Thoughts on Life: Resistance versus Acceptance – Fighting versus Flowing

it is what it isFIGHTING VERSUS FLOWING

RESISTANCE VERSUS ACCEPTANCE 

I was on the final 15 minutes of my hour spin bike workout, doing intervals.  There’s a point of non-resistance that has to be reached to get through those final intervals when the legs are burning and the level of fatigue makes you want to resist.  A coach once said, “Your legs should be burning–let ’em”.

There’s a point where you have to give up and surrender the battle to get the last few sets of intervals done successfully.

It’s acceptance.  The lungs are on fire and so are the legs and you’re pushing through to the end but if you fight this or resist it, you just can’t do it–you quit.

Today I thought about how this is just like life.  I mean, on the bike you accept it,  the “what is” of legs burning and the like and if you accept then the work is so much easier and you’re less likely to give up.  Or said another way what you ‘do’ give up is the resistance to ‘what is’–the burn or breathlessness or whatever.

When you give up the resistance and let the mind participate with the body, allowing the merging and accepting the fact that ‘yeah, it’s what it is, until it isn’t anymore’, THAT is so liberating, especially in those final moments.

Those hour long interval workouts are like the last moments of a race.  What really counts is what you do at the end when you have to dig deep and get to the finish line, especially when total exhaustion is so close.

When life becomes a crisis in some way and let’s face it, life presents challenges and if we deny this we are not living on this planet I think.  At those times do we surrender? Or do we fight it? Do we want to deny what’s happening and thereby struggle against it?

We make life harder for ourselves if we struggle.  I make the last 15 minutes of my workout harder if I struggle against.

This applies across the board or that’s my position in writing this.  No matter what life presents us with at any given time (and sometimes life is like those last 15 minutes of an hour long interval workout at the gym–rough!)…. point is that if we feel like we have to battle it or take a position of struggling against it, we find it’s all so much harder.

So many times in life we think something shouldn’t be what it is.

We deny reality or fight against how things ‘are’ and use all kinds of tactics to deny reality somehow.  It’s exhausting.

We can make this comparison with the Christian way of thinking about life being a struggle against a devil and having to fight the evil–this kind of mentality.

Another way of thinking is to simply not think–but what I really mean is allowing whatever ‘it is’ to be what ‘it is’ without the judgment.

Judgment is the christian way of dealing with life I think which comes from an idea of an ideal perfected state that we all must strive for but know we will never achieve (because they tell us that in their dogma), rather than the opposite which is giving up that fight and becoming free.

Does that mean that we don’t try to be better humans or that we stop doing our best?  That’s not what I’m saying.  

I’m talking about not beating one’s self up because of ‘what is’ or what isn’t during any given moment.  I’m writing here about not struggling against it or making the self wrong somehow in the process.

The last 15 minutes of intervals my legs burn and I’m breathless–it’s part of life at that moment and I accept that and don’t fight against it or resist it.

When anything in happens in life, I can draw from that ability to accept what is actually happening without judgment or without making myself or Life Itself wrong.  It is, after all, what is.

When my legs are burning, I don’t attach to the feeling–I let them burn.

When I’m right on the edge of breathlessness, I let it be and don’t fight against the feeling.

If I grunt or groan or tense my muscles or make a face, it’s only making it harder to simply flow with ‘what is’ in that moment.  Life is like that.  Life ‘is’ and there’s a certain amount of being okay with it and not judging it but simply noticing it that is very freeing, liberating.

Someone thinks a lot during meditation time.  No need to fight that.  Simply notice it without assigning a meaning or beating self up in any way.

Someone feels angry.  I’m not saying to act the anger out and of course we shouldn’t totally repress it but one way to handle it is to notice it as simply being ‘what is’ in that moment.  Or maybe for the whole day the feeling is there.  In noticing it one is standing outside of it and this juxtaposition is causing separation from it emotionally.

Just like “the leg’s are burning, let ’em” that happen during my workout.  It is what is and nothing last forever!  ‘It is’ until it isn’t anymore and the less we can attach to it and the more we simply notice it without emotion or resistance, the realization comes clearly that nothing last forever.  That’s the nature of reality:  impermanence.

And impermanence is a blessing.

Acceptance of ‘what is’ in any moment is liberating and elevating.

Judgment of what is in any moment is attachment and suffering.

That’s one difference between Christianity and Buddhism although there are many good similarities as we all know.

Acceptance is surrender and surrender is Divine!

Just my two cents, hoping to have expressed this in a way that’s understandable.

Revive or Release? Review your most cherished core beliefs – a New Year’s Clarity Exercise

Getting clarity in 2015 despite the ego not wanting to appear to be ‘the fool’

Core-BeliefsThe mind holds beliefs and the ego/personality wants consistency and doesn’t want to appear ‘The Fool’ even to itself; therefore , a result of this can relate to how we tend to follow our own habitual ways of thinking without changing them.

We can then start appearing a bit delusional to others because the ego unchallenged and unaccustomed to letting go enough to examine a belief (stories) can be really thick.

Again, ego/personality wants consistency and status quo and prefers not to change because to change may mean we’ve been wrong which horrifies that part of us.

However, if we have the courage to question those core beliefs it can be a huge relief.

Yet, we can (at first) become shocked, angry, and unsettled especially when we realize these ideas that we’ve been anchoring into were only stories that we told our self.  Again, to let go of those stories represents inconsistency and this frightens the ego/personality part of the psyche.

What happens when we do question and release some of those beliefs that need to be discharged is that we experience a huge relief and real liberation.  It’s like when you’ve been holding something in your hand or in your arms for or a very long time and when you get to put it down—ahhh, what relief.  Right?

In doing psychic work sometimes I see folks who hold one particular belief about the spirit world that affects every aspect of what they do; but it causes confusion because that belief doesn’t square with all other experiences.  They may call me hoping I will validate a belief that they are trying to be consistent with but doesn’t resonate fully anymore.  I see how they struggle with it not wanting to change the habitual thought and  how they go back to clinging to it and then letting it go again—it takes courage to open your mind sometimes.   It can be frightening, shocking and very unsettling when one’s reality shifts suddenly.

There’s no need to berate one’s self after seeing the light–it is best to see it as a necessary part of the path and the process of growth and evolution.

Another example.  I knew a person who as an adult well into her 40’s blurted out one day that her aged mother was responsible for her lifelong and current overeating problem because her mother overfed her as a baby.  She was serious about this lifelong belief and when I did a double-take and repeated back to her what she had just said because I could hardly believe my ears she became momentarily enraged and shouted back, “Well, who else’s fault would it be?”  This is a true story and really drives home the point that I’m writing about.  This individual had, obviously, never questioned her own assumption and carried it for decades.  It could speak to an overall tendency to blame others, not take responsibility in other areas of life too.  I don’t know if she has let it go fully or if she is still holding it but hopefully you get the point I’m trying to make through this example–we hold to the strangest beliefs sometimes without realizing it.

It’s the New Year 2015 and we’re one week in now so I thought it to be a good exercise for myself to sit down and write down on a steno pad my deepest-held core beliefs and examine them.  This of course requires bare-bones honesty and deep contemplation.

I used the 12 houses of astrology to list 12 areas of life and then to examine those, asking myself if any could be erroneous or ridiculous beliefs I’m still holding or that I’ve outgrown.

Going through this exercise is radical because it really makes you come face-to-face with what ‘you’ believe and it may be an eye-opening experience helping you to see the points-of-view which you’ve held that you may not even have been aware you were holding.   Releasing those, I believe, is a way to help you on your way to enlightenment.

You may, through this exercise, see that you no longer agree with your old self and recognize inner conflicts which have been holding you back or keeping you from clarity and preventing you from being fully open to the grace of the universe.

If you wish to give this New Year’s exercise a whirl, here are 12 life categories you may like to use to stimulate your review.

My suggestion is that for each category, ask yourself what is your most cherished core belief.  These categories are based on the 12 houses of astrology.

Some of the houses hold more than one basic category or meaning.  The suggestion is to select the one category from each house that seems most significant for you. This is a good exercise to come back to, perhaps starting with one house category on one day and the next on another.  All categories or areas don’t have to be accomplished all at one sitting.

Some beliefs you may wish to keep holding which  will serve to rededicate your values; but others may need to be laughed at and sent out of your mind and heart and on their way!

The 1st houset: the self, demeanor, physical body, public image, and vitality.

The 2nd house: money earned and material goods; what is valued; issues of survival and self-reliance

The 3rd house: immediate surroundings, siblings, short trips, left brain/intellect, communication

The 4th house:  self-image, family, home, origins, heredity, and the nurturing parent

The 5th house: creativity, love matters, pleasure, leisure, children, self-expression

The 6th house: everyday life/routine, daily work (job) and colleagues, mentors, small animals/pets and health

The 7th house: relating to others, partnerships, other people

The 8th house: power/control issues, psychology, occult, passions and crises, transformations, death, financial investments, inheritance, other people’s money and sexuality

The 9th house: philosophy, long distance travels, abstract and higher concepts (right brain), religion, and foreign matters.

The 10th house:  social success, professional destiny/career, authoritative parent

The 11th house: friends, collective projects, supports and wounds

The 12th house: spirituality, what is hidden,   difficulties, solitude

If you do work with this exercise and find it helpful, I’d love to hear from you.

You can email me:  joystar777@gmail.com.

 

Psychic residue from past lives create our reality! Latent tendencies and Boggarts

Latent tendencies interpret fast moving protons and neurons and project reality
Latent tendencies interpret fast moving protons and neurons and project reality

This whole ground consciousness and latencies or latent imprints is totally fascinating.  That information comes from deeper study of  Tibetan Buddhism which is really, in my humble terms, the study of the mind and the nature of reality.  They say that the imprints are not the experience itself, but more like dormant seeds.

I think about wildflowers when I think of dormant seeds that are not receiving the right conditions to bloom.  And yet, when they do (especially in the northeastern part of the country where I currently reside), they do not last long.  The summer sun and rain bring the conditions for the blooms and then in the fall and winter, they are dormant again.

Wildflowers
Wildflowers

I think the comparison to wildflowers is an okay or and adequate association in that these imprints are positive, negative or neutral depending upon whether they originated from a positive, negative or neutral thought or action.

Some things grow in summer but do not contain flowers—some contain thorns or brambles. As weeds and wildflowers grow, so go our own imprints–positive, negative or neutral.  And we are creating new imprints all the time–reality.

I really like comparing psychological, spiritual, philosophical aspects of ourselves to nature.  The natural world is a fertile ground for this type of relating.

Anyway, we are told by the Tibetan teacher (s) (the Rinpoche) that these seeds or imprints are activated with experiences in the here and now.  Those everyday types of experiences in life are then activated like the Sun and water and soil conditions activate the wildflowers in the summer.

And here’s the kicker!

These activated imprints are what give us the impression of solid reality (it is all energy vibrations and reflections in actuality and a quantum physicist will agree that a table or a wall is nothing more than very faSt moving neutrons, electrons, protons.  Horray for physics!  Anyway…

Back to latencies…. these are associated with external sensory experiences and give rise to the belief in dualism.  What that means is a belief that I am separate from other or interpreting everything in terms of “I” and “other”.  It is these sensory experiences provided by the dormant seeds come to bloom (so-to-speak) that give rise to a sense of individual ego or separation from All That Is.  And then we create actions based on that belief in dualism that create more and this is how we go round and round in the world of illusion.

There are those who believe that if there is a self that it is a conceptual stream of consciousness that receives these latencies and projects them as external phenomena.

Just consider that a moment as you contemplate your reality!  your life!  A stream of consciousness projecting latencies!  And in every moment we are creating more latencies based on how we respond to any ‘now’ moment!  Mind blowing!  🙂

Well, it has to be extremely more complicated than this;  but what if it’s not?

Sense organs (eyes, ears, nose, body) receive input and then process and transmit it to the brain–and when reading the word ‘input’, think energy vibrations.  The mental consciousness receives something like, “red, round, moving to the left, sharp edges” and then interprets it.

When you think that this has been going on in our stream of consciousness for eons of lifetimes, consider the amount of latent tendencies we have stored which create our reality as we experience it!

No wonder we have developed a belief that external objects are solid and real…  and no wonder we perceive what the latent tendencies tell us,  which is that the external phenomenon is solid and real rather than empty.

Psychic residue containing diverse thoughts rooted in past lives creates the forms.  The mind is transitory (fleeing, passing through, temporary, brief, in flux and in movement)–such is our life .  And eternal reality is actually nonexistent.

Conventional Reality vs Ultimate Reality

But then again, conventionally it is, meaning that conventional reality does exist.  Especially when you think of explaining to your landlord or mortgage holder that your external reality does not it exist and therefore you don’t need to pay your rent or mortgage!

We have all agreed upon this reality due to these latencies and karmic actions and therefore conventional reality exists but ultimately, as just explained, it does not.  So it’s a paradox that the Buddhists call “The Two Truths”.

One reason I believe all of this is that of my personal experience of it  in meditation is just as  has been as described by the Buddhist teachings and long before I read the Buddhist teachings–so, therefore,  I know the truth of  this via my own meditative experience.  Not intellectually.

There is what the Buddhist call shamatha meditation and this will show you the true nature of reality as one turns to look at one’s mind directly.

Well, enough for now.  Understanding these latencies and even just a wee bit can help a good deal in relieving ourselves or releasing our grasp on our attachment s and aversions.

Contemplate this and fear dissolves and aversions become laughable and attachments,  too,  seem ridiculous.

And the last word in the paragraph above reminds me of the brilliance of the scene in the Harry Potter movie (The Prisoner of Azkaban)  when the witches and wizards in-training worked with the spell to transform the Boggarts.  The word of the spell used was “Riddikulus”.

(A Boggart, by the way, is a shape-shifting non-being that takes on the form of the viewer’s worst fear.)

The image to the left is the result of a wizard student projecting an image of his grandmother onto a Boggart ,transforming the professor he fears into a comical image of his grandmother.

Learning about the mind and nature of reality from the Buddhist perspective helps us to transform our own Boggarts realizing they are no more than mind projecting  latent tendencies… what transforms a Boggart after all is humor, laughter!  (according to author J.K. Rowling anyway)

So, keep it Light!

Aspiration:   May this post help someone in cyber world who comes upon it at a time of need to help ease suffering, enhance happiness and renew their sense of freedom and true liberation!