Sometimes the reality of our lives is painful. Sometimes there’s not a lot we can do to fix it or make it go away. Sometimes standing up, facing, and being with that painful reality is the only option. And this is gutsy; it takes courage, it takes ferocity, it is HARD. When life is a struggle and the things that get me are up in my face, when I can only sit with and behold what is the most difficult, I often support myself by looking to a teacher—a wise owl as I might call him or her. One of my go-to guys for this is Shunryu Suzuki Roshi.
Tag Archive: Zen
We are all plugged up. Cell phones, blackberries, I-Pads, I-Pods and other electronic devices have erased the boundaries between work life and private life. At dinner we can switch from talking to our children about their day at school to answering an urgent message from a colleague in another time zone, to twittering about the awesome wine we’re drinking to skypeing with our boss whose away on a business trip. In the morning we immediately check one or all of our gadgets to make sure that even before we’ve had our first cup of green tea we feel a sense of urgency or dread that indicates that our workday has begun. It is now literally impossible to leave work at the office.
Have you ever taken a moment to look around your house, office, car, etc. and compared how it looks to how you feel? If your house is clutter free, do you feel spacious and calm? If your office is a heap of papers, does it invoke stress and anxiety in you? How about the reverse? Do your surroundings become disheveled or cleaner based on your frame of mind? Well, there are studies that prove this notion! Physical and emotional are always playing off each other, as we are discovering more and more with revelations around the mind-body connection. Body is not only your physical body, but your environment as well.
What if we were joyful simply just because? We all know the feeling of our hearts spilling over with joy. Can you imagine feeling this way all the time, or at least believing you could feel this way at any given time? There have been stretches in my life when I’ve been starkly aware of the absence of joy, where I couldn’t even imagine it. I remember describing it to a girlfriend as just plain missing. We all know how dull and flat this feels. A lot of joy’s absence for me was from wounds from my past that I wasn’t addressing, wounds of not feeling worthwhile.