GOALS OF A BODHISATTVA
RETURN TO HOME PAGE
GOALS OF A BODHISATTVA
By Asha Arial Aleia
OVERCOME FEAR - S H A D O W
BE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE - L I G H T
A Workshop for Beginners and Returners
On the road of the Bodhisattva, the seeker of truth on the road to Nirvana, there are many highways and byways, exit ramps and way stations, and companions along the way. Some give a repair while others hitch a ride for a while. Some travelers on this highway take the slow lane with chances to exit frequently, knowing that they will get to their destination eventually. Other travelers rush to the fast lane. They will be at the finish line first, unless they crash and have to start again. Then there are those travelers who take the middle lane and opt for fewer risks than those fast lane-ers and fewer diversions than those slow lane-ers and choose to steadfastly aim at their goal.
All will meet Shadow and Light on their journey.
OVERCOME FEAR - THE SHADOW
The cause of your pain is resistance to change, not the change itself, the masters tell us. As the sea of life carries us along, we choose to flow with that ocean of motion or stand firm in our gravity like mountains of obstinacy or cling to the trees of our families and friends. But it is in vain hope that we cling because wood uproots and floats away as it chooses to join the waves of energy going forth or it transforms to become food for the life forms that consume it or fuel for the fire that reawakens its life in new light. And the mountains shed their weight under the cleansing motion of that life altering movement until they are changed to hills or islands or exploding furnaces of molten earth. And who can grab the wind? So it is with trying to hold onto our ideas which being part of the larger atmosphere will by nature blend and move and be cooled and heated and wetted and electrified by the forces they meet. The tree that resists the waves and the wind is broken and bent with the years and burnt and beset by blight, made interesting to see in its ancient character, which by nature's irony, has changed despite its great effort to remain the same growing sapling it once was. And so it is with the trees of family, friends, and nature: they flow or transform, either way becoming what the continuum of life has in store for them.
Why cling to places, people, things, and ideas, even our self-image? Fear. What would change bring? What would letting go create? What would accepting allow? What would exploring open up? If we go and try to float would we drown? Crash and burn if we try to fly? Be left isolated? Fail? Be rejected? Die? What if.......?
And that "what if" is the source of our pain: resistance. The source of resistance is fear. There are many words for fear:
caring, concern, carefulness, afraid (for), afraid (about), afraid (of), fearful, terrified, angry, distrustful, trusting, horror, mean, hurting, hurtful, hope, hopeless, expectation, wishing, violent, cursing, covering up, hiding, protecting, empowering, arming, killing, suffering, torture, medicating, pain, lost, confused, deceit, deceived, fretful, needy, low, lonely, stupid, foolish, poor, lacking, homeless, ugly, insufficient, broke, foreign, strange, weird, psycho, judgemental, lawless, lawful, dislike, destroy, displace, replace, remove, too, greed, lust, envy, faith, faithful, faithless, misery, trouble, fury, misled, don't, can't, won't, despair, inflict, infect, drug, doubt, desperate, depresssed, bored, sad, disillusioned, grief, shame, hatred, fury, worry, suicidal...and so on.
To borrow literary tems, fear is the dark side, the shadow. We put ourselves in misery when we worry about ourselves or others, when we ponder the negative side of things, when we experience anger, distrust, disbelief, pain, and loss. And we are not off the hook even once we no longer feel afraid. When we decide that we have discovered the answers to life's mysteries; that we realize that "going with the flow" means "man is made great by his place in the continuum. The continuum is not made great by man's place in it," we often feel the need to help those poor others who have not evolved to the point that we have. Ego! Disguised fear. One of the last mountains we hide inside as the flow of life calls us. But, wait, the mountain vibrates...it is not solid after all. In fact, it is full of intracellular space, even if it vibrates so much slower than other forms and appears to be dense; it is an illusion. So our ego mountain dissolves sooner or later or is upheaved like so many ancient chains, its earth rifted. Why cling to ego? Fear.
What is interesting to explore is the route of our fear thoughts as they plunge toward their deepest fear, to the darkest moment of shadow, only to discover that the darkest place is the closest spot to the edge of light!
This topic, as a workshop was taught decades ago
and never seems to go out of date. In one of the sessions,
during the 80's, I had the following conversation with a participant I was coaching:
"Coach: What are you trying to achieve?
Participant: I am trying to get a job.
C: OK, what kind of job?
P: I want to be an actor in Hollywood, but I know I can't do that, so just anything that pays better.
C: Better than what? What are you doing now?
P: I'm a cook at McDonald's.
C: Putting burgers in buns?
C:So, why don't you try out the acting?
P: Most people don't make it. Just the lucky few. I'd be wasting my life away.
C: So, you're sure you'd fail.
C: OK, say you failed. What is your worst fear if that happened?
P: That I'd have to go back to something ordinary with my tail between my legs.
C: Something like putting burgers between buns?
C: Let me get this straight: You're telling me you're ALREADY LIVING YOUR WORST FEAR? YET...YOU'RE AFRAID TO CHANGE THAT?
P: I hadn't thought about it like that.
C: Think about it now. And, let's extend it a bit. Are you sure that's your WORST fear?
P: What do you mean?
C: If you get your nightmare - you tried and failed, back to Mickey D's, what's the fear?
P: That I would be embarrassed, a disappointment to friends, family. I'd be treated like I'm less than others who have better jobs.
C: Rejection, disappointment, ostracism.
C: And if that happened - no family, no friends - what then?
P: I'd be alone, lonely, humiliated.
C: And what then?
P: I'd be seen as a loser. I'd feel like a loser.
P: I'd feel like I wasn't worth anything.
P:Worthless things are eliminated sooner or later.
C: You'd be thrown out or recycled by people, then life, or nature, maybe even by God, elimination and oblivion.
P: Yea, like I was just taking up space for nothing here.
C: And then...?
P: I'd die alone.
C: And then...?
P: I guess even my spirit might be seen as being unnecessary.
C: And be eliminated? Total annihilation?
C: Well, at least we know that scientists have discovered that energy can neither be created nor destroyed but rather it transforms. So worst case scenario, you'd be transformed somehow. Right?
C: So why not transform yourself sooner rather than later? Besides, maybe you're taking up someone else's space. Did you think about that?
C: Out there someone would love to get the chance to show what he or she could do for McDonald's, but if you keep clinging to your fear, you're holding up his or her chance. As I see it, you're the most valuable to McDonald's by trying your hand at acting. Then they can open up that slot for the potential burger genius out there whose destiny it is to be at McD's.
P: Go for it?
C: As they say, "to be or not to be? That is the question." It's simple creation and destruction in all its implications. "As above, so below." "Think and so it is." "Ask and you shall receive." All of that is saying the same thing: creating and detroying - a choice made in our minds first becomes reality next. When we say "I am...he/she/it is...you/we/they are"...we create. When we say "am not, are not, is not, can't, don't, won't, mustn't, wouldn't," we destroy. We create or destroy the concept. When we say, "I am afraid I would fail," we create an afraid self. And we create a failed self. Simultaneously, we destroy the concept of fearless, successful self. The choice is ours. Free will, as they say. Either way, we all transform.
P: I get it.
C: Well, you go to La La Land, maybe you're the next Brad Pitt or maybe you flip burgers in Pasadena. With your worldly experience, you just might turn out to be the most well-liked and respected burger man in town. Who knows? What we do know is that your place in the continuum goes on and that your fear is what keeps you clinging to the burger tree while the ocean of life for you seems to be flowing, at least for a while, toward....."
We think we have so many social and personal problems to solve - poverty, crime, carnage, hatred, hypocrisy, and corruption. But they are all symptoms of the real issue: fear. You've heard it before: we fear what we don't understand. Once we are no longer ignorant, irrational fears are lessened or transformed altogether. When we take our fears to their depths, we find that ultimately we fear annihilation of our spirit, when as we've learned, we are energy and cannot die as such, but merely transform.
We CAN stand in the Shadow of Death and Fear No Evil!
BE UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
There is a great and profound lesson in life in the statement
You are so many things, too many to list - I am female,, I am a democrat, republican, anarchist; I am tall, short, and lean and fat; I am love --- wait, what did I say?
I AM LOVE
Have you said I love you or I love him/her or them or roses or freedom or romance or travel? Do you love injustice, mean people, the person who abused you, the other race that your ancestors didn't like? Do you love good and evil or good or evil? Do you love Christians, Jews, Moslems, Pagans, Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, Wiccans? The Devil? Do you love the light AND the shadow?
Do you catch yourself with strings attached to your idea of love? For instance,
It's good...to love children, pets, beauty, music, good, caring, hardworking people.
It's not good...to love murderers, haters, and the ignoramus who let his dog poop on your lawn.
And that middle ground: It's OK to love...that friend or relative who has problems but has found the acceptable God and gotten the acceptable job and is no longer mooching off family, friends, and charity.
But, aren't those conditions? Strings attached?
What does love do? Love LOVES. Love does not pick and choose who to love or where or when or how or under which conditions or contracts. It doesn't have a scale from very loveable down to not loveble at all. Love doesn't say "if" or "when" or "maybe."
Love loves - "unconditionally."
But...I hear you saying...some people are bad or dangerous or lazy or ungodly and don't mean me well! You're right. Some people are all of those things and that part of you that still FEARS would want to reject them and keep you separated for your safety or the safety of the property, family, money, reputation you are trying to protect. Conditions, strings attached, are symptoms of fear. The need to control is a symptom of fear, the shadow.
What is it that you fear? Loss? Of what? Life? Prestige? Property? Pride? While we are human, it is understandable that we try to protect ourselves. But the act or thought of protection is a fear-based thought or act, not a love-based one.
"I'm doing this because I love you," is about control, not love. And the need to control is fear-based.
If fear is the shadow, love is light. In our world, these two, shadow and light, live in a balance, although, not 50/50 all the time. What is more often the case is that we are in the shadow of fear predominating for a while and then the light of love predominating for a while.
We watch the sun, moon, and stars as we move our spirits toward the light. It is the shadow that helps us to appreciate the light by its contrast and so we can be thankful for the gift of its lesson. Some wise masters have said that we should remember to thank our enemies because we have learned and strengthened ourselves because of their challenge.
It's easy to love the loveable. But when one encounters hatred, envy, hypocrisy, violence, ugliness, evil, danger, what then?
What then? Love. You counter the shadow with light. You warm from the cold by feeding the flame to light and warm. Love is energy. It is power. It is light.
When we feel fearful or angry or negative, we are feeling dis-empowered...a certain reminder that it is time to power up! Call up our core love energy and build the light of love that we are. Remind ourselves that we are part of a continuum of love and light and allow our brightness to grow and illuminate the shadow, the fear..
By simply being love and doing what love does: LOVING
By simply being: I AM, YOU ARE, HE/SHE/IT IS, THEY/WE ARE
And unconditional love encompasses all.
Even the Shadow, the Fear.
The Goal: Overcome Fear and Be Unconditional Love
Is really only one step:
TO BE: I AM
IT'S ALL GOOD. STAY TUNED...
KARMA OR DHARMA: COUPLES
Copyright 2006-2010.Asha Of Antares.Asha Ariel Aleia. All Rights Reserved.
Background courtesy: imageshack.us