Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
When you get on an airplane, they patiently explain to you how to find the escape hatches, use your seat as a flotation device, and use the oxygen masks should the deploy.
One of the first things they tell you about the oxygen masks is that you should first put you own on, before trying assist other passengers.
The same is true of emotional health. You cannot help someone else if you are not emotionally healthy.
We are also the only people in charge of our own emotional health.
Psychology tells us that all emotions are preceded by a thought. How you think about something leads to an emotional response, and the only person in control of this process is YOU. When you choose to REACT, emotionally to someone elses actions, you are no longer in control, they are.
You can put this control in someone else's hands. This will inevitably lead to an emotional crash, due to loss of control, or lack of expected response.
You don't control anyone; they don't control you. You only control yourself. When you take back this control, you will become emotionally healthy. Discursive thinking leads to poor emotional responses, which leads to more thinking, and more emotional responses. the cycle spirals, and you will inevitably crash. Once started, you then make bad decisions or reactions, which lead to more thoughts and emotions. Wow, what a vicious cycle.
I put this control in other peoples hands. I trust, I expect they will act in a way that is in my best interest.
I expected some sort of closure from the last person who will ever be able to give it to me; I wanted understanding, I wanted emotional healing, and I wanted it for her too. That was wrong, to expect this, wrong to think we could give it to each other. I probably only stirred up her emotional pot as well, as that was not what I intended to do. I did not intend to hurt her again.
Friday, November 28, 2008
The Monkey. He is you. You get in your own way.
He jumps out from behind the tree. Images roll though your mind like flash cards, unrequested and intrusive. Sometimes graphic, almost always emotional charged.
Sometimes appearing out of no where. Is he testing you? Or is he on your back and you don't see him whispering in your ear? Let your guard down, for even a minute. He will.
Repetitive thoughts, rolling without course, spider webbed-linked by strange connections like a dream. Bounce from one topic to another, non-stop. The Monkey. He is the unconscious mind. He always, ALWAYS wants to be going somewhere. Anywhere. Bad, good, it's all the same to him. He is the block to mindfulness, the block to lucidity. The king of toppling forward, looking backward.
For a while, he is interested in the meditation practice. But he gets bored with it after a few weeks, and starts throwing bananas.
SHOCK the monkey? Doesn't work. He gets even more unruly. So how to contain him?
Practice, Practice, Practice!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
"If one speaks or acts with a cruel mind, misery follows, as the cart follows the horse... If one speaks or acts with a pure mind, happiness follows, as a shadow follows its source."
We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. - Buddha .
Sunday, November 23, 2008
So how can we change our intention? One of the best ways is to begin the practice of cherishing others. As long as we only cherish our self and think of our own happiness we will find it almost impossible to avoid committing negative actions such as killing, stealing, lying, etc. However, if we gradually begin to cherish others, recognizing that they are just like us in wishing to be happy and avoiding suffering, then our intention will become more and more pure. Eventually actions such as killing, sexual misconduct, and hurtful speech will be impossible to commit. Positive actions will become easy for us and each day we will sow the seeds for future happiness.
If we don't use our human life to practice virtue then there can be no greater deception or folly.
Fool or wise man? Guess which I am today.
Careful speech. Our words have the power to heal, or they have the power to hurt. If they do not serve to help and heal the receiver, ask yourself what possible good can they do? Are they critical? Are they instructive? Are they delivered with vengeance? Justice? Or are they delivered with kindness, and or a hope for improvement? Understanding?
Who are they spoken for, the other, or our own need? Vindictive words? Help no one. Neither ourselves, nor the one they are directed to. No matter how much personal truth they may carry. Hurtful words beget more hurtful words, and somewhere it has to stop. Let it stop with you. (I also wonder why this is so much harder with the ones we love? The one's we should be even more careful with? Why do we hurt the ones we love with indiscriminate speech?)
If they do not heal, they HURT. All of us.
Look into your heart, and ask, no matter how carefully worded, no matter about personal truth, were all of your words spoken with love? No? Then: No more.
No more hurtful words. No more talk about the PPasT. Someone set down a bag, and I picked it up. Now I can't let it go. Why? Attachment, that's why. I attach to bad feelings as much as I attach to good feelings.
Baggage. Is MY choice. Time to set it down, and not expect someone else to pick it up. Check your bags at the door, the door to a peaceful mind.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
"If you're here for four more years or four more weeks, you're here right now. I think when you're somewhere, you ought to be there. It's not about how long you stay in a place, it's about what you do while you're there, and when you go, is that place any better for your having been there?"
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
In Buddhist terms, I limit the definition to self-created stress and worry, over conditions that have occurred, or are projected to occur in the future. Almost always, our fears never turn out to be even close to what reality brings. Anxiety is 100% creation of conditions INSIDE of us, projected to the outside world. (Sometimes our anxiety is self serving, and actually creates the conditions needed for our fears to come true. But that is another post).
The fear, of say, Nuclear war would be a big one.
Trouble is, most of fears and worries are much, much smaller than that. Will I be able to pay the rent? Why did that person say that, and what exactly did they mean by it? (And don't get me started on e-mail. Talk about dysfunctional communication that fosters multiple interpretation Yikes).
All of this increases our internal dialog, which clouds our perceptions, and moods. The more internal dialog, the more worry. The more worry, more dialog until it reaches a crescendo of a nervous breakdown, or hopefully burns itself out, or we finally say ENOUGH! This is getting me no where.
STOP. The dialog, stop the anxiety. Let it flow naturally. Stop obsessive planning, evaluating. Stop the need for control of what other people do, or say.
My trouble is: as I stop the dialog, then the monkey thinks he can come in and fix it, with the available space. Funny how open space invites us to FILL IT UP. Nature abhors a vacuum, and the mind really doesn't like it.
Peace of mind comes from being aware of what's here. Right now.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Our veiled perception, our monkeymind, distracts our minds eye from the truth. The monkey has been taught to want something different than what we have, right now.
Peace. A quality that comes from the inside, not from conditions outside of us.
"You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet." ~ Franz Kafka
Monday, November 10, 2008
It is pleasant to have been to a place the way a river went. But each second the time-river has passed, it's never the same river. You can't get back 'there'. There is no there there, there is only here.
It leaves it's residue, and we should be grateful to have felt the waters passing over us. They change us, moisten us, nourish us, revive us.
Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."
Sunday, November 9, 2008
We live in a human dream, being one in which everything appears purely in the guise of it's human utility, and held in place by it's human name. Names are small and sinister metaphors which restrict, absolutely, the use of an object. Our eyes open to this madness every morning and at night we dream within the dream; whole lives are spent without so as a ripple of doubt reaching the surface.
But when the object is allowed to shrug off it's name, it begins the long journey back to it's own mystery- on upon reaching the core of it's own estranging fire, radiates until the whole world is unified by it. The rose or the paper clip; either could open the path back to our awakening.
-Don Pattersen-, Best Thought-Worst Thought (aphorisms)
My thoughts: By naming, assigning, we lose the intrinsic object and instead replace it with the idea of the object instead of the object itself. Can you look at a flower, and not think "flower"? Assigning values and memories to it?
When this is applied to people, we lose the uniqueness we all seek; the marvelous fact that we exist at all is mired in roles, functions. We get boxed up in titles, creating a self-image that exists no where but in our own minds. That 'self' we create is not in the minds of others (duality of existence?) They do not see us as we see ourselves. We rarely think of ourselves as our actions, but that is how others see us, define us.
When we think of another, it's a string of words or memories in relation to how we know them, what their role is against our own. This is of course colored by our interactions, both good and bad. Memories of that person become charged with emotions, sometimes attracting, sometimes repelling, sometimes neutral. But rarely can we think of anyone's uniqueness, to revel in the marvel that they exist, like we do.
It's that existence that is just so incredible.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Do our thoughts on an object then change the nature of the object, or does it mean a change in us? When you think of white, can you see it without the contrast and comparison of black? Can I see the white hole, without the surrounding black?
Is the absence of something the same as Not-That-Thing or is it non-existence?
I would answer: the absence of something makes everything else Not-That-Thing, not the non-existence of that thing.
Once you have knowledge of a thing, everything else can be Not-That-Thing. That can be a very hollow feeling. Sometimes I think our memory and knowledge of the past can be a torturous, longing ache. My thoughts every day, are still a Not-That-Thing process.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Its nice to see how at peace you are.
Thanks for listening to me Sunday night. The mind is a funny thing. I wonder sometimes why we continually get in our own way. (I have a monkey mind for sure). All of this, all of it, is in my own mind. My perspective on things changes, sometimes every day (thoughts of that person, are not that person). I wonder if I will ever know what the TRUTH was. It just seems so slippery
It’s funny how I know, I know that all I have to do is sit quietly in the moment. Yet, my mind insists that it can still fix things in the past. If I work it just right, if I find myself getting to a good place, I continually THEN to try and go back in. Firm ground, is firm ground. Nothing about jumping back into the quicksand helps stabilize me.
I watch the process, and each time I watch it, I get better at getting back onto dry land and staying there. Whew. Deep breath. Today is a really, really good day. Nothing to do, or undo.
I am working at trying to be a better listener, and not just a talker. I have hardly ever learned anything by talking. I know whatever I’ve gone through, and am going through, you’ve been there too. I want to hear more, when and if it’s not too painful to go back there.
It’s always really helpful to talk about it. You and Scribbly have been a big part of my healing, for no other reason than to just listen. I’ve been talking now for ….close to four months, and I probably should have started talking sooner. I think I am almost done talking. I know I’m done talking, and reasoning, and justifying circumstances, but I’m not done talking about the mind and it’s process. (FYI: I think Scribbly has some stuff that needs work. He hinted at it yesterday on our paddle. A beautiful day!)
Thanks again Tod.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
When you are in emotional turmoil it's interesting to watch, if you have enough cognition, the waves. How from day-to-day, your perception of events, and feelings about things change.
One day, you feel good. On top of the world. You are the elephant, and your problems are like flies. You can face it, directly.
Can you realize those emotions are going to come and go? Rise and fall?
Can you surf?