Life – Is it one unchanging moment of happiness?

Unchanging HappinessIs it possible that any moment in our life would be one that we would wish to have unchanging, remaining the same for eternity?  We do this with life maybe subconsciously but we seem to continually be leaning forward to try to achieve that unchanging and happy moment.  Here are some thoughts about that from my view.  My life does not seem to be one unchanging moment of happiness.  That’s likely true for you too, right?   No matter how we try consciously (or subconsciously) to achieve a continually unending moment of bliss, we know it’s not possible.  Yet we still try for it.

What to do then?  We can pull back from striving to reach for that unending happy moment and instead make peace with this here moment no matter how it appears for us.  How?  By believing that this moment is more than enough.  Its not that difficult really.  We can do it by developing stability and the state of wellbeing with intentionality. ( Fake it until you make it using the tool of meditation. ) This then is the gateway to freedom from the suffering that consumes us due to yearning for some other moment (s).

It is to our great benefit to have the kind of confidence in our overall life that any moment has, contained within it, the seed of freedom from the suffering that yearning creates – said another way, enlightenment comes from making peace with the human condition. 

When we don’t argue with the way things ‘are’ and when we don’t make life wrong by believing like . . . “it shouldn’t be this way” . . .  and when we can make peace with life in such a way that we do not become tired of life or weary of the trials that are natural to this dimensional reality.

Let’s face it.  Life does turn sour on occasion or as I have heard it recently referred, “. . . when life turns rancid.”   But what I am referring to here is that to make peace with life and its many ups, downs, and experiences keeps us out of that kind of yearning that causes our unhappiness.

Psychologists tell us that even if we intellectually admit that difficulties in life happen and we concede that trauma does occur in life,  when we bump up against such energy there’s a part of the mind that is incredulous–its doubtful about it’s happening.  And in that type of unacceptance, we suffer even more.  In Buddhist thought, this is referred to as ‘the second arrow’ if you are familiar.  Double suffering is another way to say that.  There’s a part of the mind that cannot conceive that suffering can occur in our life! And want’s to deny that it shouldn’t be the way it is.

We set ourselves up when we try to reach out to find that which we believe will complete or fulfill our hearts.

The fact that we think our heart is lacking that which something outside ourselves can provide is the first step in the confusion about all this.

Whatever we reach out for in order to bring the heart to its fulfillment it (or to complete it) will eventually disappoint us.  Clinging or grasping for what we think we don’t already have can never work in the end.

Imperfection, disappointment, anger, even hatred energies exist in this realm and are woven into the fact of being human.  It’s just how things are on earth.  Yet, remember, as you just read that last sentence, there was likely that part of your mind that disbelieves it.  Or believes those energies bump into others but not myself. 

Stress occurs by not making peace with that way things are and resisting or arguing with it all.  I often quote this phrase, “Whenever you argue with life, you lose.”  Meaning you suffer.

My final thought:  All difficulties or suffering bring opportunities for growth and insight.  When we understand life in the ways I’ve written about here, we develop wisdom.  Then the mind feels strength, energy, freedom, detachment and becomes devoid of craving and the sources or causes of suffering. 

Present Moment Proof – how you know you are there

on the edge

Energy.  That’s right.  You’ll know from the energy feel.  It’s the feel of being alive, vibrating, and we may even say its a feeling of excitement.  Life is taken to a higher level and sometimes only momentarily, longer if you’re lucky.  To understand it, we have to contrast it with the times that we are ‘not’ fully present in the moment.  And that is, for most of us, the majority of the time.  Anytime we are contemplating the past or future — try it out for yourself through simple self-awareness — the energy is dead or flat.  You’ll recognize that dead feel pretty dramatically as you compare it with moments of being fully present.  You know how it goes when you’re being fully in the “now”, right?

Time stops and a surreal feeling will likely come upon you as if you have been lifted up and out and set down somewhere else all of a sudden.  Everything feels different and appears different and maybe the heart quickens and chills happen.  And then you flow with it as if nothing else or no one else exists. 

We’ve all had those feelings.

And there are after effects. I think that it’s feeling in harmony and being in the flow of life that is an indicator that we have just been fully present and the residual of that remains with us and out-pictures as flowing with life for minutes, hours or day (s).

Then, we get shifted out of that flow by something that occurs and then our mind will attach, cling, fear, become angry or experience an aversion.  Then we’re dead in the water again or not functioning effectively,  have been pulled out of the flow and our vibe becomes dead again.  We’re not fully alive anymore.

These are my (blog) thoughts about it anyway.  I was recently reminded of this during a recent visit from my little (soon to be 2-year-old) granddaughter.  The entire time we were together was a peak experience.  She was fully present and brought me with her to that place of excitement.

I’m in that peak place during intense exercise workouts in which I am very focused as well as when I’m engaged in a creative project.  Moments of awakening that shake us out of our mundane, dead, and routine thoughts or activities, if used correctly, are gifts.

Being on the edge of life is being in the present moment and it comes with that feeling of being fully alive.

Personally,  at those times my soul, my psyche goes into a state, which in Zazen, is called shikantaza, a state of heightened concentration, patience, and alertness and this state throws me into a state of flow that lasts for hours or days.  Plans change or don’t enter into mind at all and one just becomes totally spontaneous.  In describing this recently someone replied, “Oh yes, if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”  Yeah, alrighty then.  LOL

I hope this post is found to be, in some way, helpful to the reader.

5 of Pentacles with 2 and 7 of Pentacles – When Life Circumstances Drastically Change

5 of Pentacles Issue with  a 2 and 7 of Pentacle Resolution

5, 2 and 7 Pentacles

Haven’t there been times when we’ve used our pain or life trials as a crutch or to solicit sympathy or attention from others–at least temporarily?  In the card image for the 5 of Pentacles (above) she is sitting on the rock, crutches on her lap and out in the cold, no less.  Note the scarf, gloves and snow upon the ground.  We all get wounded from time–we suffer an eye-opening loss and our initial reaction is  squeeze the eyes closed.  We just don’t want to deal with it.  But eventually, it comes time to open the eyes and take inventory or make a plan of some kind.

Yet we all know that some folks never do; they lay claim to role as victim and do what they can to enhance that role or overly exaggerate their difficulty.  There’s help available and they know it and also know how to reach out for it but (for whatever reason) remaining victim has become a habit that they are getting something from.  The greater difficulty with a person using  using those crutches long-term is that they block the ability to change and loose touch with inner values and their own spirit.

Drastic changes in life circumstances due to external conditions happen to all of us at one time or another.   All three cards chosen today for blog fodder were Pentacles–cards of the earth and of material world and worldly concerns.  In some tarot decks we see the 5 of Pentacles person on crutches, wounded by life, walking past a church or chapel ~ not going in.  You get the feeling that spirituality is being ignored.

There are times that isolating one’s self from the world for a little while is a good thing right after suffering a dramatic change in the circumstances of our life.

I feel pretty qualified to write about the 5 of Pentacles, haven “been there, and done that” as the saying goes.  I isolated myself and shut my eyes and it got pretty cold there eventually and I did take shelter in the spiritual realms.  Reading spiritual books, meditating, seeking out like-minded individuals, finding a soul family for a while and being helped–but I had to seek a solution and leave the crutches behind, and come in from the cold place where I was making material concerns more important than they should have been.

And that brought me to a ‘2 of Pentacles kind of place’ in my mind and heart.  Through my newly established ‘spiritual legs’ (after haven tossed those crutches away), I was able to be more joyful about life.  I opened my eyes, realized the lessons and the blessings in the recent changes and was able to “go with the flow” as the saying goes.

The gift of the drastic change to external conditions enabled me to further develop the ability to feel much deeper compassion for myself and others.  I found ways to take advantage of the shifts of energy.  I raised my sails and let the winds of change move me and did not resist.

Sometimes there was no wind and I found myself in the ‘doldrums’ on those occasions–once in a  while depression or feelings of hopelessness kicked in.  But by then I had already turned my crutches in for a hoe (I’d learned how to use some spiritual tools) and just like the image on the 7 of Pentacles card (above) I had to contemplate how to use those tools; but figured it out.

Perpetual change was the name of the game in certain periods of my life and those changes helped me to learn how to maintain equilibrium.  I learned a lot about my strengths and also my weaknesses during times of rapid fire change.

I learned to trade in any illusions about the outer world being a stable and safe place and realized (each time and on deeper levels) that all stability and safety is to be sought and found within one’s own spiritual self.  In doing so I calmed myself enough (opening my eyes) to be able to see opportunities around me and also the true beauty of the Earth and Life Itself.  (Capitalization intended).  I saw The Divine everywhere I looked once I found The Source within.

We must not be afraid of change.  We need to “un-stick” ourselves from old conditions and release the past in order to benefit fully from all the gifts that Life has to offer.

We are taught by society that our stability in life comes from the work, the career we have within the framework of society.  We may have prepared for a particular job or career only to find that work dissolve before our eyes.

That happened to me. There was health care reform that affected many professional health care providers like myself for a short time.  Physical Therapists (like myself), Occupational Therapists and Respiratory Therapists–many of us found ourselves applying for job loss benefits.  It was very de-stabilizing time.  And  that was around the time that I found  much more satisfying work that I do as a counselor and professional psychic.

We all must do something in some way when we are feeling destabilized.  We cannot remain too long in that stuck and un-focused state.  We must take those tools (that garden hoe shown in the image of 7 of Pentacles above) and plant some seeds.  While we’re waiting form them to sprout and grow, we cannot loose faith and hope.  Instead, we can firm up our inner spiritual fortress while we’re waiting.

In my case, I built a website to do my psychic work and it was about 3 months before I could see the search engines picked it up and people found me.  Meanwhile however, it was a great joy for me to create the many web pages and load images and write articles for the website.  On days when I had no clients, I used the day to create the next web page and then the one after that.

I continue to have failures and also successes and both have served as great teachers for me– it continues that way.   For myself and for all humans who open their eyes and put down the crutches and pick up the spiritual tools, establish a true connection with the Spiritual Source within and plant those seeds while dancing with the movement of life we are able to recognize opportunity.   Then it becomes clear to us that there is nothing to fear and most of all that we are supported by a kind, giving and loving universe.

We get there by looking inward.