Conflict Is Not Abuse – Sarah Schulman

I just came across this book at Hard Feelings, and it is incredible. I’m still quite early on, but the language, depth, and scope really captivate me. I’m learning so much more about power dynamics in the world and becoming much more aware of my own actions and how they can impact the community.

Sharing a blurb here that was just too good (apologies as it includes references not included):

“Brown and Garner did absolutely nothing but be Black. Janay Rice expressed normative conflict. Gazans resisted unbearable treatment. In all of these cases the police, the husband, and the nation overstated harm. They took Nothing, Normative Conflict, and Resistance and misrepresented these reasonable stances of difference as Abuse. From the most intimate relationship between two people, to the power of the police, to the crushing reality of occupation, these actors displayed distorted thinking in which justifiable behaviour was understood as aggression. In this way they overreacted at a level that produced tragedy, pain, and division. It is this moment of overreaction that I wish to examine in this book. My thesis is that at many levels of human interaction there is the opportunity to conflate discomfort with threat, to mistake internal anxiety for exterior danger, and in turn to escalate rather than to resolve. I will show how this dynamic, whether between two individuals, between groups of people, between governments and civilians, or between nations is a fundamental opportunity for either tragedy or peace. Conscious awareness of these political and emotional mechanisms gives us all a chance to face ourselves, to achieve recognition and understanding in order to avoid escalation towards unnecessary pain.

Happiness & life – Krishnamurti

Anyone who reads my blog will be familiar with my love for Krishnamurti’s words. His simple way of speak, his sharp, pointed questions meant to awaken us, push and prod at something buried deep inside – an inner knowing? A resonance that gives me such peace.. Isn’t it brilliant how, in a talk about ‘listening’, he’s able to tie it to education, happiness, and even the meaning of life!

Listening

Why are you here listening to me? Have you ever considered why you listen to people at all? And what does listening to somebody mean? All of you here are sitting in front of one who is speaking to you. Are you listening to hear something that will confirm, tally with your own thoughts, or are you listening to find out? Do you see the difference? Listening to find out has quite a different significance from listening merely to hear that which will confirm what you think. If you are here merely to have confirmation, to be encouraged in your own thinking, then your listening has very little meaning. But, if you are listening to find out, then your mind is free, not committed to anything; it is very acute, sharp, alive, inquiring, curious, and therefore capable of discovery. So, is it not very important to consider why you listen, and what you are listening to?

Have you ever sat very silently, not with your attention fixed on anything, not making an effort to concentrate, but with the mind very quiet, really still? Then you hear everything, don’t you? You hear the far-off noises as well as those that are nearer and those that are very close by, the immediate sounds – which means, really, that you are listening to everything. Your mind is not confined to one narrow little channel. If you can listen in this way, listen with ease, without strain, you will find an extraordinary change taking place within you, a change which comes without your volition, without your asking; and in that change there is great beauty and depth of insight.

Just try it sometime, try it now. As you are listening to me, listen not only to me, but to everything about you. Listen to all those bells, the bells of the cows and the temples; listen to the distant train and the carts on the road; and if you then come nearer still and listen to me also, you will find there is a great depth to listening. But to do this you must have a very quiet mind. If you really want to listen, your mind is naturally quiet, is it not? You are not then distracted by something happening next to you; your mind is quiet because you are deeply listening to everything. If you can listen in this way with ease, with a certain felicity, you will find an astonishing transformation taking place in your heart, in your mind – a transformation which you have not thought of, or in any way produced. 

Thought is a very strange thing, is it not? Do you know what thought is? Thought or thinking for most people is something put together by the mind, and they battle over their thoughts. But if you can really listen to everything – to the lapping of the water on the bank of a river, to the song of the birds, to the crying of a child, to your mother scolding you, to a friend bullying you, to your wife or husband nagging you – then you will find that you go beyond the words, beyond the mere verbal expressions which so tear one’s being. 

And it is very important to go beyond the mere verbal expressions because, after all, what is it that we all want? Whether we are young or old, whether we are inexperienced or full of years, we all want to be happy, don’t we? As students we want to be happy in playing our games, in studying, in doing all the little things we like to do. As we grow older, we seek happiness in possessions, in money, in having a nice house, a sympathetic wife or husband, a good job. When these things no longer satisfy us, we move onto something else. We say, “I must be detached and then I shall be happy.” So we begin to practice detachment. We leave our family, give up our property and retire from the world. Or we join some religious society, thinking that we shall be happy by getting together and talking about brotherhood, by following a leader, a guru, a Master, an ideal, by believing in what is essentially a self-deception, an illusion, a superstition.

Do you understand what I am talking about?

When you comb your hair, when you put on clean clothes and make yourself look nice, that is all part of your desire to be happy, is it not? When you pass your examinations and add a few letters of the alphabet after your name, when you get a job, acquire a house and other property, when you marry and have children, when you join some religious society whose leaders claim they have messages from unseen Masters – behind it all there is this extraordinary urge, this compulsion to find happiness.

But, you see, happiness does not come so easily, because happiness is in none of these things. You may have pleasure, you may find a new satisfaction, but sooner or later it becomes wearisome. Because there is no lasting happiness in the things we know. The kiss is followed by the tear, laughter by misery and desolation. Everything withers, decays. So, while you are young you must begin to find out what is this strange thing called happiness. That is an essential part of education.

Happiness does not come when you are striving for it – and that is the greatest secret, though it is very easily said. I can put it in a few simple words; but by merely listening to me and repeating what you have heard, you are not going to be happy. Happiness is strange; it comes when you are not seeking it. When you are not making an effort to be happy, then unexpectedly, mysteriously, happiness is there, born of purity, of a loveliness of being. But that requires a great deal of understanding – not joining an organization or trying to become somebody. Truth is not something to be achieved. Truth comes into being when your mind and heart are purged of all sense of striving and you are no longer trying to become somebody; it is there when the mind is very quiet, listening timelessly to everything that is happening. You may listen to these words but, for happiness to be, you have to find out how to free the mind of all fear.

As long as you are afraid of anything or anything, there can be no happiness. There can be no happiness as long as you are afraid of your parents, your teachers, afraid of not passing examinations, afraid of not making progress, of not getting nearer to the Master, nearer to truth, or of not being approved of, patted on the back. But if you are really not afraid of anything, then you will find – when you wake up of a morning, or when you are walking alone – that suddenly a strange thing happens: uninvited, unsolicited, unlooked for, that which may be called love, truth, happiness, is suddenly there.

That is why it is so important for you to be educated rightly while you are young. What we now call education is not education at all, because nobody talks to you about all these things. Your teachers prepare you to pass examinations, but they do not talk to you about living, which is most important; because very few know how to live. Most of us merely survive, we somehow drag along, and therefore life becomes a dreadful thing. Really to live requires a great deal of love, a great feeling for silence, a great simplicity with an abundance of experience; it requires a mind that is capable of thinking very clearly, that is not bound by prejudice or superstition, by hope or fear. All this is life, and if you are not being educated to live, then education has no meaning. You may learn to be very tidy, have good manners, and you may pass all your examinations; but to give primary importance to these superficial things when the whole structure of society is crumbling, is like cleaning and polishing your fingernails while the house is burning down. You see, nobody talks to you about all this, nobody goes into it with you. As you spend day after day studying certain subjects – mathematics, history, geography – so also you should spend a great deal of time talking about these deeper matters, because this makes for richness of life.

Focusing – Eugene Gendlin

I was so excited to see this on the shelf of Hard Feelings, the bookstore/low-cost counselling place I volunteer at. It first came to my attention during one of the classes at TAC (Transformational Arts College). I remember writing it down as a to-read book.

Here’s an excerpt from the first chapter that resonates so much with the first chapter of Charles Eisenstein’s TMBW.


“Focusing, the technique described in the pages of this book, is uniquely suited to our turbulent times when so many old forms are crumbling and old roles are vanishing. Most of us are having to invent, discover, and create the next steps of our lives without a light, a map, or a relevant tradition. We are trying to keep apace of rapidly changing technology, trying to understand ourselves and our relationships, seeking ways to be well, looking for meaning in our work and a new center of gravity within ourselves. 

In a classic series of essays, the anthropologist Anthony C. W. Wallace described the phenomenon of cultural “awakenings.” Such movements are triggered by stress, he observed. The “mazeways” of the culture, the customary sequences of behavior, are blocked. People cannot move into the roles they anticipated; their lives do not unfold in the ways they had been led to expect. 

Under the duress of disintegrating social forms, a few creative individuals – Wallace called them New Lights – propose a way out: new pathways through the cultural maze. At first there is a “nativist” backlash, in which traditionalists urge a reversion to the old ways, but eventually, out of historic necessity, the New Lights prevail. Their ideas are adopted and the society moves into a new era.

Clearly our culture is in the early stages of the transition Wallace described. Every aspect of our society, every institution, is challenged. The political structure, the medical and educational establishments, the economic, the family, religion, the workplace – all are undergoing change. We have no collective maps.

“Many people today are struggling with a baffling fact,” Eugene Gendlin writes. “The old patterns that are supposed to make life work – and once did – no longer serve. Being a parent today, for example, doesn’t work if we try to do it as our parents did, yet no other form is established for us to follow. We have to make it up as we go along…”

The old patterns were once useful, he acknowledges. Except for a few nonconformists, most people historically fitted themselves to their roles. “Only a small number of educated and thinking people created roles and patterns.”

But today a large mass of people are educated and literate, with expanded needs to be creative. They feel confined by stock roles and emotions. They have feelings “far more complex than accepted roles either demand or offer.”

Because of the radical changes we are undergoing as a culture, we have new, “unclear” feelings, emotions and sensations for which there is no common pattern. We are trying to create new forms appropriate to a new time. And we have an exciting, unprecedented opportunity. “If we accept ourselves and each other as form-makers, we will no longer need to force forms on ourselves or each other.

Eugene Gendlin and his co-explorers of the focusing process are New Lights in this awakening, offering not only cultural alternatives but a tool for understanding our unclear feelings and inventing new patterns for living. Focusing is a key to personal momentum and unfolding, a dynamic process that can guide us through the tricky mazeways of a new world.

Like any powerful, new idea, focusing is not readily described in old terms. It moves us into unfamiliar territory, the realm of creative potential that we have usually considered the province of artists and inventors.


There are websites that describe the focusing process in detail. I’m curious to try it and see what pops up for me.

Curious.. so curious..

 

Astrological psychology??

I often ponder the reason for my seeming obsession with the human psyche. From a distance, the books I pore over often seem overlapping in their knowledge and similar in their approach.

What, then, is the difference between them, and is there any added value if the content is so similar?

A classmate lent me a book called Relating by Liz Greene. I will share part of her introduction here that gave me some insight on my fascination with such subjects like metaphysics, psychology, and things of a more esoteric nature.

“Relating is a fundamental aspect of life. It is archetypal, which means that it is an experience which permeates the basic structure not only of the human psyche but of the universe in its entirety. In the final analysis all things are built upon relating, for we would not be conscious of any aspect of life without recognizing it through its difference from every other aspect. We recognize day because there is night, and the relationship between the two defines and identifies each of them. And if some minimal thought is given to this idea, it becomes increasingly apparent that we human beings can only conceive of ourselves as individuals through comparison with that which we are not.

Primarily through the work of psychology during the last seventy-five years, however, it has become apparent that relationships are not only a means to personal satisfaction of one kind or another. They are also necessary for the growth of consciousness and the individual’s understanding of himself. A man does not know what he looks like until he sees himself reflected in the looking-glass, and this simple truth applies not only to physical reality but to the reality of the psyche as well.

… (shift in consciousness)

It is possible that this shift in consciousness, to which astrology has given the symbolic name of the Aquarian Age, has, as one of its central motifs, a striving toward inner knowledge – a knowledge that would complement the emphasis on external knowledge already very familiar to us. Our current time-spirit appears to be deeply concerned with self-understanding, and with a search for meaning. And although one can attribute this search to economic and political changes which inevitably create tension, stress and self-questioning, it may also be possible to view these two concurrent trends – socio-economic upheaval and what can be simply described as a spiritual quest – as synchronous events. That is, one need not be the cause of the other, but both may be symptomatic of a deep inner change occurring in the collective psyche of man.”

Liz Greene appeals to me because, in addition to her astrological wisdom, she is also a Jungian analyst! She states:

“My original intent in writing Relating was to approach the vast and complex dilemma of human relationships through a combination of astrological symbolism and depth psychology – chiefly the psychology of C.G. Jung – because it seemed obvious to me through my experience of working both as an astrologer and a psychotherapist that what we meet in outer life ultimately reflects what lies within ourselves; and that relationships are our greatest mirrors and teachers of the stuff of which our own souls are made. This is not a new idea; it is implicit in much of Greek philosophical thought, as well as in the Hermetic teachings of the Renaissance. But it was relatively new in the astrological literature of a decade ago, although Jung – who regularly utilized the insights of astrology – wrote extensively on the subject. Astrology, however, found its entry into England via Theosophy, which as a philosophical system is benign but nonetheless shies away from that ‘lower nature’ which depth psychology has made so much more effort to restore to its merited place in the wholeness of the individual; and even with the more enlightened approaches of Charles Carter, Margaret Hone, and the early days of the Faculty of Astrological Studies astrology still retains its unmistakable antecedents in its talk of higher and lower natures, benefic and malefic plants, good and bad aspects, and a rather fatalistic approach to relationships (Venus in the second house in trine to Jupiter means you will marry money). Because Jung’s psychology is round rather than vertical, and gives values to all dimensions of the psyche, this approach to the horoscope has always seemed to me to be a healthier one, and in the years since I wrote Relating my work as a Jungian analyst has proven to me over and over again the importance of recognizing and integrating the unconscious dimensions of the psyche if any psychological balance, health, and equilibrium are to be maintained – not to mention being able to let other people be other people and not extensions of our own unlived and unrecognized selves.”


So, the answer to my question is that, for me, each book has specifically a different focus and depth to it, and depending on the nature of your question / exploration, you’ll use a different map!

AND, perhaps, like humans from afar, we look and seem similar, especially to a koala or sloth, but up close, we are much more unique. I guess it’s like zooming in and zooming out.

A perfect example would be food! Pasta is pasta, and spaghetti is spaghetti. But venture into the territory of – all spaghetti is the same – and you’ll find yourself in deep. deeeeeeeep water.

Cultivate curiosity. Things always look different up close. What new worlds can you open your eyes to today? 

Emotional Agility – Susan David

I came across an interview with Lewis Howes and Susan David that was quite wonderful, so i will share some of her points here:

The World Health Organization predicted that depression would be the #1 cause of disability by 2030. It reached that number in 2017, globally. This reminds me of something Charles Eisenstein said in TMBW, “When the conscious mind cannot find a reason to say no, the unconscious says no in its own way. More and more of us cannot bear to stay in the “old normal” any longer.”

Is this what’s happening?

  • the only certainty is uncertainty
  • 1/3 of us judge our emotions instead of feeling the feeling
  • Emotions allow us insight, leading us to be able to tweak things; they are the tools that help us communicate with ourselves; beneath our difficult emotions are signposts to things we care about
  • Emotional Rigidity – when our emotions, stories and thoughts drive us, rather than our intentions, values and who we want to be in the world
  • Victor Frankl – between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose.
  • Emotions are data points, not directives; saying there are right or wrong emotions is like saying your right leg is better than your left leg; Rather, open your heart to feel the full range of emotional experience
  • Allow yourself to be

Practical tips:

When you say, “I am ______” (insert emotion), we are saying that ALL OF ME is _____. But it’s simply not true. Seeing it as just that one emotion takes away the space between stimulus and response.

Instead, notice the thoughts and emotions that are present.
– notice that I’m feeling sad
– notice that I’m feeling angry
– I’m noticing the thought that I’m not good enough

healthy relationship with emotions is about being compassionate with ourselves, recognizing we are doing the best we can with what we’ve got. Create a space inside where you can fail.

Susan ends off with a South African greeting, Sawubona, which means, “I see you, and by seeing you, I bring you into into being.”

Thank you. 🙂

Singing over the Bones – Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Reading Women Who Run With the Wolves is an incredible experience for me. I find myself at the edge of my thought zone, reaching just beyond what is familiar. i can both feel myself understanding and not-understanding simultaneously. it’s bizarre… if i look carefully, i can feel its truth, abstract as it is… i can also step back and see how it doesn’t make any sense (what does it all mean??? wild – like you want to go run naked in the forest and forage for berries?? what is it that you want to do that’s so “wild”??) it’s curious that this word creates so much within us… what does this word evoke in you?

i like holding this apparent contradiction in my mind. it feels important. when we arrive at a conclusion, too often it feels like we forgot the journey we traversed to get there, and almost assume that everyone should arrive at the same time as us, to the exact same spot, neglecting to remember the others who are farther along than us, on their own journey, and our own digging / excavation process.

it feels like coming back home… (which, in itself, can be an equally odd idea if one is not in this place…)

Sharing some here, pulled from the Introduction chapter:

“Like a trail through a forest which becomes more and more faint and finally seems to diminish to a nothing, traditional psychological theory too soon runs out for the creative, the gifted, the deep woman. Traditional psychology is often spare or entirely silent about deeper issues important to women: the archetypal, the intuitive, the sexual and cyclical, the ages of women, a woman’s way, a woman’s knowing, her creative fire.

A woman’s issue of soul cannot be treated by carving her into a more acceptable form as defined by an unconscious culture, nor can she be bent into a more intellectually acceptable shape by those who claim to be the sole bearers of consciousness. No, that is what has already caused millions of women who began as strong and natural powers to become outsiders in their own cultures. Instead, the goal must be the retrieval and succor of women’s beauteous and natural psychic form.

Fairy tales, myths, and stories provide understandings which sharpen our sight so that we can pick out and pick up the path left by the wildish nature. The instruction found in story reassures us that the path has not run out, but still leads women deeper, and more deeply still, into their own knowing. The tracks which we are all following are those of the Wild Woman archetype, the innate instinctual Self.

I call her Wild Woman, for those very words, wild and woman, create llamar o tocar a la puerta, the fairy-tale knock at the door of the deep female psyche. Llamar o tocar a la puerta means literally to play upon the instrument of the name in order to open a door. It means using words that summon up the opening of a passageway. No matter why which culture a woman is influenced, she understands the words wild and woman, intuitively.

When women hear those words, an old, old memory is stirred and brought back to life. The memory is of our absolute, undeniable, and irrevocable kinship with the wild feminine, a relationship which may have become ghosty from neglect, buried by overdomestication, outlawed by the surrounding culture, or no longer understood anymore. We may have forgotten her names, we may not answer when she calls ours, but in our bones we know her, we yearn toward her; we know she belongs to us and we to her.

It is into this fundamental, elemental, and essential relationship that we were born and that in our essence we are also derived from.

She comes to us through sound as well; through music which vibrates the sternum, excites the heart; it comes through the drum, the whistle, the call, and the cry. It comes through the written and the spoken word; sometimes a word, a sentence or a poem or a story, is so resonant, so right, it causes us to remember, at least for an instant, what substance we are really made from, and where is our true home. “


A quick definition of what she means by “wild”, before we get people all up in arms about women getting too empowered by their inner nature and doing all sorts of destructive things:
“So, the word wild here is not used in its modern pejorative sense, meaning out of control, but in its original sense, which means to live a natural life, one in which the criatura, creature, has innate integrity and healthy boundaries.”
– a “knowing of the soul”

On Freedom – Krishnamurti

Recent events bring to mind the concept of freedom. It’s something most of us enjoy, and would strive for if we felt the absence of it.

Sharing some thoughts by the wonderful Krishnamurti:

“Now, what does it mean to be free? Is freedom a matter of doing what suits you, going where you like, thinking what you will? This you do anyhow. Merely to have independence, does that mean freedom? Many people in the world are independent, but very few are free. Freedom implies great intelligence, does it not? To be free is to be intelligent, but intelligence does not come into being by just wishing to be free; it comes into being only when you begin to understand your whole environment, the social, religious, parental, and traditional influences that are continually closing in on you. But to understand the various influences – the influence of your parents, of your government, of society, of the culture to which you belong, of your beliefs, your gods and superstitions, of the tradition to which you conform unthinkingly – to understand all these and become free from them requires deep insight, but you generally give in to them because inwardly you are frightened. You are afraid of not having a good position in life; you are afraid of what your priest will say; you are afraid of not following tradition, of not doing the right thing. But freedom is really a state of mind in which there is no fear or compulsion, no urge to be secure.
Don’t most of us want to be safe? Don’t we want to be told what marvellous people we are, how lovely we look, or what extraordinary intelligence we have? Otherwise we would not put letters after our names. All that kind of thing gives us self-assurance, a sense of importance. We all want to be famous people – and the moment we want to BE something, we are no longer free.”

Something to think about. 🙂

The Red Book – Scrutinies

Thanks to a dear friend, I extricated my Red Book from the dustballs that are my bookshelf.

“Inside yourself you think unsparingly and coarsely only what always suits you, and with this you feel yourself above humanity and not in the least responsible. But you are responsible to humanity in everything that you think, feel, and do. Do not pretend there is a difference between thinking and doing. You rely only on your undeserved advantage, not to be compelled to say or do what you think and feel.

But you are shameless in everything where no one sees you. If another said that to you, you would be mortally offended, despite knowing that it is true. You want to reproach others for their failings? So that they better themselves? Yes, confess, have you bettered yourself? From where do you get the right to have opinions of others What is your opinion about yourself? And what are the good grounds that support it? Your grounds are webs of lies covering a dirty corner. You judge others and charge them with what they should do. You do this because you have no order within yourself, because you are unclean.

And then – how do you really think? It appears to me that you even think with men, regardless of their human dignity; you dare think by means of them, and use them as figures on your stage, as if they were how you conceive them? Have you ever considered that you thus commit a shameful act of power, as bad as that for which you condemn others, namely that they love their fellow men, as they claim, but in reality exploit them to their own ends. Your sin flourishes in seclusion, but it is no less great remoresless, and coarse.

What is concealed in you I will drag out into the light, shamless one! I will crush your superiority under my feet.

Do not speak to me about your love. What you call love oozes with self-interest and desirousness. But you speak about it with great words, and the greater your words are, the more pathetic your so-called love is. Never speak to me of your love, but keep your mouth shut. It lies.

I want you to speak about your shame, and that instead of speaking great words, you utter a discordant clamor before those whose respect you wanted to exact. You deserve mockery, not respect.

I will burn out of you the contents of which you were proud, so that you will become empty like a poured-out vessel. You should be proud of nothing more than your emptiness and wretchedness. You should be a vessel of life, so kill your idols.

You want to be understood? That’s all we needed! Understand yourself, and you will be sufficiently understood. You will have quite enough work in hand with that Mothers’ little dears want to be understood. Understand yourself, that is the best protection against sensitivity and satisfies your childish longing to be understood. I suppose you want to turn others into slaves of your desireousness again? But you know that I must live with you and that I will no longer tolerate such abject plaintiveness.


Isn’t that beautiful? Reading Jung is such an experience for me. His other stuff is good, but The Red Book, in particular, is unreal. It literally makes my heart race. I need to catch my breath.

It’s like his words reach a place that is usually beyond reach. What is this place? I can feel it stirring in me as i take in his words. The struggle he feels between the tuggings of his soul and… and what? The dialogue often reminds me of the book of Job.

As Rumi so magically stated, “When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”

ESP – Emotional Support Person

I’ve always been fascinated by ESP, most commonly meaning Extra-Sensory Perception. It led me to do a project on the Bermuda Triangle when I was just a wee lad. lass. lad.

Anyway, this morning I watched a Vice episode on Sault Ste. Marie and the opiod crisis. It was pretty heartbreaking. This, along with recent events most of us have seen on the news, prompts me to feel that something more needs to be done.

There’s so much pain in the world. We see it everywhere. The schools, the hospitals, the everyday interactions, and much more! It’s clear the current system isn’t doing a very good job supporting our community.

How can we begin to bring about healing? (Cue: Mahatma Gandhi quote)

I am contemplating the idea of an ESP, similar to a PSW, but one who is specifically trained to provide… emotional support! The intimate connection between one’s emotions and our health is becoming increasingly accepted. As such, wouldn’t it be amazing if we can help by just… being there, holding space, etc. (I say etc. because i can’t think of any other examples off the top of my head). An idea to massage…

I feel this would be helpful. I feel Caroline Myss would agree – so grateful I was able to attend her talk on the Power of our Words yesterday!

Okay, that’s it for now.

Tapping In – by Laurel Parnell

Helena, the instructor from the Meditation and the Chakras class offered at the Transformational Arts College, brought in a book yesterday. She mentioned that she worked with people who have experienced trauma. There’s a technique called EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) “a clinically recognized system for tapping both sides of the body to overcome trauma, boost confidence, calm the body on a deep, physiological level, and to respond better to stress.”

Those all sound wonderful to me!

So I borrowed it. SO excited to start. Just wanted to share it with the world! 🙂

Here’s an excerpt also, so you’re not just left with a pool of my thoughts.

“When I was in my early twenties, Lama Yeshe gifted me with a direct experience of this inner resource. I had just spend the day with him and two friends visiting a sacred lake in the Sierras, where he did a ceremony to protect the lake with a group of Native Americans. We had taken him to a house where he was to stay for a few days before returning to a meditation retreat we were all attending. As I walked down a hallway of the house, I encountered Lama Yeshe; immediately my heart overflowed with love for him. Yet I felt a little awkward, as I was also in awe of him – his presence was so powerful. Breaking the silence, I began to express my appreciation for him, but he stopped me. Taking my right hand in his, he gently but firmly placed it over my heart. Then, looking directly into my eyes, he said, “The Buddha is within you, dear.” In that moment, time stood still. His words struck a chord of truth that resonated in the depth of my being. Tears streamed own my face. Truth recognized itself and came to the foreground of my awareness. The Buddha in me recognized the Buddha in him. I realized in that instant that we were not two, but one and the same. He held my gaze for a few moments then released my hand and continued down the hall.”

The world is full of people who want us to follow them. Often, we are quite willing, also, to throw off our own cloak and put on someone else’s. It’s easier. We don’t have to dig through our own shit, figure out what we really believe in, what we truly value. But we can’t live someone else’s life. We must live our own. But How, you ask? This question seems to bring us back to consider the ancient wisdom of Socrates, who said that the unexamined life is not worth living, and Shakespeare, who encouraged us, to thine own self be true.

It’s beautiful to come across souls who turn the tables and reflect the light back.

May you always see the light in yourself, and in others. Namaste.