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  #21  
Old 06-01-2011, 12:18 AM
LostSailor LostSailor is offline
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Originally Posted by Catfish View Post
I really, really needed to read this. Thank you.
Me too. It's a Helluva good thread.
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  #22  
Old 06-01-2011, 12:21 AM
LostSailor LostSailor is offline
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Originally Posted by GroundedSpirit View Post
Good plan IG,

It's healthy. I think it's always useful to remember that part of what bonds us to others is respect. And respect comes (at least partially) from seeing our strength and independence. The fact that we have our hand firmly on the tiller, compass and chart close by.

Good luck. You're doing fine.

GS
Delightfully apropos, given my nickname.

Thank you for reminding me that I need to show her respect first. Needful jealousy is disrespectful because it makes her less her, and more one of my "things." (or am I wrong?)
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  #23  
Old 06-01-2011, 02:54 PM
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River River is offline
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It does no good to go to war with our emotional habits or well-worn habits of thought....
Indeed, inner wars only lead to wounds and scars, pain and confusion.

We should be patient and kind with ourselves as we unfold into fresh new ways of life. Don't push the river. Love the process. Put down the weapons.

I give you this Venn diagram. Two circles overlapping. Simple. In one circle is the old familiar habit of thought and feeling. In the other circle is the emerging "paradigm". Your work here is to cherish both and to notice, nay familiarize yourself with the overlapping space. That space is a bridge. The world is a bridge. Life is a bridge. Do not expect to arrive in unchanging territory.

Or practice this way: Hold your arms out with hands facing one another at a distance. Palm facing palm at a distance. Each hand is one of those circles in the Venn. Very, very slowly, mindful of what each hand represents, ... very slowly bring your palms together in touch. Slowly! Notice what happens. Watch carefully.
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Last edited by River; 06-01-2011 at 03:04 PM. Reason: NOT TWO
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  #24  
Old 06-01-2011, 05:55 PM
islandgy9 islandgy9 is offline
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Default Putting down my weapons

I have not gotten very far fighting my emotions... I'll try and make peace.
Thank you River.
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  #25  
Old 06-01-2011, 09:17 PM
Snowbunting Snowbunting is offline
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Default Parable about responding skillfully to unwanted emotions

Yes, River, thank you! Your post was helpful to me too, and I love the metaphor of the Venn diagram. I thought I'd offer a parable that's in the same spirit; it's a parable that comes out of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and it's about responding skillfully to unwanted thoughts & emotions. The parable has been really helpful to me over the years, and I hope that perhaps it will be helpful to IG, and others, as well. I'm quoting it from a book (called Start Where You Are) by Tibetan Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron. Here's the passage containing the parable:

“Milarepa is one of the lineage holders of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. Milarepa is one of the heroes, one of the brave ones, a very crazy, unusual fellow. He was a loner who lived in caves by himself and meditated wholeheartedly for years. He was extremely stubborn and determined. If he couldn’t find anything to eat for a couple of years, he just ate nettles and turned green, but he would never stop practicing.

One evening Milarepa returned to his cave after gathering firewood, only to find it filled with demons. They were cooking his food, reading his books, sleeping in his bed. They had taken over the joint. He knew about nonduality of self and other, but he still didn’t quite know how to get these guys out of his cave. Even though he had the sense that they were just a projection of his own mind – all the unwanted parts of himself – he didn’t know how to get rid of them.

So first he taught them the dharma. He sat on this seat that was higher than they were and said things to them about how we are all one. He talked about compassion and shunyata and how poison is medicine. Nothing happened. The demons were still there. Then he lost his patience and got angry and ran at them. They just laughed at him. Finally, he gave up and just sat down on the floor, saying, ‘I’m not going away and it looks like you’re not either, so let’s just live here together.’

At that point, all of them left except one. Milarepa said, ‘Oh, this one is particularly vicious.’ (We all know that one. Sometimes we have lots of them like that. Sometimes we feel that’s all we’ve got.) He didn’t know what to do, so he surrendered himself even further. He walked over and put himself right into the mouth of the demon and said, ‘Just eat me up if you want to.’ Then that demon left too."

Of course, the parable isn't suggesting that one should act on one's unwanted thoughts and emotions. I think that the story is just such a great metaphor for how helpful it is, and what a relief it can be, to just acknowledge & accept the presence of these thoughts and emotions in the present (then, one can focus one's energy on responding to the whole situation - the whole situation that triggered the thoughts and emotions - in a way that's as loving as possible for all involved).

Last edited by Snowbunting; 06-01-2011 at 09:31 PM.
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  #26  
Old 06-01-2011, 11:05 PM
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Glad my words were helpful.

Any inner battles or wars we have indicate contracted awareness. The only way to achieve
peace and transformation is to move from contraction to expansion, expansiveness. Acceptance and love, with understanding, is expansive. Fear is contractive. But we cannot fight fearful thoughts or feelings -- because the fighting is itself fear, is itself contraction.

Therefore, it is best to expand awareness by welcoming everything into awarness, inculding pain and fear. Then, in welcoming, we may have healing and transformative insight.
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  #27  
Old 06-02-2011, 03:03 AM
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rubyslippers rubyslippers is offline
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"
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Originally Posted by River View Post
Today, in another thread, I read a fascinating theory about jealousy, in which jealousy (regards loving relationships -- if we may call them that) is understood at root as a fear of losing the precious connection. What was fascinating to consider in what I read was how this fear emerges within a cultural-historical context, a context in which nearly everything (even sex and love) are now treated like commodities. A commodity, to be a commodity, must have some degree of scarcity, since no one would buy a thing that is both valuable and ubiquitously abundant (e.g., air).

Commoditization hasn't always existed, and things have become commoditized gradually over thousands and thousands of years of history and pre-history. Our ancient ancestors often lived in a state of extraordinary abundance, such that no one ever considered food a commodity, or treated it as such. Same with land, and -- likely -- loving relationships.
These things were valued, but not scarce -- and so there was much less cause to fear loss.

I am, of course, imagining "primitive" or tribal people whose human neighbors were cooperative and collaborative with one another, rather than competitive and greedy. Imagine being held in a community like that, a community in which you are included and valued by everyone you regularly see around you. Then go out onto the city streets and observe carefully.

NOTE:

I carefully chose my words "treated like commodities" above. Before doing so I had a look at various technical definitions of the term and realized that we may well treat things as if they were commodities while at the same time they don't meet the criteria of the term.
"

I had an acquaintance in high school who has now taken over his parent's firm. He is a commodities trader, primarily futures etc. in food products globally. I learned some about "pork bellies" is the source of bacon, from him over underage drinks at Finnegans bar one night..."

River, you've got it goin' on...as does Grounded Spirit and the perceptive writers I've encountered on this thread and in this "community."

Commoditization...is this also the root of capitalism?
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  #28  
Old 06-02-2011, 03:11 AM
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When I think about equanimity, I sometimes think of the short poem (called "Eternity", I think) by William Blake that reads: "He who binds to himself a joy / Doth the winged life destroy; / But he who kisses the joy as it flies / Lives in eternity's sunrise."

In Buddhism, equanimity is one of four Brahma Viharas, i.e., divine abodes, or divine states of mind. The other three are compassion, loving-kindness, and sympathetic joy. One teaching I've often encountered is the idea that all four Brahma Viharas should be cultivated and that each should be cultivated in proportion to the others; they complement each other, and the capacity for each is fully developed (within a particular psyche) only when the capacities for the three others are fully developed as well. (I could qualify the word "capacity" here, and distinguish between latent and active capacities, but I don't want to over-complicate things - I hope that the gist of what I'm saying is coming through.) So, a person who has a great deal of equanimity also has a great deal of compassion, experiences much sympathetic joy, and loves abundantly.

Snow Bunting...I have no experience with Buddhism...my only real exposure to various religions was an overview course in college, where I discovered black chuch as in AAfrican Methodist Episcopal...was way more fun and agreed with me, than white church...
but the four viharas..those are what I see and act through...I had no idea this was a formed philosophy in the greater world...
thank you for your insight so freely given...
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  #29  
Old 06-02-2011, 03:12 AM
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as you may see by now, I have no idea yet how to navigate the quotes system here!
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  #30  
Old 06-02-2011, 03:20 AM
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Originally Posted by LostSailor View Post
Delightfully apropos, given my nickname.

Thank you for reminding me that I need to show her respect first. Needful jealousy is disrespectful because it makes her less her, and more one of my "things." (or am I wrong?)
Respect of others bounds emotions states of mind and gentleness around all, is key.
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