Low self esteem

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London palm. Wisdom radiates and pulses throughout the cosmos, straight into my heart. 

Sometimes during contemplative reflection I become utterly disgusted with myself. I amaze myself that I allow myself to think and do certain things, that, when I look back objectively, I am stunned at myself.

Having low self-esteem is not healthy, of course, and meditation is usually not thought of as something to make you feel worse about yourself! lol.

Confronting our true selves can be hard. It is painful to accept we may not be the person we want to believe we are.

Ultimately, our true self is not ourself, and although we must have individual responsibility, we can never bear the load alone, no matter how isolated that burden may feel.

(I must say that sometimes during meditation I become utterly elated with myself… and although this may feel super awesome, it has its own dangers… mainly of reinforcing the illusion of my own self ego, but that’s a whole other story!)

Practice? Sure.. But When?!

Don't wait for the pile to go down before you Practice... The pile is your Practice!

Don’t wait for the pile to go down before you Practice… The pile is your Practice!

Sometimes life gets so busy that we may feel as if we need to ‘clear our plate’ before we can begin to focus on our spiritual development.. or any other development for that matter. ‘How can I have a clear, single-mind when I have 8 different things I need to keep in the forefront of my mind… I have to pick up that prescription, buy groceries, book the car in for a tune-up, sort the kids clothes that no longer fit, fold and put away the laundry, and on and on and on…..’

And if and when we get to those times when our plate is actually clear, we may tend to want to just chill-out, put our feet up and read a good book or watch some tv..

So, our Practice, our development, goes stagnant.

We can brush this off with reassuring thoughts… ‘well, I have been too busy and I deserve to simply rest’..

I remember reading a long time ago about a story of a Zen center in the Far East. It was in a busy city, I believe, and there were lots of car horns, traffic, sirens and the rest making lots and lots of noise outside. And in the evenings when it got a bit quieter, feral cats who had made a home under the monastery would make a huge racket themselves, with fighting, playing, mating and the rest.

So, thinking we need a quiet environment, a quiet place with no responsibilities looming over us, to meditate properly is, well, something we need to overcome. There will never be a perfect time to practice, never be a perfect place to practice. And if there was a perfect place and time, then great, but our minds just might think too much about how perfect it is! Lol.

So, our lives may be hectic, but it is in those hectic moments that our practice may mean the most… and also those moments may in fact be the best time and place to actual do our practice.

Solitude

Solitude

Solitude

Sometimes we feel we are all alone, in our solitude, within our own minds, our own hearts, interacting with the world from within our own shell, our own sphere. Sometimes, we feel like this separation is a good thing, it protects us, and hides us and lets us interact on our own terms, in our own time. Sometimes, we feel like this separation is a bad thing, and keeps us alone and cut-off from the world around us.

However alone we feel, regardless if we desire this or hate it, it is an illusion. ultimately, we are never alone, we are never separated from the world and the people we love.

Nothing can completely end, as nothing completely begins, but some changes are traumatic and some changes can never be reversed. Of course, nothing can be changed completely back to what was before, but there are degrees involved. Water can freeze and become ice, and that ice can melt and become water again. The water isn’t exactly the same as it was before, but for all normal purposes, it is the same. But some changes can not swing like water-ice-water. When you burn your piece of toast, that’s it, it isn’t coming back to bread. And these changes are the most difficult to navigate. Yeah, the bread that became toast, it is all still existing, but we cannot have the same relationship we had with the bread that we now have with the toast.

When we are faced in life with the loss of something we love, someone we love, our hearts weep…in this weeping, in this love-action, we may be able to begin to figure out a new way in our relationship with what we lost. Even though we may not know, or even begin to know perhaps, what that relationship is going to have as a foundation, we still can start it growing. Just as a seed can start to grow roots when kept in a damp paper-towel, no ground is yet required. We can start to begin to grow a new relationship without knowing what to hold onto.

Our love and not-knowing mind are our light and the Universe with all beings may smile.