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. 

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.

Disengage Stress, Fear, Anxiety by Knowing the Nature of Reality and other Spiritual Tools

LotusHow do you feel when you think that thought?  Then why think it?  Or is it thinking you?  Even Byron Katie (the great truth teller who essentially teaches Buddhism or  the study of the nature of reality– i.e. “all is thought and attachment”) talks about thoughts thinking themselves.

I love the “meeting them halfway” with understanding quote attributed to Katie who said,

“I don’t let go of my thoughts—I meet them with understanding. Then they let go of me.”    I really appreciate her teachings and discussions called THE WORK. 

One way to meet them with understanding is to nurture the self that is harmed by them and another is to (as Katie says) question them because in that you question the nature of reality, and just the questioning loosens the grip we have on “the story” as she calls it.

The link below will take you to an interview that I did a few weeks ago where we (Stevie- Sparks Press and I)  discussed some of these very things:

http://www.joystarpsychicastro.com/audio-interview/

You are not alone, neither am I; we all go through these up’s and down’s; forgetting momentarily and remembering.  There’s THE WORK and then various other spiritual tools that we discuss one audio (link above).

Here’s another little blurb that just came into my inbox today; this (quote below) links to these same themes about the nature of reality.  In fact, in the blog post below this one as I discuss my fears (let’s be real, we all have them.  Like Katie says,

“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but the attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering.”  And that’s Buddhism 101.

And another way to express it all is like this little line that arrived in my inbox from tut.com, who writes a message from “THE Universe”,

” The next time you feel really hurt, really angry, or really, really upset, and you’re sure that even I have been violated, shaken, and humbled, quick, check and see if the sky is any less blue, the sun any less radiant, the birds have stopped singing, or the flowers have lost their scent.” 

Try the link above to the interview for practical earthy tools to use when we “think that thought” and begin to believe it or it infiltrates us without our knowing causing that panic, anxiety and mental crisis.  We talk a wee bit about astrology on the above audio too.