Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Monastery of Life

Saigon Feb2011
I just got a message from YY about the MANY things she needs to do.

I have a very tight schedule for next two weeks.

Lots of meetings and appointments with HHH  for the whole 2 weeks.

I want to go to PPP  and LLL (Delta) for ...... this and .......and that ........and the other.........

I have to lead  ...................... on the weekend.
I chair the XYZ support network meeting on the following weekend.

I want to help  ABC  program opening ceremony on 9th of march for.......
I promised to attend .....................and help my lovely friend.....

I have a lot of stress to do these things, overwhelming

At the same time I want keep in touch with XYZ2.

SSS, tell me something.
(details have been anonymized) 

Her message made me think a bit: so I wrote back: 

Dear YY,

Wow, you really have a LOT to do. 
A real lot. 

Do you remember sometimes we talked about going to a monastery, retreating from life to pursue spirit.  How nice that would be.
Let me think out loud about this: 
Isn't this a challenge for a monk or a nun.... ?
Perhaps this is the kind of thing nun/monk might be asked to do....? 

"What you do you mean ? How can all that running around and stressful stuff be the kind of thing a monk or nun is asked to do ? You got it wrong !"  

"Yes, well maybe,- what if we look at it another way."

The challenge is NOT about getting all those things done, it is rather about becoming aware of how I
resent, things I do and then how i force myself to do them. 

It is being aware of how I panic and run away from the whole situation....

For me the challenge is 

becoming aware of the panic, the resentment, the pushing without judging myself for it. 
notice this last bit: 


becoming aware of how I make myself rush, and  how I then lose the joy in the moment, 

and being aware of those things
sending myself energy of love and acceptance
sending myself energy of love and acceptance
sending myself energy of love and acceptance

And is that way of being aware without judging not very similar to the way of meditation ? 
Have I not been told by the meditation masters to let the distractions arise and not to react, not to judge them but to let them pass through like the clouds in the sky... ? 
To let them come and let them go ? 
To me this looks like the same process, only now it is applied to the HERE and NOW of daily life, 
- not in the meditation posture, but in the flow of normal everyday life....

When I push and rush then I lose the trust in life, 

or perhaps it is the other way round: when I no longer believe that things WILL work out, then I push and rush... the result is the same.

There is NO simple method I can write down (for myself, you or anyone else), of how to get into the moment and into trust with life...
- but asking for help
- using the slow energy
might be a good place to start... and also:
- the inner smile (from Chi Gong), the secret inner smile...
- Other chi Gong techniques: breathe in the light, and imagine it comes from the center of the Universe and energizes you. ...

Being aware..... is the key... and is this not the theme of all mindfullness training,

is this not the theme of the monastic life ? 

So for me, there is no need to go to the monastery,
I am IN the Monastery of Life already.....
this kind of thing can be done every moment of the day,
the monastery is HERE with me NOW !!!
If Heiko can't find it HERE NOW then Heiko won't find it in the monastery either....
those are my thoughts - it my truth... whether it be your truth.... only YOU can decide :-)

All this is
something I'm working on myself. I struggle with stress and panic and rushing and pushing all the time. We all do. Everyone does.
I suspect that the real solution is not full of struggle, but then I've not yet found the real solution....
I don't give you this as advice. Instead I share it as an idea to pursue if YOU want to. 

I am a total beginner in this myself... but I like this way of seeing things.
I can just imagine my master telling me something like this. 
I can just hear the words: 
"Ah Grasshopper, it is NOT about achieving the tasks on your list, is about being in the moment. The tasks are simply the training tools in the Gymnasium of spirit."  
And I would say:
"Ah master, that is easy for you say. It seems impossible to me. Look how we all struggle !" 
And my master would pour a cup of tea, sip it, look past me into the distance and say nothing.

And how do I know I have found the flow of the moment ?
how do I know I have let go of resentment, pushing, rushing, panic ?
Simple: when I flow in joy. 
when there is no  more forcing and pushing and straining and stressing.
When I flow with the river, rather than push it faster. or try to slow it down...
when I read the flow of the river and let it carry me ....
sounds like spiritual bullshit ?
ha ha ha, perhaps .... try it....
when I really works and I stop worrying,  stressing and just DO in trust then things really move and flow...there is not other way to put it....
yes, it takes me days of effort to get an hour of such flow....
but it is worth it
and I imagine that I can get it done more and more....
lets see....

I am reminded of the Thai concept of "sanuk" = joy, fun. 
They put sanuk into everything... like seasoning. 
They might have something there....

hope this makes some sense. Thank you for starting me thinking about all this....


I remember a friend told me once:
you lose 80% of your energy if you do things with resentment......

PS: 28Feb11- next day:  "you get what you concentrate on" i.e. what you think and focus on.
I realized: being aware of the resistance, the pushing, panic, pressure the is one thing,
focusing on it is another thing, - not a good thing. 
So I'm now focusing in the positive, such as the inner smile. 
An interesting distinction, which I only rediscovered once I started to act and do the things I wrote about above. 

Dance me to the children who are asking to be born - Leonard Cohen 

Surgery under local anaesthetic  in Burma by the mobile Surgeon Dr Naga          

1 comment:

  1. That was excellent. I truly enjoyed it. Yes, awareness is the key. Thank you so very much. Namaste.