What would a Bodhisattva do about loud neighbors? And the resulting Anger? And Self-Cherishing? Living Buddhism

Living Buddhism

What would a Bodhisattva do about loud neighbors?

And the resulting Anger?

And Self-Cherishing?

Bodhisattvas cave muralYeah, I’ve been kvetching about the loud neighbors but rest assured I’ve been not only externalizing a solution but internalizing one too.  I’ve used the scrape-your-fingers-down-the-chalkboard type of setting your teeth on edge irritation as charnel ground meditation; but even there one knows the exit or path that takes one away from that graveyard—in case it becomes too much, we need an escape button, don’t we?

Is it any co-incidence that as I consider those matters, I’m also contemplating death, dying in such a way that one can be liberated while still living and breathing?  Well, as much as one can anyway.  And I’m having a more serious look at The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva.  Factor that into the loud Indian neighbor situation, the contemplation on death—stir well and sprinkle with a generous handful of Practice #20.

Most blog readers will know the meaning of the word Bodhisattva but the short version of a definition is spiritual practitioner—practice of compassion for altruistic benefits.  The 37 Practices describe the enlightened qualities of an aspirant (my own words) which come about due to causes.  (Causes such as loud, boisterous, inconsiderate neighbors?)  And in the list of the practices we see definite references to those types of situations and how to integrate these difficulties of earth living into spiritual practice.

I clearly realize the ‘enemy’ if there is one in my situation with the frustrating irritations of the neighbors is within me, totally, entirely, and completely.  I got that part; so no finger-pointing please.

Do I run from it, push it away or go toward it or do nothing?  I’ve sat with it and the aversion is so great that I think I may cry if I do not put on the white noise so I cannot hear it.  I’d be the first one to run down the path and back to the monastery if I had do to real live grave-yard charnel practice!

I don’t think there’s any teaching that says that the thing that drives you the most crazy you should go seek it out just to see if you can handle it—or maybe there is and I’m wrong about that.

If you want to talk about aversion for a second—let’s do.  My aversion is to myself for having the reactions of intense, acute and profound irritation to their voices in the first place.

Before you start thinking it, let me say that I know it all comes from self-cherishing and self-grasping and attachment to an idea that my living quarters should be completely free from gawd-awful vocal intrusions. Got that too!

The wisdom teachers say that when we cave and just “can’t deal”, to use the situation to bring up compassion for all others who have the same situation in life. One great comfort is that if we reflect for even a nano-second we realize we are not alone in our suffering, whatever it is, no matter what!  With (what is the number we hear others give?) something like 6-million –or is that billion?–people on earth, there has to be at least one (and usually thousands) who are going through that exact same situation right at that exact same moment.

This brings comfort—we are not alone.  So then we bring up the ole’ catholic training and say I will suffer this and for all who suffer for the suffering souls including myself.   It gives the suffering (which is plainly everywhere on Earth, look around) a purpose, a meaning and brings it into a workable (at least for me) and relative perspective.

There’s a certain surrender in that—grant me the serenity to deal with what I cannot change.  I’ve changed what I could already—speaking to them directly (which was like speaking to a wall that is in denial that it’s a wall – for lack of a better example), and I’ve tried speaking to the management and one night I took the management’s suggestion and called the police to give them the word.  They were screaming after all and it was well after midnight and I even brought the altruistic reason into that one—“I do this act of calling the police for all the neighbors, not just myself.”

Oh, sure I can have compassion for the couple—of course.  I think they drink or drug a lot especially if you consider loud never ending conversations a drug.  And they are in a strange country – from India and you know we all have problems.  It’s not hard for me to feel compassion in those ways.  But sometimes my own frustration and self-cherishing and attachment to how I think my life should be when it isn’t gets the best of me and it seems a simple thing not to have un-welcomed human voices permeating my living space.

So yeah, I crank up the white noise (see my last blog post) as my escape valve.

But what about death? I mean that’s one experience where there IS no escape valve really.  I mean we have to deal with it and can’t go anywhere else then or we can’t turn up the white nose to drown it out.  It’s intense and frightening and irritating and we have to really let go of self-cherishing at that time, don’t we?  Well, if we don’t we suffer more.  I’m reading The Tibetan Book of the Living and The Dying (again) and this is my 2nd go at the modern version of the text by Songyal Rinpoche.  It’s more a text about living but the stages of dying are fully described both from the perspective of the dying person and the family and caregivers.  Really useful stuff for when a family member dies or we ourselves—our time will come.

How can I let go when I really need to if I cannot let go in this situation with my neighbors?  I’m working on all that.

Meanwhile, I do love the references to the point in the death process when we reach such a state of luminosity of mind that the – well, the Buddhist call them the 3 poisons leave us completely.  We can get there in this life and do if we’re successful with our meditation practice.  We reach a state where there are no attachments, and it is give a name by the wisdom teachers:  sky consciousness.  The three poisons (anger, ignorance and desire) —gone!  Have you been there to that place? A peaceful lifestyle helps and a crazy couple from India who rocks your world doesn’t!

Let me take a breather to say that I’m grateful they go to work during the day and I’m grateful for when they run their central air unit (even if they have it on fan which I’ve enlightened them about doing).  For when we both have it running, I barely hear them.  I say barely and again it’s not their fault or mine this building that we over-pay in rent to live within is so poorly insulated (paper thin walls).  I’m grateful for electricity and I’m grateful for the fact that they’re gone during the day; thank you thank you thank you thank you!  Amen.

I don’t like my inner reaction and if I’m honest it’s the first of the 3 poisons that most Buddhist text refers to—anger.  Their anger triggers my own?  Maybe?  I don’t know exactly.  But I don’t like that intense feeling that makes me feel like I’m about to lose control.  Like fingernails down a chalkboard I want to cover my ears and run; but HA, I live here!  Some things you can’t run from and this situation as well as my own eventual death someday down the line is another something that I cannot run from.

All this is preparing me I’m sure; everything is somehow always inner-related.  I looked up The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva online (http://www.dharmadhatu-center.org/the_37_practices_of_a_bodhi.html).  I’m sure I have a Book on the 37 Practices here somewhere on my bookshelf; later today I will try to find it.  (Note to self to do that!)

I should blog my way through the 37 practices as I deal with the hell realms below me (downstairs neighbors).  In the end, it may help me to be able to die well and use that moment-of-death that they talk about to enhance enlightenment.

So anyway for now, for today, OM MANI PADME HUM, what about Practice #20?

Practice 20
Taming the mind
If you have not tamed the enemy of your own anger,

Combating outer opponents will only make them multiply.

Therefore, with an army of loving kindness and compassion,

To tame your own mind is the practice of a Bodhisattva.

Generally we think we must defeat outer opponents. If only we could get rid of them, we would be happy. Or so we believe. But we cannot overcome all adversaries, and when we try, their numbers just increase. At first we have one, then two, then many. So what are we to do? The only solution is to tame our anger, tame our mindstream through bodhichitta. Armed with the attitude of loving kindness and compassion, we naturally no longer have any external enemies. Because the Great Teacher, the Buddha, the Bhagawan, had tamed his mindstream, he prevailed against the Maras who tried to distract him as he sat meditating beneath the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya. The Buddha was armed with the forces of the samadhi of loving kindness, and the Maras could not harm him. The Great Yogi Milarepa tamed the enemy of ego-clinging with the force of the wisdom that realizes selflessness. And he conquered the enemy of anger with the army of bodhichitta. Because he defeated his inner foes of ego-clinging and anger, he became so skillful that even his bitterest enemies eventually became his disciples.

http://www.dharmadhatu-center.org

Maybe in my next blog post, whenever the neighbors are ranting below me (which is usually the same time I’m blogging as a coping mechanism), instead of kvetching, I’ll blog about one of The 37 Practices of the Boddhisattva.  That’s the lose plan, time permitting — stay tuned?

Let’s see if blogging my way through this can help others, I’ll do my best.

“Namaste!” which is what I said while giving a slight bow to my downstairs neighbors about 3 weeks ago (sigh!)  Meanwhile, reaching for my copy of The Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying, lifting it to the sky, making a bow to you and the wisdom teachers who have gone before us…. I bid you good day!

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When Life is Hard, Sit Unmovable, Allow Tears, It Clears, Then Act

I watched myself cry over the weekend and then the mud settled and the water became clear.  In love with synchronicity, I  just came across a recent Facebook post with this image and quote that sums it up:

Clear Water After Mud Settles
Clear Water After Mud Settles

Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?   Can you remain unmoving until the right action arises by itself?   –Lao Tzu

[credit for image and quote to Facebook’s ‘Mystic Path to Cosmic Consciousness’]

It doesn’t matter much what triggered it really; it could be the Scorpio Sun transiting right over my Scorpionic Chiron triggering the conjunction to the neighboring natal Scorpionic Mercury—all not far from the South Node.  A good summary is that I took a dive into the depths and everything got muddy; things got stirred up.  Family versus Career and old betrayals of trust…. am I betraying myself?  A good deal of resentment woven into the tears and feelings of loss were  contained in there too … loss of freedom; yeah, all that old stuff.  Probably a lot of it is simply emotional debris, mud.  I had to sit with it unmoving until I knew what action to take.  It took a while.

I will admit crying for hours (off and on) for the same hopeful benefit that all my posts end up here—that some reader will find it helpful.   It’s funny how blogs are.  When you type them, it’s like you’re talking to yourself; but then you let the cyber world in (based on who stumbles upon the post when) and well… it’s strange, that’s all. But then strange is the story of my life lately.

Take right now.  I have meditation music on Pandora on my TV courtesy of my Roku and it’s not loud, nor is it overly soft—enough to be heard without being offensive to the ears.  Yet I am also hearing the thudding beat of what sounds like someone hammering my wall and ceiling with a soft rubber mallet.  The drumbeat of some neighboring muggle’s stereo music player.  Yeah, this I knew I’d face sooner or later.  It’s strange because most other times I can pretend I’m here by myself—I try to forget that I live in one rather large house (like a Brownstone) with other people in it.  Like I say, strange.  And right now it increases my intense desire to be beamed up into the silence of space or to pack up and head back for the silence of the mountain tops.

Anyway, back to mud settling and the water becoming clear.  It sometimes does take a while to for the mud to settle and while it does all that it has kicked up seems to need to be cleansed from one’s own heart with one’s own tears.  To allow it is the only thing a person can do at those times—or at least for me this is how it must be.

One feels certain energy beforehand—perhaps anger, resentment, disappointment…oh, you name it.  It doesn’t matter and you know it’s not… well, you don’t know the cause or the cure.  So what I do is just sit and breathe, letting it be what it is—I let it show itself to me.  And this requires feeling it and the tears that are part of the experience of sitting and letting the feeling be what it is.  I do not hold it and thereby magnify it; I just let it be and I cry until it is cleared.

I did this.  I didn’t know I’d cry.  I started out feeling frustrated.  I sat, and sat and breathed and did not move…. Exactly like the quote above.  Then the tears flowed and the heart felt like would burst and more tears and the tears seemed out of line with the earlier frustration – they were – but something needed to be released.  There was a lot of mud and I could not see clearly but I cried until it all settled. There were a number of things at the core pushing the feelings forth from their depth—some I can do nothing about.  “God, grant me the serenity to accept what I cannot change, change what I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”   Yeah, right there at that point is where I was this weekend.

I found one thing at the core that I ‘could’ maybe do something about.  I’ve had a loss of freedom in certain areas of my life due to a recent geographical move and if I let it get out of control, it can become highly frustrating.  A bit like my house neighbor with the muffled drum beat banging at the corners of my mind as I type.  Yet, while typing I still hear the birds chirp as they visit the feeder just outside of the sliding glass door to the right of me and the meditation music to the left of me and my own fingers tapping on the keyboard.  I am here now and what is, is.  I find the rubber mallet type muffled drum sound unpleasant and the rest acceptable.

Ruling things out is what I had to do through my tears.  Just like I cannot control the musical neighbor, I had to sort through what I could do and let the rest go.  It was toward the end of the day when I realized one thing troubling me is that I’d lost my ability to be creative and expressive with my work at the drop of the hat with no time-table consideration.  Now days I have a time table, a schedule—an actual written schedule!  And my life schedule is dependent upon which family members have which days off and what days there is school and school activities—now the action is focused on the Xstian holiday school programs and those practice schedules!  These are now all a part of my life.  The spontaneity and freedom of being able to work through the night when the spark of energy became inflamed – well, those days are over.  I have to be up and atem’ at 6 am, but now with the time change make that 5 am.  Nice touch!

Well, that’s the part I cannot control and it goes along with me mourning my old life and trying to get used to the change—include the sound of a rubber mallet on my walls in in the list of what I’m having to get used to!  Whatever, it is.  It just is as it is.  Grand me the serenity to accept….

I realized that one core issue is that I’ve not written or recorded a single word of my intended intuitive astrology class!  And while it may be difficult to curb the flow of the creative juices since I have to kick those to the side to meet other obligations with family, I realized that there was one thing that I could do.

When the tears of frustration and resentment and betrayals began to settle as I remained unmoving as the Lao Tzu quote above advocates, I came up with an idea.  This originated from the ultimatum that arose as the mud settled.   I naturally reached a state of knowing that I could continue to cry or I could through my tears do something, take some action.  Through the silence, tears and the hours of unwavering sitting on the meditation cushion, an idea arose.

I realized that if I created a better space for working on the course that I want to offer—that taking this action could help to compensate for the lack of creative freedom that I’d become used to over the past 15 years.  No longer is my time my own and while grieving this loss, there is still motivation to help myself despite it.  I got busy the next day moving my desk to another part of my living room and in the cubby corner where my desk was, I surrounded myself with my shelves of astrology books and notes.

I’d remembered something author Wayne Dyer mentioned a number of times and each time he did my energy would leap!  He said that when he wrote his books that he’d sit down in the middle of an empty room and surround himself with books from other authors and then he’d use intuition to grab the right book in the right moment for the right quote from an author or the right teaching from a teacher.  He said that it would all just be right there for him.

I’ve always loved being surrounded by my books—all that wisdom and knowledge being close to me… well, I could happily live in a library and that’s my idea of heaven but of course with many windows and plenty of gardens and wilderness to wander through also.  But before I lose my point, let me return to telling you what I did; but let me add that sometime ago the rubber mallet stopped banging.  I didn’t notice when it did exactly, but peace has been restored.  Thank you!

So, my desk is now closer to the sliding glass door which I like anyway and while I cannot recreate an empty room like Wayne Dyer did (I’ve heard him say that he rents an empty condo for a period of time to write with no distractions) and while I will have the distractions and interruptions of family obligations, I can do my best to create a conducive environment that support my goals in the ways that ‘are’ possible.  I can also call to the universe to help me release resentments and forgive betrayals and surrender to what is in the meanwhile.

Anyway, I placed my meditation cushions in the center of the little space and purchased some colorful rugs that remind me of Tibet for some reason.  Oh, perhaps I can take a little photo or two to post here…and while it is a small space, I hope to be inspired to use my time there to create the astrology class—the astrology gods willing.

Here… c’mon in and see what the clear waters after the mud settled led me to do…here’s my little space in my one room place for creating an astrology course….

Photo of My Astrology Den
Photo of My Astrology Den

Yeah, so it’s a small space and actually not as small as it looks in the picture.  I guess the point is that you can cry just so long and then it seems to me that you’ve got to  get up and take whatever action the clarity that is achieved through the release of tears and the mud settling reveals.  Wow, that was a long awkward sentence, but I’ll let it stand.  One does have to go through the process however.  And in my case, I had to demand the space and time to be able to do it.  And sometimes it’s very appropriate to do that!

Just for the record, this past weekend the Moon was in Cancer, opposing Pluto—probably pretty emotional energy for anybody.  Sensitive types would be affected more profoundly than others.  Like I said, it is what it is – grant me the serenity to change what I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

If all else fails, we cast a spell!
If all else fails, we cast a spell!

And then if all else fails—there’s always casting a spell which I do turn to once in a while, reminiscent of my wiccan/pagan past lifetime!  I still believe in them and have worked a few with the help of the divine energies that support my intentions!

‘Nuff said for now.

I’ve got an hour fifteen before I go pick up my granddaughter from after school singing practice… here’s hoping I make good use!

And as always, I hope this post will help another along the path.  I should blog more (note to self)… grant me the wisdom to change what I can, like I said.  Om mani padme hum!

Just wanted to end reminding about Scorpio energy—when the Scorpio Sun hits personal planets in Scorpio, deep stuff is going to get triggered I suppose.  I didn’t consider that until today (its Monday after the crybaby weekend!) and toss in a Moon opposing Pluto; yeah, that’s the way of things.

I feel much better today—taking that action (wisdom to change what I can) and the rest I’ll continue to accept what I cannot change while hoping my spell will weave a little magic!

In the world but not of it; adjusting from a life of quiet solitude to commotion

I’m adjusting to change.

Meditative states carry over after getting off the cushion and moving on to other activities of daily living.  The state remains if not interrupted and carries over and one is open and receptive.  The mind becomes like one large flat plate, an empty plate.  And it remains so, if not interrupted, for days, weeks, months.

And there are no longer barriers of protection from the ego since one has tamed that aspect of mind enough to create a calm, flat and receptive plate.  Well, that’s how I relate to mind and life anyway and it is how I am able to be “psychic” and employed by clients in that capacity.

In the process of creating that plate so-to-speak and maintaining that state, I bump into my own thought processes, allowing whatever arises to do so yet also allowing it to dissolve.  All story lines of ego structure melt away too as becoming one with that open plate feeling of openness and receptivity grows.

I could say that this open plate state which sort of feels like one huge horizon of infinity (it’s hard to find the words) enables a state of impersonality; non-personality.

I really like to be in that state and of course achieving this state is part of my job, my career, my service work here.  I’m there when I do readings.  And if nothing distracts me (if I don’t distract myself), I can stay there for days as long as I’m “Home Alone” if you pardon the movie reference.

I just had to laugh at a reference comparison (analogy) that came to mind here.  To meditate and put one in that state of the empty plate and non-personality can be understood by associating it with hitting the “refresh” button on a web page.  If the mind begins to wander and gets too complicated by getting too many other pages (thoughts) open, one can hit refresh and come back to the present moment, now; back to the state of the open plate—one huge horizon of infinity.

No, I’m not talking about any type of escapism here.  It’s more like being fully present.

When someone is habitually open and receptive as I’ve been describing and then enters a room of 50 personalities with helter-skelter minds or even pulls out into busy traffic or heads into a busy shopping area—wow.  I’ve been able to realize the benefit of ego-structure as a type of boundary and am working with a level of integration which enables me to function here in a busy community and in close proximity to family.  It is almost laughable when all these entwined and complicated egos with complex entanglements come together in one room!  Multiply that by 1,000 busy grocery shopping days!  Where is my open receptive plate? What happened to my infinity horizon?  Where did it all go?

I’m working with it; trying to function as myself (whatever self means because there really IS NO self in the true sense of it all) in these crowded settings.

I’ve found a particular type of meditation helpful lately.  One thing is that I keep my eyes open which helps me to be present but not (at the same time) tuned into the present surroundings–well, just very lightly.  I am mostly non-attached yet present and aware that I am fully in my body and fully in my space and fully in my room!  This is a very good practice for me as it helps me to carry this over when swimming in (being around) very distracting energy (family dynamics, crazy traffic, even crazier grocery store).

Living in the mountains was… well, I made a Facebook Post this morning that I will reproduce here.  I am so familiar with the vibration that comes from being physically in the places such as where this picture was.  I resided (really lived!) the past 15+ years in the mountains.  And this photo prompted me to post the image and text.

[image and text below]

Pictures are wonderful! I could linger at this recent photo a good deal longer….
ET is phoning HOME!
Meditating on something simple and beautifully ordinary (like gazing out over a view like this!) enables a person to avoid self-identification and minimizes relationship awareness with others; nothing much here can be connected with ego-conflict. That is the healing gift of the mountains and mountain views. A person can become overwhelmed with a sense of non-duality, relating as”one” with the vastness.
Pictures are wonderful! I could linger at this recent photo a good deal longer….
ET is phoning HOME!

Anyway, lately while on my meditation cushion with eyes open but not really looking at anything and while putting my hands open and facing palms down over my knees (I sit crossed legged in a half-lotus position), what I do focus on at first is a straight back, head, shoulders and pretend that I am the ruler of my own kingdom (am I not?); and as I muster up that feeling, I also allow myself the sense of the  feeling of royalty (being royal) as acutely as possible–such as  in ruling my own universe, my own world.

That feels right to me and then I claim my space on the cushion and affirm that I belong right there, right here, right now in this moment and I am grounded right in that—it’s mine.  Then, of course, who is me and mine?  Yet, for the moment I allow these thoughts and feelings as the entry into (entry point of)  my meditation period.  After that, it is only to focus on breath and letting what comes up in mind to dissolve like the sun that contacts the fog; the thoughts disappear as quickly as they come up.

That helps me with living this new life down off the mountain.

On another note… completely off topic… but do you remember those Hydrangeas that I purchased from QVC at the end of spring?  I potted them and brought them with me and all summer long I’ve been watering and waiting and in metaphysical ways nurturing and just this week, finally!  One of them is giving to the world a pink flower!  It is quite exciting and brings happiness to the heart.

One of the plants (at least one of the 4 of them) has successfully begun to make the adjustment to its life here… slowly and gradually, like me.

Not Enough Time? Life too Scheduled? Adjusting to Change? Lose Your Self Around Others? Dancing to the Tune of the Clock? Wisdom from the I-ching

Calm, Quiet, Slow … Mountain Time

It seems like ages since simply sitting at the keyboard and typing onto my blog has happened… and it has to do with this thing that we call time or our concept of it.  Yeah, it’s bothering me and if you’re a regular reader here, then you know that I work things out here—things that disturb my psyche or ruffle my feathers.  I look for ways to handle these dilemmas, these “pickles” of life, and hope that my post will also help another who finds it or goggles a phrase that shows up here.  Ever since I’ve moved I’ve been dealing with schedules and family itineraries!  It’s like if someone suggests something to do in the future, everyone grabs their appointment calendar to see which day they are free!

Family
LEFT: grandson
TOP TO BOTTOM RIGHT: daughters, sister and daughter, grandaughter, grandson marching band, niece

I’m simply not used to living this way—at least for the past 15 years anyway.  I thought those days were over for me; never did I think that I’d be dancing to the tune of the clock again and certainly not to a school bus or band practice or Friday night football game schedule! 

O, Please–don’t get me wrong, I love being with my grandchildren and daughters–even my sister and niece!  And we love Friday night football; yet I’m sort of ‘over’ driving two nights a week to and from band practice… but anyway….

 It’s just that my life doesn’t seem like my own anymore, but I’m adjusting and my own appointment schedule is being juggled and adjusting too! 

We’re managing.  And everything is getting done; but inside me there’s lots of resistance to this new life! 

I’m working on it though and this blog post is helping me do just THAT today.  And I hope it will help you too in some way.  Anyway…

I know this feeling of being short of time all of the time is mental and emotional and psychological and it’s an energy thing that I’ve gotten pulled into.  I’m trying to pull myself out and having a little bit of difficulty. 

It is true that I have to accommodate my family now whereas before (the past 15 years@!) there was none of that.  I chose to do so and know that it is their energy and the energy of this general vicinity that needs balancing within me. 

You know, people drive so fast around here even in the parking lot of the apartment community and energy of the white rabbit from the Alice in Wonderland story is predominating:  “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date, I’m late, I’m late, I’m late, and I’m very, very late…” 

Yeah, I feel that within my own mind and body and it gets reinforced at the start of every new day… “Hi Mom, here’s her breakfast, she has to finish this or that homework, I love you, here’s her lunch box, gotta’ go, I’m late…”   (My granddaughter stays with me in the morning until her bus comes to take her to school and my daughter rushes off to work.)

Again, I love my family and being near them most of the time.  It’s just that I don’t like that hurry-up we’re late feeling and I know it is within me unnecessarily—I carry it too often! 

It’s affecting my usual feelings of peace and ease and I miss the pace of the mountains—the general feeling everywhere was “What’s the hurry?  And besides, if you wanted me to hurry you should have told me about it 3 weeks ago.”

Aaaahhhhh, sometimes I miss that small mountain town but then other times, like last Thursday night, having sushi and seaweed salad at a local Wasabi Restaurant makes me want to jump up and down celebrating being here in civilization!  Oh, there are many things that bring up celebratory feelings about being here—take my grandson for example! 

But then, I digress—my issue involves how to deal with this hurry up feeling that predominates too often and restore the more comfortable and compatible “what’s the hurry?” attitude.

Come to think of it, this has always been my problem in all relationships—whether it is with a person or a city/community!  I am way too taken in by the ‘other’ vibe and loose myself!  Yeah, I could blame it on my Sun/Neptune/Moon natal conjunction or I could use that triple combo to my advantage.  What’z it gonna’ be? 

Whether you’re like me and are sometimes too sensitive for your own good OR NOT, we’ve got to ask the Oracle for guidance.  What can we do? What insight can you give that will help with NOT being pulled into outer energy—how can we maintain our own energy when surrounded by an incompatible vibe 24-7?   

I will turn to the I-ching now to select a coin-combo which will bring us some helpful insight on how to change our attitude about time and hurry-up energy and how NOT to lose our self in the midst of so many ‘others’.  

Well we have Kua 3 (Difficulty in the Beginning) changing to Kua 60 (Limitations).

Let’s open up this guidance. But before we do that, I just want to say that I am enjoying this Saturday morning!  I am undisturbed by duty calling me in any direction and am enjoying the birds visiting my balcony bird feeder.  The trees are only a-small-number-of-feet away from my balcony (some ends of the branches are only a few feet) and I like to pretend that I live in the trees WITH the birds and that I AM one myself!  I did more of that in the early days of my residency here—and realize now that I need to spend more time with that fantasy when I can fit it in! 

Well, to the i-ching…  the changing line in the first Kua advises “doing nothing”  and “taking a breather”.  I really relate to that!  Writing in this blog today is about that very thing.  Kua 3 is about enduring difficult transitions and this move has been such a thing which I am STILL getting used to!  I moved in June and here it is nearing the end of September and the full adjustment has yet to be accomplished!

Here’s an example:  we had a garage sale last weekend in which we all sold items that we simply could not use in our new apartments (my daughter and sister also moved here around the same time I did).  We agreed to donate what did not sell to Goodwill afterward and did.  Several days later, I went there to get a donation receipt that my sister forgot and saw an item from my mountain home.  It was a basket which I had on a porch column and I filled it with different flowers as the season’s changed.  I did not expect to see it and there it was on a shelf in the Goodwill store and suddenly I grieved the death my old life of peace and solitude.  In turning to escape the basket, my eyes landed squarely on ceramic angels that I had along the window sill in the guest bedroom—I called it “The Angel Room”.  I nearly ran out of the store with my heart aching and tears streaming down my face.  Yeah, I’m not fully adjusted to being here yet—“fer’ shuur!”  said the way we used to say it in the 80’s.

So doing nothing and taking a breather this may be a good thing to restore a little bit of balance—that’s the advice (so far) from the i-ching oracle.  This sort of stops the whole time thing from being an issue—I can understand that it would be helpful. 

I had blocked some time out for myself yesterday and actually felt guilty that I didn’t DO something during that time.  Since this small amount of free time is so precious and valuable now, you better DO something special with it… I didn’t and then felt guilty!  I never, ever used to feel guilty about doing nothing before–what gives? 

The oracle speaks of this situation as “strengthening the ability to roll with the punches” –that is what is going on now.  I have to say that bumping into the energy of my old stuff in the Goodwill Store felt like a punch—fer shure.

This is about my ability to deal with difficult transitions—according to the i-ching book for this Kua.  Yeah, I think of death when I hear the word “transition” and actually I did say to my daughter on the ‘Goodwill Day” that my reaction is part of me “grieving over my old life”.  Kua 3 really does relate to this question I’m asking.

The old was dismantled to make way for the new and now that I’m in the new, the adjustments do create certain doubts and vulnerabilities.

Maybe I need to shore up my certainties and do something to feel less vulnerable.  I need to give that some thought.  I do believe that I did the right thing to move; yet I do feel vulnerable and intuitively feel some sort of boundary is needed, somehow, to remedy the vulnerability feeling.  I just don’t know exactly how to achieve that since I seem to have to be the one to accommodate to everyone else’s schedule!

  I find my mind wandering out to future to find a school holiday and to announce to my daughters that I am not available that week—I’ve always wanted to go away to some country that doesn’t celebrate x-Mas during that x-tian holiday anyway!  But I digress.  Let’s see what else the oracle says.

This is some sort of ‘stage of growth’—this transition, this move, this complete change of lifestyle!  Haven’t I grown enough?  Wait, don’t let me go into victimization now!  This blog post is about how to  accomplish a feeling which is one in which I feel as if I have more time—let’s stick with the topic at hand here.  (self reprimand– ha ha)

Moving on.  The oracle says to stay in touch with the “needs of the moment”.  Okay this is helpful.  And that’s right! Some of this whole time shortage and “I’m late” vibe is really future oriented.  People here run around trying desperately to drive into the future instead of just dealing with the needs of the moment—that’s the “slowing down” that I’ve been doing for the past 15 years which moving here has affected.  That’s usually how I am and I’ve allowed the surrounding people, places, things to infiltrate me—and I’ve sort of lost myself as far as this part goes. 

I need to bring my mountain mentality to the big city—and live it in the now by affirming continually that I am “in touch with the needs of the moment”—yeah, I like that.  I’m going to use that.  I should make that a sign and hang it up on the wall to remind myself! 

SIGN SHOULD READ:  I AM IN TOUCH WITH THE NEEDS OF THE MOMENT—PERIOD!

The Oracle also says that any attempt to make a plan or to make sense of things is premature and will lead to frustration.  Be gentle with the self and go slowly.

Let them rush and be late!  I don’t have to.  Right?

Kua 60 is about “Limitations” and speaks of “testing your own serenity in the chaos exposes the depth of self-disclipline” and also the manner in which we respond to “limitations” is revealing of what has been deeply assimilated. 

I have deeply assimilated the mountain energy and the inner peace of living a serene life has been genuinely anchored within me.  It is my true nature and true self.  I have to remember that it is there and cannot be affected—it is only necessary to stay in touch with myself by staying in touch with the needs of the moment.

Alright, I’ve gone on long enough and I’m good–are you?  I feel better and have, via this writing, helped to reinforce what is needed to establish my SELF in the moment again.

I hope this writing has helped another soul who may be able to use and apply any thoughts within these paragraphs. 

Old Soul, New Soul or Simply Generational, Meditation-al Or Present Moment Living? Difference between Lonely and Serene

Lonely or Serene?
Is the person in this picture? Lonely or Serene? Your answer reveals a lot about you

Is there a difference between lonely and serene?  It depends on where you, yourself are coming from.  Here are a few thoughts about the different views of life that we could call ‘glamour’ versus simply attending to the moment.   Do we age to a point of wisdom or simply age?  What about ‘old soul’s’ and where do they fit in to this topic recognizing what serenity is versus loneliness.

Can meditation create a wise old soul within us even if we are chronologically born of a younger generation? Are old souls those who have learned to live in the present moment?  Like I said, here are a few thoughts.

Personally, I live from sun-up  to  sun-down  and  focus wholeheartedly on whatever is before me within that period.  That’s it.  And I’m happy this way but I would not expect everyone to understand that or be able to relate to it–and the fact is, most don’t.  And that’s okay.

I’ve noticed something about people who call another person an old soul.  What they notice about those that they label old soul  is a wisdom that comes from being grounded in the moment, a lack of angst or anxiety that comes from grasping, struggling, overwhelming desire for what is outside of self.   I’ve noticed when people tend to say that someone, usually of a younger generation, is an old soul it is because there is a serenity, calmness and lack of grasping or clinging to attachments that is visibly present.

The graspers (those who grasp at) and seekers of ‘outer-world-validations’ and materialization-s look at the one they’ve labeled an old soul and misinterpret their persona as loneliness or depression.  Really?  Seriously?   Lonely and Depressed?  Not on your life!

Generally speaking, many of the younger generation (younger souls?) don’t seem to be able to relate much to those of my generation (is this age related or some other category?).  That is unless the younger individual carries with them the energy of what people refer to as old soul energy.

Those who carry that energy seem to emanate wisdom that perhaps comes because they do not crave anything from the outer world–fame, fortune, glamour or any grass greener scenario.  A parent of someone like this who is of a younger generation but yet has ‘old soul’ energy many times become concerned because the child or young adult seems to have no huge external motivation or desires.  They believe the child lacks passion or drive and the young soul type parent worries in that way about the old soul type child.

Adults who misinterpret serenity for loneliness perhaps may not have yet reached the golden point in life when  one feels as if they have arrived.

Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong with ambition and passion and drive if that is what that person needs to experience at whatever age he/she is experiencing it, so be it.  But just don’t think that others who do not relate to your ambitions are confused, lazy, lonely or anything else that you may like to project upon them.

Getting back to my generation… some of us have, as a result living life itself, reached a place of  simple living.  Simply living out our day while wholeheartedly focusing on attending to the life in the moment. They/we seem comfortable with some type of  inner-knowing that our behind-the-scene-efforts will be appreciated when The Light shines upon them and no longer seek any limelight (stage light) from the outer world.

While younger generations are looking to the outer world for validation and experience, many of my generation are re-aligning once again with the inner spaciousness within the self returning in a way to how it was when we were born into this world.

Either way we look at it… whether an old soul or simply ageing, keeping awareness in the present moment ends the struggles with the outer world and allows moment-to-moment creative awareness. ‘Responsible happens’ meaning ‘able to respond’ because we are not distracted by outer world burning desires.

Your own level of awareness — whether it is centered in inner awareness or whether it is grasping at outer world desires will affect how you answered the question at the bottom of the photo.  If you are still grasping and full of overwhelming desires, you may decide the person on the bench on the photo is lonely.  Otherwise, you may have seen the person as being serene. 

Meditation will help anyone, no matter what the age, to achieve that inner spaciousness which makes one able to respond well (creatively and wisely) to anything that comes into their awareness.

And it  is living life in this way in which one is being most true-to-self and  most sincere-to-self.  

If you agree or disagree,  no matter–so are the thoughts that come before me today.  May they be worthy and somehow helpful to someone.