Geeez! You realize you can’t get into a night showing of the new Batman movie? I think part of the reason is that people have a morbid curiosity about death and are flocking to theaters so they can comment on Ledger’s performance. I’ll probably check it out today…
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-=[ The Healing Mind ]=-
“We attend in silence and in joy.
This is the day when healing comes to us.
This is the day when separation ends,
and we remember Who we really are.”
-- A Course in Miracles
Today’s post is inspired somewhat by yesterday’s and the comments it elicited. Before I jump into this, I would like to point out that while doing “the work” is important, it’s counter productive to get too obsessive around “self improvement.”
Sometimes you have to settle back into the saddle and loosen the grasp on the reins, people.
My belief is that awareness, or awakening, is synonymous with healing. By awareness I do not mean mental masturbation. When I speak of awareness, I am attempting to highlight the very human ability for self-awareness. This type of pure awareness is devoid of judgment. This type of awareness will see tits as tits, without attaching the labels “perky” or “saggy” to the reality.
On the one hand, you have the tits, on the other awareness. They rub up against one another and you have awareness of tits. Not saggy, or nice, or bad tits (mental masturbation). They’re just tits.
This is the path to true freedom and healing. As you cultivate this form of awareness you begin shed to the excess baggage. As your awareness grows, so does your health.
Suffering is optional, ladies and gentlemen.
Let me share a teaching story that had a profound influence on me. It’s a Zen story that opened up for me a path of investigation into the roots of suffering and sanity.
Many years ago, a young monk in a monastery was struggling with his meditation practice. Every time he sat down to meditate a giant spider would materialize, threatening to kill him. After much anxiety and loss of sleep, he decided he would slay the creature.
He took a big knife and headed toward the meditation hall. His teacher saw him and asked what he intended to do. The young man explained his situation. The master listened attentively and recommended a different strategy to the monk. He advised to first get his calligraphy brush and carefully paint a cross on the spider’s belly, then plunge the knife into the intersection of the cross the next day.
The monk entered the meditation hall with his brush and ink. Sure enough, the spider appeared and he carefully painted its belly in the advised manner. Feeling quite satisfied, he bowed and left the meditation hall – only to discover he had painted a huge X on the front of his robes.
His laughter, it is told, was heard everywhere.
The young monk had placed the monster outside of himself. To others the monster could just as well appear within.
The whole point of the practice of cultivating awareness is to notice the mind’s tendency to create love and hate (i.e., “bad skin,” “saggy tits”), birth and death, sickness and sanity, and yes, even monsters and magic. Your mind is conditioned by culture and society to play hide and seek with itself, a game of selective amnesia as we swim through an ocean of mental, emotional, and physical activities – whether pleasant, unpleasant, or neutral. These obsessions drive us into patterns of greater or lesser suffering and illness that are difficult to escape. Truly, we are busy entertaining ourselves to death.
Genuine healing transcends the borders of your body. It happens when we tap into our inner resources rather than looking for the quick fix. This is the reason why diet fads don’t work. Not one diet fad has been proven effective yet we spend literally billions on such diets. They don’t work because they fail to make the inner connection with that part of ourselves that is already healed. If you hate your body, if you hate your imperfections, that hatred will keep you glued to your suffering.
However, if you can retrain your mind to accept the ebb and flow of the constant changing conditions of life, we can connect to the most profound form of healing.
In quieting the mind, you can better grasp the essential nature of reality, which is change and impermanence. Everything changes, nothing stays the same. This is a fact. If you’re basing your happiness on this constant ebb and flow then you’re doomed to a life of misery. If you’re grasping then you will be disappointed time and again. If you’re basing your happiness on people, places, or things, you will be miserable. Fact is that there’s no Santa Claus, that you will get old, you will sag, and the you will die.
That’s a fact.
Through awareness we can begin to become willing to accept our own suffering and pain. We discover that surrender, a consequence of acceptance, is our only true path through sickness toward health. Surrender is the only way to sanity.
As you learn to accept all aspects of life, we awaken to the totality of our real selves. Disease and insanity come from a mind that is disconnected, that is filled with confusion and despair.
To be “healed” – to become willing – means to restore yourself to a place in which the mind is at peace.