Patterns of Thought, Neurons, Psychic Development and Spiritual Evolution

Neurons Gossip
Neurons Gossip

Patterns of Thought, Neurons, Psychic Development and Spiritual Evolution

How do all those things relate?  Patterns that I’m referring to have to do with what sometime’s I’ve heard called “gossipy neurons” or “ground consciousness” — either way, karmic repetition.  I really appreciate how the Dalai Lama of Tibet has joined Buddhists theory with scientific theory to understand the mind and how it works.

So patterns of thought and neurons that react to stimuli (see What the Bleep Do we Know?) — gossipy neurons!  I love that image of neurons gossiping and we could then see how and why the work of Byron Katie has been helpful to so many–i.e. question that thought and who would you be without it?

Neurons gossip — stimulus happens (some life event or experience) and then old dialogue begins accompanied by old pictures.

In my work as a psychic I’ve learned how to listen to observe to create a space for information to come through and I can’t have any neurons gossiping in the background when i do this.   I think meditation and working in those areas with the mind enables one to recognize when ground or karmic consciousness takes over or said another way, when the neurons start gossiping and firing and kicking up those old connections.

When we notice those neurons gossiping we can become aware and break those old patterned connections through intention–creating a new pathway, one that includes compassion and love instead.

I often point out how psychic development (I offer an Online Course) is an aid to our personal spiritual evolution.  This is yet another example!  Awareness rocks!

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Yogic Conduct, Entering the Action, Embracing Life

BUDDHA DOODLE EMBRACE YOUR SELF-AWARENESS BRAVELY

I do love the way Divine Mind operates–that’s just me talking to It!  A friend sent me that BUDDHA DOODLE [image above] moments ago via email (credit to Molly Hahn/Buddha Doodles).  This image correlates with the post I was thinking to make here relating to something I heard a Rinpoche (teacher) speak of the other day.  Before I get too complicated with it all–and I really don’t have to since the doodle says it all really–there is a term I heard that really rang those ‘Buddhist Bells’ with me!

Oh, by the way, I have tingsha bells and they are an economical substitute for singing bowls and gongs and other tools… they don’t take up much room either. But let me go to the point about this term or phrase used by the teacher.  I don’t know if this is the correct interpretation of exactly what Rinpoche was intending, but here’s what he said.  When a highly evolved yogi reaches a particular state of evolution it is said that they are in YOGIC CONDUCT.  Rinpoche’s translator said it means they have “Entered the Action”.

Interesting.  For this particular yogi they were referring to first studied at the university and then meditated in seclusion for a long time and then taught students and then following that he went into “Yogic Conduct” or “Entered the Action”.

Sounds a bit like going into battle doesn’t it?  I wonder if that means  (to do what we think of as ) “walking the talk” in a way that is more intense or “activated” or “active”–??

I thought of my own life since haven come down from the mountain into a densely populated area of sentient beings, including souls of blood relation, family.  It’s been totally intense, like I have “entered the action” in some way or another--fer’ sure!

Again, I have no idea of that’s what “yogic conduct” means or what the Tibetan Rinpoche and his translator were really talking about or it means something else entirely. But I thought the term to be interesting.  I tried to goggle it and found nothing.

But anyway; I am about to be putting all of my things in storage for a while and having one room for my personal space like a monk or yogi in a monastery–like a monk’s cell.

And further will be living with two family members, sharing half the rent in another apartment.  (My hope is that this is very temporary until space opens in other housing where I have made application–and also supplication!  ho-ho, hee-hee)

But the monastic cell is going to be awesome (compared to previous lifetimes!-Ha!) –live plants, big windows, TV, computer, desk, etc.  Heaven in comparison!  (And the company of fine family companionship…. I am most grateful to my kind sister for sharing with me temporarily so I don’t have to break a lease elsewhere and can be ready when the place to which was supplicated has an opening.)

Anyway… self-awareness, remaining mindful, allowing emotion to become the  path–that’s what the Buddha Doodle means to me.  Another recent blog post covered a good deal more about working with emotion as the spiritual path.

Entering the Action!  Yogic Conduct!  Om mani padme hum.

ASPIRATION:  May I be able to practice the genuine dharma!  

May I remain mindful and awake!  

May all beings, through their virtue, perfect the accumulations of merit and wisdom! 

May this blog post be helpful to someone in cyber world!

Fear can be the guru that helps awaken but will it ever go away? Dealing with fear and The Two Truths

What if it doesn't work out?
What if I don’t have enough?

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:

  1. TEMPERANCE. Eat not to dullness; drink not to elevation.
  2. SILENCE. Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation.
  3. ORDER. Let all your things have their places; let each part of your business have its time.
  4. RESOLUTION. Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.
  5. FRUGALITY. Make no expense but to do good to others or yourself; i.e., waste nothing.
  6. INDUSTRY. Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
  7. SINCERITY. Use no hurtful deceit; think innocently and justly, and, if you speak, speak accordingly.
  8. JUSTICE. Wrong none by doing injuries, or omitting the benefits that are your duty.
  9. MODERATION. Avoid extremes; forbear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.
  10. CLEANLINESS. Tolerate no uncleanliness in body, clothes, or habitation.
  11. TRANQUILITY. Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.

Enlightenment Practice #32 of the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva Including Divination

My first thought when I drew the paper with number 32 out of the basket today and read the words associated with this practice was to recoil and to think, “Wait, I don’t do that!”  Following which I knew this must be a “biggie” if I had such a strong adverse reaction.  “You’d better look closer at this one Joy!” was the next thought.

I turned to the commentary by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche to help with this.  I think my problem was that I interpreted the wording of the original root text that read, “…if you point out the faults of another Bodhisattva…” That brought to mind the Dalai Lama or Kwan Yin or even someone like the 17th Karmapa or any of the Rinpoche’s or Lamas or even Buddhist nuns—take Pema Chodron and the like.  I revere, admire and venerate teachers of this nature; I can’t imagine ever criticizing any of them.  I honestly sat stupefied and then solemn for a moment and deeply inquired if I’ve criticized other Bodhisattvas.

Well, maybe Christians who still tend to irk the jesus out of me, pardon the pun.  I admit that I’m still healing the wound from prior life religious persecutions—but of course it is just mind latching onto an identity as one who was supposedly persecuted.  I get that intellectually and sometimes emotionally but not when the wound takes a direct hit.  Okay, okay—let’s say I’m working on that.  It’s a little bit difficult for me to see a Christian practitioner as a Bodhisattva but maybe I need to reconsider that.

Meanwhile, back to  what Khenpo Tsultrim  says about practice 32… he links this to The Seven Points of Mind Training.  The Buddhist seem to have a lot of numbers associated with their teachings:  the 3 this, the 4 that, the 6 this and the 7 that.  Probably a good way to memorize teachings!

Anyway, Khenpo Tsultrim says that one stanza in The Seven Points of Mind Training directs the reader to think that all positive qualities belong to other sentient beings and that all faults are one’s own. This is the correct attitude. [that will develop humility for sure!] Generally, most people think just the opposite: someone else is always wrong, while they are always right. This attitude is to be given up.  Patrul Rinpoche advises students to acknowledge their own deficiency first; and then, when they recognize it in someone else, to pray that the guru grants blessings to them both. It is always beneficial to see that the perceived fault in yourself is greater than it is in the other. Then you know that person is no different from you. [I highlighted what I felt where the most important points there.]

Oh Lordie, I do see how I worry/am concerned about one of my family members and their relationship to money and that this fault is greater in myself.  

The Dalai Lama spoke on each of the 37 practices of a bodhisattva and he wrote one line very succinctly which says it all, “We must try to conquer our own illusions rather than those we ‘think’ we see in others.”—pg 101, Essential Teachings

Most of what I come up with while investigating the meaning of practice 32 relates to infighting amongst various schools of Buddhism criticizing each other or student’s critiquing other students or teachers.

divider3-15-13

DIVINATION ~ MESSAGE

Through examining this practice as it applies to my own life experience I can see how I am repulsed and disgusted with Christians to are always quoting scriptures.  Yet, am I not right here and now quoting Buddhist scriptures in the same way?

Buddhist teachings are helping me a good deal but I must remember that Christian teachings are in the same way helping those humans who, like me, are only hoping to be better humans and grow and evolve and become a better compassionate and loving soul—a bodhisattva!

Oh, and on that relationship to money thing… better go look at the bills I’ve been avoiding looking at and work on ‘my own’ illusion!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Life Crisis, Co-Emerging Wisdom and Confusion, Bardo States

sky
Sky Consciousness

The wisdom teachers tell us that this reality, this lifetime is a bardo state just as the state after death is known as bardo—and that bardo states are states of deep uncertainty.  Many people live their lives in that state of deep uncertainty while being out of touch with the self as well as, anxious, restless and often paranoid.  I don’t think there’s all that much difference between the state after death and our states-of-being while alive; yet, I’ve not much aside from my own intuition to base that on.  Anyway, I’ve been thinking how what can be true for people is how we have energies that co-emerge especially in times of crisis—wisdom and confusion arising simultaneously in ways that life presents us with a choice.

There does seem to be a certain clarity and wisdom behind the confusions of life (the dramas) and this is where we can turn to for our guidance moment-by-moment.  It is not a contradiction; we can have and do have (if we self-examine our life with honesty) both clarity and confusion arising at the same time.  It’s like we have a choice to look deeper for the co-existing wisdom that exists with or right alongside confusion; it’s always there.

I’ve also been thinking about gaps in thinking as being the basis for primordial consciousness or what I’ve heard referred to as sky consciousness—the sky is always there while there can be local weather and dark clouds or even thunder storms; if you go high enough you see there is clear and calm sky above the storms.  Within our minds, this clear sky is the god-consciousness or use the word (s) you prefer to describe that clear sky—First Cause, Divine Intelligence, etc.  I wrote about that in this week’s newsletter:  The essential nature of mind has been called “God” by the Christians and Jews; Hindus call it “the Self”, “Shiva”, “Brahman” and “Vishnu”; Sufi mystics name it “the Hidden Essence”; and Buddhists call it “buddha nature”.

So these gaps in thinking during meditation and the gaps that happen and get even wider during a shock or trauma are opportunities to experience moments of enlightenment if we see them, recognize them.

Oh, my car used to give me those moments, believe it or not!  One minute driving along and then suddenly the engine chokes and then surges and then chokes again; a bit shocking!  Once it even (due to near zero transmission fluid/leaking without my knowing) went from 70 mph to 5 mph in less than 5 seconds.  Well who had time to count seconds?—seemed instantaneous to me.  Like some invisible force slamming on the brakes while you were fly along the Interstate Highway!  Yeah, talk about giving you pause!  Recently I slammed my small toe into furniture resulting in it hanging off to the side of my foot at about a 90 degree angle.  Again, talk about slamming on the brakes!  Those types of moments when the entire reality seems to change and one holds one’s breath in a way—time standing still because you are a bit shocked by what is happening… those are moments of heightened awareness and a bit of that clear sky manifests in the mind.

First there is a shock and you are a bit paralyzed and that is followed by a moment of deep stillness.  It’s like you take a second or two to realize something horribly different from the previous reality has just occurred and then time stands still—any previous state of mind has completely vanished and in that in between state where one reality changes in to totally and drastically different one there is a peace in that transition, a deep relaxation and it can even become a momentary feeling of bliss as everything let’s go.  There is something there in that transitional moment when reality suddenly changes in those ways and it’s that primordial sky-type of Presence with the capital P.  There comes along with that an acute alertness that the reality isn’t real – the mind becomes totally free, liberated.

Strange as it seems to write about it now, those moments are weirdly comforting.  Makes you wonder about people who continually seek those types of moments out—thrill seekers and the like.  That’s not me by any means!  Nor is there an intention to seek out those kinds of moments.  Yet those moments can be really good re-aligners (if that’s even a word) helping us to come back into alignment and fully “present”.   Personally, I’m for allowing things of that nature to happen naturally and only if necessary.  I’ve been thinking about these types of events and wanted to blog about it.  Next time (if there is a next time but certainly the time of death will be that type of time for all of us) my reality changes drastically like that, I’m going to try to hang out in that moment, that gap, intentionally for a bit longer in even more of a state of awareness if possible.  The trick, I suppose, if there is one, is to remember to do that in the moment of crisis.  Here’s hoping!  🙂

Wesak (Vesak), Beltane, Full Moon in Scorpio and Pluto Calls!

The Buddha’s Life is celebrated on Wesak (aka Vesak) at the Full Moon of May (this weekend)

PLUTO is so prominent on my mind lately— Pluto rules Scorpio — Full Moon in Scorpio — when Sun is in Taurus/Full Moon Scorpio we have the celebration of Nature and fertility (Beltane) and Wesak celebrating the Buddha.  Scorpio/Pluto relates to sexual bonding, healing and of course the depths, dealing with the dark.  My basement/cellar (Scorpio) area has been calling my attention to it for a while; interesting symbolism all in all since I have Scorpio at the bottom of my chart, the depth, the nadir, the 4th house.   

There has just been a physical cleansing there—some structure (an old closet) had to be removed and junk had to be hauled out and a powerful cleaner used to destroy anything that shouldn’t be growing down there.  Exactly. 

It feels good to me – the timing of all this; the symbolism. 

I’d like to think I’ve cleaned out old junk from the bottom of my soul like the workers cleaned out the junk from the basement.  It wasn’t even my junk mind you—it came from previous tenants or owners of the house.  Maybe some of the emotional and mental junk removal that I’ve done was from previous lifetimes, not this one.  That happened a while back however; it wasn’t recent. 

It takes time for the physical changes to occur once the mental/emotional/spiritual one’s happen; so that part makes sense to me.   

I’d like to think that the basement clean-up is the physical demonstration or manifestation or the symbolism which validates that I have done some important clean-up work on a soul  level. 

I’m sort of concerned about Sam though—the resident toad.  I don’t know if he’ll make it through the cleaning fluid fumes down there.  If I never see him again, may he attain the highest level on his little toad path.  Sure, I realize that it sounds crazy; but I can’t help but be concerned for all life forms… all sentient beings (living beings) wish to avoid suffering and seek happiness.  As a matter of fact, speaking of Sam the toad and this being the time we celebrate Wesak (or Vesak) and the life, teachings and enlightenment of The Buddha, this was in my Facebook timeline today and it is good to share:

 If a person does not harm any living being and does not kill or cause others to kill – that person is a true spiritual practitioner. — Siddhārtha Gautama

As the Sun squares my natal Pluto today, energy is culminating in a Pluto kind of way on a Pluto kind of day!  What else rhymes is Sam the salamander.  I asked the worker guys who went down there that there was a little toad dude down there—may he not get stepped upon.  They said they did not see him but did see a salamander.  Yep, I’ve seen him too.  So I think I should name the salamander Sam; after all the two s’s sound right.  I will re-name the toad if I see him again.  I’m thinking Terence would be a good name. 

I name inanimate objects often.  I called my old car “baby” (because it was a very small car)—well, an old boyfriend started that one.  My car was his baby’s car but even after he was history, it stuck.  In my old house rental, I called the propane gas wall heater Margaret and the furnace Ralph.  In this house the furnace is much bigger and I call him Buford.  I am rambling—I know;  don’t tell me.

I’m avoiding the lawn mowing and other chores and stalling while I see if a client is going to call—her appointment is up in the air for today (we agreed today or Monday but her schedule is uncertain). 

But, I can wait and ramble no longer.  I’m tempted to see if Terence the Toad (I’ll call him Terry for short) made it through the night with the fumes down there.  I had a hard time doing so myself and there’s a floor between us—lordie knows the stomach and nose knows!   

I can’t go down there for a few more days until the energy settles down and the fumes subside; time will tell. 

I’m off to mow the lawn while weather and time permit.   I’d better go.

If you’re of the Celtic persuasion, may it be a Blessed Beltane! for you and if you resonate with the Eastern teachers, Happy Wesak !   I have visions of my spirit dancing sky clad under the full moon with flowers woven in my hair while singing praises to the Buddha!  Who needs easter and christmas?! –which are spin off’s from the Buddhists and the Pagans anyway! 😉

Work with Emotional Patterns-Kleshas using Buddhist Tools and Prajna Teachings

This is what I know and also what I keep forgetting and so need to practice!  Why do I keep forgetting?  How do I keep allowing my… well, what the Buddhist call kleshas to affect me.  What are kleshas?  Essentially we could say emotions or one definition is “mental states that cloud the mind and manifest in unwholesome action”.  In the modern-day world we often hear them called “emotional patterns”.  Your patterns!  Right?  Your customary and habitual emotional responses.  Yeah, new ager’s want to deny those or push them away and not deal with them out in the open like this.  Here’s what I was writing about in the last blog about my “muggle” klesha.  This is from the writing of Lama Zopa Rinposhe; it is expressing what I wrote about–remembering the nature of emptiness and calling upon the praja/wisdom of the  prajnaparamita (emptiness).  Let’s go right to Rinposhe’s words:

Emptiness is a remedy for the foundation of all delusions—ignorance—so all the other delusions will disappear. The minute one meditates on emptiness, anger for example, will stop. Anger arises when you believe in the false I, false object—all this which does not exist. So when one meditates on emptiness of the self and other objects, there is no foundation for anger. This is the most powerful antidote. But if it arises again, it is because there is no continuation of the meditation; the meditation, the mindfulness, has stopped. The problem is to remember the technique. Once you remember the technique, it always works. When you don’t remember the technique, it is delayed and the delusion, anger and so forth, has already arisen and taken you over. — Lama Zopa

Some of our kleshas can be quite clever and convince us that we are justified and even egg us on to find those descriptive words — the one’s I used in my last blog were… well, there you see?  I’m being tested again to go to those words, reproduce them and once again the klesha pattern gets triggered and those old resentments and aversions become alive.  When that happens, I’ve taken many steps backwards or the Buddhist would say it is loosing merit.

What I do is use my blog to create space around the klesha and slow it down so that I have an opportunity to analyze it–dissect it, if you will.  I heard one lama say it is like creating speed bumps for an speeding out of control car (anger) to slow itself down.

Yeah, it can be like that for us—being overcome by emotions that get triggered from those old patterns.  For me it is the muggle who is my blessing because he gives me the opportunity to practice remaining awake and remembering emptiness helps me to diffuse the bomb of my klesha.  I can be quite indignant, irate and outraged by other sentient beings who, in my judgment and opinion, disrespect animals and nature.  Like with any emotional trigger that any of us experience, the pulse races, the face gets flushed and all those other responses happen but the progress that I’ve made over time is that I am able to catch it sooner and analyze myself and the situation and diffuse the bomb or not let the pattern reach bomb stages in the first place.  I let it go much quicker these days.

What helps me is to remember that the muggle in question and his/her actions or attitudes and so forth are simply ignorance, meaning lack of wisdom, knowledge or information.  I say this without being above or feeling superior in any way.  What evens the playing field in working with that type of klesha is to embrace the knowing that what motivates all sentient beings is that they are seeking happiness and trying to avoid their own suffering.

When I remember this, it helps me very much and then I begin to move my attitude toward compassion for the other, the one I name muggle and also for myself I feel compassion and this helps to transcend the experience, bringing me back to who I truly am.

This is the reason that Buddhism helps me, because of the awareness of mind that it encourages us to have–the practical reality of day-to-day living is acknowledged and the teachings are just as real and practical and grounded.

These are a few thoughts about my last blog and my muggle klesha for the record.  Maybe any reader who comes to this could benefit in some way by applying any wisdom found here to their own life–this is the intent.