Let go when trouble is brewing

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    From: 2008.05.02 07:00 - Following the River

    Foreword: an example of one-on-one conversation about real life challenge . Pema talked with Sky, who is a busy mom and has 'a fast temper' .  


    Sky Szimmer: I don’t get much time alone these days. It has been a struggle.It really is hard to get no down time to do one’s own things but that is my life for now.
    Pema Pera: Yes, it must be difficult!
    Pema Pera: Interestingly, though, this may be just the right time for you to do the 9-sec practice . . . .
    Sky Szimmer: I use to call it personal down time. but given my situation, I really had to rethink what the word personal time means
    Sky Szimmer: yes. the 9 sec practice!
    Pema Pera: in theory at least, they should take no more than two minutes a day or so
    Sky Szimmer: so pretty much I have decided there is nothing personal as it creates dichotomy. what do you think
    Pema Pera: there is no such thing as personal in isolation, in opposition to other times, I agree — yet it is really nice to have time in which to reflect, or just go for a walk or whatever . . .
    Sky Szimmer: yes. I miss those quiet moments but now it is filled with other joyful memories
    Pema Pera: yes, that is very important, to be willing to shift judgement

    Sky Szimmer: anyhow, can you talk about abandonment while in play
    Pema Pera: yes. Maxine and I also talked about that just before you came so that part you can read on the blog when I put it up in a day or so
    Pema Pera: but basically, abandonment allows a more full engagement of all aspects of a situation and abondonment is much harder if you take a situation too seriously, too absolute . . Then there seems to be no way out of complex situations . . . . : you can really seem to be stuck
    Sky Szimmer: ah..!
    Pema Pera: but if Maxine plays being a Queen, even if the Queen is stuck, Maxine isn’t, so Maxine can look for solutions for the Queen in a way that is still cool, calm and collected
    Sky Szimmer: really! so one has to not get too sucked into the situation at play
    Pema Pera: engaged in, yes, sucked in so that one gets blinders on, no

    Sky Szimmer: so, how do you not get so sucked in.
    Pema Pera: by not identifying with your body and mind and emotions. You have them ,it is not the case that you are them. What you are cannot get sucked in
    Sky Szimmer: this is much easier when there is no trouble brewing
    Pema Pera: perhaps . . . .not sure
    Sky Szimmer: in my situation, I have a fast temper which gets me in trouble. Before I know it, I am sucked in.
    Pema Pera: . . . it may seem easier . . . but it may not go very deep . .  when we are under great tension, and THEN let go, it may go a lot deeper, we may have no choice . . .So if you really find a way to let go when trouble is brewing, you may have turned a very important page in your life . . . and from then on everything may be so much easier that it will be hard to remember how difficult life used to be 
    Sky Szimmer: I am lucky in that I am in a situation where my temper always gets in the way and signals to me, that I still have much work to do.
    Pema Pera: perhaps no work
    Sky Szimmer: that’d be nice. I am still waiting to turn the page
    Pema Pera: perhaps a no-doing orientation, a no-work orientation may “work” better 
    Sky Szimmer: yes. “no” work indeed but it shows that Being is not in control
    Pema Pera: working at letting go may already overshoot the mark . . .but not doing anything undershoots . . . .
    Sky Szimmer: it is matter of speech.
    Pema Pera: yes, we have to use words that are limited
    Sky Szimmer: I mean the way when my temper flashes up, then it shows me that Being is not in control but I wonder, if the elements don’t come into play. You know, if I am mostly fire, then it maybe I just flare more easily then others. Others may resort to sadness or something else but still, one’d think that despite the elements, temperaments still can be tamed

    I (Pema) wanted to respond to all that Sky had said, and tried to be a bit more systematic than what usually is the case here in the tea house.


    Pema Pera: you are bringing up many important things in a few sentences, Sky! May I start at the beginning?
    Pema Pera: First of all, well . . . Being is not a thing and certainly not something that is either in control or not . . . You may feel you are in control or not in control.  In fact, when wu-wei clicks you are in a sort-of control that is very different from normal you-based control ; it is the River that is in control, and you are the instrument, the tool, the bedding perhaps through which the River flows, or a boat on the river, or a leaf floating on it — pick your favorite metaphor.
    As for the elements that is a very important way of talking and analyzing and looking at your situation, but not something I am trying to focus on here, not primarily at least.
    Sky Szimmer: I understand
    Pema Pera: I am happy to talk about it, for sure, like I am happy to talk about anything here but the PaB, the Play as Being notion jumps totally over the elements. Goes beyond that so playing as Being liberates us in one jump from all and any concern about elements, energies, anything. And then we can go back to our situation and see all that once more in the light of Being
    Sky Szimmer: I understand that but wuwei in the situation of a inflamed situation, one can still be very abandoned in being angry and enjoy the anger in the situation
    Pema Pera: oh yes! Greet you anger, smile at it like you smile at Marco (Sky’s son)  and feel one with him at the same time
    Sky Szimmer: yes I do enjoy being pissed off but then I have to deal with the consequences which is the part I’d like to avoid
    Pema Pera: we all have to be mothers for our own emotions, lovingly so
    Sky Szimmer: which leads me to taming of the shrewd
    Pema Pera: hahaha!
    Pema Pera: yes, we have to deal with all that happens — no avoidance or denial here.That is a common mistake when people talk about wu-wei
    Sky Szimmer: don’t get me wrong. I love my emotional states and I see myself going through them and even thinking, ahh, that feels good!
    Pema Pera: hahaha, I know, yes
    Sky Szimmer: what is a mistake? the mistake is to link wu wei with the consequences?
    Pema Pera: the mistake is to view wu-wei as encouraging avoidance and/or denial
    Sky Szimmer: ah!
    Pema Pera: an easy mistake to make when first hearing about not-doing. Almost everyone makes that mistake at first
    Sky Szimmer: the point is still living a happy life
    Pema Pera: that’s the only interpretation that makes sense in our normal framework, I guess
    Sky Szimmer: I guess so.I guess I am trying to get rid of my problems through spirituality
    Pema Pera: and avoidance and denial come from misguided attempts to become happier by turning away from unhappy aspects of lives . . . but it is no real solution

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