Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Great Divide

I think that there is a great divide between me and you, and those are just thoughts. I think I can help you be happy when I am suffering, and those are just thoughts. I think I can hate you and still like me, and those are just thoughts.

"Many people used to ask Ramana Maharishi what they could do for the world. He always asked them, "Who is doing for whom?" Thus their focus was turned to their own selves. If I want to make you happy, I myself should be a happy person. If I am sad, how can I make you happy? To make you smile, I should first of all know how to smile. I should know what peace is to bring peace to you. We have to discover the peace within ourselves, the joy within ourselves."
-Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati, 'That Alone: The Core of Wisdom'

What is with the illusion of difference? I mostly see connection.

When I am running at an emotional deficit I am going to try to take what I need from you. Or I might shut myself down in an attempt not to feel my own neediness. I also might self-regulate through overeating, drinking, coffee, or other distraction.

There is another option that I believe in, even though it might not be immediate or foolproof. We are still human after all and our relationships with one another are important--it's part of our important work here to communicate and work together. This option I'm talking about is filling up spiritually every day to help put ones best foot forward in our relations with one another.

Including atheists! No "God" required--if the word trips you up. But this "filling up" can also include the God of your own personal understanding.

What is necessary is allowing quality time for yourself to fill up. How can you offer to someone else what you don't already have:

Love. Peace. Contentment. Wellness. Happiness.

Looking for others to provide these experiences for us is a desperate quest. We need to take responsibility for having love in our lives, and happiness, peace, etc. Can we do it overnight? Maybe not. But can we do things to make attainment more likely? Yes! And is it worth it to give it a shot, rather than living a life of inner impoverishment? Don't you think so? I do.

This is a spiritual pursuit. And people can choose to fill up in different ways: meditation, yoga, gardening, prayer, chanting, nature walking, breath awareness, and so on. Any activity that is personally refreshing, inspiring and centering for you. When you do it there is a sense of being at home in yourself. You might be so absorbed in what you are doing that you loose track of time. You leave the activity feeling relaxed and inspired--ready for anything and able to meet the challenges of life creatively. You feel good about yourself and your life afterward.

Yoga is particularly good for me because it offers technique for relaxing the tension in my body. When I regularly release my tension in this way I can think more clearly, and I am less reactive to situations in my life that can set me off. I am more likely to do things in line with my best self. I am more open, energetic, creative, and joyful. So with yoga I have the opportunity to release my anxiety and fill up spiritually so that I am in a more loving place in my daily life.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Bob Weisenberg said...

Beautifully put, Brooks.

Bob Weisenberg

Laura said...

Bridging that illusory divide...caring for ourselves is caring for others and vice versa!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Brooks.

Lisa said...

I just wanted to leave a comment that I have really been especially loving your posts lately, since you were at and after Kripalu.

And what you wrote a few days ago about Seane Corn and the news has totally opened me up to something new, that I can't quite articulate yet.

Thanks for these amazing posts.

Anonymous said...

Seems we are writing along similar lines right now...

Yes, we must find peace and acceptance of ourself first and foremost. And we must generate and cultivate happiness.

Its rough when you can't see your way clear to be able to do this for yourself, and yes, this is when we rely on other people. Sometimes those other people can handle our need to rest with them, sometimes they can't.

But its not ideal either way. We have to learn to stand on our own feet.

Then we have something to offer to the world, to other people. Then we can offer a place for others to rest if they need it, and we won't suffer as a result. Instead, we can gladly be of service.

That's what I'm aiming for anyway.