Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Ending Suffering’

IMG_0147

It was a bright and sunny morning when I walked downstairs and saw this, not one but four 16 oz. glasses, all of which had held milk on the kitchen countertop. My son had consumed them all that morning. Never underestimate the ways in which an awakening can come.

Some background, my son is a 19 yo differently-abled person. A healthy impulse you may have to inhibit or choose what is most personally beneficial, my son does not always have ready access to this.

But back to the glasses. This is important because it’s 20 years of exposure to “A Course in Miracles” and never quite grasping the material fully. So I decided to pick up the workbook lessons from the VERY beginning.

When I got to Lesson 7: I see only the past  ___________. This is when I was graced with a direct experience of the lesson.

I walked downstairs to the morning dishes and I saw four of those 16oz. glasses, with pools of milk drying at their bottoms. I did not see four glasses of milk as if I had never seen them before. Instead, I felt: “Oh no, not again. I can’t take this anymore. When will it stop?” Followed by “I’m so burnt out”.  Every single one of those statements were rooted in the past! And burnout cannot exist without a past, a story, a history, a chain of pain!!

I had a lot of opinions about the empty milk glasses discovery that morning. But just then I said: “I see only the past in this glass.” And all the inner commentary stopped to give way to a broader wisdom.

Seeing the past in this glass was a gateway to seeing just how often thoughts limit me (and even those I love), thoughts imbued with only the meaning I give them. Everything I saw in the glass was the past – the sense of being tired, burnt out. These are constructs of the past that have to be fed regularly to keep the untruth of them going. But if all we have is right here and now, and I’m not fully here, then I’m locked in the past.

Lately, I spend my days checking the credentials of every thought that wants to get a foot in the door, aka scare me, or cause suffering – as soon as I hear their inner commentary – I affirm the truth: I have no neutral thoughts. None of us do actually.

Would you like to know what’s well beyond self-limiting “not neutral thoughts”? I sure did. Even though the Course compels us not to fill the void, I feel a sense of what has to be beyond the limitation, the human propensity to assign meaning to everything. It has to be that all knowing, all encompassing field of infinite potentialities. This is God, Source, Spirit, All That Is.

Still learning and sprouting my wings, but will say “I have no neutral thoughts” is a very powerful exercise to practice during the day. And if you would like to do the daily lessons, many websites and apps now support this.

Be well and at peace my friends.

Read Full Post »

tranquil_skies

These are two useful mindfulness tools from my “greatest hits” of 2014. I still practice both of these. The first is very calming, grounding and restorative, and useful also with nighttime wakefulness. The other is a great one from Tara Brach, helpful when thoughts are regretting the past or projecting into the future – it is an instant pivot! Finally, I conclude with something new, and equally impactful, from Byron Katie.

“Take your thumb and connect it with your pinky, take 5 deep breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth.  Do the same with your ring finger, then your middle finger, then your index finger.  Then finally, bring all 5 fingers together and take 5 deep breaths.” (excerpted from thespirtscience.net)

This last greatest hit from 2014, is just one simple question quoting the mindfulness teacher, Tara Brach. I put this question on one of my homemade “well being” cards. It’s a great reminder, and especially useful the moment you even start to dip a toe in the waters of suffering.

“Ok, what is actually happening right now?”

Deceptively simple, isn’t it? But incredibly powerful!

And lastly, I’ve appended the Byron Katie quote below. The last two sentences are especially helpful if you are arguing with what is, which is to say feeling like anything, whatever it is, should not be happening. That is the very heart of suffering, and that’s why I am committed to bringing you (and me) tools to help ease it. Be well and at peace, my friends.

“Things are happening to me. Stressful thought.

Things are happening for me. Positive thought.

Things are happening. Truth.”

 

 

Read Full Post »