Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Dharma of PhotoShop

I'm not gonna write about frustration today, nope I'm not.  I'm not going to tell you about spending hours with photoshop trying to figure out #**!! how to manage image size.  You don't want to hear about any of that.  What I can tell you is that no injuries were incurred by any piece of hardware or software, nothing was dangled out the window by its cord, no rude emails were dashed off to Adobe Systems(okay maybe composed in my mind), no clumps of hair were removed from either my own head or that of the cat.  All in all I think I behaved rather well for a cranky, self diagnosed, technophobe.  

So where does frustration fit in to the Dharma?  I am wondering about it now.  Before I just was frustration, after the fact I can wonder about it.  I guess it's about impatience which I have heard said is really just a form of anger.  And anger reduced is just one of the 3 poisons (hatred).  When you stop and think about it impatience is an aggressive kind of energy.  Frustration turned outward might result in some unpleasant words spoken.  Frustration turned inward might be some disparaging self-talk.

And I think desire figures into frustration because there is an element of wanting implied.  I am frustrated because things are not working out as I'd hoped or planned.  Often it goes with "I want this to work out easily and I want it to work out now!"  It's about expectation in a way too, isn't it?  Because if I didn't expect it to be easy, well I wouldn't be surprised and irritated when it wasn't!  And do I detect an element of laziness in frustration, perhaps lurking quietly in a back pocket.  I am frustrated because I am having to put in more time and effort than I wanted to.  Ah, there is that word want again.

And what does frustration make us do?  Do we give up?  Does it put us off our plans?  Does it make us feel bad?  Or do we go damn it, I'm gonna figure this out?  Or where's that cheesecake?  Or bottle of whiskey?  Or do we say, "it's my mother's fault I'm not good at this!"  It all depends on our habitual tendencies I suspect and our karmic packages.  These things are our raw materials that figure into our reactions and let us know where our work is.

So when we meet frustration standing in the isle, arms crossed, looking a lot like a grumpy version of Mr. Clean what do we do?  Do we melt into a puddle or explode and burn up like a small human meteor (both damaging to the carpet)? This gets me thinking about skillful means.  Maybe it's about knowing when to stop, when to take a break, when to call an expert or a friend.  Or maybe for me, it's about learning to persevere, to regroup and learn to go through the manual (I'm the kind of person that only reads the instructions after the fact when all the buttons have been pushed and the warranty has been invalidated by my foolish actions).  I think the more we learn about ourselves, the more we see in each instance, what we need to do.  We're kind of like our own built in instruction booklet, don't you think?  But mostly we're so busy looking for the easy way out or for someone else to tell us what to do (preferably an expert), or maybe we'd like a generalization that will fit all circumstances.  And while we're busy looking in all those places we fail to read ourselves very well and see what we really need to do in this moment, in these particular circumstances.

So it's a good thing I didn't bore you with a big long winded story about my frustration because well, you would only have found the experience very frustrating.  And then what would you do?

1 comment:

  1. Laughter and chuckles abound here with this one - as I relate!

    Thank you, thank you :)