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Posts Tagged ‘Suffering’

Water Bloom - Soos Creek

Water Bloom – Soos Creek

I went to another Dr. Joe Dispenza workshop this past week up at the Kripalu Yoga Center in western Massachusetts. Clearly I can’t get enough of the guy, his heart, his work, and his message. He has helped me re-tap into the unlimited potential, the greatness, the fullest expression of who I came to be in ways that no one else has.

There is a daily practice and commitment that comes with this work, and part of it includes regular meditation. Meditation has become a surprising source of downloading layers of information from the field that has been valuable for me in my own personal re-awakening.

Before I got to the workshop I meditated in a hotel lobby in Poughkeepsie, on purpose. Meaning —  it’s life, if I need to be in a quiet setting, so I can get quiet and right with myself, well then, how will I ever take this out into the world?

I am even sitting in the hotel bistro meditating where it’s peak breakfast time. I notice while in meditation, that I can hear other people talking. It’s static at first, until I lend it some further attention. Now I can hear their words, their opinions. And as I lend a little more attention to their opinions, I put my whole self in. I’m “all ears”. I hear their opinions, now I begin to form an opinion about their opinions. I am no longer sovereign, I have re-entered the world of the personality, its identity, and what always comes with it — the sense of feeling separate.

But I am meditating, too, right?! Yes, so now I am hit with a flash of inspiration! It IS all really just static. Life is like that, until the very moment I decide to hone in and select something to invest my attention in. Without and until my investment of energy, it holds nothing for me.

You know what that means? Everything, yes my sentient, sovereign beings, everything follows along these simple guidelines. And we know this, right? Until it gets big and important, like say American politics, for instance. Pick your flavor of “big and important”. Personalities love opinions, we bond over them, and we fight over them! Guess how many of these opinions we’re taking with us when we die? Nada. It’s not who we are!!

I have always been moved upon by The Great Potential (we all have), and I’m just not going to live like this isn’t the truth anymore. If I am living a story of limitation (code for opinions, judgments, ideas about what others should be doing, who should be the president, how things should be done, etc.) then I am saying: “You know what God, you tapped me for Great Potential, but I’m gonna pass today. I’m gonna live within this other narrow, *separate* (my God, it’s always separate from LOVE!), and limited focus!”

Ain’t happening here, nope. Not without some conscious awareness on my part. The gig is up, and I am waking up! Putting this into daily practice is the work.

In closing, here’s two great quotes from Dr. Joe this weekend. The first that will stop most in their tracks:

“Just because you’ve been given a diagnosis, doesn’t mean you have to have any of the symptoms.” Ponder that out-of-the-box thought for awhile. One of the tenets of his work is — watch what you “accept, believe and surrender” to.

“Every day trust love over fear.”

For more information on Dr. Joe and his work go to Dr. Joe Dispenza. I get no commissions for this – only the joy of lighting the torches of others, because he sure has lit mine!!

Be well and at peace my unlimited ones … until the next time …

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FullSizeRenderToday I bring you an excerpt from Jeff Foster’s “10 Shockingly Simple, Life-Changing Principles of Spiritual Awakening”, click on that link to see it in its entirety.

Tough to pick just one to highlight from the 10, so I will pick the one that is most likely to trip me up.

“6. ACCEPTANCE IS NOT SOMETHING YOU ‘DO’, IT IS WHAT YOU ARE

Acceptance doesn’t mean that an unpleasant thought or feeling will go away; it may stay awhile. Don’t try to accept it (as this is often resistance in disguise) but acknowledge that it is ALREADY accepted, already here, already part of the scene. Treat it as if it perhaps will always be here! This removes the pressure of time (trying to make it go away, wondering why it’s “still here”). It IS here, now. Bow before THIS reality. Be curious. And allow any urges, any feelings of frustration, boredom, disappointment or even despair, to come up too and be included. They are all part of the present scene, not blocks. Even a feeling of blockage is part of the scene!”

Sometimes my attempts at being fully present with what comes up is actually an insidious hidden agenda to change it, make it go away, so I don’t have to feel it. This will fail every time, because it is not meeting the moment as it is. What a relief, just as he writes – if it’s here, it’s already accepted! How do we know that? It’s here now! It’s that simple.

I also absolutely love – “treat it as if it perhaps will always be here”. I think most of us have something we bump up against. How much better does it feel to honor – this (whatever it is) is here now. Sure maybe it’s been here before, maybe it will be here again, but all I have before me is this moment. There is no “it’s always been this way, it will always be this way” in this moment.

Be well, and at peace my friends … and have a look at the rest of the above article, and another really good one (also, by Jeff Foster), which I have previously posted a link to is “40 Surprising Truths About Suffering”.

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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.”

 

 

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This is my latest favorite find from Pema Chodron. On her FB page, she posted the link to a HuffPost article about her recent appearance on Oprah’s “Super Soul Sunday”, with some beautiful tips on ending suffering or any level of general discontent:

“You breathe it in,” Chödrön says. “It’s as if you breathe it into your heart and your heart just gets bigger and bigger. Every time you breathe in, the heart gets bigger and bigger, so that no matter how bad it feels, you just give it more space. So when you breathe in, you’re open to it, I guess you could say. And then when you breathe out, you just send out a lot of space.”

“Sometimes I say, ‘What does your heart feel like?’ People will say, ‘It feels like a rock.’ What does your stomach feel like? ‘It feels like a knot. It’s as if my whole body was clenched… because I’m so miserable,'” Chödrön says. “So, breathe in and let that heart open. Let the stomach open.”

Do six deep in-breaths, she suggests. It’s a practice that Chödrön calls “compassionate abiding,” and with it comes an enlightened view of the world’s connectivity: You are not alone.

“When you breathe in, you can recognize that all over the world — right now and in the past and in the future — people are going to feel exactly what you’re feeling now. A feeling of being rejected. The feeling of being unloved. The feeling of insecurity. The feeling of fear. Rage.” Chödrön says. “Human beings have always felt this and always will. And so you breathe in for everyone that they could welcome it, that they could say, ‘I haven’t done anything wrong.’ Embrace it.”

 

 

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“You could probably boil all your suffering down to this:
‘I want to control this moment but I cannot!!!’”

“So much of our suffering comes down to fear of loss of control, a resistance to chaos, a desperation for a new order in the midst of a storm.”

” ‘DO NOT SEEK OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF FOR HAPPINESS’, the storm bellows. You will suffer until you realize this, and then you will suffer every time you forget it, and so suffering is a meditation bell in a storm, part of life’s ingenious invitation.”

“Suffering – when you don’t run away from it, numb yourself to it, or deny it – will always bring you face to face with the fact that what you are cannot ever be defined, divided, or destroyed.”

“Suffering is nothing more or less than resistance to the present moment, the pushing-away of its inevitable suchness, a botched attempt to control or escape the Now…”

“You don’t need to be the peaceful one, the awakened one, the strong one, the highly evolved one, the one immune to suffering. All are false limitations on your limitless nature. Simply be what you are, not ‘this’ one or ‘that’ one, but The One, the space for all of it.”

“It’s about coming alive. It’s about waking up to grace. It’s about unconditional friendliness and infinite kindness to yourself. It’s about making it safe, finally safe for all of those unloved, un-met, unseen waves of the ocean of yourself to crawl out of the depths, out of the darkness, out of the corners and holes and crevices of experience and come into the light, blinking and full of wonder.”

These quotes are all from Jeff Foster.  They were beautifully compiled (and more) by Nic Higham.  You can visit Nic here and Jeff Foster here.

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Suffering Speaks

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It seems that there’s not a one among us who hasn’t suffered to one degree or another.  I’ve even seen babies and toddlers wail away in suffering, and then be done with it.  It seems that animals may be similar, not languishing in their suffering, but wholly with it just the same.

It is easy for me to see the way out of suffering when I stand on the outskirts of it. It’s a lot harder for me to be immersed in it and somehow stand on the periphery simultaneously, but I’ve been asking to experience this even amidst suffering.

Is there a hierarchy of emotions, some are desirable, some are not?  Could the true extent of my suffering simply exist through my refusal to be with whatever emerges in consciousness?  Was this an area to which my own loving-kindness was excluded? And finally, was there something to be learned from suffering?

It was to these questions I came when three of my girlfriends began an email exchange yesterday.  One of those friends has suggested that I share my part on the blog:

I have found that suffering is only a bad thing when I judge it to be a bad thing. Otherwise suffering is just (yes, really just) another way of life’s longing to know itself in form.  Who am I to declare that joy is better than suffering, that decaying leaves that will nourish this earth are better than budding pink cherry blossoms? Why is any expression better or lesser than another?  It’s not, until I judge it so.

So here I am …

low to the ground
my heart pressed close to it
listening for the sounds
among decaying leaves
and finding life amidst all of it
suffering as I judge it,
and just being with, as I don’t.

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Below, I have appended today’s posting on Jeff Foster’s Facebook wall.  For more information on Jeff Foster, visit lifewithoutacentre.  It’s a relevant follow up to my last post which expressed that there really are no “bad neighborhoods”.   

“Nothing and nobody, no outer circumstance or event, no word or deed, can cause you to suffer. Suffering is always your own internal resistance to the Way Things Are Right Now, your hidden refusal to experience what you are experiencing. Suffering always originates from a NO to the Universe as it is, a NO to life in all its pain and glory.

But remember, acceptance does not mean that you have to give up on the possibility of future change. Acceptance is not passivity or disengagement from life. Not at all! True, intelligent, compassionate, creative, and often unexpected change arises from a place of absolute alignment with the Way Things Are Right Now, a profound and intimate engagement with this juicy moment as it actually is, however ‘bad’ you label it.”

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