MASTERY

Some time ago, I went to my meditation teacher for some advice.  I believed I was having some difficulty with a person in my life and just didn’t think I knew what to do.  So, I began my tale.  He interrupted me, not rudely, just asked me, “You have practiced taekwondo, haven’t you?”  Yes, I said.   “And, you have studied and practiced yoga for many years, right?  Vinyasa yoga, even, true?”   Yes.  I have.  “What are your practices like, describe them – taekwondo first.”  I did, in detail.  He said, “The same every time?  Taekwondo and vinyasa, the same every time?”   Yes.   “Are your masters good teachers?”   Yes, very much so, both of them.  “Why are your practices repetitive?”  To master our bodies, our brains with our minds.  To improve our reflexes, focus and concentration.  To improve speed and conditioning.  “Uh huh.  Yes.  So, when you repeat your tale of woe, what does that do for you?  What does it improve for you, what do you master?  Can you recall these wrongs with more speed, and conditioning?”   Hmmm. . .

“Perhaps, when these thoughts come to you, you could mentally practice your taekwondo, or your vinyasa – meditate upon those.  You might quicken something.  You might gain insight and mastery.  When you speak of taekwondo, of yoga, your face is pure joy, and your voice changes like love for a child, do you know this?  I’ve enjoyed the time we have spent.”

Yeah, got it.   Hope it helps you, too.  It took practice, it takes practice, but WOW it works.  Train your mind.  Peace to you, and thanks for stopping by.  Lilie

ANGER


When you feel anger, don’t dismiss it or shame it. Acknowledge anger as the message it is. Emotions send messages, information that we need. Anger can tell us something needs to change; anger warns of injustice. Anger spurred such changes as important as the civil rights movement. Anger in the mind of someone skilled at its interpretation: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So, we can practice being skilled, as well. When you feel it, realize it is a feeling, and that its message is that something needs to change, or to be addressed. Now, use your skillful mind to discern: what is your skillful, contributory approach? Practice, practice.

 

IS ANYTHING RANDOM?

The other night, I sat out on my deck, and watched two great horned owls make their hunting flights.  They swoop and circle over the neighbor’s yard and very close to our house.  We have to keep watch on our rather small dog, she doesn’t go out unsupervised, that’s for sure.

In the odd moonlight, created by the abundance of clouds in a dark blue sky, the owls are eerily beautiful.  And, isn’t it funny how we categorize things/people/animals/supposed intentions.  If I were talking about rabbits, the word ‘eerily’ probably wouldn’t appear.  Watching them made me think a thousand thoughts at once.  I remembered, from my childhood, my dad saying to me, “Sugarbabe, stuff eats stuff.  It ain’t evil or good.  Stuff eats stuff.  That’s what it does.”    He was teaching me to see the reality of things, without judgment.  That you can be clear about something, or someone’s, intentions, and not judge them.  Protect yourself and your own, without judgment of another.  Recognition and discernment are not judgment.

There are predators.  All across the board in the animal kingdom – there are predators.   Probably, we would set up gradations of predation among humans, as their predation carries entirely different consequences, for entirely different purpose.   Yet, there are similarities:  Both hunt to feed themselves:  One derives nutrients in pattern with seasons and cycles of life; the other, to take down, to belittle, to consume so as to survive a threat that exists only in the mind of the predator.   One, in keeping with the pattern of every living heart that beats.  One, out of step, cruel and destructive.  Sometimes, when we are speaking of humans, it takes time to see them clearly.

There is peace in seeing reality.  In seeing people/animals/things as they are, not wishing them to be different, or denying the nature of themselves that they present to you.   It is possible, with practice, to see the nature of a person clearly without rancor, bitterness or judgment.  And, it is possible to learn to reasonably protect yourself from such predation by nonviolent means, in keeping with your desire to be an honorable person, respecting the dignity of life.

Let’s be clear here, that the ‘predation’ I am speaking of is the bully on the schoolyard or at work, the person in your life who takes advantage or says inappropriate hurtful things, the stranger who makes verbal jabs,  the relative whose behaviors have made life difficult.    I am not talking about sociopaths or psychopaths here.

That said, what do we do?  What do we do, when we are doing our best to be kindness in the world and we are struck with someone’s nasty words?  Well, it used to hurt me.  I didn’t keep the many positive things said to me around very long, but I held those negative things like they were a  favorite childhood comfort toy.  Hugged them close to me, examined, analyzed and repeated them to myself.   I guess I was trying to find some meaning or reason  – what had I done wrong?   Then, I would hear my dad’s words, “That’s what stuff does.”    And, many years later, I realized, it is that simple.  Saying to yourself, in that moment, “Hey, that’s what stuff does.  That’s what this ‘stuff’ does.  This one says hurtful things.  Hmm.   Well.”  Let that be the only message your brain receives about that moment.  And, when you (like I was) are tempted to replay the negative, the hurtful – play it like this, “That’s hurtful.  That’s predatory.  Hmm.  Well.”   Because now you know.  Someone has shown you their character, their intention.  It is up to you what comes next.  You need not answer with words or deeds.  You sure can decide to whom you will give your company, your friendship.  You can go on.  You can learn from the experience without keeping or making suffering of it.

Thank you for stopping by.  Lilie