Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Being Relentless

Being relentless can play a critical role in transforming your life. The energy of relentlessness is useful in absolutely every moment of your day. We suggest starting with daily activities, the actions and experiences you have every single day of your life. There's a natural progression to the more difficult and the more delightful experiences as they happen with continued and relentless training in your day-to-day existence.

Relentlessly challenge your long-held views

This is the first step in living a relentless life. If we do not constantly challenge the old ways, how will anything in our life and community ever improve? We are bound to remain as mistaken and as stubborn as we've ever been, and if we do not continuously challenge all of our views, we will continue to be mistaken for the remainder of this life.

Sometimes, stubborness can be seen as being relentless. This is not the case. Relentlessly challenging your life truncates the negative impact of being overly stubborn. If you honestly engage in this process, it is impossible to hold onto any mistaken view.

Relentlessly utilize your belief and value system to everything you do

Our belief and value systems leaves fingerprints on everything we do and everyone we encounter. If our beliefs are sound and just, there is no fear of negative repercussions from using that belief structure in everthing that we do. If we do not apply belief to our everyday life, than it really isn't a belief we hold at all.

This is where relentlessly challenging our views plays a critical role. Our beliefs are changing constantly. The only way to ferret out what is truth and what is ignorance is to take what we believe and value and put it into immediate use. The outcomes will speak for themselves. Taking a longer view of outcomes is also critical. Sometimes, momentary pain and loss yield a more stable and less painful life.

Relentlessly explore frustrating people and circumstances for understanding and compassion, for yourself and for others

As long as we are alive, we will encounter people and circumstances that are frustrating. The frustration really says more about ourselves than the people that evoke that feeling. No one is out here on their own. We all have a role in how people behave and what people do. Many circumstances and people have led everybody you meet to be doing and saying and feeling the way that they do.

Finding some understanding for all people can at first seem exhausting, but the more we attempt to find understanding, the less likely we are to become frustrated and angry when encountering less than ideal situations and less than friendly people. We're still going to be losing our cool for countless days, weeks, months and years, but we must start somewhere. Otherwise, we'll just be reacting the same way til our end.

Developing compassion for others has always been easy for us, because we have suffered. Anyone that frustrates you, also frustrates other people. Having people frustrated with you usually creates less than ideal reactions from those people. Think of all you've said or done in the heat of anger. How many people that you've expressed that anger toward have held onto the memory of that anger the next time they see you?

Imagine living in a world with all this negative, angry energy being lobbed back and forth everywhere a person finds themselves. That's an incredibly painful place to live and breathe. Maybe, we can do something different. Instead of continuing to react to angry people with anger or frustration, we breathe some compassion and understanding into the situation. We'll certainly benefit from this. Possibly, the angry person may benefit as well.

Relentlessly find patience for yourself and others

We must have patience for ourselves. That's the place to start with patience. Our entire lives we've been living a different kind of life. Now, we're getting involved in our life. It is not going to be like flipping a switch and all of sudden everything in our life is wonder and delight. It is a long process to transform your life. So please, have some patience for yourself.

We will get angry, we will get upset, we will experience pain and suffering. This is a journey, a process. There's no one answer, there never has been. If we keep at it, applying patience at every step, we'll begin to see progress in our life and improvements in our community. When we make misteps or mistakes, don't be so hard on yourself. Don't be hard on others either.

Relentlessly analyze the outcomes of your actions, thoughts and intentions

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Returning to the Seat of Joy

Don't you see how one by one
Death comes to claim your fellow men?
And yet you slumber on so soundly,
Like a buffalo beside its butcher
No Time to Lose: A Timely Guide to the Way of the Bodhisattva, Pema Chodron

We feel as if the universe has been screaming at us because we have wasted so much of this blessed opportunity that we call our life. Despite our countless misteps, we remain here and still maintain the capacity to be effectively meaningful. Yet, we have no lasting momentum in this enterprise. A few consecutive moments, here and there, with a great void in-between.

What we desire to do is to consistently and always truly see others. Not what they're saying or doing or even how they feel, but what is covered up by all those words, acts and feelings. It has been a continuous struggle of late to truly listen to anyone, especially ourselves. Today, we may have seen a small bit of progress. It was the state of joy we've kept with us since waking up that was the difference-maker.

At least we're struggling to do this, right? We still have a will to work against the common nuisance that is our life. Isn't that the proper answer to the frustrations of our day?

I'm beginning to disagree. We must learn to let go of this struggle and work with what we're given in this very moment, instead of trying to make life look or feel different than the reality that it is. The way it appears will change, just as the way we feel about it will change. There's no stopping the constant flux of thoughts and emotions, so we must move out of this fluctuating clump of matter and experience that we call me or we.

We need to learn how to interact despite the mistaken thinking, despite our emotional responsive nature. It's maintaining a state of joy. Joy is the energy of being open to new information without getting attached to the information. It's about enjoying whatever it is that's happening to us or around us; not controlling anything or anyone.

Any control we imagine we do have is an illusion.
None of what we will ever do will be anything but an attempt to deny that illusion.

We are letting go of the struggle.
We are letting go of the outcomes.
We are letting go of the illusion.
We are pure joy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Finding Blockages, Beginning the Removal

As our struggle continues, we use today to take a refresher in what we would think would be quite fresh thoughts over the last two months. Reading our words again, everyone of them, it's like peering into someone else, peering into something good. This is probably the most odd sensation I've felt in quite some time.

The consternation we can feel on our face is clearly indicative of confusion. That these are our recent words is astounding. I'm wondering out loud, but we can touch on what we were attempting to outline. Of course, since we were the author, we have a direct connection to getting what we were saying.

Somewhere in this process of understanding, there's a distance we feel from everything and everyone and that we really are in a dream-like state, filled with illusions and delusions of our own making. It is this leap of acceptance that we must focus our mind upon, ferreting out the expectation we have for anyone else understanding what we're doing here.

We're keeping at it.

The Universe, Life and Pain

Life mimics the universe that has been created here. Blazing suns, beautiful planets, deadly atmosphere, dead rocks. We are all these things and have these things within our physical bodies right now. In each of us is the entirety of the universe. We are the universe. Never run away from this fact. The elements present at the beginning of the universe are within each of us. What we choose to exude and exemplify is our choice, our role in the universe of man. What will I choose in this moment?

Then what is all this pain we feel? Life is painful because our bodies are setup to fire up upon interaction with our environment. Imagine if all this push/pull energy is redirected, becoming a blazing sun, full of warmth and vitality, natural beauty, yet dangerous and deadly. We can experience the gambit of human emotion and not be carried away nor stay still. We can light up life right here, right now, or we can cover up that light.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Seeing the Real Enemy as Our Own Ignorance

Do we see people as good or bad? Either way, we require them to be different than they are today, and that is what creates our suffering mostly. How unfair, how painful a world we carry with us and share so freely with reckless abandon.

Amazing how we light up for those we think we know or want to know and do nothing for those we do not even see! The people we've had more difficult interaction with we shun, or worse yet attack or sabotage.

We need to let go of these fairy-tale stories. Might we not get so caught up when truly terrible things are said to anyone, especially ourselves? Any wounds caused by words are self-inflicted, afterall. People that know themselves are impervious to such disrespect done in words and name alone.

How can any assistance on the verbal aggressor ever correct the real source of the issue for the perceived victim? These aggressors note personal weakness and exploit it to control their subject. Should we not thank them for exposing this for us with no physical harm befalling our body?

It is difficult to listen to someone belittle or demean someone to whom we have a personal connection. However, we are not always going to be there to fend off these sort of attacks. Might a better long-term strategy be the rooting out of the issue within our friend?

It is impossible to control what people say without stomping on their personal freedom. The only way to exact total control is through physical control, and then we become the aggressor. If these verbal aggressors do not receive the reaction they are after, most likely they'll move on to another student of life.

Regardless, we can be there to soothe the exposed old wounds of our friends, and find a way to heal the weakness inside. The weakness is our own ignorance, and ignorance is not what any of us are.

The Illusion of Hope

Part of the trauma recovery process involves renegotiating the decision-making and decision-acting processes. Re-establishing confidence in navigating outcomes, both short-run and long-run, as well as positive, negative and neutral is also imperative during recovery.

Somehow, those embers of hope, called beat and breath, stay alive in us, despite all the evidence to the contrary. Our existence is not a permanent condition, and never has been. These embers of hope are an illusion that always has a fitting end with our death.

The cycle of hope is so alluring, so moving as it ebbs and flows through our day. It is hope that is the cause for despair. Hope is what keeps us stuck in this idea of some superior self that somehow always lives to fight another day, until there are no more days to live. This is much like the heroic character in a video game, able to find new life, again and again. We're unnplugging the damned box.

The idea of a self or a soul, that somehow we are whole on our own, is the great concern. Not looking at life as a whole, then, is a worthy goal. Our life is a product of all that has come before and all that will come after us. It's momentary by nature, unmoving by consciousness.

This is not a doom and gloom approach to life. Actually, if we did not have the capacity to change and expire, what in this world would move us in any direction but our self and our own demise and to hell with everyone and everything?

Thankfully, we are not forever. Thankfully, we are able to see the false ideal that hope offers. Thankfully, we can do something different today.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Grappling with Personal Trauma

We have had so many traumatic interactions with others in our lifetime. We've seen ourselves through the post-trauma haze to see that the trauma-inducer is as much a victim as we have been and that we played a superior role in what happened and how we reacted.

Not many times after our most recent trauma have we seen or thought about the guy as being an evil-doer or a terrible person. We've actually found a great deal of conmpassion for the man. How awful a life it must have been to be capable of such violence on another being; what repercussions that person must have experienced from his actions on others.

Our problem is with ourselves. It is our inherent lack or momentary loss of judgement that allowed this assault to take place. Our utter frustration with grappling with post-trauma human interaction is what we're most upset about today.

We can never dictate the conditions or the results of what we do and where we are. We can only dictate how we react and how we conduct ourselves. We've been experiencing lots of internal dialogue during our personal time with others. Mostly, this dialogue is wondering when the person will snap and attack us and wondering if this person is being honest and upfront even a little bit with us.

We need to begin redirecting our internal visualizations in a less slanted way so that we once again can openly, honestly and genuinely interact with people. The key is to not get caught up in this for or against anyone attitude.

Neutral reactions are just as dangerous, as then we're not seeing people as the human beings that they indeed are, capable of both the good and the terrible. Also, treating people as if they do not matter does nothing to touch on their basic goodness that is the hallmark of all human life.

Unraveling this mess of attachment and expectation, for and against is a worthy effort. It may take all or more of our life to make the changes permanent and believable in the long-run. That's what trauma does for us; it shakes up our pre-judgements, exposes our ignorance and lack of proper discernment and humbles us. We can hurt, we do hurt and so do all beings.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Life Hurts, Mind Acts

My whole life hurts today. Body, heart, mind. I really have no answers for myself any longer. Being around and interacting with others seems to help my immediate experience, but the affect has no lasting power.

I feel such a heavy weight of desperation. The despair and hopelessness are truly overwhelming. I seem to have given up on this life, which seems very odd because our wish is to seek enlightenment. That objective seems to be obscured by what we're living side by side with this day.

It's highly entertaining to us that all these outside people remark on how we see the good in everything, everyone and every situation. Why can we not see that about ourselves?

It seems obvious at this moment that we'll never get any understanding from anyone else. So, we're going to find this understanding from within ourselves. Our mind is the only way we experience this life, this day. Our mind is all there really is of this life. That is the truth. So, the answer and the problem lay within.

We begin to see the workability of our situation. It was our fundamental ignorance that led us to this point. Our ignorance provides the path in which to rid ourselves of ignorance. We only suffer because we are ignorant. Give us the courage to let go of what's been done, deal with what is and walk mindfully into tomorrow.