Tag Archives: fear

The Love I Am yet to Know

No thing or no one withstands the wave of impermanence. I remind myself of that quite often. I know it will wash over me, leaving me changed. That is the life experience.

I may be able to push my fist through a wave but it will still knock me to the ground, if necessary.

I’ve come to realize I don’t stop anything. I might divert an action or even avoid it temporarily but I will not outrun the wave, ultimately. Mine is to trust in being.

Hollow comfort that when fear is in abundance and love seems so scarce. Lack is a figment of fear. I don’t have to be fearless just a little bit curious. That is the only opening love needs.

An open heart will wash away the grime of fear, the first step in the return to love. It takes courage to accept that love isn’t stagnant. Like every other experience, love, too, evolves.

I no longer wrap my arms round that one moment when all life seems in balance. I once worked toward such a freeze-frame. It’s stasis and left me lacking.

In all the imperfection of impermanence, I would rather its wave. There is no lack of love in it. Change is only a love I have yet to experience.

In the end nothing we say or do

 will matter as much as the

 way we have loved one another.

 (Daphne Rose Kingma).

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

In the Absence of Privilege

Every morning, I want to wake up to a world that recognizes the connection we have with one another.

I want us to celebrate the kind of love each of us has to give. I want us to remember that the truth of who we are is what connects us, not how we look.

I want us to free fall into the unknown of each and every day–secure in our vulnerability, curious in our courage.

It is foolishness, my wishing, but it is deeper than that, darker I’m afraid. It is a luxury to be able to wish, an exclusive privilege.lake-ella-fountain-0115

What of the wishes of those in Aleppo? Basic, if they wish at all anymore.

There is not sufficient food, water, or shelter for children, much less their families—” a meltdown of humanity.”

I want to hide behind the Gordian knot of issues that led to Aleppo.

Empathy is insufficient, woefully so, and yet another illustration of my privilege.

Amidst the rubble of Aleppo, a teacher of English tweets to the world, “there is no freedom” in what may be his final message. He is weary, resigned, yet it is still of freedom that he writes.

Freedom is all or nothing; no one excluded. No one. It is a basic human right.

And just what is it that I can do for Aleppo? Put down my shield of privilege and practice tonglen—the giving and taking, sending and receiving of compassion. Open myself to fear, to hopelessness—the chaos that is the world.

Vulnerability is how I own my fear, eschewing blame, excuses, and reasons to walk away. That moment of mindfulness is connection, discovery of ways to aid Aleppo.

Tonglen leads us to what hopelessness hides; it eases the ache in our heart. Tonglen pulls together tendrils of the ever-expanding web that knows no weaver.

We respond to fear not on its terms but on ours. We have only our kind of love to give but illuminating truth absents fear.

We are Aleppo.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity a dose at a time. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.

What Will Still the Noise?

I am surrounded by noise, and sometimes I am the loudest. My ego is getting too much of my time. I am “identifying with the impermanent” (Mooji) so I am more anxious than not.  

Any fear keeps me in my comfort zone. I need to be curious and muster enough courage to open myself to uncertainty. How else to still the noise.

Mostly, I get caught up in the 2016 election. It is more chatter than I can bear so I pull myself away only to return. Just when I am sure we have hit rock bottom, there is yet another new low.

Equanimity knows no enemies but I do not always know equanimity.

All of us want to feel okay, again, as if we really were. If there is one thing this election is showing us, it is that we were not okay, ever. The past seems a better time because we are no longer living it but we are living its consequences.

The present is chaotic–continuous uncertainty, ever unfolding—the future flashes possibilities based upon what we do now but it is ever changeable, and it is a place we will never be.  

sunday-anhingas-0313

Fear is exhausting and feels endless. It is and it is not.

Energy drives the chronic experience we all share–life. It connects us to one another. Every day, we awaken with a certain level of energy, unique to each of us.

I call it the daily dose. No two days are the same. We aim for even, each day anew.

Living in the now means recognizing that fear is endemic to the life experience. If we accept that, fear loses a bit of its oomph—there really is no element of surprise–fear may be chronic but we do not have to live fearfully.

Acceptance is full of forgiveness, gratitude, joy, and compassion. It is the energy of equanimity, the patience of endurance.

It is not for the faint of heart but it is not as noisy, either. In the Tonglen practice, there is the breathing in of all that noise and releasing in its stead the stillness of compassion.

Stillness is not always heard, immediately, but it lingers.

Energy does not wrap itself around our wants. We get a daily dose. We need to keep an eye on the gauge for the echo of an empty tank is deafening.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page. 

 

Lesson: The Inside Out and Backwards T-Shirt

As I began my morning yoga practice, I noticed my T-shirt was on inside out and backwards–also, an apt description for my just finished meditation session.

Next, my mind flashed to yesterday’s Facebook memory link to a blog post I had written four years ago, “The Quiet Teachers.”

Mark Nepo says we know these quiet teachers by their “lessons [that] dissolve as accidents or coincidence…offering us direction that can only be heard in the roots of how we feel and think.”

I did not immediately “right” my T-shirt–that is unlike me–neither the “accident nor coincidence” interrupted the flow of my yoga practice.laziness-010514

Rather, they directed it. The mindfulness that escaped me in meditation was fully present in my yoga flow. That is not unusual; it happens frequently. But this morning, there was joy, the joy of release.

“Be serene in the oneness of things and  erroneous views will disappear by themselves” (Seng-Ts’an).

Thanks to my inside out and backwards T-shirt, I find relief in no longer having to maintain my current façade. I meet my anxiety, my wild mind and open to them. What swirled like a whirling dervish, slowed to a marbling; a soft, mesmerizing flow.

I was not finding solutions—sometimes they come—I was getting to the root of my emotions, the depth of feeling that scared me so much I created a façade in order to cope.

I am anxious about hip-joint surgery, a common procedure—I’ve been told it is the most successful prosthesis surgery. I believe that. But I have been using it as a mask, pushing deep my fears about the complications chronic illness brings to any surgery.

Until this morning….

When the quiet teachers came to call.

In gratitude, I remove my mask.

And then, I right my T-shirt.

Aim for Even posts offer equanimity in daily doses. No day or dose is ever the same, even if the aim is. You may read about the origins of Aim for Even here or on this site’s About page.