Wisdom Arises Through Understanding

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Giving & Receiving

I was with my study group and we were talking about the first chapter of the book Non Violent Communication. One of the activity was to share an incident where we were giving from the heart and how we felt and vice versa when we did not give from the heart and how we felt.

As everyone started to share their story, I was seeing that in instances that they genuinely give from their heart, they feel very nice and I could see it on their face. However, if they give or did not give after some thought, there seemed to be a different look on their faces. I find it facinating.

One thing i found interesting in each of us seem to have the mentality that we can give to those that is seen to have less than us but we cannot receive from those who we perceive have lesser than us. For example, its ok for us to give to a beggar but its not ok for a beggar to give to me because it would be deemed not right.

Another interesting thing I realised that a lot of times the giving is thwarted because of a thought that came in after the intention to give. In a way we thwart our own compassion with logical thinking

A thing that struck me very clearly last night was that each moment is different. For instance, when a person wants to give something to us, we can make the giving complete by receiving but because of a logical thought, we stop the receiving from our end and the giving is not complete.

So there is a need for wisdom too in the giving and receiving. A giving that is sincere, is felt by the giver and the giver wants nothing in returned from the giving except the receiving. If the receiver is in doubt they can always be open by asking the giver their intention. The problem is that, we never ask, we make up some stories in our mind and act according to the story. If the story is about us being indebted to the person or its not right to receive from someone deemed having less than us, we shut off the receiving quickly to protect ourselves.

Same goes with receiving. We can receive from the heart and know nothing is expected in return or we can receive from the space of doubt and suspicion. Either way, only we will experience it.

I came to an interesting personal conclusion is that what is actually important was how the mind is relating to the cycle of giving and receiving. Meaning here is that what is the idea that is present in the giving and receiving. Is it coming from wisdom or ignorance

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Self Deception

Recently, I was observing an interesting phenomena in myself after it was brought to my attention while in a conversation with someone.

I've noticed how I layer ideas upon ideas to guide me in operating in this world and because of this layering, I seem to have an idea to run everything.
For instance, if i have the idea that "others needs are more important than mine" or "to be a nice person, I must give in" or If I don't get what I want, its just my destiny."  or " wanting things is wrong or its selfish" , I will take action and speak according to these ideas.

With these thought, if I were going shopping with a friend and both of us like the same item, I would most likely not to express my like for the item when my friend has expressed her like because it would seem that I'm not nice and to make myself feel better I would layer another idea on top of the first idea like "its only a material good, its not permanent" . This will seem to put the mind to rest but am I really ok ?

From my observation, its not ok because I have shut out the possibility of seeing how the mind relates to all the wanting or desiring and to learn about the nature of it. By putting ideas as Band-Aid, I shut the case up very quickly and this disallow me from learning more about the mind. In another words, I'm not learning, I'm just fixing things so that I can maintain my seemingly peace of mind. In other words, no wisdom is grown. What is grown is just tolerance. If there were no big issues, I could well operate my whole life like this.

Having the ideas are not wrong. The ideas are what I call first level information for us to train our mind with some information for us to ponder and use our intelligence to apply it but as we progress in our practice, we must also look into this information to see how its operating in our system to learn from it. Unfortunately, we take the information given as the ultimate truth and regurgitate it in the situations that we experience. We are not learning to observe the relationship we are having in the mind with regards to the information.

As the Buddha said, we need to let go of the raft once we are at the opposite shore. Hanging on to the raft just hinders our progress.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Unnecessary Suffering

I came back from helping out and also participating in a 4 days retreat over the weekend till Tuesday. One of the thing that was discussed was the work of Byron Katie and on the 3 kinds of business. My business, your business and God's business. I was reflecting that when we are in our own business, there is less suffering and I had the opportunity to see then while having a conversation with a loved one. I'm sharing my take on her experience because it makes me see myself.

She was sharing with me how inconsiderate her MIL was to ask husband to fetch them back to hometown after arriving late from a holiday. And they had to take her car as his car had a flat tyre leaving her to take care of the flat tyre the next day before she goes to work. I could hear the pain and accusation she is in as she could not understand their action. It struck me there and then that she was in their business and also there was no acceptance that it was their nature to be like that because that is the behaviour they were displaying. Its just that their nature is not her nature.

I reflected how often I do not accept nor see other people's for their nature because its different from mine. Because of this I suffer ONE time. In my mind I want them to be different to fit my view of how people should be. This becomes my SECOND suffering. And I try to change them to fit my view by persuading, threatening, etc. This makes up my THIRD suffering. Isn't it wonderful how I wallow in suffering and blame others for it.  Because of this focus to change others, the mind is totally closed.

I shared with my loved one that if she accepted their nature, she will have more peace and if she can see that she has a choice to also  leave the punctured tyre car for her husband to come back to repair, she could easily have asked for a ride from a colleague or take a taxi to work saving her all the suffering. So, my learning from here is that we cannot see any strategies if we are totally embroiled in our suffering. In the end, our relationship with our spouse would be affected and if we do not come back to our own business, our relationships suffers because we carry the anger and resentment forward.

So, its true that suffering is optional !

Monday, May 2, 2011

Life Purpose

I have always wondered what is my life purpose. From young I thought life purpose is to be happy and with that I need to get a good education, be financially secure, have a family, insurance and a good retirement plan. As I embark on the spiritual journey, I realised that all the above that I use to guarantee a happy life is not IT. Looks like I've bark at the wrong tree.

Recently, I was re-aquainted with the practice of H'oponopono and it has brought out the fact that everything that comes into my space is my responsibility. And my responsibility is to clear the data or misperceptions that I have about things.

TL sent an email to me this morning and one paragraph of his email really hit the nail on the head when he said that "the only meaningful purpose of life is to clear all the garbage,baggage of memories that makes me come back again and again" And all we want is to return "HOME"

Coincidentally,while driving with my mom in the car today, I expresses that each person in life or a day can choose to do nothing, do something good or from wisdom or do something from ignorance. Whatever we choose, the moment or day or life will still be happening. But when we choose to do something from wisdom, which is in this case to clear the garbage, we allow nature or the divine to guide us. In a way, in my understanding, when I clear,  "I" get out of the way and let nature run its own course.

But we do not do that because of fear of the unknown, so we spend a lot of our time at work, or with family or doing what we think is the ultimate. I do not believe it is now because though we have work, family etc, they are actually mirrors for us to see what we need to clear. For example, I cannot want a happy family because wanting something is not going to get me what I want, I need to work on the cause..... meaning that I have to clear all the data or misperception and then when its clear, things will flow. So its not about getting something or going anywhere, its about clearing and all will come into play.

What a paradox of life. I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you , I love you.