Psychology + Zen = Philosophy and methods to relieve suffering and reveal happiness.

Psychology:  We project onto others what we reject in ourselves.  Some call it a Shadow.  Healing comes from making the unconscious conscious, taking responsibility for our projections, integrating what is split off as our own thing. 

Zen:  There is no separate self.  When we can be at one with every aspect, then we belong everywhere and we reject no one.  

We heal the world by becoming intimate with our whole selves.   


Entries in Busyness (5)

Wednesday
May032017

And, Rest!

Oops. I forgot the most important thing.

In my enthusiasm to Reckon, Refuse, and Respond, I neglected to include what makes it all possible: Rest.

Rest is what enables us to listen deeply to what is true, and Refuse what is false. Rest is what enables us to think clearly and Reckon with this political disaster. Rest is what gives us the energy to Respond in an effective way. Rest is what Donald Trump never does.

It is easy for me to get confused on this point. Growing up as a weakling with a disability I needed drive to keep me from collapsing into something that I understood I could not get out of. It served me well back then. When I couldn’t achieve popularity I studied hard and excelled academically. Later I studied popularity and achieved some. And along the way I pushed and pushed my body--to dance, to stretch, to keep going no matter what.

It’s taken me a very long time to understand that there is a whole other aspect of living that cannot be comprehended in the drive mode. Sitting zazen (meditation) certainly makes it clear, injuries make it clear, mistakes make it clear. Tasting creativity pulls me toward that aspect. In Feldenkrais practice there are these oft repeated messages:  Do less. Find a way to do it without strain. Let go of effort. Try it and see. And then after a series of strange movements:  Leave it alone and rest!

Oh, that.

The confusion comes when I’m doing something important, and something in me tells me it can’t be done or it is wrong or something like that. I then feel fear that I won’t be able to do it, so I start to push. But I don’t have the energy and I feel resistance, so I push harder, drink coffee, can’t sleep, have less energy, drink more coffee, don’t feel what I want to feel, push harder… You get the idea. It's a cycle.

Rehearsals for Fountain of Oldth have been alive and interesting. But when we decided to have an open rehearsal it became all about transitions and cues, ‘running through’ the whole show, getting feedback. It felt wrong to me, and that’s when I started pushing. The open rehearsal wasn’t a big failure or anything but it triggered a pretty serious relapse of chronic insomnia. And that’s when I remembered this. Rest. Listen. Follow the thing that matters, not just the thing that calls out most loudly for attention.

I'm doing my best to keep up with letter writing, petition signing, protesting with community, but I also want to bring attention to the deeper things, the things that made all this happen, like misogyny in the form of contempt for vulnerability. I want to stand up for vulnerability in all its forms--getting old, being a woman, being disabled, being poor. And that doesn’t just mean fighting for rights. It also means breathing into that soft underbelly and listening to the birds, for example, or really taking in the sight of the bright new buds sprouting everywhere now.

And then, sprout. 
 
 
 

 

Wednesday
Jul022014

Attention!

Today a client lamented that no matter how well she prioritized, constant impingements from ‘the feed’ kept taking her attention.  This is our world.  No matter what job we get or freedom we attain from this or that obligation, data continues to come at us, and asks for an instant response.  We buy something and we’re not done.  We have to complete a survey—about the product, the merchant, the delivery service and then the survey.  Could we have improved the experience of taking a survey?  I’m only little bit kidding.  The need for feedback seems to fold in on itself as it multiplies in some kind of quantum equation I am not qualified to generate.  

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Sunday
Jun032012

What's the Rush?

Updated on Friday, June 8, 2012 at 4:44PM by Registered CommenterElena Taurke

Maybe it was on the millenium or maybe it was 9/11, but on some momentous mark, I resolved to Stop Rushing. Years passed, charged by, actually, as I watched, bewildered, my resolution crushed by the stampede of moments.  Resolution wasn't enough.  I had to ask:  

What's the Rush?  No, Really.  What is it?

First of all, I don't have time to stop rushing--too many other things to do.  The Tyranny of ToDos, I call it.    Except who put the damn things on the list?  

Don't start with me!  I've tried dropping the list.  If I don't have a list, the world runs me down.  My daughter's needs and the bits and pieces of life fill the entire container and I'm still rushing to keep up.  

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Saturday
Jun022012

It's All Worthy

If you've read What's the Rush?, you already know how my mind complicates the effort to walk a simple line from here to there. What I learned is that I need to surrender to my mind's need to wander, and book myself some play time, some empty time to do and think whatever I want.  Oh yes, it solves everything, except that I have to rush like crazy to get to my scheduled play time.  

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Friday
Jun012012

Yes, it IS about Time

It's never really about time or money,  said a wise but mistaken psychotherapist.  

Yes, it IS about time, really.  Time is change, for one thing, and change is our only true master.  Now I write, but in 25 minutes it will be time to go to the podiatrist.  Later it will be time to go home, time to go to sleep, time to wake up, time to work, time to cook, time to do the dishes.  Time seems to move too fast, meaning that I am too slow to change.  I wish I could be time, as Zen Master Dogen teaches; I would be the clock, the moving part, the changing thing.  The problem is that I need time to truly absorb this lesson and I'm in too much of a rush to stop and…. 

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