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TOPIC: Spiritual practice and daily life

Spiritual practice and daily life 28 Feb 2012 19:18 #5627

Thanks everyone for reading this and contributing, it has really made a big difference in my life here.

It seems that I get insight sometimes, like all of a sudden putting on a new pair of glasses.

Then, slowly, it fades, and the glass get dirty or lost of something like that.

Some of you seem to claim that it's possible to get a new pair of glasses that stays in focus and never gets lost or dirty.

I used to believe in that but I lost my faith at some point about a year ago. But, maybe you are right. How great would that be?

What I want to do now is explore for myself if that is true. Meditate with consistency and stay awake and aware and see what happens. Also, it seems like one could have insights like I've talked about and maybe make some kind of resolution to nuture that insight and make it become integrated and develop through good practice. How does that sound?
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Spiritual practice and daily life 28 Feb 2012 19:25 #5628

Different body feelings today;

I'm sitting here at work doing all the catch-up tasks while the attys are at trial and being mindful and reflecting on things and my body is just alive with rapture all up and down, tingling my shoulders my hands and especially my scalp.

I don't really get it, but I'm letting it come and go on its own.
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Spiritual practice and daily life 28 Feb 2012 19:44 #5629

Mike,

Something that has helped me when I forget what's possible with practice is to hang around people who have progressed pretty far. Their energy often reinvigorates my outlook.

Way to hang in there. It sounds like it's been a pretty stressful ride and that you handled it like a champ. If you keep practicing, you'll find that these situations become easier and easier.

Gassho
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Spiritual practice and daily life 03 Mar 2012 20:17 #5630

One big learning here that I haven't mentioned -- it turns out that I'm a LOT like my mean boss. I'm seeing him in me me constantly now which my recent antagonistic-appearing post here on the celibacy thread shows. I, like him, want everyone to just assume I have only the best intentions - no matter how I communicate. And, like him I can be pretty insensitive while being thin skinned myself.
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Spiritual practice and daily life 03 Mar 2012 20:29 #5631

That's a great insight. How are you going to deal with it?
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Spiritual practice and daily life 03 Mar 2012 20:47 #5632

By continuing to pay carefully attention no matter what while being committed to learning how to communicate in a way that is helpful.
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Spiritual practice and daily life 15 Mar 2012 19:15 #5633

Still at the trial (good word for it!)

Today is closing arguments so last night was particularly stressful and intense. I worked until almost three a.m. and was back in the office working by 7 a.m.

I spent most of the night helping my boss put together his closing. He was particularly stressed, demanding, impatient, etc. At one point I asked a general question about the case and he replied, extremely exasperated, "Mike do NOT talk to me right now. I have no time or energy to have a conversation about bullshit right now. I'm only doing THIS right now. That is it. Do NOT talk."

Four weeks ago this exchange would have devastated me. I would have been pissed, humiliated, and very uncomfortable. I would have spun out into negative, resentlful (it's not fair), escapist thoughts.

But last night, there was a tinge of embarrassment that left almost immediately. Mostly, though, it was just an experience of receiving information, i.e., "my boss wants me to stop talking so he can concentrate."

that's pretty much it.

Though I did reflect of course on the fact that I wasn't very bothered and actually felt sympathy for the guy instead of resentment and "wow, look how much I"ve changed." That kind of thing.

Even this morning he was stressing and angry and I actually walked closer to him and kind of soothed him by letting him know I understood his frustration and that I was certain we'd work it out.

Then, he apologized for being so upset, and I told him not to worry about it.





Now, I'm not sure how to express the practice aspect of this. On one level this experience has inspired me to really jump into my life in a way I never have before and stay committed to being intimate with things. And, for sure, this has transformed the way I am seeing so many things around me, especially other human's behaviors/realities. And, along with it, I've gotten a greater appreciation for "practice" and I've become much more enthusiastic and comitted that I had been for a while. In short, I feel more connected to myself and others as trite as that might sound.



And, for sure, a lot of what I've gone through isn't exactly practice-related -- it's just life -- learning, adjusting, working things out.
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Spiritual practice and daily life 15 Mar 2012 19:50 #5634

That's great Mike. It sounds like you are able to see your boss's behavior more objectively and to retain an element of compassion for him.

"And, for sure, a lot of what I've gone through isn't exactly practice-related -- it's just life -- learning, adjusting, working things out." - mike

But life IS practice. ;)
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Spiritual practice and daily life 15 Mar 2012 22:59 #5635

Thanks sunyata.

I guess I'm making a distinction between "big mind" and "little mind." Practice is in the world of big mind while personal maturity/growth/etc. is in the realm of little mind.

So if something I'm doing affects my ability to appreciate my connection to everything and gives me a perspective into the three characteristics -- that's "practice."

If I'm doing something that is strictly affecting my relative existence (say learning how to deal better with a demanding boss), then that's just .... life.

Of course it's all interrelated and one can't really separate it at all.

One thing though that is going on for sure, is I've -- at least temporarily --- gotten a "bigger container." My mind is just bigger and more open and able to handle, feel, deal with, process -- more stuff, more easily. A big surprise at least at first was realizing how small it actually was -- that was hard to look at for sure.
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Spiritual practice and daily life 15 Mar 2012 23:35 #5636

"Of course it's all interrelated and one can't really separate it at all."

Yeah, I feel this way. Learning how to deal better with a demanding boss, if by "better" you mean an arising of compassion and developing non-reactive composure, I think is evidence that that big mind is churning away, healing, bringing you closer to "it."

Have you dealt with situations as stressful as this before?
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Spiritual practice and daily life 15 Mar 2012 23:50 #5637

I can remember a lot of stressful times having to do with work and or family, but I think that there was about a 48 hour period with this situation (the time I first wrote about here) that I think was the most uncomfortable and trapped I've ever felt.

There was a several month period about three years ago when my kids' mother was causing me a lot of stress that had to do with my kids and my own feeling of safety and this just drug on and involved police and courts and lawyers and mediators and therapists and huge amounts of cash and strain on my new marriage. That was pretty bad and I can remember there were days when that ongoing problem was ALL I could think about, ever. But, it wasn't the same because for some reason this situation (the trial and the demanding boss) not only caused me anxiety, it made me fear -- deep down -- for my own personal survival, I think mostly because I am so (or was?) caught up in my ability to make a living and to be a valuable part of the work force and thus be able to feed, shelter, and clothe myself and my loved ones and all this is (was) wrapped up in my feeling of worth or importance. ("I work, therefore I am")
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Spiritual practice and daily life 16 Mar 2012 00:01 #5638

I suspect, Mike, that your fear was literally existential, going well beyond the "I won't be able to support my family" levels and getting right to the bottom line of "I am going to DIE!" That's how fear seems to work when I watch closely.
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Spiritual practice and daily life 16 Mar 2012 00:26 #5639

Mike, These are very valuable insights IMO. I too have begun to see the identities I attach to, given the situation. Today, I had a meeting with some data people. I'm pretty knowledgeable about statistics and they were somewhat impressed. I felt myself taking on the identity of the "tech geek" around them. I have never seen that so clearly before. As Chris said though, your identity as "breadwinner" is probably tied very closely to your fear of "personal survival" as I believe mine is as well. This is much more charged than my tech geek persona.
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Spiritual practice and daily life 16 Mar 2012 23:50 #5640

I'm at LAX.
Was looking forward to boarding at
4:30 and seeing my sweet wife at the Sacramento airport at 6:30 and getting home to modesto somewhat early. I'd spent the evening with Bec and see my son as well. I had it all imaged in my mind.

The flight is now delayed to 7pm and my wonderful picture of the future has been unfairly taken away. I must wait. Things will not go as planned and hoped for.

A perfect opportunity to sit still with all that is coming up and all that is really happening.

This to me is the true monastery - LAX. Now.
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Spiritual practice and daily life 17 Mar 2012 00:08 #5641

Ahhhhhhh, reLAX. Enjoy!
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Spiritual practice and daily life 17 Mar 2012 00:48 #5642

Re: having plans and expectations, I just sat down to watch a film and if the director doesn't move on to the action (interminable music video type slow mo scene going on...) I will throw something. Oh wait, no - opportunity to notice being irritated at the incongruity of reality and expectation. ;) I'm also anticipating (now the action has finally started) that I won't like the main characters. :P
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Spiritual practice and daily life 17 Mar 2012 00:58 #5643

Ona
Sounds like "Driver"
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Spiritual practice and daily life 17 Mar 2012 01:14 #5644

I think you should watch Tree of Life right now.
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Spiritual practice and daily life 17 Mar 2012 01:45 #5645

Lol - Watched the Tree of Life with some dharma friends once. It ended and we all promptly tore it to shreds.

This one is Melancholia by Lars van Trier. It takes enormous amounts of effort to be that damn dysfunctional. But it would be a boring movie if everyone were cheerful and honest and got along, right? :D
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