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Whether we’re looking inside ourselves or outside ourselves, we need to cut off the head of whatever we meet, and abandon the views and ideas we have about things, including our ideas about Buddhism and Buddhist teachings.

Thich Nhat Hanh, “Simply Stop”

Well, this is probably a paraphrase of one of the most famous Buddhist sayings. . . in other words, “If you see the Buddha in the middle of the road, kill him.”

Yes, I am continuing my topic of letting go that I started earlier today.  In that post, I wrote about letting go of a friendship that is no longer useful, beneficial, or healthy.  But what about our ideas?

Here’s an interesting one from my personal life. . .   My father was estranged from his sister for a good portion of his life.  I grew up hearing that he would walk on by even if she was struggling and needed help.  He would not talk to her for any reason.  She tried to call a few times and he refused to take them.  Mom tried to get him to talk to her.  Finally, as my dad’s aunt (the only living sibling from that generation) was getting on in years, closer to dying, she talked to my dad about this a lot.  There is great wisdom in the generations before us.  Especially from our elders.

Dad went back home to go to his aunt’s funeral and he took the trip over to see his sister.  I thought I might die of a heart attack.  I never, never thought I would see that day.

They didn’t get any closer in the 2 years prior to her death.  He called from time to time to see how she was and she was so sickly he usually talked to her eldest daughter.  He did return for her funeral as well.

I’m not sure if he found peace of mind (and heart) by getting a hold of her, but he felt that out of his respect and love for his aunt, it was the right thing to do.

How many times do we hold on to things we heard growing up?  How often do we continue to listen to the tapes again and again?  Or worse, how many times do we refuse to look at a thought because we can’t imagine who we would be without it?

So here are my questions to you:  What things to you believe to be truthful about the world you live in (your personal world and the world we all share?  What are the thoughts that you would die to defend?  What are one’s that you question but haven’t been able to let go of?  What thoughts or beliefs have you been able to shed and how was your world changed without them?

Yours truly on this crazy journey.

Jennifer

 

 

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It is hard to let go of things, harder to let go of ideas, and even harder to let go of spiritual pretensions. Over time, as we familiarize ourselves with the many subtle twists and turns of letting go, we begin to be more savvy about how ego steps in to appropriate the entire process. In the millions of mini-decisions we make day by day and moment by moment, we are challenged each time either to let go or to re-solidify.  ~~~  Judy Lief, “Letting Go”

This has been a huge topic in my life this year and I finally came to grips with the face that I needed to sit with this topic or go mad.  Well, not really.  More like be mad, frustrated, hurt, angry, disappointed, betrayed, etc.  And I think I could write 100 blogs articles on this topic and never feel satisfied.  But from now until my next birthday, March, I plan to look at this topic, again and again, to see what truth it holds for me.

The hardest thing to let go of this year was a long time friendship. . . no the long, long ones, but someone who I’ve known about 10 years and had immense faith in up until recently.

It’s so painful to feel betrayed and lose the fidelity of someone you consider to be family, to be a sister, and someone whom you’ve shared the intimate stories of your life.

I’ve long known that friendships did not last forever.  I’ve lived in many places and have lost touch with people mostly because we were out of proximity.  I few people I’ve even turned away from when my grief was too much and I could not take the energy expenditure it took to keep up with the friendship.

And what I have found with time is that letting go of idea, belief, quest, dream, person, etc. is that there are layers and layers to let go of.  For example, when Mike died, I lost a brother.  I lost my big brother.  I lost the person whom I looked up to, especially on things of culture as he loved music, fashion, the arts, cooking, etc.  I miss that influence in my life.  Genetically, he was the person closest to me in the world.  And for those of you who haven’t lost a sibling, that might not make sense and I hope you never have occasion to “get it”.

But just as this was true for Mike or Harris & Barb, or anyone else I have loved, it is true of our dreams, our fears, and our desires.

I ask you to join me, in the months ahead, to look at your life and see what no longer fits, what hurts, what you never use, what you can’t have because there is no space in your life, or who you need to let go, by choice or my circumstance.

Ask yourself:  How does this benefit my life today?  Does it bring me closer to my dreams?  Does it connect to the deepest part of me?  Can I trust this person?  Do I trust them enough to bring up the subject and work through the problem?  What about your health, your mental health, your body, etc?    Are there things you need to let go of, release out into the cosmos?  Do you need to say goodbye to stress, anxiety, mindless eating, anger, a stale job, or habits that do nothing or perhaps harm you?  Ask yourself what are you willing to look at?  Do you have support as you look at these things?  Maybe even start of with that question first — if you are going to let go and allow healing to occur, who is there to support you in your process?

Feel free to share via post or email.  If you use the Ask Here tab, you can email and if you tell me not to share it in a post, I will happily respect that request.

May your heart know great love and gentleness.

Jennifer

 

 

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One of my favorite blogs

C PTSD - A Way Out


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Fear is just a defense mechanism, tasked for the amygdala, initiated upon lethal threat.
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Nothing fearful can be found in the mechanism itself, the chemicals secreted, the biological changes, the lack of emotional judgment.
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Fear does not have an emotion, like anger or any prejudice towards us, “I”.
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My old example: We stumble upon a mother bear with two cubs accidently.
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She rears up in defense, growling, closing the distance between me and her, I am terrified, my chest feels a strong jolt, cortisol being dumped, almost paralyzing me.
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Fear has prepared me for fight, flight or freeze.
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Something distracts the bear and I retreat to safety.
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Am I damaged, harmed, have I sustained any physical, emotional or mental injuries.
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No, my breath brings me back, activates my parasympathetic nervous system, applying the brakes, depleting some of the cortisol…

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Look No Further

One of the things I missed most in my time away was Ben’s poetry.

The Sacred Art of Language

you are home

After a thousand lifetimes

spent searching for God,

There a comes a day when the soul finally collapses,

weary and exhausted,

into the arms of grace.

“There, there,” says a soft voice

from somewhere back behind your eyes.

“Be still now. You can rest.

Look no further than this ragged breath,

this beating heart,

this aching back,

these tired bones.

Look no further than this quiet street,

these quaint little temples,

these tufts of grass and trees and weeds.

Look no further than the earth and sky,

this moment suspended here between.

Look no further, pilgrim.

You are home.”

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Recovered Hope

There is no despair so absolute as that which comes with the first moments of our first great sorrow.  When we have not knows what it is to have suffered and be healed, to have despaired and recovered hope.

~George Elliot

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Very honored to be nominated for this award by Zen Soapbox. Great blog with a lot of to offer on the subject of Zen!

Zen Soapbox

Wow! Evidently, I have been nominated to receive the One Lovely Blog Award! This is by far the most prestigious award I have ever won for the work I have been doing on my blog for a little less than a year now. It also happens to be the only award I have won–but I am absolutely thrilled to accept it! Thank you to Yulia at Transition to Balance (http://transition2balance.wordpress.com/) for nominating me!

There are five steps that one must follow to accept the award. They are:

  1. Link back to the blogger who nominated you
  2. Post the award image on your blog
  3. Share seven facts about yourself
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for this award
  5. Contact the bloggers that you have chosen to let them know that they have been nominated

So, I have taken care of the first two. Here are seven facts about myself:

  1. I am married…

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Courage to See

“It has always been scary

to step into the circle of firelight,

to show up in the company of strangers,

to ask for entrance or to offer it.  Our hearts race —

Will we have the courage to see each other?

Will we have the courage to see the world?

The risks we take in the twenty-first century

are based on risks human being took

thousands of years ago.

We are not different from our ancestors,

they are still here, coded inside us.

They are, I believe,

cheering us on.”

~~ From Christina Baldwin, The Seven Whispers

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