OF ALL THE  “NOT ENOUGHNESS”

OF ALL THE  “NOT ENOUGHNESS”

What if the MOST RADICAL form of ACTIVISM is LOVING THE SHIT OUT OF OURSELVES ?

We feel we are time-poor, when someone cuts in line before us, asks us one extra question, requires us to do a bit more work, when the alarm wakes us up in the morning, wicked enemy, here to rob us of our comfort and time.

We are space-poor, when someone is eyeing our seat on the bus, squeezes closer at a public event, our neighbour’s tree branches are just coming in a bit too far over the fence, the car parked next to ours is slightly too close to the line, trying to rob us of our rightful space.

Maybe most of all, we are love-poor, for ourselves. We somehow tricked ourselves into believing, that because we never got the support, nourishment, love and affection we so much needed as a child, it left a seemingly big hole inside us, locking our emotional fragility at a certain age, we somehow never grew past, frozen in time as if the sunrays never reached our little heart’s grain, leaving it infertile.

Of all the not ENOUGHNESS, we chose to believe that because of that, we are unworthy, never enough, never satisfied, never pacified, never at peace, not lovable.
So we crave and roam, beggars for little crumbles of attention, appreciation, validation, a kind word, a smile, someone showing interest. We settle for living as beggars, always at the mercy of someone out there, to dose or decide what and how much we get.

How can we ever TRUST and receive the LOVE of another, who shows up, as if by miracle, to gift us what we didn’t get, when the bottomless pit remains, well hidden and drowned in a sea of distractions and cravings, when we live in the deep conviction we don’t deserve to be happy, to be cherished?

What if the MOST RADICAL ACTIVISM WE CAN ENGAGE IN IS BY ADDRESSING THAT?

Of all the not ENOUGHNESS we settle for NUMBNESS. The overwhelming lack inside is so scary, we would rather do anything but look at it, and so we enslave ourselves to seek constant distraction from it, prisoners of our own demise.

Of all the NOT ENOUGHNESS we settle for never enough oscillations between FEARS and HOPES. Thrown at the mercy of circumstances, repeating the same patterns and expecting a different outcome. Getting aggravated when we don’t get the lolly pop, and craving the next one before we have even finished the one in our mouth, because, well – it’s never enough.

What if, TODAY, we choose to give ourselves everything we ever needed in the places we were never truly met?

ENOUGH Patience, to see us through our own despair.

ENOUGH TRUST, knowing things change moment by moment, THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

ENOUGH COURAGE, to recognize it, to be with it without going into addictive distractions.FB_IMG_1543065792764

ENOUGH KINDNESS, to let it go – not holding on to it and not trying to repress it.

What if, WE GAVE OURSELVES ALL THE LOVE WE EVER NEEDED AND MET ALL THE PLACES THAT SCARE US WITH A GENTLE SMILE?

WHAT IF TODAY WE GIVE RISE TO GRATITUDE FOR WHAT WE HAVE?

WHAT IF THAT’S ENOUGH?

WHAT IF we reclaim our FREEDOM by not expecting someone from the outside to decide on how we feel, thrive, and if the sunrays reach our heart?

What if, everything we ever needed is RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW?

What if the MOST RADICAL ACTIVISM WE CAN ENGAGE IN IS BY LOVING THE SHIT OUT OF OURSELVES AND SHOWING THE NEXT GENERATIONS THAT WE CAN SELF- LIBERATE AND RECLAIM OUR SANITY, INTEGRITY AND WHOLESOMNESS by BEING OUR OWN HEART WARRIORS?

IF THERE WAS ANY OFFENCE TO TAKE, LETS TAKE OFFENCE WITH ALL THE SELF SABOTAGE,
AND INFUSE IT WITH ALL THE LOVE WE CAN!

OUR CHILDREN DON’T LEARN THROUGH WORDS,
THEY LEARN THROUGH LIVING EXAMPLES,
WHO LIGHT THE PATH TO AN AUTHENTIC AND WHOLESOME BEING BY DOING THE HARD WORK.

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Courage and Honesty

opening-the-body-opening-the-heartShort excerpt from the Shamatha (calm abiding) Meditation Retreat with JKR

”To summarize our whole shamatha-practice:

TAKING OFF THE MASK!

We are constantly spinning this web, creating the mask of deception.

We don’t do it because we are bad or nasty, but because we are soft, tender and gentle.

And the flipside of that tenderness is feeling insecure, and so we cover up.

Our mind is a master conman, and our shamatha-practice is about removing that cover up.

There’s no room for a spin doctor. Following the breath is just a way of taking off the make up.

We are sensitive, so we protect ourselves, but it is actually blindfolding the awareness.

Shamatha wants to provoke that sensitivity. Our whole life is designed for us to slough. We have couches and deckchairs, we can always curl up.

Shamatha wants us to do the opposite. It makes us not hide. ”

JKR 2019

These words reminded me so much of my favourite passage in The Path of the Warrior by Trungpa:

 

“Imagine that you are sitting naked on the ground with your bare bottom touching the earth. Since you are not wearing a scarf or hat, you are also exposed to heaven above. You are sandwiched between heaven and earth: a naked man or woman sitting between heaven and earth.

Earth is always earth. The earth will let anyone sit on it, and earth never gives way. It never lets you go — you don’t drop off this earth and go flying through outer space. Likewise, sky is always sky; heaven is always heaven above you. Whether it is snowing or raining or the sun is shining, whether it is daytime or nighttime, the sky is always there. In that sense, we know that heaven and earth are trustworthy.

The logic of basic goodness is very similar. When we speak of basic goodness, we are not talking about having allegiance to good and rejecting bad. Basic goodness is good because it is unconditional, or fundamental. It is there already, in the same way that heaven and earth are there already. We don’t reject our atmosphere. We don’t reject the sun and the moon, the clouds and the sky. We accept them. We accept that the sky is blue; we accept the landscape and the sea. We accept highways and buildings and cities. Basic goodness is that basic, that unconditional. It is not a “for” or “against” view, in the same way that sunlight is not “for” or “against.” . . .

The same principle applies to our makeup as human beings. We have passion, aggression, and ignorance. That is, we cultivate our friends, and we ward off our enemies, and we are occasionally indifferent. Those tendencies are not regarded as shortcomings. They are part of the natural elegance and equipment of human beings. We are equipped with nails and teeth to defend ourselves against attack, we are equipped with a mouth and genitals to relate with others, and we are lucky enough to have complete digestive and respiratory systems so that we can process what we take in and flush it out. Human existence is a natural situation, and, like the law and order of the world, it is workable and efficient. In fact, it is wonderful; it is ideal. . . .

So the first step in realizing basic goodness is to appreciate what we have. But then we should look further and more precisely at what we are, where we are, who we are, when we are, and how we are as human beings, so that we can take possession of our basic goodness. It is not really a possession, but nonetheless we deserve it.

Basic goodness is very closely connected to the idea of bodhicitta in the Buddhist tradition. Bodhi means “awake” or “wakeful” and cittameans “heart,” so bodhicitta is “awakened heart.” Such awakened heart comes from being willing to face your state of mind. That may seem like a great demand, but it is necessary. You should examine yourself and ask how many times you have tried to connect with your heart, fully and truly. How often have you turned away, because you feared you might discover something terrible about yourself? How often have you been willing to look at your face in the mirror without being embarrassed? How many times have you tried to shield yourself by reading the newspaper, watching television, or just spacing out? That is the sixty-four-thousand-dollar question: How much have you connected with yourself at all in your whole life?

The sitting practice of meditation . . . is the means to rediscover basic goodness, and, beyond that, it is the means to awaken this genuine heart within yourself. When you sit in the posture of meditation, you are exactly the naked man or woman that we described earlier, sitting between heaven and earth. When you slouch, you are trying to hide your heart, trying to protect it by slumping over. But when you sit upright but relaxed in the posture of meditation, your heart is naked. Your entire being is exposed — to yourself, first of all, but to others as well. So, through the practice of sitting still and following your breath as it goes out and dissolves, you are connecting with your heart. By simply letting yourself be as you are, you develop genuine sympathy toward yourself.

When you awaken your heart in this way, you find, to your surprise, that your heart is empty. You find that you are looking into outer space. What are you? Who are you? Where is your heart? If you really look, you won’t find anything tangible and solid. Of course, you might find something very solid if you have a grudge against someone or you have fallen possessively in love. But that is not awakened heart. If you search for awakened heart, if you put your hand through your rib cage and feel for it, there is nothing there except for tenderness. You feel sore and soft, and if you open your eyes to the rest of the world, you feel tremendous sadness. This kind of sadness doesn’t come from being mistreated. You don’t feel sad because someone has insulted you or because you feel impoverished. Rather, this experience of sadness is unconditioned. It occurs because your heart is completely exposed. There is no skin or tissue covering it; it is pure, raw meat. Even if a tiny mosquito lands on it, you feel so touched. Your experience is raw and tender and so personal.

The genuine heart of sadness comes from feeling that your nonexistent heart is full. You would like to spill your heart’s blood, give your heart to others. . . . This experience of sad and tender heart is what gives birth to fearlessness. Conventionally, being fearless means that you are not afraid or that, if someone hits you, you will hit him back. However, we are not talking about that street-fighter level of fearlessness. Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others.


From Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, by Chögyam Trungpa; © 1984 by Chögyam Trungpa. Reprinted by arrangement with The Permissions Company, Inc., on behalf of Shambhala Publications, Inc., www.shambhala.com.

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How the Feminine grows – 3 Stages of Growth and Intimacy

I keep coming back to the question how can we use our relationship on the path, as an instrument for shedding light on and transforming areas that need our attention, areas which are holding us back from being love.

I don’t believe that notions such as “perfect partner” (or relationship) are serving us as they are deeply rooted in duality. Perfection and imperfection co-exist as the universe is expressing itself through everything and everyone. I believe we find ourselves blown by karmic winds (read ” causes and conditions” if it’s easier for you to relate to).

I do believe in self-responsability and the difference it makes to the quality and depth of our interaction with others. In this sense I would define spirituality as any tool or approach one uses in order to transform and transgress personal issues and dynamics, on the path of becoming and authentic and happy indivudual.

In these reflections, I have stumbled upon inspiring thoughts by David Deida which I would like to share here. In particular, the three stages of how the feminine evolves.

The first stage can be simply summed up in : “I need a man, to be happy, to be whole. When things go wrong, I fall apart”. The second stage can be summed up by “I don’t need a man to be whole. I am strong enough by myself. I don’t need a man to be happy”. Building up on the second, we reach the third stage “being with a man opens me up more than I can open myself to Love and the Divine. I don’t need one, I can take care of myself, but I find that certain men, or *A* man, opens me wide without boundaries MORE often, more consistently than I do on my own”.

As a woman, you may find yourself growing through three stages in relationship to the masculine force. First, you feel this force as something outside of you, something that is more powerful than you. You look to another as your savior, whether he is a husband, therapist, teacher, or close friend. You may find yourself depending on his guidance, support, and knowledge, afraid to lose it, worried that he might leave you for another woman he finds more attractive. You may find yourself playing the helpless victim to his ways, either grateful for his wisdom or tolerating his abuse – or both.

Eventually, you may grow into a second stage, where you “come into your own.” That is, you discover and cultivate your own masculine directionality and consciousness. You may start a new career or pursue higher education. You learn to make your own decisions, independent of a man or other outside influence. You refuse to be a victim – but you also miss the pleasure of opening to a man’s loving presence. You become more whole and autonomous as a person, but as a side effect of guarding yourself, you also feel less fulfilled sexually and emotionally.

The third stage begins when you know that you don’t depend on a man, that you can make your own decisions and guide your own life, and yet you are tired of keeping up your guard; you want to relax in your feminine body and emotions. You want to stop protecting your heart. You want to swoon into the bliss of utter surrender, spiritually, emotionally and sexually.

In the first stage, you seek this masculine force in a man on whom you could depend. In the second stage, you seek to depend on yourself for this masculine force. In the third stage, you don’t depend on others or yourself: You practice opening directly and being permeable to the ever-present force of divine masculine consciousness itself.

It’s through eachother’s deepening and yearning for opening of our heart that we grow into the realization that we can go deeper by staying with each other.

The third stage part of you aches to be taken, to be taken open to the divine. You should only accept men at this stage, the 3rd stage, who are willing to open together with you (unlike men at the first stage who will only want to have sex with you). We need to discipline ourselves to only offer us to men who are worthy and are willing to open us to the divine, who are equally committed to the same purpose. Keep offering that depth of claim. To be claimed by the deep masculine consciousness. Don’t settle for anything less than that depth of consciousness.

The entire realm of manifestation is sexual in a certain way, the never changing pervading consciousness is masculine and the ever changing magical display of everything that appears is feminine (individuals can identify more with one or the other). Right now your consciousness is having sex, merging with everything around it. It’s doing it. That’s why sex is so interesting, because it’s re-enacting the union of the masculine and feminine. And the more one of you (you can also be 2 men and 2 women alike, it’s irrelevant), the more one of you is surrendering your body open as light and one of you can penetrate that pervaded by consciousness, absolute consciousness, well , that’s really good sex.

So how do you choose your woman? You feel the Woman whose heart is most inviting and will tolerate nothing less than consciousness.

How does such a woman choose a man? The Man who worships the radiance of her heart and when he looks into her eyes he feels into her deepest heart like the petals of a flower, even if she has fear in her eyes or an angular energy, and he evokes the depth of her heart, the deep yearning to be open ravished. He’s the one standing there with the claim : I am consciousness.

Love is the practice of oneness, of openness. Opening your heart to another despite any arising fears or insecurities. Offering yourself to another. Practicing openness regardless of any constrictive feelings and/or thoughts, despite any occurring rigidity, going beyond the tightness. Helping your partner to open up in that same way.

Offering yourself, and helping your partner do the same. To keep opening each other deeper and deeper through everything thick and thin that comes up. That’s Love, and you can have that whenever you find a Man (or a Woman) who is ready to match you, to claim you.

As a woman, you are the infinite mystery and you need to go beyond the small level of daily drama and limited thinking. You need to practice this openness and offer your partner through this infinite mystery to experience life, consciousness and the divine fully.

“She wanted this unending love from a man, and no man could give her what she wanted. She wanted this unending love from herself, and she couldn’t give herself enough love to fulfill herself perfectly. Now, she has sacrificed her search for love because she has gained the knowledge of love. She feels deeply, at her core, that she is love. She knows that she is either being love and giving love, or she is collapsing.

The third-stage woman knows there is no ultimate relationship to seek, no perfect self-acceptance to achieve. She understands that she will never receive enough love from a relationship nor from her self-acceptance. But she doesn’t need to anymore. She has discovered when she is in the disposition, “I love you,” that her life is filled with love. She has realized that when she wants to feel love all she needs to do is give love. In fact, that is the only time she feels love–when she is loving.

Her search for love is over. She may forget love, but her remembrance is always the same: I am love, and I love you. In this present moment, she practices feeling her body being lived, her breath being breathed, and her heart being opened by the radiant love that naturally wants to flow from her heart. She allows herself to be the movement of love in this present moment. She is the dancing energy of love.” – David Deida

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What motivates our actions?

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Shamatha Retreat with Jigme Khyentse Rinpoche                                     Portugal, 13th May

Precious teachings tonight, bringing so much to work with at the very end of the Shamatha retreat. So many of the stories that JKR shared in a short session of one hour got me thinking in many directions … I’m not sure if i can formulate most of them in a comprehensive way, but I need to put it down in writing (typing on my phone as the thoughts are already slipping away), at least some of them.

It really felt like I needed to hear some of the stories he had to say right here and right now. The main issue was very much connected to my challenges, especially in these last few days.

Rinpoche was talking about dependence and how we are slaves to our bodies, the five senses and the resulting emotions.

Often, we are completely under their control instead of it being the other way around.

Let us begin by taking a very obvious example, an alcoholic and his dependence on alcohol.
Consider the bottle, a glass container which has a liquid with a certain percentage of alcohol – in itself it is neither bad or good. It’s just a bottle containing alcohol.
If we take the man on the other side, he is just a man.
It is his “relation” to alcohol, his dependence, that constitutes a problem, once he feels he “needs” the alcohol and the thought of not having it is utterly disturbing to him.
This is how we recognize attachment, neurotic attachment to an object, person, concept etc. And our attachment is closely linked to our ego.

Our modern society is literally filled with things that aim to distract us from two things: a deeply rooted feeling of loneliness and a well hidden sense of boredom.

Most of the things we do in our every day lives, we do in order to avoid the deep felt loneliness or boredom. Either to avoid them by distracting ourselves from looking into them, or to make ourselves feel numb, to numb the suffering or restless feeling which they cause us.

This is why the practice of sitting (meditating) is so important for our well-being. Our feelings and the chaos connected to loneliness and boredom are not going to disappear unless we learn to sit with them. By learning to sit, we learn to observe our mind with honesty and with kindness.

Not making any emotions that occur during the meditation into our “enemies” and not indulging in them either.
By accepting the feeling of loneliness and boredom, we learn to accept ourselves, we befriend ourselves and we do not indulge into activities aimed to “cover them up”.

We start slowly. Each minute, or even each second spent sitting is a great progress.
One second not spent running away from the deeply routed pain.
One second more, spent being kind to ourselves and feeling the tightness in our bellies softening up.
Sitting with our emotions is the most constructive activity of not doing anything, so to speak.

Because it helps us to befriend our own self and practice kindness to ourselves, in time it helps us to be better to others as well. It reminded me of what Chogyam Trungpa says in “Shambhala, The Path of the Warrior”, that with the practice of meditation we learn to center ourselves and sit with any kind of emotion. With this practice we build gradually immense strength, we are firmly sitting in our saddle, so that no matter what type of disturbing emotion arises, we are not thrown off our saddle.

It seems to me that the first step here is honesty. Being honest with ourselves and being honest about what we are looking at. Being honest to recognize our patterns, our destructive behavior.

I find it breathtakingly beautiful and deeply inspiring when I can witness such honesty. There is amazing strength in the act of truly embracing our core vulnerabilities and insecurities. It requires tremendous courage and persistence, and witnessing that we are capable of such beautiful strength gives us even more motivation, self-confidence on the path.

I think this feeling of loneliness is something we can all identify with, if we are prepared to start uncovering the layers under which we are hiding.
Layer by layer…
All these layers are obscurations to our mind, covering up what ego wants and doesn’t want. And ego is very good at doing that, self-preservation by deception.
We are all masters at sweeping the dust under the carpet, because we are afraid to deal with the dirt. We are scared of getting our hands dirty.

I wonder if we are afraid of more pain or if it is simply a feeling of not being able to face what is at the bottom of the pit. The loneliness, the boredom … All the negative thoughts that manifest from them, feeling inadequate, not good enough, isolated, …
How tricky they all are into disguising and wearing make up, manifesting as over confidence or control freakish behavior… But no matter the disguise in which they appear, paradoxically we all have these same deeply rooted feelings of loneliness.

In this, we are also connected, but we fail to see this on a deeper level or even on an intellectual one.

Instead of constantly asking for “input” from outside to further delude ourselves in our own narrative and to appease the insecurities, instead of feeling inadequate or alone, constantly seeking validation and praise, wanting to be *heard*, *understood*, *accepted*, *loved*, we simply need to learn to sit with it and recognize how in itself we are all interconnected.

We need to accept ourselves before we start blackmailing others by saying “I’m like this, so you need to accept me as I am or…”… We wouldn’t need to use this IF, had we we accepted ourselves ti beguin with.

Honestly accepting ourselves is really vital.
I love the definition of mindfulness: non-judgmental self-awareness. Those few words are very self-explanatory, straight to the point.
It is with the practice of Shamatha that we learn to accept ourselves and transcend the limitations and obscurations of what we think is reality.

The reality we perceive is a concoction of our ego, or to be more concrete, our wants and needs. Most of the things we perceive in our own reality are in connection to us and our needs. If it wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t get upset or experience disturbing emotions. A person is a person. They become bad or good only in relation to our needs and expectations, or how they succeed to fulfill them or fail to do so.

Love, or what we call love, is a perfect example. In its pure form love is not connected to me or what I want. Loving a person means wishing them to be happy.
Full stop.
But because my reality is based on “me and my needs”, most times when we experience love its tainted by our expectations … Because we yearn for someone to further indulge us in our major cover up, to play along with the farce for a while. That is not love. That is not happiness. Happiness is a permanent state of being.
How can happiness depend on anything outside of ourselves? That would make it by definition impermanent. And everything that is impermanent is bound to cause us suffering, at some point.

So then, happiness (enlightenment) is what is already there. We can’t create it (this would also imply impermanence), it’s already there, covered up with all those layers. We are just wearing 20 t-shirts at a time.

With the practice of meditation, we SLOWLY learn to be with ourselves. Even this is amazing in itself, because it means we don’t hastily act on our emotions or “act out”, causing suffering to others, with our words and actions!

By learning to sit we are already practicing compassion. On ourselves and so, on others.

With time we develop a sharp eye that recognizes the cover ups and faces them. This in itself is a great act of courage.

With the practice of meditation, we learn to be patient with ourselves. Even on the simple levels, when a pain occurs in the body, an itch, we negotiate with it, with kindness and patience. “I will scratch you in 5 mins …”. Then in 5 min the same negotiation takes place and before you know it, you don’t need to scratch the spot, as the sensation has moved elsewhere. Everything changes moment by moment and we learn to observe it in the simplest way. We learn not to be slaves to our bodies anymore. Not to be slaves to our emotions.

We slowly remove layer after layer and we can experience the space that comes with it.
The openness.
The lack of needing to rush out and numb the pain.
We connect with our own potential for goodness.
Each time we inject our painful spots with acceptance and love, they soften up a little bit, we experience moments of grace and beauty.
This is the remedy for the feeling of loneliness and boredom.
Connecting with our true nature, our potential for good, for love, …
In the end, once we peel off all the layers, we uncover what is already there at each moment, ready to be experienced inside us, the grains for happiness are always with us. The true nature of our mind , unobscured and free of fear, the Buddha nature, is just waiting to be uncovered, it is already there.

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