Friday, December 26, 2014

Via Karen's Thoughts: Nourishing Rage and Letting It Go

He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me – in those who harbor such thoughts hatred will never cease.

This verse, at the very beginning of the Dharmapada, speaks of the very simple truth that if we bring to mind our wrongs and nourish our hurt and anger, we make ourselves miserable. This verse caught my attention a long time ago, because that is exactly what the mind does--it repeats the list of the wrongs someone else has done to us: “He did this. She did that.” followed by your favorite four-letter word for people you dislike. Like a bulldog with a bone, the mind chews on hurtful events over and over again.

Another Buddhist scripture speaks of revenge being like trying to throw a hot coal at an enemy, we burn ourselves before we even have a chance to hurt anyone else. Someone who says “I will never forgive!” is really saying that they will nurse their grudge internally and turn it around and around in their mind, making themselves feel terrible, while the object of their hatred is untouched – this is assuming one is not planning to break the law by doing violence, which leads to its own cycle of suffering.

Now, I'm not so perfect that I've never nursed a grievance. There's a huge amount of energy in anger and you feel like you're going to explode if you don't do something with it. I tend to talk about it until I run myself to a stop. During domestic arguments, I do housework --- the place is never so clean as when I'm rolling on a big internal rant. Ideally, one should use that energy to resolve that situation. I had something happen at work that was unjust, and I used that anger to solve the problem in a professional way, then poof! Anger all gone. Sometimes, I find what's under the anger is essentially anxiety – and knowing that doesn't make it go away necessarily, but it does give me a tool to fight it with. Because., as the Buddha makes clear, it's your own anger that's the real enemy, not the person you're raging about.

It's hard to let go. I sometimes hang on to the illusion that if I can only just explain how they hurt me, they'd understand and admit they were wrong. And let's be honest with ourselves: There is something pleasurable about the idea that we can have the last word and put someone in their place. We fantasize about it. I think that the next time a doctor asks me if I eat French fries when I've come in to have an ingrown toenail treated, I will tell him exactly what I think of him and his stereotyping, and I will stomp out of his office, numbed toe and all! (And I've eaten French fries less than a half-dozen times in the last ten years. Bastard!) Anyway, it's a very satisfying picture to think that you can let 'em have it and leave them speechless as you storm out the door.

But that usually doesn't happen. People aren't “put in their place”; they just defend and justify themselves, and do their best to put you in the wrong. The more you try it, the worse the conflict becomes. The more you justify yourself, the more ammunition you give to someone who wants to put you down. In my experience, the only way to really end any conflict is absence and stubborn silence. It takes two to fight. Nobody can keep a fight going by themselves, except in their own minds.

Probably the best tool in your arsenal for that mental fight is the practice of metta (loving-kindness) meditation. It really is the opposite of the “He wronged me” rant quoted from the Dharmapada. Instead what you do is say phrases like “May he be happy. May he be healthy. May he be safe. May he be at peace.” You can google metta and find a wide variation on the theme, but the basic idea is that we start with wishing ourselves well, then those who are close to us, then in ever-widening circles until we embrace the entire world with loving-kindness. But included in this practice are those wishes for those who “we have difficulty loving” or “a person that we find difficult”. If I stop and think about it, I don't really want anything bad to happen to a person who has made me angry. What I want, mostly, is for them to leave me alone – and if I keep stewing about what they've done, it's just a way of keeping them in my life. Ideally, one should be able to endure obnoxious people and still wish them well, but I'm not that saintly yet. One step at a time. :-)

Read the original Here

DrRic Tutorial 4-7-8 Breathing

See also:

Flor do Dia - Flor del Día - Flower of the Day - 26/12/2014

“Uma coisa é achar que tem fé; outra coisa é ter fé. Você acha que tem fé, mas isso é imaginação – é uma fé mental. Essa fé é construída a partir de uma interpretação intelectual do conhecimento espiritual. Essa falsa fé é apenas um truque da natureza inferior, pois ela desmorona diante do primeiro desafio que aparece. A autêntica fé é um fenômeno que se dá no plano do coração, e quando essa conexão é estabelecida, pode vir o balanço que for - você não cai. Este é o poder da fé: sendo autêntica ela faz o cego enxergar, surdo ouvir e manco subir montanha. Essa é a minha experiência.”

“Una cosa es creer que se tiene fe; otra cosa es tener fe. Crees que tienes fe, pero eso es imaginación - es una fe mental. Esta fe es construida a partir de una interpretación intelectual del conocimiento espiritual. Esta falsa fe es sólo un truco de la naturaleza inferior, pues ella se desmorona ante el primer desafío que aparece. La auténtica fe es un fenómeno que se da en el plano del corazón, y cuando se establece esa conexión, puede venir la dificultad que sea - tú no caes. Este es el poder de la fe: siendo auténtica ella hace al ciego ver, al sordo oír y al cojo subir la montaña. Esa es mi experiencia.”

“It’s one thing to think you have faith, and another to actually have faith. We may think we have faith, but it’s only in our imagination – a mental faith. This faith is based on an intellectual interpretation of spiritual knowledge. False faith is merely a trick played on us by our lower nature. It falls apart as soon as the first challenge appears. Authentic faith is a phenomenon that occurs in our heart. Once this connection is made, regardless of what comes to shake us up we never fall. That is the power of faith. When faith is authentic, it makes the blind see, the deaf hear and the lame climb mountains. That’s my experience.”

Via Daily Dharma

See the Suffering | December 26, 2014

By paying attention to sensory experience as it is happening—and not getting caught up in the labels, preferences, thoughts, and emotions that happen in the split seconds after bare sense-data impinge on our awareness—we learn to see the suffering involved in getting caught up. And by seeing that suffering, we learn to free ourselves from it.

- Cynthia Thatcher, "Disconnect the Dots"

Via Freedom to Marry / FB: