Karma of the Tramp | Reward of the Artist
To the energy that we will need. So be it.
What would you need the energy for? Whenever you are doing any type of spiritual practice, it is very important to understand where it is you are using your energy. Whenever it is that you are upon any path where you hope for transformation, for change, then you must have some understanding of something that’s very fundamental. In the event that you are not aware of it, it requires much energy to transform, profound amounts of energy to transform. Consider it for example, in a biological process, for example in a gestation, profound amounts of energy are needed or in childhood profound amounts of fuel are needed to grow the child in order to carry through change. Even upon that very fundamental biological, physiological level. So when you are speaking about meditation, whenever it is you are attempting to transform being, human into that which is more awareized, into that which is more free, then you will require all the energy that you could possibly, possibly gather. So upon this day let us dialogue one of the most significant ways which many meditators waste profound, profound amounts of energy.
Let us consider a very leaky faucet for a moment of time. A dripping faucet or a little trickle, a little stream, one hour will not seem like so much. But what happens when that little stream is left streaming for a year? Have you ever been in a house where the faucet has been dripping for several years, a very steady drip and you have not quite manifested the time to address that leaky faucet? If you could collect all of that water and subtract it from your utility bill you might be delightfully surprised. Of course the metaphor does not work in the same way if you have your own well, we hear you.
So use another metaphor, the electricity. A tiny energy leak over a long period of time is a profound amount of energy wasted. We have dialogued commitment. Upon this day let us dialogue what we shall term to be “The Karma of The Tramp.” We are not referring to sexual practices exactly, not that type of tramp. But “The Karma of the Tramp or The Reward of the Artist.” That is our dialogue, the reward of the art form versus the karma of the tramp.
Let us understand what is meant of the karma of the tramp. What is an act of trampdom? Allowing a faucet to leak in a house unchecked is an act of a tramp. Entering a restaurant, eating, and making such a profound mess, and leaving no compensation for those who are to clean the mess, that's karma of the tramp. Living in a very dirty house, that’s karma of the tramp. And your mind will begin to try to decide, well for example, you are well acquainted with the debate, “Well, I like my messy room, it does not bother me.” That’s a little arguing point. So here is how to determine in general how it is that you are creating the karma of the tramp, as apposed to having a cluttered decorating style. It is a style to have cluttered decorating. It is a style to have many objects you don’t even know it under the bed any more. It is a style to be afraid to clean a closet. You do not know what's in there either. You simply do not wish to know.
But here is your general formula. Consider it energy. That’s number one. Number two, consider that any act upon your part that requires you or another to expend more unnecessary energy because you have been there? Then you've created the karma of the tramp. If you enter any space, a house you’re invited to and you rather trash the living room. Have you ever trashed anyone’s living room before? Not in this lifetime? But you understand the point? And if that act requires that someone else must expend energy to a greater degree than they are receiving energy then you have created the karma of the tramp.
If you leave your own kitchen in a dismal state then you might consider, “Well it is my kitchen and it is not hurting anyone else.” Well you are a little further ahead, correct? But if you must look at the kitchen in disarray for days and days, then you have expended energy. You have created disorientation to your natural sense of beauty and balance. You disorientate yourself, so that consumes energy. That is not a feeding energy. That is a draining energy.
It is one of the most subtle but most easily neglected practices of a meditator, because the energy that is wasted seems to be such a small amount that it is overlooked. But taken together for a long time it starts to drain you. Now what does that do? It creates what is popularly called a loose end. That’s Karma. And if you have a loose end you will have to address it later. If that is in your field, then you’re going to attract loose ends. That same resonation will come into your reality and in order to make a transformation you require all the help you can get, every last drop.
Another example of the karma of the tramp - if you’re always losing things, you cannot find that particular dish, that key, that book. It does not seem like very much time is wasted in looking for it, not much time at all, maybe only a second, maybe 5 minutes, but it creates an interruption in the flow.
If someone was yodeling, and from time to time there was a little skip and it was very cute, it was very appropriate, it was artistic in that moment of time. But imagine how tired all of you would get of a little interruption like that in every piece of music you buy. How tired would you get of that? You buy the piece of music, so what, it only skips once or twice. What difference does it make? Well that’s what you say every time you loose your keys on a daily basis. Because of the karma of the tramp that has such disorganization in the mind and of the space, the keys are eaten by the room. The hungry room eats the keys. That is expensive because that is your 5 minutes where you would not have been late and then one karma falls into another, now you’ve broken a commitment for being late and then you are under stress, all because of that that seems insignificant.
It is the same as purchasing a piece of music with a skip in it or two skips in it. Most of it's all right, but that one skip, you’ll get your money back. You’ll go right to the store and say, “This one skips” and they will not argue with you. They will agree with you. So you must agree with yourself that such practical loose ends also waste your energy. Of course do not become obsessed if you loose your keys here and there over the course of a lifetime. So be it. We’re referring to the very consistent practice of using up unnecessary energy and then afterwards convincing yourself, “That’s no big deal. It could be worse.” Well, everything always could. Remember that, everything could always be worse. But that’s not the path you are on. You are on the path to expand it into art. So that is the opposite. That is the consciousness you’re attempting to create. That is called the reward of art, the reward of the artist, your natural sense to admire beauty and balance.
Here’s something very important. Spaces that you visit, spaces that you live in do not tend to be neutral nor do you tend to be very neutral in coming there. A space either invites energy to be given to you or a space can suck the energy right out of you. And it may be only sucking it a little at a time like a mosquito, but would you let a mosquito bite you if you knew the mosquito was coming? Especially not now, correct? When you visit any space you have either given energy to that space in a greater amount than you have taken or you have taken energy or created a structure there that will require someone else to expend energy. So you must weigh that very, very carefully.
Remember it this way. When anyone visits you or you visit anyone, you’re not generally left the way they found you. Very rarely, well sometimes perhaps there is a brief energy exchange but rarely are you left as you’re found, rarely do you leave as you find. You have either risen or you have uplifted the space or you have fallen or you have soiled the space. Is the space happier, more content because you have been there? Or is it less so because you have walked there?
Now imagine for years walking through and having a series of hit and runs. That is an energetic hit and run. Have you ever been to a public restroom, any of you? Do you enjoy it? Well, you could enjoy it if all of the meditators in public restrooms would leave it in a greater state than it is found. That is a very good example and those types of entities will come into a public restroom and leave it in a state of disarray or contribute to the already existing disarray have hit and run. Hit and run means an attempt to escape the responsibility of that unconsciousness. So you might consider it unconscious vandalism and there are varying degrees of vandalism.
Of course vandalism by your understanding is a deliberate act to stand before an object or property and deface it or destroy it therefore for the fun of it, creating what is termed vandalism. But might we suggest that unconscious vandalism against your own property or the property of others, or the space of others is a little tiny stroke of vandalism that instead of getting out all of your urge to vandalize onto one object, well consider this metaphor. If you are to vandalize a wall with graffiti, instead of standing there for hours and really vandalizing that one wall, many that are unconscious simply walk around life haphazardly spraying and you spread it out and because you spread it out you think nobody notices. Or if you can sneak out no one will know it was you. After all there must be cleaning help somewhere that will take care of it. Someone will come along and fix it. But now you have created a situation for which another expends energy, and slavery is not working in most parts of the world. Well, that is up for debate as well. But when it is that you have cleaning assistance you really compensate the cleaning assistance. You give more energy than you are receiving and if any of you that have cleaning assistance wonder why you cannot keep cleaning help or a maid than you might think about why not. Because even professional cleaners prefer to work in clean houses. Did you know that? They do. If you are really mucky they’ll take one look and they won’t even clean it for you. They’ll recommend demolition teams instead. “Look in the yellow pages.” Or if the cleaning help is leaving you notes like, “You don’t need a maid, you need a junk dealer. Call someone in right away.”
You enslave others unknowingly if you commit unconscious vandalism. So before you leave any space and of course today most of you will be a little paranoid before you leave here today. Before you leave any space pause for a moment of time and ask, has my presence uplifted this space, in that you shall too be up lifted.
Those of you who practice unconscious vandalism and incur the karma of the tramp rather than the rewards of the artist, beauty and order, would find a radical quick change in about 14 days if you could go from this point to this point, 14 days without letting that recording, that music of art consciousness, art form consciousness, not allowing it to skip, not once. Because even if it skip once, know you, all of you have these little discs now, these little CDs and you have perhaps one of them in your collection that skips and you rather avoid it. You just put it aside. You’ll replace it one day but you usually desire to hear something that is not going to skip.
The universe has very big ears. The universe loves to hear that which is consistent in its flow because nothing destroys meditation faster than one form of violence, vandalism, injury or another. That is a fire that eats up the subtle energy of meditation. And all of you here have at least once tried to meditate with great earnestness. Many of you here have tried to meditate a few more times. A lot of energy goes into it, days. Some of you here have sat at the feet of swamis. Some of you here have breathed profoundly in the presence of Tibetan monks. Some of you here have visited monasteries. Some of you here have gone into the jungle to seek out shamans and their practices. Some of you here have been to yoga school. Some of you here run a yoga school. So all of this effort, all of this cultivation happens. You’re growing this garden of meditation. There it took you all the spring and the summer and now your garden is very beautiful. Are you going to allow a herd of animals to run over your garden? It will only take about 30 seconds and all of that work, all of that consciousness, all of that effort squashed. That is the unfortunate power of negative energy, the unfortunate power of negativity and destruction in this dimension.
Those of you who have been with the Tibetan monks and have witnessed their creations, the sand mandala, many days pass with beauteous art forms are created. How long does it take for it to disappear? Quickly. Those little Tibetan monks are funny that way. They get a kick out of it. Did you know that in their meditation they really do? Recently we’ve had a little gathering of some Tibetan monks and they really do. We made them confess. Well, there were a couple there that were a little rigid who would not confess. They thought it was a very sacred occasion, they did. But really those few of them admitted that they really like that somehow. Because for those who have not yet arrived at a profound sense of freedom, liberation, humility, because there can be the appearance of humility and there can be humility, really get a kick out of showing others how impermanent things are. Now contemplate that. For days and days and days we’re going to work and look at these people. They’re coming in here, they’re watching this beauteous creation and we’re going to show them in our spirituality how it is that we understand impermanence. Whoooo - magnificent destruction. That is most appropriate because that is an art form and it does transfer energy to others. So it is a very, very wise practice. That is an example of art form. The rewards of the artist. The meditative work that it requires to create that.
The meditative work that it would require for you to enter your living space and say, “Hah.” Do people come in your house and say Hah or do they rather walk around looking for a place where they might sit down? There is a chair around here somewhere, just move something out of the way. Of course if it’s bad enough people will talk and that in itself can be a service. You can think of it as a great service because at least then they'll be gossiping about your house rather than in destructive gossip about each other. So therefore you have created a very great spiritual service. You have defused the karmic implications of gossip.
As a meditation to reinforce this teaching, this evening and the mornings walk the grounds here. If there is anything superfluous clean it up. Make it greater because you have been here. We do not suggest you trim trees or disturb fixtures, dust and clean the obvious that might require it and walk about the place. It’s fairly orderly here and of course we realize that your rooms where you’re staying are in perfect order
Do the housekeepers come into your room and say, “Wow, what is he doing in here? It’s so nice and neat and organized and look at how he leaves the towels piled up just right so we know which ones are dirty.”
Bob replies: “They don’t speak English.”
That’s always a key then, just make the room messy for the foreign help. They can’t complain. But remember something. God does not speak English either.
Oh - the Sunflower Priestess is not here. We could take a little tour of her room right now to see the state of art and it has only been a few days. But you take that and you multiply it times a month, a year. That’s how you get the way you get, in thoughts, emotions, things said and unsaid. All of it counts. So if you catch yourself saying, “Well, it’s alright, I’ll do it tomorrow.” How many times do you say that? One day you will not have a tomorrow on this dimension. And imagine, just imagine that your house and the effort that it will take someone else to come in and put it into order, might become a reflection of what you’re doing in the bardo. So after about a week and there’s been some excavation, well he must be making progress now and then maybe after its all cleaned out, alright her bardo experience must be finished now. It does not work exactly like that but everything is related, everything is connected.
If you leave art you go to art. That’s a very important aphorism for this teaching. If you leave art you go to art. If you leave disorder you go to disorder. Why? Some will contemplate, who are not really aware of how karma works who might listen to this teaching, might say, “Well, why is that fair?” Isn’t God fair especially when someone’s dying? God should just forget about all of that.” Well, it’s your energy. It’s what you created out of that experience. Leave disorder, go to disorder. Leave art, go to art. Leave completion, go to completion. Leave love, go to love.
Remember when you go there out of your bodies and swim in the ocean of death, if there’s blood in the water you’ll attract sharks. That is a truth. But they are of your own making. They are of your own coils, your own chakras, your own memories. So in this way you might consider that what you leave behind is your bardo. Contemplate that. That is one perspective, one point of view for understanding it. What you leave behind is your bardo.
So is your space to be artistic? Trampish? Is your space to be art? Is your space to be high art?
To high art.
So be it.