Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Work In Progress.

That's me. I am a WIP.

I started meditating earlier this year, and I think it's helped. I haven't written much about it because I don't have patience for people who wear their beliefs on their sleeves, especially if they're a novice like myself.

The way you get through this life is no one's business but your own.

In Monday's post I lamented, with my usual snark, that a few supposed Christians chose this season to be publicly unChristian, not realizing the irony in their behavior. It was, I hope, entertaining.

In the post I linked to a site called Applied Buddhism by the teacher J Sumitta Hudson. Mr. Hudson kindly responded with the following:

"There is always a bit of pleasure in indulging in negative emotion. It allows us to feel superior to others and exalt ourselves towards what we perceive as ignorance.

We cannot hope to uncondition these emotions by ignoring them. But we cannot indulge these emotions by validating them. See them and understand them, and navigate the waters mindfully.

Who is hurt by craving and clinging to negative emotions other than ourselves. How can we diminish the negative energy of others if we give credence and power to them, by responding in kind?"

In typical Buddhist fashion, the purpose of Mr. Hudson's comment is enigmatic. Was he agreeing with me, encouraging me, or admonishing me?
Or was it all three?

It all depends on how I choose to read it.

I'm not a big believer in New Year's resolutions. But this time of year we naturally look inward and find room for improvement. So, as we begin this, our 5th year (!?) here at The Planet, I don't know where this blog will go or what it is we'll talk about. I only hope it's worth your time and attention.

I am a Work in Progress. I know you are, too. Let us work together to make this a kinder, better place.

Happy New Year.

I asked my friend, painter and fellow blogster, GC Myers to choose one of his paintings that best illustrated this post. This is what he sent. I think it's perfect. Thanks for the loan, Gary.


Cyndi said...

I appreciate your willingness to put words on this page so frequently. Let's hope more people recognize that we're all WIPs and that we need to find some compassion for each other's journeys. Thanks Dave.

Anonymous said...

I decided to have the words "Reject Fear" stamped permanently on my skin.

It's not that I don't fear anything. Heights are a rather practical phobia, and pancreatic cancer should scare just about everyone.

But, unlike some people (mostly on the right, but too many on the left as well), I don't embrace it. It's there.

I've been a lot happier with my stylized Post-It embedded in my upper arm.

Anonymous said...

Dang it. I've been trying to come up with a good wise acre comment but cannot.

I did not notice it was Hudson who responded earlier.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I got one. Does Hudson know you egg on that other curse machine, D. Roidrage?

J. Sumitta Hudson said...

I have never read or heard of D. Riodrage-- but I would never admonish anyone.

We are all process. Who we are in this moment is not only undefinable (because of our limited ability to full see all that we are) but ever changing.

There are 86,400 seconds in a day, which means we are recreated 86,400 times. Every seven years, every cell in your body will have been replaced. So what is there to admonish? -- the creature you are is reborn every moment and even the remainders will have been discarded in less than a decade.

I only offer a suggestion to think about. Who are your actions benefiting? How are your actions making you happier? What are your actions doing in the shaping of the person you are at this moment?

Become aware of the processes, purposes and reasons of our being and we can make mindful choices in how we interact with the world-- instead of mindlessly reacting to it.

David Terrenoire said...

Anonymous Al,

In the spirit of this post and the comment from Mr. Hudson, I hope that the new year finds you a happier person.


Beneath the Carolina Moon said...

I still have problems with the Rev. Fred Phelps of the world. There are those who are "mentally challenged", those who are under exposed to societal norms, and those who are just arrogant jerks. I can pray for all of those, try to help them, forgive them even. But, no amount of meditation or prayer seems to help my attitude toward the Fred Phelps types. Call me terrible. I would grease the rails to the very hell they rave on about and give them a shove if given half a chance. Since I figure that my heaven is only going to be the equivalent of someone else's hell... just call me hopeless.


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