Friday, May 28, 2010

Elation and Joyous Exuberance

As we enter this amazing Memorial Day weekend, many good thoughts and intense, positive feelings can be felt by many. It is always good to remember those who have fallen. We find it highly touching when people fall for a good cause or for a cause involving their own community. That's what this weekend symbolizes for us, the celebration of the greater good and the greater community.

We find that on this first big weekend of "summer", the elation and euphoria zone of others can be dangerous to deadly. When we're in the midst of pain and suffering, we always think of others. It is very easy after years of practice to generate those thoughts of what other people are enduring, what relief other people require. Getting off the me plan.

It is extremely more difficult for us to think of others when we're flying high on the wave of the present moment. We're heading somewhere; we're feeling great; we're heading toward greatness: that's at least how it feels. That wave can be beautiful and beneficial, or it can be dangerous and destructive.

Getting out of this almost drug-induced state of being can be excrutiating for most. Why must we get off the wave? Why must we care about others when things are going so amazingly for ourselves?

It's when that wave hits against the rocky shore of reality; when that wave dies off and you find yourself in the middle of the ocean, seemingly by yourself; or when you fall into the wave and nearly drown. If we look outward during these times, we can see where we're heading and what's in our way. Then, we can use that position of high energy for the benefit and well-being of others.

We call this joyous exuberance. Joyous exuberance is joy directed outward from us, for others. We're not trying to hold onto the moment, because the moment is going to escape our grasp. Have you ever tried to hold onto a wave? It's not possible.

Why is it that when we're feeling great, we only want that greatness to continue? It comes from our ignorant view that the greatness comes from what we're doing and not who we are. We have greatness within us since our life began. That greatness is this life; it is a capacity within us all.

Oftentimes through our lives, we would feel so good with someone in our life. That goodness we feel isn't from that other person, it is actually ourselves that we can feel, maybe for the first time.

It's like walking through a nature park, seeing the trees, the sky, hearing the trickle of water coming down the creek. Those sensations make us feel good because they are wholesome and natural, just like us. It reminds us of the special opportunity we've been given with this life; that special opportunity is our life.

In the midst of elation and euphoria, we'll do our best to think of others, because that greatness is infinite. It can be used to unearth the greatness in everyone we meet. And it is forever a replenishable source.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Living in the Present, Recognizing the Past

When you live a genuine and sincere life, living within the present moment, it is more difficult to lose track of yourself. However, in the past we were more ignorant and certainly less mindful than we are today.

It's natural that we become confused when faced with any sort of historical trigger to those nearly forgotten and less aware encounters in our life. These are encounters we have feelings about but that are not coupled with intellectual or experiential data to confirm or deny those emotions.

This is very similar to taking a picture or a set of pictures and throwing it through a fan with sharpened blades. These blades are the karmic engines of our life. The blades of ignorance, misunderstanding and disattentiveness. These karmic blades shred through present experience.

It is quite difficult to see any whole picture from the result. You can get a sensation about the scattered pieces of memory, but it is never accurate and has minimal context.

Say you have two pictures of the same man. In one picture he's carrying a flower; the other he's carrying a knife. If you do not see what's in the man's hands, it's extremely difficult to ascertain his intentions or lack of intention. Both intention and lack of intention can be dangerous as well as productive.

People, just like ourselves, have varying levels of attention and awareness. This is the difference between being behind the wheel sober, drunk or road raging. Three possibilities, all potentials within this very moment.

We must slow the blades of our karmic engine. The goal would be to dismantle it altogether, but as long as we're alive, we're producing actions, having intentions and facing the results. That's what karma is. It's not a word, it's the natural cycle of action/result/action.

When we receive sensations from people, even those of genuine affection without any clue as to why, we must be aware of the disconnect from reality. What we're doing is holding onto an old, unclear idea or experience. It's our tragic tale or our fairy tale that we've written in our heads, shaken up with memories and emotions.

Considering that in those past moments we weren't very present, might we allow for the same confused reaction, adoration or guttural repulsion, from the object of our confusion? This is the aspiration of not allowing ourselves to get caught up in all our old ignorant ways as well as allowing other people to make a different choice today.

For all that we've been mistaken about and continue to be mistaken about, we must allow others the same working space. This is not about ignoring historical data about others, it's about realizing that we're all mistaken. The person we see before us today is not the same person from our memories. Today, this person may be more or less aware, more or less positive, more or less negative or has no intention at all.

If we're present right now, we won't allow ourselves to get carried away with the storylines in our head. We'll consider people to be the human beings that they indeed are, flawed, beautiful and full of any potential. They are, after all, just like us.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tackling the Disease and Disorder Model

Chronic syndromes and disorders seem to be taking over our human community. We certainly have had our share of these attached to us through our extensive journey through the medical system. There are many moving, dynamic parts to the disease and disorder model that is central to our current medical system which is at least loosely-linked to the welfare of the community.

The medical system is primarily a "for profit" industry. Let's put to the side, for the moment, the amount of hospitals and clinics that have been running in the red for years. The free market insists that this "for profit" model is necessary to inject efficiency and innovation in the system. We're not going to argue here against what is largely accepted and is the reality of our current situation.

Innovation is absolutely a critical component to the medical industry. We need new medications, new procedures as the physical threats to human beings continue to adapt and new threats immerge. This is also where we see the infusion of high costs associated with innovation. Somehow, those expensive innovations become the default choice by our doctors, even for medical issues that have been around for centuries.

The new class of syndromes and disorders are not based on a single-pointed problem. There are no absolute tests for most. Look at fibromyalgia. The "test" for this includes the physical touching of over 20 spots on the body. If you have a range of sensitive spots in those areas, they diagnosis you with fibromyalgia. At least that "test" isn't expensive, but we could be mistaken.

However, what is fibromyalgia? How do you rectify a problem with no single source? It's a blanket term for something that the medical community simply has no good answer. Certainly, you can go on some super expensive new medication that somehow alleviates a great deal of the symptoms, but what's the underlying problem?

Let's peer into the psychological field of study. You have your attention-class disorders, like Attentiion Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). We've all heard a great deal about how these are running rampant in our children. Oh yes, there's a test that involves answering many questions. Once again, there is not a single source to the problem. It's a blanket term for what medicine has few answers except for the application of many pills.

Let's qualify this discussion. These are real problems and real issues for many people. They are not just in their head or made up problems for most. It makes sense that anyone would look to others, especially medical professionals, for solutions to problems that seem overwhelming and that our community says to just get over it so nonchalantly and disrespectfully.

The "for profit" nature of the medical business demands innovation; patients demand immediate relief; companies want to make money. It's very logical why the system is set up in this way and why it costs so much.

A good deal of what's missing here is patience and understanding. Our bodies and our minds are dynamic systems, constantly undergoing change. We begin to experience the slightest discomfort and immediately seek to cover it up. How will we ever rectify the underlying issue if we cannot feel anything about it?

Pain and suffering are hallmarks of our human life. Even if you don't focus on pain and suffering, they still exist. If not for us, for members of our community. Cells still die; cells still divide and multiply. The key here is to focus not on the pain and suffering, but what that is trying to tell us about our bodies and our minds. Covering it up is certainly a large part of the problem. Treating something that is natural as foreign is very troubling to us, and this is what most people demand when seeking assistance from the medical community.

Discomfort is telling us something about what we're doing and what we have done. It's trying to tell us to take a closer look at our lives and how we're living it. We find this process full of joy and renewable energy. Instead of focusing on the pain and the suffering, the symptoms of ignorance, we make an attempt at understanding the true source of that pain and that suffering.

The process is what's important here. As long as we focus our minds on finding an answer or the source of what's going on right now, we have the chance and the opportunity to actually figure it out, root out the problem and move on with our lives, unencumbered. If all we do is cover up what is still there, another symptom will undoubtedly present itself in our daily life.

What I'm after are real solutions, not something you have to swallow everyday. I believe that mostly, the answers come from within because that's where the problem originates. The problem is ignorance. Covering up ignorance instead of dispelling it is a large reason why so many of us suffer incessantly everyday of our lives. I'm lucky to have left that dis-ease and dis-order model behind.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Traumatic Memories as Testament to our Ignorance

Our main ambition with this blog is for us to have a place to write and ferret out our ignorance. Who knows where we'll end up. Hell, we started talking about where feelings originate, and ended up in the middle of the oil spill.

We attempt to not get so caught up in having to do things a certain way or things having a certain outcome for us. That's how trauma exposes our ignorance. It makes it obvious that we've been mistaken all along.

These traumatic memories people are experiencing everywhere, yes, they can shake the very foundations of your life this day. What having patience gives us is knowledge and understanding that we will get through this. That we will see to it that we will get to the other side of this moment. It is, after all, just a moment bookshelfed by other moments.

Traumatic memories are being made aware to you because you're learning to have patience for yourselves. You want to get better, and this is the process to get there.

Traumatic memories are like toxins, stuck inside of ourselves. Very similar to doing something daily that we know is not so healthy for us, but yet we do it again and again and again. It takes much more than an intellectual understanding to make a change, but that's where the process begins to detoxify our life.

Be open to your good day

Interlinking Interaction/Our Role in the Oil Spill

While interacting with anyone or doing anything, it is important to acknowledge any feelings or thoughts, good, happy, angry or sad as your own. Those feelings emanate from within yourself.

Oftentimes, we meet someone and good, positive feelings come about for us. That person is only touching on those special bits of yourself. Those good feelings were always there. The same can be said of anger. No one can make you feel angry. We already have that capacity within us as we read these words.

Why should we consider this line of thinking? One of the highest forms of our ignorance is thinking that the answers and the problems are from outside of our life. Many people will disagree. For us this becomes a practical matter. Regardless of the truth, if we don't believe that the solution is within us, we're going to be miserable about what's happening in our life.

We at least have a role to play in everything that's taking place. There's not one part of the universe that isn't directly dependent on the rest of the universe' existence. Even the oil spill in the Gulf. We all have a role to play in what is taking place off the Gulf Coast.

If we've ever pumped gas, used plastics or anything that involves an engine that runs on oil or its byproducts, then we absolutely have a role. What products are not shipped somewhere at some point in this country? Very, very few are not. Take locally made or finished goods. Even those almost always have shipping involved at some point in their construction, finishing or sale.

We actually do believe that everything we experience in our life has gone through only one thing, and that is our own mind. So yes, absolutely, the problems and the solutions are within.

The point here is not to beat up on ourselves about the oil spill or a milk spill. Once a mistake has been made, the resulting mess is happening regardless of anyone and anything. If we feel that we do have a role to play from this moment forward, than we may change the direction that we're all heading. We clean up the milk now, or it'll stink later. If someone hasn't cleaned up the milk, do we just let it stink up our world?

Working with Negative and Manipulative People

"I really try to avoid people who are negative and manipulative.......just don't need that... "

I understand what you say about negative and manipulative people. The truth is you can never rid yourself of those people. Especially, in a city where there are people wherever you go and all around you, but also in rural communities or even living in the woods.

People are only negative and manipulative because they do not know any better. The key with working with negative and manipulative people is to not get caught up in their ignorance, their lack of self-knowledge. How do I do this? By getting rid of my attachment and expectation for these people to do any different.

People are manipulative because they think that you have something that they don't have, and they will do anything to get it. That's what truth can create in one's life. People trying to swoop in and tear it out for themselves. They do not see the truth as being within their life right this moment.

That is why we should be open with our current version of the truth, because it isn't truth at all. It's our best effort right this moment, and it's all we have to offer ourselves or anyone else. The only way to get at the truth is to ventilate it.

There are moments when it becomes problematic and even dangerous to work with negative and manipulative people. Recently, we had a severe short circuit of our approach. What happened was we attempted to run away from someone. In the act of running away, we neglected to consider what we were running towards. That's what happens when we get attached, we suffer. We could not handle someone being a human being, and we wanted to get away from that person.

In these more difficult moments, do not run. If you feel as if you must run, there's too much of yourself involved in what's going on with the person. Take a moment to realize that their issue is not your own. Sometimes, there are no answers for a person who is not open to answers. We must allow a person to do something different. If we do need to escape due to our incomplete understanding and patience, do not jump into the next available person or situation. Realize that we allowed ourselves to get caught up and not get caught up with someone or something different in the next moment.

Setting Out on the Path of Ignorance Ridding

The goal of our every moment is to rid ourselves of ignorance. We take this goal very seriously. However, we cannot allow ourselves to get caught up in outcomes for ourselves or for others.

We will use these tools in this pursuit:
  • human interaction
  • contemplation
  • investigation of current thoughts and feelings

Human Interaction

This will be one of the most fertile grounds for ignorance ridding. Our belief is that everything in our entire lives, what we've ever felt or thought, has gone through only one thing, and that one thing is our mind.

Through human interaction, we will see our more subtle forms of attachment and expectation for others. We only wish for others to not experience pain or suffering, and embrace the happiness that is with all of us right in this very moment.

We have discovered that we expect our interaction to benefit others. That is an ignorant view that says more about us than about the benefit we wish for other people. We do not have any answers for other people. People have all the answers, all the understanding they will ever need.

Therefore, we must have all the understanding within us right now to ultimately rid ourselves of ignorance. Our own ignorance is the only item that stands in the way of understanding.


Contemplation is going to be what we will do our best to expose here. Thinking and feeling these fuzzy ideas and sensations is wonderful. However, if those ideas and sensations are not productive, that must be exposed. Contemplation is our vehicle for exposure of ignorance; and having a correspondence with our own ideas and feelings is what contemplation is all about.

You will note that we often use plural pronouns. We are one entity, but this one entity has many contradicting ideas and feelings. We believe everyone experiences contradiction. Assist us in ferreting out what is ignorance-based contradiction from what is natural contradiction.

Investigation of Current Thoughts and Feelings

This does run parallel to contemplation and definitely involves human interaction. However, mostly this will occur away from this space, as we are not actively interacting with others. We will bring that investigation in its most raw form to this space. You will soon see how much ignorance we truly do have within us.