The News IS Drama: A Danger

It’s not that news stirs up drama, though of course it does that. It’s that the news is drama.

But drama is not meditation. And meditation is the nature of universal consciousness.

For those working in the media, something happens and immediately it’s “taken up.” As my Zen teacher says concerning practice, “Don’t turn it into something.” But the media’s impulse, its charge is to continually turn a happening into something. That something is endlessly repeated, relayed, modified, discussed, debated, gossiped about. Not only all that. But the news sequesters endless “likes” (support, loyalty, greed, excitation, contingent happiness, etc.) and “dislikes” (ill will, hatred, jealousy, envy, etc.), the immediate result being the veiling of very possibility of equanimity.

In this sense, the news is actually quite dangerous. Dangerous because it promotes two ideas. One is that something is always happening. The other is that that happening is always “turned into something” that is endlessly liked and disliked.

But this, in essence, is samsara, the samsaric condition of wandering mind. In other words, this is the very epitome of suffering. The news is modeled on wandering mind while exacerbating its tendencies!

Meditation, therefore, mustn’t be the news. Instead, it simply is what has never happened. Call this The Unhappening. What is this? What is it? And it doesn’t, because it can’t, turn The Unhappening into anything else; in fact, it sees The Unhappening as being manifest in, and as, all happenings. More accurately, meditation is The Unhappening.

Then what is The Unhappening, the very “root of stillness” (in the words of The Daodejing)? What is it? And what are you before all happenings, before and after every news cycle, before all births and after all deaths?

What is right here beneath it all?