but why is the rum gone?!

November 20, 2007

Have you ever noticed that you don’t seem to be growing “evenly”, that, while having a great spiritual practice, your every day life sort of doesn’t work? There is never enough money, you never quite get a chance to do what you would like to do (if you even know what that is), and I will not even get started on relationships! This has been an issue that was bugging me, nagging at me and otherwise harassing me since the beginning of my “spiritual practice” about 12 years ago. Very often while sitting in meditation, answering yet another koan, having yet another experience, I would wonder – what is the use of that? It is great, it feels great – but after it’s done I go home and everything is just as it used to be. It seemed to me that I had two sets of ideas about reality – one that came from my practice, which I believed to be true, and other, that came from society, education, habit, that I followed in life. It didn’t make any sense to me that this would be the case – but so it was. Knowing that I was not my ego or my ideas I would still get defensive, angry, controlling. Knowing that we are not this body, that we are the buddha nature (this was my zen period) I still grieved when someone died. Those were little, every day inconsistencies – yet they created the experience of my life, not the “once in a while” enlightening moments. What gave me a real insight into the nature of this problem was going through a near divorce experience about a year ago. For the very first time in my life I was on my own, by myself. Before there were always my parents, my family, and there was always a boyfriend. Always someone to lean on, someone that I knew would help. But this time it was just me. The man was leaving and all my family was in Poland. So here I was – me and my life. And in a face of that I’ve decided to take responsibility, full responsibility for everything. I worked hard on discovering the reasons that my relationship failed. I decided to focus only on me, on what I did that didn’t work – focusing on what he did was sort of a waist of time I thought, he was leaving after all 🙂 I decided to be a happy and powerful single woman. And so I paid attention to myself very closely, and every time pain would show up I would take full responsibility for It. What I mean by that is that I would look into the very root of the pain, back to my childhood, back beyond my childhood, and I would accept it. I would disregard any thoughts that started with: “he did…,” “he didn’t…”, “he should…”. There was just me, and whatever pain I felt – it was mine, and it came from me. I would not only take responsibility for my inside world but for the outside as well. Walking the dog, paying my bills, getting fed, fixing a toilet, calling a cable company to get them to fix things, screwing things to walls – all those things, no matter how big or small, were my responsibility. Because all those things created my life. This does not mean I wouldn’t ask for help – it means I did not EXPECT to be helped, I did not think I SHOULD be helped, I did not take the help for granted. When I asked for help I was perfectly okay with the person saying “no”. Because it was my life, I was responsible. As I continued to become what seemed to me the most responsible person on the planet, things started changing around me. I started getting clients, tons of them. So many in fact, that I had to quit my job to be able to handle my own business. For the first time since I can remember, possibly ever, I had the experience of not having to worry about money, it just kept coming in. And I was happy, really, really happy. But most importantly – I was not afraid. The constant fear that was always in the back of my mind was gone, the fear of life. The fear of not being able to survive. For the first time EVER I felt that it is good to be alive. The fear was gone because I took responsibility for my life. Maybe not completely, but much more than I’ve ever done before. I was in the creator’s seat. I was creating my life, I was not surviving it. I did not depend on anyone to deliver, I did not expect anyone to take care of me, I did not take it for granted that someone will help. Where before life was a somewhat scary space full of forces that I could not control, that I had to fit inside of, do the right thing or perish – now the life was me and my creation. And as it is said it would – the universe provided. I realized today that this is the answer to the “what is the use of it” question. The spiritual practice of any kind is a tool for us to realize who we are. Just realizing it doesn’t take us far though – we have to BE it. What does it mean to be God? Does it mean to sit on a cloud, snap your fingers and have whatever you want show up whenever you want it? Does it mean to grow beyond human reality and dwell in Nirvana? Or is it a realization that our reality is a direct expression of who we are. Every single aspect of every single situation is an expression of who I am. How people talk to me and what they think of me, how my dog behaves, how much business I get, how my boss treates me, how my body feels, whether I get stopped by a cop or not – everything is a direct expression of who I am. There is NOTHING inside of my reality that I have not created, by myself, for myself. My professional situation, my relationships, my finances – everything. The realization that I create every single aspect of my experience of life is the realization that I am God. I create the reality. No old guy with a long beard sitting in the sky or red guy with a pitchfork, not the government, the economy, the environment, the husband. It’s just me. This is a great responsibility to assume, this is also the ultimate freedom. The realization that you can do anything you want. That you DO anything you want 🙂

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