Becoming a 'Strong Vessel' is like weightlifting, in that you steadily increase your capacity for ALL shades of emotional 'pressure'
Another guiding principle I use is contained in the poem by Thich Nhat Hanh called 'Call Me By My True Names', where he says,
'My joy is like Spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom all over the Earth. My pain is like a river of tears, so vast it fills the four oceans.'
What he is describing is not so much a 'swinging' mood, rather than a coexisting one. That's my interpretation anyway. Having seen him in person on various retreats he certainly does not appear on the surface to show any 'mood' as such other than benevolence. I think all senior monks and some lay practitioners develop a very strong 'constitution' for holding very powerful (good and bad) mind states in consciousness, which would drive the likes of you and me a bit (!!!) mad. it takes many years, sometimes many lifetimes to build up that kind of resilience and steadiness of the mind. The more they develop their practice, the more they can withstand HUGE emotional pressure. Its a bit like weightlifting, but with powerful or compelling emotions instead of weights. in that the more you practice, the bigger the weights you can lift with ease. From what I've been told anyway..!! They are VERY peculiar animals indeed, those monks.
- An Irish Friend of Bill
- I have recovered from the disease of Alcoholism. I believe there is only one person really,.. everybody. And that peace of mind is everything. -So treat your neighbor as you would treat yourself, because your neighbor IS yourself. I think most of recovery is what I would call common sense, but that learning to be ordinary is a true gift very few people acquire. My ambition is to accept everything unflinchingly, with compassion, and therefore be intrinsically comfortable in my own skin, no matter what. I am comfortable being uncomfortable and am willing to go to any lengths to improve my life. I believe the Big Book was divinely inspired, and is extraordinarily powerful. Unfortunately AA's best kept secret a lot of the time. (In my opinion). I just try to do what works, no matter what it is.
Sunday, January 28, 2007
Becoming a 'Strong Vessel': Increasing your capacity for holding very powerful (good and bad) mind states in consciousness, without going mad!
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Powerful stuff. Thank you for sharing.
A friend in recovery from Malaysia.
I'm so grateful you're blogging again! What you wrote on Meg's blog yesterday? today? was food for my soul. Blessings to you!
P.S. Congrats on 6,999 days of sobriety!
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