Aspiring Guiltlessness

November 18, 2010
I tried really hard not to just copy and paste this post into my blog post. This is the best I could cut it down to.  I wrote the poem that is cited in my little green notebook today. My little green notebook is the place where I put the advice I’d like to burn on to the inside of my eyelids. My hope is that I actually will go and look at it if I get in that place in my head…..”ruminatrix mode” if you will. Spin cycle is nice but it doesn’t have the same zing as “ruminatrix”. I didn’t make it up but I was told I could use it 🙂
You have to understand that even though you make a lot of mistakes and you mess up in all kinds of ways, all of that is impermanent and shifting and changing and temporary. But fundamentally, your mind and heart are not guilty. They are innocent.”So guiltlessness is very important in the subject of dissolving or burning up the seeds of aggression in our own hearts and our own minds.Most of the striking out at other people, for us in this culture, comes from feeling bad about ourselves. It makes us so wretched and so uncomfortable that it sets off the chain reaction of trying to get away from that feeling. It’s some very very habitual thing that happens.

If you got hooked, and then someone was to give you four seconds, or a minute, and then tap you on the shoulder and ask you what that feels like, it feels really bad, it feels like “bad me” and the aggression is turned against yourself…..

And if you went more deeply into that, you would probably find sadness.And I quote this so much, this Poem of Rick Fields, where he said:

Behind the hardness there is fear
And if you touch the heart of the fear
You find sadness (it sort of gets more and more tender)
And if you touch the sadness
You find the vast blue sky

…. really what I am encouraging is the next time you feel yourself hooked, if you pause and you breath with it, and you don’t act out and you don’t repress, but you think of this quote, and you think the ones that will create the new culture that is needed are those that are not afraid to be insecure.

Whatever it is that you think at that moment, maybe this is what it feels like to be burning up the seeds that have caused all the pain on this earth – this is what that feels like.

I always feel that somehow you have to reframe that bad feeling – so that you see it as a doorway to liberation, as an opening to the vast blue sky.

A teaching by Pema Chödrön
excerpted from a talk entitled “Practicing Peace in Times of War”
published by Shambhala Publications



October 30, 2010

I’ve read and re-read parts of Taking the Leap by Pema Chodron. Seems like every page I open to is a lesson I need engraved upon my inner eyelids. Today I opened and re-read Chapter 8: Discovering Natural Openness. In this chapter she mentions the story of Larry Trap and Michael Weisser, which appeared in Time Magazine circa. 1992. I’m inserting a link here especially for Scattermom, an example of “rocks to dust”. I think we may be going about it the wrong way. 🙂

Curiosity and unknowing (what you think you know) seem to be the rocks, on which, my brand of beginner meditation is built upon. Here’s where I paraphrase….and include <inner dialogue>.

I can drop fixed ideas that limit me by giving my “hooked, triggered, spin cycled’ brain a pause with 3 conscious breaths. <Really? Just 3? Really! Lizard brain/Amygdala doesn’t like all that pausing.> I can acknowledge whatever I am feeling as the dynamic and fluid energy of life without acting. This is my neutral moment. <I can hear my inner hamster wheels squeeeeeking> It can go either way. I can pause and slow down in this moment to choose another way instead of strengthening old responses. I can look at the sky <oooh fluffy clouds!!!> to help remind me of this ever changing energy around me.

I’ve been getting Maximum Meditation Mileage when I force myself to sit still and do ‘nothing’. How is it that doing ‘nothing’ can be so difficult? I am going to need next Saturday’s Day of Mindfulness tune up. This post is brought to you by the following Northern Sun bumper sticker. (It’s not really but I like their wares.)

Bilbliotherapy and The Church Lady

October 13, 2010

Lately amongst the chaos that is normal I have been becoming my own therapist with the help of books. I’ve read and perused a few prior to this one. Three authors are on my mind currently. The first is Pema Chodron. What I gathered briefly was that she is a former first grade teacher turned Buddhist nun. One reason I like her so much is that she states Buddhist teaching in such simple ways while using it’s terminology.

The first of her books that I read is Comfortable with Uncertainty. I really wish I had bought this book instead of the more traditional meditative book Daily Meditations for Calming Your Anxious Mind.  Comfortable with Uncertainties writings would bring me comfort while I read them as well as remind me of my goals. It is a text I found myself thumbing through on a daily basis, always opening to something that brought comfort. While Daily Meditations has many very useful meditation activities,it felt like more of a chore to read. And then I felt guilty when I didn’t jump right into a meditative exercise. Perhaps reading itself is meditative for me, and I need to have more of an open mind while reading through Daily Meditations for Calming Your Anxious Mind. Uh Oh Nit-Picking-Ninny-Teacher me came out there for a minute and said “You must always follow directions”

Bibliotherapy Lesson 1: Don’t be a Ninny-Nitpicker/ Recognize Your Inner Ninny-Nitpicker

The ultimate Ninny-Nitpicker IMHO is The Church Lady.

Created and played by Dana Carvey, The Church Lady is an elderly woman named “Enid Strict”, who is the uptight, smug and pious host of her own talk show, Church Chat. Enid is a spoof of “holier-than-thou” Christian churchgoers. She is known for always wearing a purple dress, a sweater, visible knee-high stockings, and a pair of cat’s eyehorn-rimmed glasses. She was known for the catchphrases, “Well, isn’t that SPE-CIAL?!”, “How con-VEEN-ient!”, and “Could it be…SATAN?

So friends if you recognize me going all Church Lady on you, please let me know. It’s harmful to me and those around me.

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