1.6 PRAMANA VIPARYAYA VIKLAPA NIDRA SMRTAYAH
PRAMAMA=RIGHT KNOWLEDGE, FACT, KNOWING CORRECTLY, VALID PROOF, SEEEING CLEARLY
VIPARYAYA=MISCONCEPTION, KNOWING INCORRECTLY, unreal cognition, indiscrimination, perverse cognition, wrong knowledge, misconception, incorrect knowing, not seeing clearly
VIKLAPA= VERBAL DELUSION, FANTACSY, IMAGINATION
SMRITAYAH= MEMORY, REMEMBERING
The five varieties of thought patterns to witness are: 1) knowing correctly (pramana), 2) incorrect knowing (viparyaya), 3) fantasy or imagination (vikalpa), 4) the object of void-ness that is deep sleep (nidra), and 5) recollection or memory (smriti).
First off we begin with attempting to rent a car. Brian is in charge of travel logistics while we are here. He was beginning to nudge me out the door when I checked for the rental email confirmation and found that the transaction had not gone through. B wanted to head over to see what was going on and I suggested a phone call instead. Good thing we called because they were out of cars. B heads back to the drawing board and I finished up my last blog post and gathered what I would need for the next few days on the road. The new confirmation comes through and we scurry out the door to try and make the next ferry. The brisk walk turns out to be good for both my energy and in perfect timing to catch the boat. 15 minutes we are in Auckland and ready to go get the car. Note: I am the worst with directions and trust everyone when they send me someplace out of necessity. If I ever say turn left, you might want to turn right… That said, I am also pretty good at knowing when I am not where I need to be. Brian had suggested that the car rental place was within walking distance. It wasn’t miles off, but trekking through the city with bags was far from our wisest choice. Some comic relief is thrown in when B takes us to the wrong rental shop. We have a good chuckle and make our way across the street to get the car. So much for right knowledge; It is back to double checking and preparation to avoid unfortunate mistakes in the future. We are now running a bit later than expected, but not worried. It is a holiday and we aren’t on a tight schedule so we can breathe a little easier.
Dilemma number 2: Driving on the left side of the road. Brian and I have never driven a car with the steering wheel on the opposite side and in left handed traffic. It seems like such a small and easy switch, but it really messes with your special awareness. The cars are now coming at you on the right instead of our usual left so there is this knee jerk reaction to keep veering toward the left. Not only is this unsettling for the driver, but the passenger gets to experience several near misses of guardrails and close calls to posts. Brian will say otherwise, but after a few hours of traveling up and down the most curvaceous hills with extreme drop offs (no shoulder and in many cases no guardrail) I was wearing shoulder blades for earrings and had cramps in my hands from gripping every time we went around a curve which was every second of the trip.
Coromandel town was short lived. We grabbed some food and decided we wanted more beach area than small fishing town so we decided to cross the peninsula. I tried to go to my Zen place and see if I could relax for the second part of the drive. I hadn’t noticed that B didn’t get on Rt 25 that would take us across; rather he was on a different road that was taking us north. We didn’t figure out that we had an unfortunate detour into no man’s land until we were an hour or more into the drive. We turned around and made occasional comments on the tremendous views and steadily held our course.
After some major redirection we finally made it across the peninsula. Finding a motel with vacancy proved to be another challenge, but we settled into the Beach Front Resort. The town was pretty much shut down by 7pm so we had some tapas and beer.
All day I danced between the 5 types of mental modifications. Right knowledge/ valid knowledge seemed to elude us today. The incorrect knowledge was throwing up personal road blocks everywhere. It is funny how you know something isn’t right, but your mind will adjust to help you convince yourself you are on the right path. Why do we feel we can’t stop and ask for directions? Imagination and fantasy, well I don’t know where B’s mind was drifting to during our travels, but I can really make up some crazy stories in my head. In one version I take over driving and we arrive at our destination in 10 minutes with the rest of the evening running smoothly (no ego involved there, I continue to laugh at myself). In another scenario Brian and I have our first real fight. It doesn’t happen and there is no reason to day dream about such nonsense but my worried mind plays out a ridiculous scenario. This too passes and I come back to being uncomfortable.
I spend the later part of the trip between sleepy moments. I nod off here and there and feel disoriented each time I wake up to traffic coming at us from an unusual side in my mind. When I am fully awake, I filter between imaginative moments and memories of vacations past. My friend Pau sits heavily in my mind today. I haven’t thought of him in some time. I don’t know what triggered that train of thought.
Today was definitely all over the place both in physical space and time and in mental processes. I let the chaos of the mind wander while trying to observe the phenomenon of how the mind plays out its patterns. I guess for me it was less important that I categorize my thoughts into a neat little list, but that in looking at them as patterns and through the lens of these fine types I could see that as a witness to my mind there is more opportunity to acknowledge the patterns and create discernment. It is a way not to get caught up in my own story.
This day and this topic are really challenging me. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I believe that I have the space now to filter out some personal rubbish that has been brewing for a while. This sutra project and travel time is a catalyst for personal clearing. I don’t think that growth can occur without discomfort and a few bumps that give you the contrast to appreciate the other things that are so amazing.
I cried out of sorrow for the first time in a long time. I am experiencing real grief and I choose not to push it away or pretend that it isn’t there. I really thought about stepping back toward fantasy and telling myself some feel good story. I mean why get sad on a vacation where you are supposed to feel wonderful and have the chance to tell everyone else how perfect it all is. I decide instead to sit with what is and let it be ok for now. Brian has a beautiful way of letting me be in my personal state where I know he is there for anything I need and at the same time he doesn’t try to force change or fix it for me. I love him for that.
I sit with the klishta(painful) so I can recognize where it is truly coming from. I work to cultivate discernment so I can move toward the akishta(painless). This will take more practice and in the meantime, the space around me is truly beautiful so I think I shall go exploring.