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Posts Tagged ‘relax’

Everything’s working out for me.

I had initially told my employer I could stay for one more year. I’d thought it through carefully and come to the conclusion that the money was good and I could keep pumping my business ventures. But when it came time to sign the contract, I got sick about it.

Actually, the truth is, from the moment I told her I’d do it, I had this feeling of loss of good breath, like I was literally, subtly suffocating. Then when the day came to sign, I felt like shit. My heart was pounding, I kept having to go to the bathroom. I just couldn’t do it. Contextualize this within a year and a half that’s been mostly in good states and you’ll see how much this was fucking up my groove.

So I decided to try to make the move South, to the middle of Taiwan, a much nicer place. But I needed to know if the money would work out. I’d already asked MaZu if my business would still be prosperous if I made the move to TaiChung and she’d said yes, but I wanted to be sane about it all.

So, I put the numbers down on paper and realized that I had plenty of money. In fact, if I am a bit careful about my spending during the month of August, I’ll be able to complete my contractual payment obligation to my Engineer, visit Thailand for more or less than a month, and land back in Taiwan with about four times as much cash as I started with this last time I landed here.

So, I told my employer today that I just wasn’t willing to sign on for another year. I apologized if I’d misled her and I explained that I was getting burned out and I was trying to make the best decision for my own sense of well-being. She actually said if I ever change my mind, she will be happy to sign another contract with me. Wow…..  a better outcome than I could have reasonably hoped for.

What do I notice with all of this? I had grown stagnant in ways I hadn’t imagined. And the need to organize things and pare stuff down is already breathing energy back into my rutted oxcart.

I plan to do a 10 day long Vipassana meditation retreat in Thailand, and I’m nervous about whether I’ll have the courage and the metal it takes to actually get the practice to work. Some part of me flirts with certainty that I’ll end up in the bottom 10%, some lack of courage or wherewithal preventing me from getting much out of it, forever thinking of it as “meh” while my inner knowing of my own failure in the matter gnaws at me forever — only to go back and try again years later, and get only some scant success with it then.

But I’m hoping that’s not the case. As much as all this fear of failure and inadequacy is bugging the shit out of me, I’m excited to move towards some progress, at least waking me up to an extent. Insight, clarity, growth and inspiration are worth a lot more than money in most cases.

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“The method is medicine”

“Method is not the truth, once you get the feeling, get rid of the method.  But even feeling can become a method at some point.”

“It’s okay to take medicine when you’re sick, but if you keep taking the medicine after you’re better, it becomes dysfunctional.”

So I started noticing major gaps in my perception.  For instance, why was I willing to gloss over major issues in the film “Eat, Pray, Love” when almost every human in the free world seems to realize that movie was hollow, vapid, and patronizing.  Even as I watched it and felt the vapidness of the spirituality portrayed, some of the underlying spite in the main character, and got pissed at the way she treated her teacher, I sort of set that at the edge of my consciousness and thought, “well, she’s being braver than most people I’ve met.”

Likewise, I’ll admit, for a long time, in a tough situation I will sometimes not trust my feeling when I listen to someone.  Instead of intuition, I look to one of two things, “What is this person REFUSING or TERRIFIED to consider?” and “What is irrationally pissing this person off?”  Normally one of those two things will reveal where someone is stuck.  They’re quite effective.  But of course, resorting to those two methods every time has a deadness to it.  This is rooted in my fundamental lack of trust in myself.

Frankly, I’m refusing to and terrified of trusting myself, or of trying to step out and move and live and flow in the reality of the moment, instead leaning back on method to avoid taking the tougher steps.  This has been showing up to me for months in my Qi Kung.  When I get to a certain particular spot, it’s like I’ve absolutely done as much as I can with the Qi Kung I’m comfortable with, and I start needing to do some new excercises, specifically some that are challenging or even scary for me….  I can even go into that to a certain extent…  but there’s something, a blind spot, a space where I turn away and distract myself as rapidly as possible.

So I got wrapped up in studying Chinese.  On top of that, I started obsessing over it.  And then being a coward about it on top of that.  Moreover, I was taking every mistake I made too personally….  even making it into a wedge between my girlfriend and I.

And lately, I’m blocking something so drastically that I’ve nearly had four or five motorcycle accidents this week.  That’s from “nearly having” ZERO for the whole year I’ve been here.  I’m a good driver folks, and I can speed around on one of these things with major margins of error to play with….  now, suddenly, I’m almost running into people because I’m not looking?  What gives?

More spelling errors and such… The kinds of things no one else would notice (except some of my kids), but they reveal to me that I’m just thinking differently.  Why?  How?  Well, three things come to mind that I might be avoiding::

Something to do with Cheryl.  Obviously it’s intimidating to build a close relationship with somebody.  I do catch myself blocking my own energy and not making as free and easy of a connection sometimes in the days leading up to when I’ll see her.  I don’t know if it’s a pattern or something I can deal with with her, or what.  I’ll see her this weekend and just be honest about it when I’m talking to her.  At least we’re both honest about our intentions and how we feel….  that should be helpful.

Something to do with my business.  Obiously I’d like this to be successful.  But of course there’s a lot of hard work.  It’s easy to want to obscure innaction and laziness with “patience.”  I think I actually know how to manage this effectively and I seldom don’t know what the next step or two is that I should take….  yet it’s easy to not want to do anything.

My Qi Kung, and meditation….  okay, I’m sure there IS something here.  First of all, I haven’t been meditating very much for the last couple of months.  Maybe when I ended my previous addiction, it left me with a big space…  like, wow…  what do I do?  I know that sounds kind of stereotypical, but there is something to it.  Also, I get scared sometimes when my meditation connects me with a sense of eternity or timelessness…..  And my Qi Kung.  It’s easy to not want to go past a certain point, like I said above.  But not just because the excercise is scary, but because the results, like the meditation, can also be difficult to deal with….  Some part of me wants to settle into what I’ve learned and just stay there forever.

I’m reminded of how it seems like things always go the smoothest with Cheryl when I am constantly aware of the truth that everything changes.  So I never expect to sit our relationship down on one spot and keep it there forever.  It’s nice when things have a predictability for awhile, but I always proceed with the awareness that things evolve and change.  I never know exactly where they’re going, or when they’ll shift, but all I can seemingly do is observe all this peacefull.  That’s been a very fruitful attitude to have.

Maybe I should start applying this to my business, meditation and Qi Kung…. After all, Wujifa is nothing but Daoism in Practice.  “In the Dao, Everything Changes.”  What did you expect?

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And with every death, a rebirth.

I noticed the moment of change.  I saw it happen.  I’ve gotten good at seeing it and I love Aranofsky’s films above all.  Mickey Rourke’s character has asked the stripper to have a regular relationship with him.  She said she couldn’t do it.  He screws things up completely with his daughter, but the stripper comes back to him.  It happens in one perfect instant.  You can feel it, she opens up.  Two human beings in a dance.  Everything he’d asked her for, laid there in front of him, her trusting her innocence enough to make that leap.

But he misses it, he’s already closed down, maybe because of his daughter or maybe because he’s lost faith in himself.  I can only recommend “the Wrestler” as one of the best films I think I’ve ever seen.

I love watching movies to see these kinds of changes.  It’s beautiful to see even in a stupid movie like H.E.A.T. where DeNiro has a clear moment, his dying motion, in the hotel when his girl wants him to just leave with her and he jumps back into this murky, deadly world he cannot seem to let go of, long before Pacino guns him down.  Contrasted to Kilmer, who keeps his course and walks away.

I see them in my own life, as I saw the moment where everything changed with my girlfriend.  I felt it as certainly as you might notice the sun break the mountaintops.  It’s a worthwhile practice, noticing what changes.

The other thing I recently caught was my tendency to judge my actions in a situation by how peaceful, blissful, or easy the encounter felt.  However, I’m also seeing that the right thing doesn’t always flow that way, sometimes deceptions are called for, or ‘worse.’  And my judgements do little but get in the way.  The only barometer I can find for this is my own innocence.

The last few weeks, I needed to make sure I wasn’t loosing it to chemical reactions in my head when I entered the dance with my girl.  “Love” is pretty common and about as “special” as taking a shot of whiskey (both stimulate the opium receptors in the head).  I choose to stay aware, continue growing and learning.  My intention is to build connection, not just read a lot of magical mystical bullshit into an endorphine high.

The only way I find is to center myself upon the reality of death, coupled with a type of self-enquiry, and the transience of everything becomes clear.  For keeping a steady mind, death is the only worthwhile advisor.

Still today, after such a deeply intentional strike a couple of weeks ago, severing the head of a decades-long addiction, I find the difficult part is when no decisive strikes are needed…  indeed, the times when NOTHING is needed.  The hardest thing, perhaps, is silence.  I still want to think of myself as “the one who did this or that,” worse yet “the one who does this or that.”  ….and I feel that’s the road back to hell.

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Want

“By what possible definition of the word am I not insane” — Jed McKenna

I am fortunate.  Almost 72 hours of easily accessible, silent, in the moment.  It changed everything for me.  I keep doing the meditation, “who am I?” Everything changes, but I find the silence and presence again and again.  It’s impossible to nail it down to something, but I do know the feeling of letting go.  I know when I’m doing more of it, and when I’m doing less.

I’m not sure how far into the truth I am venturing, but I know I keep touching bits of the void.  I won’t exactly know until I’m there, and there is no further.  But that silence and presence is closer to truth than the constant on and on and on, some or another thing inside a human brain.

I said that I am fortunate because having had the experience makes it so easy to grow bored of all the rabbit holes to chase rabbits through…  it doesn’t take discipline to make my only prayer to just.  let.  go.  of all the illusions and things I try to be.  It only takes a good memory.  No, it isn’t an “altered state” or “high.”  I think it’s just more reality.

Here’s another clue.  My orgasmic breathing has been taking me further lately than ever before.  The experience is basically like a rising and rising peak.  In the past, I’ve dissipated the peak earlier in the process (usually quite pleasurably).  Sometimes it is the sense of what most men call “the point of no return” that just goes on and on, gets stronger and stronger.  It’s an ache, an itch, a tickle, a burn….  impossibly, impossibly enduring and intense…  Then, somehow, in the moment of all that yearning, the yearning itself becomes the pleasure.  In one moment it is the thing that desires, in the next, the very same thing is wave after wave of pure physical satisfaction.

Tonight I was silent some.  I was just laying on a couch and watching a movie.  I found the feeling of “I” and I noticed the yearning, the little attachments in the body, the anxiety, the anticipation…  that which tried to bring me away from presence.  My god, it’s the beginning of the talk inside.  And I remembered the way that rising forever little piquing tickling burning yearning can be the very peak of orgasm itself.

It let me let go a little more….  the anxiety started to feel a little like pleasure in the same way.  I wasn’t able to have that experience entirely yet, but I see that it may be correct.  Anxiety is just what?  Energy?  Desire (the source of all suffering) may be energy that is stuck, cannot flow through?  We interpret it as anxiety or pressure, we clinch down in anticipation or aversion or something like that and stop the energy itself? I don’t know.  It seems that way.  I will keep doing the breathing and keep doing the meditation…

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I should preface this with saying that I took a lot of inspiration lately from Toltec teachings of letting death be my advisor rather than self-pity.

“All of life, even loving, must be done with the awareness that it is lived on a fast train approaching death.”

I find it liberating how temporary everything is.  I guess it is helping me keep my head straight while it looks like my business will be successful soon.  If it is, even if it’s wildly successful, it’s for such an amazingly short time, barely anything to get worked up about.  Just be thankful for it like a lovely autumn with a new lover, or a beautiful winter in a fun location.

Honestly, almost everything is the same as this.  A bad season or a good one.  I have seen my grandmother die recently, after a massive head trauma.  My father went from healthy to dying in one winter.  Everything changes, often dramatically and often quickly.  Nothing lasts forever.  Generally most things don’t even last very long.  Even should I ascend to godhood, it is temporary.  This has been allowing me to simply let a lot go.

I keep coming to the point of noticing myself, maybe my intention, and even being very quiet with that.  Then, I notice that I’ll drag something around and into my awareness to dilute this simple presence of being.  All these things are either things long dead or things simply imagined.

The truth is, I just don’t have the courage to let go yet.  The first weekend I was getting it, I could just sit there and be very still and silent.  My head sat back onto my neck so peacefully.  Then it was like something inside me would feel an urge to disturb the peace by “thinking something through.”  I reminded myself a lot that it wasn’t necessary to think through contingencies, but if I had an intention and it was true, to simply hold that intention and remain present.

God how wonderful that is.  But there is something to it, something to simply being there fully, sitting in a coffee shop and doing nothing but drinking the coffee.  Something that is simultaneously wondrous and beautiful and amazing, and also hard to deal with.  So my mind rushes to think of something, even something useful and beautiful, EVEN THOUGH I know that simply being quiet and present is more sufficient and powerful.  If it is time to act, I can act, if not, then why bother the calm?  Yet I bother it so readily 🙂

So, I am turning to faith.  I am not a fan of asking the Gods for a lot of things.  Generally I think it is better to deal with life oneself.  Honestly, I don’t pray very often.  Sometimes I will stop in a temple and simply bow to Amitofo and say “thank you for your teachings” or something similar.  Once or twice a year I will ask for help with something.

But, I have thought about this lately, specifically with regards to asking for something that one God or immortal has set about to do.  For instance, I ask Kuan Yin (Boddhisattva Aviloketeshvara) to help me to let go of all the false things I identify with.  Bear in mind, that’s what s/he stayed on this earth to do.  It’s almost a kind of devotion to ask for and accept the very thing that the Pu Sa (Boddhisattva) vowed to accomplish!  I also read that Lord Shiva granted to Ganesha a boon that he would always be invoked prior to one’s going into battle or a new venture…  I believe that there is a way to be in line with the God’s intentions where asking for help is good.

Anyways, at this point I am simply turning to faith where I don’t feel like I have enough courage to just….  let….  go….  And that’s my only prayer now, for myself, “help me to let go of all the false things I identify myself with.”

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Self-inquiry.  “Who am I?”  I have asked the question and looked for the answer.  I have found the feeling of “I.”  I finally dropped the idea that I am looking for an altered state of consciousness in finding the answer….  or that I am looking for anything to “feel” a certain way.  Releasing this attachment made a major shift for me.

Also, I realized how much stupidity was in identifying myself as being “right” or “wrong” about anything….  my students showed me how much an impediment it is to learning.  I went to the sense of “I” and realized instantly how many of the things I do have nothing to do with anything inherent to myself.

My internal dialogue almost ceases, yet I am able to maintain an intention, to make very directed actions….  it’s not like I’m in outer space or anything.  Quite…  powerful.  For the first time in my life I think I can be a warrior.  I have always trained, with guns or other weapons, or just my hands, or with Kung Fu tea even.  But always during training there was a part of me thinking about intentions, thinking ‘about’ being a warrior.

However, with this way ….  I simply AM doing my intention.

But, I still have to bring myself to this awareness again and again.  Today I noticed that I don’t have to remind myself as often once I “let go of the rudder” and stop trying to figure out what decision to make in every instance.  Thinking through decisions is not nearly as powerful as stripping it all down to me and my intention…  and letting actions follow.

Also, of course, I remind myself of the folly of thinking I’ve “arrived” and I continue looking further.  While trying to make this way of being a “base”…. I am still looking to find “who is it that is noticing this.”

Honestly though, the purpose of all this….  I really want to know the answer.  It seems to supersede every issue of gender, or petty little things I can get caught up in.  I mean, what will survive when my body is dead?  And *who* *am* *I*?

I must know!

Wujifa continues to be a technology that allows my body to relax, and gives me a good way to notice when I have clear intention and verify that I am moving towards my intention.  Kung Fu is good in this way!  So generalizable.

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I just practice every day. I notice the breath passing in and out of my heart. One important point of that simple meditation is not to hold onto it going in either direction, in fact, to grasp at or hold to anything misses the point entirely.

And I return to self-inquiry. It’s easy to pick anything and ask myself who is feeling this, and from whence does that sense of an “I” come. Inevitably the attachments weaken, sometimes ceasing entirely – as often does my sense of an individual ego.

And I can return again and again to the principles. Letting go of whatever I find myself clinging to. Observation. Acceptance. Staying grounded. Noticing what choices I’m connected to.

Much of the time, I notice an incredible flexibility growing and growing within..

Yet there is a deadness that shows up for me lately in this. I have been wrestling with it this whole month, maybe a little longer. Perhaps it is like when we are doing Standing Meditation in Kung Fu practice and we rigidify something, even a good structure, even a pattern of relaxation and a good way of balancing, and makes that one way into a crystalized absolute, as if it were encompassing enough to need to make a doctrine of it. Indeed, even a feeling can become a method. Then one often finds oneself standing like a dead post.

Ultimately I feel the truth of having no defined self. And many times, I sense a lot of connection with everything. In the worst of times, I feel a good deal of rightness in the world these days. In the best of times it’s like being immersed in such a dense fluid of life, everything flowing together and communicating in love and bliss.

However, I think the awareness of emptiness within should ultimately allow whatever is most appropriate for the moment, guided by intuition, to spontaneously arise. But for now my “dead post” way of approaching this is preventing such spontaneity. Absence of self-definition leads to freedom, because life is real – as Devi says, everything we touch is real, only our concepts of it are false. Maybe I am only requiring time to grow accustomed to it all.

I continue to cultivate, aware of the truths underlying my practice. I have a lot of joy and ease in my life. But from my own perspective it is hard to see what I am missing just now. So I continue meditating, hoping I’ll hit a tipping point within myself eventually. And continually watching for the solution to the constant tendency to calcify truth into some kind of concept.

To answer my own question as best I can: The obvious answer is in choice and intention. There is a need for vigilance against rigidity, but more than that — a need for a jumping into the ever changing sea of reality, a deeper kind of letting go — as there is nothing I can see that bears holding onto. And of course, I’m aware of my fear. I don’t mind fear. Still, I have only a dim idea of a way to hold such a vigilance, or to stay so keenly willing to flow with the tides of the moment.

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