Tuesday, January 29, 2013

An Essay: The use of the phrase "Straight and Gays" in politics

Now people who are gay are acknowledged openly by politicians and the military. Whether they talk about them in positive or negative terms, they no longer ignore gay people. That's progress.

I want to see more... because it is still an 'us vs them' sort of a thing, meaning it is still in comparison to being straight, whether spoken of in progressive or conservative terms.

It is time that we think no longer in comparison to our self or to a mainstream, but in terms of individual differences for their own sake. It is time we talk about sexual preferences as unique for each one of us. The phrase 'Straight and Gays' is not representative of all sexual preferences of human beings, and it is distancing rather than bringing together because it is based in terms of a comparison to a mainstream. It is time we talk about the beauty of diversity for its own sake.

When we compare people to a mainstream set of beliefs or rules, we put down our individual gifts and purposes in life, we invite people to give up their individuality, and as a result, we all miss out on the wealth that we each came to share with the world.

Dealing with Anxiety the Spiritual Way

Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche started his life with deep anxiety attacks. So much that he tend to hide from people at times. But then one day after a year of anxiety during a 3 year retreat, he decided to put the lessons he learned to practice. He realized that the cause of his misery came from his fixation on small problems. And he noticed how thoughts and emotions are transitory. They came and went.

"They weren't nearly as solid or real as they appeared to be. And once I began to let go of my belief in the story they seemed to tell, i began to see the 'author' beyond them -- the infinitely vast, infinitely open awareness that is the nature of mind itself." (The Joy of Living, p.22)

And from Pema Chödrön:  THE SENSATION OF BLISS 
(from a facebook page)
A few years ago I was overwhelmed by deep anxiety, a fundamental, intense anxiety with no storyline attached. I felt very vulnerable, very afraid and raw. While I sat and breathed with it, relaxed into it, stayed with it, the te
rror did not abate. It was unrelenting even after many days, and I didn’t know what to do.

I went to see my teacher, Dzigar Kongtrül, and he said, “Oh, I know that place.” That was reassuring. He told me about times in his life when he had been caught in the same way. He said it had been an important part of his journey and had been a great teacher for him. Then he did something that shifted how I practice. He asked me to describe what I was experiencing. He asked me where I felt it. He asked me if it hurt physically and if it were hot or cold. He asked me to describe the quality of the sensation, as precisely as I could. This detailed exploration continued for a while and then he brightened up and said, “Ani Pema…That’s a high level of spiritual bliss.” I almost fell off my chair. I thought, “Wow, this is great!” And I couldn’t wait to feel that intensity again. And do you know what happened? When I eagerly sat down to practice, of course, since the resistance was gone, so was the anxiety.

Poem: Something More Refined Than I Know

There is something more refined than I know.
I have tasted it briefly.
There is something more pure than water,
an essence more inebriating,
more quenching,
more freeing...
I have dreamed of it.
I know it is real.

There is a door
already opened
that I keep thinking is closed to me
I have to remind myself
it is only my shadow
that isn't there yet.

Poem: I Love Life

What I love about life is that it is expecting that we love unconditionally.

What I love about life is that it gives you the freedom to love or not.

What I love about life is that we have choices: we can choose to breathe, or not; we can choose to listen, or not; we can choose to hug, or not; we can choose to celebrate, or not; we can choose to sing, or not.

What I love about life is that it expects me to be me, whether people like that or not.

What I love about life is that I get to embrace it every moment I remember to, and I get to feel life hugging me back.

I remember when I was first writing poems and got my first $75 award for second place in a contest that I had a moment of epiphany: I could write poems or I could live like a poet, breathing and living inspired... I vowed to live like a poet...

I love life!