Monday, March 30, 2009

Dharma Tidbits

Some people love shadow shots.  I love reflection shots.  Here's what happens when your photographer in residence snaps a photo of a collage that has glass in the frame.  Caught, like a deer (or should that be dear) in the headlights.

The Dharma tidbit on my mind today is about coming from a place of fear and lack.  It's something I mentioned in yesterdays blog and it's come up a couple of times for me recently.  That particular choice of words which I like, came courtesy of Bunny the Cat's owner.  At one point we  offered to keep Bunny when it looked like her owner's plans might not make it possible for her to reclaim Bunny.  Our reasons were that we knew Bunny would not like to move to yet another home.  Bunny's owner pointed out that we were feeling fearful for Bunny and this was perhaps not the best place to come from when decided Bunny's future.  We had  a wonderful Dharma cat-chat and after several weeks I realized she was absolutely right and that indeed it was good, for a variety of reasons for Bunny to leave us at the end of April as originally agreed upon.  I would trust Bunny to the universe.  Today Bunny's owner called to say that she will indeed be in a position to take her back.   So while I didn't know this would be the end result, I had decided to have faith and trust and not come from a place of fear. 

As I chatted with, let's call her Mrs. Bunny, we talked about what we were each up to.  She looking for a job and a place to live and as she put it moving between hope and fear.  This is from a person who spent the last 8 months in retreat at a Buddhist monastery.  And if we're honest and willing to look we can see  this is often what we do?    Our emotions and thoughts rise and fall, like little internal tides.  And if we can just watch them like a home movie and not get attached to them, not believe them, not take them for something that is real, then it's all okay.  Fear and hope.  They just pass through (is it Dogen who likens our thoughts to passing clouds?)  In Buddhism our mind is just another sense organ and our thoughts are the object.  Our nose smells, our mind thinks.  No problem, right?

I described our real estate experience to Mrs. Bunny and she recalled looking to buy property and remembered the experience as one based on fear and lack.  That was interesting to hear because I presumed we were getting the fear and lack treatment because of the current economic situation.  But  it seems that even in booming economic times, fear is used to motivate buyers too.  "You better make that choice quickly, it might be gone if you wait, the price might go up."  So I was doubly reminded how important it is to keep your centre, your ground, as fear and lack are often used as motivators in the sales industry, especially with large purchases where it can be difficult to get people to commit.   Powerful emotions are often manipulated to get us to take action.  

So what to do?  First we need to be aware of what is happening.  Then we need to know that the folks doing this are not  bad, in fact most often simply unconscious.  And then we need to be able to reorient ourselves, in a way that works for us so that we are not making our choices out of fear and lack.  We want to come from a place of faith and trust, with a strong intent to do what is helpful or good to do in the situation.  Sometimes we need to sit with it a while, so the dust of confusion can settle and the way become clear.  So let me get the feather duster out and when it's time to take off the goggles and the dust mask I'll let you know.

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