inHabitude

Yoga Teacher, Amateur Cyclist, and Clergy

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My Yoga Practice

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‎’Non-aggression’ doesn’t mean that you’re not supposed to get angry; it doesn’t mean that you’re not supposed to set boundaries; it doesn’t mean that you’re not supposed to be sharp; it doesn’t mean that you don’t have neurotic upheavals and meltdowns. What it does mean is that we have to keep letting go - until we are naked with ourselves, and we are making room for the person we actually are. And it’s the exact same process with other people. We have to let go, let go, let go… Until we see and we are seen.

Reggie Ray, “Opening Beyond Fear-The Path of Non-Aggression,” Dharma Ocean Foundation

Encouragement for one who is hurting

My private reply to a question from someone having a difficult time: I’m very sorry to hear that you are hurting so deeply. If you could see yourself the way God sees you, I believe you would smile. You are loved, desired, believed in, hoped for, and cared for. Although it may not always feel like it when we get distracted by the problems we face. Within you there is a stillness and silence that you can return to anytime as often as you want. There you will find contentment and purpose. When we develop our capacity to let go, it doesn’t mean we don’t care or that we are unaffected by what happens to us. We care and feel deeply, perhaps even more deeply, but we choose to let go because we can. It’s a choice we can make. We can let go of pain, anger, fear, vengeance, jealousy… In letting go there is freedom and power to choose. You don’t have to live as a victim of circumstance or on autopilot responding to external stimuli. You can be present, be happy, at peace, and whole. You have that capacity and that choice, and no one can take that away from you. I wish you well. May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease. _/|\_

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

Yoda (via aretepraxis)

(via aretepraxis)

He who pounds his pillow is in touch with neither his anger nor the pillow.

Thich Nhat Hahn

In some ways to be able to forgive, to let go, is a type of dying. It is the ability to say, “I am not that person anymore, and you are not that person anymore.” Forgiveness allows us to recapture some part of ourselves that we left behind in bondage to a past event. Some part of our identity may also need to die in that letting go, so that we can reclaim the energy bound up in the past.

Sharon Salzberg, “Loving-Kindness”

Boredom is rage spread thin.

Paul Tillich

How often do we pin our anger on other people or situations just because we didn’t know what else to do with it?

We don’t teach meditation to the young monks. They are not ready for it until they stop slamming doors.

Thich Nhat Hahn to Thomas Merton in 1966

Some days I am happy for no reason. Other days I barely manage to be calm & kind. I am thankful for this practice that helps me in both. _/l\_

'We don’t teach meditation to the young monks. They are not ready for it until they stop slamming doors.'

~ Thich Nhat Hanh to Thomas Merton in 1966


The piercing truth of this statement struck me as a perfect way to communicate the endless disguises and devices of the false self. There is no more clever way for the false self to hide than behind the mask of spirituality. The human ego will always try to name, categorize, fix, control, and insure all its experiences. For the ego everything is a commodity. It lives inside of self-manufactured boundaries instead of inside the boundaries of the God-self. It lives out of its own superior image instead of mirroring the image of God. The ego is constantly searching for any solid and superior identity. A spiritual self-image gives us status, stability, and security. There is no better way to remain unconscious than to baptize and bless the forms of religion, even prayer itself, instead of surrendering to the Substance Itself. First stop slamming doors, and then you can begin in the kindergarten of spirituality. Too many priests, bishops, and ministers are still slamming doors.

In the name of seeking God, the ego pads and protects itself from self-discovery, which is an almost perfect cover for its inherent narcissism. I know this because I have done it all myself.

Richard Rohr

Personal Lesson of the Day

This path isn’t about creating some perfect version of ourselves immune from feelings or failure. It is about showing up for the whole dance. When anger, fear, or aversion rise up, it doesn’t mean that you failed yourself or your practice is worthless. It means you’re human. Knowing this and facing our humanity with all its glory, shame, and virtue is the path. Forgive yourself, be kind to yourself, be yourself.

liliezencoach:

nice principles

(via liliezen)

As we meditate, we simply sit straight and watch the breath. So what does that do? It creates space. In fact, the technique itself is just a trick. The main point is to recognize all these thoughts and distractions that are constantly bombarding us. We still get angry, but we know that we are angry. When we are angry and know it, the anger has a lot of humor. With that kind of anger, we have more control.

Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, “Do Nothing” (via Tricycle Daily)

To be angry with yourself only leads to more suffering. Forgive yourself, love yourself, and become whole.

Overcoming Outbursts of Anger from Others

In response to a question about how to cope with painful feelings after witnessing an explosion of anger and verbal insults on others…

Whenever something traumatic happens to us, especially in a negatively charged situation, it’s like we absorb that energy. The more intense the exchange the longer it seems to linger inside us before it dissipates. It’s worse when we have no outlet for that energy to be released, whether through tears, screaming, talking, praying, or meditating. To suppress it doesn’t make it go away. You only keep it under pressure, which makes it more volatile and likely to unleashed on some unsuspecting soul who said something wrong to you on the bus in the morning. 

Something hurtful happened in your presence. You may feel victimized, or you may feel guilty for not stopping it. Sit with your feelings and see them for what they are. Don’t push them away. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling the way you do. Just be with them. Allow yourself to feel them. What do you feel? Why do you think you feel this way? Be gentle with yourself. Hold your feelings like you would hold a newborn baby, carefully. But realize that you are not your feelings. They are not who you are. They do not define you. You experience them because you are human. That is not a defect, but they are not your identity. 
Think about the person who unleashed their rage and anger on everyone. Rather than be angry or judgmental of them, imagine what kind of pain they must have been feeling or must have experienced in their life to cause them to lash out at others in such a way. No, it doesn’t excuse their behavior, but remember “hurting people hurt people.” You can choose to take your confusion, frustration, and anger out on others to continue the cycle of rage, or you can choose to love, to forgive, and to let go. The Buddha said that no one in the entire universe is as deserving of your love and acceptance as much as yourself. Begin with yourself. 
  • Practice loving-kindness meditation first for yourself. “May I be safe. May I be happy. May I be healthy. May I live with ease.”
  • Then for a loved one, “May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.”
  • Then for someone who has received good news or good fortune. Be happy for them and wish them well, “May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.”
  • Think of someone you know who is suffering or hurting and wish them well also, “May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.”
  • Then finally, think of this person who is upsetting you and wish them well with your full intention behind it, “May you be safe. May you be happy. May you be healthy. May you live with ease.”
It may be awkward or difficult at first but push through it. Then do it tomorrow. Then the next day and the next and so on. See how you feel in a week. Walk slowly, pausing often, be gentle.
I wish you well.

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