We all go through it. The stuff that makes us worried, sad, angry, confused, depressed, sick, depleted or stressed. It seems sometimes that life is so full of the above that you can hardly find the bright, joyful, loving moments between all the ‘static’.
It seems to me that Life is a Spoon. The spoon just stirs and stirs, it’s the nature of the spoon to do so!! But how do we clear our sediment so that when the spoon stirs, we don’t get all cloudy and off balance in the midst of the funnel?
This is the key. Finding those little moments, not the overwhelming gross sensations, but the tiny subtle vibrations of joy and pleasure that can be found in the most mundane everyday moments. It’s just a matter of perspective I believe.
It’s really quite a task to view life as it is, just a spoon. It’s not personal at all. You will get sick, or hurt or lose your job or marriage. People will die, we all will. Life is like that, but it’s just the spoon that’s the nature of it!! Its an exercise in living in a human form. View it this way: if it was someone else’s divorce or sickness, would you get as flustered? But it is the YOU the I and the MY that makes us suffer. All pain is pain. So how can we learn to not take any of it personally, and not have to defend that I, so that the ego which makes us suffer begins to diminish? In order for the ‘I’ to start to have less power in the tornado the real you starts to say “ah, the spoon has started stirring, I will remain clear and calm, it’s all impermanent, so let me observe the storm but not get swept away in it.”
Does this make any sense? It may impossible to some extent to not identify with the very thing that we believe gives us life, this body– or pain or illness, these thoughts, this situation.
Here are a few things I do to remain clear in the midst of the stirring, please leave your techniques in comments too:
1. Practice mindfulness. Observe the emotion rather than identifying with it. For example here comes FEAR. Guess what, I have cancer, or whatever. Option 1: Cry, freak out, stress, and break down (not very graceful! Buy hey it happens and that’s ok) Option 2: take away the I, and guess what, it’s just cancer, not MY cancer but THE cancer. It will pass, and no matter what happens right now, I’m ok. It’s the observation which brings me us out of the I and into the BIG MIND or GODHEAD. Be aware that whatever is happening is only transient, and it will pass. When pain comes, you learn to observe it rather than having aversion to it. Then the response changes. Become aware and mindful: How big it is, how sharp, dull, throbbing, shooting. What is the quality of the sensation, and then see it changing, constantly changing. Then slowly the truth emerges, anything that is not permanent is not true, therefore the only thing that matters is the energy residue or karma created through the action or re-action.
2. Non-reaction: When something is storming you– whether it’s an emotion or a pain or something that seems too much to bear, you can choose non-reaction. No response is a mindful response, even if it’s joy or lust you can observe it without attachment and this will keep you from suffering or creating karma based on a reaction. Or better yet love reaction will always create positive karma.
3. Self-care: this is KEY, if you’re not doing a practice– Ie: REIKI, or something that connects you with a larger energy, than you have no center in order to practice the two techniques above. Walk in the grass, lean on a tree, breath in nature, yoga, art, music, meditation. USE ESSENTIAL OILS. DO something everysingleday to help you to maintain your balance and clear the sediment from your glass so that when the spoon begins to stir you have a tool to use rather than reacting carelessly.
4. Charity: See others with compassion and act on your higher self. When you see others in their suffering suddenly yours diminishes and sometimes even gratitude for what you have emerges. Doing a good deed is guaranteed to bolster your energy and those around you who witness it. We are hardwired for compassion. If your practice is not bringing up compassion in you then you must do something different. I believe everyone will benefit from giving SERVICE. Getting outside yourself is a great way to move forward on your path.
5. Community: Sharing our gifts in an intimate setting with others of a like mind is a very important part of being healed or in a healing state rather then being depleted or dis-eased. Learn to ask for help and allow those who love you to step up or fall away. Learn to give help and communicate in a non-selfish way is a sure fire way to diminish the ego and recognize the divinity in others.
Remember: “Pain is inevitable, but suffering is entirely optional”. Suffering comes when you replay the pain and pass it on, rather than seeing the lesson and remaining calm.
Originally published at medium.com