Acutely aware of how often I’ve given it away or lost access to it in the past I’ve been contemplating the subject of personal power, both it’s source and how to tap into it.
This contemplation has led me to really understand that the source of personal power is connected and related to the part of me that is intuitive, still and quietly knowing; centered and grounded.
I think of it as the Intuitive Knowing Voice that is always speaking to me when I’m ready and able to listen.
It has a certain quality. You might recognise something similar for yourself. For me, it’s clear, immediate and visceral. It sits right at the centre of my solar plexus: a quiet loving gravity. If I get out of my own way sufficiently, it’s always there and ready to guide me.
I believe this to be vital in maintaining a strong sense of self in connection to the whole, to the greater Self.
And so I ask, what beliefs, behaviours and choices do I make that disconnect me from my personal power?
One clue is that I notice the ability to listen diminishes when my ego becomes crusty and shell like. When this happens I see judgmentalism creep in – separateness and otherness often turn to dislike, distrust or distaste. When I catch it I become critically aware of how disconnected and out of sorts I’ve become. Grounded and centred I am not.
When I’m open, malleable, soft, attentive and curious I see my listening attune to that source and what comes with it curiously is a greater sense of personal power.
As this practice deepens it becomes the most potent reference point for me in any given circumstance. Thoughts, choices, behaviours and beliefs can all be guided by pausing to reference the Intuitive Knowing Voice.
From small examples such as undoing unhealthy eating habits or abstaining from alcohol for the time being, to making life choice decisions, or setting personal boundaries and expectations. The opportunities to practice continue daily.
And as this steadily becomes a daily practice I’m increasingly grateful and comforted by the fact that softening has become the way of strengthening and listening a way of knowing.
Friends, here is another piece that emerged this morning – I trust these writings are useful.
Does the subject of my thinking bring me suffering or peace? Consider any topic you spend time thinking about and ask yourself this one question: Does the subject of my thinking bring me suffering or peace? It would seem that some forms of thought perpetuate suffering and some forms of thought bring us to peace, resolution and understanding.
- What makes these forms of thought different?
- How can I characterise the difference?
- How can I increase my ability to choose between them?
In peaceful thoughts there is a co-creation narrative – I see my part in the play.
When we ‘don’t know’ something – it’s very helpful to work with curiosity.
When we do ‘know’ something – it’s very helpful to work with curiosity.
Martinos © 2020
Expectations, often prefaced with: it should, they should, I should, he should, she should…
will sooner or later lead to disappointment.
Anticipations, often prefaced with: let’s see if, it’s likely that, it’s possible to…
will always be revealed one way or another.
And no ego will suffer in the making.
Martinos @ 2020
Unwavering authenticity arises
when I practice relentless ownership of everything
i say, think, and do, in all environments.
Curiously, I’ve discovered that remarkable things happen
when I show up this way
and more particularly, when I show up in service of others.
Martinos © 2019
What I judge in others
I fear in myself
What I react to
Is where my work is
When I criticise another’s faults
I’ve named my own blind spots
I suffer when I believe my own thoughts, when
They insist on disagreeing and arguing with what is actually happening
My perception of the world is not the world
My curiosity however, will get me closer to it
Martinos © 2019
Podcast Reading, spoken and written by Mathew Brensilver on March the 3rd 2019 at The Insight Meditation Centre, Redwood City, California.
I transcribed this section of Mathew’s Dharma Talk and posted it here as it is a piece of writing that calls me back again and again; to contemplate, to hold and to let sink ever deeper into the part of me that is eternally true.
Sila (Ethics) Reflection
Make of yourself a refuge for all beings. The Buddha enjoins us to cultivate this radical heart. A cultivation expressing not only Sila (Ethics) but also Samadhi (Unification of Mind) and Panyo (Wisdom).
To be safe for others entails a path of self discovery, humility, sensitivity and willingness to be softened by one’s own suffering.
Goodness ripens through a process of letting go and letting go involves a measure of grief.
We grieve the harm done to us and the harm done by us, we grieve the human condition, the indivisibility of life and suffering.
This process is autobiographical, idiosyncratic and universal. To be mindful of goodness brings love, to be mindful of pain also brings love. This asymmetry is the miracle.
The more attuned we are to our heart and its instant karmic reverberations the clearer our ethical life will be. The more unified the mind becomes the deeper the love will be. Boundless, nothing but warmth. The effortless care that is the face of emptiness.
And we learn unwaveringly that hatred is never the last word. Sila [ethics] expresses the entire path. And then we begin again. The story we tell about love is never final, new questions, complexities and debts arise.
Might I know more than I suppose? The ego complicates everything – I want to think of myself as a really good person and I don’t really want to change my behaviour – ethical development stagnates when we rationalise our preferences.
It’s conceivable that goodness entails much more than even we good people are accustomed to giving. Just because the saint is extremely rare, doesn’t mean that anything less, strictly speaking, is justifiable. I can imagine in the not distant future a major reconfiguration of our ethical obligations, to non-human animals, to the egregious suffering of the most vulnerable around the globe and to future generations.
This is a time for radical hearts.
I don’t usually feel up to the task, but I am steadfast in keeping a relationship with my own sense of moral incoherence. From that relationship I hope that I evolve and contribute more of what I owe to the welfare of others.
The path unfolds and then at some point it’s time to die. The final gesture of letting go which is both deeply poignant and also not such a big deal.
Your life was made complete by what you gave away.
When you are swamped by your own rage
You feel the desperate abandonment that comes
With the loss of what you once stood for
And the sheer absence of loving kindness that left you
When the centre did not hold
Ahead you see the long dark climb, back
To where you once held the light
With the knowledge that should you arrive as you have before
You will in certainty, as night ends day,
Be cast off again by your own fragility
To face the fated narratives you’ve been assigned or have subscribed to,
That have set their course through your beginnings
To lead to certain destinations of frailty and fear.
When you see all this with sheer egoless clarity, and know
The all encompassing darkness to be but the temporary absence of any light
When you, cast off the last vestiges of your clinging
And say in full throated prayer to the unknowable greatness that is beyond you and within you
Martinos © 2020