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TOPIC: too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc.

too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. 09 Apr 2012 00:05 #6313

Here's something I have been thinking about (and not for the first time). The thought has occurred to me that people can pretty much only be who they are and do the best they can with what they've got. Maybe they appear to you to be floundering around wasting their practice (or life) on inconsequential or distracting activities or approaches. But those things wouldn't appeal to them unless they needed to deal with that, right?

I'm reminded of kids, who go through weird obsessions - like a fascination with opening and closing doors, banging things, or trying multiple methods to get adults to buy them sweets. These are part of their development. Even if it seems strange from the perspective of someone who is thoroughly familiar with how things mysteriously appear and disappear when you open and shut a door, and how things sound when you bang on them, and how one can manipulate others to buy one sweets, for the kid this is so novel and fascinating they go at it with full enthusiasm.

Is it really any different when a yogi/meditator goes through phases of being fascinated by bliss experiences, or fascinated by vibrations, or fascinated by gurus or rituals or lucid dreams or wanting structure and dogma? Isn't that just where they are and what they need to indulge in until it gets boring or unsatisfying? If it doesn't ever get boring, then maybe that's where they need to be and that's okay?

Does it make sense to harangue them for wasting time, when it's not necessarily a waste of time? It seems to me each person has their own rate of development and that may include ten years of this or that, or three years of such and such, or however long. Until they scratch the current itch long enough to realize it's not that fulfilling (which may be never), does it make any sense to criticize?
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too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. 09 Apr 2012 00:36 #6314

These things are almost always situational, aren't they? There's no hard and fast rule that I can think of that applies. Some folks really need to explore weird territory. Other folks will almost beg to be told exactly what to do, and when to do it.

I'm definitely on the curmudgeonly side of this question, however, favoring the stern warning away from the time-wasting cool stuff ;-)
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too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. 09 Apr 2012 00:44 #6315

BRAVA! Ona!

I have been aware for the last 3-4 years that I have become 'allergic' to what I perceive as 'impositions'-- the heavy, dead hand of 'should' and 'oughta', and 'must'-- aside from when I recognize it as obvious [as in, 'must stay out of the way of speeding vehicles']. So much expectation really obliterates Vision, and discovery. At this point, those seem to me to be what makes life worth living. I'm not dissing anyone who's keen on doing the drills and getting the results and keeping charts. I recognize that some people enjoy these things; as I recognize that I distinctly do not.

One of the great things about getting old enough to have adult children is to see how the theme and variations of similarities and differences develop: how one daughter has made the impatience we share-- and that created conflict-- into the fuel for an amazing, productive life, in a way that I never could. All three of my kids have gone through the 'Mom's advice is bound to be wrong' stage, and discovered things I could never have taught them.

I think the one generality that holds true, is that desire is the underestimated component-- that you will learn most from whatever engages you the most totally. There is only one expert on what calls to me: and that is me. No one else has a vote, not even my most revered teachers.

I write this with a measure of regret-- because I, too, have presumed to be prescriptive at times. Never too late to stop...
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too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. 09 Apr 2012 00:46 #6316

BTW - there's plenty of time after we "get something done" to explore all that cool territory.

I guess the question, at least for me, Ona, boils down to what really matters to the individual. There were times in my practice when the cool stuff really was cool, and there were times when that stuff was the last fucking thing I wanted to have going on any more. The latter probably outnumbered the former as I think back on it because after a while I just wanted the paths to be done.
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too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. 09 Apr 2012 00:48 #6317

Question -- what is the role of a teacher in this regard?
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too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. 09 Apr 2012 00:49 #6318

:D

Yeah, it is situational. You can't really know, either, whether the curmudgeonly advice might be just what the person needed to hear, or whether it will seem irrelevant to them and they won't pay attention to it.

I mean, if I had run into MCTB or the Baptist's Head when I was 23 (they didn't exist then anyway), would that have encouraged me to go "wow, yes, this is where I need to go now?" I kind of doubt it. But I don't know. In retrospect it seems all the wandering and exploring I did in my life was perfectly relevant and taught me a lot about myself and the world and so on.

And that the wandering I am doing now is also perfectly relevant and even necessary, too, even if to someone more 'advanced' or in a different tradition it might seem useless or stupid.
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too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. 09 Apr 2012 01:08 #6319


Question -- what is the role of a teacher in this regard?



-cmarti

I think that does add to the "situational" aspect. If someone has asked you to teach them, then you have a responsibility to do your best to evaluate their stage of development and encourage them to pratice in a beneficial way. That does include recognizing that they may need to indulge in certain things, but you have more of a role in pointing them back to what's important.

If someone isn't technically your student but *asks* for your input (say someone on a forum, etc.), similarly.

If someone is talking about their practice in person or online (not someone who has asked you for help, nor a student of yours), then it gets a bit more mushy. Sort of like having a stranger at a party 'helpfully' tell you why your tastes, parenting habits, religion or political views are a waste of time.
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too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. 09 Apr 2012 01:09 #6320

synchronicity at work:

"How do you know you're on the right path? It disappears... you don't know where you are."
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too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. 09 Apr 2012 01:24 #6321

Wow. That is a very cool little excerpt Kate, and so useful to me, feeling so unclear on where my work (job stuff) is going. Love it.
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too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. 09 Apr 2012 01:50 #6322

Funny-- I discovered David Whyte just about the same time as there was some comic bit being done about a woo-woo New Age type who taught 'business poetry'. Which is, in fact, one of DW's occupations and turns out to be a wonderful and surprising thing-- no joke!
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too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. 09 Apr 2012 11:52 #6323

Wonderful! It's true - I see more unsatisfied people now in my work than ever and it spans the entire range of the companies' hierarchies.
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too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. 09 Apr 2012 13:57 #6324

That 'Lost' poem just goes on growing nuances beyond the ones I heard a decade ago...

This time I heard the last line as an acknowledgement that we do not just exist as a contextual response, changing/being changed from moment to moment...true. But there is something even more dynamic: that this 'me'/context is an embrace, as dynamic and interesting from the 'context' as from the 'me' side. Seeing the 'ground' trade places with the 'figure'-- and this is something as much felt as seen, seen with the heart-mind, not just the eyes-- those have been the 'awakening' occasions.

And it's true: everything I know, even these memories, are impediments to that shock of recognition, are the insulation I gather around me: half the truth is that I want it; the other half is that I do everything in my power to avoid it.
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too much/too little patience, understanding, tolerance, etc. 09 Apr 2012 14:11 #6325


Question -- what is the role of a teacher in this regard?

-cmarti

Bait early, switch often.
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