7-2-17 With Peace

With Peace

“When you are fully gentle without arrogance and without aggression, you see the brilliance of the universe, life is fuller and richer, life is worth experiencing.” –Chogyam Trungpa

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 avoid conflict at any cost, or try 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. We leave space for all things.

“Never discourage anyone who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.” —Aristotle

It is essential that I look at my behaviors in an honest and objective manner. I am so used to re-acting, I have to be aware of the need to step out of my “normal” behaviors, and know that I can be with and come from peace, if I actively choose to.

I may well feel a lack of intensity or feel fear when I have the courage to not act impulsively, and may leave what seems like a space where I used to need to fill everything up. This is a good thing; peace will naturally arise when we give our old behaviors space.
Not so much what is causing me pain, but how am I causing myself to suffer?
It is essential that we look at how we cause ourselves suffering, and how we can work with it, and then take the steps to work with it. To take action, to change our lives, is now our choice.

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 the tension inside me. To sit with that tension and breathe into it, not try to fix anything, accept it and become familiar with that part of me. To give it space to be in.
A spoon of salt in a cup of tea is very bitter, when we put it, (our tension), into a beautiful pond, it is still there but it has the space to be a part of our lives, not define it.
We can then believe in ourselves, trust ourselves, coming from our center of peace and acceptance.

A spiritual life is an engagement in and a connection with all that occurs, good and difficult. But not an attachment to it. Attachment is where we begin narrowing our vision, judging others or ourselves as not worthy, and growing resentments out of that judgment.

When you feel a twinge of “I don’t want to do this” with small things, it is a good time to practice, to become familiar with choosing peace over an ego’s agitation.
To work with peace–Shorter Version:
Close your eyes – Take three deep breaths.
Breathe, let your mind be clear, relax the mind and body, the shoulders.
Breathe again, center your energy, your awareness into your heart center.
Breathe again, say “May I be in Peace,” let that resonate inside you for a few more breaths.
Open your eyes, gently and kindly go forward.

To work with peace–Longer Version:
Meditate regularly. Often, during the day, touch the gentle strength you have, using the awareness of your breath. We are always breathing; we can learn to use the breath as a spiritual touchstone, if we use our peaceful awareness often enough, it becomes our new behavior.

“Recovery” means 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, or I feel life is overwhelming. I need space when I am full.
Peace is what we relax into. No matter what is occuring, if we are taking care of it as well as we can, we can relax into a sense of peace while still feeling some of the tension or uncertainty.

Sometimes I am afraid and do not say no when I should, or yes when I need to. I am afraid to step into a fuller engagement in life, afraid of conflict. Or I may be busy being a bully, or feel it is my place to fix everyone.
All of these things and many more, are who I am. And that is OK. I keep walking and opening.

“People in the West are always getting ready to live.” –Chinese saying
“Here are two rules on the spiritual path: Begin and Continue.” –Sufi saying

Believe in your heart, believe in yourself!

When you do come from peace and kindness, you will hurt when it hurts, and you will laugh when it is joyful, and you will find a very full life, with all that occurs.

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 website: fcheartofrecovery.com