“When I walk into a room, I know that everyone in it loves me. I just don’t expect them to realize it yet.” ~ Byron Katie
Love this! I like to take this practice to the streets, and imagine that, if life were a game, everybody is my team-mate. Not only does my body-language change from defensive to relaxed as I take the focus off myself, but I become alot more fascinated with everything that is going on around me. As one of my favourite Coca-Cola ads says: “Life opens up when you do.”
"We may talk and reason all our lives, but we shall not understand a word of truth, until we experience it ourselves." ~ Patanjali
‘Healing’ is not about books, teachings or teachers, ‘healing’ is about the experience of Love. Not the love for another based on ego preferences fulfilled, but the Knowledge that Love is all there is. Till I have that experience, all I hear is nice sounding words and attractive new-age platitudes. It is all about experience.
"Never say any man is hopeless, because he only represents a character, a bundle of habits, which can be checked by new and better ones. Character is repeated habits, and repeated habits alone can reform character.” ~ Patanjali
“Repeated habits” feels like ‘will power’ and behaviour modification. The use of ‘will power’ is, ultimately, exhausting and useless and a set-up for failure. If I transform the beliefs which chose the habits the habits themselves change. I do not have to fight not to have a cigarette today, I changed the self hatred that chose that self destructive habit. Now, onto the next set of beliefs ....
“To err is human, to forgive, divine.” ~ Alexander Pope
It is easy to recognize that we all make mistakes, at one time or another. What makes life challenging is when I am unwilling to acknowledge the acts or transgressions of others as simply that: a mistake--in belief, and identity--in which the idea of guilt and sin can be laid aside...along with my own.
“Why Aren't We Screaming Drunks?
The sun once glimpsed God's true nature
And has never been the same.
Thus that radiant sphere
Constantly pours its energy
Upon this earth
As does He from behind
With a wonderful God like that
Why isn't everyone a screaming drunk?
Hafiz's guess is this:
Any thought that you are better or less
Than another man
Breaks the wine
Glass.” ~ Hafiz (Daniel Ladinsky)
How many times a day do I judge someone as ‘less than’? How many times a day do I stop and ask myself: “What aspect of myself do I not particularly like in this person?” rather than blindly judging. Trump is such a great lesson for me and so many others. There is an aspect of the Donald within me that I despise. Time to heal that aspect and see the Donald for who he truly is: an innocent child of God masquerading as an arsehole.
“Life is a journey to be experienced, not a problem to be solved.” ~ Pooh, (A.A Milne)
To me, this distinction can be a cause of attraction towards the idea of enlightenment. Seeing my present experience as problematic, the desire to retreat into the infinite can be a solace from the unpredictabilities of life. I am in no way suggesting that one should ignore, or deny, that expansive part within oneself; just be sure it is not at the expense of what J.R.R Tolkien would refer to as an ‘unexpected journey’ in this realm of consciousness.
"Distractions arise from habitual thought patterns when practice is intermittent." ~ Patanjali
I sure know that one. When I am vigilant with my thoughts, recognize my cry for love and answer it lovingly, don’t believe I have a reason to be upset (EVER) and relinquish all desire to judge I am free of distractions and at peace. Habitual thought patterns, however, are serious addictions and take some de-toxing. These are stubborn and I can use that same stubbornness for healing my mind. I am on it ... for now ....
"As the mind, so the person; bondage or liberation are in your own mind.”~ Patanjali
The idea that my entire experience comes from my mind was a hugely freeing teaching when I first heard it (and let it in!). For that teaching not to turn into a sneaky new-age guilt trip I also have to Know that everything has always been FOR me. Step Two of our process over and over, no exceptions.
“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.” ~ Jim Rohn
This reminds me of a Buddhist adage that states that “If you are not happy now, you will never be.” This does not mean one does not have goals or desires, but if I cling to these things and subvert my attention to future rewards, life becomes a harrowing journey of struggle--a means to an end, which has no ending. Life is short; so if I am going to do anything, I am determined to find satisfaction in the process, and become a co-creator of well-being with my environment.
“Psychoanalysis is confession without absolution.” ~ G K Chesterton
I would slightly edit this to suggest that psychoanalysis CAN feel like confession without absolution. As one uncovers and gets in touch with what Carl Jung would describe as our shadow, or not-so-nice underpinnings, that stems from feelings of lack, distrust and fear, a certain heaviness can set in. To recognize that these dark-aspects are not who I am, inherently, is what sets me apart from my ‘creations’ and free from ontological guilt: ie. guilt-for-being.
Diederik Wolsak is program director at Choose Again