Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Healing, Part Four: Jimme That Thing

The hardest thing you’ll ever do is learn to love yourself.
… or words very close to this, Adyashanti.

Last night I noticed a large cut notched in edge of the front door underneath the lock. There was a second smaller cut near the dead bolt.
I’ve noticed a smaller knotch before but that didn’t really register with me mentally.
This new cut fairly screamed.
Someone had tried, and tried hard, to jimme the lock.
I kind of freaked.
Last week I sold my car to people I had enjoyed talking with, but who obviously lived in a world much harder than my own.
In fact, I was thinking drug deals and gangs and wondering if someone would return to steal the cash and murder me in my bed.

Now, I fingered evidence: a knife-cut deep in the wood. Metal weather stripping
bent out of shape almost as much as I was.

This morning, as I revisited the fact of the cut marks I noticed what my mind was saying:
“Someone is trying to break into the house!”
Yes, present tense!
And what a great opportunity to try a little Byron Katie inquiry.

“How do I feel when I hear this thought pounding in my head?”
I feel so much fear it’s hard to stay present … in fact, I don’t.
I do something to distract myself. I control my terror and panic by turning away.
If I force myself to stay with it – I see a child cringing in the corner as the door to his shack is pounded down by a pogrom in the night. He knows when the door blows open, he is dead.
I realize that someone forcing entry into my quiet suburban home still translates into death to me.

So, I tried a more accurate statement of the situation:
“Someone tried to break in and they failed.”
Yes, past tense!
That’s a good start.
“At least twice they’ve tried and failed.”
Now, I’m getting even closer to reality.

At this point you can go either way.
Twice attempted. Twice failed.
Is this good news or bad?
I wasn’t sure.

Then, I saw just how furiously Bennie would have barked and rallied with the little guy.
I also recalled that about a year ago when I intuitively read my house, I was surprised and amazed by how I could feel the building’s desire to shelter and protect me.
Such a possibility had never crossed my mind – feelings from inanimate structures!
Well, it seems the house is not all that unconscious.
With these two images, Bennie and the house, I was overwhelmed by how much love and protection that the Universe has already provided me.

The entire Universe supports me.
And my heart broke open with the impossibility of ever being large enough to receive the unbounded Grace.
I felt slayed, “How can anyone be deserving of such a gift?”

Immediately another belief spoke up:
“No one, no one can ever earn this blessing!” And I think this one is really true.
But that only made the pain worse, as it emphasized the enormity of Love we never see.

Then, deeper layers, the hidden beliefs that hold my unworthiness in place rang out like some Greek chorus:
“No, I could never deserve all this.”
“I am not pretty enough.”
“I am not smart enough.”
“I am not even kind enough.”

“And still, it has been given.” …well, one belief in five might actually be true…

I sat there with my belly, sobbing, trying to simply let it relax and breathe.
Curiously, my heart was totally at peace.
The lesson now was for my belly. And I tried to give it time.
…noticing too – how very lucky I was that someone had tried to jimme that door.

Which brings to mind a song … in all silliness, given my short attention span and proclivity for loose associations.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

On Healing: Part 3

purple cornflower 2
Originally uploaded by Seeking Tao
What exactly do you have to say to yourself?
What causes you pain?
What belief causes you grief?
What exactly are you saying to yourself innocently, unknowingly, that’s actually causing…
The closing of the heart,
The resistance,
The grief …
And the anger.
Adyashanti, The Omega Institute, July 2007, (CD 10:3)

And what I usually find is that part of me actually enjoys the misery and doesn’t want to let it go.
Which brings to mind the earlier comment spirituality isn’t about finding relief,
but rather, discovering the truth. (see part 1)
It’s embarrassing to find I’m deliberately holding onto pain.
At such times I have to make the choice: Truth or some secret self indulgence.
The choice is up to me.

How wonderful to be brought to this dilemma!
Most people haven’t even noticed what they’re doing.
And they suffer and complain for years.
The Universe is patient.

Here, Adya is in dialog with a student, a man in his fifties I would guess, still carrying the pain from his childhood and his relationship with his abusive father.
Adya asked the fellow what his belief was about that relationship, but feel free to substitute a belief of your own.

Student: “How could you hurt me? All I did was love you.”

Adya: Core beliefs are often where the first innocent misunderstandings happen.
Turn it around a little.
Ask, “How did I hurt me?”

How did you take what happened – cause it happened …
how did your system, that innocent system take an experience that happened
and then, hurt it self?
From that instant on, how have you been hurting yourself?

Student: By holding on?

Adya: And what’s the thought that causes the holding on…?

Student: Fear of being hurt, I think…

Adya: Yes, fear of being hurt.
And this is the crucial point we all must realize –
The hurt is the hurt that we are doing to ourselves.
That’s the hurt.
That’s what we need to see.

How am I hurting myself?

Someone may have hurt me 50 years ago, or I can drop something on my foot (that’s a totally different kind of hurt)… but, from the instant that hurt happened,
from the instant that event happened,
from a few moments after that event,
ALL the other hurt has been something we’ve been doing to ourselves.

That event was long over and so we look back and we go,
“Oh! Someone hurt me and it’s causing me to hurt me now.”

…The thing that’s actually empowering is to see that from the moment something happened, from that moment on, my belief structure shifted in such a way that it’s causing me emotional pain.

If it lay in someone else’s hands, or some other event, you’d be in trouble…
because none of us can ever go back and change anything that happened.
We can’t change anybody or any event…
But, we can see that our current emotional pain is something that our minds are creating and our body is reflecting.

When you get that principle you can go into yourself – meditative inquiry – not like sitting around analyzing it, but meditatively really go in where the thought is always linked with feeling,
so that you feel everything you think…
You have to have the patience to feel what you believe…
so you see, “Ah, that belief causes this pain.”…

“Is that belief a true belief?” …
“If that belief only causes pain, why would I hold on to it?”

When your body gets it on a cellular level that the beliefs we hold are actually the most dangerous things we have in our system –
Then they let go of themselves…

As long as we think someone else is causing the pain, or an event that happened in the past… we are totally disempowered. There is absolutely nothing we can do…

The best that can happen is what I call re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. The best you can hope to do is manage your suffering:
Blame somebody less.
Hate them a little less.
Love them a little more.

Personally, I want more than that.