Working for Ego, for Spirit or for the sake of the work itself? What’s the Motivation for what you are doing daily?

Busy as a Bee? What's the Motivation?
Busy as the Bees in this Photo? What’s the Motivation?

Working for Ego or Spirit – What’s the Motivation?

Maybe you do this; like I do this – or you don’t.  Do what?  Well, sometimes not what you ‘think’ you should do.  And sometimes we wonder if what we have a plan to do will really make any difference.  I think it’s about the motivation or the reason we do what we do.  That’s what’s what we should examine or look at.   I’ve noticed how people can be uptight and workaholic in their nature and announce or pronounce that they are accomplishing some great task or project and they are too busily involved with this to be distracted from it.  That kind of focus is good and we need that once in a while.  I know how to do that too—been there, done that.  These days, I’m looking at my motivation for everything and that comes along with part of the contemplations involved on my spiritual path.

I question my reason  for doing whatever it is I’ve plans to do and if the motivation to do it isn’t in alignment with my “path” (to use an easy word), then it’s a bit harder to dive in with passion.

I know how it is to be as busy as a bee (see image of honey bees at work above) and also how it is not to be so.  Sometimes I come up with issues either way—the busy bee syndrome can turn into either escapism OR it becomes one huge attachment.  And we know (or at least I do, first hand) what happens with attachments—something’s got to give in order to loosen our grip and that isn’t always pretty.  Best not to go there in the first place!

When you’re younger and with family responsibilities, your motivation is pretty clear, easy, altruistic and necessary–to put food on the table and clothes on the children.  It gets a bit more complicated as you get older and those types of motivations are…. well, no longer motivating. Well, they are and they aren’t–we do get weary of survival needs motivating us and we really want to get past it or be more inspired.

Personally, I’ve been re-inspired by the Buddhist teachings called “The Thirty-Seven Practices of a Bodhisattva”–completely.  I’m going to start blogging about those!  Talk about working with one’s faults and evolving–totally!  I can see the potential and benefit for personal spiritual alignment and then sharing the works with others may be helpful; but the motivation is… well, its not the same as other things in my life.

Recently I read a teaching in which the point had to do with doing the work because we all have some sort of function here and do the work for the sake of the work itself—lose the attachment to the idea of its importance or your “standing”  in relation to it.  In other words, get the ego out.

That sort of squares with these concepts of this life being an illusion or dream-reality and those notions do filter-in and merge with the idea what I do and don’t do in daily life on a daily basis.

Of course, I am not talking about doing my psychic reading work here—for that is clearly in alignment with all my personal spiritual ideals regarding compassion and expanded consciousness, etc.  I’m more or less referring to my work in composing an astrology course.

I like the idea of simply ‘going with’ this concept that  “we all have a function here, so function” –but don’t get attached to the importance of your  function and don’t engage in the task thinking that you are going to create some type of particular outcome.  And certainly don’t do it because you are trying to be busy as a bee in order to appear important to others or because it’s another way of escaping from contemplating your life.  See what I mean?

Have you ever been right on the edge with life?  Maybe even had one of those close to (if not outright) near death experiences or perhaps even been very sick for a day or two.  Almost everybody has had that last experience and can relate.  You know how everything in life sort of fades away and you seem to be hanging on by each breath or something?   Or maybe there was a close call in your car in traffic or the airplane you were in caught an air pocket during a rough weather patch and you felt the fall of the plane.  How important is your project or work then, eh?  What is it that ‘really’ matters?

I have been struggling with the right motivation in writing the astrology class.  My beginning purpose was to put something down for my grandson and niece—to explain astrology for the beginner in my own way, writing the steps of importance as they seem clear to me.  Like with the psychic class, the motivation is to write it out in a way that I wish I could have learned it.

I read a blog post from an Internet Buddhist Teacher who wrote out about his work something that I felt about the psychic class that I wrote.  Let’s see, how did he say it?   Here we go.  He wrote:  “There was no internet in those days so if you wanted to get the answer to a question; you had to physically hunt out someone who had the answer.”  He also wrote: “I can’t imagine what it would’ve been like to have a resource like this site when I was starting out. That’s one of the main reasons I decided to do it.”  That’s exactly how I felt about the psychic class when I wrote it.  I remember driving long distances and spending many hours with other psychics in classes on Sunday afternoons and attending (at great expense of money and time) many seminars and classes—simply because those were the only sources available pre-google.

My motivation these days is to do the work (of the astrology class) using the right motivation.  I sat here for a moment trying to remember which book mentioned the attitude and motivation toward work that jumped out at me and sparked something within me.  Which book was that?  Just as if in a dream, a moment ago I got up and walked right to it then flipped a few pages and there it was.  It’s a book  on talks with the famous sage Nisargadatta and the subject was work and previous to that about being dissolved by The Supreme which creates perfect balance in all things which dissolves you and thus reasserts your true being.  When asked how this works in daily life, Nisargadatta said, “The daily life is a life of action.  Whether you like it or not, you must function. “

That last line reminds me of that one theme in the move THE MATRIX.  It was about programs that are written for everything that functions in the matrix—a program even for the birds in the park, a program for everything to function.

Anyway, he goes on after stating that everyone must function.  “Whatever you do for your own sake accumulates and becomes explosive—one day it goes off and plays havoc with you and your world.  When you deceive yourself that you work for the good of all, it makes matters worse, for you should not be guided by your own ideas of what is good for others.  A man who claims to know what is good for others is dangerous.”

On a gut level I really get that last line—it’s a karma thing of course.

So then the question was asked about how a person is supposed to work then.  What’s the right attitude and the right motivation? And his answer was, “Neither for yourself nor for others, but for the work’s own sake.  A thing worth doing is its own purpose and meaning.  Make nothing a means to something else.  Bind not.  The Divine Intelligence (God) does not create one thing to serve another.  Each is made for its own sake.  Because it is made for itself, it does not interfere.”

I’ve been thinking about that and as I struggle with the right motivation for my astrology writing project work, I also came across this this morning in my email from www.tut.com .   I like these short pithy sentence or two’s and sometimes they resonate and sometimes not; however today’s did when factored in with all else.  Here’s what it said:

Judging yourself for what you haven’t yet accomplished, Joy, is like finding fault with a lion because it can’t fly, a bird because it can’t swim, or tree because it can’t leave… well, you know what I mean.

Whop,
The Universe

There’s some peace in that and with my self-coaching about self-acceptance and my underlying and core belief that all things come together in divine timing!

And now let me gather up the right motivation and keep my function in mind and let the work do the work for the work while my fingers do the typing—translation:  back to writing the astrology course letting pure being emerge.

Non-Self and Illusion of Emotion – How to Hold Your Horses and Not Get Pulled In

 The Illusion of Emotion Hold Your Horses and Don’t Get Pulled In

Hold Your Horses and Don’t Get Pulled In
“Hold Your Horses” and Don’t Get Pulled In

On the subject matter of non-self, consciousness, awareness, spiritual awakenings and psychic energy, I recently posted this Nisargadatta quote on Facebook:

“On what we think as REAL taking your idea of yourself for example: “You cling to personality, but you are conscious of being a person only when you are in trouble; when you’re not in trouble you do not think of yourself.” 

And I did so because I came to this quote rather magically (I believe in magic@!) after having an experience that relates to the quote itself.

Someone asked, “But how do we overcome thinking about ourselves when not in trouble?” 

Logical question; good question I suppose.  Surely, I don’t have all the answers but perhaps my humble speculation will be of some use to someone, other than my self.  Let me share my experience and that may be self-explanatory.

The other day I was in a place of no-fear, no- desire, non-attachment and  for the most part this is what we may call a contented happiness state.  I say it that way because extreme happiness – or the kind of cartwheels in the street and jumping up and down type of glee is really the result of some type of attachment.  But life itself, the marriage of consciousness to life is contented happiness.   A state of (for the most part) non-self, just merged with the harmony of life, flowing in harmony with what is and this type of non-self.  No strong desire, no craving, no yearning, no fear, no anger, no frustration—like that.   Those are states that attach us to self—thinking of our self.  We may say, as the Buddhists do, that these are states of self-cherishing.

I was in such a state of flow with life; neither here nor there; doing what comes natural; no strong push or desire—and just letting the mind become blank periodically.  And then—DRAMA WALKS IN THE DOOR!

So here comes this energy around me and it feels like it sucks you into your body.  In fact we have expressions like this—“I got sucked into that” or we say “I got pulled into it”.  That’s how it felt quite dramatically and literally.  My ‘self’ wanted to become engaged with the energy and I felt my consciousness being pulled back into ‘self’ when moments earlier I was in a state (more rather than less) of non-self:  no fear, no desire, no attachment—only flow.  Now the flow was being yanked and tugged by my ‘sense of self’–mostly self-identity.

You know how it goes when one begins to feel insulted, right?  That feeling comes up in us and we say things like, “Do they know who they are talking to?!”  It’s ME, the all-important ‘me’!!  Yeah, personality was starting to think about how it was receiving an insult.

I’ve heard it said, “A spark of truth can burn up a mountain of lies.”   The truth that I could return to being an atom of existence or let myself be pulled in was before me—a choice.

When I remembered this—when I remembered that the energy which the personality was being tempted to wrestle with, the energy that was starting to be sucked in by the personality began to  dissolved once I remembered the nature of reality being illusion.

Oh yeah, trust me—I know.  Been there and done that so many times I’m an expert at making illusion really real!  It’s all a play of cosmic matter.

When we become identified personally with any energy we become a slave to it.

When, on the other hand we remember what I heard my higher mind saying at that moment that I began to become sucked in which was IT’S NOT REAL, the “self” subsides and mind merges back into the previous state of no fear, no desire, no attachments, no anger, no craving and so on—everything decreases and wanes and subsides into silence.

Then we stand apart from the illusion having not been sucked in and we become master of the energy instead of the other way around. 

Footnote:  I am grateful for the experience from the Drama Queen because I don’t think I’ve experienced the energy quite so clearly and witnessed the two opposite states so dramatically and felt the pull in such a profound way!

Merge, Harmonize or Maintain Separation? Living with Mumbai Neighbors in the USA!

MUMBAI
Mumbai!!

Maybe it is a matter of merging and harmonizing—and not being/feeling/trying so hard to be separate.  Maybe that’s the lesson from Lord and Lady Mouth of Mumbai!  Okay, so I am being sarcastic and cynical and I shouldn’t call them that.  You may want to cut me a break with that since I’ve been up until after 1 AM listening to their gyrations, door slamming and loud-mouthing!  Yeah, I make myself stay up until they quiet down because IF NOT I have horrible dreams from their fighting and door slamming.  Yeah, talk to the management?  I have, they say call the police or slam the wall or stomp my feet and they will get the message.

It is about merging and harmonizing instead of fighting it!  And them!  And myself!  At least I think that’s the approach.  After all, what I’ve seen of India—aside from the ashram of the late Sathya Sai Baba—and PBS documentaries showing crowded streets and dog-eat-dog chaos amounts to a sum total of that and the movie,  Slumdog Millionaire!  Their way of life is probably 1,000 different than my own—they are obviously used to merging with others more than I am.  With a population like that I’d suppose you’d have to know how –and I’d not be able to survive in India the way I’m not able to even merge or harmonize with my downstairs neighbors!

Many of us get this concept of India that everyone there is like Deepak Chopra or are meditation masters.  I cannot tell you how many people from India that I’ve met who say they don’t even know how to meditate—so they’re just like Americans in that sense.  I can’t lump the whole culture; that’s not fair and of course I’m blogging while sleep deprived here on top of being frustrated with the paper-thin walls here while now knowing that I’m hugely overpaying in rent for such a shoddily and cheaply constructed structure.  But there it is—fact.  It is what it is.

Some light here involves my soon to be married daughter who lives in suburbia in a beautiful community of condo—it’s gorgeous!  In the summer time their pool is supervised and the last 10 minutes of every hour of the day they clear the kids from the pool so that adults can do lap swimming.  YES!!!!  She mentioned that when they buy their house in another year that they would … well, she’s going to talk it over with her soon to be husband, but she indicated that it’s possible that they could rent their condo to me!!  I do miss the mountains and planned to go back – something more deeply affirmed within my since the super-mouths of Mumbia moved in below me.  (If you’ve not been paying attention to my blog, they have earned that well-deserved name with me due to their 24-7 marathon dialogues interspersed with sudden fights that spring up just when you suspect they’ve finally fallen asleep throughout the wee early mornings!)  They don’t leave for Monster’s Inc. (Lowes Headquarters) until around 9:30 AM but I’m up by 6 AM to welcome my granddaughter in while we wait together for the time for her school bus—her mother has a long drive to work and has to leave early.

Oh, why not put on a fan for white noise?  Yeah?  I hear them over the sound of the fan and if I fall asleep before they do (their fighting and loud voices beneath my bed can still be heard anyway), the result for is crazy, horrible dreams—nightmares.  Bad dreams were coming every night (not typical for me AT ALL) until I woke straight up out of one and heard them fighting beneath me….duhh, no wonder!   Honestly, these folks go on-and-on-and-on-and-on and never give it a rest!  I’ve never heard anything like it and really if there was an award given for people who talk, bicker and fight non-stop—they’d be the clear winners!

I was feeling the FLIGHT OR FIGHT feeling in my bed while reading my spiritual book—that’s when they first moved in you see and I didn’t realize that there were new neighbors.  Suddenly in the midst of my reading i feel that whole ‘fight or flight’ panic in my body.  Really? where’s that coming from?  I put my book down to go within to figure it out when i realize that i think i hear a voice, man’s voice.  No I think, I must be imagining it.  My fan is on, vibrating, making white noise.  I go back to my book.  Again, louder, voices…. still feeling my heart race and sort of panic feeling.  What is going on here?  so am I crazy?  I get up to turn off the fan to find out and yeah!  Its Lord and Lady Mumbi –the downstairs neighbors–going on and on yelling to each other beneath my bed!

Okay anyway, i’ve got one idea–it could help.  I am going to get some inexpensive door mirrors at Wal Mart and put them mirror side down beneath my bed hoping that whatever energy comes up will be forced back down via the mirrors!   I’ll let you know how it works.  It won’t muffle sound but may direct energy back down so i don’t feel it in my body.  In this instance of the Mumbai neighbors, the fact that I’m a sensitive, a psychic, is more a hindrance than a help.

Enough kvetching!  The only thing I can do is try to harmonize instead of insisting that I maintain separation.  I want to say this is MY sacred space and your voices and door slamming sounds are NOT ALLOWED—GET OUT@!!  But, how realistic is that with these paper thin walls?  Their voices just carry—they’re the opposite of ‘soft talkers’.  I suspect one or both may be partially deaf –this I try to believe to evoke compassion for them which at 1 AM is really difficult, but I do try!

Anyway, one coping mechanism is to run the dishwasher through a few cycles; that muffles Mumbai for about an hour and a half.  I put my TV onto the Buddhist channel the rest of the time in an effort to change the vibe –but really in the evenings my habit is to meditate or read; usually both.  How long can I listen to the Dalai Lama’s translators or the sound of my own dishwasher before that gets old too?  Well, there’s always old re-runs of Grey’s Anatomy or a Harry Potter DVD, but the point is that’s all me still trying to separate instead of merging and harmonizing.

Anyway, that’s my thought for today—it has to do with my observation that I am trying to separate myself from humanity and humanity is right underneath my feet letting me know it’s not going anywhere!  Nice!  And they say the universe has no sense of humor!

Part of this is not their fault!  The shouting and slamming doors—yeah, I’m going to have to talk to them about that stuff that goes on after 10:00 PM; there’s no need for THAT!  The other part of it is just them being them—humans!  Humans’ way too close to my turf!  Boy O boy do I miss the old tenant … a single guy who just played his TV … a movie every now and then.  No problem; I’d go into the bedroom, turn on my fan and read my book.  Sure.  I’d hear him on the phone now and again but ‘what the heck’, a person has to talk once in a while.  But these folks—OMG!  It’s like a 24 hour phone call–!!

The weekend is upon us—and really I’d like to work more on writing my astrology class but why bang my head against the wall?  It’s impossible to think straight with the motor-mouths of Mumbai going at it all day long!  So, I’ll be coming up with a plan B today; maybe I can take my whole act over to my daughter’s house—she’s 5 doors down and hardly ever hears her neighbors.

Well, they don’t leave for Monster’s Inc for another 45 minutes.  I’ve been totally killing time here waiting for them to leave for their jobs.  I may go back to bed for a while which I really don’t like doing b but you won’t find THIS hard to believe—I’ve got a sore throat and head cold since yesterday afternoon.  Yeah, figures.

See that photo of Mumbai?  I nearly laughed out loud!  Apparently, they’re used to living like that—and yeah, I’d never make it there OR I’d have to learn to merge and harmonize.  Just look at the photo; that many people crowded together like that?  They probably learned to shout to one another just to be heard over their neighbor!!  They’re probably doing what is in entirely natural for them and I’m the one who has the problem!!  I’m trying to see me from their point of view.

Could I be better at harmonizing and being more tolerant?  Yeah, I really think I can and should try harder!  Just look at that picture!  I look at the birds outside my window taking turns to come to the birdfeeder… they sit on the branches waiting for some to clear out while others are there.  Somehow they merge and harmonize and …. Well, some do flap their wings at the others, but still.  I think that when the Mouths of Mumbai are home, I should be not home as much as possible.  I should fly away like the birds to the birdfeeder.  I’ve got to get better at harmonizing and merging with humanity; but I will still carry the Plan B to go back to the wilderness.  I sure do miss the quiet and serenity of the mountains.

Merge, harmonize, blend and quit thinking that you are a separate ego Joy!!!  You are only energy in the world like everyone and everything else.  Lose your illusion of separateness and put the ego to bed, for good—merge, dissolve, blend, harmonize.  Let go.  Namaste Mumbi Mouth Lord and Lady, Namaste!

Excuse me now.  I’m going to bed to nurse my cold and restore my health! It is 9:15 AM ; they should be soon leaving for Monster’s Inc.  Please god, don’t tell me that they have the day off today!!  I’m waiting to hear the door close…. waiting, waiting, waiting…..   Oh, thank you jesus…9:20 AM and their door closes…they’ve gone…. AMEN.

Yeah, I’ll admit to being close to going over the edge…. but for now i’m going to grab  my Kleenex and get back into bed!

 

Taming the Mind and Being Authentic on the Spiritual Path

Taming an unruly mind in meditation can be like taming a wild horse

Okay, I’ll admit it—faking the small talk enjoyment with strangers I can’t seem to do very well at anymore. “I am what I am and that’s all that I am” as Popeye the sailor man cartoon guy says. In my own defense it was a full Moon opposing my natal Moon and I fretted over the appetizer and what to wear to the affair that by the time I got there I was already wore out and didn’t have much energy to pretend what I didn’t feel–exhausted; can I pretend I’m full of energy. I’m not use to being inauthentic. I gave it all the cover I could; my sister said I did fine, so I’ll go with that. I guess I just don’t care to pretend anymore and didn’t realize it until I was underwater in humans.

It was all very lovely for her (my daughter) and she’s the one who matters in this instance after all; the engagement party was for her. I did my best; something that I always assure myself that I do and I hope isn’t just me being delusional. It’s just hard to keep the center in the midst of people’s energy bouncing off the walls especially when one’ is tired. There’s something about my spiritual path these days that doesn’t allow me be inauthentic and that’s a problem in some situations. Now I see it is even more important than ever to keep rested and to have enough time to devote to a formal sitting meditation—it’s imperative now whereas at the top of the mountain it wasn’t as necessary for me.

These connections with family dramas stimulate the mental amphitheater of my mind that has been quiet – and in observing these thoughts, I see how I can allow pretty self-critical thinking. I also realize that there is some sort of guilt that is beneath it all; and it’s vague and general… nearly like that whole original sin catholic guilt garbage. Yeah, insane neurosis and in between it’s there… calm and peace. It’s there but I need to formally take it to the cushion these days to find it again and re-activate it.

I said to my family that having moved here is causing me to dig deeper into the Buddhist teachings and to work with applying meditation practice on levels that I hadn’t before and my sister laughed, winked and in her funny sarcastic tone replied, “Glad to help!”

Anyway, I think that being very authentic as a human was the par for the course until I hit family turf again and until I became surrounded by traffic and humans galore. And now that insane thoughts or what the Buddhist would call “self-consciousness” and what westerners would call “ego” has…. Well, it is like the sleeping dragon has awakened! And that’s probably truer than not since the South Node of the Moon in Astrology is called Dragon’s tail and the North Node referred to Dragon’s head! And like I’ve pointed out in other posts, in my case my transiting nodes moving closer to merging with my natal nodes—North Node on the South and South Node on the North. “Back to the Future”—and so who knows, we have old thoughts from past lives or even from the past of this lifetime being kicked up.

My daughter is about to get married and I’m doing our life review here and it’s all just insane and neurotic thought which dissipates when I see it and label it and then peace filters back in so I can be my true self again. It was living in that true self for so long up on the mountain that sort of dis-allowed me to pretend too much at the party; it was hard is all I can say. But there we go—yet another insane thought just got blogged. LOL

It’s time for me to take it all to the cushion again. I don’t want to think anymore, I just want to breathe and be who I am…. Something wasn’t at the party but I survived even if I didn’t ‘perform’ all that well and couldn’t pull off having the ‘time of my life’ when I wasn’t. LOL. It was one of those affairs where you stand for hours and talk while everyone else talking around you—quite different from 15 years of solitude in the mountains. And now, to the meditation cushion to tame the unruly mind—on some days lately, it seems like saddling a wild horse! I must love that horse and approach it gently and with compassion.

PS– I enjoyed talking to the little kids and interacting with their family dog the most.  I’m not a social moron really, just having trouble pretending anymore. I’m still working it out in meditation time; it’ll be alright

Ego at work in Spirituality and in Psychic Development

Ego
Ego
Ordinary Mind or Special and therefore separate?

Do you think that sometimes we need a good head cold or otherwise run-of-the-mill flu or virus to get ourselves to slow down a bit and contemplate life a bit more?  Last week was the first week of school and half of our family has the sniffles, headaches, body aches, stiff necks and all that jazz.  Toss in a weather shift along with early morning rushes to catch the school bus and it’s no wonder! 

There’s a change in the air in more ways than one and for some of us, when we stop rushing around and are forced to put our bodies into a slumbering position simply because we cannot stand up anymore, it is then that we grab a book and hot cup of tea.

Not that I need a cold or flu to contemplate life—it seems like I do that a lot anyway, but lately I’m thinking about how the ego works and especially how that applies in our attempts to be more spiritual and intuitive. 

I’ve got some ideas that I’m flushing out for this week’s newsletter about how we make moments of merging with higher mind some sort of special and sacred event which keeps it at a distance—we don’t think of it as normal and every day, which it is and should be!

I’ve got to find a good way to express that with some examples and I’m toying with it as my own inspiration kicks in while I’m grabbing for the Kleenex and flu medicine.  Why should these moments of transcendence and clarity and light be deemed so sacred and special when they should really be seen as ordinary and normal?  The Buddhist refers to it as ‘ordinary mind’ in order, I feel, to keep it close to our experience rather than profanely distant. 

The ego, you see, wants to shout it out to the world, “I had this magical spiritual experience!  Majestic and spiritual and special and look at me and how unique I am” and this brings one the separate identity that the ego needs to feel special.   This happens as we intentionally try to develop our intuition and in psychic development too. 

We keep the memory of the momentary flash of insight that we receive in meditation or the unique vision or merging with higher mind as special, unique and therefore separate from who we really are which is mimicking patriarchal religion which purports that ‘god’ is outside of us somewhere else.  We keep our spiritual communions the same way calling them abnormally sacred when they are simply part of what the Buddhists call ordinary mind. 

Well, I have more work to do on these ideas as drink my tea to soothe my sore throat.  I’m thinking how even my cold and flu is being grabbed up by my ego in order to reinforce my identity and I laugh!

Fantastic Listening Walking Meditation and THE HERMIT

In my last blog post there were references to times when we can make a problem where none exists.  A few days later, I heard a Tibetan Lama give a dharma teaching about the need to give the ego mind a job—a part time job—something to do. Otherwise, since the ego-mind needs to stay employed, it gives itself a job.  It creates a problem to solve where there ‘is’ no problem in the first place.

I could really relate to that simple teaching.  This is sometimes why I like listening to the Tibetan monks—they speak broken English many times but that sort of forces them to slow down and speak in very easy to understand simply ways that are really quite profoundly beautiful actually.

Chanting, of course, is giving the mind a job, but this particular monk spoke about using sound.

I wanted to share a really cool meditation that I did with that suggestion while walking, but first I wanted to write a little bit more about how the ego mind will create problems where none exist.  It can also be what is called unnecessary worry and it follows patterns many times.  I recently watched documentary movie “What the Bleep do we Know” again.  I no longer have cable TV, so I had that movie on my Netflix list.  Of course, I saw it back when it first came out which I believe was 2003 or 2004, somewhere along there.  But watching it again on the heels of the recent dharma teaching and last week’s blog about making a problem where none exist really added that piece about neuron and patterns.

These recent messages from the universe from my experience, the movie and the dharma teaching are all fitting together very well for me and it’s been really synchronistic and personally helpful.

Here’s an example of how that kind of thing about the mind making problems where there are none based on old patterned thinking or wounds can out-picture—another example involving someone else.  A person wants an appointment and instead of just asking for a day and time that works for their schedule and nailing down the day and time, they write 4 or 5 emails sheepishly asking about scheduling a session.  They receive a reply to each question and then end up not making an appointment because of some perception that they have that they are being in some way mistreated.  And all of that is in their imagination and coming from an old way of responding based on a wound possibly but it is at the very least making a problem where there is none.   The person they accuse of mistreating them is mystified and astounded because each question was answered directly without any type of mistreatment whatsoever.

The ego-mind needs more to focus upon; otherwise, it gets itself into trouble by finding a problem where none exists.  All the neurons from past wounds start to fire and the person ends up seeing what is not there actually.

Well, I really wanted to write a few lines about this walk that I took yesterday.  It was a beautiful, sunny spring day.  Instead of plugging my mp3 player’s earbuds into my ear, I chose to walk without music or without an astrology lesson blasting in my ear either.

After I got started, I thought to try the sound meditation that I heard in the dharma talk by the monk who said to give the ego-mind a part-time job to listen to sounds!

Okay, I thought, let’s give it a try.  I already knew that my mind would likely wander but with practice over the years, it wanders less than when I first started to officially meditate back in the 80’s.

I loved the way the monk said that each time the mind wanders it is like a drip of water falling into a bucket when you catch it and bring it back –in this case, bringing it back to the object of focus which I decided was going to be sound.  He said you may end up with a full or overflowing bucket or barrel for as many drips as times that you have to bring your mind back.  The idea is not to fight with it or beat your self up about it.

Now, this is not the first time I’ve written about meditation in my blog or newsletters!  If I’ve written about that last paragraph once, I’ve written it hundreds of times… many times associating the object of focus as the breath or an object held in the mind such as the image of a flower or even an object in the meditation room, such as a candle flame or a statue.

But this meditation with sound while walking was a little bit different and very enjoyable yesterday.  I thought if I write about it that others may like to try it too.

There were many sounds in the area where I was walking and my mind was very busy with its part-time job chasing after one sound and then next and no other thought or distraction interfered so that I could relax and be fully present.

There was the sound of someone’s lawn mower off in the distance, bird’s chirping close by, the sound of lug nuts going on and off tires from the garage across the way, children’s voices off  in the distance, a loud muffler from a truck driving by, the sound of the creek rushing over the big rocks… all kinds of sounds!  It was like I was everywhere at once yet also very focused and present at the same time.

Once in a while, I realized my mind began to create a story or have a memory and I called it back to the sounds and realized that there goes another drip in the bucket and smiled about it.

I thought it was a great walking meditation in which I was very aware of awareness.  It was quite like I’d imagine the mind of god to be if the mind of god was there listening to the sounds too.

I just pulled a tarot card remembering how I recently mentioned that I am returning the tarot in my blog writing.  I asked what message from higher mind may come from this topic of walking sound meditation.  I smile now seeing that I’ve drawn the card of THE HERMIT.

On this particular card [image above], we see an older man and younger man—the same person who is older and younger.  The older man IS the younger man who knows himself.

The Hermit is the higher consciousness that waits at the peak of our own spirituality.

It is about making contact with the original staff of life which illuminates our inner purpose and earthly goals.

Intuitively, what I am getting the message of THE HERMIT to be (in answer to the question for guidance about my walking sound meditation) is that the inner and outer world is one and the same.  I was experiencing the sounds of the outer world within me during my walk and being in attunement or at-one with life.

I also think that just being fully present (as I was during most of my walk) is being in communication with that cosmic mind or non-local consciousness and that we are receiving energy and information that maybe our lower mind doesn’t realize.  It is busy doing its part-time job that we gave it, listening for and to the sounds.

Being fully present actually is communing with Life which is the communication with The Divine.  You know you’ve done it because you feel more peaceful and happier than before when it’s happening!

How to Handle Paranoia, Suspiciousness and Uneasiness that comes from Fear of Loss or Betrayals of Trust – Ace of Pentacles Offers Wisdom

Before you even read this post, I must offer the Buddhist perspective which is something that can alleviate this suffering of uneasiness or fear.  That perspective goes this way.  There is no “I” to feel suspicious, paranoid uneasy or fearful.  The “I” or the “me” is the ego which suffers, clings and self-cherishes.  The ego is also the mirror for the projection outward of what is inside of self.  So the paranoia etc. has to do with afflictions of the ego-self from past which are misconceptions or what they would likely call the ‘karma of thought’ … or mental afflictions, obscurations.  Meditating on these concepts and also visualizing the lightbody… the clear, lumionous, pure lightbody can also alleviate the suffering of ego clinging–i.e. paranoia, jealousy, etc.

It happens, has happened and will likely continue to happen at one time or another to all of us on some level.  I’m talking about being double-crossed, betrayed, stolen from and other human-on-human offenses—either in this lifetime or another.  Those types of wounds go deep and create within the human soul wounds that become triggered from time-to-time and to some degree.  And those old hurts create a certain phobia, uneasiness, paranoia.

We may say things to ourselves like,  “They did it to me once and by gosh they’re not going to do it to me again if I have anything to say about it!”  Maybe you were stolen from by those you placed your trust in and shouldn’t have and now the soul is on a certain hyper vigilance when it gets triggered.  Call that paranoia if you like but what do we do about it?

I turned to the tarot, drew a card with issue in mind and asked, “How do we best handle it when we have these feelings?” 

What I think of first is this saying we’ve often heard, “Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.”  But is that the right attitude to take?  Let’s see what wisdom we can derive from the ACE OF PENTACLES.

As I look at the card, two things come to mind.  One is about being grounded and another is about starting over as in new beginnings.  These are two archetypes of the combination of PENTALCES and ACES.

I am laughing at those keywords “grounded” and “new beginning” – it’s as if the oracle is clearly saying that the way to handle the paranoia is to find a way to ground in the NOW and to remember that each moment is a new beginning.  We, as humans, carry the past with us to some extend for it is all in our soul.  We’ve learned some hard lessons and don’t want to make those painful mistakes again; thus, the paranoia.  Something inside of us says, “Oh, no!  Not again; let me strike before someone strikes me first–or at the very least, I should take protective measures.”

Discernment is a big lesson—knowing who to trust and who NOT to trust.  We can get that confused.  How do we sort it out?  Well, turning to an oracle or using intuition can be helpful.

I’d say that when our stomach muscles are gripped, there is something trying to get our attention.  Are those feelings an over-reaction to be ignored or a warning to be heeded?

Sometimes we have to get some distance in order to know for sure which is which. We should not ignore these suspicious, uncomfortable feelings nor should we become a slave to them.

One way out of it is to apply a method called “The Work” by Byron Katie which is asking the self a the question, “Can I know for sure this is true?”,  “How does it feel when I think this thought?”  And “Who would I be without this thought?” 

The Ace of Pentalces also relates, on an archetypal level, to nurturing the mind/body/spirit on a deep level.  A good healthy meal, an enjoyable exercise of some type or a good old-fashioned nap could help—that or whatever seems to nourish the soul.  Sometimes, for me, that’s watching a movie.

If the feelings of paranoia or suspicions about something or someone create the level uneasiness that is relieved by taking an action toward self-protection; take that action if it nourishes the soul and then let it go.  Let that self-protective measure or action help to put an end to the phobia and the uneasiness that suspicion has caused.  Then go do something else; let it go.

By the way, PENTACLES relates to material matters or materiality.  So money/finances and loss/gain is part of the dynamic; so the oracle is giving specific information about what causes some of that and that is fear of the loss of money or someone taking from us what results in income in some way.  Survival stuff.  There can be also a fear of “loss of self” which is the ego fearing its demise.  Not possible but that’s paranoia. 

The roses in the image of the Ace of Pentacles reminds us of beauty and also the pain of the thorns.  Our fellow humans – some can be so beautiful and others can stab us with their thorns.  Or maybe we can stab ourselves sometimes too if we let our suspicious natures get out of hand.

Lastly, the angel with the money sign on this card seems to remind us that we must keep ourselves in as positive state as much as possible in order to receive the material gifts available to us.  And, worst case scenario, the oracle reminds us that life is full of new beginnings and help is available.

What will help the most to overcome these emotions is gratitude and the use of common sense; so counteract paranoia by focusing on your blessings and as I started with, by “getting real”—as best as you can anyway.

Know you are safe, protected and that you have total security.  Remember WHO really provides for your needs … i.e. a Higher Power.  Even if you don’t fully believe it, fake it until you make it.  It helps to believe we’re not facing this life without some sort of Divine Support.

One last final note—sometimes feelings of “fear of loss” can motivate us toward greater achievement.

I hope this little post helps someone out in cyber world.

Can you do the work that you love despite vulnerability? I-Ching Kua 26 Great Restraint

Is this a continuation of where I left off from the last blog post?  (I’m asking myself.)  Vulnerability! Exposure!  Who likes it?  The MIND wrongfully interprets vulnerability as inadequacy. Learning to be a professional intuitive will expose all that jazz.  Transcending ego boundaries can feel like swimming naked and alone in a dark and unfamiliar body of water.  Lovely visual, isn’t it?  But it’s true—usually, the MIND [ego] doesn’t want to appear (even for a nanosecond) as if it doesn’t have its act together.

These thoughts are inspired by a divination tool, the I-ching Kua 26 “The Taming Power of the Great”, also called “Great Restraint”.  How do we tame that MIND and allow vulnerability without making mountains out of mole hills?

By keeping still and holding firm, even in the face of the abyss in which the ego fears losing power, identity and self—that’s how.

M. Thurston, former director of A.R.E. (Edgar Cayce Organization) synchronized Cayce’s channeled messages with the I-ching. He calls this Kua “Setting Forth” and for this one he writes, “One must leave the sanctuary of one’s home and put to work the principles espoused intellectually, or her life has little meaning.”  This sounds like “walk your talk”, doesn’t it?

That reminds me a good deal of people who write not because they need but because they simply cannot NOT WRITE.  These are folks are doing what is natural to them and cannot imagine not writing. But I’m sure they, too, have experienced challenges that attempt to break down their resolve.

And then there are those ‘starving artists’ and ‘starving actresses’.  They simply cannot NOT DO what their heart and soul will not permit them to quit trying to do—they do their craft anyway.

Yet, the trick in all that is that once we start to “sweat the small stuff” as the old saying goes, we are becoming overly attached to our ideas about whatever it is we are fretting over or whatever we find ourselves overly defending.  We can be overly identified with our beliefs about who we are and what we do here.

And thus, we must allow the vulnerability and fears of inadequacy while remaining in our truth—that’s the bottom line.  If you swim naked in the darkness of the abyss, you will probably bump into others eventually—perhaps one of them will be me.