Wisdom Arises Through Understanding

Monday, October 18, 2010

Have I Grown ??

I had a call from a friend last night and she was asking me an interesting question ..... "How do I know that I've grown spiritually?" She mentioned that for the past few years, she has noticed that she speaks out more, is more calm, more grounded and happy. But she had an experience with friends telling her that she has not done enough.

Her question made me think and ponder. I realised that we can always ask other people and they can only give us an answer based on their perception and what is their perception made of ......... its made up of comparing the person they know now with the person they know in the past and from there, if there were any difference, then that would be the thing that they will put it as evidence of the person's growth. Though getting other's opinion is part of the fact finding process, I notice that another very powerful approach is to observe ourselves to see what is happening to ourselves and also use the world we are in, to gauge.... sort of like looking into our reflection and see what its telling me.

So, I asked the friend a question "when someone makes a remark about you, were you triggered ? " she mentioned that not as badly as last time. So, I told her that everytime we work on ourselves and we wish to find out if we had made progress, just see what people around us are showing or telling. If they are saying something to us and we are as badly triggered as before.... this most probably mean that we still have inner work to do.But each time they say the same thing and we are less and less triggered and one day we can just have a good laugh.....then wisdom has grown because we are at peace as its no longer our issue.

Its quite wonderful if we see our outside world as helping to show our progress in our life journey. For a lot of people, the outside world is just a scary place. I remembered TL mentioned that J mentioned before that, we have created this world as our amusement park but along the way we get frightened by what we created and cannot face it.

The more and more observant we are about what is happening, the more we are able to gauge our progress.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Judgement: The Effect of

Each person make judgements continuously day in and day out. I guess the only time we stop judging is when we are in deep sleep. If we had a dream, most likely there will be judgement being made there too.
We judge so unconsciously that it does not ring any warning bell in us. When we speak and when we are for or against a certain topic, it shows our judgement and idea behind what we are saying.

Surprisingly, even when we do not speak, there is an indication of our judgement on a certain matter. When we show an action, its also an indication of our judgement too...... so we are never free from it.

Today, I had an interesting experience when I went to a shop to buy some rice. As there was no one around, the shop owner chatted with me. He normally weigh the container I give him and then proceed to fill it with 1 kg of rice for me. Today, he weighed the container and then proceed to fill it to the container to the brim and then weighed and it was about 200 gms more. He closed the lid and told me that he is giving me extra because I'm a Tree Hugger (a day earlier, he mentioned that he should hug trees more and I mentioned to him that Clove&Clive has already did a book on Tree Widsom which the centre theme of the photos were tree hugging).

I wanted to protest but resisted the temptation because I could see the idea behind my protest was that I am taking advantage of him. Then also immediately, I could see that from what he said, he has a judgement made that I was a "good" person therefore its OK to treat me nice. I smiled when I realised this.

Then he got chatty and asked me a personal question that goes something like this " I notice that you seemed more fierce than your husband".   When I observe the mind, there was arising of some agitation but curiosity got a better of me because I could see he is making another judgement/comparison about me and my husband. Out of fun, I said "Yes"..... I could see he was happy because to him, his judgement is validated. His next sentence was to build on his judgement saying " I can see that your husband is more gentle and allowing". Again I said "Yes". He seemed even happier. Then he proceed to said that his wife is more fierce than him. Again I just said, "Is that so?" and this time he said "Yes"... again he is validating his own judgement about his wife.

I viewed the whole episode with him as very interesting as I was seeing judgement in action in terms of speech and behaviour.  So in the end, because I just said yes to his questions, he has in a way concluded his view of me and hubby and will carry that throughout his life and will treat me according to the judgement he has made. In a way, he is not really seeing me at all.

So I pondered, how can I be aware of these judgements? In my analysis,  first be aware of the idea/judgement I have and then consciously change the way I ask a person about something I'm curious about. For example, instead of saying " I notice that you seemed more fierce than your husband". Even if I have that idea of wife is more fierce than husband, I can ask in a more open way, allowing the judgement to be confirmed or changed based on the person's answer. For example, the question could be like this...."Between your husband and you, who is more fierce?" I notice this keep the mind in suspense and open and not make a conclusion. If the person said the wife is, I can ask another question to check his meaning of it and so on and so forth until the judgement is investigated.

However, while I was walking home, I pondered (and its my idea) that if every person is conscious of the ideas and judgements that are running their lives, there will be more acceptance.

Friday, October 8, 2010

How Do We Grow?

I always pondered on why as I got older, though I may said that I like to grow spiritually but there is at the back of the mind, that wants the growth to be easy so as I do not have to deal with so much pain. In fact, I would like to have answers given to me so that I need not bang my head against the wall so much. Another very strong desire is to have someone "rescue" me and make everything right for me. Its sort of like taking the express lane to enlightenment.

However, I realised that growing in wisdom is not always an easy road to walk : ). Sometimes its like taking 2 steps forward and 10 steps backwards..... Sometimes I feel like I've grown a lot spiritually.... and sometimes I feel like I've not moved at all ..... sometimes its like I'm back to square one and moving backwards.

One thing I know is that growing in any area of life requires some challenges. If there was no challenges, we would not be able to stretch our boundaries or to see what we are capable or not capable of.

Interestingly, as a baby, we are hardly afraid to grow... if we fell down when learning to walk.... we did not say, its too hard, I'll just sit here.... we just get up and try again. During this growing process, even when we fall and if it hurts, we cry but there are many times, that we just laugh when we are able to stand a second longer etc.

Recently after a dramatic sharing with SS about how I'm not handling life well and whatever growth I think I have achieve has all came to  a "ZERO", In the midst of the dramatic sharing, I could see a soft and gentle mind also present with the anguish mind. Strangely, just being able to recognised the presences of the soft and gentle mind, it was enough to put an end to the drama and to be awakened again to the fact that the spiritual journey is not a 100m dash but a marathon. And of course... wherever I am, there I am. So I guess, I am growing if the drama of life can be seen for what it is quickly and not takes days to regain consciousness again. For that I'm grateful for I can the boundaries expanding.  

Monday, October 4, 2010

Simple or Complicated !!!

Looking at things negatively has been a common trademark for many people I know and I'm no different too. When something happens, before we even know the whole story, the fear, worry, imagining the worse comes in. Why is that so ?..... Its because I already have an expectation of the way things should be or I want things to be a certain way. In a funny way, this means that I would like to live a sanitized life. Accepting each event that comes our way just as it is seems like a far fetched idea if we are not mindful.

When we put the "I" very prominently in the picture, there will always be a holding on, a resisting, an expectation, loads of controlling because we want the blueprint of our lives to be totally laid out for ourselves so that we will always be sure of the next step in life. In an paradoxical way, the thought of regretting something or making a mistake seems to be such a tragedy. But will I truly know what is the next step in life?...... up till now ... I experience hits and misses and still can't seem to get the formula of life right ... so it seems to be futile to be planning a whole life ahead when I have only just today to be concerned about. Its quite funny to see how we trip ourselves up by being in a future orientation.In fact, we complicate our lives and then complain about it. A friend of mine said it well, " Life is actually simple.....just know what you want" ... How many of us know what we truly want ??

Staying Simple

Be blessed
in the basic awareness
of knowing
you do not know
the answers,

In this humbleness
is strength
guiding all
toward their own true nature,

Not the weakness
of complicated cleverness
that disguises the ego
as the master,

Be willing
to blend peacefully
into common-place cycles of life
with sensible precaution
of the silent destiny
always at work,
regardless of your particular opinion,

There lies comforting understanding,
within faithful surrender to the unknown,
invisible, inevitable presence,
that a clearer pattern exists,

Containing the joy
of simply being
amidst the unforced process
of the Tao.

By Gordon Neumann