The title of this blog post comes from WillBeFine's excellent comment on my recent post about awakening through meditation
I've gotta admit - WBF's question stumped me. So I spent lots of time thinking about it, and some even meditating about it and finally I've come up with a semblance of an answer:
Q: Once you are awakened, then what?
A: You become a clever fish.
Don't worry, this is not one of those infuriating Zen Koans. Here is how I reached my answer:
Many years ago I had the privilege of knowing a very accomplished artist. We were talking about where creative ideas came from and he said to me he sees it like this: "Imagine that your mind has a fishing rod and it can cast out into the universe and hook ideas and reel them back in. The people that can cast furthest, and in the right places, catch the most 'far-out' and creative ideas."
This analogy impressed me, and has always stuck with me. However, after meditating for a few years, I have become aware how thoughts can creep up into the mind and take you off in their own direction, without you even been aware that it is happening.
So my proposal is that, no, my artist friend actually got it totally wrong. There is not some crafty fisherman sitting in our minds casting his rod. No - we are actually the fish. And its the ideas and concepts out there that have the rods; they're the ones dressing up the bait on the hooks; they're the ones casting into our minds to see if we'll take the bait, get hooked and pulled in uncontrolled directions.
Can you ever be totally awake 24/7? No. But by meditating you can learn to be a bit more alert when it comes to tasty morsels floating around in the idea-sphere. And instead of just gobbling at first sight, to try and examine morsels a bit closer before engaging with them.
PS: I'm going away for about a week so may not be able to respond to new comments for a while.