The Older Spiritual Warrior and Virgo Sun mid-degrees intensifies character formation to refine identity
–AND– dealing with obnoxious people
–ALSO– Inner Patterns and Emotional Work Redefining Character and Re-evaluating Spiritual Warrior Energy
In reading a book by a Buddhist monk recently therein was a reference to the energy of frustration, aversion and yes that other uncomfortable “a” word, anger, relating to a dog that you tell to “Stay!”
Being in the center of the fire–the flame–is also used as an example. We want to strike back, react, seek safety and security in either fight or flight types of reactions.
I’ll tell you what helps with this—being an old warrior (such as me). The temptation to fight and react is there but one finds the opponent or that which incited the emotion to be totally not worthy and many times that adversary (the source of the anxiety, aversion or anger) is actually downright laughable.
It’s just that one remembers the foes and enemies that were fought and conquered in the past and suddenly one can tell the inner dog whose lips are drawn back, teeth showing poised to attack to “sit!” and to “stay!”
Self-discipline and inner-mastery cannot be achieved by shelling out dollars to have someone do it for you—obviously this type of discipline and mastery is achieved only through one’s own personal efforts.
And what comes to mind is that line from whatever movie that was: “Are YOU talking to me?” Let me save my breath for my creative endeavors, pursuits and the enjoyment of the life that remains.
I’ve learned to step away from obnoxious humans and move toward the gentle, peaceful side of life as often as possible—it takes focus to deal with obnoxious humans. I’d rather use my efforts engaging in creative and enjoyable activities. Who needs to or better yet wants to be telling the energy within to “stay!”—there’s no longer a need or desire to prove warrior energy or self-mastery once a certain level is reached.
It’s a fairly mild day here today with the clouds covering the sunshine presently. There are a number of activities that I have in mind for my afternoon. The Sun is at the mid-point of Virgo now while Mercury is reaching its final degrees through Virgo.
Blain Bovee, in his Sabian Sage Forecast, wrote that the major themes of this degree of the Virgo Sun illumines character formation and themes of doing deep inner work on emotional patterns to refine identity occur. I totally feel the truth to that.
I was having a lunar return around the time that my downstairs neighbors began to heave their hearty voices and slam the walls after midnight last night. I had all the white noise going too! Honestly! I told the dog to “stay”–we were both too tired–and I pulled the pillows closer to my ears and turned over. Again they were at it this morning with the yelling and banging and then I laugh with the Universe remembering all the important battles that I’ve fought and won and how unworthy it would be to give this notice. Again, I say, “Stay!”
Obnoxious, nasty humans getting you down? Tell the emotions this way: “Stay!” (And then take the resulting inner power and “walk away” from those obnoxious people however and whenever possible.) If you can’t do that, turn on the music (mp3 players and ear buds help!) or squeeze the pillows tighter to your ears, find the tunnel of light and let yourself drift in and sleep!
There are so many helpful phrases from the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva AND various Lojong Training Phrases that could be called upon here with this post –once one’s had that training, sometimes just one word and in this case for me lately, keeping it real and simple, the word “stay!” says it all.
This is what I know and also what I keep forgetting and so need to practice! Why do I keep forgetting? How do I keep allowing my… well, what the Buddhist call kleshas to affect me. What are kleshas? Essentially we could say emotions or one definition is “mental states that cloud the mind and manifest in unwholesome action”. In the modern-day world we often hear them called “emotional patterns”. Your patterns! Right? Your customary and habitual emotional responses. Yeah, new ager’s want to deny those or push them away and not deal with them out in the open like this. Here’s what I was writing about in the last blog about my “muggle” klesha. This is from the writing of Lama Zopa Rinposhe; it is expressing what I wrote about–remembering the nature of emptiness and calling upon the praja/wisdom of the prajnaparamita (emptiness). Let’s go right to Rinposhe’s words:
Emptiness is a remedy for the foundation of all delusions—ignorance—so all the other delusions will disappear. The minute one meditates on emptiness, anger for example, will stop. Anger arises when you believe in the false I, false object—all this which does not exist. So when one meditates on emptiness of the self and other objects, there is no foundation for anger. This is the most powerful antidote. But if it arises again, it is because there is no continuation of the meditation; the meditation, the mindfulness, has stopped. The problem is to remember the technique. Once you remember the technique, it always works. When you don’t remember the technique, it is delayed and the delusion, anger and so forth, has already arisen and taken you over. — Lama Zopa
Some of our kleshas can be quite clever and convince us that we are justified and even egg us on to find those descriptive words — the one’s I used in my last blog were… well, there you see? I’m being tested again to go to those words, reproduce them and once again the klesha pattern gets triggered and those old resentments and aversions become alive. When that happens, I’ve taken many steps backwards or the Buddhist would say it is loosing merit.
What I do is use my blog to create space around the klesha and slow it down so that I have an opportunity to analyze it–dissect it, if you will. I heard one lama say it is like creating speed bumps for an speeding out of control car (anger) to slow itself down.
Yeah, it can be like that for us—being overcome by emotions that get triggered from those old patterns. For me it is the muggle who is my blessing because he gives me the opportunity to practice remaining awake and remembering emptiness helps me to diffuse the bomb of my klesha. I can be quite indignant, irate and outraged by other sentient beings who, in my judgment and opinion, disrespect animals and nature. Like with any emotional trigger that any of us experience, the pulse races, the face gets flushed and all those other responses happen but the progress that I’ve made over time is that I am able to catch it sooner and analyze myself and the situation and diffuse the bomb or not let the pattern reach bomb stages in the first place. I let it go much quicker these days.
What helps me is to remember that the muggle in question and his/her actions or attitudes and so forth are simply ignorance, meaning lack of wisdom, knowledge or information. I say this without being above or feeling superior in any way. What evens the playing field in working with that type of klesha is to embrace the knowing that what motivates all sentient beings is that they are seeking happiness and trying to avoid their own suffering.
When I remember this, it helps me very much and then I begin to move my attitude toward compassion for the other, the one I name muggle and also for myself I feel compassion and this helps to transcend the experience, bringing me back to who I truly am.
This is the reason that Buddhism helps me, because of the awareness of mind that it encourages us to have–the practical reality of day-to-day living is acknowledged and the teachings are just as real and practical and grounded.
These are a few thoughts about my last blog and my muggle klesha for the record. Maybe any reader who comes to this could benefit in some way by applying any wisdom found here to their own life–this is the intent.
Spiritual Issues or Illusions? And Patterns! I posted something yesterday — the muggle protection charm. This blog post is an email that I wrote to a friend. Part way through it I decided to make this a blog post… for whatever it’s worth to those who also struggle with questions around spiritual issues and illusions.
This is part of my spiritual challenge or how would you say it?–just one of those lingering issues that I still have an issue with–Ha! I have “an issue with an issue”; and both issues are an illusion–so, really there are no issues, except for within my own mind.
And I have a feeling that one or the other will work its way into the blog or newsletter this week.
It’s like this issue is everywhere I go, it’s a pattern. You remember, right? I moved from the last place I rented because they cut down all the trees on the property next door–you know how disturbed I was about it. Remember? The family of deer lost their home too (they covered a pit wherein the deer lived under the berry bushes) while they massacred each and every single tree along with the berry bushes simply to put in a stupid trailer and a few horses.
When I first started to awaken or attempt to be conscious or to be aware there was an awareness, it was somewhere in the 80’s… No, wait, it goes farther back than that even. I just had a
flash of a similar troubling “issue with my issue”when I was a child. It was forgotten until this very moment. I do recall that it troubled me a good while but like these other issues there
was nothing whatsoever I could do about it–hand’s tied; out of my jurisdiction; not my area as John Travolta would say in his movie role, playing Archangel Michael.
Trees, always trees and animals; the cruel and thoughtless death of either disturbs my spirit deep, deep, deeply. We were kids, you see? Oh, around 7 or 8 up until around 12. There was this huge tree at the entrance area to the housing section–there were two actually… Ficus trees, one on either side of the entrance to that neighborhood of houses–in the middle of a plot of land, smack in the middle and then on the edge of the land on either side of the road a half-high brick wall with the letters of the name of the area proudly displayed. It was a middle class area actually and eventually turning to lower class long after we moved. Not that this last sentence has anything to do with the story of the trees. They grew as we did and it was “THE” play area and gathering spot of all of us as we grew up, you see? We’d walk along the half wall and climb the Ficus trees as they grew–larger and larger they did as we were growing as well. Until finally, they were large enough to climb and climb we did! These trees became massive, their trunks nearly a car length wide with lots of branches and places to camouflage and hide. We played as many childhood games as we could imagine there beneath and inside those trees. Those two trees were “IT” for us kids, you know?
And as I recall at times there’d be up to two-dozen of us gathering there to play with not a swing-set or sliding board in sight. No matter, the trees were “IT”and our minds imaginations made up the rest of it—it, the games.
One day one of the trees was gone, missing, out of there, nothing but a hole left and stretching my mind to the memory of it now, the recollection comes. We were told it was diseased and had to be removed. I knew it was a lie. And next thing you know a house starts to be built right upon the very spot that our old friend’s large trunk once sprung out of Mother Earth.
And then, years later, the same thing happened to our other friend, the other Ficus tree on the other side of the road. I was older by that time as I recall, perhaps ready for middle school or even high school–that part is a bit blurry. The half-walls were taken down and the tree gone suddenly. And that plot of land, too–our old gathering spot, taken over by house construction right in the middle, over the top of the roots of our friend, the Ficus tree. Ha! One can almost imagine the owners of the home being haunted by children’s gleeful, playful voices in the middle of the night. Of course, that brings up a whole other area of speculation, doesn’t it?
What once stood or was on the land where you live? Around here it was all once Cherokee as most of the ‘born and raised’ locals inherited land that was stolen from those Native Americans. That’s not prejudice, it’s fact–even the “local born” teacher at the college who teaches a course in Appalachian Culture will tell you that–I took the course and used my intuition to discern truth versus lies. But on that point, even she did not differ.
On THIS property where I now rent, on the ridge right above me and to the left, I’m told (by the property owner who used to live here as a child) that on that ridge above the house is an Indian “Mound”–a burying-place for the Native American ancestors. I’ve never gone up there to look but next time my grandson comes, I’m going to ask him go up there with me to see. He’s always wanted to go back behind the major tree line and I wouldn’t let him go without me. Now, for some reason, I feel called to go and try to find it. We will take an offering.
Usually, so I’ve been told, mounds can be found nearby where 2 or 3 creeks come close to each other or perferrably meet up. They are considered power spots. I’m just realizing that I live near a power spot! Here where I live there is a creek across the way and also behind me to the left. I remember now. This actually would be the right place for a mound here where the creeks fork and where it is highest elevation on that ridge out back.
I rent from the lords of the land around here.
In the last place I lived there was a church that I was behind and I was concerned that the old house that I rented was on top of a grave yard (they are almost always behind churches here). Then I saw the graveyard up on the side of a nearby mountain and was relieved. Baptists as well as Cherokee like to bury their dead where there is a beautiful view, usually up high. In fact, the house I was renting before was an old school-house which actually made me pretty happy as far a vibes go. I’ll take living where an old school-house was over living over a graveyard most any day of the week!
So I was remembering this morning — and this came by way of me just trying to get a handle on this mystery, the sadness, the whole business of trees and so forth — the lack of reverence for the sacredness of nature from humans, etc. And the memory was about how devastated and heartsick I felt when… Well, let’s start with the yellow brick road that I was walking down (ha ha) and when looking for a job (physical therapy), I chose a facility that was located in a wooded area; yet it was still in a city.
There happened to be trees all around the place and this is where I thought it would be great to work — because of the trees you could see looking out any window there. So I’m working there a year or so when right outside the window in the therapy office where we’d write our notes in the charts–and the window was nearly ceiling to floor and our desktop faced the window, anchored to the wall. So it was like you could not avoid looking out and on that side of the property just after the little parking area there. And it was that we were forced to watch them massacre the trees and there they lay one atop the other–just a field of dead bodies and day after day more fell and it was horrible and affected me deeply. No one else seemed to care or notice but I became sick over it. That was Florida where they love concrete jungles.
Most all the places I’ve rented here in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina have had graveyards nearby–this house is the first without a graveyard within a stone’s throw. When I lived and worked south of here by a few hours (but still in the mountains), where I worked (I found out much later) was the actual place where they gathered the Cherokee — the outdoor prison — where they held them before they began to march them away on the famous journey known as the Trail of Tears. Imagine that!
And about 5 miles from where I worked was once the area that the Cherokee gathered once a year for their “games” like the Olympics. I found all this out later after I moved. The vibes in those areas absolutely correlated! And on a past life level it made perfect sense that I ended up in those places and even where I am right now.
Since those things and others that make me certain that I have reconnected with a Cherokee past life here, I googled the trail of tears and most information gives 1830 – 1850’s. A shiver!
Gosh, I’m laughing a little bit thinking that maybe an old body of mine is buried up on the mound behind me and I am here returning to the place I once lived and died actually. LOL
Oh, so who knows…? Maybe this is why I am so disturbed to the depth of my soul about the trees being cut down across the street. One tries to figure these things out you know? Something so deeply disturbing can seem mysterious especially as it happens or recurs… persists–this trauma I always go through at the thoughtless death of trees and killing of animals.
You as my friend remember the weeks–nearly a month or more–it took for me to get over the time I stumbled upon the group of hunters who had killed a beautiful black bear! And of course, I know you remember the time that I stood with my own body between a deer and a hunter up here in these mountains. That was one deer that did not get shot (least the hunter shoot me too) at that moment in time! You know how I feel, the deer and bear are my brothers (and sisters) and I must stop writing now or I will allow the tear that is forming in the corner of my eye.
I will just add that there are many past life memories from around here and I know that I made a vision quest atop of Grandfather Mountain which is always why I call that mountain ‘my grandfather’ and why the first time (in this current lifetime) that I went there, I felt I was home and did not want to leave–ever!
I was very sad yesterday and nearly ill in my stomach and had to leave here for most of the afternoon so that I could not see the destruction of the earth across the street which once was so beautiful and now it is awful. I had to get away for the day. I have asked for help from higher mind–an insight to help me understand the patterns… I have experienced these devastating feelings numerous times in the past. Pattern!
I did blog post quite a number of Moons ago about a tree friend of mine who had to leave to make way for a highway bridge… (link below).
As a matter of fact dear friend, I may go ahead and cut and paste these words into a blog post.
And since I’ve just decided that I’m doing so, I have a line or two to add then… additions below….
Long time karmic history can take years and lifetimes to overcome and the process of surrender is to the emotionalism and in my case the intense sadness in these cases with the bear, and the trail of tears and the land and the trees and all such other issues in the psyche. The physical body is transitory and all worldly phenomena (the world of matter, of form) and eventually even the illusion of the witness and the observer is because it will also dissolve and return to pure awareness or pure consciousness Itself. And the illusion of time also dissolves into the Allness of Divine Oneness or Concordance. And so at the time of ‘release of form’ (death) of any kind whatsoever–death of trees or bears or deer or our own self, the Presence of the Allness of Creation as Divinity radiates and all is joined together again. So now then, what is the point of lamenting the loss of a tree or a bear or even the self–our own or others or the many–since all form eventually returns to Source.
And these are the few Tao-like thoughts today via an ego that is doing its best to allow the higher self to have free reign of the consciousness, thoughts and the keyboard in order to help me realize the possible source of my emotional patterns with these issues of illusion.
Ha! and a final thing. I mowed the lawn a week ago and as the locals here do all the time, trash was up on the lawn–they throw things out of the car windows without thought as their usual way of doing.
So as I bent down to retrieve the paper, and in doing so saw it was a candy bar wrapper and the name was MOUNDS; and right away I thought that this was some sort of message for me and didn’t know a connection except one.
My mother told a story of when she took her mother-in-law to the funeral home. My mother’s father-in-law had recently crossed over and on the drive home my mother stopped for gas and asked her mother-in-law if she wanted a snack and replied that a candy bar would be fine.
So my mother chose that kind (a Mounds bar) and the old lady went berserk accusing my mother of rubbing it in her face associating the Mounds bar with the death of her husband! She was going a little loco at the time.
I remembered that as I was picking up the candy bar wrapper and disposing of it properly.
And now I find here that a week later I am writing a blog post which contains references to “mounds”–the native american burying-grounds. Interesting, no?
Your Friend, Joy
PS– Here is the blog post about that other tree friend of mine and a few others… I hope you will like to read it and if so, just CLICK HERE