Sitting on a meditation cushion is NOT about achieving peace and calmness

“The path of the spiritual warrior is to have the courage to face life.” Geshe Lama Phuntsho talks to a visitor at the Sand Mandala Dissolution Ceremony at City Hall Austin, April 17.

“We have six consciousness: ear, eye, nose, tongue, touch, and mind. Our suffering comes from our desire to see beautiful views, hear beautiful sounds, feel something pleasant, taste something yummy, and have enjoyable thoughts and feelings. We crave what we like, and resist what we don’t. That is the source of suffering. The spiritual warrior accepts all that is, and learns to see reality for what it truly is, without distortion and illusion.”

Image courtesy of Mayusanctuary.comDid you ever sit on your meditation cushion, yearning for a sense of peace and quiet of mind? Did you ever get frustrated, self-critical, or hopeless, because your mind was racing with thoughts you didn’t want, you had the urge to get up, you got antsy, felt uncomfortable? “This is not what meditation is about! Meditation is about calming yourself, having these alpha and theta waves get stronger, being still! This meditation stuff is not for me. Meditation just doesn’t work!!!” And there you go, ready to give up on sitting on your cushion.

Wake-up, beloved friend! Meditation and mindfulness are not about trying to be this smiley, peaceful Buddha. Mindfulness is about having the guts to acknowledge all the places where we are stuck, all the places we feel hurt, and all the places where we want revenge, slash out, hide, disappear, disconnect, possess, hold on to, and be reassured that everything will be okay. Mindfulness is about opening up to what is true for you in each moment, engage with your very own, personal experience, accept that that’s your reality, and embrace it with care and compassion. That is what it means to be alive, to be a full human being, and to walk around on our precious Earth in your one wild and precious life. Your feelings, thoughts, sensations might not change on your meditation cushion, AND your compassionate and courageous heart can grow in the experience!

Isn’t that what we all want?

You want help to embrace your experience on your cushion with compassion? Contact me 512-589-0482 for a free discovery session to see if and how I can help you.

My jealousy, my child

She is quiet. Her eyes are closed. “I want to talk about my jealousy…. I feel shame around my jealousy…. As if there is something wrong with me…. It is hard to talk about it…. I am so afraid I will be rejected when people know about my jealousy….”

She looks down, her head slightly turned away.

“I feel jealous of you…. As soon as I saw you walk in, I felt this surge of jealousy overwhelm me…. Out of the blue…. It has nothing to do with you, I like you….”, she says with some sadness, “You just have something I want…. It is always about wanting something I don’t have….. I’m gonna be quiet now, I don’t want to get into stories, I’m gonna self-connect….”

After 50 seconds, “The way the group listened to you, with so much empathy, care, compassion. Ferociously protecting space for you to express yourself, to share your pain…..”

She looks at me. “It has nothing to do with you. I can be jealous of anyone who seems more successful, lovable, attractive than me.”

“My jealousy is harmful. I want other women to fail, to be less popular, less loved.”

She starts crying. “My jealousy is like a child with bloodshot eyes and a hot, iron rod in her hand, chasing other children to poke out their eyes.”

Tears roll down her cheek. “She is not the kind of child you would put up on stage. She is not the adorable five-year old in a tutu, doing a pirouette, who keeps twirling, till she finally loses balance and falls down, and when she gets back up, looks at her teacher with wide-open, blue eyes full of wonder about the next step…. My child wants to cripple that girl, harm her.”

She is quiet. “I understand that everyone is afraid of her and wants to get rid of her.”

She sobs. “Don’t take her away from me…. Don’t put her in an asylum.” She looks at me, “Please, form a circle around me, …. and let me learn how to be a good mother to my child. How to take care of her, surround her with love and compassion, hold her closely, and prevent her from harming others.”

Her breath is deeper and slower. I see a shimmer of peace on her face, her muscles relaxed. “Let me just practice the first Buddhist principle ‘Do no harm’. And then, maybe, I will learn to connect with her, understand her, support her, so that my jealousy can calm down.”

There is something amazing when you create a safe container of radical, unconditional acceptance of someone’s experience. People learn to accept themselves, look at their pain with compassion, and find their own solution from a place of empowerment.

You want help to hold your jealousy with care and compassion? Contact me for a free, discovery session. I would be delighted to help, 512-589-0482.