At Christmas time and other holidays, families come together and the members make a supreme effort to express love toward each other. They try to do it and the result is that after these holidays people tend to run into various problems (such as colds, flu, sadness, exhaustion, etc.) .Read More
Here is a simple idea to discern what is good and healthy vs what is not:
Any idea, or system of values, or religious system, anything that impinges on individual existence, can validate itself or disqualify itself by its consequences for the health and fulfillment of the individual. . .Read More
And when people are sexually drawn to one another, they are trying to realize an at-one-ment. This is just a symbolic representation of the real at-one-ment. It is not the real thing, and if you take it for the real thing, you will be left with an attachment and a lot of trouble.Read More
One core thought at the root of addiction is the urge for liberation, freedom and joy. This urge is from the soul, the depth of being. Confronted with the cultural, educational, familial ways of life that are often dismissive of this spiritual longing or relegate it to meaningless rituals and rules, the opportunity to escape to a "high" is welcome relief.Read More
What a relief it is to know that what is needed is to just let the dust settle. There is no amount of convincing, cajoling, maneuvering, figuring or influencing that will elevate the “dust” to something that will lead to a real solution. It is just dust.Read More
I found myself attempting to “fit in” to each possibility with phrases like ”I could live here if I had to,” “ I could make this work.” But there was no relief, the tension continued to grow. None of the places I saw were right.Read More
Instead of imaging God as the all powerful arbitrator who decides who suffers and who prospers, the “Good” would be understood as the dynamic principle of all life. Who could misunderstand that? Would we kill in the name of Good? There might be disagreements about personal good versus collective good but we won’t kill each other over it. Good can be defined so that there is no mistake.Read More
The path of intuition has an end. Like the runway that allows the airplane to build up enough speed to take flight, intuition speeds perception to a point where we are lifted beyond the limits of the road. There is a point of awareness when the end of intuition is recognized – where intuitive insights have completed their job.Read More
We hear and say this phrase over and over again, especially here on the East Coast after Storm Sandy, but what are we really saying?
Sometimes when the question is asked the answer is a superficial “everything is OK” in an attempt to relieve the anxiety of the questioner. Other times the questioner is overwhelmed when the answer comes back filled with troubles and losses that are unsolvable. Sometimes we “tune out” and ignore others rather than face the anxiety of not being able to help someone who is suffering,
In its most pure and universal form “Are You OK?” is an expression of love. Rather than a question, it is really a statement: “Even though it does not seem like it, all is well. We are with each other right now in this moment.”
Love is a quality of being that is attentive. It is our capacity to listen in order to understand.
Problems can arise with the question “Are You OK?” when it is translated into “How are you feeling?” or “What’s wrong?” Instead of a statement of assurance, it becomes anxious concern and an invitation to dwell in fear.
Even when we are frightened, the question, “Are You OK?” can be asked and answered with the awareness that one is reaching out to another with love and compassion. Not necessarily with answers and action.
We don’t know what we will hear or what we will say. Beyond the thought that we “should” be able to help, have the answers, or know what to do, is the capacity to listen – to ourselves, to another and to Divine Inspiration.
The truth may be that in that moment we do not know what to do or say or what action will be helpful. Knowing that we don’t know, and that we don’t need to know relieves the anxiety of thinking we “should” know. This allows love to listen. And if there is a helpful response beyond listening, it will become clear.
There is a commonly heard adage that if you give someone a fish they will eat for a day and if you teach someone how to fish they will eat for the rest of their life. On the surface it seems intelligent and loving – provide tools and education then voila! A desperate situation is healed.
If we look a little closer we see the change from giving fish to teaching fishing as a paradigm shift within the “giver/teacher.” Yet, does the new paradigm go far enough? It still implies that one individual needs to do something to help another who nowhere in the story actually asks for help. What if the “student” is not interested in learning to fish? What if they see the attempt to teach them to fish as humiliating and interfering?
All of a sudden a simple adage that has been accepted as wise puts us in another dilemma. What does it mean to be truly helpful? Is it possible to ease the suffering of others?
Who is suffering here?
"We suffer from what we want and what we don't want; from what we think should be and should not be."
The paradigm shift from giver to teacher is not enough as it is still based on what one individual wants for another. It is the suffering that sees others as suffering that needs to be healed.
When we find ourselves suffering from wanting the suffering situations in the world to change – we can focus on healing our own suffering. Instead of wanting the world to be the way we think it “should” be – we can turn our attention to “being the good we would like to see.” In Metapsychiatry we call this beholding. Seeing that in the broadest, infinite context everyone and everything is already all right – what we see with human eyes is all the ignorance blocking the view.
The enlightened first grade teacher who sees her students struggling with learning new skills does not see the struggling as a problem or an indication that there is something wrong with the child – she can see the beginning steps on the path of understanding taking place right before her eyes and she can appreciate the importance of the struggle that she is witnessing. She can then respond to what is needed to guide each student. That’s beholding.
We can continue to get better at “fishing” within our own lives in whatever form that may take. We can then be open to sharing the fruits of the “joy of fishing” with anyone who is interested.