|Some days you just have to say screw it and jump|
Saturday, October 30, 2010
EXPERIENCE has taught us that, unfortunately, the drama and trauma of life happened to us far too soon. Those who were supposed to protect us either could not or did not. Life’s pot got stirred at precisely the wrong moment; our impetuous newborn souls froze up in fear, and now hold on tight to anything they can, demanding that life come to them rather than that they go to life.
Stalled in the spiritual birth canal.
Demanding ever more and more; the content changing, but the form always staying the same.
Give me. Give me right now.
I don’t care what it is, just give me so I got it.
Give me so I can feel safe.
I’m not going out there after it; give it to me right here and now.
Confusion and fear … my ever-faithful traveling companions … arise yet again to do their handy work.
I begin by questioning life and all that is about me … and as I have noticed … at the time of my asking these deeper questions … they are seemingly real to me … but in hindsight I can see now that they were in no way connected to me either finding or seeing the truth.
Truth, I pondered that recently …
• Does my search for it actually get in the way of my attempts at finding it?
• Do my best efforts hold me back from what it is that I say I want?
I have gone over and over my history … my story … my past … in a vain attempt to be able to say out loud to anyone who would listen that I now … egotistically … understand … so I can say “I know” … as an aside I discovered that can be a dangerous thing to do …
I have noticed that as I did this review of my life thing in my mind I tended to edit and revise my story just to better suit it to the condition of my circumstances … help me explain the unexplainable … those things that I did that I can’t seem to find the courage to take responsibility for … to make a better story … to explain why it is that I do what it is that I do or did what I did … etc.
If I were being honest I would notice that I am secretly striving for control …
There it is … I said it out loud … is that Honesty?
Insatiable, needy, scared, loving, and friendly?
All in the same thought.
Taken from Chapter 19 Zen and the Art of Seeing Clearly ... Perhaps for he First Time ...
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
In examining discipline, it needs to be understood that discipline has its roots in discipleship ... my willingness to follow... not to be forced to do what I need to do.
When we are considering the art of our la¬ziness which really is our attempts to avoid our “necessary,” “legitimate” suffering ... that btw defines our laziness ... we may just notice that we have a choice:
TRY TAKING THE EASY WAY OUT
AVOID THE PAIN.
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Change real change comes from the inside out ...
It does not come from hacking at the leaves and windmills of our imagined reality ... It comes from facing the reality of our life and its problems and pains ...
It comes from facing our dilemmas square on together ... sorting through them and making a life’s course by doing so ... then going after it with reckless abandon.
• What do I really want from my life?
• What am I doing to actually have what I say I want?
• What is working for me? What Isn’t?
• What is a better plan that I can do to achieve what I want?
Then Know this :
When we extend ourselves, our self enters new and unfamiliar territory ... The experience of change, of unaccustomed activity, of being on unfamiliar ground, of doing things differently is frightening ... Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the making of an action in spite of the fear, the moving out against the resistance engendered by fear into the unknown and into the future. On some level spiritual growth, and therefore love, always requires courage and involves risk. It is (in coupling) the risk of love that we will now consider. M Scott Peck ... Road Less Travelled
Once you have awakened from The Great Sleep Of Your Unawareness ...
Once you get past The Circumstances Of Your Best Imaginings ...
Once you’ve bumped into The Greater Way Of Things ...
There’s no turning back ...
Your problem is
Now you know.
This knowing cannot be undone ...
Once you’re initiated
Your life ... like it or lump it ... has changed ...
I had a Traveller once who screamed at me
“Put It Back The Way It Was!”
Sorry—I don’t do that one ...
I am just a gate keeper,
“Shams al Din.”
It’s a one way passage.
But only after
... “You know!” ...
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Healing the Body
James Joyce wrote of one character, "Mr. Duffy lived a short distance from his body."
A B C's of "Spiritual" Healing
a) Meditation practice and its progressive tendency begins with techniques for bringing us to an awareness of our bodies.
b) This is especially important in a culture such as ours, which has neglected physical and instinctual life.
c) In meditation, we can slow down and sit quietly, truly staying with whatever arises.
d) With awareness, we can cultivate a will¬ingness to open to physical experiences without struggling against them, to actually live in our bodies.
e) As we do so, we feel more clearly its pleasures and its pains.
f) Because our acculturation teaches us to avoid or run from pain, we do not know much about it.
g) To heal the body we must study pain.
h) When we bring close attention to our physical pains, we will notice several kinds.
i) We see that sometimes pain arises as we adjust to an unaccustomed sitting posture.
j) Other times, pains arise as signals that we're sick or have a genuine physical problem.
k) These pains call for a direct response and healing action from us.
Now the complicated Stuff
However, most often the kinds of pains we encounter in meditative attention are not indications of physical problems. They are the painful, physical manifestations of our emotional, psychological, and spiritual holdings and contractions. Reich called these pains our muscular armor, the areas of our body that we have tightened over and over in painful situations as a way to protect ourselves from life's inevitable difficulties. Even a healthy person who sits somewhat comfortably to meditate will probably become aware of pains in his or her body. As we sit still, our shoulders, our backs, our jaws, or our necks may hurt. Accumulated knots in the fabric of our body, previously undetected, begin to reveal themselves as we open. As we become conscious of the pain they have held, we may also notice feelings, memories, or images connected spe-cifically to each area of tension.
As we gradually include in our awareness all that we have previously shut out and neglected, our body heals. Learning to work with this opening is part of the art of meditation.
Spiritual Principles for Recovery
Initially, we have to focus on honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, humility, and acceptance.
The practice of the Principle Of Honesty starts with admitting the truth about our life and continues with the practice of honesty on a daily, moment to moment, basis.
When we say, "I'm in recovery" it may be the first truly honest thing we've said in a long, long time.
We begin to be able to be honest with ourselves and, consequently with other people eventually.
Change and recovery doesn’t happen overnight.
If I've been thinking about acting out on my stuff I need to ask myself; have I shared it with my sponsor, my therapist or my group; have I told anyone else or am I still keeping secrets?
To practice the Principle Of Acceptance we must do more than merely admit that we have problems.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Once upon a time in a tiny town, there lived a family with a pet frog named Alex. The family lived a modest comfortable existence on what they earned working at the Wal-Mart but always dreamed of being rich.
"Alex!" they exclaimed one day, "We're going to be rich! We're going to teach you how to fly!"
Alex, of course, was terrified at the prospect: "I can't fly, you idiots....I'm a frog, not a canary!"
The family, disappointed at the initial reaction, told Alex: "That negative attitude of yours could be a real problem. We're sending you to special classes.
So Alex went to a three day seminar and learned about problem solving, time management, and effective communication...but nothing about flying.
On the first day of "flying lessons", the family could barely control their excitement (and Alex could barely control her bladder). The family explained that their apartment building had 15 floors, and each day Alex would jump out of a window, starting with the first floor and eventually getting to the top floor.
After each jump, Alex would analyze how well she flew, isolate on the most effective flying techniques, and implement the improved process for the next flight. By the time they reached the top floor, Alex would surely be able to fly. And, of course, the family would be rich, proud and fulfilled. Alex understood that the fate of the entire family depended on her success.
She pleaded for her life, but it fell on deaf ears. "She just doesn't understand how important this is..." thought the family, "but we won't let nay-Sayers get in the way."
So, with that, the family opened the window and threw Alex out (who landed with a thud).
Alex tried many different techniques for dissuading the family and became very proficient at manipulating, cajoling, using humor and persuading but to no avail (she had read somewhere that the light bulb had to want to change?). The family continued and Alex tried her best. But try as she might, she couldn't fly.
By the seventh day, Alex (accepting her fate) no longer begged for mercy...she simply looked at the family and said: "You know you're killing me, don't you?"
The family pointed out that Alex's performance so far had been less than exemplary, failing to meet any of the milestone goals they had set for her.
With that, Alex, said quietly: "Shut up and open the window," and she leaped out, taking careful aim on the large jagged rock by the corner of the building. And Alex went to that great lily in the sky.
The family was extremely upset, as their project had failed to meet the single goal they set out to accomplish. Alex had not only failed to learn to fly, she hadn't even learned to steer nor had her productivity improved when told to "Fall smarter, not harder".
The only thing left for the family to do was to analyze the process and try to determine where they had gone wrong.
After much thought, the family smiled and said: "Next time....we're gonna get a smarter frog!" Tiny-town is incapable of change or insight - only expectations for others to make them feel OK.
Rationalization is the biggest defense against guilt, shame and self reproach. That is, we make up excuses and surrender our responsibility for our actions.
Selflessness, the process of always putting others first before selves. It is another way of avoiding guilt.
Internal emptiness is caused by avoiding guilt.
Other behaviours that can ensure guilt is either experienced or felt are:
obsessive/compulsive behaviour(s), fear and anxiety, paranoid thinking, seeking excessive punishment and intellectualization.
Shame and Guilt affect the individual whenever he realizes what he is doing and what he is doing is wrong or inappropriate. He feels shame, humiliation and anxiety. This is known as the shame/guilt spiral. To escape these feelings of shame, guilt and self-reproach, people will seek comfort in their favourite form of remedy that they know.
The only way to stop the spiral of shame and guilt is to embrace feelings and abstain from the process and the consequences of the process.
In recovery we have to face powerlessness - that we cannot control. The first step of the twelve step program is accepting that our lives have become unmanageable, that we are powerless.
The paradox of addiction, obsession and compulsion is what we think we need the most of is really what we need the least of. We think we need to get in control and we try to control the addiction, obsession and compulsion. The most common recovery for addiction, obsession and compulsion is another form of the same thing because when we try to control IT and as we do, other forms of A.O.C. tend to break out.
Our tendency in this country is to treat symptoms rather than the issues. People tend to move from one A.O.C. to another, or they control an A.O.C. until it resurfaces (dry drunks is a good example). The ability to control the A.O.C. is often seen as the reason or justification that they aren't caught up in all this. The alcoholic who is able to quit drinking or cut down is not proving that they're not an alcoholic. Why would they need to quit or cut down if they don't have a problem in the first place? Denial and Delusion go hand in hand.
Some of us believe that we're in control, yet we're careening through life with some five year old inner child driving something the size of a bus and not about to let go of the steering wheel ... without any connection between our steering wheels and our front wheels and without any semblance of a destination or a purpose.
This is The Journey of A.O.C.
The hallmark of A.O.C. is loss of Control
Its sustaining force is Denial.
Denial isn't necessarily part of the A.O.C.
But it is a part of the expanded impact of the A.O.C. in our lives.
Steinbeck wrote that there are those who must live in rooms of experience that the rest of us can never enter--perhaps we should quit trying to intrude into these places, and simply learn to guard the door.
Indeed, maybe Dylan put it in best perspective:
I received your letter yesterday,
about the time the doorknob broke;
When you asked how I was doing,
was that some kind of joke?
All these people that you mention,
I know them; they're quite lame.
I had to rearrange their faces
and give them all another name.
But right now, I can't read too good;
don't send me no more letters, no--
Not unless you're mailing them
from Desolation Row.
Discovering the truth about one's self means the discovery of many truths, many selves. It means turning one's head and becoming another person, another age.
No longer a mother, a father, a teacher...my child's reality is veiled with a mist until the vapor settles on the water and I glimpse a startling reflection of the person I must be, the person I was five minutes ago...five years ago...or was as a child, forever on the road to realization.
For when I fell into a certain spring at four, I emerged wet, saturated with a revelation unrivaled by any Sunday-service baptism: --- I had other selves. And with this rebirth, death made into life, I knew I did not know the mother who comforted me, who coaxed me into dry clothes, who gently hushed away my fearful trembling. And as then, the words, "Mama, mama, mommy," march out of my mouth ever unanswered but by the faint, familiar, metallic taste of grief.
I await another stranger.
I await myself.