Letting Go

Reactions

I have noticed myself feeling upset, angry, frustrated and overwhelmed more and more recently. I think many Americans are also feeling the same way. Every damn morning we wake-up in this insane Donald Trump Reality TV Show.  We are pummeled with tweets and “Breaking News”,  assaulted by the base stupidity that dominates Social Media, and find ourselves unnerved and on edge waiting for the next shoe to drop. I think we are a nation suffering from PTSD at the hands of a megalomaniac. Many of us are treating it like a train wreck in that we can’t seem to look away. But we do this at our own peril and at the expense of our own sanity and sense of well being. “Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. If you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”  -Friedrich Nietzsche

Having just come from a personal stalking attack from a White Nationalist, I have been feeling very traumatized and assaulted. My first reaction to the feeling of fear is anger and so my temper has been flaring over everything lately and I’ve begun to feel like the Universe is really out to get me.

This evening I took a photo of Jack, my new cat, and it hit me! It is not all these things happening that are the problem – it is my REACTION to them. When I REACT to something I am focusing my life energy, my passion, and my time to that that thing. My life energy that could be used to create, heal and love is instead turned into hate, anger, rage, frustration and bitterness.

Jack Behind Bars.jpg

Do the Crime (REACTION) Do the Time – the time spent mired in negative energy, blinded to the light of peace, joy and well being that is my natural state.

What’s odd is that I knew all this before – but it is like I was in another life or it was a dream. I adopted Buddhism as a philosophy over 30 years ago, I have spent years reading ancient texts and having my mind and spirit nourished and refreshed by their wisdom. Yet lately I’ve been acting as if I have no spiritual foundation, I am emotionally flailing about like someone drowning.  (Drowning in a sea of negative energy)  

I was also fortunate enough to find Oprah’s podcast series with author Eckhart Tolle discussing his book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.

After listening – I went to my library and pulled out my copy of the Dhammapada, The sayings of the Buddha, and reread my favorite passage –

“We are what we think.

All that we are arises with our thoughts.

With our thoughts we make the world.”

1. Choices

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with an impure mind
And trouble will follow you
As the wheel follows the ox that draws the cart.

We are what we think.
All that we are arises with our thoughts.
With our thoughts we make the world.
Speak or act with a pure mind
And happiness will follow you
As your shadow, unshakable.

“Look how he abused me and hurt me,
How he threw me down and robbed me.”
Live with such thoughts and you live in hate.

“Look how he abused me and hurt me,
How he threw me down and robbed me.”
Abandon such thoughts, and live in love.

In this world
Hate never yet dispelled hate.
Only love dispels hate.
This is the law,
Ancient and inexhaustible.
You too shall pass away.
Knowing this, how can you quarrel?

How easily the wind overturns a frail tree.
Seek happiness in the senses,
Indulge in food and sleep,
And you too will be uprooted.

The wind cannot overturn a mountain.
Temptation cannot touch the man
Who is awake, strong and humble,
Who masters himself and minds the dharma.

If a man’s thoughts are muddy,
If he is reckless and full of deceit,
How can he wear the yellow robe?
Whoever is master of his own nature,
Bright, clear and true,
He may indeed wear the yellow robe.

Mistaking the false for the true,
And the true for the false,
You overlook the heart
And fill yourself with desire.
See the false as false,
The true as true.
Look into your heart.
Follow your nature.

An unreflecting mind is a poor roof.
Passion, like the rain, floods the house.
But if the roof is strong, there is shelter.

Whoever follows impure thoughts
Suffers in this world and the next.
In both worlds he suffers
And how greatly
When he sees the wrong he has done.

But whoever follows the dharma
Is joyful here and joyful there.
In both worlds he rejoices
And how greatly
When he sees the good he has done.

For great is the harvest in this world,
And greater still in the next.
However many holy words you read,
However many you speak,
What good will they do you
If you do not act upon them?
Are you a shepherd
Who counts another man’s sheep,
Never sharing the way?

Read as few words as you like,
And speak fewer.
But act upon the dharma.
Give up the old ways –
Passion, enmity, folly.
Know the truth and find peace.
Share the way.

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If you are also struggling with a lot of negative energy right now, maybe it’s time to do what I did – quiet your mind long enough to remember who you really are. Get back to your own spiritual foundation. Let-go of reacting to external phenomena – it is all an ego-driven illusion. We are so much more than this.

Until next time …

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: #cmralph, Life, Uncategorized

cmralph

visual artist, author, filmmaker