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Previous Comments By 'smeets99'

Three Millimeters of the Universe, by Daniel Gottlieb

FaceBook  On Oct 21, 2016 Smita wrote:

LOVE <3  LOVE <3  LOVE <3

 

Vulnerability is the Path, by Brene Brown

FaceBook  On Apr 1, 2016 Smita wrote:

The other day I made a visit to the doctor to get a referral for something minor, and when I mentioned some other more "serious" symptoms of dizziness and confusion that I had experienced about a month prior, she started suggesting a vigorous work up -- blood test, this test, that test. I walked out of there feeling overwhelmed by the possibility of going through all these tests, and walked to my car feeling very alone. I cried for a few minutes while sitting in my car, just being with the pure emotion of this feeling alone. Staying close to the raw emotion, I noticed these mind movements of defensiveness that, if followed, could have created some disruption to just experiencing the vulnerability of this feeling alone. For instance, my mind wanted to interrupt with examples and proof of how I *am* alone (which could've easily led me down a road of suffering), and even it's opposite -- examples and proof that I'm *not* alone (pushing away the feeling / talking myself out of it). I also noticed the tendency to want to hold back the tears ("staying strong"). By not following any of these tendencies, and just letting myself be completely vulnerable and present to this emotion of feeling alone, I noticed that the feeling passed after just a few minutes. It felt like something got cleaned out, that I was a little more free and present than before. And I moved on with my day.

Though I haven't decided whether I'll get all these tests, I received a big gift by visiting this doctor the other day.

 

No Better Place to Meet Yourself, by Moussa Ag Assarid

FaceBook  On Dec 19, 2015 Smita wrote:

This simple story says so much. What MAA describes here is what I call feeling human -- that sweet spot when the mind slows down and there's no rush at all. With all the stimuli we're surrounded by so much of the time, It can be challenging at times to feel human. It's nice to take a break from the stimuli when possible, and when not possible, find ways to feel human in the midst of it.

 

The Surrender Experiment, by Michael Singer

FaceBook  On Jul 24, 2015 Smita wrote:

Over the last month or so, I've had interactions with some co-workers that have felt unpleasant to me.  It's been triggered by the things they say, how they say them, and then my own reaction to it all.  In the moments when these interactions were happening, I was finding myself more caught up in the reactivity than not.  Then after I would go home for the day, go for a walk, get some fresh air -- I would see more clearly the reaction I was having to these situations.

One day, I considered that my reactivity may be tied to "things not going my way."  This person said something I didn't want them to say, or used a tone that I didn't want them to use, or that person didn't do something the way I would have liked.  So one day I walked into work and decided that when one of these triggering interactions came up again, I would simply acknowledge to myself, "things aren't going the way I want right now."  And I would surrender to that.  The day I tried this, I found that even when people were saying and doing the same things, I felt more free and less reactive on the inside.  This is still a daily practice for me, and I'm taking baby steps.

Also, I want to clarify that I don't think this means we have to be doormats.  Sometimes it's important to communicate something clearly and directly, and stand up for something, but I think this can be done more wisely when we're in the right space ourselves.

 

Creating Welcoming Space, by Sister Marilyn Lacey

FaceBook  On Jan 2, 2015 Smita wrote:

During the time I spent in the Bay Area, Hawaii, and in India, I had the great privilege to experience feeling soooooo welcome into many friends' homes.  These experiences have touched me deeply and helped me to see that it's possible (and even preferable!) to break down the boundaries of locked doors, or "my home" vs. "your home."  There were some homes where I knew I didn't even have to call in advance, or even knock on the door...that I could just walk in.  These experiences gave me such a warm feeling of belonging that helped me relax and be myself.  

I have so much wanted to create an environment like this for others, but I have to admit it's not something that comes easy to me.  A lot of fear comes in the way, and I hesitate.  I really want to grow in this way, though.  What I liked about this passage is that it gives many ways (even small ways) to be more welcoming.  That opening your heart to someone you've never met while standing in line can be one way.  Or just being really present with someone, with all the time in the world and nowhere to get to, can make that person feel welcome and "at home" in themselves.  Just the other day I was thinking it would be sweet to invite foster kittens into my home!  Maybe I'll try that.  :)

It's not always easy being in this world, and what a precious gift to make someone feel that they really *belong* here, even if it's just for a moment!

 

Don't Go Back to Sleep, by Elizabeth Lesser

FaceBook  On Nov 15, 2014 Smita wrote:

Hi Vi. It sounds like there's a lot going on in your life right now and it's overwhelming for you. I have found that when I am going through such experiences of intense pain, the pain intensifies when I resist it. Even the slightest bit of resistance to it creates more of it. When I "lean in" to pain, however, I find that there is greater ease, acceptance, love. Heaviness lifts and I feel more whole, more aligned in body, mind, spirit. I know it seems counter-intuitive to "lean in" to pain, to befriend it with kindness. Many times we would rather turn away from it, and for very good reasons. Although resistance may have good intentions to protect us from pain, it also keeps us from having a deeper connection with ourselves.

It takes courage to take the type of journey you are taking. I think the good news is that (I'm guessing) you have enough sensitivity to feel the effects of resistance in such a deep way. Perhaps what your body and soul are asking from you is to try leaning in, with eyes of curiosity for what you're experiencing. This requires staying *very close* to yourself. It may not be easy to do alone, so it may be helpful to seek support from someone who can guide you through it, if you choose this path. In my experience, it is deeply empowering.

I was listening to one of Adyashanti's talks recently, and he said that many of us can look back on the worst things that have happened to us, and recognize that they actually turned out to be the best things that happened to us (because we often experience great transformation in those times). And yet, why is it that when we're going through one of those "worst things" do we say "noooooo!"  :)

 

Suffering Leads to Grace, by Ram Dass

FaceBook  On Sep 18, 2014 Smita wrote:

Reading this passage marks the *3rd time* Ram Dass has shown up in something I've read...just in the last 36 hours! Important message for me, I think. :) Several nights ago, I started reading the book "Broken Open" by Elizabeth Lesser...it's a beautiful book and I recommend it highly. Just last night I read the chapter she writes on Ram Dass. She knew him before his stroke, and also after it. In the book, she shares her experience of how Ram Dass' soul really shined through after his stroke, and his personality fell into the background; whereas before the stroke, his personality was more in charge (even though the soul was there all along). I think our soul has an opportunity to shine through even more when we embrace our pain with love and kindness, humble ourselves to it, welcome it and invite it in, see it as grace. As I see it, that's certainly what Ram Dass has done in the wake of his stroke. I want to say a little more about this book I'm reading by Elizabeth Lesser. Not only does she so openly and vulnerably share about the pain she's experienced in her life, she tells many stories of people who allowed themselves to feel pain in a way that brought them closer to their hearts. And how life opens so beautifully when we do this, bringing us closer to our own humanity. She also tells stories of people who have pretended that everything in their life was fine, even when it wasn't, and how they almost (or actually) lost their lives as a result. Recently, in my own life, I've been experiencing these waves of suffering once again. It caught me by surprise...sort of like, "oh, you're back?" And for a while I've just wanted it to go away. Luckily, I remembered from past experiences that I will contract and suffer even more if I turn away from it. So I've noticed that I have 2 options. I can fall asleep to the pain and numb myself to it. Or, I can stay vibrantly alive and awake to it, turn towards it, allow myself to feel completely, and let it break my hear  See full.

Reading this passage marks the *3rd time* Ram Dass has shown up in something I've read...just in the last 36 hours! Important message for me, I think. :)

Several nights ago, I started reading the book "Broken Open" by Elizabeth Lesser...it's a beautiful book and I recommend it highly. Just last night I read the chapter she writes on Ram Dass. She knew him before his stroke, and also after it. In the book, she shares her experience of how Ram Dass' soul really shined through after his stroke, and his personality fell into the background; whereas before the stroke, his personality was more in charge (even though the soul was there all along). I think our soul has an opportunity to shine through even more when we embrace our pain with love and kindness, humble ourselves to it, welcome it and invite it in, see it as grace. As I see it, that's certainly what Ram Dass has done in the wake of his stroke.

I want to say a little more about this book I'm reading by Elizabeth Lesser. Not only does she so openly and vulnerably share about the pain she's experienced in her life, she tells many stories of people who allowed themselves to feel pain in a way that brought them closer to their hearts. And how life opens so beautifully when we do this, bringing us closer to our own humanity. She also tells stories of people who have pretended that everything in their life was fine, even when it wasn't, and how they almost (or actually) lost their lives as a result.

Recently, in my own life, I've been experiencing these waves of suffering once again. It caught me by surprise...sort of like, "oh, you're back?" And for a while I've just wanted it to go away. Luckily, I remembered from past experiences that I will contract and suffer even more if I turn away from it. So I've noticed that I have 2 options. I can fall asleep to the pain and numb myself to it. Or, I can stay vibrantly alive and awake to it, turn towards it, allow myself to feel completely, and let it break my heart wide open. I've tried both ways, and I've found that the latter way is much more energizing and life-affirming. Right now, I see this as the most important work I can do.

"And the time came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." ~Anais Nin

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Seeing Fully, by Ajahn Brahm

FaceBook  On Mar 7, 2014 Smita wrote:

After reading this passage, I thought...why see those 2 bricks as "bad?"  Why not also see them as beautiful, along with the other 998 "perfect" bricks?  I can't say I know much about the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, but what I understand is that it's about seeing beauty in imperfection.  I'm also reminded of these lyrics from Leonard Cohen's song, Anthem: "Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."  Imperfection seems to be the nature of things.  So why not embrace it, love it, and see it as a gift?

Embracing imperfection hasn't been easy for me; I tend to want precision and perfection in certain things.  I have a sharp eye for picking out mistakes and imperfections.  What's helped me, though, is to be kind to myself whenever I make a mistake...whether it's saying something I later regret, or doing something with less than perfect understanding or awareness.  If I can clean up the mess, I often will.  And if I can't, I can't.  Either way, I try not to beat myself up for making the mistake in the first place, which only adds to suffering.

Something else that's helped me is giving myself permission to make mistakes.  One small example is...for a few weeks last summer I was inspired to draw and write with my left hand.  I'm right handed, so using my left hand is more challenging and less "perfect."  It was really nice to let myself make a little mess, to draw something imperfect, and to admire it anyway.

 

Lessons From 25 Years of Meditating, by Yogi Mccaw

FaceBook  On Feb 26, 2013 Smita wrote:
I have been lucky to meet more than a few people who embody this wisdom that the master is ordinary. Our beloved Pancho, for one. Jayesh bhai in Ahmedabad, India is another. In my opinion, another person who really embodies the truth that the master is ordinary is Benjamin Smythe. He's become known for sitting in outdoor public places around the world while holding a sign that says "you're perfect." He creates these outrageously funny, insightful, and very REAL and BLUNT videos, where he answers questions that people ask him. (If you want to laugh with and learn from Ben, check out his youtube channel). The beauty of these videos...completely ordinary! He will not call himself "enlightened" or "a teacher" or anything like that. Benjamin appears in these videos while eating a pizza or blowing his nose or sitting in a shower. He laughs hysterically, and he cries...all in front of the camera. This, for me, is so refreshing because it really demonstrates one of his core messages, which is that many of us who "seek" are trying to run away from ourselves, when our ordinary selves are the ones we're looking for! In many of his videos, I see him unfolding. He's not fixed, and doesn't pretend to know it all. What he shares, and how he shares it, has really helped me to see the absurdity in seeking something outside of myself and my own experience. Whenever I need to be reminded of that, I watch Ben's videos. :)
 

Those Who Float, by Daniel Gottlieb

FaceBook  On Jun 29, 2012 Smita wrote:
I live on Maui, and a couple weeks ago I went to take a swim in the ocean.  The waves were very big that day, but I saw a lot of people in the water so I decided it would be okay for me to go in too.  For about 20 minutes I was fine.  I was out far enough to enjoy the water before it transformed into big crashing waves.  Then came a huge wave that was going to crash further away from the shore than the others had been.  And I was right under where it was about to crash.  I didn't have time to think.  I just took a deep breath, closed my eyes, and let the wave crash right on top of me and send me tumbling under water for a while.  I didn't fight it.  There was no other option in that moment but to surrender.  If I had tried to fight that wave, I probably would've been hurt pretty badly.  I'm just not strong enough to fight the ocean!

What happened next is that a few more huge waves crashed after that one.  And this time, I decided to dive *under* each wave.  Although I really wanted to get out of the water and be safe on land again, I knew that I would be in bigger trouble if I struggled and tried to get back to shore at that moment.  So I dove *under* each wave, where I felt the stillness of the water...ahhhh...a safe haven.

So what did I learn from all of this?  First, that I am grateful for LIFE!  Second, I saw this experience as a metaphor for how I can move through challenges.  When I'm experiencing strong emotions or life circumstances that feel overwhelming, I can do what I need to do to keep myself safe, and then surrender to them fully...ride them like a wave...accept and embrace them...relax and truly enjoy the ride for what it is.  And then love myself and give myself a really big hug afterwards.  :)  There's a very good chance freedom is on the other side when I'm able to do that.
 

I Am Nothing, by Paul Buchheit

FaceBook  On Aug 25, 2011 Smita wrote:

Byron Katie says that if she had a prayer, it would be: "God, spare me from the desire for love, approval, or appreciation. Amen."  Hearing this sometimes makes me laugh uncontrollably!  I find that life is so much more fun when it doesn't matter to me whether someone likes me / hates me, approves of me / disapproves of me, thinks I'm great / thinks I'm nasty.  I cheat myself *big time* when my attention is on these issues.

My dear brother Samir and I were talking this morning and we both agreed that it is so much more interesting when our attention is on our inner experience rather than on what's going on outside.

I'm actually starting to enjoy the experience of people "not liking me"--it's a good reminder to draw my attention inward, and to really experience that who I am is independent from what anyone thinks about me (whether other people pay me compliments or regrets).  And *that* frees up so much energy to enjoy life!

 

A Blessing for One Who is Exhausted, by John O'Donohue

FaceBook  On Jul 24, 2011 Smita wrote:

 Wow...thank you for this!  I'm going to print this out and put it on my fridge.  :)  I felt like this passage described exactly what I've been experiencing for many months now.  It can be very scary, especially not knowing where it will lead.  But I believe this sort of "collapse" is necessary, particularly when we have ignored, abandoned, and drifted far from our soul.  I really appreciated the reminder to rest, to be gentle, to retreat, to look inside, to trust myself, and to allow body & soul to meet once again and move together as *one* unit.  I also appreciated the reminder to be present with nature, to discover the simple things, and to stay in the company of those who feel they have all the time in the world.  Yes.  I am seeing how all of these things can cradle us as if we were coming into the world again for the first time.

 

The Mystery of Love, by Kent Nerburn

FaceBook  On Jul 4, 2011 Smita wrote:

What I am learning these days is that love is *not* something that just visits us temporarily.  It's who we are...all the time.  We may be blind to it much of the time, but then it unveils itself to us in a moment of grace.  But it is always there.  Many times I feel overflowing love for no thing or no one in particular...in the most random moments.  That seems like one of those moments of grace.  And that's one way I know that love is always alive in me, as opposed to being a "visitor" that is just here to stay for a short while.  So, I think I *can* choose love by consciously accessing that ocean of love that I'm swimming in.  This is the love that can experience itself without needing a person or a thing to bring it alive.

Seeking or needing love from another is one very good strategy for becoming blind to the love within us.  I have experienced this many times...seeking love, feeling needy of it, looking for it from the outside.  In my experience, that blinds me to experiencing the perfect love that I am residing in.  I'm looking for someone to give me what I already am!  And in that state, when I am not experiencing the love that I already am, it is impossible to give love to another.

I think the reason we think love comes and goes is because the people or things that bring it alive in us come and go.  But really, it's always there.  It's ALWAYS there!  :)

 

Paradox of Noise, by Gunilla Norris

FaceBook  On May 26, 2011 Smita wrote:

~ When we feel stuck, that's when we can actually discover the most movement ~

~ When I sincerely and whole-heartedly ask for what I want, it doesn't matter anymore if I get it ~

~ The deepest depression and sadness can transform into the most radiant light (my favorite living examples: Eckhart Tolle & Byron Katie) ~

~ We look outside of ourselves for answers; meanwhile, they are always inside us ~

~ We look to others to tell us who we are ~

~ In giving, we receive; in receiving, we give ~

 

We are the Ones We've Been Waiting For, by Hopi Elders

FaceBook  On Aug 24, 2010 Smita wrote:

One more comment about this.  The passage reminds me of something I read last night from Eknath Easwaran's book "Take Your Time":

"In high school, I had read a story by H.G. Wells about a child who wanders down an unfamiliar street and spots a door in a plain white masonry wall.  He opens it and discovers a garden where everything is welcoming and full of peace--a place where he belongs.  The next day he tries to go back, but the door has disappeared.

Three or four times after that, as he grows into manhood and climbs the ladder of success, he turns a corner and happens to see the door again, just as he remembers it.  He hesitates, but always he has something urgent to attend to and lets the moment go.  The years pass and he attains fame and fortune, but he is haunted by regret that he never ventured through his door again.

When I read that story again in the middle of my life, I realized it applied to me.  One detail that hadn't meant much when I was younger jumped out at me: every time that fellow sees his door in the wall again and decides to pass it by, he first looks at his watch.  He can't take the time to stop to discover what he has always longed for.

In fact, the Buddha says, our constant hurrying is often a kind of anesthesia.  It's not convenient to stop to ask big questions; it can even feel threatening.  So long as we keep moving, we can put it off."

 

We are the Ones We've Been Waiting For, by Hopi Elders

FaceBook  On Aug 24, 2010 Smita wrote:

 Wonderful!  While reading this I had a moment of razor-sharp clarity that brought my entire being into the present moment.  Just this moment.  A gentle reminder that THIS IS IT!  Thank you for the reminder...

 

The Dark Side of the Sacred, by Miriam Greenspan

FaceBook  On Nov 10, 2008 Smita wrote:
Wow - I read this reflection at the moment when I most needed it, reminding me to embrace and breathe through emotions that I normally want to avoid or "get rid of." The following poem has been on my mind lately, and it seems appropriate to share it here. The author is Rumi, and the title is "Guest House": This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they're a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.