Christian theological themes operate from a deep sense of surrender.
Buddhism doctrines and themes operate from a deep sense of letting go.
Clearly, both religions are encouraging us to stop trying to control everything.
Yes, the Christian religions advice is to let God figure it out.
Where, Buddhism teaches your karma has it figured out and no point of resistance .
What Scott’s theme and thought about all this? Well, a the olde Zen teacher Charlotte Jodo Beck below uses a river a the metaphor for life. Nothing new in water and rivers represented as life or life giving. However, I like her thoughts troubling things too.
Life always gives us exactly the teacher we need at every moment.
This includes every mosquito, ever red light, every traffic jam, every obnoxious supervisor (employee ), every illness, every loss, ever moment of joy or depression, every addiction, every piece of garbage, ever breath.
Every moment is the guru.
Charlotte Joko Beck. Back to the river and current, I have mentioned this before but it’s a gem.
We’re like the fish that is swimming about, looking for the great ocean of life, yet oblivious to its surroundings. Like the fish, we wonder about the meaning of life, not awake to the water all around us and the ocean that we are. The fish finally meet a teacher who understands. The fish asked, ”What is the great ocean?” And the teacher simply laughed.
There is a current in our lives we cannot deny this. We can sense a direction or a overwhelming notion that a certain way is seemingly inevitable. I too like the idea of rhythm too, we get a feeling when our lives are a nice rhythm and it also seems very natural change and progression.
Alternatively, we also know what our lives feel like when nothing works and our rhythm it is out of sorts. Great example we take risks knowing it goes against out values. We contact toxic people out of loneliness, who we decided to keep away from. We receive a drink, knowing that alcohol is the last thing we need. We become involved in a relationship based on sex, knowing it all feels wrong and it’s not who we are. We borrow money for something that is not very savvy. We spend money on things to make us feel better and eat for comfort.
Seriously, if you believe the two religions mention a nonsense or not makes know difference to the simple truth they both teach. Letting go of ideologies about how life should be. For me this was a challenge in terms of acceptance of Bipolar 1, I had to embrace my illness and have acceptance, its mine for life! Yes, for life! No backing out from the truth. I am a moody, irritable prick at times. I, likewise, have rough nights at least twice a week. Consequently, makes me a little manic and unreasonable at times. I can fight this or admit it? I accept it and this means on those days I may not be pleasant, but it does not surprise me. Thus I have red flags that indicate this type of episode and make adjustments to assist me and people close to me. I.e go for a walk, also, at night time, as much as I dislike this medication, take one 2.5 milligram of Zyprexa
Olanzapine, sold under the trade name Zyprexa among others, is an atypical antipsychotic primarily used to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. For schizophrenia, it can be used for both new onset disease and long term maintenance. It is taken by mouth.
So, realistic expectations are always healthy, thankfully I don’t have this issue everyday. My regular medication works 85% of the time. One Tegretol morning and night.
Carbamazepine (CBZ), sold under the trade name Tegretol, among others, is a anticonvulsant medication used primarily in the treatment of epilepsy and neuropathic pain. It is not effective for absence or myoclonic seizures. It is used in schizophrenia along with other medications and as a second-line agent in bipolar disorder. Carbamazepine appears to work as well as phenytoin and valproate.[needs update.
What is the big deal, well the Tegretol is weight neutral and the Zyprexa is not, in others words it fattens me up😩
Reality, I am not fat, and maintain a healthy weight, but in my ideal world I never want to take Zyprexa. My point.
The world does not function on ideals. Often we are presented with choices that are not ideal, however, we take the best of a bad bunch!
My meditation, Tegretol is with me for life, and many suffering from mental illness run from this reality presented to them from medical professionals. Why, they won’t to believe it, it’s not who they won’t to be! News flash, oftentimes we feel this way, it is not who I won’t to be, mentally ill or not. We have to stop swimming against the current!
I am not implying giving up on goals or things you would like to accomplish. I am proposing that we choose reality for what it really is and work with it not against it. If you are angry admit it, don’t suppress it and make believe you are fine. If you are sad express your sadness don’t smile and pretend you are okay. No point living, if you are not living, only pretending to live. We have to embrace all of ourselves and this means our weaknesses and shameful behaviour. Yes, shame is debilitating if not confronted and dealt with. Don’t confuse shame with guilt.
Experiencing a mental illness my whole life I have plenty to be ashamed of and my guilt at times has caused me excessive anxieties. Then, I reminded myself when I feel ashamed, how far I have come. I also remind myself that people also have the ability to extend grace when I have been unwell, IE manic or irrational, irritated or plain insensitivity.
Not an excuse, just a reality. Guilt can easily be rectified by apology if possible. If I do my best then let it all pass! Yep, forget about it even my worst behaviours, forget the lot, it’s all history and you have done your best given the informational in the circumstances at the time. If you find it hard, write it all down and burn it. I wrote 30,000 words once and deleted it, there is healing in writing, trust me! You are not totally responsible, others can choose forgiveness too, grace and to forget.
Interesting book if you don’t mind Christian undertones
The Art of Listening DIALOGUE, SHAME, AND PASTORAL
CARE Neil Pembroke
‘Inferiority Shame Cultural identity is sometimes a source of shame. In the literature, however, shame is more commonly related to feelings of inadequacy arising purely out of personal experience. In broad terms, a sense of inferiority may be related either to talents and abilities or to personal qualities. A person may feel shame because she judges herself to be incompetent. She may also feel shame because she considers she is boring, timid, socially inept, lacks a sense of humour, and so on. Or she may feel ashamed on both counts. It is common for people to feel that something is lacking in their personality. Most of us have a desire to enhance our personal qualities. We would like to be more assertive, more in control, more engaging and lively in relationships, more articulate, etc., etc. The problem is not necessarily a lack of intelligence or ability. A person may judge himself to be very successful in his chosen vocation and be quite comfortable in that setting (designing engine parts or fixing plumbing problems). In a social situation, however, he feels out of place and silly. He thinks that others find him `stiff’ and uninteresting. Another person may be able to put together perceptive, highly articulate pieces of writing, but feels small because she constantly-allows others to dominate and control her.’
So many aspects of life make us feel as if we need to do more, or be more, when in reality we need to let go of the lot more and accept who we are more. We all are beautiful in our own ways, regardless of what anyone else’s versions of beautiful is. Considering, the majority of society are caught in externals, ie what they look like, power, money and sex. You don’t have to particularly agree with the model. For example, sex still sells and for many a good sex life means happiness. Interesting the monastics are celebrant, the Buddhist monks and nun don’t eat dinner or have sex. Yet many of them are extremely happy. One senior nun, 15 plus years, who had children and had been married told me the time as a nun was the happiest time of her life.
Often we feel happiness in the simple things and allowing life to do its thing can offer peace. Peace offers lasting happiness, life or the river will flow on long after we are gone and certain things will never change. Illness, death, and decay will continue. Running from our mortality or incurable illness is a waste of energy. Our energy is better spent on things within our area of change. We can meditate, pray, or sit quietly and notice our breath. We can offer grace, compassion and loving kindness to ourselves and others. We can choose wholesome activities, eat well, enjoy our experiences and remember exercise because we love our bodies not hate them and do things from a space of liberation, not prisoners in our own minds. If we feel tapped it’s because that’s how we think of ourselves. We always can let go and feel the expansion and freedom in this, we also will feel more energy and happiness.
Below is a tip on calming a busy mind.
Regulating the Mind Meditation can improve your health, but its primary purpose is to enable you to be free of thought; because when this has occurred, wisdom shines brightly. With that aim in mind, then, we see that both counting the breath and tracing the breath are methods of regulating the breath and thereby the mind. If you are fully concentrated in this way, your thoughts are no longer confused or disordered. That is why people who have racing minds or who are involved in emotional turmoil are assigned the simple task of counting their breaths. It calms them in body, breath and mind. In body, they grow relaxed and free of tension, the breathing slows and deepens, and the mind grows quiet, calm and unperturbed. As one continues in this practice, all but the finer states of mind disappear. Then, it is time to regulate the mind, for now it has become much less erratic. There are many methods of approach, but the one most favored is to have one rest his or her attention on just one point, and to consider any thoughts that arise to be like actors that appear on a stage and then leave. This attitude of passivity, of taking part less and less in what is happening, leads to concentration. Therefore, when you have succeeded in concentrating on the point of your choice, you are also free of disturbing thoughts; and, with continued concentration, the practitioner finds, as well, that fewer disturbing thoughts arise for the rest of the day. So, concentrate upon or relaxedly be aware of the tip of your nose, your navel or the point an inch and a half below it, in an area known as the tan t’ien, because your mind needs something to occupy it. Traditionally, in this practice the mind is said to be like a monkey that has been restricted to a small space, where it can no longer jump and skip about.
The Fundamentals of Meditation Practice by Ting Chen
Our potential is limitless and invariably, most of us only tap into a small piece of the vastness. Imagine if all of us seen beyond cultural norms, family traditions, religions and scientific imposed limitations. Imagine if we see ourselves fully?