What Is

EmptyCupSimplicitySmallA couple weeks ago someone very wise was saying it’s painful when we do not accept whatever is happening. Another way I’ve heard it said is: “to argue with reality causes suffering.” What an easy thing to forget. It’s simple to understand but difficult to live or embody. It’s definitely another thing to add to the list of endeavors that are the work of a life time.

It reminds me of when I notice my body is tense or when I notice I’m breathing shallowly. The more I learn how to relax my body in Tai Chi or meditation, the more I’m able to pick out when it’s tense. I’m either becoming more sensitive and aware or Tai Chi is profoundly stressing me out. It seems like it’s very a human thing to just be on autopilot, getting stressed out or just reacting when life comes fast and hard. No doubt part of that stems from our physical bodies being keenly adept at keeping us alive.

Thankfully we can train mindfulness and relaxation. We can insert a gap between a stessor and our response. We can train a better response; a response of our choosing. We can choose to respond with curiosity instead of anger; or creativity instead of fear. We can do our personal work or “shadow” work to see our triggers and integrate the treasures buried within them. We can meditate to develop mindfulness and to spend more time in “the desired state.”

It’s a paradox to strive for deeper awareness, which helps us see we had it all along; or working to improve ourselves, and realizing we’ve been awesome the whole time; or choosing to be our true selves so fully and deeply that the choices we make fade away and we simply express who we are.

The Sage surrenders
	to that which arises,
	moment to moment.
Knowing her ultimate nature
	she clings to nothing,
	no illusions of the mind,
	no resistances in the body.
She does not think about her actions,
	they flow from the essence of her being,
	she holds nothing back
	living as if she has already embraced
	her passage from this life
-Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching #52

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