A process-relational buddhontology sees every moment as a moment of grasping, or prehension, that begins with an open, spacious cognizance, gathers/feels/responds to what has arisen before it, and ends in the satisfaction of its own concrescence. When the object of that satisfaction is unrecognized as what it is — as the immanent flow of desiring-production, a flow that cannot be frozen or held in place because there is nothing tangible there to hold and no one tangible to hold it — it conditions the next moment with its own sense of incomplete satisfaction.
Liberation from delusion comes with recognizing things in their true nature as the open flow of immanence shared. The full recognition of that leads spontaneously to the realization of the compassionate solidarity of all things (i.e. that we, all minded, empsyched things, all subjectivating entities, are in this together). Living in light of that recognition is wisdom.
(Meditation, at least of the zen and dzogchen varieties, is the practice of learning the microphysics of how to do that: of allowing what arises to arise, of dwelling in the open, spacious, non-grasping cognizance of the moment, of letting things be in their fullness. As for the macrophysics, that requires collective work, guided by an understanding of social and institutional dynamics, of capitalism, and other things.)
What this means is that this moment is all that there is (for any subjectivating entity). But moments like this — the ending of a year and beginning of another (for entities like us who dwell also amid the shared abstractions of concepts like ‘years’ and ‘then’ and ‘hope’ and ‘time’ and ‘us’) — provide an opportunity for setting our goals, arranging our motivations, projecting our desires forward on trajectories that may take on a life of their own beneath our conscious graspings, running alongside us in the machinery of our body-mental-matter.
With that in mind, here’s a toast to this year-inaugurating moment:
May this be the year that all sentient beings are liberated from delusion. (If only for a moment; moments are, after all, what the world is made of.)
May we all experience the liberating insight into the true nature of things: as feelingful expressions of becoming, openings onto the beauty that ever arises, steps toward the elusive mystery that draws us onward.
May we turn all desires into desire itself. The only wheel to escape is the wheel of delusion which, when seen clearly, is nothing but the open embrace of all things. (The trick is in the seeing, which is the doing.)
Peace be to all.
Top image courtesy of Alvin Lau.