I am finding my ’10’. It is beautiful. It is like living ‘heaven on earth’. This time we are in… Oh, how do I explain this, while still acknowledging that the suffering occurring at the hotspots of this virus is completely unimaginable…
Speak from where you are.
Ok. I’ll speak from where I am. It is Heaven on Earth… The most beautiful sunshine, day after day. I know where all my loved ones are. Some of them I get to see day after day, and commune with, peacefully and simply. The fields and woods are open to me. The birds are tweeting louder than ever. Buzzards soar overhead. People wander by in the countryside, all of us absorbing nature and sunshine. There is no…
Speak from where you are.
Ah yes! Our commute is up/down the stairs. There is so much peace. I can hear myself think. I can rest and unwind. I am starting to feel human and alive again… I have an opportunity here.
Speak from where you are.
Ah, yes, present moment reality.. I am living and working gently. I am working to a routine that not only is manageable, but is nurturing. It puts my body and mind first, and it also centre-stages the work I want to be doing. I am moving away from ought/should/must/hurry/hustle, and towards ‘following my bliss’.
So, what do you want to discuss today?
Keeping it like this.
Are you following the 10 Stepping Stone approach of yesterday?
Do that exercise now.
I have got as far as I can for today, maybe? I’m calling it Project One Jam. One jam refers to the story G told me about: a woman sells a huge range of jams on her stall, and they are not shifting. She is advised to sell just one flavour of jam. This jam then just flies off the stall. Maybe the success is because it’s an easier decision for the consumer: “Buy or not buy?” Vs “Maybe buy, but oh goodness, how do I decide which flavour to buy?”.
My long-held desire is to offer just one service,for one client a day, at one set time of day, online.
It’s bringing up a lot of deep feeling along the lines of “Am I restricting sales? Will people think me inflexible? Is it really ok to ask for what I want?! Is it really ok to assert my own terms – what if it backfires in my face… and then the consequences are financially serious. Is it lazy or hubristic to think that one session a day will pay the bills?”
As I result, I can’t even ‘see’ the 10 Stepping Stones. What do I need to work through to be able calmly to see the 10 Stepping Stones to get me from one side of the stream to the other?
It would be a good time to read now.
Oh my word… This was the PERFECT chapter. Thank you. Here are my extracts:
NATURALNESS: If you want to study Zen, you should forget all your previous ideas and just practice zazen and see what kind of experience you have in your practice. That is naturalness. Whatever you do, this attitude is necessary. Sometimes we say nyu nan shin, “soft or flexible mind.” Nyu is “soft feeling”; nan is something which is not hard” ; shin is “mind.” Nyu nan shin means a smooth, natural mind. When you have that mind, you have the joy of life. When you lose it, you lose everything. You have nothing. Although you think you have something, you have nothing; But when all you do comes out of nothingness, then you have everything. Do you understand? That is what we mean by naturalness. Zen Mind p110
YES, this! I have been working, under a chameleon mask to fit into the working world, without a ‘smooth natural mind’! And in so doing I have become exhausted and lost the ‘joy of life’. My work has made me taut, tense, stressed and afraid. The Project One Jam framework arises when I see my life, on the other side of the stream, through the lens of the smooth, natural mind.
And check this out:
It is rather difficult to explain, but naturalness is, I think, some feeling of being independent from everything,or some activity which is based on nothingness. Something which comes out of nothingness is naturalness, like a seed or plant coming out of the ground. The seed has no idea of being some particular plant, but it has its own form and is in perfect harmony with the ground, with its surroundings. As it grows, in the course of time it expresses its nature. Nothing exists without form and color. Whatever it is, it has some form and color, and that form and color are in perfect harmony with other beings. And there is no trouble. That is what we mean by naturalness. For a plant or stone to be natural is no problem. But for us there is some problem, indeed a big problem. To be natural is something which we must work on. When what you do just comes out from nothingness, you have quite a new feeling. For instance, when you are hungry, to take some food is naturalness. You feel natural. But when you are expecting too much, to have some food is not natural. You have no new feeling. You have no appreciation for it. The true practice of zazen is to sit as if drinking water when you are thirsty. There you have naturalness. … This naturalness is very difficult to explain. But if you can just sit and experience the actuality of nothingness in your practice, there is no need to explain. If it comes out of nothingness, whatever you do is natural, and that is true activity. You have the true joy of practice, the true joy of life in it.Everyone comes out from nothingness moment after moment. Moment after moment we have true joy of life. So we say shin ku myo u, “from true emptiness, the wondrous being appears.” Shin is “true” ; ku is “emptiness”; myo is “wondrous”; u is “being” : from true emptiness, wondrous being. Without nothingness, there is no naturalness—no true being. True being comes out of nothingness, moment after moment. Nothingness is always there, and from it everything appears. But usually, forgetting all about nothingness, you behave as if you have something. What you do is based on some possessive idea or some concrete idea, and that is not natural. Zen Mind p108-9
So, ‘naturalness’ arises from a soft, flexible mind, and appears out of emptiness, and brings a ‘new feeling’ of vivid appreciation akin to drinking water when you are thirsty.
When I go about my life in my own way, observing my own little rituals and enjoyments, I feel vivid appreciation.
But much of the time I am mimicking or copying to fit in – because I have believed that this is the only way to surf the wave of financial wellbeing which everyone else seems to ride without question. But that copying hurts me. It really hurts me. And every few years, to be fair, I have a breakdown and collapse again…
Maybe, this time of quarantine, with the neurotypical working world held at bay, is inviting me to enter my own naturalness, and build my economic wellbeing there. Once and for all.
When I mentioned Project One Jam above, I didn’t actually share a large chunk of the vision, because it seemed too quirky too mention. It’s a day of routine, based on Switch120, in which every two hours, one switches state from ‘Sit’ to ‘Stand’. ‘Sit’ is Big Mind state, and Stand is Busy Mind, or movement (mindful or not), or home-caring, or social connectivity.
- 6am: SIT – Quiet Time and writing here.
- 8am: STAND – Qigong, Shower, Dress, Clear the Decks, Emails
- 10am: SIT – Writing / Digital Marketing / Blogs
- 12pm: STAND – Lunch, Walk, Home, Emails, Calls
- 2pm: SIT – Client Session
- 4pm: SIT/STAND – Buffer Session, finish the working day, cooking, cleaning
- 7pm: SIT – Dinner, Rest, Music
- 9pm: STAND – Qigong, PJs, Bed without screens by 10pm, sleep…
I feel like I have strong monastic tendencies coming through at the moment. But this is my naturalness. This is me in soft, flexible mind. In this routine, I have so much space to be present. Without routine I am swimming in decisions and executive functioning overload, and I am stuck in Busy Mind… And Big Mind vanishes. So. This is my truth arising independently from my emptiness. And I feel that’s maybe ok.
What do you say?
It looks like you are speaking from your heart. Remember how in Reality Transurfing it is taught that your heart will teach you all you need to know about yourself?
I’d forgotten that…
Oh lordy, I just googled ‘Reality Transurfing Heart Quote’. Wow, so beautiful and perfect:
“The mind is constantly generating thoughts and the voice of the heart is literally drowned out by the ‘thought-churn’ making it difficult to access intuitive knowledge. If you stop the train of thoughts and simply contemplate the emptiness, you will hear the rustle of the morning stars, the inner voice that has no words. The heart could provide answers to many of our questions if only we could hear its voice.”
And then this – with respect to my thoughts above on dropping mimicking and living by my own sweet ways…..!”
“The hardest role to play is the one where you play yourself and allow yourself to remove the mask and be yourself.”
“Do not watch how other people walk their path to success or try to keep up with them. Do not give in to the herd instinct. You have your own calling. The majority take the roads well-trodden but true success is achieved by the few who refuse to follow the rule “do as I do” and independently tread their own path.”
This is all so beautiful. What shall I take with me today?
It seems that today you are softening. You are sensing the delicacy of ‘heaven on Earth’ which is the hidden and explicit prerogative of every human on the planet. Be with this today. Be with the soft, natural delicacy of heaven on Earth. Today is a very good day to do this. The sun is bright and the light is strong. The light is strong on Earth today. Lay your attention upon the lightness on Earth today, and magnify it with the gaze of your attention.
I will. Today I will sense the delicacy of heaven on Earth. Be with me, oh Source of my Being. Accompany me today. Delicately, as you do. May we all, today, magnify the lightness upon the Earth. Blessed be all humans today. Blessed may we be, in the naturalness of our soul state. Amen.
Sense the delicacy of heaven on Earth