Choosing to disconnect

It is now possible to always feel loved and cared for, thanks to the efficiency of our “comment walls” on Facebook and seamless connection with everyone we’ve ever known. Your confidence and self-esteem can quickly be reassured by checking your number of “followers” on Twitter or the number of “likes” garnered by your photographs and blog posts. The traction you are getting in your projects, or with your business, can now be measured and reported in real time. Our insatiable need to tune into information – at the expense of savoring our downtime – is a form of “work” (something I call “insecurity work”) that we do to reassure ourselves.
So what’s the solution; how do we reclaim our sacred spaces? Soon enough, planes, trains, subways, and, yes, even showers will offer the option of staying connected. Knowing that we cannot rely on spaces that force us to unplug to survive much longer, we must be proactive in creating these spaces for ourselves. And when we have a precious opportunity to NOT be connected, we should develop the capacity to use it and protect it.
Scott Belsky,  What Happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking & Sacred Space

Not fighting with what is happening

Being silent for me doesn’t require being in a quiet place and it doesn’t mean not saying words. It means, “receiving in a balanced, noncombative way what is happening.” With or without words, the hope of my heart is that it will be able to relax and acknowledge the truth of my situation with compassion.

Sylvia Boorstein, That’s Funny, You Don’t Look Buddhist

Trust in the goodness underneath

When we get anxious and insecure is we speed up. We get busy: we get addicted to email, we get addicted to being online, we get addicted to food and drugs, we get addicted to talking to other people – not just to communicate but just to keep busy.  The only way that you’ll actually wake up and have some freedom is if you have the capacity and courage to stay with the vulnerability and the discomfort.  Meditation helps us to pay attention so that we can directly realize and trust the goodness that’s there. We actually begin to recognize that who we are is awareness, who we are is love, and our sense of identity shifts in such a fundamental way that it actually challenges the small-self story.

Tara Brach,  Just say Yes to the Moment

….and making space for them

One point that Ajahn Sumedho would stress regularly, is that loving things is not the same as liking them. Having kindness for ourselves or for other beings is not the same as liking everything. We often come a cropper by trying to make ourselves like everything. This is a completely wrong approach. When we taste something that’s bitter and try to force ourselves to believe it’s sweet this is just falsity, it’s just sugaring things over. It doesn’t work. It just makes the bitter even worse….We’re not trying to like everything, rather we’re recognising that everything belongs. Everything is part of nature: the bitter as well as the sweet, the beautiful as well as the ugly, the cruel as well as the kindly. The heart that recognises that fundamentally everything belongs is what I would describe as being the heart of kindness, the essence of kindness. If we get that really clear within us, and begin to train ourselves to recognise it, we realise that we can cultivate this quality of radical acceptance.

Ajahn Amaro, Radical Acceptance

Allowing things to be….

You have to trust this simple ability that we all have to be fully present and fully awake, and begin to recognize the grasping and the ideas we have taken on about ourselves, about the world around us, about our thoughts and perceptions and feelings. The way of mindfulness is the way of recognizing conditions just as they are. We simply recognize and acknowledge their presence, without blaming them or judging them or criticizing them or praising them. We allow them to be, the positive and the negative both.

Ajahn Sumedho.