Most folks don’t contemplate how “past” and “future” are happening right now. On some level when we are calm and contemplative, we do realize that all experiences are a series of unfolding present moments.
There’s like this agreement we all have about time, mostly because it’s useful. These concepts about time do serve a useful purpose, but when we make them ‘too real’ and by not getting that they are just part of our mental projections and part of our own process of thoughts, we create a sort of bondage. It’s a trap.
In this trap, we have companions called worry, regret, anxiety, and fear about the future.
Next time we find ourselves trapped with those companions, we can break out and shatter those boundaries of time. How? by settling down into the body and into the experience of this moment. When we settle down in this way, it is natural and quite easy to have the awareness that past and future are simply thoughts in the present. And it’s all they ever were or will be.
Instant detachment. It costs nothing; you need no equipment and you can do it anywhere.
Lately under intuitive guidance when doing a reading, I’ve watched myself add a step to my preparation. Three tarot cards–one for the issue and two for the guidance. Usually, I have guidance ready to go already prepared before I get the client on the phone that comes through my meditation time beforehand. But I’ve gone to adding another step lately–who knows why. Its just something I’ve been doing.
I felt like writing a blog post today and usually I have some topic in mind based on some recent life experience. Today, that corner of my consciousness is empty; so I thought to draw those 3 cards to just manifest a topic or be inspired about something to write.
KNIGHT OF SWORDS is the topic/issue/concern and the TWO OF SWORDS and ACE OF CUPS give the insight/advice/guidance. Ready? Go!
A Knight of Swords topic involves change that comes from action. Did you ever have times in life when you had to do “something” and sometimes we will say the phrase that comes from the desire to just get things moving. And so we may something to a friend that goes something like this, “Look; I can’t just do nothing–I’ve go do ‘something’ even if it’s wrong!”
Initiating something just to get the ball rolling. Suddenly what comes to mind is those pawn shop TV shows where they negotiate over the price of an item for sale or an auction–someone’s got to start the bidding.
The Knight of Swords represents a time when one takes action and perhaps begins the communication, the dialogue ensues–that is what (my intuition has decided) the issue is that this blog will address.
It takes courage to make the first bid at an auction or begin a difficult conversation with someone or… just had an image of someone who has something like agoraphobia which is that fear of going outside of the house. Just initiating that first step takes great courage.
What added advice or guidance can we derive from the other two cards? (The Two of Swords and Ace of Cups)
Two of Swords reminds us of something. We’ve got to open the heart to the process and look directly at anything that may cause us fear. Take the blinders off and open the heart is what the Two of cups tells us. So many times we let our minds run wild with imaginings of what could happen, projecting into future with a good many “what if’s” which keep us trapped.
Personally, with fears I’ve found the best way is to invite them in for tea and cookies–meaning this. I run through the worse case scenario– what’s the worst that can happen? Here is a good place to recommend “The Work” which is a system of challenging one’s thought which is a whole program of awareness based on ancient teachings and coined by Byron Katie. I suggest to Google the name/term if you’re not familiar and want to know more. Basically, challenge the fears, listen to the wisdom of the heart and don’t let fears inhibit your decisiveness.
Ace of Cups echoes this sentiment, nearly validating my interpretation of the other card. The deck I use the most (Herbal Tarot) pictures a lotus flower, a cup overflowing with light held by a hand in the clouds with the dove of peace nearby and all these symbols speak to me about finding the peace of spirit through devotion in some way. One may ask what devotionals such an individual who has such concerns or issues described by the Knight of Swords subscribes. Where is there any level of devotion that one can draw from? Some are devoted to their spirituality, their family, their own self-improvement but we all have some level of devotion. If we don’t the guidance is to find that something that you’re devoted to and use that to help with courage and decisiveness, keeping in mind that we all have help available from… well, what’s the usual expression people use? Help from above is how most would say it. So one can draw upon that.
Big decisions are difficult but small one’s are not. And sometimes just taking one step or making one small decision to get things started (with the understanding that it doesn’t have to be permanent) is what frees up the energy enough to brings new ideas. And it strengthens faith in the universe as a good place to be and of course enhances self-trust as well.
Just sayen: I’m a psychic and of course I love divination! Just had to go there just now. Anyway…
So take that first step out your door or initiate the communication or action!
Carl Jung said that as humans our greatest challenge is to break away from the herd
Boundaries. Those lines we draw around ourselves to maintain balance and to protect our psyche from invasion. Yes, or maybe ‘intrusion’ is a gentler word.
The push of energy that comes from the behavior and the demands of others requires a boundary. That boundary keeps us from being used or manipulated by others and within that boundary we can express our true nature. Personal boundaries allow us to be in the driver’s seat of our own lives.
Without healthy boundaries we sometimes give up a part of our self to be available or accommodating in a way that enables others and causes a loss of self-respect.
We can become so entangled with another person and their needs (co-dependent behavior) that we lose your own identity. This undermines our integrity and leads to a loss of self-respect — and the respect of others around you.
Respecting boundaries. I asked my self today if I honor other people’s boundaries. Do I push myself on others? When I get a hint that a person does not wish to socialize with me, do I continue to insist that they do so? And do I solicit others in passive-aggressive ways to elicit sympathy from others using them to assist me to push boundaries even further?
Sounds like a little bit like the animal–the bull, doesn’t it. But you know how some people keep on antagonizing the other, right? I have a visual. Someone who is like a bull and charges upon others. Wave that red flag in my face one more time and I may, do like the bull, and charge! 🙂
Do people have a fundamental right to set limits and expectations in their life without incurring the judgment of others? I think they do. You know that saying, “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.“–??
Can people consider the wishes of others yet still make choices regarding personal boundaries?
People are the way they are. Can we accept that without judging them, trying to manipulate or change them?
I operate from my own truth. You do too. And when we respect other people’s truths, we expect our own truths to be respected in return.
Manipulative people do not understand boundaries. They force themselves into the space of other people’s lives.
Where’s the compassion? Fear is the root of it all, you know? The boundary pushing person has a fear of not being loved, not being good enough, deserving enough. Okay, that’s understood. So then what? Do we let the person keep pushing or what?
Compassion for the boundary pusher and for the one with the boundaries ( both ) is what’s needed here. There is the defensiveness from the one with the boundaries who says, “See what I see, hear what I hear, feel what I feel and then maybe you will understand.” And the other one, in the meanwhile, of course still pushes– the habit of fear being the driving motivation.
“You couldn’t handle half of what I’ve dealt with and don’t understand that there’s a reason that I do what I do”, says the one who has been willing to accept responsibility for their own life and who has developed the self-respect which created the boundary. Victim talk?
Personal boundaries are more than OK–and it doesn’t mean that you are selfish or unkind if you push back when someone pushes yours. Boundaries mean that you have a clear picture of who you are and how you want to live.
In a family dynamic it is always more difficult or better said–complex. Sometimes we have to endure a person for the sake of keeping the relatives happy, right? Or do we? Do we enable dysfunctional behaviors in family members? Or don’t we?
The “herd mystique” and it’s allure
There is a quote from Carl Jung about this being one of the human’s greatest challenges. Fitting in with the group, the herd, the clan–“You are family so you HAVE TO be around me!” Where is that written? Genetic connection or NOT; do we vote with our presence indicating that dysfunctional behavior is acceptable?
On another note, is it our responsibility to straighten other people out in ways that we believe they should ‘act’ according to our own standards of behavior? Whoa! Now that’s one huge judgment if we believe that. Where’s THAT truth? Speak it. Does that sound right if you say it aloud? Best not to push your truth onto others or become a evangelist — that’s a karma creator if there ever was one.
By placing a boundary and living within it, you are living your own truth and being compassionate to yourself and to the other as well. You are also teaching people in your life what self-respect looks like through example.
We have to trust what we know and what we have learned from the work that we have done in our own life via self-analysis, theology, philosophy and spirituality.
This is especially true if we speak about times when our boundaries are pushed and disrespected, especially in a family situation. Those are the most charged with the opportunity for growth and for teaching through example.
People who push boundaries are giving you the opportunity to develop or to teach self-respect. Pushing back is a delicate art. Knowing how to push back against pushy people takes stamina and skill. (Personally, some days I feel too old for it quite honestly.)
Anyway, push-back involves maintaining your own autonomy and self-esteem when you are being invaded. You know that you need to step back and protect yourself, while minimizing any hostility or confrontation. Not easy. People are going to be offended. Sometimes I think pushy people know that and it makes them push all the more–or they enjoy the drama.
People who push boundaries are acting out of fear and desperately trying to fulfill their own needs. Social self-reliance is not really their forte’, their strong suit yet; they’re working on it. We’re all a work in progress.
Self-care means recognizing the importance of your feelings and honoring them and when you set boundaries, this is what you are doing. It’s important.
But we’re “All One”–right?
We’re all one and connected and while this is true, and while we can be compassionate and understanding as we see the ‘bigger picture’ with self and others, we still have to be able to function here and in order to do so we must stay emotionally healthy while maintaining boundaries… all the while doing the relationship dance. Being human isn’t easy.
Being human isn’t easy and being the best human you can be… well, it’s tricky sometimes.
I think the best thing we can do is get out of the judgment with the whole business with boundaries and relationships and being social. I think Jung was right about the “herd mystique”– our greatest challenge being to break away from the herd.
To fully “individuate” is to be able to stop trying to “fit in” and to be comfortable living in your own truth. Separating one’s self from those to whom one does not feel an authentic connection takes courage. The wrath of the clan falls upon you sometimes; that comes along with the territory of being your own person.
There is perceived safety in numbers which is an illusion just as much as any other erroneous belief we hold about living in this dimension. Some people, and maybe I’m one, feel more authentic outside of the herd. Strong boundaries are needed and when threatened, need re-enforcing. Should that be a surprise?
What about karma?
Karma. It’s our intention that creates it. I think that needs to be said as well. To have a boundary does not carry ill intent.
No man is an island onto himself, it is said. We are one; yet, it is ego that separates us or gives a unique history of experiences and thus identity.
Judgment also separates us– i.e. “…you are different” or “… you should behave toward me in one way or another”. It all gets us to work on our human growth and evolution both individually and collectively.
But in the meanwhile, as we do all of that, I like the blackbird way of interacting with their fellow birds. If a bird lands on a nearby branch and is not the mate of that blackbird they do a little nod (a bow) and fly away. Blackbirds are pretty solitary. They are known to establish their territory, fiercely defending it (boundaries) by driving off any of their kind that get close to their vicinity. Boundaries and blackbirds seem to go together.
What’s the bottom line? The ending conclusion? The final thought? The summary? The point? The meaning? I don’t know. I just do hope something here helps someone out in cyber-world as I worked through some thoughts about boundaries today.
Here’s an article about emotional manipulation that I came across shortly after writing the blog above. Some may find this helpful:
This whole ground consciousness and latencies or latent imprints is totally fascinating. That information comes from deeper study of Tibetan Buddhism which is really, in my humble terms, the study of the mind and the nature of reality. They say that the imprints are not the experience itself, but more like dormant seeds.
I think about wildflowers when I think of dormant seeds that are not receiving the right conditions to bloom. And yet, when they do (especially in the northeastern part of the country where I currently reside), they do not last long. The summer sun and rain bring the conditions for the blooms and then in the fall and winter, they are dormant again.
I think the comparison to wildflowers is an okay or and adequate association in that these imprints are positive, negative or neutral depending upon whether they originated from a positive, negative or neutral thought or action.
Some things grow in summer but do not contain flowers—some contain thorns or brambles. As weeds and wildflowers grow, so go our own imprints–positive, negative or neutral. And we are creating new imprints all the time–reality.
I really like comparing psychological, spiritual, philosophical aspects of ourselves to nature. The natural world is a fertile ground for this type of relating.
Anyway, we are told by the Tibetan teacher (s) (the Rinpoche) that these seeds or imprints are activated with experiences in the here and now. Those everyday types of experiences in life are then activated like the Sun and water and soil conditions activate the wildflowers in the summer.
And here’s the kicker!
These activated imprints are what give us the impression of solid reality (it is all energy vibrations and reflections in actuality and a quantum physicist will agree that a table or a wall is nothing more than very faSt moving neutrons, electrons, protons. Horray for physics! Anyway…
Back to latencies…. these are associated with external sensory experiences and give rise to the belief in dualism. What that means is a belief that I am separate from other or interpreting everything in terms of “I” and “other”. It is these sensory experiences provided by the dormant seeds come to bloom (so-to-speak) that give rise to a sense of individual ego or separation from All That Is. And then we create actions based on that belief in dualism that create more and this is how we go round and round in the world of illusion.
There are those who believe that if there is a self that it is a conceptual stream of consciousness that receives these latencies and projects them as external phenomena.
Just consider that a moment as you contemplate your reality! your life! A stream of consciousness projecting latencies! And in every moment we are creating more latencies based on how we respond to any ‘now’ moment! Mind blowing! 🙂
Well, it has to be extremely more complicated than this; but what if it’s not?
Sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, body) receive input and then process and transmit it to the brain–and when reading the word ‘input’, think energy vibrations. The mental consciousness receives something like, “red, round, moving to the left, sharp edges” and then interprets it.
When you think that this has been going on in our stream of consciousness for eons of lifetimes, consider the amount of latent tendencies we have stored which create our reality as we experience it!
No wonder we have developed a belief that external objects are solid and real… and no wonder we perceive what the latent tendencies tell us, which is that the external phenomenon is solid and real rather than empty.
Psychic residue containing diverse thoughts rooted in past lives creates the forms. The mind is transitory (fleeing, passing through, temporary, brief, in flux and in movement)–such is our life . And eternal reality is actually nonexistent.
Conventional Reality vs Ultimate Reality
But then again, conventionally it is, meaning that conventional reality does exist. Especially when you think of explaining to your landlord or mortgage holder that your external reality does not it exist and therefore you don’t need to pay your rent or mortgage!
We have all agreed upon this reality due to these latencies and karmic actions and therefore conventional reality exists but ultimately, as just explained, it does not. So it’s a paradox that the Buddhists call “The Two Truths”.
One reason I believe all of this is that of my personal experience of it in meditation is just as has been as described by the Buddhist teachings and long before I read the Buddhist teachings–so, therefore, I know the truth of this via my own meditative experience. Not intellectually.
There is what the Buddhist call shamatha meditation and this will show you the true nature of reality as one turns to look at one’s mind directly.
Well, enough for now. Understanding these latencies and even just a wee bit can help a good deal in relieving ourselves or releasing our grasp on our attachment s and aversions.
Contemplate this and fear dissolves and aversions become laughable and attachments, too, seem ridiculous.
And the last word in the paragraph above reminds me of the brilliance of the scene in the Harry Potter movie (The Prisoner of Azkaban) when the witches and wizards in-training worked with the spell to transform the Boggarts. The word of the spell used was “Riddikulus”.
(A Boggart, by the way, is a shape-shifting non-being that takes on the form of the viewer’s worst fear.)
The image to the left is the result of a wizard student projecting an image of his grandmother onto a Boggart ,transforming the professor he fears into a comical image of his grandmother.
Learning about the mind and nature of reality from the Buddhist perspective helps us to transform our own Boggarts realizing they are no more than mind projecting latent tendencies… what transforms a Boggart after all is humor, laughter! (according to author J.K. Rowling anyway)
So, keep it Light!
Aspiration: May this post help someone in cyber world who comes upon it at a time of need to help ease suffering, enhance happiness and renew their sense of freedom and true liberation!
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 sometimes 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.
Here’s some advice when you are feeling overwhelmed with lots to do and potentially stressful change. Okay. Truth. This one’s for me. Sometimes I think of receiving a flower when I pull a tarot card. I give myself a flower in some way when I pull a card to ask for insight, advice, guidance–divination!
That’s what it is after all, isn’t it? We turn our eyes upward and say a little help. We need a time out. And when taking one for ourselves, pull an Angel Card or a Tarot Card and open up to wisdom. Just shuffling the cards helps to calm it all down enough to hit center, right?
If you don’t have a set of cards or runes or some divination tool, you may consider the comfort they can bring.
We’re moving this week. And most everyone knows what fun that is. I’d like to know what I need to consider today regarding this move, what advice do the cards have for me as I’m feeling like I need this little time out to seek wisdom.
Oh, the card I drew is THE MOON. Wow, so believing in illusions and experiencing distortions. Appearance Emptiness! Here we go again. This is good though. It reminds me of the Buddhist teachings that I’ve been embracing lately about the nature of reality and oh so much more! I need not go further really.
But I will for others who may need this little help too. The Moon card reminds us that our anxiety, fear, doubt and apprehensions are shadows; therefore not real. A good friend of mine quoted Mark Twain to me recently who said, “‘I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.'”
That applies here with this Moon card.
And then there’s Joni Mitchell and Life’s Illusions: ♫ I’ve looked at life from both sides now. From win and lose and still somehow. It’s life’s illusions I recall. ♫ Recall that song?
Most of the time we live in a security blanket of illusion — our life remains the same day in and out. Then suddenly there’s a move coming up, a change of location, a change of routine and the security blanket falls away. That’s what this Moon card represents.
Shadow times, transition times can be maddening but it doesn’t have to be! The Moon comes but so does the Sun. Change is natural. The universe supports it!
My 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!
Last evening after a ‘house-tidy’ and a glance at the bills and monies, that last part tickled and awakened ‘the familiars’ that rest in the stomach pit area; and while they are definitely weakening as I age, they don’t seem to cease entirely. And maybe they never will. I’ve learned to live with their now-and-again visits, those familiars!
What do those fear-familiars want? I think to be acknowledged, recognized for the purpose of deeper realization and awakening.
“Okay”, I say, “but just for a little while and then I’m going out the door for a walk.”
I knew it would work–the walk. That was my intuition, my inner guide making that known.
It was a brisk, windy October night and it could not have been clearer to me that I needed to walk out the door after I dealt with them.
I think it was teacher Ajahn Chah who said that it is okay to get some control of where your mind goes by shouting at yourself. I’m not into that exactly, but I get the point he was trying to make about discipline of the mind–in fact I’ve been writing about that in my blog and newsletter lately.
What’s the point of being here in this reality in these (many times) trying circumstances? And don’t’ forget we have beautiful experiences too which balance them out. And actually the idea overall or what is recommended by the spiritual teachers is to take neither polarity too seriously, meaning the good or the bad–not getting attached to either one. Good times, bad times—attach to neither.
Oh, here’s another example. For instance, we can take love and hate–those polarities too. We suffer if we attach too greedily to either emotion. If we attach excessively to family, lovers and friends, when there is death or change (and there inevitably is—remember about impermanence?), this turns to suffering. So that’s what I mean. Not saying we shouldn’t love one another but not in extreme ways.
Well, getting back to it now…. the point of or purpose of these fear guru’s in our lives (and yes, fear can be our teacher) is to teach us—remind us really because we already know this but forgot—about the impermanence of life and those things that we over-identify with which aren’t real yet when we think they are. And that, in a nutshell, causes our suffering.
For me it always brings me back to the two truths of conventional and ultimate reality–with that understanding the mind becomes comfortable and at peace.
We, in our conversations with our fear, realize that we become attached to seeing our life a certain way and then we become attached to that view, you see? We can explain that to our fears and they say, “Thank you, we simply forgot.”
Circumstances that are difficult help us to awaken; otherwise we would remain in blissful sleep. Life difficulties help us to work through and work out those issues that keep us from developing virtue.
Yeah, and that reminds me of it. Of what? One of my early channeling sessions my communication was spirit involved my question—why are we here? What’s the purpose? And the answer I received seemed too simple then and I nearly discarded it but always kept it on a shelf in my mind and over the years with all my spiritual study and life experience (today I have reached my double 6 birthday, so I have a little of that)… anyway, in all that I’ve studied and lived that answer, being here to develop virtue, makes more-and-more sense. It gets clearer every year—virtue. Like what? Well, patience is a virtue and what are some of the rest?
Well, here’s the great Benjamin Franklin’s list of virtues:
TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
TRANQUILITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
CHASTITY. Rarely use venery but for health or offspring, never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another’s peace or reputation.
HUMILITY. Imitate Jesus and Socrates.
Well that gives you one idea–there are many virtues.
Developing the virtues is basically about being the best human you can be–which isn’t as easy as it sounds. Anyway..,.
Going back to the topic here, let me add that it helps for me to think in terms of the reasons for what is happening; and so then I think difficulties are there to help awaken us to the ultimate reality, otherwise we may never get it.
So my glance at the bills and money situation ultimately caused a moment of remembering and deeper awakening thanks to the tea with the fear gurus.
And then I bounced down the steps and out the door into the night air, breathing deeply into the wind, shaking my shoulders. I shook my head too in order to wobble and jiggle away the tears that had been forming behind the throat and eyes.
I walked into the darkness having another conversation…. this time with my inner guide, my wisdom guru. Although I remained a bit unsteady emotionally for a while, that was further remedied by my guide (after our talk) then suggesting a pop-in surprise visit with my sister and niece. So I walked to their door and knocked. We caught up with things and then ordered pizza (which was not that good for my trim and slim goals) yet was totally and completely soul-satisfying. I must say the Pizza Hut pineapple pizza was excellent and thoroughly enjoyed each bite! So… What’s the moral of the story?
I think that the old seeds and old fear habits are always there, but that’s not “who we are” since essentially there is no self. And because that is so, those seeds and habits are just life being what life is—the nature of human existence.
Our body and emotional nature contain those habits because we are human, but we don’t have to over-identify with it all.
Why? Because ultimately there is no self.
But while we are here in human form we still make efforts to be the best human we can be. How do we do that? Where and when distress appears we do our best to transcend it. It is called transcending the world and destroying delusions.
“No mud, no lotus”—this is a saying that we could translate into “No fear/distress, no awakening”. You disagree? You say your life is nothing but total bliss and you’ve reached enlightenment 24-7? Hmmmm….. give that one a bit more thought because you may be simply asleep. Just sayen’.
Earth living and it’s downers are what keep us having realizations, keep us awake, help us to learn to breathe in and out in the present moment, releasing attachment, aversions, fears. One does get to have time-outs, rest periods, of course; but then it seems to come again for us on deeper levels like peeling layers of an onion.
Don’t get too full of ego and mistake the rest and recovery period for enlightenment–through observation it seems to me that the universe loves nothing more than to crush smug ego’s.
Maybe that’s why those ‘familiars’ don’t seem to completely ever go away, they’re always there lurking–to help us stay aware, remain humble, and so that we do not fall into lazy patterns (see above paragraph).
But none of this is who I am… the “I AM” that is beyond, beyond, completely beyond just observes this and smiles.
Further, I don’t need to become attached either way and that’s where the peace is located–in that place of non-attachment.
No aversion, no attraction.
Yes, yes, we have to deal with that which everyone else (and a part of us) agrees is conventionally real, but ultimately none of it exists. Outwardly we have to agree; after all, when my rent is due (which is the thought that started this blog post!), I cannot go into the rental office to tell the Lords of the Land that ultimately neither they, nor I, nor the apartment itself exists and therefore, I don’t need to pay my rent. Outwardly I have to agree, but inwardly I know the truth. That’s the “pickle” (as the saying goes) that many of us light-workers (as they call us) live within.
Fear guru’s help us to remember these things. My personal fear guru? Oh, he’s much gentler and kinder than he used to be; but still I don’t like his presence at any time whatsoever! Yet, the tea and cookie that I give him and little talk we have seems to comfort him (and me too-wink!) so that then we can resume the life-game here with greater ease!
Let the games begin!—that is what I say to myself when I wake up in the morning sometimes, mostly when I’m not so afraid.