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Space

Silence is like a cradle holding our endeavors and our will; a silent spaciousness sustains us in our work and at the same time connects us to larger worlds that, in the busyness of our daily struggle to achieve, we have not yet investigated. Silence is the soul’s break for freedom. David Whyte

It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately fill up the space. By waiting, we begin to connect with fundamental restlessness as well as fundamental spaciousness. -Pema Chodron, from “When Things Fall Apart.”

Space is not spacing out. Creating space is opening up to possibilities, a clarity. Any healthy relationship has a healthy space, and little judgement. Have a good relationship with yourself!!!

One cultivates spaciousness or awareness which allows you to acknowledge the emotions and see them as part of the human condition. Emotions are like subtle thought forms and they all arise in response to something outside yourself. They are all reactions. You cultivate a quietness in yourself that watches these emotions rising and falling and passing away. Ram Dass

To Know I am nothing, no-thing, spacious, is to be able to access everything. If I am something then I have identified who I am, how I need to act, what I need to get, not get, what I am afraid of, all my limitations. I become solid and full, nothing more can get in. When I drop my identifying with… anything, the space where truth, joy and wisdom are, is part of who I am. Or am not?

Space, not reacting automatically, will give you time to think and not react, and then to have some insight. Space lets you decide if you should say yes or no depending on how you really feel, not just a reaction. Space contains no fear.

“We live in a culture that values sharing every thought and feeling as it occurs. As a result, we often don’t pause to reflect on what we have just said. This lack of reflection can lead to a superficial connection with ourselves. In contrast, by paying attention to the silence within our conversation and embracing those spaces, we can connect more deeply with ourselves. This deeper connection is the basis of an authentically engaged and self-actualized life.” Psychology Today

Meditation, mindfulness-awareness, may give us a glance that our thoughts are not solid, are not truth, but just a story we tell ourselves to protect an image we have of ourselves. Almost all, if not all of my fears, I now see as only a figment of my imagination that keeps me in chains.

Our spiritual walk begins when we acknowledge that we are indulging in a behavior that is extremely harmful and sometimes deadly to ourselves and others. We are bound to it, enslaved.  At first we have little or no spaciousness in our minds. We have been consumed by a behavior. As we begin to be able to distance ourselves somewhat, find some space, from our affliction we begin to be able to open our minds more. We begin to open up to the world, feel better about ourselves and being engaged in a path that is difficult at times but rewarding and healthy. We identify with our recovery, which is healthy.

As we continue to progress we recognize that our difficulties arise from a mind that needs to keep identify with something, many things, in order to give us something to hang onto that defines us. More space but still pretty full of WHO we are. As we continue to progress we may naturally drop many of the “identifications”. We can be in recovery,  and be a nurse or in construction or administration, without identifying with that is who I am. It is what I do.  With more space in our minds we are able to experience more of life fully without needing to identify, fill up our space, with it. I am aware of conflicting emotions in myself. I can give those emotions space to be there, but to not define who I am. I am feeling angry, or sad. With a spacious mind I am able to experience all that comes up, but I am not bound by it. I am mindful of where my  mind goes.

Quit making walls. Then begin letting YOUR walls disappear by providing space, openness, instead of more judgments and constantly pulling out your ID card.

“Mindfulness.” She defined it as stillness, openness, and silence. Pema Chodron

It is important to not take this path toooo seriously. Yes, we need to be dedicated to learning, and using, experiencing, a kinder more open and happy self. But we will not make much headway with a frown and a NEED to get there. Relax, study and practice hard and ENJOY yourself.     Any Master I have seen exudes a sense of joy and compassion. Smile more. Practice more.

The Wise Man believes profoundly in silence — the sign of a perfect equilibrium. Silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit. If you ask him: what is silence? He will answer: It is the Great Mystery! The holy silence is His voice! If you ask: What are the fruits of silence? He will say: They are self-control, true courage or endurance, patience, dignity and reverence. Silence is the cornerstone of character. Ohiyesa, Wahpeton Santee Sioux

“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom“. – Francis Bacon

Ancient Vedic sages spoke of the space between thoughts.  You must become the thinker of your thoughts, not your thoughts themselves.  Otherwise you simply become the pawn of your thoughts. When you meditate, you enter that space between thoughts. Randy Gage:

Practice 50 times a day, quieting your mind. Letting go of holding onto anything. Practice just being open, spacious. When you are driving, working, making a meal, walking, talking, feeling an identity with anything.When you are feeling afraid, or just uptight from everyday life, take a spacious breath and relax. Be present with what you are doing, NOW by being in that space. Just that space of doing, nothing more. Nothing needed except space. Everything is already there. In order to get somewhere, we need to do nothing. Pretty green and fuel efficient.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.

Heart Of Recovery web site  —  fcheartofrecovery.com

1-7-18 Space

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Space

Silence is like a cradle holding our endeavors and our will; a silent spaciousness sustains us in our work and at the same time connects us to larger worlds that, in the busyness of our daily struggle to achieve, we have not yet investigated. Silence is the soul’s break for freedom. David Whyte

It’s a transformative experience to simply pause instead of immediately fill up the space. By waiting, we begin to connect with fundamental restlessness as well as fundamental spaciousness. -Pema Chodron, from “When Things Fall Apart.”

Space is not spacing out. Creating space is opening up to possibilities, a clarity. Any healthy relationship has a healthy space, and little judgement. Have a good relationship with yourself!!!

One cultivates spaciousness or awareness which allows you to acknowledge the emotions and see them as part of the human condition. Emotions are like subtle thought forms and they all arise in response to something outside yourself. They are all reactions. You cultivate a quietness in yourself that watches these emotions rising and falling and passing away. Ram Dass

To Know I am nothing, no-thing, spacious, is to be able to access everything. If I am something then I have identified who I am, how I need to act, what I need to get, not get, what I am afraid of, all my limitations. I become solid and full, nothing more can get in. When I drop my identifying with… anything, the space where truth, joy and wisdom are, is part of who I am. Or am not?

Space, not reacting automatically, will give you time to think and not react, and then to have some insight. Space lets you decide if you should say yes or no depending on how you really feel, not just a reaction. Space contains no fear.

 

“We live in a culture that values sharing every thought and feeling as it occurs. As a result, we often don’t pause to reflect on what we have just said. This lack of reflection can lead to a superficial connection with ourselves. In contrast, by paying attention to the silence within our conversation and embracing those spaces, we can connect more deeply with ourselves. This deeper connection is the basis of an authentically engaged and self-actualized life.” Psychology Today

Meditation, mindfulness-awareness, may give us a glance that our thoughts are not solid, are not truth, but just a story we tell ourselves to protect an image we have of ourselves. Almost all, if not all of my fears, I now see as only a figment of my imagination that keeps me in chains.

Our spiritual walk begins when we acknowledge that we are indulging in a behavior that is extremely harmful and sometimes deadly to ourselves and others. We are bound to it, enslaved.  At first we have little or no spaciousness in our minds. We have been consumed by a behavior. As we begin to be able to distance ourselves somewhat, find some space, from our affliction we begin to be able to open our minds more. We begin to open up to the world, feel better about ourselves and being engaged in a path that is difficult at times but rewarding and healthy. We identify with our recovery, which is healthy.

As we continue to progress we recognize that our difficulties arise from a mind that needs to keep identify with something, many things, in order to give us something to hang onto that defines us. More space but still pretty full of WHO we are. As we continue to progress we may naturally drop many of the “identifications”. We can be in recovery,  and be a nurse or in construction or administration, without identifying with that is who I am. It is what I do.  With more space in our minds we are able to experience more of life fully without needing to identify, fill up our space, with it. I am aware of conflicting emotions in myself. I can give those emotions space to be there, but to not define who I am. I am feeling angry, or sad. With a spacious mind I am able to experience all that comes up, but I am not bound by it. I am mindful of where my  mind goes.

Quit making walls. Then begin letting YOUR walls disappear by providing space, openness, instead of more judgments and constantly pulling out your ID card.

“Mindfulness.” She defined it as stillness, openness, and silence. Pema Chodron

It is important to not take this path toooo seriously. Yes, we need to be dedicated to learning, and using, experiencing, a kinder more open and happy self. But we will not make much headway with a frown and a NEED to get there. Relax, study and practice hard and ENJOY yourself.  Any Master I have seen exudes a sense of joy and compassion. Smile more. Practice more.

The Wise Man believes profoundly in silence — the sign of a perfect equilibrium. Silence is the absolute poise or balance of body, mind and spirit. If you ask him: what is silence? He will answer: It is the Great Mystery! The holy silence is His voice! If you ask: What are the fruits of silence? He will say: They are self-control, true courage or endurance, patience, dignity and reverence. Silence is the cornerstone of character. Ohiyesa, Wahpeton Santee Sioux

“Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom“. – Francis Bacon

Ancient Vedic sages spoke of the space between thoughts.  You must become the thinker of your thoughts, not your thoughts themselves.  Otherwise you simply become the pawn of your thoughts. When you meditate, you enter that space between thoughts. Randy Gage:

Practice 50 times a day, quieting your mind. Letting go of holding onto anything. Practice just being open, spacious. When you are driving, working, making a meal, walking, talking, feeling an identity with anything.When you are feeling afraid, or just uptight from everyday life, take a spacious breath and relax. Be present with what you are doing, NOW by being in that space. Just that space of doing, nothing more. Nothing needed except space. Everything is already there. In order to get somewhere, we need to do nothing. Pretty green and fuel efficient.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.

Heart Of Recovery web site  —  fcheartofrecovery.com

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To Be

It is completely necessary to Be an ordinary human being, to have our emotions, our feelings, to be stupid, lustful, lazy, fearful and angry. We need to Be and acknowledge exactly who we are.

If we try to Be someone who does not have some of the qualities that we don’t want in ourselves, we will only Be someone who is trying to Be someone else.
Surrender to who you are. However we do not surrender to thinking and acting in ways that are dictated to us by our old behaviors of fear, avoidance or neediness.We can allow everything in our present-?moment experience of the body and mind to Be just as it is. We can allow but not engage in. I can recognize when I am feeling angry towards someone, myself included, and Choose to respond in, to Be, kindness.

In meditation we are training our mind to not thoughtlessly engage in whatever happens to come to mind. We are training to notice if the mind wanders, and return to being as we are, again and again. We can just Be. When we are Being, we are not caught in the past or the future. Being is presence, in the Now. Being is seeing, hearing, feeling very strongly.
Whatever arises in the meditation session, and in all of life, can be embraced with gentle, present awareness infused with tenderness, care, and precise simplicity. We do not have to be afraid of who we are. Our basic human nature is already awake and good. We need to BE that more often.

Of course, challenges may arise in our meditation and in everyday life, – physical or emotional discomfort-?— but all of these can be regarded as a reminder to bring an attitude of inquisitiveness and gentleness to our experience, whatever it may be. This attitude of being gentle is the gateway to bravery.
Once you know what is happening, you can bring to bear the discipline, the courage, to Mindfully use the tools you have, to bring your positive energies into your life and the lives of others.

This is well beyond feeling that when we get this or that, or get rid of something, THEN we will be happy. Loving from the heart, just Being, shows us the way to not be selfish or needy; it is touching an innate sense of wholesomeness that can guide us gently and firmly to who we truly are and how to live in this sometimes crazy world with compassion and humor.

When you are walking BE walking, when you are shopping, BE shopping, when you are talking to someone, BE listening first, then BE talking. When you open a door, feel it, BE opening the door. Stop the constant BS chatter in your mind and BE. Bring your full attention to Being.

Feel when you are trying to manipulate a situation. To manipulate is to manufacture, to create a false world. Often in your mind about yourself. When you manipulate you will feel a tension, a tightness. You can recognize that you are Being a manipulator, or lying or in fear. When you feel that tension, you can BREATHE and re-set your mind to be more open. It will be uncomfortable to deal with the real world in an honest manner. You have old behaviors that prompt you to defend, avoid, or ignore.
When you bring and use the simplicity of Being, it does not satisfy the ego’s need to create a false sense of self and a false sense of who someone else is. In Being, you are promoting your kindness, your humor and peace.

When you recognize you are indulging in feeling sorry for yourselves, or guilty or resentful. You need to breathe, and be with whatever your state is and NOT indulge it. Just BE.
May sound too simple, but just Being does not deny what you are feeling, but does not engage it either. It touches your heart center and informs you naturally to be brave and bring a sense of kindness to yourselves and others.
You do not permit yourself to beat yourself up. In simple Being, you love yourselves and see more clearly what is happening.
With force some things may be accomplished, with Being gentle, all things can be accomplished.

If I do not be-lieve in myself, in my innate goodness, I will be trying to fill the hole of my doubt with many temporary satisfactions that only bring more difficulty. I will beat myself up over the past, be afraid of the future and treat myself really poorly.
I do not have to do this!!! I can begin not believing my negative self and start just Being.
When you are knotted up, try relaxing your shoulders, breathe and let your mind clear. Just Be.
You may smile a bit at the energy you were AGAIN, putting into old negative behaviors.
When we begin dismissing negativity, we replace it with Being.

As we learn to sit with ourselves and know ourselves completely, with the so called good and bad, and to know these are only aspects of our basic goodness, the sunlight of the spirit is made up of all parts of all beings, and that it is as it should be, and is as it is. We no longer feel self-doubt about ourselves as spiritual beings, WE ARE BASICALLY GOOD! We know others suffer as we have and we are now here to witness our lives, their lives, and be a participant in all aspects of life.

So, if we don’t make much effort, we can rely on not much changing.
I am responsible for my life, and I am responsible for doing what I can to help uplift the lives of others, these are one and the same.
Wish to Be a positive part of your life.
Be aware of when you are negative and do not accept it. Do accept kindness, and begin and continue to support yourself and BE a positive person.

How we do something, is more important that what we do.
How will informs us and define what we do.
“Whisper words of wisdom, let it be, let it be.”

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.
Heart Of Recovery web site – fcheartofrecovery.com

1-8-17 Real?

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Real?

What’s real, well, one thing that comes to mind is, whatever it is I am suffering from seems pretty real. It is however relatively real. I need to know that it is my choice to suffer, Pain and conflict will be present in my life, and when I can accept that, really accept that I will have painful situations, I do not need to suffer.

There is one truth, that is relatively divided into two aspects: a truth of worldly convention and an ultimate or spiritual truth. Without a foundation in the worldly truth, the significance of the ultimate cannot be taught. Without understanding the significance of the spiritual, the worldly cannot be understood correctly and liberation from suffering is not achieved. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Being aware is simple, and quite easy to do, it’s easy to complicate it, but it’s very simple in practice. The more our consciousness is developed and gets closer to the source, the greater the spiritual is present and the major factor in our lives. From emotions arise fixations, which are what WE want or don’t want through logic and past behaviors demanding to be in charge.

AND NOW, is a phrase I use many times a day, wherever I am, whatever I am doing, especially if I am feeling tension, to continually bring me back to the present.

What reality in your life brings you suffering or limits you from reaching your goals and your dreams? Your life may be a false movie you create, or a continual expansion to meld, to bring together, the spiritual and the worldly.

I think a spiritual journey is not so much a journey of discovery. It’s a journey of recovery. It’s a journey of uncovering your own inner nature. It’s already there. Billy Corgan

It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up. Eckhart Tolle

My addiction taught me that anything I try to manufacture out of fear or desire will come
crashing down, causing suffering to me and to others. I can continue to manufacture my reality using less obvious addictions, mainly letting the ego run the show, and still be spiritually bankrupt. In a more socially acceptable manner, but still causing a lot of suffering

One place I see clearly my grasping, is when I PLAN to do something, and it does not work out like I planned, and I am frustrated. I form resentments and mull over it, which destroys my present moment and the future. My plan of what I am going to do, what others need to do and how the universe needs to cooperate in my plans does not seem to be very real when I actually look at it.

I can get up to get a glass of water and the doorbell rings, and I am upset that my plan is not working. Starting to accept small changes is an important way to bring the spiritual into my life.
If I am able to breathe, when MY plan is not happening and accept what is happening, I will be able to move forward with peace and a better understanding of what would be best to do next.
When I can treat others and myself with a sense of sacred space and acceptance, with dignity and wisdom, I relax into a higher plane while I am also engaged in the world. Gently, with strength.

You cannot own the power and magic of this world. It is always available, but it does not belong to anyone. We can however, share it with others through our example.

Keeping it simple is helpful and essential. First we need to be Aware of how we act. This comes about through training our minds to Pay Attention, – through meditation, and consciously feeling what we are doing, all the time. This may seem like a lot of work to always be attentive to what you are feeling and doing, but it comes more naturally as you practice it. What we are more used to, is not paying attention, and letting other forces determine our lives. When we are aware, we have the capacity to make choices, as opposed to being mindlessly engaged in our old destructive habits.

It is important that we stop engaging in our addiction, but equally important is what we choose to engage in. To honestly commit to a recognition, acceptance and dismantling of our delusions and partake in life as it truly exists. To take affirmative mindful actions that engage us in life, connect us to our inner strength, wisdom and calmness, to the world and to other people.
When we can control our anger, our fear of life, our resentments or need to push life away, and replace it with a responsible action we gain so much; we are on the right path with our head held higher and our vision seeing much more.

We all need to consistently attend to and refresh our spirituality, and our larger connection, and our physical environment. We all need to eat and exercise in order to feel good. How we choose our food and our exercise will determine how we feel. Big Macks and no exercise will make us feel crappy. We also need to be attentive to our environment. Is our living space kept up in a reasonable way? Do we engage with people that are healthy and nourishing? Do we complain a lot, or try to be grateful and open?
Do we pursue our spiritual program? Go to meetings, meditate, pray? Work on taking our spiritual life into our everyday life? Begin to replace our negative judgement of ourselves with a loving kindness? Whatever we promote will be more present. That is reality.

When we begin to believe in ourselves, to trust ourselves, we begin to blossom. We blossom by being more content, and recognizing the suffering of others and doing what we can to be of benefit to them. Helping others, not fixing them, is when we are out of ourselves and
experiencing our true natures, the reality of the spiritual and worldly working together.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site – fcheartofrecovery.com

1-1-17 With Peace

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With Peace

We all wish to be happy. We may think happiness is getting what we want or avoiding what we don’t want. In not knowing that these only cause more pain we are ignorant of how to be with peace. We can be addicted to crisis, or avoiding any conflict, or trying to just float along not really being touched by much.
A spiritual life includes good and bad and our experiencing those fully, but not attaching to those experiences as who we are, good or bad. With a foundation that comes from kindness and being with peace, we are able to experience and connect to the world, others and ourselves very deeply, without being overwhelmed or defined by the experience.

Here are two rules on the spiritual path: Begin and Continue. Sufi saying

People in the West are always getting ready to live. Chinese saying

I will practice looking deeply to see that the happiness and suffering of others are not separate from my own happiness and suffering. Thich Nhat Hahn

Recovery – is to restore, to regain. Not the need to find anything new or different. I have never lost my spiritual self, I am only sometimes in a place where I am unable to see or feel it. It is still there! And I can touch it if I am willing to be with Peace instead of in my habitual graspings and fears. That peace is always with me.
Even today I sometimes wonder who I am. Sometimes I feel very spiritually connected, I can be considerate and patient, I feel a definite connection to, and desire to engage, in the world. Other times I just sort of mindlessly float through life.
And that is OK. I Keep Walking and working on the better me that is already there..

I may well feel a lack of intensity or feel fear when I have the courage to not act impulsively.This is a good thing, peace will naturally arise when we give our old behaviors space. How am I causing myself to suffer?
I need to have a quiet time to meditate for a little bit, then search inside for how I am causing myself problems. I need to let go of the story line, (who, what, where), and just feel where the tension that is inside me. To sit with that tension and breathe into it, not trying to fix anything, accepting it and becoming familiar with that part of me.
I need to get over being RIGHT and trying to fix anyone. I don’t fix myself, I open up.

A spiritual life is an engagement in and a connection with all that occurs, good and difficult. But not an attachment to the good or the difficult. Attachment is where I begin narrowing my vision, judging, and start resentments of others and ourselves, as not worthy.
When I feel a twinge of – “I shouldn’t do this”, with small things, it is a good time to practice, to become familiar with choosing peace over an ego’s satisfaction.
When I do come from peace and kindness, I will hurt when it hurts, and laugh when it is joyful, and find a very full life with all that occurs.

Through discipline comes the joy of life.
In my addiction I had no discipline in regard to my spiritual, physical or emotional well being, nor the well being of others. However I could have an amazing discipline in pursuing my destructive addiction.
Today I learn and grow in maintaining a watchful, and caring eye on my thoughts and behaviors.

When I come from aggression, fear or avoidance, I may feel a small victory in getting what I want by denying someone else their worth and dignity, or avoiding a situation which will only expand the difficulty in the future.
When I come from Peace, I must have a dicipline to not react. But to consider and act wisely from my heart. This may feel like I have not gotten what I wanted, (immediate gratification). But I will feel a sense of rightness in my actions, or in my not reacting.
Peace is calm and gentle, but strong. I will feel a sense of dignity, and worthiness about myself, and in how I have treated others.
It is not important how someone else acts, how I act IS important.

This takes work, and a constant awareness of your true heart and self.
What am I promoting and advocating, Peace or problems?
Life is not always straight forward, but try to keep things as simple as possible, I breathe deeply before I act when I feel a tension and touch my heart, be brave. Bravery is gentleness and strength. To say yes and no when I should. I am my best teacher, I need to pay attention.

If I only hear good words and do not act upon them, I cause suffering.
Can I have the discipline to practice my spiritual life, to bring peace, everyday?
Can I be gentle and strong enough to not hold grudges? To look for what is good, not wrong? When I am looking for what is wrong, I will come from a place of judgement and negativity.

If I am not promoting peace – why not? Too busy being selfish or feeling sorry for myself? Today I have a choice.

It takes work, but the results are a long lasting sense of contentment and peace that I have, and bring to the whole world.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site – fcheartofrecovery.com

12-25-17 Drop the Story Line

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Drop the Story Line

A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. Albert Einstein

What does “Dropping the story line” mean?
When something triggers you, you automatically remember other instances when this trigger was pulled and you then mindlessly react in the same way, to hide or to attack.
Or you walk into a situation where you have already judged others and the situation and have your defenses or attacks all ready.
Both situations will result in your discomfort, dissatisfaction, suffering. And that is what you will bring to others.

Acknowledge when you are feeling anxious. Bring to mind just the feeling of anxiety, no story line, person place or thing allowed, only the sense of the emotion. Feel where it is in your body. Greet the emotion, accept it with gentleness and compassion, it is a fearful child, care for it! Give that emotion a lot of space, it will lose its sense of being real if you accept it and care for it. And give it space, i.e., don’t focus on it as if it were real, its just a thought.
As you learn to care for yourself, you will care well for others who are also suffering
Know that you can engage in life in a more positive manner if you choose to!

The past is past, it’s over, let’s not let it discolor our present or future.The future is yet to be determined, I do have a say in how I engage in my life.

Daily-life practice is never abstract. As soon as uncomfortable emotions come up, we train ourselves in breathing into them and dropping the story line. At the same time, we extend our thoughts and concern to other people who feel the same discomfort, and we breathe in with the wish that all of us could be free of this particular brand of confusion. Then, as we breathe out, we send ourselves and others whatever kind of relief we think would help. We can try to do this whenever difficult situations and feelings arise. Over time it will become more automatic.

Truthfully, this practice does go against the grain of wanting things on our own terms, of wanting it to work out for ourselves no matter what happens to the others. The practice dissolves the armor of self-protection we’ve tried so hard to create around ourselves.
You can go through most of life watching re-runs in your heads, and writing soap operas about your lives, to entertain yourselves. Usually there are 10 or 20 good things for each difficulty, but you can let the one thing that raises your hackles destroy everything.
This narrows you and denies your being able to use your intuition, your intelligence and wisdom with clear eyes. To see and feel life fully as it so richly is.

We begin to know that we can release our thoughts and emotions during meditation. We acknowledge our thoughts, and we do not engage in the story line. We do not let our thoughts hook us into some science fiction horror thriller of a story, we simply return to the breath. Seems like a bad trade to let go of so much entertainment for a simple attention to the breath. The breath will help you to let go of what you can, and deal with what you cannot let go of in a healthy way, not just promoting and furthing your suffering.

Learn to recognize when you are hooked into one of your story lines. Just as in meditation, when you are aware you have been thinking about something, you gently let it go. You need to consistently do the same thing in all aspects of your lives. Train yourselves to know when you are feeling tight, and you ask yourselves, what can I do? This is the first step in dropping the story line. Then your training in meditation and the breath begins to be utilized. Anything in life you are somewhat accomplished in you needed to have the discipline to train yourself. Begin and continue to train yourself in being happier and of worth to the world. You begin to know which path is healthy and which is unhealthy. You learn to say no to unhealthy aspects of yourselves and your mind. You naturally begin to engage in healthy ways of living, growing and appreciating your lives.
There is so much available and wonderful, even within our difficulties and in an imperfect world.

Learn to breathe, soften and open your heart, don’t harden it, and do the best you can.
Sometimes letting another persons anger, resentments or thoughtlessness pass, without replying or getting hurt is best. No reply is often well heard.
If a reply is necessary try opening up your perspective and addressing a larger viewpoint. Do not get caught in arguing small useless points. When we do not have to hide or attack we can be present for all that is good in any situation, with appreciation and kindness, without fear.

It is not always easy, but we need to remember we are human and will fail, but we step back up and keep walking our path. Always believe in yourselves, and in others. And work at it!!!

Do you know how truly fortunate you are, how much you have to be thankful for?
If you did, your perceived difficulties would be so small you might miss them. And you would feel compassion for those engaged is such useless acts that brings them suffering, including yourself.
Compassion always overcomes suffering, – – – when you use it.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for. Heart Of Recovery web site – fcheartofrecovery.com

11-8-15 View

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View
Suggests a belief grounded on assurance (as by evidence) of its truth.
Extent or range of vision.
The deep feeling or insight as to the proper direction for one’s life.

We need to ask ourselves, What is my view, what is important in my life, what is worth pursuing and what should I let go of?
It is important to sit down and consider this.

What is my motivation? Through addiction I have been able to see and understand what happens when I try to pursue only those things that make ME happy in a temporary manner, (narrow view). I shortly end up suffering more and causing more suffering.
Some need drama and chaos to make them feel they exist. Others need isolation and identify with a sense of poverty. Most of us are somewhere in between. As I learn what does not work, I am willing to stop engaging in the obvious destructive behaviors, but I feel empty, I have lost my best friend and what I have been relying on to make life meaningful. I feel my foundation has been taken away, I am groundless.
As I learn that I need to have an awareness, to pay attention to how my actions affect myself and others, my view begins to open up. I begin laying a new foundation for my life. I begin to know that I do have choices to make now, whereas before my addiction dictated my actions and kept me in darkness. I begin to have trust in my insights and my intelligence, as it is put to use with a higher purpose.

I begin to see that I and all others have an innate basic goodness, that we are spiritually
connected and my view naturally opens so that I can see more clearly and further now.
I begin to explore what this connection is and how I can become more aware of it and integrate that view into my everyday life.
This is a time of searching and growth that will probably last our lifetime, or lifetimes.
We can pursue a small view with the intention of accomplishing a goal; believing that then we will be happy.
Or we can continue to open up to a vaster view, with the intention of being able to include others and to help others. We do not deny our emotions but we are able to work with them in a larger
framework, instead of permitting them to rule us. Like putting a spoon of salt into a teacup, or putting it into a pond. The same amount of salt is there, but when in a larger context it is
manageable, not overwhelming.
Our view needs to be expanding and open, not a sense of protecting what we have and getting more. When we have the courage to really look at our problems, to face directly into those things we would rather not look at because we are afraid of change, and want to stay with the same self-defeating behaviors, we see that we have been cowardly and selfish. No wonder we could not get along with others, we either want to avoid them or dominate them, neither of those attitudes are welcome for long from healthy people. When we begin to look honestly at ourselves and effect a change, which is difficult to do but not as difficult as continuing our destructive behavior, we begin feeling worthwhile, living with a sense of dignity and purpose in our lives.
We are hampered by fewer things for shorter periods of time. We need to continuously reinforce the newer view so as not to slip back into old harmful behaviors.
Do we make the effort, use kind speech, take the right action, have a practice, work with
contemplation and meditation on an ongoing basis so it becomes a welcome part of our lives?

The spiritual life is not a theory, you must LIVE it, and practice your view in all of your affairs. If you only “feel” the sunlight of the spirit in a recovery room or in your personal practice, yet in daily life practice
selfishness, aggression or remain ruled by fear, you have only picked up your foot but have not
taken a step. You feel unbalanced standing on one leg.
Living your view is not easy. It takes a lot of trying, succeeding and failing. But always with the dedication to continue.
This is your life, it is important. You have so much to grow into. To be able to give to others
because of your deeper understanding of suffering is the ultimate gift to others and yourself.
What an amazing blessing to be able to have this opportunity.

Our happiness and the happiness of those around us depend on our degree of Right View.
Touching reality deeply — knowing what is going on inside and outside of ourselves — is the way to liberate ourselves from the suffering that is caused by wrong perceptions. Right View is not an ideology, a system, or even a path. It is the insight we have into the reality of life, a living insight that fills us with understanding, peace, and love. (The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching.)
We are blessed to be in a place, in a time and around others where we CAN work on a positive change in our lives. This is a blessing that we may overlook because of our selfishness or fear, and it is a tremendous shame. You are worthy of the best and deserve a wonderful life, it is there for you!
It cannot be stressed strongly enough that the practice of mindfulness, or any approach to
meditation and contemplation, only becomes an effective instrument of liberation to the extent that it is founded upon and guided by right view.
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? ~Buddha

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site – fcheartofrecovery.com

10-4-15 Judgment to Compassion

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Judgment to Compassion

Judgment – The formation of an opinion based on evaluation.
A misfortune believed to be sent by God as punishment for a sin.
Compassion – A deep awareness of the suffering of another, coupled with the wish to relieve it.
When we judge we are determining that a situation or another’s behavior is correct or wrong. And we know this because WE have the capacity to know what is right.
We delude ourselves that when we limit reality by our definition of it, we keep everything under our control. Yet life is not for the purpose of controlling. Our insistence that life be as we determine it, even in the face of irrefutable evidence to the contrary, keeps us stuck defending beliefs that are neither helpful nor true. We enter the present moment with curiosity, openness and acceptance. We let go of our judgments and become enchanted and delighted, surprised and vibrantly alive. Jan Waterman

We are addicted to our thoughts and our craving to have things our way. This is a narrow view that constantly brings discontent. Most of us spend the day in constant contemplation of how we can help ourselves. This is a very strong and practiced behavior. First, as in all addictions, we need to be aware of our behavior, then to look at our behavior with discrimination and compassion to see if it is hindering us or cultivating a healthy life and relationship with the world. If it is hindering us, what will we do about it? Knowledge is essential but useless unless put into action. We can begin to change our behavior slowly but with determination to stay on the path.

We can judge ourselves as – not good enough, a poverty mentality, fearful. Or – Better than others, promoting ourselves, either with our achievements or with our special unique problems, which others really need to understand. This is a means of detachment, and is lonely.
When we judge others, we deepen and widen the distance between ourself and the other person, and the world.

In recovery we have learned to have an understanding and compassion for another’s struggle with an addiction, which for someone who is not an addict cannot comprehend. We need to continue to bring a sense of compassion for others and ourselves in ALL respects. Why would we not want to do this???
When we cease being aggressive towards our emotions, our judgments, just see them for what they are, accept that, and move forward in a fresh openness, compassion arises naturally and the chains of judgment begin falling away.
We will feel fear and a sense of loss, when we begin letting go of our judgments and replacing them with thoughts of compassion and understanding.
How could compassionate thoughts of others, ever replace all the constant thoughts I have about myself, and all the energy I use in judging others and myself. That is a full time job with mandatory overtime.

As you begin to trust and believe in yourself, you naturally have compassion for others, this is not a feeling sorry for. It is a basic, pervasive warmth. As you continue making friends with your self, compassion is the bridge to the OUTSIDE world, that will become a part of YOUR world, and you of it.
You are recharged by the energies you are in touch with. Compassion is not a matter of giving something to someone else, but of giving up your demands….. Compassion has nothing to do with achievement, only spaciousness, and generosity. Paraphrase – Sakyong

Whenever we are feeling a negative judgment about someone, we should ask instead – How are they feeling? This will bring us a freedom we have never known.
When we think of the other person, instead of coming from ME, we can feel an opening up of our minds and hearts, we can actually feel it. Try it, pay attention to any change.
If we have quit fighting anyone or anything, what is left after we have refused to fight anymore?
Refusing to fight is difficult! Being peaceful and compassionate takes more courage and discipline than any violence we have seen.
A blessing naturally occurs when we overcome our aggression.
Constantly wonder, How are they feeling?

How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site – fcheartofrecovery.com

 

4-26-15 Short-changing Myself

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Short-changing Myself

How often are we truly present for what is going on, responding openly and honestly to only what is presented to us at that time? Or how often are our responses controlled by another thought or emotion that has invaded or conditioned our minds, and our response and experience to the present situation is not a true one but is tainted by outside issues, otherwise known as ME? How often do I shortchange myself?

12 & 12 …We did not wish to have all our defects of character removed, because we still loved some of them too much.
The persistent use of meditation and prayer, we found, did open the channel so that where there had been a trickle, there was now a river…

There are difficulties in our lives that do need to be looked at and addressed. We most certainly may need to ask for help from outside entities of counseling and professional care.

What keeps us from having peace of mind and the ability to step openly and honestly into any situation that is presented to us NOW. Basically it is because we are consumed with thinking about ourselves. What happens when we are not thinking about ourselves, how often does this sense of presence that is not consumed with ourselves occur? First we have to be aware of what is going on in our heads and hearts, and then, if we have the tools, we can make a choice as to how we relate, or not, to what is actually happening, not just our version of reality.

The True Peace:?The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people, when they realize their relationship, their oneness, with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells Wakan-Taka (the Great Spirit), and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us. This is the real peace, and the others are but reflections of this.? Black Elk, Oglala Sioux & Spiritual Leader (1863 – 1950)

Pema Chodron.
Our very first problem is to accept our present circumstances as they are, ourselves as we are, and the people about us as they are. This is to adopt a realistic humility without which no genuine advance can even begin. Again and again, we shall need to return to that unflattering point of departure. This is an exercise in acceptance that we can profitably practice every day of our lives. ———————————————————————-

Here we are looking at one aspect that is in respect to very simply being more present. Which means whatever the situation is we are aware of what our mental state is, of what is driving us, or when we are openly and honestly engaging fully in what is occurring? How do we become aware of what is happening, as opposed to blindly being led through our day by our fears, our distractions and desires? Rarely being able to relate to what is truly happening.

Meditation is one tool we can use to, become aware of how our minds work, to see our thoughts, and realize that they are not real, and that we can return to a peaceful gentle place within ourselves. That state is always available to us! With some mental discipline we can realize when we are indulging in our needy self, and then make a choice how we wish to relate to our experience.

If we are able to open up and relate in an honest and caring manner, we are rewarded with touching a place of peace that exists naturally within ourselves and being able to project that into the world. What we then do is not dwell on our experience but accept it and let it go, so that there is no grasping at a perceived GOOD thing, that will discolor our next moment of experience. Each moment of our experience is fresh and new, if we permit it to be.

If we are unable to open up and relate in an honest and caring manner, that we know we are indulging in our needy selfish self, what we then do, is not dwell on our experience but accept it and let it go, so that there is no distaste of a perceived BAD thing, that will discolor our next moment of experience. Each moment of our experience is fresh and new, if we permit it to be.

It can be difficult to not indulge in our distractions; they are something we have strong ties with. When we are able to let them go we may feel a lack of who we are, a craving, a need to pull our blanket back up over ourselves. If we persist in keeping an open mind and heart, we feel we are in a bit of a void, this is a good thing!
Two points to help on having a more peaceful open experience; One – Know that you are worthy of feeling peaceful. Two – Be aware of what you are feeling, ask yourself often, what am I feeling?

One third of my Recovery is dependent on what I Don’t Do – engage in my addiction.
Two thirds of my Recovery is dependent on what healthy aspects I DO engage in.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site – fcheartofrecovery.com

2-1-15 Others

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Others

Most of us know that if we eat our fruit and veggies, exercise often, and avoid smoking, we have a better chance of living longer and healthier lives. But your doctor may not have told you that regularly giving to others should perhaps be added to that healthy checklist. We are hard-wired for face-to-face contact that includes lots of touch, eye contact, and smiles. Such interactions release a hormone called oxytocin, which helps us to bond and care for others, and also helps us to handle stress better.
If you want to live forever, I can’t help you with that. But if you want to live a longer, happier, and healthier life, take all the usual precautions that your doctor recommends, and then … get out there and share your time with those who need it. That’s the caring cure.
EverydayHealth.com

We care for others as a natural part of who we are, but not to the point where we are harming ourselves, or enabling others in destructive behavior.
We do not try to fix others, only they can do that. If we find we keep trying to fix the world, we should recognize our behavior as harmful to ourselves and others.
Compassion can be gentle, or at times very difficult, direct and seemingly harsh. We need to learn to say no to our obsessions, and unhealthy requests or demands from others.
If we seem to be doing well, it is useful to extend our well-being to someone whom it may help, which enlarges our sense of well-being also. If we are emotionally engaged in a painful time, we can realize what is bringing us pain, work on letting go of our obsession, mainly by engaging in healthy activities for ourselves, AND getting out of ourselves to help someone else. This could be simply having a kind word for someone who is hurting.

“City people adjust to the constant demands of urban life by reducing their involvement with others,” the researcher concluded. But some people seem to be more other-oriented than others regardless of the situation. People who feel in control of what happens in their lives and who have little need for approval from others are the most likely to help others.
They have a positive view of people in general, they are concerned about others’ welfare and they take personal responsibility for how other people are doing.
“It’s difficult to lead a competitive, individualistic life”-as we’re raised to do in American society “without devaluing others to some extent,”.

I think it’s part of human nature to feel the impulse to ease the suffering of other living beings. When Eckhart Tolle woke up and realized that everything he had ever desired existed right here in the present moment. He suddenly knew he was valuable, worthy, and didn’t have to do anything to earn that grace. At some point, a pure impulse to share with others the bliss of what he was experiencing in the present moment motivated him to write The Power of Now, and A New Earth.

Within the family of recovery that I am connected with, I will not act to degrade anyone else, but act to support them and thus myself. In recovery meetings I may be inspired to have a greater awareness of the importance of being kind and patient with others, sharing my difficulties and solutions since that is what we have specifically gathered for. I then begin to take my elevated state of awareness into all aspects of my life. I learn to be responsible for my actions and that I am responsible for at least not doing harm to others. If I truly wish to grow and flourish in life, I begin to actively be mindful of how I might be helpful. In recovery we learn to move from isolation and selfishness,- being aggressive or fearful,- into a more open and aware mindset of others and their struggles. We are able to see “them” as nothing different from ourselves and we wish to act to help alleviate the pain.
We learn to act appropriately for the environment that we are in, and that we have an active role, a responsibility, in determining that it is a healthy environment.

The definition of love in Buddhism is: Wanting others to be happy.
The ordinary term of love is usually about attachment, more or less successful relationships and sex; all of which are rarely without self-interest. Instead, in Buddhism it refers to detachment and the unselfish interest in others’ welfare.
“If you light a lamp for someone else it will also brighten your path.”

Our ordinary nature is what suffers, and we can deal with this by being mindful. We can stop and take a breath, we unite mind and body. We can touch into the hardened or inflamed part, the aggressive or fearful part that is suffering, with kindness and recognize that it is part of us that is causing suffering, We care about it and are ready to let it go, to transform it through our kindness to ourselves. Breathe into it, let it dissipate, and feel the spaciousness and ability to expand our consciousness to others occur.

Then he asked for the grace to bring love, forgiveness — and joy to every human being he could. That he might be able to find some of these treasures too — he would try to do so by what he called self-forgetting. — He thought it better to give comfort than to receive it, better to understand than to be understood, better to forgive than to be forgiven. – – – St. Francis Prayer

You can only find the peace within yourself, to the degree that you desire and work for bringing peace to others.

Always make an effort to be kind. Not manipulative – Kind.

How do you fill your bucket? One drop at a time.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
“The great arises out of small things that are honored and cared for.”
Heart Of Recovery web site – fcheartofrecovery.com

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