Tag Archives: pausha foley

There is no reason to think

experience1

 There is no need to think. I said that once, I thought it often (yes, I see the contradiction here) and I stand by it.

There is never any need to think.

It is hard to accept this idea, I know. One goes straight to working, making, fixing, planning. The everyday tasks organized by mind, by thoughts, by explanations and definitions, by understanding.

I go somewhere else. I go to the place from which life is created. From which my life is being created. This place is not one of thinking, but of being. And of experiencing.

I was there when I chose to move to California. I said “yes” in jest without a minute of hesitation, yet I arrived at San Francisco airport three months later.

I was there when I realized I wanted to marry Christopher, though I’d known him only for three weeks. I thought about dolphins and whales at the time when this realization descended upon me.

I was there yesterday when, lost in pain and confusion, I could not see a way out. “Love” came the solution. Not figured out, not thought out, not devised nor contrived.

There was no thinking involved. There was never any thinking involved in the key moments of my life. The most crucial choices were not the result of a careful deliberation but of a sudden, clear and undeniable experience.

An experience, not understanding.

And if this way, this way of taking the most important steps, lead me to happiness and comfort — surely taking the smallest steps in this way will bring nothing else.

Surely there is never any need to think.

More by Pausha Foley:

It’s You.

Is happiness a myth?

Don’t give your power away.

See more at http://sticksandstories.com/no-reason-to-think/

Is happiness a myth?

experience-happiness

 It began with an exchange I had this morning. There was a question, I gave an answer. “Well, that’s a claim. Can you back it up in any way?” I heard in response.

“No” I said. “No I can’t and no, I don’t want to.”

I thought about this later. I thought about whether I was being obtuse, or maybe only uninterested in further discussion, but the more I thought the more I stood by my answer. No, I do not want to back it up in any way. Because I don’t need to. Because the claim is mine, the belief is mine, the truth is mine. I do not need anyone else to believe it, I do not wish to convert, I do not wish to convince. Therefore no, I do not wish to back it up in any way.

Why do I bother answering at all then? Ah, and here is the key of the matter: I answer to share a perspective. I answer to offer a possibility. I answer to present a truth. Not THE truth, not ONE truth, not the ONLY truth — but my truth. I speak my truth, and I wish to hear the truths of others in response. Not to adapt them and follow them, to exchange my truth for theirs, but to learn, to grow. To see reality in a way others see and I don’t, to gain a perspective others have and I lack. So that I can open. So that I can expand. So that I can develop my truths, round them up, add dimensions and facets until they shine like jewels.

So that my truths can grow as I grow, as my life grows, as my world grows.

This is happiness, I thought. This is happiness, right here, owning my truth. Every truth, each and one of them. This is happiness when I am myself and every truth is an expression of what I am. When life is an expression of what I am. Then there is nothing but joy and bliss in the world.

This is happiness: owning my truth.

That is my truth.

See more here.

Do you want to become a Buddhist – or the Buddha?

path

 Do not become the Buddhist – become the Buddha.

There. It is right there. I searched for it, chased it, tried to catch it and pin-point it since last night. Since the conversation about following a path.

I couldn’t see why. I couldn’t see why I would need to follow a path to myself. I am here after all, already here. Everything that I am — me, God, Buddha, everything. What path? What path is needed to take me to what I am?

But then, I thought, to realize it, to feel oneself, to find oneself among the noise, among the constant, overwhelming, imposing and dizzying hubbub of the mind — maybe there is a path there. Maybe there is something that has to be done, worked on, achieved, to see clearly. So what would I do? What did I do? What was the first step on my path? It was looking for someone who could help. It was to look outside. To look to others.

That was my first step on the path, on the journey to becoming a Buddhist, a student, a spiritual seeker.

Ceasing to look to others for help was the first step on the path to becoming myself.

Because it was myself I wanted to find. Not the Buddha. Not the enlightenment experienced, envisioned and described by others — but myself. I did not want to become a Buddhist. I did not want to become the follower of Buddha, or Christ or anyone else at all. I wanted to become myself and, to become myself, I had to follow myself.

And it was in that moment, in that very first moment of making the choice to follow myself, my own path, my own way, that my journey was finished for I reached my destination.

It did not require esoteric practices, twenty years of meditation, chanting, praying. All it took was the choice to be me. All it took for me to be me, was for me to listen to myself, to look into myself, to follow myself. Because I was already there.

All I needed to do

was to trust myself.

Don’t give your power away.

take-responsibility

 When I say: “pain offers understanding, suffering happens when we lose ourselves in pain” do you think I am blaming suffering on people’s attitude towards pain?

Some do.

I don’t.

 I do not blame anyone for suffering, but – and this is a very big “but” – I do believe everyone is responsible for it. Everyone who suffers. Everyone who is in pain.

Why do I say that? Is it because I am a cold-hearted, apodictic bitch devoid of empathy and without an ounce of compassion? Possibly, but even if that’s the case, still there is more. There is that it is by taking full responsibility for the pain, the suffering, that we achieve the power and the freedom to heal it.

As long as the pain is something that happens to us, that has been done to us by others (whether other humans, faith, destiny, God) there is little we can do to change it.

And yes, sometimes the pain is overwhelming and sometimes it is excruciating and sometimes it is unbearable and even so – what’s so is what’s so. I can only heal and transform that which is mine to heal and transform.

Before I can affect it – I have to claim it. As mine.

It’s You.

limit1

 Isn’t that a lovely stick? Inspiring and uplifting and what not? Truly a stick worth posting. Yet it begun like this:

limit

Yup. This is how I felt the last few days, the last few weeks, the last few months, the last few … well, all my life, likely. Though there were times of clarity and times of denial, times of unconsciousness and times of presence. Lately I experience times of my trauma being up in my face so strongly, so clearly, so harshly that nothing but facing it is a possibility. So I am facing.

I am facing and I see pain that dates to my birth. I saw some pain from before that, hidden all the way back in the shadowy endings of the previous life but that’s irrelevant here. What is relevant is that what happened when I was one day old comes to light and demands to be seen.

There is pain there. Pain caused by neglect and fear and loneliness and … well, pain. The pain I was born into. The pain of my parents that made it impossible for them to surround me with nothing but love. There was no love. There was no love at the very beginning of my life and I look at it (again) and see how quickly it became my fault, how quickly I became unlovable and how that burden of blame and guilt crushed me, and then I realize that…

… that it was not my fault. It was not my fault that there was no love waiting to receive me when I was born. But it was my responsibility. It was my responsibility.

And this is when the strings, the cords and strands of trauma loosen up a bit and I see that it was all me, from the very beginning. It was all me. And it still is.

And then I see that the trauma that binds me and traps me is there because I keep it there, because I believe it, because I mistake it for reality. I mistake it for life. I mistake it for the world. And then I see that this trauma’s purpose is to create life that it wants me to have. The pain wants me to create more pain. The fear wants me to create more fear and the lack of love, the loneliness, wants me to be alone.

And when I see that — the bounds fall off. They do not disappear, no, but they lose their power over my choices. They lose their power over my perceptions. I can see them for what they are now and they can no longer blind me and mystify me. They can no longer pretend to be real.

And then they leave. They are not needed anymore and I am left in the world where there is love because I am love. I am left in the world of my own creation, designed by me in the process of loving, of accepting, myself.

You Matter

you-matter

 “Don’t think about me. Don’t think about how I will respond or what I want you to be. Just be what you are. You have to find yourself.”

This is what my husband told me today and I must tell you, I squirmed. For a few reasons.

First and foremost — because he was right, damn him! He said it when it should have been me. Me, the terribly wise and present person who thought herself oh so … whatever … ah, in short – I was ashamed of myself. My pride smarted because I could not deny the fact that he was right and I was thoroughly messed up.

Which was another reason for squirming? I am not supposed to be getting messed up anymore. I am supposed to have outgrown it.

And then there was the fact that I knew he was right because I saw it before we had this conversation, and my seeing it made no difference at all. I collapsed nonetheless. Back into my messiness, back into the uncertainty and fear, back into the endless “what am I going to do with myself” questions, the “why am I here?”, the “what is being done to me?” questions.

Questions, questions, questions that plagued me and worried me and hurt me. Questions that made me scared of life, scared of the world, scared of myself.

I’ve been lost in them for a very long time, and then I looked up for just a moment and then I was myself again. Myself. Here. I could feel myself and there were no more questions. Instead there were my choices. Nothing was being done to me anymore – I was doing. I was choosing. I was creating. What? Oh, that mattered not at all. Answers mattered not at all because I was back and I did not need to look for answers anymore.

What mattered was that I was back, me — the creator of answers. And I was safe.

You exist outside of rules.

rules

 Do you know what happens when I say: “God is love. Love for everyone and everything”?

Someone immediately asks: “Including murderers and terrorists?” Sometime they add rapists, too.

And I say yes, including murderers and terrorists. And rapists too.

But of course that is not an answer that would satisfy anyone so I elaborate, like so:

“God might know, you see, that you, yourself, are God. That you are love, that you are the boundless, limitless and timeless existence . God likely knows that nothing wrong can ever happen to you because you are what God is, and there is no “wrong” in God. God knows that you did not appear at birth, nor will you disappear at death, but you will simply change, shift, transition. God might know that death is as wonderful an experience as birth is — a grand adventure, a graduation.

God will likely know that the pain and fear you experience, the suffering that plagues you, is caused by you forgetting who you are, and that it will pass eventually and you will remember yourself again. Because, you must remember, God knows that you are God, even if you do not know at times. Knowing that, God might see your pain and hardships as something you created yourself as an opportunity to outgrow it.

From God’s perspective, from that place, murderers and terrorists would appear very differently than they do to a human, don’t you think?”

And then, of course, the inevitable response always comes: ”Um, this doesn’t make any sense.”

Which is when I say:

“Of course it doesn’t make sense. Its God we are talking about. In order for God to make sense to a human it would have to be a human invention. In order for God to make sense, God would have to be subject to the rules that are human inventions.

But God exists outside of those rules.

And so do you.

You have everything.

have-all

 

What would be the best advice on life you could give to a twenty-year-old?

Mine was: “don’t listen to other people’s advice”.

“That is, quite simply put, the worst advice I ever heard in my opinion” came the inevitable response, and then, a bit surprisingly, a question:
“What’s the up-side of not looking for advice?”

“Doing what you want the way you want to do it” I said in response,
“discovering your own, original, unique way.
Making your own choices.
Being responsible for your own choices.
Owning your life.
Owning your experience.
Owning yourself.”

Still he didn’t give up.

“The whole purpose of asking for advice is to make progress, by learning from the mistakes of not only ourselves but the ones before us,” he retorted. “Where would we be if we didn’t ask for advice?”

Where would we be?

Where would we be if we did not follow into footsteps, if we did not turn to others to ask what life is, how to live it, who am I?

Where would we be? What would we do if there was no one to tell us how to live?

I asked those questions, and as I did and an image popped into my mind, straight from some dark forgotten corner where my long gone zen past hid: a pilgrim with a sac carried over his shoulder, and in the sac everything he needs. Everything he will ever need. To be who he is. And then I knew, without any doubt I knew that I have everything I need, that I know everything I need to know, that I am everything I need to be…

to be what I am.

I do not need the support to be myself. I do not need advice on how to be myself, in fact such advice would be impossible to give because there is no one out there who knows how to be me. No one knows what it means to be me — only I do.

No one knows what it means to be you, either. No one knows how a life that is an expression of who you are should look like. Only you do. And you do know.

You know everything you need to know, you have everything you need to have and you are everything you need to be,

to be what you are.

Feel Reality

panther

The growl was rolling in my throat. A rhythmic, vibrating accompaniment for the movements of my body, the soft steps, the stretches and contractions of muscles. I moved a paw forward and my lips lifted over my fangs. Wild. I was wild. I was a wild cat. Another step crumbled a pile of dry leaves, I moved my paw, I moved my hand, I touched the soft, rumpled blanket. Bed. I was in bed. There was silence and soft breath near me, there were the heavy spots of warmth where dogs slept. I was in bed.

I was wild. I closed my eyes again. The forest was warm, pulsating with life. Life I could feel … I can feel it! I thought “I am a cat and I am the forest”. The thought brought others along, “I am the cat” I thought, and the cat became distant, distinct, separate. “I am being the cat” I thought, and stopped being it. I was thinking now, moving back into my body, back in my mind watching, observing, describing … “no!” I thought, “No! Stop thinking, stop thinking … be…”

I padded through the forest, with the forest, as the forest. I felt it on my skin. I felt it in my muscles. I felt the tension, the softness, the presence. I felt it as my body. I felt the trees and their silence, the buzzing of their flesh, of my flesh, stretching high towards the sky. I felt the water spilling over a damp earth. I felt pulled downhill with the rushing streams, I flew over rocks in the rapids with the dancing rivers. I felt the fear and submission of prey hiding nearby, in thorny bushes and earthen holes. I felt their timid presence. Their rapid, pulsating life was my own.

I felt another life, strong, powerful. Present. I felt it and knew I must meet and confront it. My authority against it’s. We must try each-other. The tension must be resolved. The strength must be tested. Hierarchy must be established.

I felt the forest, I felt being, I felt life. I was life.

“Now you know,” said the cat, “now you know how you can be wild in the world.”

“Yes. Thank you”

There was an acknowledgment. The cat left.

I lifted my head, I opened my eyes. In the midst of the night I was wide awake. “I was a wild cat!” I whispered to my husband. “Oh,” he said.

Oh.

There was nothing more to be said.

More by Pausha Foley:

I am that I am

Life After Facebook

You Create

I am that I am

I-am

 This is me up there. Yes, that is what I Am. I talk with nature. Trees teach me how to be alive on Earth, and rocks, and big cats. I received a lesson from a panther only a few days ago, it taught me how to be present and not collapse when I am surrounded by people. It was a valuable lesson at the time, especially given my limited experience with human interactions. I do not look for those.

It is not that I don’t enjoy them, at a certain level, but they are not as fulfilling, not as open as relationships with nature. Human interactions require words and concepts. I find words and concepts limited and shallow.

I do not believe that the mind is the be-all and end-all of human perception. I find the mind to be pitifully small and constricted, utterly unable to comprehend reality. I am not my mind.

I am my body and my life and the world and by feeling it, by being present with it, I shift it, I affect it, I redesign it. I clean up the trauma that causes sickness to heal my body. I do not require medication to deal with sickness, pain or  inflammation. I bring myself up from a collapse to allow my life to flow smoothly when there are problems or lack of any sort. I do not require marketing to attract clients or money.

I enjoy the idea of dying one day. It will be a spectacular adventure and I am looking forward to it. Because I know what I am. And I remember when I chose to be born. I know why I chose it, and I know why I was born to my parents. I know that I did not begin with this birth and I will not end with this coming death. I know that I have no beginning nor ending at all.

I do not mind pain nor fear, I experience it as a natural element of growing in places where I need to grow.

I do not believe that there is such a thing as a tragedy. I do not believe there is such a thing as wrong, evil, bad, nor do I believe there is good nor right.

I do believe that values, moralities, ethics are nothing more than stories created by human minds to manage trauma.

I do not believe that anyone deserves or doesn’t deserve anything. I do not believe that anyone is entitled to anything. I believe that I create my own experience. I believe that everyone creates their own experience.

All of it.

This is me. This is what I am.

This is what I am hiding. This is what I have been hiding since I was a little child because, even when what I was was not clear to me, I could feel what I wasn’t. This awareness caused pain when I was a girl wanting to fit in. This awareness caused a discomfort when I was a young woman wanting to belong. This awareness caused great joy once I grew into myself, but the pain is still there. Scars left by the fear of rejection tighten my skin still, become inflamed when rubbed.

It got rubbed during the last few days. The scars got rubbed until they throbbed with pain, and the pain brought out the childish misery and that, in turn, brought out the rebellion. And anger.

“I will not hide anymore,” I thought.

I am not yet entirely recovered. The scars, mostly gone, left raw flesh in their wake. It itches still and so I am not as gentle, as gracious and considerate as I might be. And so I write in this way. Clearly, openly and straightforwardly.

And yes, it scares me, but the fear does not bother me. The fear is simply a natural element of me growing in this place where I was afraid, where I am afraid, to own myself fully.

In this place where I am that I am.

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