The Advantages of Computers Dying? Really?

No! My computer crashing IS TERRIBLE!
No! My computer crashing IS TERRIBLE!

Well, this is a little awkward and embarrassing.

My trusty laptop which goes with me everywhere, blitzed itself into a total crash here in England.
I was told the electrical adapter to recharge it would not be a problem, and would work beautifully.
Looks like it worked beautifully to turn the entire screen black and make it continuously turn on and crash over and over and over.
This is NOT good because people are enrolling in Year of Inquiry right now. My computer has record of everyone signed up. We begin only two days after I return home. (I have a back up at home of my entire computer, but…..MY COMPUTER HAS TO WORK RIGHT NOW!)
I have to send everyone all the dial-in information!
And I have to be able to communicate with everyone (like I am right now, ahem).
Almost as my mind is yelling things right and left, I am also wondering what the answers are to the question…..
… could this be interesting, or useful, or curious, or something that is not a problem at all, something good?
Ach…let’s not get carried away….good? Seriously?
But doing The Work is not about forcing yourself to find wonderful, joyful things about something rather frustrating, it’s about investigating for the full picture.
Because the mind doesn’t have it.
I find immediately, when I question this “terrible” event (computer breaking) I find the computer is completely unrequired at this exact moment, and basically for my entire journey through England.
There are ways to communicate with everyone signed up for Year of Inquiry and upcoming events.
And they might contact me if they’re wondering what’s going on or have a question.
And look….here I am writing a Grace Note on someone else’s computer, immediately lent to me the minute I asked.
When I think the thought “this shouldn’t be happening” my stomach crunches up, I feel tense, I clench my teeth, my mind races to weird scenarios of inability to connect, people trying to reach me and me trying to reach people and nothing working.
There’s a general sense of deep separation, hollowly floating in outer space in darkness, all alone with nothing in sight.
Which is the very same vision with far more serious stressful thoughts.
Such as “my friend is going to die” or “I want a divorce” or “I shouldn’t have taken this job” or “I can’t stop eating” or “my business is failing”.
The other day I walked on Roman ruins from a town called Vindolanda that was thriving for several hundred years, almost 2000 years ago.
I also walked the previous day among stones placed by people in a huge circle in a field 5000 years ago.
It was impossible not to consider the temporary nature of human life.
Even living 90 years is a blip on planet earth, the blink of an eye.
I had this one fascinating thought while walking quietly under the wide open sky with wind blowing in gusts so hard I couldn’t hold open my map of the Roman ruin town site:
Feeling stressed about being temporary is the only “problem” I’ve ever had.
What if what is happening right now IS brief and temporary and this is the way of it, the way it should be?
I notice something else always happens next, after something “terrible” (or something wonderful) happens.
Have you?
Who would you be, who would I be, who are you already, who am I already, without the belief that something breaking down (a computer, a body, a life, a relationship, a career) is bad news?
It doesn’t mean I have to love the news.
I might be uncomfortable, disturbed, nervous….maybe even afraid.
If someone said “you have 3 days to live” it would be very odd, very surreal, perhaps terrifying, perhaps exciting….I don’t know.
That’s the thing…..
…..we don’t know.
It would be so wonderful to KNOW but the deal is, it’s not possible to know.
There is no reason, it appears. for why my computer crashed, but I can find very easily how it makes me stop, and focus on what is relevant and in front of me at the moment, and to trust that I will handle this issue when I can, which may not be until I return to Seattle.
There is no emergency.
Even in other forms of crashing, dying, ending…..without the mind, without thinking, is there an actual emergency?
“To face the totality of life we must face the reality of death, sorrow, and loss as well. We must face them as unavoidable aspects of life….By embracing the tragic quality of life we come upon a depth of love that can love ‘in spite of’ this tragic quality. Even though your heart may be broken a thousand times, this unlimited love reaches across the multitude of sorrows of life and always triumphs. It triumphs by directly facing tragedy, by relenting to its fierce grace, and embracing it in spite of the reflex to protect ourselves.” ~ Adyashanti
So it may not be my favorite thing that my computer appears broken.
It may break my heart that my friend is so sick right now with cancer and suffers deeply.
It may worry me that my son sometimes feels very anxious and doesn’t know why. Or that my daughter will be living a life containing many experiences I couldn’t ever know about.
But I can understand all this, and I can stay with it closely. Aware of it, not enraged or desperate about any of it. Willing to be with it all, without having any answers.
Answers are not required to be here.
Open hands.
Feeling love for everything, even my beautiful friendly computer lying there all shut down and unused and unhelpful.
Maybe there are advantages.
It’s showing me what’s still around without it.
The mind is like that too.
Without stressful thinking, I look around and see windows, a bird’s nest, air, space, bed, blanket, butter-yellow walls, a brown jug on the window sill, daughter showing me a trailer on her cell phone, heart beating, movement, pulse, life, sounds, emptiness.
Much Love,


P.S. Despite the computer break downs, Year of Inquiry does still start on September 8th. It’s a most magnificent way to practice doing The Work and letting your mind finally rest. Room for 3 more.

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