|Posted on November 12, 2014 at 9:50 PM|
So the pendulum swings, back and forth. For some the movement is faster and more extreme, while for others there is a slow and steady pace. Myself personally, my pendulum once moved with unruly force. I struggled greatly with the passions that were within me as a young person. It seemed my emotions were extremely high, and I was very sensitive to all manner of exterior stimuli. It has taken some time and great effort to manage these powerful waves of force within. Having a rather adventurous spirit and a very inquisitive and brave mind and soul, I have many a time been lead down whimsical paths; the sort less traveled. In many ways these experiences harvested great inner wisdom, often as a result of great folly and hard knock lessons. The knock often being my head as it hit a wall or dead end of sorts. Having both exposed myself to and been exposed to; these more colorful moments of tragedy, sorrow, love, lust, pain, and delirium; turning towards balance was extremely difficult for me in the beginning and still on some level remains to be a challenge.
Some are born with this proclivity towards excess and others have learned it later as a go-to mechanism to cover inner conflicts; whatever the case may be whether it be an expression or for some repression, the shift from these tendencies can be extremely challenging and uncomfortable. Often times on a subconscious level the expectancy of these highs or lows can create a hare trigger mechanism within that will on a subtle and often unseen manner create a situation apparently on the exterior to return to this familiar extreme. Many speak of self sabotage and for many this occurs without even being aware of it. Perhaps subconsciously choosing situations that will bring about the very results that will provide the trigger for the inducement of these sensations. For instance, a person prone to nervousness and anxiety will find situations to provoke these behaviors subconsciously because it is the perceived state of equilibrium for that individual. It may seem odd to be in a position where nervousness does not exist for a long time and that in itself may serve as the catalyst for more.
It is almost as if the default setting for many in this cycle of neurosis, is neurosis. The behavior, whether it is: depression, melencholy, nervousness, anger, impulsive consumptions etc. over time becomes the norm. After repeated patterns of behavior deepen in their mental grooves, the concept of center has shifted to this extreme place on the emotional number line. It is like drawing a chart with x,y, z coordinates the center point of the graph does not need to be at zero. This is the same case, in some ways many people are set slightly to one quadrant of behavior or the other. Finding balance takes a great pull or a conscious shift, because the natural homeostasis of the person has been set elsewhere. To satiate the naysayers... I will say that in many cases a slight skew is nice and adds to ones self definition and personality, that is if you value individuality over transcendence. For those on the yogic path or many of the paths of humility in the East, certainly the appraisal of individuality is not so important as it is here in the West. It is for this reason that many stay trapped in a paradoxical state of limbo, over justification of the behaviors as part of ones´unique personality and then self doubt over whether or not this identity really makes sense in terms of ones evolution.
Ideally one will evolve over time. These evolutions will not necessarily be grand nor extreme, sometimes it is necessary to make bold leaps. However, the bold leaps forward tend to come with the necessary gentle subsidence of the pendulum swing back to a more stable center. This is often times the case with drug addiction. Those who like myself, have suffered from extreme drug addiction at one time know that the return to normal is a complex situation. Half the mind still questioning; normal, stable and such perceived fictitious contemplations and the other half of oneself knowing that the continuation of this negative spiral will culminate in the prompt and miserable end of life. The dance between these places is challenging. Once the leap is made to stop and change direction, the work only continues to advance. The challenge of finding a new center and regulating the storms of emotions within requires great perseverance and an open mind. The methods and tools contained within are in serious need of repair and refinishing. Many not even certain of what tools to use. In these cases the pendulum swings wildly and it takes great effort to slow it down; only then can one begin to shift the paradigm on the graph of existence.
Or, perhaps in the case of the abused woman who long suffered the blows to her self esteem and self worth. She may have spent years now in repair and reconstruction and have left behind this legacy of physical beatings and abusive pain long ago, but still have a deep subconscious misalignment. She may subconsciously still feel that a passionate relationship needs some extreme sensations in order to be defined as real love or compatibility. She now knows that the hitting and name calling are wrong but may still settle or expect extreme shows of affection and sadness to define true interest in her and the relationship. The pendulum is still swinging thought not as wildly as before. There may be a subconscious tendency to create issues or problems, drama or anxieties because peace in a relationship still remains a foreign and odd center to hold. It may take a great deal of time before she may be able to live in peace without distrust. the pendulum must learn to operate at a peaceful place, one devoid of the extreme dramatic interludes relationships may still be characterized by somewhere in her world view.
Perhaps you have never been in this type of situation and feel this article has nothing to do with you. But pause for a moment! You may be unaware that it is possible that even your own balanced pendulum may still be skewed ever so slightly and the graph of your soul may be set a bit more to one side than the other. It is said that the likes and dislikes of man are a great deceiver. In the East and the cultures of great compassion one must be willing to shed the particularities of this and that. So perhaps there is a way to evolve your character even further and to live with greater self mastery. Unless we have arrived at pure peace daily there is still work to do, and the pendulum of life is still swinging from one side to the other. Good luck in your introspection and inventory. It is great to penetrate the veil and see beyond ones perceptions of truth.
|Posted on November 12, 2014 at 9:30 PM|
Upon the spiritual path there comes the time where the philosophy must become pragmatic, grounded in actions which reflect those ideals which have been set as intentions. This is where the walk reflects the talk. This is where we have the opportunity to use the principles and put them to good use. It has been said that faith without works is dead, and here is the great turning point. How can the ideas and values we hold, be authentically expressed in our daily lives and day to day affairs?
A measured step with mindfulness is now called upon, and reactions must shift to a new dimension and become responses, or rather a response suited for the call to greater integrity in the moment. The default patterns must now shift to steps taken with honest reflection and follow a higher design. This is where the real work becomes manifest. Intentions are the first step, but do not become real until they are actually lived.
The words we speak and the dialogues we have with others must come from a new place. Not from nervous vacillations of the insecure mind driven by the senses and our fears but by wisdom and courage. Wisdom is our knowledge made real with physical practice. This is why yoga is such a wondrous tool. Yoga begins with an intention and through time we learn to cultivate this intention and make it live through our breath and right thinking. This is where the soul becomes disciplined to act with integrity.
Merely setting an intention but not following through, while a great leap forward from debased thoughts, is a crawl in comparison to the tai chi of life that we are called to practice. The deeper connection of thoughts, to action, to mastery; is a path that can only be taken with true mindfulness. In the beginning we wobble, we fall, we slip and backslide to previous untrained mannerisms and behaviors. By the mid day of the path we begin to vacillate between mastery and sloppiness, discipline and laziness. Upon the later hours of the day of life we come to a place of measured movement; a place in our evolution where value and measure become important methods of our energetic distribution. It is like the baby snake who does not know how to control his venom, so too we are we as we grow and learn to use our power.
We are responsible for our actions and deeds, we must be accountable for that which we create in this life. The way we wield our spiritual energy is our responsibility. Measured control of the raw energy we possess is necessary to live responsibly, it is a rite of spiritual passage to learn this great metaphysical truth. Once learned and known, we grow to the next place of learning: how to grow this power and transmit it and then to transmute negative forces or vibrations which make their way towards us from outer sources.
It is said in mythology of the Buddah that when he walked his aura was felt for miles around. A subtle shift was felt way before his physical self arrived to his destination. This is the craft of right use of spiritual energy and power. In Christianity many Christians speak of the miracles of Jesus, a truly ascended master, who was able to cure the sick and heal the wounded, cast out demons and perform great works of energetic prowess. We too, despite our infancy upon the path, are called to move towards this place of self realization and actualization. In Dale Carnigis How to Win Friends and Influence People, he speaks of methods of behavior to garner greater love and admiration from others by the use of diplomacy and altruistic methods of social conduct. These measured steps of behavior and decorous actions are part of the path of wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
Honesty and integrity are paramount in terms of our evolution as human beings. These concepts are sacred in their vibration, and are as boundless as numbers in the way in which they speak to people of all cultures and races. This is a great step to begin to take. Honesty and refrain from lying to others, is a powerful way to build spiritual power and clean ones energy field and open the door for others. Integrity, or the realization through action of ones word is critical to our ability to live a more fulfilling life. Integrity stems from the Latin adjective integer which means whole or complete. This wholeness or completion comes from adherence to moral and ethical principles, and while each culture has a variety of customs and variations, at the heart of humanity there are certain behaviors or qualities which are valued in a person and that deem one to have integrity. Integrity is soundness of moral character; honesty.
We must be accountable for our actions, and our actions if we hope for greater inner peace, must be firmly rooted in honesty. Honesty must first be held within, for there are many who are incapable of being honest with themselves; a trait so often found in delirious addiction to sense pleasures or desires. The veil of delusion within us may be very hard to see in the beginning, it may be easy to mislead oneself to believe that what is unhealthy for oneself is good and vice versa. So often we find this derailment of integrity rooted in the hypnosis of worldly desires. I too, have found myself so transfixed on the exterior that I have neglected the internal truth. In my quest for love on this planet I have found myself so lured and tempted by the dream and desire of love that I could not see it was the furthest thing from me at the time, despite my great hope to make it so. Honesty with oneself is a key to the ability of getting real, real enough to be a person of grounded integrity and honor.
So next time you are in your yoga class, set your intention…but then make your intention real by manifesting it through correct behavior in your day to day affairs. It will take the breath to bring you to the present, from here then pause and look…see where you really are and then act from a place of integrity and honor.
|Posted on November 12, 2014 at 9:25 PM|
Zen and the Art of True Love Maintenance
Much of the methods for love we have learned are based upon the need for give and take. We have a conditional love that is fueled by the ego, love that is based on the receipt of certain things in order to continue. Without the satisfaction of certain prerequisites and quotas our giving begins to wane in the face of outer deficits. When our needs or expectations are not met we are often angry and feel dejected. Fears of unrequited love and being the fool, loom in our minds and provoke deep seated fears of betrayal and rejection. The awful feeling of being codependent to an abusive partner is real, a fear heavily promoted by our society. No one wants to be a doormat or a doorstop.
But sometimes these requests and requirements can prevent us from ever having a fulfilling relationship with anyone. Many times our wish list is too great and the burden is placed more on the other party than on our own actions. This is a great problem and at its heart the downfall of a lasting relationship. It is easier to abandon ship than to ride out the storm. Many quickly jump to sea and find themselves later marooned on a desert island, left alone with the characteristics that may have aided in drawing the initial disaster into their lives.
Relationships are about being better stewards over the love we have before us. How often do we see serial daters, quick to find fault in each partner they pick, often times repeating again and again some similar behavior which is conveniently blamed on the other party. Had they been better navigators of their love ship, perhaps they could have ridden the storm or better calculated the impending signs of trouble. It may be that in the selection of the course or maintenance of the ship and its sails, somewhere care was not placed in the process. This extra attention, could have made the difference. Love is a daily effort, a minute or rather moment by moment endeavor. It requires great inner strength and mindfulness. True presence and awareness is required for true love to flourish.
When walking the path of love there are many turning points and guide posts. There are many ports and places to stop along the way. Being mindful during the process is helpful in determining ones true allegiance to the journey. One can change direction at any of these bench marks. Often what happens is that the signs of neglect or wear and tear are ignored or not attended to in a productive manner. Rushing to get tasks done or to quickly solve problems creates a pending disaster which leads to a growing weakness that eventually serves as the breaking point. To approach the maintenance with a hand of a master craftsman is the secret to being a better steward over ones love. The master is at peace with all the aspects of the process of maintenance, even the more challenging aspects that are the keystones of growth and greater mastery.
To approach love as a work of art, as the maintenance of a prized ship or vessel, is to be present and alive. Like a new baby puppy, who you love to feed and bathe and even reprimand for its silly antics; there is an art here, an art of love. Compassion for the follies and weaknesses of the beloved, understanding and acceptance of the challenges, a gentle hand that becomes more skilled with each mindful touch and adjustment; this is the true path of mastery in the realm of love.
Being a sailor myself I know there is a fine art in the craft of sailing a ship. There is a beautiful silent connection and feeling when both work together, and when making it back to shore after foul weather and storms. This is a bond of love and great depth. This is the way of true love.
Work with your beloved, learn them, feel them, listen to the sounds and learn to move in sync. Harmony comes with patience and open-mindedness. The ability to keep centered and stay steadfast and true despite any odds. A labor of love. Love as a practice, like meditation or yoga. Love as an art like painting or music, a developing evolution. This is the zen of love.