How do you feel when you think that thought? Then why think it? Or is it thinking you? Even Byron Katie (the great truth teller who essentially teaches Buddhism or the study of the nature of reality– i.e. “all is thought and attachment”) talks about thoughts thinking themselves.
I love the “meeting them halfway” with understanding quote attributed to Katie who said,
“I don’t let go of my thoughts—I meet them with understanding. Then they let go of me.” I really appreciate her teachings and discussions called THE WORK.
One way to meet them with understanding is to nurture the self that is harmed by them and another is to (as Katie says) question them because in that you question the nature of reality, and just the questioning loosens the grip we have on “the story” as she calls it.
The link below will take you to an interview that I did a few weeks ago where we (Stevie- Sparks Press and I) discussed some of these very things:
You are not alone, neither am I; we all go through these up’s and down’s; forgetting momentarily and remembering. There’s THE WORK and then various other spiritual tools that we discuss one audio (link above).
Here’s another little blurb that just came into my inbox today; this (quote below) links to these same themes about the nature of reality. In fact, in the blog post below this one as I discuss my fears (let’s be real, we all have them. Like Katie says,
“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but the attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering.” And that’s Buddhism 101.
And another way to express it all is like this little line that arrived in my inbox from tut.com, who writes a message from “THE Universe”,
” The next time you feel really hurt, really angry, or really, really upset, and you’re sure that even I have been violated, shaken, and humbled, quick, check and see if the sky is any less blue, the sun any less radiant, the birds have stopped singing, or the flowers have lost their scent.”
Try the link above to the interview for practical earthy tools to use when we “think that thought” and begin to believe it or it infiltrates us without our knowing causing that panic, anxiety and mental crisis. We talk a wee bit about astrology on the above audio too.
I had to blog this! It’s not about astrology or divination or the psychic–actually, today’s post is not my usual fare.
It’s just that I may have broken out of Dante’s inferno. I had to laugh at the sign at the entrance of this apartment building which reads, “relax now, your home”–but most comical is that the image that accompanies those words is a tropical drink glass. Alcohol and drugs could help numb the experience of some types apartment living–I do neither. My experience since the current downstairs neighbors moved in has been one in which the sign should read, “Abandon hope ye who enter here”– which Dante says is written above the gates of hell.
I know, I know! Yeah, look–we make our own heaven or hell–don’t preach to the choir. But sometimes we have a little help one way or the other. Yesterday the help I received was… well, I wanted to write about it and add that I have also recently retreated into deep devotionals to my most cherished deities.
Wonderful day yesterday! Was that ‘Life Itself’ balancing out the day-of-frustration from the day before? No matter; but the gods did seem to smile down up on me in these ways:
started the cool~ish morn with a one hour walk getting out the door early before Lady India downstairs began her usual morning tirade and on my last lap around the ‘complex-ed complex’ noticed not one single body was at the pool. Really? So I took advantage by sitting in a poolside lounge chair, shutting down the music playing in my ear (sorry M.J.) and wow, listened to the birds and let the morning breezes whirl around me.
Close to heaven; yet, the silence could be broken at any moment by the vocal cords of other humans. It wasn’t–should I grab my suit?
I had just walked an hour and a little swim could be nice as long as it’s quiet…. got home and India was ‘up and at ’em’ –voice boxes fully engaged. Ahhhh, and that’s Life in the Land of men with wide horizontal striped polo shirts, madras checkered colored shorts and flip-flop zories shoes where the women are women and the men are too!
No matter; I stripped down and grabbed a suit and changed, and gathered a few things and drove down… yeah, I could walk but every second counts. Checked the water and the PH and Chlorine levels were rarely perfect but it gets even better!
I swam laps for 27 minutes right down the center of the pool and nearly started to pretend that it was my own private lagoon! I love imagination!
After the first half hour having the pool to myself I began to fantasize while I swam—maybe all the humans went to another planet? But it was more likely that since school starts tomorrow they’re all busy with those kinds of activities—after all, they’ve had the pool with their screams and cannonballs all summer long!
I began to tire from the 30 minutes of laps so I interspersed arm and leg water resistance exercises between laps–and still had the pool to myself! I even had time to practice flip turns which is something you really don’t want to do in public if you can help it!
Wow, the gods were really smiling down upon me today! I then sat in the sun resting from all my exercise—I’d walked an hour and swam for an hour; what more could a girl ask for? Sitting in the sun all alone! Listening to the birds and the breezes looking at the sky with so much gratitude!
I looked up at the sky and smiled as I saw a cloud that looked like someone running; awesome. I saw other patterns in the clouds and enjoyed my speculations forgetting all my cares and remembering how cool it was to see the angel at the bottom of the pool! How’s that? Well, …
As I swam the breast stroke interspersed with freestyle, and while the sun shone upon the whole affair, I noticed that the movement of the arms in the water and the movement of the water itself cast a shadow at the bottom of the pool which looked sort of like those snow angels you make when you lay down in the snow and slide your arms up and down.
Anyway, it was my own private, magical moment and I felt happy and enchanted.
The rest of my day was peaceful–quiet. Thank you to the gods who smiled down and all friends of the Light!
PS yesterday was a rare gift, perhaps from Venus whose gift I’ve had an eye out for as she exited my 1st house to the 2nd. One awesome gift as she moved through my first house was a 20 pound weight loss; but maybe the final departing gift was one of peace and solitude which I do value so highly.
I’m also hoping my 3rd house transiting Saturn in Scorpio neighbor karma has finally exhausted itself and has completely played out! It had to be karmic–anything as intense as this neighbor situation has to be karmic! Their lease is up in January I’m told–everything must eventually come to an end.
WARNING: this is a vent; read at your own risk. Awakening at 3:30 AM
So anyway. Okay. That’s probably IT. Neighbor karma! And they say if you don’t fight against the karmic consequences; that is if you accept without resistance, this releases the karma.
Are they butchering their own meat for dinner with a chain saw? Or grinding up ice cubes in a blender to make frozen margaritas to get drunk on? Or shoving what they can shove down the electric garbage disposal? You have to love the way they yell right over the top of the noise—even when the grinding sound isn’t happening and they are within two feet of one another—yelling at the top of their lungs! What’s that about, huh? Say, What!?!!?? If you are Indian (from the country of India – not to be confused with Native Americans), please ask yourself why you scream at the top of your lungs when it isn’t necessary?
Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? This ain’t no monastery and (that’s not all!). Besides that…
I can’t get no… I can’t get no…. I can’t get no… SATISFACTION! (Rolling Stones)
Remember back in the mountains when the new neighbor massacred an acre of perfectly healthy and happy trees displacing numerous trees and deer and birds, et al –? (I’m talking to long time followers of my blog.) There was a disturbance in the force – a horrid ripping up of the pre-peaceful energy field – it felt terrible. Awoke to that same feeling at 3:19 AM! Voices shouting—a woman’s voice! NO, don’t tell me they’re at each other again downstairs.
Lovely! The young people in the next building were on their patio whooping, hooting and hollering to the silence of the night. Humans around here are just blowing off steam, releasing their stresses is the guess. Why oh why does this particular kingdom of beings (human kingdom) who have the most advanced brain potential on the planet act like dogs? No, dogs are much more intelligent; they bark for a reason; at least most of the time. Unfortunately, this same level of intelligence is not able to be attributed (at least by me) to the downstairs Indian neighbors and the young “drunk-at-3:30 AM-hooting-into-the-trees-neighbors” who live in the next building a mere 30 feet from the one we’re in. Watch out! There’s competition for the human idiot of the weekend prize around here—the Indian couple below me now has competition.
Come to think of it, I’ve always had neighbor issues (karma?) even back into my late teenage years. The man in the house next door used to stand on is porch (only feet from bedroom window) and call his little black dog named “sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooH-TEEeeeeeeee”, correctly spelled “sooty” until I wanted to pull my hair out! Then years later there was the neighbor who would send her son to my house to play soon as she got home from work so she could entertain her latest boyfriend. And then we had the old couple who… well, never mind. Yeah, neighbor karma.
Maybe they (downstairs Indian couple) got some message yesterday—who knows? Loud Indian People, I’ll say it again–Loud Indian People! Well, let’s start with Friday night; they always come back from Monsters, Inc. (Lowe’s Headquarters) on Friday nights really geeked up and louder than any of the other days of the week. I was into my writing when they blasted in downstairs, their voices escalating as the night wore on. I tried to be tolerant—obviously another bad day or week for them and they’re fighting about it again. I put my headset on and piped into my ears via my headset the meditation and relaxation music that I’d spent hours ripping off CD’s last week. I was prepared!
Go ahead freakazoid Indian peeps! I’m prepared. Can you believe that over certain music –which I had playing full blast as loud as it the volume will go—that I could still hear them at certain times?
I was writing the lesson on astrological elements and modalities—earth, air, water, fire and cardinal, fixed and mutable signs. The lesson I was writing was a bit complicated to explain so to keep my focus, keep myself sane and to keep my sense of humor, when they’d yell out below me, I’d yell back that the male part of the couple has won the biggest mouth of the week award and I congratulated him duly and properly in my own language to match their voice volume (loud) while they barely took a breath, not listening to a word! Not that they could hear a thing over their non-stop vocal drama. She would wail out in a long vocal diatribe on occasion and at the same volume, I’d hoot and holler back in response that unfortunately, try as she might, she wasn’t nearly as obnoxious as her male counterpart although at times it was rather close. Then I’d wish her better luck for next week and go back to my typing certain they did not hear a word over their own vocalizations. Did you ever hear pig calling? No. Really. It’s a sport in certain parts of the American’s—they have pig calling contests. I really think this Indian couple should enter; they’d win@! — hey, don’t judge me; this blog and that are my ways of DEALING.
I can’t imagine what the heck they’re grinding down there but from the shouting, it’s getting pretty exciting for them right now.
Yesterday morning I played an hour of Her Eminence Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche for their listening pleasure (and mine). She may have (who can know for sure?) out talked them putting them into a more quiet trance for the rest of the day. Who knows really since I made it a point to be out most of the day with the family—it was my grandson’s birthday. But before I left, their voices were subdued. Thank you Rinpoche!
There’s the Mindrolling Monastery in India. Do theses Monkey Mumbai’s (as I lovingly call them) know about it I wonder? It’s located in the foothills of the Himalayas in Dehra Dun in North India. Well, if they can calm down downstairs, I’d like to contemplate further the Yanas! The first step to this is to accept my neighbor karma with love, compassion, toleration and did I say acceptance, yeah, several times now.
May I accept what I cannot change! I am no longer in the peaceful serene mountains. I am not in living in a monastery. I am in the middle of slumdogs, making the best of it, accepting my karma, learning toleration, but to love this is a bit of a stretch; I’m tolerating until I get to go home. Let there be peace on Earth (the kind that doesn’t come from alcoholic overdose or scream fighting with others until exhausted – the real kind).
Well, the grinding stopped downstairs, so maybe I can get some work done now. Yeah, it’s Sunday but parts of me don’t know that—an old throwback habit from my peaceful, serene days in the mountains. Many times I did not know what day or time it was.
Oh, to finish on a positive note—the celebration of my grandson’s birthday was such a contrast! We had a lovely dinner together at Olive Garden Restaurant (his choice) and came back to a little party at home wherein we played a few rounds of Catch Phrase, and then his mother read to him a list of memories about him that we all submitted to her beforehand at her request. His task was to guess whose memory it was. Then we each read 15 things we love about him (since it was his 15th birthday, 15 attributes or virtues, etc.). Again we had these prepared ahead of time to read. It was very beautiful actually.
His aunts gave him a savings account in their name that they opened for him and a booklet of the account and deposit slips – the account being for saving for his first car. We supported this with our own monetary gifts and he received a few video games and his mother’s big gift to encourage his music and this he was so thrilled with it—a violin! We all then enjoyed a totally awesome ice cream cake which was especially good since we’ve all been dieting. A warm, beautiful family evening!
Later I came home to bathe, sleep and be awakened at 3:30 AM to the party of drunks hooting at the trees on the balcony next door. Such is life, the acceptance of my neighbor karma, and now we’ve come full circle.
Judging from the voices below, I feel another teaching from Her Eminence Mindrolling Jetsün Khandro Rinpoche in my immediate future!
PS—why do people SLAM cupboard doors? Answer?: because they can (I suppose?) Accepting my neighbor karma—trying to send love; help me Buddha!
….and as I end this diatribe they are screaming at each other below me. Meditate? Ha! Perhaps a charnel ground meditation for me today? Chad– Perhaps and if I must.