Thoughts on Life: Resistance versus Acceptance – Fighting versus Flowing

it is what it isFIGHTING VERSUS FLOWING

RESISTANCE VERSUS ACCEPTANCE 

I was on the final 15 minutes of my hour spin bike workout, doing intervals.  There’s a point of non-resistance that has to be reached to get through those final intervals when the legs are burning and the level of fatigue makes you want to resist.  A coach once said, “Your legs should be burning–let ’em”.

There’s a point where you have to give up and surrender the battle to get the last few sets of intervals done successfully.

It’s acceptance.  The lungs are on fire and so are the legs and you’re pushing through to the end but if you fight this or resist it, you just can’t do it–you quit.

Today I thought about how this is just like life.  I mean, on the bike you accept it,  the “what is” of legs burning and the like and if you accept then the work is so much easier and you’re less likely to give up.  Or said another way what you ‘do’ give up is the resistance to ‘what is’–the burn or breathlessness or whatever.

When you give up the resistance and let the mind participate with the body, allowing the merging and accepting the fact that ‘yeah, it’s what it is, until it isn’t anymore’, THAT is so liberating, especially in those final moments.

Those hour long interval workouts are like the last moments of a race.  What really counts is what you do at the end when you have to dig deep and get to the finish line, especially when total exhaustion is so close.

When life becomes a crisis in some way and let’s face it, life presents challenges and if we deny this we are not living on this planet I think.  At those times do we surrender? Or do we fight it? Do we want to deny what’s happening and thereby struggle against it?

We make life harder for ourselves if we struggle.  I make the last 15 minutes of my workout harder if I struggle against.

This applies across the board or that’s my position in writing this.  No matter what life presents us with at any given time (and sometimes life is like those last 15 minutes of an hour long interval workout at the gym–rough!)…. point is that if we feel like we have to battle it or take a position of struggling against it, we find it’s all so much harder.

So many times in life we think something shouldn’t be what it is.

We deny reality or fight against how things ‘are’ and use all kinds of tactics to deny reality somehow.  It’s exhausting.

We can make this comparison with the Christian way of thinking about life being a struggle against a devil and having to fight the evil–this kind of mentality.

Another way of thinking is to simply not think–but what I really mean is allowing whatever ‘it is’ to be what ‘it is’ without the judgment.

Judgment is the christian way of dealing with life I think which comes from an idea of an ideal perfected state that we all must strive for but know we will never achieve (because they tell us that in their dogma), rather than the opposite which is giving up that fight and becoming free.

Does that mean that we don’t try to be better humans or that we stop doing our best?  That’s not what I’m saying.  

I’m talking about not beating one’s self up because of ‘what is’ or what isn’t during any given moment.  I’m writing here about not struggling against it or making the self wrong somehow in the process.

The last 15 minutes of intervals my legs burn and I’m breathless–it’s part of life at that moment and I accept that and don’t fight against it or resist it.

When anything in happens in life, I can draw from that ability to accept what is actually happening without judgment or without making myself or Life Itself wrong.  It is, after all, what is.

When my legs are burning, I don’t attach to the feeling–I let them burn.

When I’m right on the edge of breathlessness, I let it be and don’t fight against the feeling.

If I grunt or groan or tense my muscles or make a face, it’s only making it harder to simply flow with ‘what is’ in that moment.  Life is like that.  Life ‘is’ and there’s a certain amount of being okay with it and not judging it but simply noticing it that is very freeing, liberating.

Someone thinks a lot during meditation time.  No need to fight that.  Simply notice it without assigning a meaning or beating self up in any way.

Someone feels angry.  I’m not saying to act the anger out and of course we shouldn’t totally repress it but one way to handle it is to notice it as simply being ‘what is’ in that moment.  Or maybe for the whole day the feeling is there.  In noticing it one is standing outside of it and this juxtaposition is causing separation from it emotionally.

Just like “the leg’s are burning, let ’em” that happen during my workout.  It is what is and nothing last forever!  ‘It is’ until it isn’t anymore and the less we can attach to it and the more we simply notice it without emotion or resistance, the realization comes clearly that nothing last forever.  That’s the nature of reality:  impermanence.

And impermanence is a blessing.

Acceptance of ‘what is’ in any moment is liberating and elevating.

Judgment of what is in any moment is attachment and suffering.

That’s one difference between Christianity and Buddhism although there are many good similarities as we all know.

Acceptance is surrender and surrender is Divine!

Just my two cents, hoping to have expressed this in a way that’s understandable.

Life’s Frustrations? Pretending I Planned It That Way! Karma and Co-Dependent Arising

... and whatever it is, i planned it that way!  (On losing the humor factor)
… and whatever it is, i planned it that way! (Don’t forget  the funny factor)

I was thinking today about how once I fell of a clinician stool in a clinic full of patients and other physical therapists.  I was moving from point A to point B while rolling on the stool between my two patients and caught the wheel on a towel on the floor.  I laughed along with everyone and announced that I’d planned that!  No embarrassment—okay very, very minimal.

So could I feel that same way about my life today?  Could I look at some of the “revolting developments” like my mother used to call them – those frustrations of life and act like I planned those and laugh about it?  Hmmmmmmmm….. really, did I and could I?

I’ve been learning about co-dependent arising of energy and it’s complicated but we could say it has to do with that k word that everybody cringes about—karma.  There’s good karma too and lots of it and I’ve got a lot of that going and I think we all do, so why do we tend to be focused on the opposite?  Good questions to contemplate in meditation to get a personal view.  But Buddhism already has some of the well thought out and logical insight already there on the plate but fair warning—there “ain’t” no savior in Buddhism; it’s all you and if you can’t handle that one, best not go there. 

But one part of Buddhism has to do with just looking at what we think of as reality and not arguing with it and just seeing it as the illusion it is.  When we energize the illusion by getting all excited about it, we create all those “arising’s” as we drift farther away from …. What’s the best word to use here?  Tranquility Base!  Yeah, I know, it’s a 60’s reference to the Moon landing but I like it. 

Tranquility Base
Tranquility Base

To me that’s the core and base still mind that simply just IS and there is no thought there on tranquility base, simply tranquility.  The more we drift away from tranquility base and play in illusion and energize the thoughts that create the illusion, the less tranquility we have and the more cause and effect, ugh, that K word.  With positive karma in mind and realizing we can’t just sit in tranquility base 24-7 (we do have to engage in certain functions), the more we energize the most positive illusions, the better.

All of this is another way of saying what all the modernized teachers are saying which are the ancient teachings of Buddhism. 

Anyway, I’m going to pretend just for today that no matter what has happened recently and what is happening now that I planned it like that; I’m going to agree with it just like when I fell off the stool.  No resistance, no trying to make it any different—these frustrations, these “revolting developments”… I planned it that way and let me laugh at it all like I did when I fell off the stool.  No need to take it all so seriously—right? 

However these things arise, these developments, some have to do with me and others don’t—life is as life is.  I can’t take credit for everything and I can’t be blamed for it all either; I am only a part of it as I breathe in and breathe out… it’s an illusion and what affects me personally, I planned it that way and it’s funny.  Why?  Because it’s all an illusion and it’s only as serious as my mind makes it! 

I had quite a laugh earlier today reading an email from a Buddhist friend of mine who, like me, just made it through another x-tian holiday with x-tian family members and reading it had me laughing out loud!  It so helps to have others who get the illusion and find humor in it!  Hey, I planned it that way!

We’ve All Been There or Will Be Eventually; Sharing Common Experiences of Loss; This one’s for my brother – Oracle Wisdom from Tarot 5 of Cups

I am thinking of my brother this morning and his very ill wife, hospitalized and last we heard not expected to remain on this plane much longer.   My brother is very far away geographically and isn’t often in-touch but still—what can we do or say in this situation?  Generally, what can we who are on the outside do in this type of situation? 

I am not sure of the question and that’s really never good in divination methodology.  I guess, thinking back to a moment ago, the question in mind just as I pulled the card is what advice could I give to my brother?

Can the Tarot Oracle help in some way when there is a loss of some type or in situations like with my brother, when someone is facing the eminent loss of a spouse? 

It is not surprising at all that I drew the card of the 5 of Cups.  Just look at the image above and how it relates to my brother who is facing some difficult days ahead with his wife in the hospital not expected to live much longer.

Let us find some wisdom here for him or for others who may have a similar situation of some type or who are dealing in any way with loss.

Blood is spilled on the table in the image and something cannot be reversed—once blood is spilled from the cup (in some tarot decks they say ‘milk’ instead of blood)… anyway, once it is spilled, it cannot go back into the cup.  Here we can see the symbol-ogy of loss for sure and the man in the image is staring into nothingness, perhaps in shock and sadness.

We’ve all been in that state at one time or another in life and if you haven’t ‘been there, done that’, chances are it’s only a matter of time before you know exactly how that guy on the card is feeling.

It’s a shock and one needs sometimes that immobility and withdrawal to process what happened.  I am thinking of an episode on Grey’s Anatomy (TV series) when Izzie laid on the bathroom floor in her gown for a good many hours processing the loss of the man who she saved medically and died suddenly from a complication from a heart transplant.  He had just proposed to her and she’d accepted.

Life and death are part of life and while we celebrate births, we generally mourn death; yet, it is such a common experience to life—especially as we ourselves grow older.  And while I don’t know if this would help my brother or not (believe it or not, I barely know him), maybe there can be some comfort found in knowing that these moments or loss are common and perhaps some solace can be found in knowing that what one feels is something that has commonly been felt by so many others who have experienced such similar losses.  It may help to remember that in life we have common shared experiences.  We may think that no one else could possibly understand how we feel – but others do.  They had the courage to see things through and so will you—others understand and will help.

In my mind I am seeing a heart –shaped cup which has been broken.  Cups in Tarot relate to the suit of hearts in regular playing cards and also to emotions.  I think the important thing that this card reminds us of has to do with not feeling regret—this, indeed, is self-punishment at a time when the emotions are difficult enough.  Do not blame yourself for there was nothing you could have done; when it is someone’s time, it is just as perfectly timed and divine and as it should be as when a flower opens and blooms.  Birth and death alike happen in exact timing—or so goes my belief about it all.

If our birth chart is in perfect order (and I believe it is) then why should the time of death be any different?  It is exactly as it should be.  One of our greatest lessons in life is to accept what “is” and surrender to that–death is a teacher for us in that regard.  “Grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change….” as the prayer goes.

Typically this card speaks these words, “a depressed man mourns the loss of something that was a great comfort”.  I don’t think I could have pulled a more appropriate card considering the issue in mind when I did the shuffle.  This man must remember that all is not lost and he must consider a decision about what to do next or where/how he would like his life to be now.  All is not lost as there are still several cups still upright on the mantle nearby—that’s what those cups there mean; they represent rebounding after a difficult loss.

When we are grieving, it is hard to see those cups or to focus on asset or any advantages—that comes later, but it does come.  The warning has to do with not overindulging in the grieving process but to rather re-evaluate life from the changed situation.

It takes great imagination if one isn’t customarily working in areas of the afterlife to imagine the loved on being happy, content, liberated and free.  Humans are usually to focused on their own loss and imagine the loved one being as sorrowful as they are.  I don’t know if my brother would be able to understand how relieved his wife will be to become liberated from her body which has become a difficulty for her spirit.

If he can remember that to some degree, then he can allow his own survival instincts to kick in and this will help to alleviate his grief.  Eventually, he will focus on the gifts of life again rather than what has been lost—that’s what those two remaining cups are about.  One affirmation that can eventually be used to help those who have suffered a great loss of any kind is this one:  “From my loss I gain the experience to create a brighter tomorrow.”  I know at the time the loss is new and fresh, this type of affirmation seems ridiculous, but healing will take place and there will be brighter tomorrows; you’ll see.

I love you brother!  — and for casual readers of this blog, i hope there is something here for you to use somehow for yourself or with which to help others.

How I AM Releasing Attachment, Surrendering with Tree Karma, Projection, Heavy Equipment, Mars Return and the Dalai Lama

This is about surrender and release and it’s personal, very personal.  In some areas, my life is very private; yet sometimes I blog about certain things and try to make show the silver lining.

Sometimes it isn’t easy to find it, but in the process of sharing… well, maybe it will be helpful to someone.  Maybe something you can relate to in your own life and if nothing else–even if you find no wisdom here–perhaps you will find some things you can relate to which help you feel less alone.

Maybe you can make a connection here for a purpose that is useful for you… this is my wish and intention.  Please read on and see what you make of this as it applies or can relate in some way to your own life.  These are thoughts for consideration, offered with L.O.V.E as MJ would say to make the world a better place, as he says.

Baghdad Bombing

It’s been like a war zone around here since transiting Mars has been approaching it’s return to my birth Mars—talk about shock and awe! Like Bush bombing Baghdad and shake, rattle and roll, the bulldozers and earth moving equipment sounds and wounds to Mother Earth have rocked my inner world! I admit to being rocked back on my heels with this bulldozing, tree murdering, earth ripping event.

My ego has been having a bit of a field day with it and then this morning I woke up knowing that it was time to surrender, to let go, to accept ‘what is’.

Mars from Hubble

After all, it is. My Mars is pretty passive by nature in the 12th house with Cancer on the Cusp and blended into natal Pluto and Saturn, it’s pretty intense on all those inner 12th house levels. My Mars can get riled up but when it does, that 12th house Pisces energy takes over and helps me to surrender. Call it letting go and letting god if you’d like; yet, I’ll have to call upon that surrendering process even more so as Mars will soon be squaring my natal nodes (yikes! – real karma producing stuff if I’m not careful) and then over my Ascendant! The last time Mars crossed over my Ascendant, I got myself in some trouble. My impulsive Mars signed up for Match.com and after realizing it was a big mistake (that took no time at all), I realize further that I’d wasted not only time, money and energy, but put myself through some hoops that I didn’t need to jump through. Yes, there was a lesson in all that and some inner realizations but this time as Mars crosses my ascendant I’m going to watch those impulses. Mars jumps before it thinks sometimes. True, sometimes in life we have to do that but let’s move on for now. We’re talking early November before all that happens anyway; but it’s a good example of how astrology can help one prepare.

Since I’ve stepped through the most recent time (the “revolting development”, as my mother used to say) rather publicly, I’m hoping maybe it will be some type of service to someone. What I mean is that things happen that frustrate the be’jezus out of us (as the saying goes) or trigger us, just as the neighbor who I call the muggle has done for me. That total disregard and disrespect for nature has been quite disturbing; yet what causes that? Now we get into the good stuff.

My attachment or my position to the idea that nature should be respected and my attachment to that delicate balance not being disturbed as it has been around here this past week—that’s what causes my suffering. And frankly my attachment to those trees just across the road, it was something like a privacy wall for me in a way and I loved watching the birds fly back and forth from the maples in the front yard to the maples across the street. So yeah, I cried like I did on the day they bombed Baghdad feeling helplessly frustrated and highly attached to my idea that what was happening should not be! There it is again, you see? The need to surrender to what is and then of course doing something about it if it’s possible and then taking some of that serenity prayer wisdom, “… the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

This is how my new view looks with just 3 pieces of equipment instead of all that. But this is much like my new view instead of the forest and trees. Earth Movers are Ugly! (Obviously, resistance, judgment and opinion are still present. I'm a work in progress.)

Yeah, so there it is then and of course I’ve been resisting that process of surrender a bit and realizing it is only causing me pain to remain attached to my indignation and resistance to change. Now I have a cruddy empty football field /slash/ air strip of dead trees and destruction across from me with bulldozer machines and other earth rupturing equipment parked here and there in the chaos (they may as well be military tanks and dead bodies) instead of the beautiful forest that was there. What can I do about it? It happened before I realized what was going on—besides, I was frozen in “shock and awe”. So yeah, I’ve been resisting my new view and the sounds of the heavy equipment. Lovely that the landowner across the street,  who I call the muggle actually owns the heavy equipment company – set this guy loose with the entire Appalachians at his disposal and… no, let’s not go there. Anyway, I sat on my front porch the other day, when he was destroying the land on the other side of his house and out of my direct view.  And while sipping my cup of Chi tea, I forced myself look at the view and find something positive about it. I could not! (Or maybe would not because I was still resisting the whole ‘what is’ thing.) I told myself you are going to sit here a minute and get used to it and find something to like about it! Nope, it wasn’t going to happen that day! Okay, I said to myself, then get in the car and go somewhere and we will try again tomorrow!

Each time I hear the earth mover out there as I’m typing this, I take a deep breath and surrender and I’ve had to do that a number of times already this morning and its only a bit past 10 AM as I write this. It will happen; I’m getting better and better at surrender. A person just has to get over the shock first, then the anger, then denial and then comes acceptance—I’m beginning that last stage of the grieving process.  This time it has been slower, maybe because is happened more suddenly and I wasn’t prepared.  Usually I surrender much quicker than this; I hope I can surrender much quicker at the time of my own death.  I’d like to think so because I’m already preparing!  Anyway…

Suffering a Loss? Here’s Help  to Get Over It!

Nobody likes sudden, dramatic loss or change of any kind, but that’s life. Life is always changing and it is the one thing we can count on and be sure of.  And yes, of course, in the grand scheme of things I realize that one football field sized loss of forest isn’t a big deal compared to things like human death/suffering.  I suppose most people would say the death of a human or loss of a home is much more of a loss then a bunch of trees, right?  It’s all relative; besides, I am using my own little drama here as a teaching example to use for any scale; or at least this is how its turning out.  And could I think of worse loss?  Totally, of course!  With Uranus transiting my 8th house, anything can happen and if there is an 8th house (death) mortality… let’s just say that I’m happy that my family is in tact.  (My mother crossed just before last christmas when Uranus first entered my 8th house.)  But IF I had to suffer a sudden loss, best it be the trees that I’m attached to rather than a family member.  So the universe is taking it really easy on me in comparison, right?  So now the loss of trees (as compared to the loss of a family member) doesn’t seem so bad and that is the technique that the Dalai Lama uses–to think of how it could be worse and then to look at what is and it does not seem so bad.  🙂 You’ve got to love those Buddhists don’t ya’?!  It’s all relative is what they say.

I saw an image of the Dalai Lama this morning on my Facebook timeline. He’s my hero; look at how he has surrendered his anger to what the Chinese have done to Tibet. He is always teaching the Tibetan people about the poison of anger and has loving compassion for the China. And I’m sure he’s had to forgive the rest of the world too when he asked for help and none (or very little support) came.

So whatever loss you may have currently or disappointment or fear or anger—let go. We humans seem to have the need to grieve the loss and then accept and reach for the Sun–for the enlightenment that experience provides for us and for others.

Projection?

 I mentioned this to a Facebook friend yesterday–it’s something else that helps.  There is a possibility–and I’m sure I suppressed this deeply if it happened–that maybe I was responsible for destroying a segment of Mother Earth or deforestation from a previous life or another time, who knows?  We will, as humans, often project onto others things that we ourselves are guilty for but cannot admit to ourselves.   And we project onto others our own guilt or self-anger.  Either way the pain comes up and we either release it or create further karma.

So, all I’m saying is that if I can imagine how I might (just might) be guilty of what I dislike the muggle for (in this case, the current destruction of trees and tearing into Mother Earth, destroying animal’s homes)… if I can just imagine how I maybe could have at some time been so thoughtless and egocentric myself,  then it makes it easier for me to release my attachments and anger.  It’s a method that helps one let go of judgment, thus releasing attachment, thus ending suffering.  

Karma?

Another thought I want to add is about karma.

Last night I remembered about this and thought maybe I have tree karma since this seems to happen to me time and again–where I go, trees seem to be massacred.

Honestly, I am still sorrowful over the evergreen outside my bedroom window that was murdered by the landlord–a beautiful hemlock pine.  Okay, okay–shouldn’t have mentioned that… starting to get emotional again. And as if to punctuate the end of that sentence, I hear the slamming down of the dump truck which sounds like it’s in my living room!  With the trees being gone now, there is nothing to buffer the noise.   Geeze!  Deep breath, letting go… I surrender while trying to bless the muggle for giving me such excellent  opportunities to practice letting go. 

You know the kind of tree you sometimes see on christmas cards with snow-covered branches?  The image to the right  isn’t her (my old hemlock friend); she was actually bigger and more beautiful.

Anyway, when something happens, maybe it is karma?  We don’t always know for sure, but if we accept it and don’t become angry or blame and all those things, then we don’t create additional karma or future further karma–see what I mean?  So letting go is for our great benefit.

If we say something like, ” Alright I accept this as it is without anger or frustration or disappointment, this releases me from the need to call in or create  further future experiences of this nature”, it  is another way of  letting go and surrendering.  And as sure as life, we call things back again and again until we’re sure we’ve got it right–and then we recognize it and say, Okay I now know how to handle this. 

I let go, I surrender, with ♥  L.O.V.E. ♥, with ♥ L.O.V.E.♥, with ♥ L.O.V.E.♥

and with Courage moment-by-moment as long as it takes for myself and for all sentient beings to be free from all suffering.  Soha.