Sunday, April 28, 2013

How to handle the meeting between spirited and dispirited

There once was a spirited horse called Tiny who arrived at a new home, aged 22. She had feet the size of side plates and she loved to stride out in an epic outline at any opportunity. She found her new companion to be frustratingly dispirited. She didn't want to pick on him but he just seemed to need a push on. Both were playful horses a week ago, but in combination the joy was gone. Very often this situation is experienced as bullying but its not. The joy goes because there is fear on both sides. The same happens between people; encouragement is construed as pushy and sensitivity is seen as a weakness. Everyone holds divisive perspectives and may even be on the case about noticing and clearing them. More important again, though, is that happiness be restored. It is the only feeling that attracts and creates great immediate and future experiences. Having tuned in to what might be needed, I gather its simply space. Make sure to give yourself this and your nearest and dearest and all will be well!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sometimes I come somewhere special to write a blog. Today it is the supervalue car park. There is a wonderful autumnalis ready to flower and a great city scape of terraced houses Two have eight foot hedges around their gardens. The inhabitants must live in partial darkness but who doesn't you might ask?!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Spend some quality time in the present tense!

How often we desert ourselves, with a thought! Every mental deliberation separates us; reason from emotion, justification and blame ensue. We can't stop this continual assessment but we can limit its airtime on the frequencies of our being. You can quieten your mind by taking the time to observe your thoughts and clearing the emotion around them. When you get steamed up or bogged down, you are letting yourself down: Wasting valuable energy, demeaning your eternal spirit and shutting down your big kind heart...pity as they are your three best faculties! Make a commitment to yourself to throw in a new dynamic. It might be set in motion by something like a silently spoken affirmation. I, for one, remind myself that things are always working out. I often add 'God only knows how, but they are'. Then notice the present tension disappear!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Serious news on the mad pash front!

Let go of desire! For a man who desires a woman is as tightly bound as a calf is to the cow. This is one of the buddhist teachings that I'm trying to get my head around today! Seems a pity at first glance. I think he must have been talking about how we externalize our happiness and get lost in the world, looking for it in others. I understand it through another idea: Do not neglect your work for another's, however great their need. However we justify our attention to other people's business and wellbeing, we are being distracted from our own. Without any selfishness, we need to learn to direct our thoughts within, back to ourselves. Not looking for endless improvement but appreciating our own spirit and reason d'ĂȘtre. Literally everything else is ephemeral. If you are lucky enough to have someone to love and who loves you, I have also happened upon 4 affirmations to achieve present moment participation rather than expectation or drama etc. 1. Darling, I am here for you. 2. Darling, you are here and I am happy that you are. 3. Darling, I see that you suffer and I want to help. 4. Darling, I suffer, please help me! You've got to love those!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Everything is continuously changing - Thank God!

Focus for a second on the impermanence of life. Nearly everything that is here today may be gone tomorrow. Usually the thought might make you feel sad and insecure, but not this time. Be glad of the movement, within which there is growth, repair, joy and other gear shifts and experiences to have. It is a blessing that we are not static and rooted to the spot.

Our meditation was on loving kindness yesterday afternoon - that was three meditations in one day, I can confirm, and I am on my way home completely illuminated! I expected some prescription in that meditation to show more empathy and compassion and live harmlessly, but no. The whole period was dedicated to remembering when you yourself were shown unconditional love and then show yourself the same regard. Two nice affirmations were mentioned. May I be happy, may I be well. When I asked afterwards why we weren't being encouraged to share the love, the words of Buddha were: You can search your whole life for someone more worthy of your love than you, but you will never find them.

The second insight was to be happy and share that and only then be compassionate. If you precede happiness, compassion can never be more than pity. I'm mulling that over and glad I've found my happiness again, so i can keep up the compassionate work. If you get a chance, I recommend coming away from your daily considerations and distractions and relaxing the over-stretched mind here in West Cork. No actual stretching but plenty of expansion. Very good for the soul.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Happiness is our true nature. Go beyond suffering immediately...if you were thinking of staying with it!

Today, instead of trying to alter the mind, simply let it settle…like a glass of chalky water.  I am on retreat at Dzoghen Beara in West Cork. The meditation room looks out over a vast expanse of water, with ever changing light, a series of rocky inlets and little groups of gulls flying by, heads to the wind, making only intermittent progress.

We started with our posture; make it majestic; be like a mighty leopard, ready to spring; alert, poised and yet totally calm. The next favourite of mine, to recommend, is to return from distractions. In my case, since I’ve stopped worrying about myself, I moved swiftly on to worrying about everyone else. That does not create a much better resonance, maybe even fractionally worse. Because I can direct my thoughts successfully but of course you can’t direct anyone else’s.

So first I got distracted for a moment by thoughts of my two uncles who I lost recently. I wondered if they’d got to heaven okay. I did a little clearing of any turbulence that might be holding them to this plane. I wondered if they were now officially guardian angels. I started asking them advice on decisions. Then I pulled myself back to an awareness of my breath, what I was gazing at and the present moment. I moved on to gratitude for all the people that are still alive, like my parents and Jani who is looking after Harmony Hall. Then I thought of the volunteers here. One has just finished a masters in dance at Limerick University. I wondered if I could do that. I laughed to myself that I applied to do a masters in mysticism at queens last week and only half way through the email communication did I realize I’d applied to Queens in Canada, rather than in Belfast!

At last my mind quieted and I was able to sit for a while, without self judgement or expectations. The good news from Buddha is that our true nature is beyond suffering and is happiness. That’s the same for everyone. Keep coming back to that!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A small but important difference

When it comes to soul loss there are a couple of key things to bare in mind. For many, it doesn't just happen once; on some fateful day, tragedy strikes or the deal breaker occurs. No, it is much more regular than that. Every time you return to your family's town. Every time you have a glass of wine. Every time you sit through a meeting at work with a handful of people still wrestling with a power struggle. Even when you apply yourself to the welfare of others, your soul can be compromised...indeed exchanged!...for the return of theirs. There are various symptoms that your will to live has left the building. For example, pressure in your head. Its easy to own the pain or upset and understand it via a story about your own life. You might say this or that happened. This is NOT one of the ways to get your soul back! Trying to make external changes, like avoiding people or situations also doesn't help. Nor keeping busy or trying to maintain a positive attitude! However, there are two things that retrieve your soul every time. Firstly self regard. Value that little spark of life that is you. Internally visit hell, the lost soul department and ego and collect the fragments. Assimilate them. Gently acknowledge how uncomfortable if might feel to accept them back and then relish the coherence of being back in one piece! Secondly, get creative. Create a bridge back to you by playing music, painting, gardening and dancing. Thereby, you prepare yourself physiologically to receive your soul back. The basic tenet being open up to the infinite organizing power of nature for recovery and growth. Do not close down and retreat to a darkened room with an overload of technology...however tempting. Over time, you might teach, or at least encourage your soul to stick around!