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Monthly Archives: April 2012

Patience

Patience is a particular requirement. Without it, you can destroy in an hour what it might take you weeks to repair.
–Charlie W. Shedd

Enjoying the moment, in its fullest, makes possible a peaceful and patient pace. Progress is guaranteed if our minds are centered in the present, on the only event deserving of our attention. We can be certain that error and frustration will haunt us if our attentions are divided.

Patience will see us through a troubled time, but how much easier it is to savor patience when it’s accompanied by faith. We can know and fully trust that all is well – that our lives are on course – that individual experiences are exactly what we need at this moment. However, faith makes the knowing easier and the softness of the patient heart eases us through the times of challenge and uncertainty.

Patience slows me down long enough to notice another, and to be grateful for the gifts of the moment. Patience promises me the power to move forward with purpose. Today’s fruits will be in proportion to my patience.

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Posted by on 2012/04/30 in Uncategorized

 

First Cause

I’ve never started a fight, but I never pulled back from a fight either. — Billy Martin

Sometimes we walk around with chips on our shoulders. We’re like a tightly wound spring ready to jump at the slightest trigger, when other times we would let the same event go unnoticed. We even say self-righteously, “I didn’t start it.” Now that we are becoming more responsible for ourselves, we are owning our part in relationships. Maybe we have a problem with being like a spring ready to jump. When we are like that, we are difficult to live with or be around.

We can change by getting in touch with our pain. We need to explore our feelings. Perhaps we need to be honest with ourselves about low self-esteem, about feelings of loneliness or fear. Then we must talk with another person or our group about our feelings and continue to talk about them. In this way we become reconciled to ourselves and to our friends around us.

God, help me accept my own pain, and help me be tolerant of my friends’ mistakes.

Just poured my first cup of coffee.

This reading, from Touchstones, touches something in me. I have a lot of hurts that I have yet to address, hurts that I shield to prevent further injuring. I get defensive at the drop of a pin. I also get real nit-picky about details. Many times I’ve been scolded about getting details wrong, and I took that personally.

One of my friends talks about “first cause.” That’s about when did I first experience an emotional wound, and how have I been projecting that onto others instead of focusing on healing the wound. Hyper-sensitivity is not fun to be around.

Yeah, this is a good one for me.

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Posted by on 2012/04/29 in Touchstones

 

Right, Right?

Indeed, this need of individuals to be right is so great that they are willing to sacrifice themselves, their relationships, and even love for it. — Reuel Howe

We may have an inner drive to be right – and even to prove we are right. We often have been expected to know about the world and how things work, as if our manhood were tied to knowing. So when we don’t know the right answer, or when a person disagrees with us, we may get upset because we feel our masculine honor is in question.

We should always remember that our honor requires being honest, not being right. Our masculinity is being true to ourselves as men, not being invincible. Demanding that our opinions always be accepted as right is destructive to our relationships. It cuts us off from people we love, and becomes hostile and selfish. We are learning to allow room for differences; we can love and respect people we disagree with. And we all have a right to be wrong part of the time.

I don’t have to have all the right answers. Today, my ideas are just one man’s honest thoughts.

This is the first entry that has “spoken” strongly to me from Touchstones (a daily meditation book geared specifically for men) since switching over from Blogger. My idea to leave this blog public was that hopefully other people may gain a small bit of help from the wisdom I find that helps me.

I have an irrational fear that any women that come across my blog may be “turned off” or something. I state the irrationality of that because I know I can find helpful concepts in ideas geared towards women, and people who are seeking to better themselves tend to be open-minded to wherever Wisdom arises.

I’m feeling like I need to get out of my head and pursue physical goals for my day now, after my 2 hour Zen sit and coffee.

Namasté!

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Posted by on 2012/04/28 in Touchstones

 

Taking It Slowly

Let’s not make haste and demand perfection at once – this would only blind us. If we are impatient, we cannot work a daily program. But by exercising patience, we learn to recognize daily opportunities for growth.

It is worth waiting for, striving for, and working to develop a relationship with our Higher Power. It cannot be done overnight. Let’s not go too fast, but count each day as a new opportunity.

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Posted by on 2012/04/28 in Uncategorized

 

Joshu’s Dog

A monk asked Joshu, a Chinese Zen master: `Has a dog Buddha-nature or not?’

Joshu answered: `Mu.’ [Mu is the negative symbol in Chinese, meaning `No-thing’ or `Nay’.]

Mumon’s comment:s To realize Zen one has to pass through the barrier of the patriachs. Enlightenment always comes after the road of thinking is blocked. If you do not pass the barrier of the patriachs or if your thinking road is not blocked, whatever you think, whatever you do, is like a tangling ghost. You may ask: What is a barrier of a patriach? This one word, Mu, is it.

This is the barrier of Zen. If you pass through it you will see Joshu face to face. Then you can work hand in hand with the whole line of patriachs. Is this not a pleasant thing to do?

If you want to pass this barrier, you must work through every bone in your body, through ever pore in your skin, filled with this question: What is Mu? and carry it day and night. Do not believe it is the common negative symbol meaning nothing. It is not nothingness, the opposite of existence. If you really want to pass this barrier, you should feel like drinking a hot iron ball that you can neither swallor nor spit out.

Then your previous lesser knowledge disappears. As a fruit ripening in season, your subjectivity and objectivity naturally become one. It is like a dumb man who has had a dream. He knows about it but cannot tell it.

When he enters this condition his ego-shell is crushed and he can shake the heaven and move the earth. He is like a great warrior with a sharp sword. If a Buddha stands in his way, he will cut him down; if a patriach offers him any obstacle, he will kill him; and he will be free in this way of birth and death. He can enter any world as if it were his own playground. I will tell you how to do this with this koan:

Just concentrate your whole energy into this Mu, and do not allow any discontinuation. When you enter this Mu and there is no discontinuation, your attainment will be as a candle burning and illuminating the whole universe.

Has a dog Buddha-nature?
This is the most serious question of all.
If you say yes or no,
You lose your own Buddha-nature.

Source

I am beginning a Zen Buddhist practice in my efforts to realize just how temporary and pointless it is to attach myself to day-to-day emotions. When I can ground myself in the timelessness of spirituality, I am better suited to deal with life on this earthly plane.

 
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Posted by on 2012/04/28 in Uncategorized

 

Letting Go of the Need to Control

The rewards from detachment are great: serenity; a deep sense of peace; the ability to give and receive love in self-enhancing, energizing ways, and the freedom to find real solutions to our problems. — Codependent No More

Letting go of our need to control can set others and us free. It can set our Higher Power free to send the best to us.

If we weren’t trying to control someone or something, what would we be doing differently?

What would we do that we’re not letting ourselves do now? Where would we go? What would we say?

What decisions would we make?

What would we ask for? What boundaries would be set? When would we say no or yes?

If we weren’t trying to control whether a person liked us or his or her reaction to us, what would we do differently? If we weren’t trying to control the course of a relationship, what would we do differently? If we weren’t trying to control another person’s behavior, how would we think, feel, speak, and behave differently than we do now?

What haven’t we been letting ourselves do while hoping that self-denial would influence a particular situation or person? Are there some things we’ve been doing that we’d stop?

How would we treat ourselves differently?

Would we let ourselves enjoy life more and feel better right now? Would we stop feeling so bad? Would we treat ourselves better?

If we weren’t trying to control, what would we do differently? Make a list, and then do it.

Today, I will ask myself what I would be doing differently if I weren’t trying to control. When I hear the answer, I will do it. God, help me let go of my need to control. Help me set others and myself free.

Source

This hits home for me pretty squarely. I was teased a lot as a kid for the things I enjoyed. A friend of mine that enjoys psychology told me it’s natural for kids (people, really) to test each others’ acceptance levels for that behavior. My understanding is that it shows what the targets mettle is, in case of real trials.

I respond in 2 ways. My primary response is to avoid people that don’t accept me for who I am. My secondary reflex is to hide that aspect of me which is the target of unwanted attention. Both methods seriously affect my life.

For instance – I went to Chicago last March to see Colin Hay perform (see my pic on the “About Me” page), & I couldn’t find one person to go with me in 6 months of asking around. Now, the experience was uniquely enjoyable having gone alone, and I appreciated every minute thoroughly! The drawback is that I feel fears around expressing my excitement and enjoyment in the presence of my friends, given their lack of interest.

Ever experience that, when really stoked about something and all your buddies either tease you, or (in my estimation, worse) are blasé and indifferent? For me, that’s a buzzkill, it drags me right off my cloud and I land hard on the ground with a crunch. It trains me — Pavlovian style — to hide my enthusiasms, and has even more impact on what I enjoy.

Which is how I ended up being confused about what I like at all. I dislike much of the music (continuing with the idea from my example) that my friends like, and can’t share what I do like with them. Which generally leads me to having no friends. Except I am not designed to be a “lone wolf.” So, the pretending (controlling) begins.

I struggle with this concept.

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Posted by on 2012/04/27 in Language of Letting Go

 

Negativity

Some people are carriers of negativity. They are
storehouses of pent up anger and volatile emotions. Some remain trapped in the victim role and act in ways that further their victimization. And others are still caught in the cycle of addictive or compulsive patterns.

Negative energy can have a powerful pull on us, especially if we’re struggling to maintain positive energy and balance. It may seem that others who exude negative energy would like to pull us into the darkness with them. We do not have to go. Without judgment, we can decide it’s okay to walk away, okay to protect ourselves.

We cannot change other people. It does not help others for us to get off balance. We do not lead others into the Light by stepping into the darkness with them.

Today, God, help me to know that I don’t have to allow myself to be pulled into negativity – even around those I love. Help me set boundaries. Help me know it’s okay to take care of myself.

Source

This meditation is a lot more about reacting to the world than being proactive. I prefer getting ahead of the curve than having to make my choices based on other people. Unfortunately that’s just not always the way it works.

I find it’s especially easy to get sucked into negative games when I’m under a H.A.L.T. (Hungry Angry Lonely or Tired) spell. Today I’m Tired, as I’ve been sleeping poorly due to stressing out about school and finances. This was a good reminder for me, so I can keep this idea out in front of myself when I’m in the trenches today.

postscript – On a lighter note, since I’m still learning about my WordPress app on my BlackBerry, I accidentally posted this as an entire page, so that gave me a laugh! I’ll figure out how to delete the page on my laptop when I get to school.

I am grateful today that my Intro to College Algebra prof from last semester is tutoring me in my Advanced College Algebra course this term. We’ve become friends (she’s 1 yr 1 day older than me), and she knows the magic behind making it fun!

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pps – evidently I erased my “About” page, too. Hmm. Certain degree of Fail running today. Don’t wanna run this way!

 
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Posted by on 2012/04/26 in Language of Letting Go