Things are somewhat better since my last blog entry. I am still having trouble with a few things, and meditation is rough too. So hard to take my own advice really and it is hard to stay mindful. I easily get angry at people for many different reasons, and of course angry at myself. The usual poisons really – expectations, both realistic and unrealistic; self centered fear; the list goes on.
I am reminded I am very much human.
Recently, I took insult to a statement colleague made to some others. I am quite certain he didn’t realize what he said. It really bothers me so, and there’s not much I can say, or do because this is part of his personality and we have discussed it before.
Recently, I have also found myself to be impatient as well. The “waiting for the phone to ring” form of impatience.
If my self esteem were stronger, I’m sure things like offhand remarks would not bother me. I am quite sensitive.
I have lost my grip on the here and the now and I can’t seem to get it back. I am angry at the past and worried about my future.
I will get it back
I will be okay
I just need to breathe.
I just need to not give up.
My you all not suffer.
Suffering has many faces. Suffering can be defined as living with resentment, fear, anger, physical pain, jealousy, heartbreak, grief, worry, disappointment and so on. Suffering can be small and suffering can be unbearable.
We all suffer.
A bee sting is a good example of suffering as I am trying to describe here. There’s the bee sting’s pain itself, then there’s anger at the bee, or yourself for trying to become one with the bee. One cannot become one with the bee. How can we ease the burden of suffering on ourselves? One of the things I try to practice is being aware of the type of suffering as it happens. Awareness of some of my burdens that could be imagined, such as the fear of the unknown…you know, the “all in your head stuff’ we go through. Though it is hard sometimes to stop clinging to negative things, I try to remind myself that I can’t deal with the uncertain future until it arrives in the present. I can prepare for certain things that could happen in the future like a birthday party, or an appointment, but not the uncertain things. Uncertain suffering as I call it, can come as fear of losing a job, worry about a loved one away on their own, or fear of flying because the plane might crash…phobias too. The suffering I feel is allowing these uncertain fears about “suffering to come” to overpower my feelings and thoughts, thus creating more suffering in the present moment.
Example: The day after the bee sting, the “monkey mind” could say. “The soreness of my healing bee sting reminds me to not slap a bee if he lands on me. Why do I always do that? What is wrong with me?” The only real cause of the suffering is the physical pain, everything else is added suffering triggered by the pain…this can be avoided by practicing meditation and mindfulness for one. Let’s take a look at how we can reduce the amount of suffering we put upon ourselves. I practice Zazen meditation myself.
Suffering happens only in the present moment. Everything happens in the present moment.
A painful event of our past is just that, and the memories of it can cause suffering in the present moment. Then there’s the ever-popular resentment of past suffering of others which also brings suffering to the present. Additionally, fear of a painful event in the future, such as a court date, or an appointment for surgery can bring suffering in the present moment as well.
Try not to cling to past suffering; try not to cling to the possibility suffering. This can cause suffering in the present moment.
Suffering over illusions of what can only be assumed is another struggle. Wondering, and assuming ill actions of others can cause much suffering. Fear of being plotted against, gossiped about, lied to and fear of what may be happening in the shadows of your life are illusions that brings suffering into the present. The only thing happening in your life is the present moment in the here and the now. We have no control over most of what is going on outside the vast universe we call “self.”
Try not to suffer thinking of the unknown, or things that are not a proven fact. This can cause suffering in the present moment. Trying to control what we cannot, can also bring suffering to the present moment.
There’s no “cure for suffering” but, I have found that being mindful of suffering and what causes it can reduce the amount of un-necessary suffering. I meditate in the present moment which also reduces any suffering I’m trying to bring in. It’s not easy to break free from added, un-necessary suffering sometimes. Suffering is feeling the pain during the moment it is happening. Suffering is natural and we all feel it, we all get through it some way or another and we try not build upon it.
Take moments throughout your day and see if you are adding any un-necessary suffering to your present moment, and if so, just mentally smile it away as best you can and be mindful of what it is…or is not. Know that I have thought of you today and I hope I have found a way to help ease some of your suffering.
May you not suffer, may you be at peace.Additional Resources: Controlling Monkey Mind, Lecture by Suzuki Roshi: http://www.berkeleyzencenter.org/Lecture/oct2001.shtml How to Tame Your Monkey Mind: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-5507/How-to-Tame-Your-Monkey-Mind.html Buddha: How to Tame Your Monkey Mind: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bj-gallagher/buddha-how-to-tame-your-m_b_945793.html
I believe in the clouds in the sky.
The trees growing.
I believe in equal rights, respect and fairness for all mankind.
I believe our world is a better place than not.
There’s more kindness than cruelty and more honesty the lies.
There’s always been more love than hate.
More courage than fear.
I believe there is more compassion than hate in our world.
We all just want to know everything in our lives will be okay. That we are doing all the right things to make it so.
Potholes! We never really see them until it’s too late. We roll over them in our car, or step in them and twist our ankle. Instantly, pain, suffering and anger pops in takes over our feelings in the present moment itself!
It’s the potholes fault.
“The pothole is the cause of my anger…or is it? After all, it did not come to me, I went to it; the pothole was in my path – the pothole has no path, it is just where it is. I can’t be angry at the pothole, so am I angry at myself for not being more attentive and avoiding it? Wait, I didn’t do anything wrong, so it must be someone else’s fault!”
Gotta make it personal – It must be someone else’s fault.
“They (Whomever they are.) need to fix this pothole! This would have never happened if they took better care of the roads!”
“That seemed to work. Now I am angry at something, or someone that I have no interaction with – I can get no closure, I can’t tell anyone to fix the pothole.
“I am powerless. I can’t tell anyone, or anything to fix my anger! What? Well I’ll be…”
The anger within me is the problem, not the pothole, or anyone that has let it go without repair. Why am I angry? I am powerless over the situation in each passing moment.
Something out of my control has invaded my serenity.
Something out of my control has caused me physical pain.
Something out of my control has damaged my car, motorcycle, or bike.
Something out of my control has caused me a repair expense.
There’s nothing to blame, so I could very well be stuck in anger for quite some time.
By this time the moment has come and gone and it is time to try and extinguish the anger and move on with space and time. Some folks refer to this as “get over it,” or “stuff happens.”
We can’t stay in the moment and remain mad, no more than we can stay in the moment and remain serene. Time goes by.
The toughest part is to recognize and to know when to act on not clinging to our anger and soon enough to not get caught up in the suffering it is causing.
Will anger happen? Yes.
Will it last all day? Only if I let it.
Anger is not a pothole. A pothole is a pothole.
Today, I am trying to look at what the real cause of my anger is when things happen out of my control.
I will meditate and be mindful as best as I can.
Breathe, breathe, breathe – breathe now.
Peace stay with you and may your potholes be few…in the present moment.
May you not suffer.
I absolutely love autumn. Once, I was depressed when autumn came around, because this meant that the warm pleasures of summer were dying away. But I eventually noticed that autumn is just as wonderful with its cooling pleasures. The wind blowing, a slight chill in the air and leaves falling, always dance around my senses. The distant smell of hardwood fire smoke from someone warming their home is also something I find pleasurable, forming many unexplained memories to me – in days gone buy it was common to burn leaves and pine needles, maybe that’s it. Things I just can’t quite put my finger on. An odd feeling at times when the autumn wind blows and the leaves rustle around on the ground; I want to grab those comfortable feelings and hold them as long as I can, but it is difficult. It is not permanent. I have no choice but to let it go – watch it pass.
The feelings come, seemingly linger, then move on.
The memories come, seemingly linger, then move on.
The sensations come, seemingly linger, then move on.
All things come, seemingly linger and eventually move on.
All things come, seemingly linger and eventually move on.
Fear of the good things moving on. Fear of the good things coming to an end.
Fear of the bad things approaching. Fear of the bad things about to happen…again.
Fear of the suffering, seemingly to linger then move one.
This is all natural.
Fear is suffering. Fear causes anger, resentment and hate, usually imagined, or remembered. We all suffer, we all fear suffering. No matter how tough, or worldly we may seem, we all naturally have fear, because we are experienced sufferers and we don’t want any suffering to continue. We are experienced sufferers and we don’t want suffering to happen at all.
Like the autumn leaves, suffering comes and goes. No way to avoid it, but we can reduce its intensity, and in some cases avoid some suffering altogether.
Breathe, breathe, breathe – breathe now.
Take care of yourself.
Let the good happen.
Take time for yourself.
Breathe and enjoy the very present moment – or if you are suffering, know it will pass.
If you can’t find the present moment…breathe.
May you have peace and be free of suffering.
Yesterday, a dear childhood friend of mine became a Grandmother with the arrival of her first Grand Daughter. The parents and grandparents are loving, caring, proud and happy.
The child is healthy and beautiful – the first, she is!
She is the first child, of the first child, of the first child. She is the sum of all things and within her all of her ancestors can be found.
Life. Welcome to this earth little one! May you always love and be loved, may you always be healthy and compassionate, may you always be safe and without suffering. May your family be blessed in every moment.
I wish this to you little one, just as I have my own precious granddaughters and children.
We all grow old, we all experience sickness and we all will eventually die…the Three Heavenly Messengers that Siddhartha experienced prior to becoming Buddha. We all know this. We all don’t like to dwell on it much. We all just want to be young and not suffer…and when the time comes, not be afraid to pass away.
The beauty and wonder we see in our children is our self. Within the child we see ourselves…our eyes, our hands, our feet, the way they learn to walk, talk and be on their own, as we grow older. Somehow, someway, we will live on forever through our children.
It is important that we look to self, for what we see in our self is that same thing we see in our children and grand children, even if we don’t know what it is.
By being good to myself, I can be good to my children and grandchildren.
When I hug my children, my “self” and my ancestors hug me back.
Peace be with you. may you not suffer.
I wish you peace with yourself. I wish you to not suffer. I wish happiness be yours.
Just sit and “be” when it is time to just sit, and “be”. Be active, when it is time to be active. Take care of yourself.
Just sit and be with yourself and your surroundings…no books, no phone, just being with “you” and sensing the world moving around you.
I don’t desire to become a Buddha, nor a Bodhisattva. My desire is to reduce suffering in my life right now, in this moment. There can be no desire without suffering. I am who I am right here, right now. I am a human, a mammal, a creature of this earth. My name is just what others use to identify me when I am not around…or get my attention specifically.
I need to eat and sleep and do all the things I must to live in each moment. I must care for myself and care for all living beings.
I type to myself and if someone else reads my humble ramblings and can use it to help reduce their suffering, so be it. I have no desire to teach anything, just know you can reduce your worry, pain, grief, suffering and sadness by practicing mindfulness and meditation.
Just notes, thoughts, and feelings.
Interesting thing today! A political debate broke out at work today and I was close enough to hear the “discussion.” Normally, I would intervene with my own objections and heated comments, but this time I chose not to. This was very difficult at first, but I did something somewhat automatic. I started breathing mindfully, sitting in my chair. I thought to myself something like, “they are suffering and debating on things they can’t control and they are frustrated with each other…they don’t want to be persuaded that their own belief may be wrong, so they are defensive. They are suffering. I wish they were not suffering. My uninvited involvement may cause more suffering for them and me.” After their talk fizzled out, I felt good that I did not go down that road this time. I am starting to understand what “mindful” really means.
Lastly, I also found that someone said they “agreed with me” and they there was a chuckling as if it were something unbelievable. Interesting. Bothered me a little. But it has all passed like a cloud.
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