14 April, 2015

Choose Acceptance with Any Loss

We all have seen some miraculous example of some disabled person doing extraordinary things, like running a marathon with one leg or like when I saw a boy with half of his brain(removed) learning to swim after his operation. How does this happen? He or she accepted their loss of whatever and moved on. This can even happen when you lose family and dear ones who pass, whether expected or unexpectedly. This is not to whitewash any grief that happens in the process, many times never seen by others, carried heavy in the heart for a long time. Once you realize that you really have no control in life, and that once you fully accept a death or a personal loss about your own health, you become free of the grief that you seem to be hooked on. Even a sense of ease comes when it appears that you have forgotten that grief. Often times it comes in small doses at first, unknown consciously until that begins to overpower the grief that you once held, when it gathers enough steam.

We have the power to choose acceptance earlier, if that is what we truly desire, without confusing it with not honoring those things we have lost in the form of guilt. This guilt that we feel is more about trying to maintain the grief, in feeling form. We get hooked on feelings and it is harder to let go of a feeling than the actual person or idea that we carry around with us. Often times waiting for exhaustion to dictate a move to change, instead or when people get sick of you. One has to look very deeply at what we truly want and that is happiness, which will only comes with acceptance. It may take time off from work and life to let the loss settle completely in meditation, instead of stringing it along to explode in unexpected moments. Then it will allow you to honor those that passed, too. The sooner the better when you consider how short our life is and the fact that you will have to...anyway.

20 March, 2015

Your Friends Disappear

Death Valley Junction
Like a 48 hour TV mystery, you’ll find on the spiritual path that most of your “friends” disappear, and it’s not because you are trying to convert them. The real meaningful ones will stick around, but for the most part …the rest won’t be calling you. I think it is mainly caused, in my case, by no longer drinking and being married with my partner, and most conversations would include what I am up to at the moment, which is my spiritual path. Unprompted, A few good friends who stuck around have even mentioned that my change is positive. But the rest don’t want to hear about any exit to the mundane suffering that we all experience.  Two good excuses, “Only you could do this.” or “I should do this,” while they are looking down while playing a game on their IPhone... when I'm speaking to them. This means they will never even attempt to meditate, because it doesn't immediately satisfy. I have mentioned before that I saw the cloud lifting with awareness heightening within my first year of casually meditating.
Mona Caron Mural

Surely, you’ll make new friends who you meet because of your change, and gather new acquaintances familiar with your particular “brand” of path(often called Sangha, in my case). Depending on how far along you are… you will also notice that even these new ones don’t need you so much when their own wisdom blooms creates a relaxed attitude around not clinging. Meaning not clinging to anything including any friends. All this might seem disconcerting at first, but it is positive maturation that will immediately become obvious when you no longer are invited to parties and social events where people drink. It will help you stay on the path, instead of being tempted every weekend to make one giant leap backward….which can easily happen with only a good bottle of red wine and loose lips over a casual dinner.

16 March, 2015

24 February, 2015

Sharing your Misery

Certainly, I like so many others… I suffer. Sure, I have real good excuse, a brain injury with a speech disability, combined with being gay. One of the problems, I had in the past was sharing my misery with others. Not completely wiped out, but with constant awareness I have managed to keep a handle on it. I think it has come a lot easier now that I finally married my partner of 13 years, and our long separation has ended. Frustration is a communicable disease. Also, if I get enough sleep, which us brain injured lucky winners need to have to keep the good parts working to their full advantage.

Sharing misery can slip out in even a casual greeting, first contact with others, and it doesn’t necessary have to be a vocalized action and come from not being present with others in a positive way. With my brain injury, if I am involved with anything else, from a simple door opening to signing in with a code, then any interruption is felt as interference to task at hand. Often people don’t know how severely this affects brain injured people, but my point in not to make another excuse. This is perhaps a way to doubly make sure to present a smiling face even when the brain is saying, “what’s this?” I figure if I re-condition the brain, whenever I am aware, by smiling, joking positively…or even stopping what I am doing to engage even when inconvenient or disruptive.

Many times in the past, I have shared my misery in a negative joking comment, never knowing I was leaving a black cloud around me thus creating more misery. I have often made fun of fake positive people to the point of stirring the “shit.” I, of course learned this, but that is not an excuse at my age. But, it may come to this extreme measure to change the brain. And it finally produced an example yesterday, when I spoke to a fellow yogi going to class who had never heard me speak. She was amazed I do what I do, because what she has seen or felt of me was always positive. I have also seen wisdom teachers who say that if we always see what is wrong with the world that we can’t change, we become more of the problem than the solution. We will also attract negative, more than positive people.

I am very fortunate to have a smiling partner who could see my intentions even when I was not always positive in nature. He inspires me to change, too by not allowing me to maintain any negativity.  Now a joke with us, as my moods, are fast to exit, because the mind-body knows that to maintain creates...yes, more misery. With my meditation too, I have seen what well-worn paths in the brain drive me to deviate from positive. “Don't go there, fool!,” I remind myself. In my case with aphasia, it may be doubly hard, but this never takes into consideration the many difficulties others face in their lives. Which leads me to compassion for others, while having compassion for one self. I want to experience a beautiful world, which in so many ways I have, and now want to share with others in a smiling, positive manner…even when it may seem fake, once in awhile to me.

02 February, 2015

A Near Death Re-Examination

It has many years since my near death experience, and it’s now going 12 years of a spiritual path of slow change and with this I have some insights. As I recalled in my first post on this blog, I now know it wasn’t really “me” who left my body: feeling no pain, sensing no worries, and no connection with my life in my body…it was my consciousness or awareness. That is why there was no pain and no memory of life connected to my body as it tried to merge into universal consciousness or love. This was the “light source” seen as a target to move towards, often feels like warm hands beckoning you closer to the light. So this gives me the idea that “we” will all meet again, in our awareness upon death, but without any of investment in our respective personalities. If I settle down a little more into awareness with daily practice, I can start letting go and the wisdom eases in my being, naturally. A little doing is involved in the form of bringing myself constantly back to awareness, when my personality/ego notices and makes a move to be seen. We know after a years in our personality we know where this leads us. Into past or future, two imaginary places far from presence.

14 January, 2015

Ungobackable: Drinking Alcohol

After coming back from a fun road trip with my partner showing him the southwest desert one thing stood out from the trip beyond the normal beauty and good times with family. That is the firm commitment of not drinking alcohol that I took up, 3 years ago. There were many times when he had a glass of wine, wine which I like so much, I could easily have said yes, and no one would say anything. I would smell his glass, to enjoy the bouquet, but would and could say, “No, thanks.” I could also see where any alcohol infers that one is not comfortable with life… as it is. And my own personal observation that “wrong speech” is easier to slip into when one is relaxed with alcohol, in my case. The added benefit of a clear mind in the morning, and less sinus! I feel I need to convey that alcohol has never really been a problem with me, except the usual early 20’s party phase of life. Alcoholism has been someone else’s problem, but has been the spice element that leaded to a difficult childhood in my case. Certainly, this has been a factor who has stayed my friend, but this would happen anyway as friends fall away naturally as you mature as with any wisdom path. I am firmly grounded in my intention, and it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, thus saving me money and headaches while providing an easy entrance to meditation with more time freed up to do so. It also becomes obvious with practice and time that the precepts aren't just rules, but more of a way to direct one AWAY from more suffering. A wisdom intention becomes stronger, I have a clearer direction, finally. 

23 December, 2014

Help Buddhist Nuns — Plant Seeds of Metta

A Colorful Start to the Holidays by parking that moving van.

Happy Holidays! I can tell you from the moment I had met one of the Buddhist Nuns, it helped bring my practice down out of my brain to my heart. Female wisdom should be encouraged and now here is your chance to help then settle down and carry their original vision forward. Their Foundation is buying a rural piece of property, which will end up costing almost the same as what their were paying in rent each month. Even more help with the deposit or their monthly living costs will make this seem like it was meant to happen... Seamless dhamma. I know personally, when I saw their new rental property(same as what will end up buying), I felt it was a great match.  I even hear their neighbors warmly welcomed them, and want them to stay. Dhammaseed and their website have many of their dhamma talks by them. Be inspired and let a dana offering warm your holidays.
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