Wednesday, June 15, 2011

MUSING | What is Practice

I'm reading Ezra Bayda's At Home in the Muddy Water: A Guide to Finding Peace within Everyday Chaos at the moment. I'm on the chapter that asks, "What is Practice?" and there's a few answers to that. Here's a few that I wrote down this morning:
  • Practice is about moving from a life of emotional upset toward a life of equanimity.

  • Practice is about the clash between what we want and what is.

  • Practice is about appreciating our preferences without making demands.

Life challenges us. Things happen the way we do not want them to - your boss is a micro-managing, abusive asshole, people you care about die, people betray you, your friend has cancer, you don't have enough money, you may be losing your job.

I don't have the answers to all of life's questions. This is something we have to walk through ourselves, to accept that things are what they are - instead of how we wish them to be, and work from there.

That takes courage. Lately I don't feel very brave. But someone told me being brave isn't about being fearless. It's about feeling the fear, but you do it anyway.

So they tell me.

I'm learning to breathe again. It's difficult, because lately there's been so much going on that it feels like a stone is constantly sitting on my chest.

This too will pass, they say.

So I am just sitting, and breathing. And trying not to react in a knee-jerk way. Trying to breathe and try to find some kind of space. Maybe this is an illusion too. Maybe there is no ground to stand on.


Andrew Utter said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. I am living through a lot of chaos at the moment and these thoughts are helpful.

Carl V. Anderson said...

Sometimes that is the hardest part, sitting still...waiting. It is much easier and I think often much more damaging to have those knee-jerk reactions. To try to fix things ourselves before we even have a good understanding of what has happened, what needs to be fixed (if anything) and who needs to do the fixing. We all feel fear, but when fear spurs us to do things without thinking clearly (which takes that time spent breathing, calming down, waiting) then I know we just make things so much worse.

I appreciate your openness and am sorry about all that you are going through.