Thoughts on Life: Resistance versus Acceptance – Fighting versus Flowing

it is what it isFIGHTING VERSUS FLOWING

RESISTANCE VERSUS ACCEPTANCE 

I was on the final 15 minutes of my hour spin bike workout, doing intervals.  There’s a point of non-resistance that has to be reached to get through those final intervals when the legs are burning and the level of fatigue makes you want to resist.  A coach once said, “Your legs should be burning–let ’em”.

There’s a point where you have to give up and surrender the battle to get the last few sets of intervals done successfully.

It’s acceptance.  The lungs are on fire and so are the legs and you’re pushing through to the end but if you fight this or resist it, you just can’t do it–you quit.

Today I thought about how this is just like life.  I mean, on the bike you accept it,  the “what is” of legs burning and the like and if you accept then the work is so much easier and you’re less likely to give up.  Or said another way what you ‘do’ give up is the resistance to ‘what is’–the burn or breathlessness or whatever.

When you give up the resistance and let the mind participate with the body, allowing the merging and accepting the fact that ‘yeah, it’s what it is, until it isn’t anymore’, THAT is so liberating, especially in those final moments.

Those hour long interval workouts are like the last moments of a race.  What really counts is what you do at the end when you have to dig deep and get to the finish line, especially when total exhaustion is so close.

When life becomes a crisis in some way and let’s face it, life presents challenges and if we deny this we are not living on this planet I think.  At those times do we surrender? Or do we fight it? Do we want to deny what’s happening and thereby struggle against it?

We make life harder for ourselves if we struggle.  I make the last 15 minutes of my workout harder if I struggle against.

This applies across the board or that’s my position in writing this.  No matter what life presents us with at any given time (and sometimes life is like those last 15 minutes of an hour long interval workout at the gym–rough!)…. point is that if we feel like we have to battle it or take a position of struggling against it, we find it’s all so much harder.

So many times in life we think something shouldn’t be what it is.

We deny reality or fight against how things ‘are’ and use all kinds of tactics to deny reality somehow.  It’s exhausting.

We can make this comparison with the Christian way of thinking about life being a struggle against a devil and having to fight the evil–this kind of mentality.

Another way of thinking is to simply not think–but what I really mean is allowing whatever ‘it is’ to be what ‘it is’ without the judgment.

Judgment is the christian way of dealing with life I think which comes from an idea of an ideal perfected state that we all must strive for but know we will never achieve (because they tell us that in their dogma), rather than the opposite which is giving up that fight and becoming free.

Does that mean that we don’t try to be better humans or that we stop doing our best?  That’s not what I’m saying.  

I’m talking about not beating one’s self up because of ‘what is’ or what isn’t during any given moment.  I’m writing here about not struggling against it or making the self wrong somehow in the process.

The last 15 minutes of intervals my legs burn and I’m breathless–it’s part of life at that moment and I accept that and don’t fight against it or resist it.

When anything in happens in life, I can draw from that ability to accept what is actually happening without judgment or without making myself or Life Itself wrong.  It is, after all, what is.

When my legs are burning, I don’t attach to the feeling–I let them burn.

When I’m right on the edge of breathlessness, I let it be and don’t fight against the feeling.

If I grunt or groan or tense my muscles or make a face, it’s only making it harder to simply flow with ‘what is’ in that moment.  Life is like that.  Life ‘is’ and there’s a certain amount of being okay with it and not judging it but simply noticing it that is very freeing, liberating.

Someone thinks a lot during meditation time.  No need to fight that.  Simply notice it without assigning a meaning or beating self up in any way.

Someone feels angry.  I’m not saying to act the anger out and of course we shouldn’t totally repress it but one way to handle it is to notice it as simply being ‘what is’ in that moment.  Or maybe for the whole day the feeling is there.  In noticing it one is standing outside of it and this juxtaposition is causing separation from it emotionally.

Just like “the leg’s are burning, let ’em” that happen during my workout.  It is what is and nothing last forever!  ‘It is’ until it isn’t anymore and the less we can attach to it and the more we simply notice it without emotion or resistance, the realization comes clearly that nothing last forever.  That’s the nature of reality:  impermanence.

And impermanence is a blessing.

Acceptance of ‘what is’ in any moment is liberating and elevating.

Judgment of what is in any moment is attachment and suffering.

That’s one difference between Christianity and Buddhism although there are many good similarities as we all know.

Acceptance is surrender and surrender is Divine!

Just my two cents, hoping to have expressed this in a way that’s understandable.

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What ‘is’: Hold it, Dispel it or Accept It?

November 8 2014

Neither hold onto ‘what is’ nor try to get rid of ‘what is’ — Nature, Life, The Cosmos or whatever name you give the divine process will move it, change it, or dissolve it for you.

Yes, alright.  You read about The Secret and The Law of Attraction.  Fine.  Apply the techniques but in the meanwhile…. while you wait for the desired result, then what’s the approach?  That’s what I’m writing about here.

The snow photo above reminds me of states in life that we simply cannot do anything about.  That’s the first snow of the season that came last week in the mountains… which by now (a week later) is melted by a warming trend.   Trend is a good word I think.  Stock markets are associated with this word and so is the weather and in our own life there are energy trends as well which may (or may not) be personal karma or group karma or simply life itself.  Things come and go like thoughts during meditation and like snow that comes and then melts away.

It’s tough not to hold on to thoughts and not to dispel them which is what we are told to do in meditation and thus in life.  Thoughts are trendy–they come and go like the fashion trends do, and like stock market trends and like trends in the weather.

I’m thinking a lot about how when it would snow in the mountains and me living all alone up there and in the midst of a large snow that was coming down fast.  I’d start to feel that bit of panic– What if this keeps up?  Will I be snowed in?  When will it stop? If it keeps snowing at this rate….

I can get caught in that kind of thinking when I’m on the treadmill at the gym.  My goal is to hold a particular pace without stopping for a total of 30 minutes.  If I have one nano-second wherein a thought comes wherein I hold one like, What if I can’t hold this pace for 7 more minutes? This is getting tough!  Inevitably,  I cave-in and have to slow down to recover my breath.

If we could do more of just neither holding onto what arises nor trying to dispel it…. right?  I mean this is our whole practice in life, isn’t it?  We hear it called  ‘accepting what-is’.

It isn’t easy.  But like the snow melting, everything is impermanent and eventually dissolves, goes away, or changes form.  The nature of life itself is that nothing last forever–not the good, the bad or the ugly.

It isn’t easy in the meanwhile to meet whatever arises in our self and in our life spectrum and simply be open to it.  To have the courage and detachment to be open to it to discover what is beyond it or behind it without manipulation or opinion or any thought of anything whatsoever.

And then what happens?  We do it again in the next moment and the one right after that one.  We can have faith that the snow will stop and eventually melt, the 7 minutes will pass on the treadmill without heart failure and whatever trend, whatever contemptuous situation of disdain you are facing right now will eventually change and so will the bubbly blissful business as well.  One thing we can know is that everything changes and nothing stays the same for very long.

And that’s why we should neither try to hold or try to dispel anything that arises.  Just observe and be and above all else, maintain the sense of humor!