About Me

My photo
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.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Compassion for the 'enemy': The 114yr old monk who stayed alive to protect his attackers karma

At 35mins into the downloadable mp3 of the talk by Amaro called Listening to the mind there is a cool story which I thought I would share about having compassion for ones enemies. It sort of goes like this. Its a true story but I cant make out the spelling of the monks name. Amaro will know, but I haven't emailed nim to ask.

The true story of great master (cannot tell spelling from audio which is a shame) Siu yung.who at the age of 114 was attacked by the red guard.
He restored monasteries that were being destroyed by the communist party. He was so influential and so loved in china that at the time of the communist revolution the red guard came round and beat him up when he was 114 years old. They beat him with wooden clubs and left him for dead. Broken and bleeding. But he survived. He didn't die.
His fellow monastic took care of him, looked after him and were amazed at his strength and his resilience and he recovered.
Some weeks later the red guard found out he was still alive and they went back and beat him up again with steel bars. Broke his bones, and bust his head and he was incredibly injured. And everyone was sure he was going to die.
He was Incredibly hurt and was in incredible pain. And even his disciples, who loved him dearly, thought, "even though he'd been so injured and so hurt, the great master isn't dying. It must be out of compassion for us, that he's holding on, because he knows how upset we'll be if he passes away.
So they said to him. 'please, don't just hang on to life. Your bones are all broken, your organs are smashed, you're in such terrible pain. Please don't hold on to life just because you think that we will be upset if you pass away. If its time for you to die. Please don't just hang on to life for our sake. "
He said. "its not for you. I am deliberately holding on and staying alive. But its not for you. Its for the soldiers who beat me. Because if I died, the karma that they would create would be so terrible, I couldn't be responsible for that. So I'm staying alive. But its for their sake. Not for you."
And he lived for another SIX years after that. Wisely the communist army left him alone an he lived till 1959."

Nice huh?
Well I liked it.
Just goes to show. There's no excuse for hatred. Amazing !! levels of compassion are possible. Wow.
Right I'm off. Have a fabulous Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A little Ego massaging diversion from the repetitive realities of life

Apparently I am the guru! Hehehe.. ermmm. yeah right. As Lydia from Writerquake said.. 'well hardly' but yeah, like her I can recognize myself in some parts of this description. Probably we all can, on some level or other. But that doesn't matter.

"You Are the Guru

You are a naturally good counselor. You are inspiring, encouraging, and compassionate.
You are eager to help everyone who crosses your path, even those who don't want to be helped.

You are a natural healer. People feel at peace when they are with you.
You are so good for people, in fact, that they go through withdrawal once you're gone.

You quietly do your own thing, without openly resisting. You secretly try to fix every problem.
Your biggest regret is not being able to help as many people as you'd like."

Cool. No mention of 'restless, irritable and discontent' which is always nice to hear! If somewhat (!!!) idealistic. ..but hey what do you expect..they seem to have ! skipped the fallible human bit, but I'm not complaining! Rose tinted? Bring it on! hehee

Go check out the link and get yourself a blemish-free character portrayal from this site. A little bit of pointless ego massaging can be fun if you take it with a pinch of salt..
What role do you play?

I got it from johnos blog, who found it through Lydia @ Writerquake who also appears to be a guru! Cool! There are clearly far more Gurus and Kings around than I thought there were!
Its kind of fun :)

Tired? SUPER healthy RAW veg soup that tastes like 'normal' veg soup to give you more energy

When I am stressed and have a LOT on, eating raw vegtables can double my energy levels and allows my body and mind to cope with the flurry of activity. I get more done. I need less sleep. I call this 'exam food', as I used it when I was sleeping very little coming up to exams. Partly because I was a bit wired about the exams and partly because I was trying to revise as many hours as I could. I figured out a few raw food recipes, but i particularly liked this one.
Its just a variation of bog standard miso soup, but including a BIG serving of RAW broccoli (or some other green veg) to be eaten without you ever noticing ! you are eating raw food.

Just thought I would share that with you as I 'discovered' this last Easter when I REALLY needed all the physical and mental energy I could get my hands on!
Its a neat trick. Raw foods made a HUGE impact on my energy levels and I am not much good at eating tons of raw veg in their 'normal' state, (apart from carrot sticks which are EASY) so this soup was a way of sneaking MORE raw broccoli etc into my diet without me noticing. It seemed to work! I was sleeping for two to three hours and getting up and doing a full days revision. I would wake at 2am and start studying because I was wide awake. So yeah, it enables you to crank more hours out of the day. Oh and of course MASSES of cups of tea help to keep me awake as well!

Tastes like 'normal' vegetable soup to me. I would have NO idea it was all raw veg added to previously boiled water. Its a kind of comfort food. I think it tastes great. You may hate it and that's fine too! It sounds a bit bleh! But tastes like the 'proper' vegetable soups they serve in fancy restaurants in central London. If you like DECENT broccoli or veg soup, (as opposed to the glutinous artificial stuff you get in tins and packets), you will like this. Its tastes better than it sounds. Basically. Sounds a bit 'goody two shoes' (meaning a bit cr*p) but actually tastes really nice. Well I think so..

So in the time it takes to boil some ginger and garlic for five minutes and whizz some broccoli in the blender, your meal is ready!
I can have two HUGE bowls of this in one sitting as a meal. It really feeds the body without making you feel 'stuffed'.
The only fats are in the Udo oil blend, but they are essentail fats, so that is ok. But go easy on the oil. You don't need much.

This amount will serves one hungry person or two very restrained people. Makes 2 BIG bowls of very low calorie and extremely nutritious soup. Its an instant food in that you have to eat it as soon as you make it as it the vegetables will oxidize and become less raw if you leave it. Raw shredded vegetables generally are much better if you eat them straight away.

The cooking part
2 cloves of Garlic
Fresh Ginger
5-10 Almonds if you want protein
A mushroom or two if you want.

Put a pint and a half water in pot. Add Marigold Organic Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Low Salt Cubes (small amount) Bring to the boil.
While the waer is coming to the boil, pulverise ginger, garlic, almonds, mushrooms in magimix using big rotating blade. Put the 'mooshed' bits into the water.
Let it rapid boil for 5 minutes or so.
While its boiling, use a hand blender in the pan to whizz it up even more

Turn the heat off. Let the water calm down.
Add all the other ingredients and then use the hand blender in the pan to pulverize it all and mix it up
Serve immediately

The raw ingredients.
Raw vegetables. Can be:
Head of Broccoli
Pack of Sugar snap peas
Bag of Raw spinach leaves
A bag of Alfalfa Sprouts, or mixed sprouts

Ideally something GREEN. Not too starchy. I haven't tried Savoy cabbage, as I really like the broccoli version. All are 'mooshed' in the magimix and then added to the previously boiled water once the heat has been turned off.

The raw condiments
Organic Miso paste
Organic Sprouted Flax Powder
Marigold Engevita Nutritional Yeast Flakes
Udo's Choice Ultimate Oil Blend or another 3, 6 9 oil.
You can also add Bragg Liquid Amino Seasoning but its a bit salty so you probably wont need it.

No added salt or pepper
Miso and Bouillon add salt
Raw ginger acts as pepper

If you add bread to the soup, it will make you tired and reduce the energizing effects significantly. Bread just makes you TIRED. Oh well. Plus its addictive! ..For people like me anyway!

Another good healthy food is brown basamti rice with chick peas or some other kind of pulse. The Udo oil, yeast flakes, flax sprouts and amino seasoning added at the end make it even more nutritious.
I am not so good at this food because it is more starchy and I can eat rice like it Is going out of fashion. But yeah. This gives the body all it wants in terms of nutrients. Apparently. Rice and beans is a staple vegetarian meal.

Right I'm off. Have a great Tuesday!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The World (of the 'Self') that has been pulled over your eyes, to blind you from the truth

At the risk of sounding like someone who does not really know !!! (at ALL) what they are talking about, (!) I thought I would share this..
I KNOW I am not the greatest (!!) Authority about this, but I am very excited about this, like I am with most new things I am TRYING to learn, and in my attempt to understand it better myself, I thought that if I TRIED to put it into my own words, it MIGHT make more sense to me, or I might just organize my thoughts better so here goes...
(It helps me even if it makes no sense to you whatsoever!! Heehe )

The above utube (here is a link to the Matrix blue/red pill scene because the link above appears to be no longer working. The part I like starts 50 seconds in.) the is a dialogue clip from the Matrix which I think works as a VERY useful metaphor on loads of levels. A metaphor for The 'dream world' we inhabit when we are 'captivated' or 'caught up' by the hopelessly ! misleading (but VERY compelling) information habitually flooding our senses and mind. A metaphor for the underlying reality of Non duality that goes unseen. No self: the illusion of self. Non existence of time: the illusion of time.

Its like we are little babies getting distracted by a 'glittering bauble' being dangled in front of our eyes, and we are failing to notice all the OTHER !! conditions around us. All we can see is the 'glittery thing' that glints and catches our attention. The glittery thing is sight, sound, the chatter and murmurings of the mind. The WORDLESS BELIEFS in the mind. The surges of the mind to ? GET something, or get AWAY from something. Primal SURGES of one thing or another. Such as..
Can I eat it? Can it eat me? Can I mate with it? .. (As Amaro says in his talks) They take centre stage, And we don't even notice. Shame really.

Or they HIJACK us from the wings with whispered blurry unquestioned half-truths we just never think to question because they feel so .. 'normal'.
Basically the way our senses and our mind are conditioned to interpret the world is very partial, habitual, and accepted unquestioningly.
If you look closer what you find is all the senses look hopelessly inadequate. And the way the mind habitually interprets them is very lazy and pathetically caught up in itself. Not logical at all. If you calm down enough to see ? 'past' all the mental chatter and pointless mind meanderings, and actually question the reliability of the information coming in via the senses, it all starts to look a LOT !! More insubstantial. Like a cloud passing by. Vapor. So one the 'worldly objects' are reduced to ? Nothing containing any substance. Whereas the space in which all those things arise and disappear takes on a WHOLE new significance and looks like the REAL thing going on in the background.
Or something.

Anyway. Its what's BEHIND all that ? activity we get caught up in, that Is interesting. The more quiet the mind gets, the easier it is to watch for those pauses between breaths of bits of inactivity. Plus as you get more chilled out with all the different distracting baubles floating about in the ? Mind, then you can kind of watch them without breaking a sweat and stand firm, resisting the tidal surge to heedlessly follow each new impulse.
Basically kind of watch the 'show' from the sidelines, instead of being IN the 'show'.
And when you do that, you start to see that the 'show' is not really YOU.
Just some weird sh*t 'happening' on the stage in front of you.
Anyway. When that happens, the whole sense of identity shifts from a 'personal' ME to a more ? Impersonal ? Awareness. Not a ME. Something else. A cooler ? Something ? else, which is not a ME.
Anyway. Whatever it is. It feels more spacious. More free. Less personal. Not from the world of ? THOUGHT. Comes from a ? Feeling place. A 'quiet knowing'.
Its nice whatever it is.
But yeah every time you start congratulating yourself on what a COOL person you are for managing to get even ! This far. You are immediately SUCKED back onto the stage where you are right back to being a ME again. Sheesh..
There are no days off basically.
But yeah its a nice trick. Anyone can do it I reckon.
Its quite funny. There you are sitting watching the show. Trying VERY hard to resist the urge to listen to a POINTLESS CONVERSATION going on in the row behind you (somewhere else in the mind) that sounds TERRIBLY INTERESTING, and you manage that, but then don't notice SELF has appeared in the form of a self congratulatory remark, and you start listening to it and BINGO. There you are. Back in the self again. Just goes on and on really. Just when you think you've got it. You don't! Hahaah. Funny old game.

I'm pleased with my progress of my awareness of the 'show' WITHOUT getting caught up in it, when it feels similar to someone persistently COUGHING when you are trying to concentrate on your golf swing. Like I am the golfer, and the coughing is NOT putting me off. Like that really. The ? Reptile brain or Mara as the Buddha liked to call it. The ? 'Evil tempter.' Is ALWAYS trying to put us off our game. And 99.9% of the time it wins. !
But its nice to score a few points against Mara every now and again. Not get SUCKED IN to some POINTLESS inner drama or DISTRACTION, and instead notice the glittering baubles dangling alluringly in the consciousness, are NOT ALL THAT. That there is actually something a LOT more SIGNIFICANT and RESONANT going on VERY quietly in the background. The land of no self. Cool!

But yeah. Sometimes the 'bauble' is indifference, disinterest, dullness. lethargy or boredom. All those are not what you would call a 'quiet' mind. A very sleepy mind! But not a quiet one. So snoozing, or having a mental tea-break, or being 'zoned out' doesn't count I'm afraid! Never mind eh? Rome wasn't built in a day as they say..

Anyway. When you get a better sense of the underlying stuff, you feel a bit SWINDLED by the mind and the senses, and the SELF it conjures up. In much the same way as you feel a bit swindled by the whole 'getting drunk is great' notion after you stop drinking for any length of time. You think... Why didn't anyone tell me it was like THIS??? Jeez. There I have been believing all this SELF sh*te for gawd knows how long, when in fact it was some poxy MIRAGE masquerading as SUBSTANCE. Whatever.
Well that's kind of what it feels like. Like most things. Once you see them for yourself, they seem OBVIOUS and you feel completely CONNED all the time you had no idea. Oh well. Never mind.
Thank you Mr Amaro for helping me look in the right direction and helping me see that. Even if it was just a ! glimpse. It all helps. Doesn't 'cure' me of my senses, but at least I have a SLIGHTLY ! better idea of what I am up against.

In this clip (the way I see it anyway) the 'prison' is the 'world' (meaning 5 senses and the MIND,) and the object being imprisoned by the senses and the chattering mind is the IMPERSONAL existence of 'no-self.' Poor ol NO SELF doesn't get a chance, because there is this MASSIVE smokescreen of SELF going on. MY nose, MY ears, MY thoughts. MY emotions.. etc etc. Yeah right! Look a little closer and there's NOTHING there. ..Meaning the REAL me isn't the endless flow of thoughts emotions and god knows what else. its the ? 'thing' (some people call it the witness) that is AWARE of all that trivial and pretty pointless mind-stuff. Timeless, impersonal unconditioned awareness. not a 'thing'. not a 'person'. Just plain ol awareness! A universal quality. Not a ME quality. Cool not hot. Undistracted not distracted. Steady not fluctuating. There just isn't ANYTHING 'personal' about it.

Anyway here's the part of the Matrix script I like:
I can see it in your eyes.
You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees,
Because he is expecting to wake up.
Ironically, this is not far from the truth....
Do you believe in fate, Neo?

Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my own life.
I know.. exactly what you mean.

Let me tell you why you're here.
You're here because you know something.

What you know you can't explain.
But you feel it.
You've felt it your entire life.

That there's something wrong with the world.
You don't know what it is, but it's there...
Like a splinter in you're mind.
Driving you mad.

It is this feeling that has brought you to me.
Do you know what I'm talking about?

The Matrix?

Do you want to know..what it is?

The Matrix is everywhere.
It's all around us
Even in this very room.
You can see it when you look out your window.
Or when you turn on your television.
You can feel it when you go to work.
When you pay your taxes.

The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes,
to blind you from the truth.

What truth?

That you are a slave, Neo.
Like everyone else.
You were born into bondage
Born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch.
A prison...for your mind.

Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Matrix is.
You have to see it for yourself.

This is your last chance.
After this. There is no turning back.
You take the blue pill.
The story ends.
You wake up.
And believe.. whatever you want to believe.

You take the red pill.
You stay in wonderland.
And I show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

What do you WANT to happen? Well then, ..IMAGINE living !! that reality

The above video is Adventures in Success by Will Powers.
This ? Trick was called Metaphysics by ? booksellers. All the books i bought ages ago had the typed label 'Metaphysics' as a subject guide on the back. Perhaps they classify them as something else now. I dont know as I haven't looked at a new one for at least ? 10 years.
It is encapsulated (as are so man other realities) by one of my favorite ! slogans:

You MOVE TOWARDS, and BECOME LIKE, THAT WHICH YOU THINK ABOUT, whether it is good for you, or bad for you

Similar slogans are:
You'll see it when you believe it
"We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thought. With our thoughts, we make our world." ~The Buddha
What you 'see' is what you 'get'
Thoughts Become Things...choose the good ones!

Basically. Whatever you tend to dwell on shows up more and MORE.
So if you have a habitually complaining mind. Guess what shows up? Yep. More of the complain type stuff. Well that's what I find.
Like attracts like.
The same principle is explained in the film The Secret
Cosmic ordering works along the same principle. There are a ton of books on Metaphysics. Called Manifestation, cosmic ordering and gawd knows what else. TONS of books basically all saying just about the same thing.

The AA version goes like this:
"The more you think about the problem, the bigger the problem gets. The more you think about the solution, the bigger the solution gets."
"When I focus on what's good today, I have a good day, and when I focus on what's bad, I have a bad day. If I focus on a problem the problem increases: if I focus on the answer, the answer increases."
(p451, AA Big Book) Third Edition. Personal stories: Doctor, Alcoholic Addict

The jist is.
You IMAGINE living the ? Thing you want. And well.. This is where it starts sounding a bit ! Odd. Well I find that it pretty much tends to come into being.
I'm a little lazy with this technique as I tend to wait untill my back is against the wall and I really need to GET (whatever it is) sorted in a very short while, and THEN I get round to doing this!
But yeah. Every time I do it, it seems to work.
SO while I am on a short study break I am going to do some of this stuff. Jobs id like to get down the line, etc etc. I feel no sense of urgency at the moment because I don't have any ? Immediate problems as such, but it will help me no end if I get a CRYSTAL CLEAR image in my mind of EXACTLY the reality I would like to see myself in.

Reminds me of that song Adventure in Success by Will powers.
But I much prefer the Stanton Warriors version which is not for sale on iTunes, which is a total drag.
Stanton Warriors - Adventures In Success by 679 Recordings If you REALLY want I can tell you where you can get an mp3 of the 679 vinyl track, but you'll have to email me!

So ! STOP!!!!!!! Dwelling on the PROBLEM
Think instead of " What would it look like WITHOUT !! the problem?"
Go on! Imagine it!!!!
Yes. It requires a bit of imagination and WORK. But yeah its worth it.
Sit down and paint the picture. Write it down. Like a list.
Then step into the shoes of the new imaginary You and see how it feels to be that person. To have that life. To feel inside the way you always wanted to feel inside. Imagine what it feels like to be 'there' NOW.
What's it like? Was it what you thought it would be ?
Interesting isn't it?
And just 'visit' this new you by stepping into the shoes for 5mins a day or so. A little trip to the new psyche you always wanted, and just 'be' in that new persona for 5 mins or so. Like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Till it starts feeling VERY normal. Usual. Same ol same ol.

Oh yeah. This ? type of 'exercise' is included in my Step 2 with Sponsees. They are required (as I was) to get to see their powerlessness AND unmanageablity in Step 1. A very specific, CRYSTAL CLEAR list of their failings. Their inabilty to control their drinking, etc.
In Step 2 I asked them on EACH failing. "What would it look like WITHOUT !! the problem?"
so htey had to go away and think.. "What would it look like WITHOUT !! the alcohol problem?" (ie the need or desire to drink) and they would imagine things like..
''I am having the MOST fun at this party and I am the only one not drinking! Heheee
"I feel fantastic! when I'm out and about, and the thought of a drink could not be further away from my list of things I want to do this evening!"
I LOVE! not drinking. Not drinking when i'm with people seems like the most natural thing in the world!"
"I LOVE dancing on the speakers/ tables sober! Falling off them is no longer a problem! Ha!"

etc etc. You get the picture.
WHY do they do this? Because ther is NO POINT in asking a higher power to 'restore you to sanity' if you have NO CLUE what 'sanity' looks like!!! The EASIER it is to 'see' what sanity IS, the more motivated you will be to get there!
I see no point in mouthing the ords of the steps if all they are is just a WORD. I want each sponsee to know EXACTLY what sanity would look like IN THIER LIFE.
After all the Big Book tells us we need to be SPECIFIC (p20, AA Big Book) (ie not vague) in the ay we do the steps. So a VAGUE understanding of what sanity IS, will NOT DO. Heheh.
Step 2 is like dangling a carrot in front of the sponsee.
Once they see what sanity looks like, they get excited about getting well. they start looking forward to step 9. thank GOD. Makes my job easier, and thats all that matters !!! Hhehee

Another cool trick is to imagine a person you admire. (Can be anyone)
Think of all the cool things you like about them. Why you appreciate them.
Imagine them standing in the room with you.
Stand up and walk over to where they 'are'. Stand inside their 'space'.
See the world through their eyes.
What does the world look like now?
How do you feel about the situations presenting themselves to you now?

Lyrics to Adventures in Success by Will Powers.
"You are an important person.
A rare individual.
A unique creature.
There has never been anyone just like you and never will be.
You have talents and abilities no one else has.
In some ways you're superior to any other living person.
The power to do ANYTHING you can imagine is within you when you discover your real self by practicing a few simple laws of success.

First law of success.
Take inventory of your assets.
Don't be modest or critical.
Be open and objective.
Get a pencil and paper.
Write down every good thins about yourself you can think of.

Second law of success.
Write a description of the person you'd like to be.
Describe your personal dress, your home, your automobile, your desired occupation and income.
Now, go even deeper
Describe the INNER person you'd like to be.
Let your mind run WILD.
Assume you can become ANYTHING that you desire.
The fact is, you WILL become the person you HONESTLY describe.
You CAN'T avoid it.

Third law of success.
Concentrate on a mental image of the person you'd like to be.
Paint a picture in your imagination of who you want to become.
Constantly hold this visual in your mind's eye.
See yourself performing and responding like a champion.
Feel the confidence and courage that RADIATE from this type of person.

These three laws are powerful and effective in changing lives.
They'll work for you without fail if you're persistent in applying them."

If you liked this track, other slightly corny but enjoyable ones are on Will Powers Dancing For Mental Health listed here with mp3 samples. But the Stanton warriors 679 Breakbeat version of Adventures in Success is my personal favorite.

Right. On that note! I'm off! Have a fabulous Tuesday!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

What is Love?

Hmm. Yes. Love is very interesting thing. So many different ideas about what it is.
I find "The end of love and hate" by Amaro as very interesting. He mentions sticky, possessive, restrictive, attachment, fixed views, type of love.

I see love as a commitment to doing the next right thing. Being willing to go to any lengths (p76,79, AA Big Book) to do so. Whether my feelings support that aspiration or not.
But I like the aspiration of abandoning all craving. All clinging. "let go absolutely' (p58, AA Big Book) ..as they say
Being able to hold the moment. (not feverishly cling to it) Understand that it is beautiful, but not cling to it or hang on to it longer than it will last. Ask more of the moment than it can deliver.
All beautiful moments pass away and are replaced by other moments. The craving mind is the enemy (for want of a better word) that destroys the peace. Not the inevitable passing of all conditioned reality. The coming and going of all people places and things. 'This too shall pass' as they say. well yes. It does.

Like an aa member in my home group said ? ages ago. Pain is not caused by change. It is caused by RESISTANCE to change.

But I see resistance as nothing more than the CRAVING mind. Trying to hold on to an 'old idea'. (p58, AA Big Book)
It is the craving, the clinging that is the cause of the suffering. Not the conditions.
Anyway, I think you would find Amaros explanation of love and hate as very interesting.

At 16.56 minutes in the talk called "We Are More Than Our Feelings" Munindo talks about fully surrendering to the delight of the moment without getting 'lost' in it. A quiet knowing of the relativity of experience. The impermanence. Its a fabulous talk. Well I think so.

I like Tom's description of love, in his myspace post called "Run from the heard"

"What I find most odd is the extreme confusion over such a simple concept as Love. As a society, we've grown so self-obsessed that most confuse love with lust, and have totally lost the notion of Love as a perfect ideal that's unchanging, true, and an object to die for. It's quite a simple concept when you think about it. However, it's easy for selfish desires to "drug" within us any notion of objective idealism, creating deep rooted subjective confusion. So we can now actually believe such erroneous statements as "we are no longer in love," or "we grew apart," etc. to explain failed relationships.

C.S. Lewis said that "we don't fall into and out of Love like bathwater." Precisely. If we are in Love, we shall forever be in Love. If we presume to have fallen out of Love, then we were never in love in the first place.

The disheartening fact that most relationships break-up or end in divorce suggests that most, sadly, never find true love. But how can they, when they've lost the notion of a perfect ideal to some ever-changing, relativistic lustful feeling construed as Love? I read recently that 10 out of the last 11 relationships on The Bachelor have failed. Well is it any surprise when there's no aspiration to common values, morals, or spiritual beliefs – the necessary elements of Love? Isn't it all rather self-centered chaos ending in recycled failure? When shall we break this tiresome cycle of recycled errors?

I'm not jaded; I'm just not drugged. Whatever I do in this life, I shall not be a herd statistic, and conform to a pervasive and undermining motive of self-centeredness. I'd rather die trying to discover a perfect ideal implanted in my heart by a higher Source, a perfect notion of Love, everlasting beyond Time immemorial, a Love that is the "same yesterday, today and forever," not dependent on fleeting feeling or emotion, though the cause of romantic emotion, beyond happiness and sadness, and underpinned by godly morals and values."

He's linked on my blog in my list of 'people I like' as opposed to an alcoholic blogger. An interesting guy. He's very !! much IN the world, but not OF it. Nice bloke.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Indescribably wonderful (p17, AA Big Book)

"there exists among us a fellowship, a friendliness, and an understanding which is indescribably wonderful." (p17, AA Big Book)

"We have entered the world of the Spirit." (p83, AA Big Book)

I have no idea how to describe the Thich Nhat Hanh retreat so I'm not even going to try.
Thank GOD, once again it provided me with more answers, more guidance, more insight. I rely completely on stuff like this.
I have no idea how people manage without it. It was magical and special, as usual.

The reason I'm not posting much these days is because I have been using the summer break to try to really get to grips with the talks by Munindo and Amaro. I am really trying to understand the suggested path they are proposing.
What I am finding out, is that it is a very subtle and carefully constructed plan, spanning from heart wisdom and indefinable places. Basically I cannot explain it.
And thankfully I don't have to because Munindo and Amaro do such a fantastic job. My explanation is not required. But yes, I am struggling to grasp what they are saying. I love it, but am very much a beginner in this subject so I find it very hard to remember. I keep forgetting bits and so I keep having to go back over it. Not sure if I am stupid or it is just a very subtle teaching.
Whatever. It is my FAVORITE path at the moment. It makes more sense than all the others. For the time being anyway. Its a weird one.
Very similar and yet very different to AA. More paradoxes than you can shake a stick at. But seriously great. So that's where my brain is at, and has been at most of the summer.
Its hard! Seems much harder than my term time study! But I think I'm addicted.
2 other AA's came along and really loved it. Whatever. Its pointless trying to explain this in words. Its one of those things that doesn't really make sense unless you actually GO. Same as meetings basically. You could never explain a meeting to somebody who had never been. Well retreats with this type of rare individual are very similar. Doesn't really reveal itself to you, till you SHOW UP. Shame, but there you go..

Anyway. There is a very senior Lama (Khensur Lobsang Tenzin Rinpoche) teaching over a three week period in the Jamyang Centre quite soon. I suggest you book very quickly as they sell out faster than hot cakes.

Also I am strongly tempted to attend a retreat with Sogyal Rinpoche as I have never seen 'Crazy Wisdom' in action ,and I think I might like it. It is a less formally restrained type of teaching. I like to think I have adopted a less restrained approach with sponsees so I might find his style of teaching very interesting.
Whatever. I have enough to be getting on with. A heavy duty academic year kicking off in three weeks. Head down till May basically.
Oh well.

But yeah I am a very blissed out bunny at the moment. Very happy with my 'education' into meditation practice over the summer.
Basically I don't watch TV. I very rarely listen to the radio. I only listen to music to keep me awake or during exercise, and the rest of the time I am listening to Amaro and Munindo. So im kindof getting in the groove, and want to hang on to it by maintaining what I have learned for as long as I can. Its SO easy to let this stuff slip.
I've started sitting for a mere 30mins in the morning and I have to say it is a blessed relief. Wonderful. But there you go.
I'm blissed out. I just want to listen to dharma talks and get 'in (and stay in) the zone. We shall see.

Oh yeah. And just as many mountains to climb as ever. I am still (aren't we all?) trying to figure out ways around my negative mental habits. Nothing changes! But I ! love the way it feels at the moment.
I am SO grateful for those recorded talks. That's all I can say. I've ordered DVDs of Thich Nhat Hanh retreat so that will remind me if I've forgotten anything..

Have a great Thursday!