Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Pseudo Wisdom on a Wednesday: Love What Is..... or SUFFER

A young friend of mine was recently murdered.

My favorite moment with him, well second favorite to a bike ride we took together, was hearing him give a talk on how he'd used his time in prison to seek and find spiritual wisdom.

One of his key sharings was the "7 Page Project," wherein you took seven pieces of paper ( the number that could be mailed in an envelope with one stamp) and wrote your beliefs, and learnings down and send them to someone.

In honor of him, I'm going to journal for seven pages ( handwriting is the only way to really get close to your soul in writing) each Wednesday, and then type it into this blog.

I'll also print up this typed version and mail it off to his mother, who can might want to friend on facebook, Denise Roussell.

And here, in honor of Cory Roussell and today's gift to Denise and myself and all of life, and especially anyone reading this, is today's seven pages....

Here's the honey: Life is Good.

Yesterday I heard that my second grand daughter had been born just before midnight the day before, at the very tail end of November 3, 2014. I'd been hoping she would be born then, since that was the birthday of an amazing woman, Marlie Wesner, now Marlie Collins, who had been my girlfriend for 8 years in Sonoma, California.  ( Not Sedona, Arizona. Think grapes, not vortex).

Marlie was a wonder of simplicity and love of life and acute connection with simple physical pleasure. My son, who knew her fairly well, said she was the kind of person who should be riding a unicorn. She and I spend night after night sleeping under the stars, in town, but either at a garden we were creating or on our deck. We helped create one huge and beautiful garden, and one large and beautiful garden. I hear she's still gardening, and yoga-ing to life's great delight.

She was a gift, and I feel I contributed her way and then it was life to part paths.

Life is good. When the love is here, and we can share the same cottage and garden and bed, that is good.

When it is time for love to take another form, that is good.

Unless I want to suffer, then I could have begrudged the ending, but I didn't. She didn't. Life moved on.

Gardening teaches this: plants spring from little seeds, get huge, give great gifts, reach their end, die, become food for the compost.

We were both content, and even more in love in a certain way was we spent five months still together and knowing we were parting.

And I was happy that my grand daughter would probably have this birthday, for on the day of November 3 this was up in the air.

And during this up in the air time, I called my sister to tell her of the birth on the way. That part went well.

But when I told her I was excited that this girl ( they knew it was a girl) would be born on Marlie's birthday, my sister reverted to being my sister. When I told her I'd really loved Marlie, and hoped that child would share some of her amazing qualities, she pushed back with why wasn't I still with Marlie is it had been so good.

And when I began to explain the reasons that Marlie and I found for an agreeable and loving separation, she told me they were stupid.

Ah, here's when I lost my understanding of how to be happy.

Instead of listening to her ideas and reasons and feelings about this, I took this as an insult and hung up.

Poor Sis. People hang up on her all the time, since she has a firm habit of telling people they are stupid and wrong and expecting them to be grateful for the insight.

And I could have been present to my sting, and not taken it personally, and it would just have been her being the way she can't help being

But I blew it.

I hung up.

I believed in my story, that she shouldn't call my reasons stupid, instead of the reality that she had.

And so, I hung up and closed things down.

Now, sticking around, I might have found out what was going well and what was not going well in her 35 year marriage, but I didn't.

I chose to disagree with a disagreeable sister, and hence, fighting fire with fire, closed off a chance for something new and interesting to happen.

My loss.

The price I failed to pay to stay in happiness and "life is good," is this price:  Wake up to NOW and when in pain, look within and discover where I am fighting with "What Is," which is another name for Reality.

The secret to ongoing contentment:  "Loving What Is."

My favorite spiritual teacher, Adyashanti, defines enlightenment as "Loving What Is."

My favorite enlightened being calls herself Byron Katie, and does not call herself enlightened, that's a story, nor a teacher, since it's about un-learning rather than learning ( at least in the spiritual realm.... in movement, about which maybe I'll write next Wednesday, learning is real, but not book learning, the kind of learning that a child discovers when going from not being able to crawl, to being able to crawl)

She called her first book, "Loving What Is."

Not as a belief of hers, but as the purest statement of how she found life had to be lived for her to end, completely the immense amount of suffering she was undergoing as a chain smoking obese ranting-at-her-family alcoholic.

Like all of us, she was
In rage and suffering.... when she believed her thoughts.

At Peace,
when she gave up trying to demand that Reality be what her thoughts wanted it to be.

And that's the easy/ hard/ obscure/ obvious route for us all: Let go of our argument with Reality.
Then life is good and we are happy.

And so it was with me, on November 3.
My suffering on top of my sister's suffering. She told me I was wrong for ending a relationship. I told her... by hanging up... that she was wrong for telling me that I was wrong.

And so it goes.

And sometimes we are lucky.
I have another sister who pointed out to me that I seemed to be caught up in a story that the critical sister should have been other wise.

That was it!

I woke up.

I'd been trapped in my thinking.

And this seems to be one of the main reasons to be present:

In the present we can wake up to
Am I happy?
Am I suffering?

And then, we can be present to the thoughts that are fueling our unhappiness.

And being present we can feel our bodies, our arms out to the fingertips, and our legs out to the toes, and our spine with the pelvis and our head.

Our breathing.

We are alive.

We can be present.

And sounds, sights, color, light:  we can feel and notice all that, in the present.

So, that's the way we can live: present to our idiocy when we decide to believe our thoughts and suffer.

Present to the aliveness of ourselves now.

Present to the beauty of the world.

And present to this:  what do we want our life to be headed toward.

That's "not the present," but it's the way we want to move, and that's part of the game to: we get to chose, from happiness, from the present of love of life, from the present of knowing what our life feels like right now, what now, do we want our life to become.

And right now, this is happy.


Because life is good.

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