Awareness and the Lessening of Drama

I always advocate finding peace and a calm mind through a path of self-discovery on this blog. And I also explore awareness as a premise to those.

You may think that is a bunch of mumbo jumbo and that is fine. However as someone who walks the talk, it is amazing for myself to notice the drastic difference in experience before and after understanding and practicing awareness. It is so obvious that practicing awareness has stripped away most of the everyday drama for me.

Let us clarify on what drama means first. We go through everyday life doing different things, having many experience. As we go through each, in the back of our mind we classify each as either good or bad, or fun or boring. Everyday drama, however complicated each may seem, springs forth when when one fights and struggles, sometimes desperately, to hold on the things considered good or fun. In the scenario where good nor fun is possible, one is flooed with thoughts of troubles and drowned in the pain sadness, anxiety, frustration, jealousy, feeling of victim, etc.

Therefore, when I say most of the drama has been stripped, I am living moment to moment with a minimal amount of painful thoughts and emotions and much less classification of each moment as good or bad. It is the result of practicing awareness that provides a calm and clear mind, which allows me to quickly handle the many thoughts and emotions that come.

For example, a friend called last minute to flake on an appointment, the disappointment and anger happened but went away like a flash as I noticed them. There is no basis for them because the simple fact is that the friend seems to enjoy a busy life and that’s their choice. Also as a result, I get extra time to do things I want by myself, yay!

And things like washing my car and cleaning the apartment, of course my preference is not to do them, but no longer do I carry the dreading thoughts that I must do them. Additionally, I do not feel that I need to rush through them because I have no where else to be. There is no reason to rush. So I go through the motion of simply doing them as efficiently as possible but without rushing. Thus, the result of a wonderfully clean car and tidy apartment. Though I must say, I still prefer not having to do laundry.

Last example is from where I work. Things happen in office, where people want things last minute, or sometimes do not perform the task they are responsible for, or perhaps they are just not up to the task. I notice that some people often get upset and take these things personally. Now I see no reason for this kind of drama. I can get upset and frustrated and respond in a worse manner, I get over it and simply respond as optimally as possible. It is clear to choose between these two. There are only rare cases where one may need to send unfriendly email demanding the task to be done, or be mean and start involving managers. In most cases, a courteous response that provides someone the benefit of doubt leads to pretty quick resolution.

The lack of drama may seem boring in the common sense. The question for each individual is, “Do you choose to be aware or do you choose to stay blind?”

If you are convinced, go read my posts on Awareness and Zen and Living in the Moment.

Originally posted 2008-06-16 22:34:40. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Boat Analogy in Pursuit of the Essence of Life and Reality

I am not a religious person in the traditional sense, meaning, in the sense that I don’t consider myself from any sect nor do I think one religion is IT.

It is my observation and feeling that the original intention of many religious and even philosophical frameworks — beyond their defined constitution, policy, and dogma — are tools to point us, or vehicles to get us to the essence of life and reality. Set aside what I think as “the essence of life and reality” for another day, let’s consider a boat analogy.

Various kinds of religions are different boats on a river. Let say we begin life on one side, and the other side is the land with the essence of life and reality.

My observation in present time is that…

Some people don’t see or simply ignore the boats.

Some people spend time just looking at the different boats and analyze the boats from the shore.

Some people got put on the boats.

Many people merely follow others onto the boats.

Many people feel the need to belong to a boat.

Majority of people think the boats are IT — the place to be.

Now, when people think their corresponding boat is IT, they just sit on the boat. They spend time remodeling, upgrading, making the boats more attractive for more people to hope on the boat because they believe the boat is the place to be, with well intention, I suppose.

But, there being so many boats (oh, so many ITs) that we are consciously or subconsciously all insecure and so then we get busy trying to convince each other that my boat is better than yours!

In worse case, we take the attitude that if you don’t agree and come on to our boat, we will F-in sink yours!

MEANWHILE, we forget that all boats share the same purpose and are truly useful in that they can carry you across the river… and only if you choose to use the boat for that intended purpose. (While I suppose we may lead an interesting discussion on how well each boat is made and whether they may sink… haha, anyways…)

As such, floating on this boat is never going to get us what we want when what we want is on the other side of the water. So we are eternally lost, forever dissatisfied, always feel like we are struggling and thus a need to fight. Doesn’t that describe how most people act and feel and how things are now?

Incidentally, unbeknownst to most, the meaning of “sin” from its Greek root is “to miss the point,” versus how we use it to mean violating some predefined moral conducts.

We seem to be missing the point of the boats.

Now, a great flaw lies within the boat analogy. The flaw in the analogy is the description of our life as a pursuit. The real pursuit when we finally get to the bottom of it, if one bothers to get to the bottom of it, is the opposite of pursuit.

To pursue is what we are taught and know and always do in life — which is an agenda mentality to move from point A to point B, whatever it takes.

The way I see is — peace, contentment, compassion, courage shall never bear fruits, except in pretense, in such pursuit.

Originally posted 2010-04-26 00:29:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

People are Busy

Something has been on my mind — the fact that everyone seems so busy. You ask someone how they are, and the likelihood of them saying “Oh good/fine/not well, busy…” is like 99.99% of the time. Flip that around, the chance of you hearing someone is not busy is equal to the chance of you running through a wall successfully.

It bothers me because I really wonder, how did we become so busy? Can we really all be that busy? What do people do?

You want to spend time and hang out with friends, and everyone seems to be busy.

I mean, look, I have a lot of things to do too, like my job, side projects, choir, singing/piano lessons and practice, workout/exercise routine, writing for the blog, reading to keep up with learning, spending time with my niece as much as I can (I live in South Bay and she’s in East Bay). Despite all that, I don’t think that I am busy. At least, I do my best to not get stuck with a I-am-busy mindset. I mean it in the way that I will allocate the time to be leisurely and to spend with people I enjoy. Of course, it’s tough when everyone else is busy!

It is at the point when I want to spend time with people, and I feel like I always need to give 2+ weeks ahead notice to make arrangement and setup outting. How tiring! Can we just hang out, if I call you on the same day? Maybe not… but how about I call a day or two ahead? And I don’t mean doing anything fancy. Maybe just sit and chat (hopefully not about work)? Simply zipping tea or coffee? Talk about a book? Talk about life? Sit together quietly enjoying some scenery?

Are people being busy for the sake of being busy because they are modern people, because they have to be doing something? Is doing nothing a crime?
Maybe we don’t always have to be accomplishing something.
Are people busy because they spend so much time working, and then commuting, being tired, and being couch potato the rest of the time?
Are people busy because they waste so much time on toxic relationships?

Could being busy be just a mindset?
Here’s what happen when people are always busy or think they are busy
They neglect their health.
Not being healthy, they have even less energy to do other things.
They neglect the people around them, people they love, or who they *think* they love.
They forget to breathe.
They forget about being happy.
They forget to live.

Perhaps it is not about how much you do, but what you choose to do every moment.
Can you help me answer?
Maybe I am just whining too much.
You can tell me, but obviously, I am not a fan of the concept of being busy.

Originally posted 2008-11-22 22:36:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

What If You Receive 1 Million Dollars…

Or 5 million dollars, or 10 million dollars… It doesn’t really matter. The point is, let’s assume you receive a certain amount of money that provides you financial independence for the rest of your life.

What would you do?

First, why don’t you take a look at today’s market. See how far it’s plunged. 360 points! Everyone who has 401k and stock portfolio can probably feel it, ouch! For those of us looking at long term, it maybe less relevant, but nonetheless, my net worth is taking the hit temporarily.

The reason I mentioned that… Sometimes I feel this uncontrolled impatience inside myself. I’ll look at the amount in my saving, in brokerage, and then the amount of my loan. I look at my net worth, and I feel that it’s just not growing fast enough. I save, I invest, I contribute to 401k with discipline each month, but it’s still not growing fast enough for my patience. I want to be financially independent today. I want to be done. I want to be out of the rat race right now. And honestly? Don’t we all.

Though, I brought myself back to reality, back to my calm self and without losing sight. I think about what I would do if I do receive the money that enables my financial independence, be it 1mil, 5mil, 10mil, or 1bil…

Now I have hobbies, and quite a few of them. I have things I like doing. I want to help people. But as far as what exactly I want to do with the freedom and all those time that comes with the financial independence, I cannot say I am 100% certain, which is okay because I need go through what I am going through. The experience will continuously let me better understand the world around me and learn about myself. Only with such experience, I am what I am today and what I will be. And also more appreciative I shall be when the moment arrives. That’s why, I am and will continue to do my best, and there is no hurry. Enjoying and being in each moment, including this process, is important. There is no better place and moment to be.

As the saying goes (vaguely as I can remember it):
Every moment you spent wishing to be somewhere else is a moment of your life wasted.

Originally posted 2007-11-01 22:47:01. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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