Wednesday, June 29, 2016

22 Zen and the Art of Lost and Found

Looking at Our Sadness[1]
Experience Has Taught Us: That for some, suffering is worn like a badge we've earned, and for others it is to be avoided at all costs.
Both situations are related to each other.  They are polar opposites; yet, they both define our inability to embrace our feelings and thus to be able to move through them to a place of acceptance of life on life's terms.
It is a painful process.
Our sadness is a healing feeling, and when we avoid it, healing can't take place.
Sadness is one of the many sources of our vulnerability.  Our vulnerability is important to achieving intimacy.  Sadness is a form of self-intimacy.
Experience Has Taught Us: That if we hide from our vulnerability or from our sadness, or if we try to avoid deeper, richer, thicker feelings, we often become hard, non-empathic and isolated.  Sadness is a necessary part of our natural recovery system.  It allows us to digest the events of our lives, to process them, and to pass them on, allowing someone else to have the benefit of our experience.
Statement of truth: Children who are hurt are seldom     allowed to express the feelings of hurt.
Corollary #1:  the sadder we were, the more vulnerable we were.
Corollary #2:  If, in our vulnerability, we were used and hurt again, it follows that we will naturally attempt to avoid the experience of our sadness because it connects us to being used and hurt repeatedly - consciously or unconsciously - our original pain - past and present.
Like trying to avoid bumping your sore elbow on the fridge door (repeatedly) as you walk by.  The harder you try the more prone to disaster.
Experience Has Taught Us: That sadness is healthy.  Sadness enables us to do our grieving, to move through our losses.  For example, as children, how many of us, when we were hurt or betrayed and left sobbing, got what we needed?
It was as simple then as it is now.  What we needed to hear was someone we trusted to say that our sobbing, our crying was okay.  We only needed someone close to us, someone we trusted, to label and affirm our feelings initially, so we could learn to do that for ourselves, and then, with some practice, to eventually do the same for others.
"I know you're hurt.  It's okay.  Go ahead - cry.  It's okay.  I'll be right here, if you need me"
Not many of us received something like that - being listened to and understood.
How many of us have had our feelings of sadness affirmed?  It seems so simple, and yet it happens so seldom.
Most of us were talked out of our feelings or made to feel bad about feeling sad.  We got ignored or teased or made
fun of.  Sometimes we just got told not to cry - "don't worry, everything will be okay. " Sometimes we got told that if we didn't stop, "then I'll really give you something to cry about."
All of this denies our feelings, which in turn blocks our healing processes, which in turn denies our innate sense of vulnerability, that thus blocks any hope of future intimacy with others or with ourselves.
Something so simple and so small, how could it be so important in its absence?  But it is!

[1]           Taken from Experience Has Taught Us
–175 Missing Pieces

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

#20 Zen and the Art of Lost and Found

Zen and the Art of Lost and Found
So it seems that life is something that happens to you while you are busy thinking that you are doing something else.
Following simple rules of the road … can help … they helped me …
·      First … Find your humor and hang on … go for the ride … strap yourself in … this is life … and as you do … do something with the experience of being here.  Anything is fine … just don’t be passive … be active and subjective … have an experience … get involved … do something … I was asked one time what God’s voice sounded like … and that was one of the easiest replies … it jumped right out of my mouth … it is the sound of laughter … true unbridled laughter!
·      Second … If you lose your peace … break with the situation … take the time to find your center … your sense of self … walk around the block 20 times if you have to … take a time out … God never intended for you to disconnect … disconnection is an old trick you learned very early on in your existence here on the face of this world … it is a defense strategy gone wide of the mark.
·      Third if you need to speak with God … pray … right now … simply do it … Ask … then listen … that last part is the most important.  If you are going to take the time to ask … then have the courtesy to listen … you may be pleasantly surprised by the nature of the reply you receive … in fact some of you may be surprised that you receive a reply at all … especially when you consider that you never considered a reply to be possible.
·      Fourth … Never assume … this one is a killer … it personifies self-destructive behavior by all those who presume to know and practice the art of assumption.
·      Fifth … Practice rigorous honesty … practice it in and on whatever it is that you do … practicing rigorous honesty is particularly important in what you say and how you say it.  Know this there is a considerable difference between honesty dumping and practicing rigorous honesty … like it or not … your voice has authority in the universe.  It will affect others … be a co creator with God …
·      Sixth … Watch-out for soldier gathering … proving a point through recruitment of others … it is a variation on a theme of Might Makes Right … no matter what the presumed reason or good cause for it … it is always a form of manipulation and the results will always come back to haunt you in some form … so simply don’t … manipulation and power mongering don’t work … they may seem to at times but in the end they don’t.
·      Seventh … Know this … that the truth has a knack of standing up all by itself … just practice it … that is all that counts … but first Trust God … and trust that He knows how to run His universe … that one helps … otherwise you will spend a lifetime tiding up after His supposed mistakes … the ones that you notice.  Everything is exactly the way it is supposed to be … the problem is most of it does not agree with me … but who said it was supposed to … besides me.
·      Eighth … In what ever you do … simply do the best you can at the moment you find that something needs to be done … that best you can may vary from day to day or from moment to moment … but it is the force necessary that I need to exert to over come the forces of entropy in my life … those forces that I need to overcome to simply get on with the journey that needs to be walked.
·      Ninth … Know thisyour best is the only output you need concern yourself with … not what you think but what you do … it is an action … that’s all … just action made manifest in God’s universe in the service of the Creator …
·      Tenth … if you do … adhere to the above … then no ghost-like thingies will come back to haunt you.

Neil Douglas-Tubb (RCC)

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Extract from Zen and the Art of Loat and Found


Zen and the Art of Lost and Found

Psychic shadow boxing:  fighting a fight you can neither win, nor protect yourself from. We now know that people are driven by these unconscious memories, repressed feelings and unfulfilled needs, and this state of affairs tends to determine nearly everything they do or are willing to attempt to do or fail to do.
Psychic Shadow Boxing: ...
Does not have to be my predetermined or pre ordained occupation in life ... that was another discovery I had made. Just how much time I had invested in doing the dance of self-preservation in the face of overwhelming evidence that the time for doing this dance had long since passed ...  this amazed me!
My emotions, I had discovered ... yet another discovery ... were the by-products or afterthoughts of some cognitive process(s) I had either grabbed hold of or had passed through my life and in some cases, had grabbed hold of me on the way by ... now were producing things I had little or no understanding of. What I came to understand was that the vast majority of this “grabbing onto stuff” had gone on for many years ... that is where and when I learned it ... many years ago ... and now it was just a simple habit that I had ... something like smoking ... not very good for my health but dependable as hell ... if I wanted things to be different I just had to change a habit.
Question asked:
Just how much time had I dedicated to wasting my energy by hanging onto a habit that defined me by my limitations?
As I began to give myself permission to begin to explore this stuff ... it started to become clear ... and at the same time ... just a little scary ... I really had no idea about this thing called life or where I really was in it


Simple yet profound

Neil Douglas-Tubb (RCC)