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.

When Life Sux, is it ULTIMATELY Real? Taking Refuge in The Three Jewels

take refuge
Taking Refuge in the Heart Sutra and Also in the Three Jewels

I went back to my last post to read it over.  I was looking for a quote.  After reading it over I thought, wow, sounds like she’s depressed–if I didn’t already know she wasn’t, I’d think she was!  I’m not, I just go deep to find answers–right down to the moment of death and gloriously beyond if need be.  People in the West and mostly young people think somebody is depressed if they talk about death.  I didn’t want to ‘go there’ either back in the day when I was in denial about that particular fact of life–some things people just avoid thinking about. If we ‘really’ thought about some things, we’d never do them at all. Take flying in a plane or driving a car—if we fully contemplated the complete possibilities of what could go wrong and were honest about it, we’d never do those things.  It helps to go into denial about those things–the dangers at least.  And another thing that helps is that somewhere at the back of  our mind we know this is all just a dream that we’re supposed to row our boat merrily along!  And because we know that we say things like, “Oh well, when it’s my time, it’s my time.”  I think part of the reason we say that is we know on some deep unconscious level that this life ‘is’ an illusion…a dream.

I know this stuff–or do I?  I mean the study of the mind and so-called ‘reality’ has been my focus for years–but maybe I expect too much of my own intellectual understandings.
There’s reality that is conventional and there’s reality that is ultimately simply energy and a dream illusory state–both true at the same time.  But darn if conventional reality can’t be a real heavy duty battery sometimes!  I have no idea why I said it that way….battery just seemed to want to come after the words ‘heavy duty’.  Some old commercial that stuck in my mind just came up probably.  But maybe that’s an important observation–mind is everything and excludes nothing.  THAT really does blow your mind–to use some hippy slang from the good ole’ days!

A friend/client of mine was just in a horrific car accident–horrific.  Yeah, I know I said that, but  the word horrific fully deserves the repetition if you could see what was left of her car.  Now you think I have trouble convincing myself that my irritating Indian downstairs neighbors are simply a dream that I should row my boat gently around–somebody who had to undergo numerous operations with pins and plates and screws in her arms, hips and leg… try telling her that at 2 AM when everything’s throbbing and she can hardly move.  She’d probably throw something at me ( and I wouldn’t blame her ) if I suggested such a thing to her!

Life–illusion or not, dream or nay–can get intense sometimes!  Fact:  my mind is irritated by the neighbors.  Fact:  I must do what soothes my mind.  Big revelation that came to me in meditation.  I can’t begin to work through this until I do that first.  I’m trying to figure out how to deal with the’ in-your-faceness’ of it like I’m sure my friend is too with her circumstances (much worse than my own of course)–yeah, it’s an illusion but the illusion hurts and sometimes life really sux.

Strange how it goes though. For people in pain they try to get them to go to the level of getting them to stop identifying with it, separate out from it.  The therapist say give your pain a name and give it a color and mentally do all this stuff step-by-step to control the pain in order to it and see it as the illusion it is–in those ways. That’s got to be tough to do–makes the challenge of my situation barely worth mentioning in comparison.  I suppose it’s all relative as they say dependent upon how real you make it all.  So anyway working with the mind comes into play in all of these cases somehow, eventually.

Yeah, we can try to escape and I’d say she probably wants out her badly damaged body at times the way I want out this apartment situation with my loud neighbors.  It is aggravating and frustrating –my friend’s situation is admittedly 1,000 (or more) times more serious and intense than my own.   But in both of our cases, we deal with it via the mind because the mind makes it real and the mind can also detach from that reality.    At least as a coping mechanism until something changes it can.  The neighbors will move and my friend’s body will heal.  That’s the nature of life–impermanence!  It was change an impermanence that got us into these situations and it will get us out too; meanwhile we have to do what we can to take care of ourselves.

I just flashed on a scene from the movie THE MATRIX.  Neo comes out of  the Matrix after just having just fallen, landing onto the pavement and his mouth is bleeding.  He says, “I thought you said the Matrix wasn’t real?”  Morpheus replies, “Your mind makes it real.”  –a great scene!

But, just how I am in my own mere situation , if I have to suffer it (and apparently I do until further notice)… how do I, despite that mental suffering, let it be for a good purpose?  And if it isn’t something obviously purposeful–trust me, I will find one and assign it!

It simply occurs to me that… well… Is it a co-incidence that at this same time I find myself the Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying? (again)  Anyway, it brings to mind that when it’s time to go—oh, hush, we all have to go eventually, so you may as well face up to it when you’ve got the courage–anyway, when it’s time to go I can look back and realize that I used some of this irritating, frustrating B.S.mental  stuff as prep work for THAT in-your-face experience (death)!  Now that’s an experience that I can’t get out of our face. No way around that one.

So, look. Sorry,  but if you are looking for a blog that gives you fluff and lace and soft pillows, maybe keep looking because you can probably see by now that I use this blog to work stuff out….and in doing so, I assign a purpose to the effort that goes beyond just this self here. I hope the effort helps someone else.  YOU possibly if you’ve read this far–who knows?

Yeah, so what’s the conclusion? (me asking Self) Well, mind gets irritated especially when you make the irritation too “real” so what cha’ gotta’ do to take care of that?  And then I remember the lines that I posted on Facebook today:

Wisdom Teacher’s say: Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion What others do will not matter so much when you see life as a dream. Do all you can to keep positive intentions during the dream.

I’ve got to get back to reciting The Heart Sutra again — and also got to go back to the chant, “I take refuge in the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha!”

There will probably be more about this–I feel that there’s still more insight and wisdom, but it’s nearing 2 am and I have to be up at 6!
But then again if I can get back on my path with all this and not let the delusions below me distract me further (am asking the Angels for help!), then I may not ever have to write about these downstairs neighbors again!@  I’m getting rather weary of it.