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29 January 2008 @ 09:45 am
Tao of the Day  
[The enlightened] don't resent other people.
They aren't filled with anxieties about business.
They aren't consumed with fear of the supernatural.
- Chuang Tzu (trans. Timothy Freke)

How do I get into this frame of mind?

I remember that I screw up too, I act selfishly without thinking of others, I fail to meet my commitments, I expect without communicating my expectations, and it helps defuse my anger at the failings of others.

I think about the kicking horse in the alley in Lao Tzu's village and, having seen its behaviour, his choice to take a longer path to his destination and skip walking through the alley altogether.

Where the supernatural is concerned, I also think about all of the unpredictable things that might happen. There is no effective prediction for a completely random violent attack, the death of a loved one, etc. so I remind myself that, making what preparations I can, I will cross that bridge if and when it is put before me.

How do you get into this frame of mind?
Laurendj_stitch on January 29th, 2008 06:26 pm (UTC)
This is a good thing for me to read today.

Putting myself in a place of empathy, of connection with the people or situations that I feel resentful about helps, for certain. Breathing in my pain and theirs, breathing out release... (http://www.shambhala.org/teachers/pema/tonglen1.php)
Varnvarn_ix on January 29th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC)
Your question has, from my point of view, two separate answers.

The things from your first paragraph, selfishness, failing to meet commitments, expecting without communicating; these are acts of taking the easy way and stem from either laziness (your fault) or low energy (various factors, but likely you share some of the responsibility). In here I like to include doing chores which are formally not mine to do, but would disburden another member of the household who is, objectively looking, already doing more than I am.

The solution to the above is to practice keeping in good spirits while in some discomfort. Zen meditation is especially suitable: they sit long, painful hours, or they trick-or-treat in many layers of robes to accentuate the heat. It is easy to be benevolent when you're well-fed, rested, just warm enough and without immediate pressing concerns. However, the point of the exercise is to find energy for benevolence (and doing all those other considerate things) when you're low on energy, in pain, etc. Thus, you are ever prepared.

The second part, fear of the supernatural and events beyond my control, carries a hidden trap. By letting go of attachment, remaining a rock which stands while everything about me crumbles, ever ready for a new beginning, I achieve freedom from such fear. However, anticipating loss in such a way precludes forming strong ties and deep love. The approach I've taken lately is to give myself in to feelings toward others, letting relationships find their own level, and trust myself to be able to deal with loss IF it occurs. Sort of like flying around and not glancing too hard at the ground in case it notices you.

Actually, having put this into coherent text and re-reading your post, I think we have the same idea.
Kburgunder on January 30th, 2008 07:10 am (UTC)
I think we have the same idea.

GRiN. So do I. ;>
Sarah: Nakeysarmonster on January 29th, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC)
I go outside for a walk alone.
I look for signs of spring, I watch the birds flitting around, I breathe. I picture myself stepping into the unknown and feeling the freedom that comes from being comfortable within the unknown, which is the swirling dynamic future and feeling that everything will be OK.

Once I feel sufficiantly cozy doing the dance of 0-The Fool, I go back inside and get back to work.

I do not do this as often as I should.
Kburgunder on January 30th, 2008 07:09 am (UTC)
I do not do this as often as I should.

Me neither.

When I do, I never regret it. Same with yoga and going dancing.
Zen Anarchymetalmensch on January 29th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC)
Vinegar tasting.
Kburgunder on January 30th, 2008 07:08 am (UTC)

That response rules on multiple levels. The day you answer something without it being some kind of near or realized aphorism, I'm going to question your identity, sir.
Zen Anarchymetalmensch on January 30th, 2008 04:52 pm (UTC)
I lose the point when I use too many words.