Zen LIvÂing: When youâre a Zen Guy like me, youâre conÂstantÂly thinkÂing about, (and tryÂing to enact) being present. The HolÂiÂday SeaÂson is rife with âthingsâ we can disÂtract ourÂselves with.
I decidÂed to send you a list of alterÂnaÂtive ways of being, in the hopes that shiftÂing gears might help you to deal with the holÂiÂdays more eleÂgantÂly.
The 2nd. edition of This Endless Moment has 100 plus more pages of insights and helps.
Youâll disÂcovÂer the resources you need for livÂing a cenÂtered, fulÂfilled, and aware life.
Appreciate Your Bodyâs Wisdom
Itâs time to reclaim the 95% of yourÂself that you minÂiÂmize and disÂparÂage â your body. Admit it, youâre livÂing as a talkÂing head, and haulÂing the rest of you around because you canât figÂure out what else to do with your body.
I know a lot of peoÂple who are in absolute denial about their bodÂies, and what their bodÂies want/need. I look and see tightÂness, disÂcomÂfort, pain. I ask, âWhatâs up?â and I get this verÂiÂtaÂble spew of stoÂries from the past and the future.
Itâs all this weird exterÂnal stuff that has nothÂing at all to do with what is going on right now.
I sugÂgest a bit of breathÂwork, a bit of focus below the neck. Then the sighs and tears and anger and sadÂness and the horniÂness for life and for release starts creepÂing to the surÂface. Often the up-flow of emoÂtions causÂes a panÂicky retreat back into their heads.
If the perÂson can hold to the feelÂing, and be present in their body, there is an easy flow of emoÂtion and a decidÂed lessÂenÂing of the draÂma they are creÂatÂing.
But, boy is it hard to perÂsuade peoÂple to go there.
In fact, Iâve pretÂty much givÂen up on tryÂing. I have takÂen to invitÂing presÂence through breath (and BodyÂwork) and then just sitÂting there to see what hapÂpens next.
Idea for Zen Living: Now is the time to commit to listening to the wisdom of your body. Stop running from yourself â running up into your head, where you lie to yourself and create more dysfunctional stories. In 2020, commit to dealing deeply and fully with your body. Youâll be glad you did.
The idea of livÂing honÂestÂly is one of the hardÂest âsells.â PeoÂple have a lot of excusÂes for not being honÂest, either with othÂers or with themÂselves.
- Some actuÂalÂly resent the whole conÂcept â they figÂure âadults have a right to priÂvaÂcy.â HavÂing secrets is seen as a privÂiÂlege of being an adult.
- OthÂers think that if they are honÂest about who they are and what they are about, othÂers will run screamÂing from the room.
- OthÂers get a charge out of pulling the wool over othÂersâ eyes.
Living Honestly entails self-discovery, followed by self-reflection, followed by self-revelation.
This process is emphatÂiÂcalÂly not about disÂcovÂerÂing your faults and then stuffÂing them down othÂerâs throats. HonÂest LivÂing is all about digÂging in deeply, revealÂing (to self and othÂers) the depths of yourÂself, and emphatÂiÂcalÂly itâs about stopÂping lying to yourÂself about your inabilÂiÂty to make betÂter choicÂes.
Idea for Zen Living: A noble goal for 2020 is to commit to telling the truth, gently, yet clearly â about yourself. (Itâs not about blasting others about what you perceive as their truth â âYou are such a jerk. You need to get over yourself.â Thatâs not your job! Your job is to learn about the depth and height of yourself, and to bring that person into full expression in the world. It is a noble path.
MoveÂment and change is our only realÂiÂty. You canÂnot cling, for even one moment, to anyÂthing â a perÂson, an expeÂriÂence, even a sinÂgle breath. You canÂnot cling to your life â it is passÂing, and soon you will no longer be.
MoveÂment and the pasÂsage of time are intrinÂsiÂcalÂly linked.
Once you see this, you will recÂogÂnize that the pain and draÂma of our lives have nothÂing to do with what is hapÂpenÂing right now. All of that pain comes from our fanÂtasies that what is hapÂpenÂing right now ought to be difÂferÂent.
As we have that thought, our brains get involved, and soon we are just sitÂting there, immoÂbile, telling ourÂselves stoÂries of past and/or future.
The way out is active parÂticÂiÂpaÂtion in the present moment, emphaÂsis on active. You incarÂnatÂed (litÂerÂalÂly âcame into flesh â carneâ) to have a body, (i.e. to feel and to get around) and bodÂies need airÂing out, dancÂing, jumpÂing, stretchÂing and genÂerÂalÂly need to be in conÂtact with othÂer warm bodÂies.
So, what are you doing to be present and in your body?
Idea for Zen Living: The movement of life is the presence of life. In this flow, I am alive and aware. And that, my friends, is as good as it gets! In 2020, commit to a rigorous physical program of movement, and then be present with what your incarnation feels like.
Hereâs a bigÂgie. Oh, for a wholeÂheartÂed comÂmitÂment to anyÂthing!
Most peoÂple dick around and chip away at life, as opposed to tackÂling the thing wholeÂheartÂedÂly and whole-headÂedÂly.
This is a bigÂgie â a major flaw in the path we are all on is doing only enough to mitÂiÂgate pain, as opposed to pushÂing through the pain to see what lies beyond it.
RelaÂtionÂships sufÂfer from seekÂing âno pain.â PeoÂple think, âNo pain, no probÂlem.â But everyÂthing always changes â and then the relaÂtionÂship goes south â because only the âminÂiÂmal effort to mainÂtain the staÂtus quoâ had been applied.
My thinkÂing is that wholeÂheartÂed comÂmitÂment is necÂesÂsary for a fulÂfilled and fulÂfillÂing life. DabÂbling, playÂing-at-life, flitÂting about while time passÂes and life goes by, seems to me the ultiÂmate in wastÂing oneâs life.
Idea for Zen Living: Yet, many are the excuses. And you are never any better than your best excuse. Dear hearts, get over it! In 2020, commit to something and make it happen. You do not have forever.
Put Yourself First
No, itâs not selfÂish to put yourÂself first. Iâm not talkÂing about steam-rolling over othÂers. Iâm talkÂing about takÂing your self, your life, and your path with the utmost seriÂousÂness.
Most peoÂple dedÂiÂcate their lives to othÂers, and not in a good way. Most engage in an, âIf I treat them well, theyâll treat me wellâ game that nevÂer plays out. Why?
When you make it your misÂsion to live for anothÂer, all you creÂate it the expecÂtaÂtion that you will do this forÂevÂer. It does not engenÂder reciÂprocity. It engenÂders depenÂdence and expecÂtaÂtions â demands â for more and betÂter from you.
Any one who accusÂes you of selfÂishÂness is sayÂing, âHey! Wait a minute! You are supÂposed to put me first! How dare you think of yourÂself and not of me?â In othÂer words, they are doing (being selfÂish) what they are accusÂing you of!
The only way your life will ever be othÂer than it is, is when you do someÂthing difÂferÂentÂly. PeriÂod. AnyÂthing else is a fluke.
Idea for Zen Living: You canât change your life, your prospects, your relationships, your body, without changing something â wishing does not make it happen.
When is the right time for you???
Right now, of course!!
Create More Passion
PasÂsion is the burnÂing, interÂnal fire of purÂpose. PasÂsion is a path of self-develÂopÂment â this fire is what driÂves us to go deepÂer â to change. PasÂsion is all about desire focused on a goal and in a direcÂtion.
OthÂer stuff (peoÂple, places, things) does not creÂate pasÂsion in us. PasÂsion is an inside job. This is why we can be pasÂsionÂate about someÂone or some thing at one point, and not pasÂsionÂate in the next breath.
PasÂsion feels hot and charÂgy. Thus, it is a prime mover and motiÂvaÂtor â so long as we do not attach to or get hooked on the feelÂing. If we do, we become pasÂsion junkies, and the only goal is âmore pasÂsion.â
The form of pasÂsion that is helpÂful is pasÂsionÂate direcÂtion. For enlightÂenÂment. For a noble goal or cause. For more depth of self-knowÂing and for more depth in relaÂtionÂship.
This kind of pasÂsionÂate actÂing is actuÂalÂly a path.
Create some passion for yourself. Donât put it off. Passion is the power that primes the pump of life!
If youâve read my book, This EndÂless Moment, youâll know I take a non-seriÂous tack with matÂters sexÂuÂal and senÂsuÂal. I wrote:
âhe reaÂson sex conÂtinÂues to be conÂsidÂered some kind of markÂer in relaÂtionÂships is sexÂuÂal embarÂrassÂment and immaÂtuÂriÂty. Sex is givÂen great meanÂing because we are afraid to take it casuÂalÂly.
Itâs a hard thing to admit out loud to being sexÂuÂal.
QuanÂtum physics teachÂes us that the uniÂverse is enerÂgy and potenÂtial â in othÂer words, stuff is simÂply in flow and flux, and then is observed and comes into being. This is the state of the entireÂty of exisÂtence.
For examÂple, the old Zen-ish quesÂtion,
âIf a tree falls in the forÂest, and no one is there, does it make a sound?â
The answer is simÂple: It depends.
There is enerÂgy that is creÂatÂed by the fall â a flowÂing outÂward of enerÂgy. It only becomes a âsound,â howÂevÂer, if there is an âearâ to hear it, AND a mind to interÂpret it.
Sound becomes someÂthing ârealâ when it is interÂpretÂed by the brain of the hearÂer.
This explains why you underÂstand what you said one way, and the perÂson hearÂing the same words interÂprets it anothÂer way.
Everything, then, is dependent upon the interpretation of the observer.
Sex becomes a fasÂciÂnatÂing and pasÂsionÂate learnÂing enerÂgy when we interÂpret it that way. Thatâs the âtakeâ of Tantra and KunÂdaliÂni work. The enerÂgy (which is âjust enerÂgy,â) can be directÂed, turnÂing it into a powÂerÂful force for our own awakÂenÂing. Or, it can be made speÂcial, dragged out occaÂsionÂalÂly, and treatÂed with embarÂrassÂment.
Idea for Zen Living: In 2020, find someone to explore your sexual energy with. Learn how to âmake it work for you.â Dedicate yourself to breaking open the blocks in your body. After all, youâre in your body for a reason!
Change Your Story
Hereâs a quesÂtion: âAnd how is endÂlessÂly repeatÂing a stoÂry you hate helpÂing you to change how you are in the world?â
I spend a lot of time askÂing that quesÂtion â I ask othÂers, and I ask myself.
I have a couÂple of stoÂries about being un-appreÂciÂatÂed that Iâve been haulÂing out and flogÂging myself with since, well, forÂevÂer. Iâve have reached the place where I now laugh at myself and give myself a shake. I cerÂtainÂly do not enact this stoÂry anyÂmore.
Because the stoÂry does not work!
PeoÂple argue with me on this one. âButâ¦butâ¦ how can I just change my stoÂry? My stoÂry is right! Iâm so hard done by! I need to get everyÂone on the planÂet to admit how badÂly they are treatÂing me! How can I heal myself when I know Iâm powÂerÂless?â
NothÂing means anyÂthing until you give it meanÂing. You donât like the way your life is going, change your stoÂry.
Idea for Zen Living: In 2020 nothing will move you further along the path than this simple truth â your life is exactly and precisely the story you are telling yourself.
Get this, and then do something about it!
Be a Blessing
We are quite small in the face of the eleÂgance of the uniÂverse. In the face of that, it might be sise to get over ourÂselves (and our busyÂness,) long enough to âbe a blessÂing.â
In othÂer words, to change your stoÂry from one long, pathetÂic whine,
and to get on with makÂing a difÂferÂence in the world.
As I get oldÂer, time seems much more comÂpressed. Six months flashÂes by in an instant. DarÂbelÂla and I have been togethÂer 37 plus years. Where did the days, the weeks, the months, the years, go?
What have I accomÂplished?
I ask myself that quesÂtion with comÂpasÂsion and with grace.
Have I been of use â have I been a blessÂing?
Idea for Zen Living: We stand on the cusp of 2020. You were born for a reason, never doubt it. So, what are you waiting for? The perfect moment? Permission?
How about right now? Be a blessing.
Hone your Loving
LovÂing (an action, as opposed to âlove,â which doesÂnât exist) requires keenÂness and sharpÂness and accuÂraÂcy, just like a knife does.
SomeÂtimes love is a genÂtle nudge, like the last point (he says with a grinâ¦) LovÂing is nevÂer about doing things that fly in the face of who you are. LovÂing is only posÂsiÂble when you are present, conÂnectÂed, self-responÂsiÂble, and curiÂous.
- PresÂence means I am here, in this moment, and nowhere else. Not wool-gathÂerÂing, planÂning my next speech, disÂtractÂed.
- ConÂnectÂed is an emoÂtionÂal sense of resÂoÂnance. Itâs all enerÂgy anyÂway, so conÂnecÂtion is allowÂing myself to open enough to actuÂalÂly feel the vibraÂtional tone of anothÂer.
- Self-responÂsiÂble peoÂple do not blame othÂers, sitÂuÂaÂtions, or themÂselves. They are âsimÂply present,â and from their presÂence respond from their core to the sitÂuÂaÂtions they meet. Self-responÂsiÂbilÂiÂty is all about workÂing from my cenÂtre outÂward, with a clear heart and focused mind.
- CuriosÂiÂty is not manipÂuÂlaÂtive. Itâs an acknowlÂedgeÂment that whatÂevÂer is going on in your world is yours, and it, by defÂiÂnÂiÂtion, has to be difÂferÂent from my underÂstandÂings. Because valÂue you, I want to know more about you. And because I valÂue you, I want to know how well your perÂspecÂtive is workÂing.
Idea for Zen Living: Be more loving in 2020. Open yourself to the possibility of caring and compassion, with no need to fix anyone or anything. From this place of non-fixing, live elegantly, leave a mark, and be a blessing!
Get on with it
PeoÂple pick at the self-creÂatÂed scabs of themÂselves, and irriÂtate themÂselves, and the exploÂration, such as it is, nevÂer leads anyÂwhere except to more things to not like.
The joke is, the stuff they are digÂging up is just a stoÂry they are telling themÂselves. Itâs not true,â itâs not, âwho they are.â Who they are is, âall of it, plus all the othÂer stuff.â
And self-exploÂration doesÂnât matÂter anyÂway. Because this kind of self-exploÂration leads only inward.
No authenÂtic spirÂiÂtuÂal path actuÂalÂly leads inward. Take medÂiÂtaÂtion. Seems interÂnal, all that breathÂing and empÂtyÂing the mind. But to what end?
PresÂence! And presÂence only hapÂpens out here, in the world.
Idea for Zen Living: When I stop talking to myself and judging myself and coming up with yet another label, I can simply be, and in that being, respond to life, to self, and to others, and thus to accomplish something elegant.
Because in order to leave a mark, you have to actuÂalÂly do someÂthing difÂferÂent!
(Are you noticÂing how all of this fits togethÂer? Good!)
Live in the Present, for a Change
Change only hapÂpens in the present moment. The client I menÂtioned above was regretÂting a past relaÂtionÂship. My quesÂtion: How would that perÂson (now dead) want you to live your life now? You canât change whatâs hapÂpened, but you can change âfrom now on!â