‘Niagara Falls! Slow-w-ly I turned. Step by step---inch by inch---I crept upon him. And when I got close enough I grabbed him by the throat---and I choked him--- (Beats up on COMIC.) ---and I hit him and strangled and bit and kicked and--- (COMIC is on the floor---STRAIGHT MAN suddenly comes out of it.) Oh! What are you doing down there?’
at the Steel Pier at the same time.
Now, what has all this burlesque comedy stuff got to do with mindfulness, you may be asking? Well, as I see it, we are all a bit monomaniacal. ‘Speak for yourself, Ellis-Jones!’ Well, I am---and whether you like it or not I am also speaking for you … and you … and you. You see, we all get ourselves into a state---or our minds tend to get fixated on some more-or-less automatic reflex thought, idea, emotion, or memory---that goes into flight when the right trigger presents itself. ‘Snap’ … and there’s the reaction. It’s like this. We experience a ‘sensation’ of some sort or other, which may be physical or mental (including, of course, emotional). If we react to that sensation with ‘liking’ or ‘disliking’---that is, with craving, attachment or aversion---that is karma. The word karma means 'action'---in this case mental action in the form of a mindless, involuntary reaction to some input. The result? Pain, suffering, distress, frenzy … and even temporary insanity! However, if, on the other hand, we simply allow ourselves to be dispassionately and choicelessly aware of the sensation, then there is no ‘cause’ to produce any pain, suffering or distress. In other words, no reaction, no cause … and no effect.