Monday, April 19, 2010

Whether We Like It, Or Not

The Simple Mind returns

"All I can experience and work with is what my life is right now. That's all I can do." Joko Beck

In her book, Waking up to What You Do, Abbess Diane Rizzetto, explores the question that is posed by Joko Beck, who simply asks, "What prevents you from living the way you want to live your life?" The wealth and happiness of our own lives, it seems, is intricately tied into the wealth and happiness of others. Rizzetto notes that "true intimacy means standing openly with ourselves and others.

Misusing intimacy, especially sexual intimacy, relates to the ways we may separate ourselves from others, thus avoiding being absolutely present." We can then, in any moment avoid being absolutely present. This notion of separation forms a barrier, even in those moments of physical or emotional contact. Feelings or perceptions of disconnect or disunion may support notions of loneliness or isolation, they may even contribute to illness states.

While present moment may be a best, beautiful moment, fears and anxieties often intrude, and whether we like it or not, working to see them clearly to address the precepts so as to answer the question about 'what prevents us from living' is something that matters in the day to day business of living. "The key is to take an honest look at what is going on."

Related to this precept of not mis-using self or others is the thought that Ezra Bayda presents his reader in his book, At Home in the Muddy Water. He muses on several topics. One is about trust. Trust, says Bayda is "one of the trickier issues we meet in practice... When we feel betrayed by someone or something... [we] withdraw in anger... our sense of "self" has been shaken... Losing trust in someone [may set] sets off the fear of being abandoned or the fear of being overwhelmed."

What formerly held view can we then no longer support? What notion in our mind is disrupted? Often there is a strong impulse to view a person as a solid, a form if you will, to disregard the possibilities of impermanence. Observing others through our own lens, we judge them as "self." Projecting our intentions and our own motives, we think we see them. What we do see, over time, is that they are not our projections. We think that we don't then know them at all. Yet we do. Their character and unique self over time comes clearer into consciousness. "To see them with fewer filters, we feel betrayed. [And] when they don't meet our expectations... we can't trust them. In terms of their meeting our expectations, we can't."

As part of working through the most unique, personal and intimate experiences of our lives, to begin to view trust in real terms, to remain still with what arises is the willingness to just be, life as it is. Whether life conforms to our desires or not isn't the point. Life is as it is. That is the point, even if we don't like that point of life.