Angry? Fearful? Disappointed? Dont’ worry: things are not as they appear to our ego-based delusion

July 18 2014 shadow clouds in the mountains

Holy smoke!  Ego’s get rabidly angry when they hear that life is an illusion and that they are too.  My gosh, how folks fight for their ego’s identity; it never fails to amaze me.  Just try mentioning to another human that there is no self and just watch the resistance and anger that manifests.  This is the same reason people fear death.  Self-cherishing!

Okay then.  Let’s say that life is not actually a dream, and not an illusion, and not a bubble; HOWEVER, life is LIKE a dream, an illusion, a bubble.  Things are not as they appear to us in our ego-based delusion. For instance, an object like a table is just made up of protons and neutrons. A physicist would tell us that a table is basically just empty energy. But, of course, if someone threw a table at you (let’s just say), it would hurt (*mostly because we believe it would.) Ultimately it is empty, but on a relative level it appears as solid and our memories will make it feel solid. Those who can, as we have read about, walk through walls do so because they know the truth of reality. Ultimately what we see is an illusion (like the reflection of the moon in the water or a reflection in a mirror) and this illusion is presented by our various senses and the memories associated with those senses over eons of lifetimes which create the reality as we now experience it. The point is that things re not what they seem to be.  In meditation one can experience the direct realization of this truth (intellectually knowing doesn’t do it)  and this experience of direct realization in meditation  is truly trans-form-ative!

The world, including ourselves, are like a dream, a rainbow, a bubble, a flash of lightening–ungraspable and in an impermanent contestant flux.  Life may look substantially solid and (‘Lordie knows’, as the saying goes) how the gods and angels above might laugh at all the crazy tactics and dramas that we monkey’s create as we try to make ourselves righteous and indignant in our self-cherishing attempt to create a solid identity.  It’s laughable really.

Shadows.  Rainbows.  Let’s take a rainbow for an example.  It is created by conditions, by rain and Sun and by many other causes, but when we try to find it, we cannot.  Just the same way, in a dream everything seems so real but the dream doesn’t have any core reality that exists outside of our very own mind.  A bubble seems real but prick it and it is just empty air.  Life itself is this way.

“May I see all things as illusions and, without attachment, gain freedom from bondage.” — that’s the ending of the Eight Verses of Mind Training.

What kind of bondage?  Ego bondage.

Duality and Oneness are so misunderstood.  Self and other:  this duality.  And we watch how we and others create causes and conditions which create self-cherishing responses to life which create more and more separation and ego-based delusion.  People will say things like “I must protect myself from this or that”  or “I must do certain things that make me feel good”–all of which emphasizes and reinforces the sense of self, the sense of ego.

Putting self last and other’s first is a way to break the spell of ego-based delusion and best of all it increases happiness.  People are very concerned for their self when they are asleep and deluded but then this is instinctive isn’t it?  I mean this whole self-preservation instinctive behavior is what causes us great suffering if you think about it and it is the furthest point from true spirituality that there can be.

One of the antidotes to self-cherishing and ego-based delusion is to put others before the self but not, of course, in a masochistic type of way.  I’m referring to a way of balancing that all important self-clinging that gets us into trouble and causes so much suffering for self and others.  I monitor this in myself when I am awake and clear and centered and I admit that I fail at times and loose my way in my own ego-based delusion many times.  I cling to my own self importance when other humans seem obnoxious to me and I actually want to run from them, forgetting the rainbow, the bubble and the illusion of causes and conditions playing out before my eyes, ears, and all my senses.  It’s tricky; it’s a pickle; it’s often lost but then picked up again, and again–always coming back to these Eight Verses (below) as an inspiration.

I can somtraining-the-mind-imageetimes realize in the ‘heat of the moment’ so-to-speak about how silly it is to become angry at something or someone that/who doesn’t really exist in the first place, at least not in the way they appear.  Again, in all relationships to person, place or thing– “May I see all things as illusions and, without attachment, gain freedom from bondage.”  But then meanwhile, may I at least put others before myself as a way of releasing self-cherishing so that I can let go enough to wake up from the sleep of self-importance.  See what I mean?

Well, anyway… the Eight Verses in their entirety appear below and by the way, it is said that His Holiness The Dalai Lama who is called the Embodiment of Compassion repeats /recites these verses every day.   Personally, I fail miserably as I try to follow the path of someone like The Dalai Lama but I do aspire to these verses in my life view, my attitude and actions to avert ego-clinging.

Just as in meditation thoughts wander and we bring them back to center, to breath, to the focal point, this how we can bring ourselves back from ego-clinging which is what indignant righteous self-protection is all bout and what worry, fear and anger is about too.

Anyway, the inspirational antidote, the meditation and contemplation to counter-balance and hopefully release all of that anger, fear, worry and self-protection and self-cherishing  are the following versus offered here for the reader’s consideration:

With a determination to achieve the highest aim
For the benefit of all sentient beings
Which surpasses even the wish-fulfilling gem,
May I hold them dear at all times.

Whenever I interact with someone,
May I view myself as the lowest amongst all,
And, from the very depths of my heart,
Respectfully hold others as superior.

In all my deeds may I probe into my mind,
And as soon as mental and emotional afflictions arise-
As they endanger myself and others-
May I strongly confront them and avert them.

When I see beings of unpleasant character
Oppressed by strong negativity and suffering,
May I hold them dear-for they are rare to find-
As if I have discovered a jewel treasure!

When others, out of jealousy
Treat me wrongly with abuse, slander, and scorn,
May I take upon myself the defeat
And offer to others the victory.

When someone whom I have helped,
Or in whom I have placed great hopes,
Mistreats me in extremely hurtful ways,
May I regard him still as my precious teacher.

In brief, may I offer benefit and joy
To all my mothers, both directly and indirectly,
May I quietly take upon myself
All hurts and pains of my mothers.

May all this remain undefiled
By the stains of the eight mundane concerns;
And may I, recognizing all things as illusion,
Devoid of clinging, be released from bondage.

 

May all who need to find and read this post, find it and by  reading even one line here that is helpful, may they be so helped, aided and thereby served.

Emotion as ‘the’ spiritual path on April 22 2014 Grand Cross – a continuation of last post

inquire3My last blog post was incomplete.  I got to thinking about it afterwards–the evolution of our emotional life, that is.  We evolve in the way we deal with them–the emotions.  I have observed that progression in my life.  And it 1,000% correlates with Buddhist teachings–the parallels between my own observations and the teachings being very validating and actually very comforting.

Let me try to explain.  You see, in our younger years (there are always exceptions) due to lack of experience/immaturity, we tend to act out our emotions.  When we are feeling  overwhelmed by the intensity of the wave of feelings that occur when emotions arise, what we tend to do before we know any better is to act out in some way, we re-act.

No matter the chronological age of the individual who is experiencing the emotion, immaturity or ignorance causes us to have a particular view of emotion.  The reaction may be to run away from the situation or stimuli that triggered the surge of emotion in order to relinquished or release the energy.  Therefore, the individual does not examine their own inner response.  The don’t hang out with the emotion long enough to realize the truth that emotions arise and then then dissipate.  There is no ability, therefore, to create enough space around the feeling to allow that realization to occur.  Emotions are viewed, therefore, as something bad or something that must be gotten rid of as soon as possible.

Once I heard a Buddhist monk speak about how some advanced Buddhist practitioners will purposefully hold a difficult emotion that arises and try to expand it and to work with that energy for the intentional purpose of extracting wisdom information from the emotional energy.  They also do a practice called Tonglen with the energy in order to help all sentient beings. Wow; impressive!

Many of us, because of societal conditioning, have been told that strong emotional energy is like poison or is highly undesirable and further that one must repress, suppress, avoid, or run away from or get rid of anger, fear, etc. as soon as possible.  And further that we are a sinner!

But eventually, if we progress in our evolution as a human, we begin to see how we can counterbalance an emotion by transforming the energy into it’s opposite or into something else instead–like in my last blog post.  For example, we learn to turn anger into compassion instead.  Whatever or whoever our anger may be about, even if it is anger that we have toward our own self, it is possible to transform it into compassion for self or others.

So then we first try to get rid of the emotion, run away from it somehow, eventually we progress to learning how to transform the emotion and then finally (and this is where I personally am deep into it), we take emotion “as the spiritual path itself”.  Yeah.  Heavy.

I’m doing a lot of that lately (just as others are) with the grand cross today, 13 degrees Pluto/Jupiter opposition in Cap/Cancer respectively and then Uranus/Mars in Aries/Libra.  Two oppositions and 4 squares–and we’ve all got that activated now!  That’ll intensify emotions if anything will. ( I’ve also got a lot of energy aspect-ing communicative Mercury in my personal chart  today so I thought this to be a good time to write a little bit about all this.)  But getting back to the topic here…

The other day I posted a line on Facebook that sort of speaks to using emotions as the path itself:  Fit regular life into spiritual practice, not the other way around.

And speaking of the other way around, when we can use the emotion to create something positive by flipping it around, this leads to really working with the energy–using it in a positive way instead of running from it or stuffing it.  This begins the awareness of the emotional causes and triggers and opens the door to a deeper understanding of one’s self and others.

One begins to notice patterns or triggers and begins to understand how past or present conditioning (cause and effect, karma) play into the emotions.

We can almost see emotions as friends because they assist us to relate to ourselves and to the world differently.

We exit the world of duality and separation and begin to see all people have similar motivations.  Just as the Embodiment of Compassion, Dalai Lama, always says, we see that all beings are, similar to ourselves, in that they are seeking pleasure and happiness and trying to avoid pain and suffering.

Another benefit is that we don’t feel alone in our emotional thunder storms and we can seek the shelter of viewing them from a higher place–seeing the bigger picture.

We can realize that without emotions there is no spiritual path!  Emotions contain spiritual wisdom, knowledge and information.

And this aspect of incorporating emotion into the spiritual path involves looking at the true state of emotion and finding the wisdom there.   The spiritual path IS seeing the nature of emotion.

And the emotion gets stronger and stronger as our teachers (if we ignore them) in order to show us the wisdom and knowledge and information contained within the feelings.

The previous blog post (a divination about emotion) was about the stage in which we take that emotion and flip it or transform it.  The stage after that one is to really wish to see the emotion for what it has to teach–asking what is this emotion’s wisdom nature?

So we let ourselves feel the emotion knowing it will recede just as abruptly as it arose and we hold still with the feeling and allow a gap between the feeling and our old tendency to react or run (fight or flight).  And as the gap forms we can distance ourselves enough to see the psychology of it all, to understand and to do something constructive and positive with it.  To change.

That’s all for now!  I have psychic reading clients calling soon and this is all the time I have right now.   I hope this information helps someone today!

Blowing Your Spiritual Cover and Personal Integrity September 5, 2013 Daily Divination

10 of PentaclesAwareness—it’s awesome realizations; yet, because we are aware and realize something about ourselves doesn’t mean we have reached full enlightenment—it means we are aware of the path.  And excuse me if you are already fully enlightened but most of us go day-by-day doing the best we can, often reacting to life before, knowing we’re reacting.  But that’s okay or at least Pema Chodron says so.

Her recommendation is to say, “May this person who is driving me crazy enjoy happiness and be free of suffering” even though at the time what we are experiencing is genuine anger.  It always makes me feel sheepish when I remind myself that it is self-cherishing that is the root of my problem—that usually puts the fires of anger and frustration out easily.  And then I want to kick myself for reacting to a strong aversion in the first place.

We have our limits as humans it seems.  We can open to some people, but we remain closed to others—the ones who irritate us.

Awareness is seeing this clearly and realizing firsthand that as humans we are, as Pema says, “…a paradoxical bundle of rich potential that consists of both neurosis and wisdom.”

The thing is that we must acknowledge where we are and what we feel—it is so inauthentic and psychologically damaging (in my humble opinion) to pretend to feel anything that we don’t.

I can seem to feel more love, empathy and compassion for my daughter’s cats than I can for my downstairs neighbors!  I tried to muster up those feelings that I have for those animals and then transfer that same feeling to my irritating neighbors—no can do!  I just can’t seem to put these irritating people in the same place in my heart as the beautiful animals that I so love—I had to toss them right out.  I will keep trying and will let you know how it goes.

I am closed off there and need to keep working at it to open up and resolve my aversions—that’s what awareness can mean.  Oh, yeah, I try to tell myself that they are just like me and like the Dalai Lama says, we are all seeking happiness.  It’s just that their version of happiness and mine are apparently in dire contrast and opposition; perhaps it’s cultural but then again “when in Rome” as the saying goes.

I realize this is more aversion to humans and the epitome of resistance to them but I was thinking that I’ve got to start incorporating flip turns into my swimming routine.  Talk about human in your face!  When I got to the pool yesterday all the lanes were free, but for one.  I selected the last lane and started my swim.  About 20 minutes into my swim as I reached the wall to initiate my turn, there it was!

A man’s face in front of my own, asking to swim in my lane with me; all of the other lanes were filled with men and maybe he felt it was easier to ask a woman—who knows his motives? And who cares? But I felt immediate aversion to having to share my lane—why me?  He didn’t swim long but I realize that I have a lot of work to do in that area also; it’s just that (watch me try to justify my aversion now) when I swim it is like a meditation and one really would rather not be interrupted.  But that’s life—it’s what happens to us while we’re doing our own thing; human interference.  I’ve got to learn to be better at sharing my sacred spaces with other humans I guess…. Well, obviously.  I don’t like feeling irritated and would rather be happy and peaceful—that requires getting over my ego and self-cherishing!

I think to write about it and how these humans get under my skin so-to-speak is blowing my cover!  I’m human too and we all have an ego with aversions and attractions—when I lived in the mountains alone I could, for the most part, pretend that I wasn’t one of them!  Ha ha.

Well, humor is a gift from the Angels that helps us cope here.

Today, I will ask the Angels of Laughter to hang 10 with me through the ocean of life… or at least through my apartment living and my lap swimming at the pool.  I hit my toe on the side of the metal filing cabinet this morning as I made my way to my desk with my first cup of coffee while at the same time feeling resentful for being awakened by neighbor’s voices!

It’s a beautiful sunny day and we started out in the high 60’s, low 70’s this morning.  I made good progress on the project I’m creating for my daughter’s wedding gift and still wish that I could be half as artistic as my middle daughter (not the one getting married).  My middle child draws beautifully freehand and oh how I admire her ability to do that!

I just opened a desk drawer and the fragrance of Nag Champa incense cones (that I forgot I had) greeted me (I love Nag Champa) and may today be filled with such continued pleasant surprised for everyone!

DAILY DIVINATION SEPTEMBER 5, 2013 – TEN OF PENTACLES TAROT CARD

This card makes me think of the 11th House in Astrology, relating to the community.  I think of it too as “growing roots” in the community and creating a stable and comfortable environment. The 10 of Pentacles deals with the domestic life and living life upon the earth and represents “the good life”.  The deep connection to The Universe exists within the ordinary life—through this card I am reminded that the troubles and miseries that occupy many human minds (my own included) are only a play and the community plays a role for us in presenting that which we must free ourselves.

As I finished that last sentence a hummingbird was flying a holding pattern within a few feet of my laptop just on the other side of the glass door, looking at me directly.  Reminds me to be joyful and to find the nectar of life and drink heartily from that fountain.  Hummingbirds are symbolic for accomplishing that which seems impossible.

May you always feel encouraged!