"You will receive everything you need when you stop asking for what you do not need" ~ Nisargadatta
Western psychology addresses the ‘unmet needs’ while Nisargadatta recognizes that the idea of ‘unmet needs’ itself is the barrier to Having All, the barrier to Love.
“Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.” ~ Brene Brown
I can certainly accuse myself at times of being selfish, or caught up in a belief system of scarcity. In fact, I believe that it will always be there, but how I respond to it makes all the difference. Instead of shaming myself when I act out, I can hold a compassionate stance, recognizing that I am not perfect--I am human. Letting my insecurities be shown is not a weakness but a strength, I and I would much rather be real than stuffed with repressed emotions.
“The act of not discussing or confiding the event with another may be more damaging than having experienced the event per se.” ~ James Pennebaker
Shame is such a potent form of emotional and physical stress because it has the effect of isolating and compartmentalization; I essentially lock up a part of myself, for fear of being exposed--as damaged, offensive, or as fundamentally wrong. Recognizing that these judgments are false is one thing, but to bring up the story in a safe space, with another, is an entirely different experience: holding the space, to shorten the space--between and within.
“We have the choice of two identities: the external mask which seems to be real … and the hidden, inner person who seems to us to be nothing, but who can give himself eternally to the truth in whom he subsists.” ~ Thomas Merton
That Truth is within. The word ’surrender’ comes up in our circles and workshop under a variety of circumstances. The ‘external mask’, the self-made, false identity objects mightily to that word and can make it a highly unpalatable idea. Surrender to the Self within. Choose Again!
“The true inner self must be drawn up like a jewel from the bottom of the sea, rescued from confusion, from indistinction, from immersion in the common, the nondescript, the trivial, the sordid, the evanescent.” ~ Thomas Merton
And there it waits with infinite patience under untold scraps of fear, mountains of opinions, burdens of desire. It waits with infinite patience.
“Where self-interest is the bond, the friendship is dissolved when calamity comes. where Tao is the bond, friendship is made perfect by calamity.” ~ The Way of Chuang Tzu
Self-interest, the desires of the ego, are laid in the field of any relationship like mines. It is only a matter of time till one goes off. Calamities are nothing other than opportunities for me to strengthen my resolve to Know; to Know that all is FOR me; to Know that the other cannot bring me anything I need or hurt me in any way. Knowing that nourishes all in the relationship.
“The opposite of Loneliness is not Togetherness, it’s intimacy.” ~ Richard Bach
Interesting idea here...and one that I believe gets to the core of relationships. If the goal of connection was via bodies, then why are there times that I have been standing right beside someone and yet felt worlds apart? I would suggest that it could stem from emotional boundaries based on the desire for self-regulation (ie.”You cannot affect me!”). What if, instead, I take on a more permeable state of receptivity...to allow oneself to be influenced by another, but not determined?
This prospect might seem frightening, as it implies that I get outside my comfort-zone and take risks; to be open for change, and to be changed. Anyone can jump into bed with someone--that is, enacting one’s will power--but to fall in love with someone is to actively surrender with a leap of faith--to place trust in the other, and, in yourself.
“Love is the funeral pyre where the heart must lay its body." ~ Hafiz
I know, it would seem that the body gets a bad rap here but let’s be clear: is it possible to conceive of a single problem I think I have without it originating in body identification? Once I return to Knowing that I am abstract, formless, infinite Love I can return to enjoy the illusory joys the body seems to offer without attachment, I then discover those joys are actually echoes of spirit.
"We must love them both, those whose opinions we share and those whose opinions we reject, for both have labored in the search for truth, and both have helped us in finding it." ~ Thomas Aquinas
Cause and effect? By loving both I find the Truth, or by joyfully accepting opposing points of view I accept the Oneness behind the pinions? The Truth is in loving both? As long as I accept an opinion as true, or reject an opinion as untrue, I continue to express preference within duality. My grimly held opinions are barriers to love. Nagarjuna gently reminds me: What I believe is neither True nor not True....
"The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large." ~ Confucius
All thought creates form. I can only have one thought at a time. Thoughts run along neuro-paths, by meditating on ‘good thoughts’ I create new neuro-paths or widen and strengthen existing ones. The world I see is the results of my thoughts. Which wolf will win? The one I feed.
Diederik Wolsak is program director at Choose Again