I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what my next show could be about. In fact, just this morning, I contemplated the show as I washed the dishes, cooked a tuna casserole and ate my breakfast. This affirmed an idea I’ve had all week that maybe it was time to end the Positive Change with Dorena podcast.
My personal aspiration right now is to spend my time being present. When I am doing the dishes, I desire to be doing the dishes and nothing else. When I eat, I would like to be present in my eating. Instead, this morning I found myself talking to an imaginary podcast audience. In fact, this has been one of my major distractors this week.
As I mentioned in episode 38, after doing a week long retreat I realized that being in the present moment would contribute the most to my desire to be free of all tension and mental afflictions. I tend to want more and more. If I can imagine it, I desire to do it. I have lots of ideas for projects, things I would like to try and creations to make. However, my desire to have peace trumps all these ideas and I have to reel myself in sometimes. There is my opportunity of choice. Do I desire peace, or do I want to clutter my life up with temporary pleasures. The project that starts as an exciting idea, often ends as a ho-hum sort of thing.
A thought has been popping into my mind recently as a reminder. It is:
The Buddha taught what to pick up and what to put down.
The Buddha taught one thing and one thing only – how to gain lasting peace. However, his message can be used for anyone to achieve any goal. If you have something you want, very simply ask yourself, “What do I need to pick up to reach my goal and what do I need to put down?”
The basic thing with achieving any goal is making it an obsession. If you want to be successful at business than that business comes first and you live and breath your business. Why certainly you can achieve some success with less focus, but people that report the most amazing achievements always talk about having a clear focus and making that focus their priority. Consider Ghandhi, a leader in nonviolent protest that changed India. He has been criticized as neglecting his family and disowning his eldest son. If you desire work, family, and personal life balance then your focus is spread between three things and neither one gets 100%. So you won’t care if your business isn’t in the top 100, since your goal is life balance.
As for me, my goal is total enlightenment. Which is defined as the permanent cessation of mental afflictions. I am not sure what it is like, but I’ve heard it described as being beyond judgment, being complete aware, abiding in the experience of no self. Other words that point to enlightenment and are used as synonyms are eternal peace and eternal bliss. All of this sounds pretty out there, but I have met people that have realized this and others that are well on their way. For me it is a real possibility and I am guided to focusing on the present moment as one of the practices that will help me realize this possibility.
I ask myself, “What do I need to pick up and what do I need to put down?” I could use my mind to analyze what to pick up and what to put down, but I live a life that is intuition driven. So, actually, I can sense the things that I need to put down and what I need to pick up based on my goal.
Right now, I am drawn to put down anything that requires me to keep to a schedule unless it is needed for me to take care of basic needs like food and housing. Scheduling seems to take me out of the moment and creates stress and causes me to rush about to get things done. Perhaps, I could learn to schedule without the stress, but my life is set up where I can actually drop all business activities that require planning. So goodbye business.
This means goodbye to Facebook too. I actually only use Facebook to keep connections with people with the thought that I might contribute to them. For me that is “business”. It might be a little different than what you would define as business, but my work is based on relationships and offering people a different perspective. So even when I post something about my day to day life, it is with the thought of keeping people aware of who I am and what I am up to. I am sharing what is valuable to me with the idea of attracting like-minded people.
However, Facebook isn’t contributing to my ability to be in the moment. I get distracted by what people post and sometimes I reflect on the posts. For instance, I have one friend that posts a lot of positive posts on accomplishments of a particular race, suggesting that the mainstream media is ignoring these. I am always wondering if this makes her racist. And I wonder if someone that is hating people that are racists isn’t somehow contributing to the problem. I kind of want to move beyond judgement, but I can see that Facebook seems to trigger judgments in me. I judge everyone that is judging. I react to Facebook posts.
I contemplate that perhaps FB is valuable in helping me move beyond my reactions. However, just for today, what I have realized is that FB content isn’t very much of a contribution to my goal right now and I have plenty of other opportunities to work with my reactions to people, places, and things. The other way that Facebook pulls me out of the moment is that instead of being completely in the moment, I am thinking about taking a photo to share my moment of Facebook. I really like sharing and getting positive feedback, however that isn’t being in the moment. I share to get feedback and good feelings. I desire to be in the moment. So FB will go.
One more thing about FB I experienced after a 28 day retreat. When I was transitioning out of retreat I opened my FB and even before I could read anything I was overwhelmed with the energy. Since I was so used to the quiet from 28 days alone on silent retreat, this was a dramatic experience. It was like being hit with a bomb and I quickly closed the page and waited a couple more days. I wasn’t ready to enter that busy world quite yet. I was surprised how the page could contain so much energy. I’d had that experience once before. I innocently search on a specific term that apparently also refers to a woman’s genitals. The page came up with a whole bunch of pictures and the sexual energy was so strong I immediately wanted to masturbate. I could have been reacting to the pictures, but it seemed that I had just entered into the world of desire of all the people viewing those pictures at the same moment or perhaps at a different moment.
So, if I want more peace, FB will need to go.
What will I pick up? Being in the moment, of course. Going a little slower. Listening to my body and my self and my intuition. With less scheduled and less distractions I think it will be easier to the quiet voice of the universe responding to my intentions.
The worldly things I will be doing in the next six months include purchasing the fixer upper I’ve been living in and doing some major construction projects. The roof needs to be redone. Is it possible to be aware of each and every shingle I put on?
In addition, my elderly mother is selling her place in Michigan and will be moving in with us. Not sure how that will look yet, but I can tell you being present will certainly be a benefit during the process.
Of course, I will continue to be in my garden, with the rescued horse and mule, and with the land I live on.
What would you like in your life? What would you need to pick up or put down to have that? One other thought comes to mind. The buddha also said “Kill your mother and father.” He didn’t mean literally.
One of our biggest attachments is our family. In order to be a buddha, there comes a time and place when you need to let your family be without you trying to take care of them. The Buddha’s father wanted him to take over as the next king. Instead, Buddha left the kingdom, his father, and his wife in pursuit of ending sickness, aging and death. Eventually, everyone joined him and reached arahantship. (An arahant is someone that is enlightened.)
I tell this story, because many times in order to have what we desire we have to give up something that we are attached too. Perhaps we want to be a good daughter or son or maybe a good mother or father. Other people have ideas about what it means to be a good spouse or employee. It is a wise practice to realize that our definitions are merely constructs and often times our beliefs can limit us. Sometimes when we go for what we desire we have to let go of another thing we desire. Choose what you really desire in your life and watch out for subconscious or habitual blocks.
I was talking to someone recently that wanted a certain thing in her life. I recommended someone that could help her and she said to me, “I can’t afford that.” She shut out all possibilities with that one conclusion. I always think I can afford anything, but some things I don’t choose because they are not as valuable to me as their price. It is better to ask, “If I chose that will it create more for me?” or “What would it take for me to have that in my life?” What stands in the way of you creating the life you desire?
I hope you have enjoyed this series of podcasts. To find out what I am up to now, check out my website: DorenaRode.com. If you would like more of me, I have a number of books you can purchase on amazon. Just search on Dorena Rode and they will come up. I also have over 200 blog posts at my website: TESLI.org You may enjoy reading more there.
If you would like to learn how to delete subconscious blocks instantly, like I do on this podcast, sign up for my upcoming book, Would You Like to Change That? https://wouldyouliketochangethat.com/
Once I get 1000 requests for the book I will release it. How does it get better than that?
Cheery Monday by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
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