"Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" ~ Mary Oliver

Tag: ego

“awakening” . . .

tulips and narcissus from the farmers market in Northampton . . .

tulips and narcissus from the farmers market in Northampton . . .

Yesterday, I picked up a book I had reserved at the library last week called “A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose” by Eckhart Tolle. I had seen it years ago but hadn’t been able to read it all at the time.

It seems that now, every paragraph and chapter seems relevant to my life. He talks about how we sometimes see ourselves in a life-role as a parent and that the role may overtake us rather than allowing us to be who we truly are underneath. He also speaks to carrying a “pain-body” around which we are unaware of, which may result in perpetuating past pain in cycles within the present. The Ego is responsible for much of the pain that we experience and learning how to think about it and how it influences our behavior is also illuminating.

Here’s one segment which encapsulates how to be in the Now and not mind what happens.

Not Minding What Happens: J. Krishnamurti, the great Indian philosopher and spiritual teacher, . . . surprised his audience by asking, “Do you want to know my secret?” Finally, after all these years, the master would give them the key to understanding. “This is my secret,” he said. “I don’t mind what happens.” He did not elaborate and perhaps his audience were even more perplexed than before. The implications of this simple statement, however, are profound.

When I don’t mind what happens, what does that imply? It implies that internally I am in alignment with what happens. “What happens,” of course, refers to the suchness of this moment, which always already is as it is. It refers to content, the form that this moment–the only moment there ever is–takes. To be in alignment with what is means to be in a relationship with inner nonresistance with what happens. It means not to label it as good or bad, but to let it be. Does this mean you can longer take action to bring about change in your life? On the contrary. When the basis for your actions is inner alignment with the present moment, your actions become empowered by the intelligence of Life itself.” 

Sound heavy? Maybe. But, if you read this book and are able to reflect on the author’s observations, it might make more sense and fall into place in your own consciousness.

In any case, I have found it to be reassuring  – to know Presence of yourself in the moment we are in and not minding what happens – rather than struggling mentally with just about everything else our ego might come up with.

free at last . . .

When are we finally free of that period in our lives when we look back in order to look forward? I’m just about there, I think. Perhaps it’s because my next birthday is what they call a “milestone.” Or that everyone of us, at one time or another, goes through the Scrooge-like exercise of looking over our lives to see who we have really been so that we may muster up the will and willingness to live a “better life” or at least one that is truly our own.

The Taoist books, thin and succinct, make the argument to simplify our personality, to recognize that problems are mostly derived from our ego lurking around in the background, and to stop wanting things that we don’t need.

The other day, Bel Kaufman, the writer of the book “Up the Downstairs” turned 101. She was quoted as saying:

“I’ve lived a long time, a very long time, 101 years, and I’m still here. I’m done with the doubts and struggles and insecurities of youth. I’m finished with loss and guilt and regret. I’m very old, and nothing is expected of me. Now, provided good health continues, I can do what I want. I can write my memoirs. I can edit my works for future eBooks. I can even do nothing—what a luxury that is! I have new priorities and a new appreciation of time. I enjoy my family more than ever, and also a sunny day and a comfortable bed. I keep up my interest in books and theater and people, and when I’m tired, I rest. My former students write to me and visit me. I had many problems and disasters in my life; fortunately at my age, I don’t remember what they were. I’m glad I am 101.”

I also ran into this saying about change from William James, of all people:

To change one’s life:

Start immediately.

Do it flamboyantly.

No exceptions.

~William James

what’s real. . .

I was thinking about how well we think we might know someone. Especially someone close to us, like our spouse or someone in our family, like a sister or a daughter. I’ve come to the conclusion lately that it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s an impression of what we think about them, tinged with feeling. How much room is there for honesty with all that thinking and feeling going on?

Some people are pessimistic and others look toward the best of everything. I’m one of the latter, often idealizing someone’s character or abilities just because I love them. I think we all do that. Then, something happens and we are rudely awakened to what’s real. Ego and arrogance coupled with a sense of self-satisfaction or smugness spurts out.

No matter. Because what is truly most important, it seems to me, is to be real to ourselves. To authenticate who we really are within. That takes some honesty, a slice of humble pie and removing the rose-colored glasses to take a good look at what’s real. Actually, you know, it doesn’t look bad at all.