mindfulness is key to a fulfilling life as a street busker and could-be musician. Periodically, I achieve a mindful state by focusing on the present moment. I calmly acknowledge my inability to play coherent licks, keep time or articulate lyrics as I embrace my awkward bodily sensations, feelings, and thoughts. I become one with the cosmos, a street busker of the enlightened dirty, sick, poor and ugly variety, rain or shine in the markets.
Everyone in every sector of the education, industrial and financial complex can benefit from mindfulness. Auto repo folk, landlords, banker/usurers, used car sales people, insurance brokers, and our fellow highway and daylight robbers all live largely by mindfulness. Transcend your pain, self-respect, education, and intelligence and follow the path of Mindfulness. It’s therapeutic for both the perpetrator and the mark. Mindfulness is sort of a road to Enlightenment Now (Pinker, 2018). We transcend suffering by learning not to be fooled again so often.
What then is good mindful karma? Easy! At any farmers market you buy excellent strawberries, avocados, honey, sharper blades, nuts, roasted chickens, sweaters, jewelry, bumper stickers, pastry, salsa, humus, tamales, teriyaki kabobs, salves, desserts and cold squeezed elixirs from people who are friendly to you and, more importantly, to buskers! (Free samples? Take’m. They feed the body and soul, and provide quality control.)
Mindfulness lets you practice philanthropy toward us/me street musicians, our fellow beggars, and your local merchants. Mindfullynessly, you learn to adequately tip your hospitality workers on a higher plane. As Lao Tzu, the Hollywood producer of global blockbuster I-Ching queried, “Why not pay more?”
“That’s Eastern wisdom?” saith the Poor Mouth, i.e. Irish for a “cheap arsed” Anglo-Irish American person or the like. Alternately, mindlessness is the key element of American exceptionalism. Nothing else explains it. Worse still, it’s contagious. Hallelujah ! Consider that dead Canadian guy getting to touch somebody else’s perfect body with his flippin’ mind! ( #metoo/#No,notme,no,no,no!)
Mindlessness lets everybody off the hook for everything. That music group from the Other Bay Area, Día Verde, nailed it with their song about the eegits they didn’t want to be. While idiocy is a timeless manifestation of humanity, the ever-expanding meaning of “American” follows both the great circle of life and the pirate code. Steal; say you own it; get your descendants to blame more recent immigrants and the yet unborn for all your screw-ups. They can blame you now and later for all the good it does them. Don’t forget to vote wisely, Little Butterfly.
Our undisputed claim to American idiocy compels everyone else on Earth to forgive our: continental land grabbing; environmental Armageddon; genocides; historic and ongoing slavery; racist/sexist practices; and endless global military interventions. (Gentle reader, remember to blame the Left or Right depending on how you’ve managed to program yourself and those you love. That too is mindlessness!)
Were it not for our military, sworn to defend our democracy, we’d be doing far worse! Thank them for their service. (Yes, really!)
So, No mind is best! Mind you, “bushin no shin” in zen Buddhism, has your mind not fixed or occupied by thought or emotion, but open to everything!
-To my mind, “open to everything” means, “Look at the fine print on that lease or cable contract before you sign anything.”
-Don’t beat yourself up because you have the nerve to exist between throes of mindlessness and mindfulness. There’s no shame in being predator and/or prey.
-Om! Catch the vibe and forgive yourself. At Foolish Times, we don’t mind.