From Story to Presence…

img_2943_2-tara-001A ‘quote*’ from Tara Brach’s meditation “From Story to Presence”…

“The reality is each one of us has caused hurt to other people and each one of us has been hurt by other people. But if we keep running the story of “You hurt me; you’re bad” or “I hurt you; I’m bad” all that happen is a looping that creates separation. What if instead we say the story is that I hurt you and we let that story be there, we don’t put it aside too quickly…

We let it be there and we feel what it feels like in our body. The very presence with that vulnerability awakens compassion. Now the trick — because this is where there can be more suffering is to take the story “I caused you suffering” and to get stuck on the “I’m bad, I’m bad, I’m bad”. We’re wedded to the story and we don’t have access to deeper presence…

So the pathway I am describing to you, and it takes a real sensitivity, is that when stories arise in our mind — to not to quickly go ‘it’s just a story, back to the breath’ because that is just another form of aversion and denial — is to let it be there a bit, but not to believe the story.”

She goes on to say “the story behind some of the more drama stories is really the story of Self. As we open to this presence, we wake up out of that core story that keeps us separate”.

You can hear the whole talk here:

*I tried to transcribe it as best I could; this is NOT an official transcription…

Talking Dog for Sale

Seal of the C.I.A. - Central Intelligence Agen...

Tara Brach told this joke in her podcast:

A guy is driving around the back woods of Montana and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house: ‘Talking Dog For Sale ‘ He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard.

The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting there.

‘You talk?’ he asks.

‘Yep,’ the Lab replies.

After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says

‘So, what’s your story?’

The Lab looks up and says, ‘Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA.

In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.’

‘I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn’t getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals.’

‘I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I’m just retired.’

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

‘Ten dollars,’ the guy says.

‘Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?’

‘Because he’s a liar. He never did any of that shit.

via Talking Dog for Sale – Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community.

The Parable Of The Prickly Porcupines

Indian Porcupine, Hystrix indica
Tara Brach shares this story:

It was the coldest winter ever – so cold that many animals froze to death.

In an effort to save themselves from this icy fate, the porcupines decided to gather together to fend off the chill.

They huddled close to each other, covered and protected from the elements, and warmed by their collective body heat.

But their prickly quills proved to be a bit of a problem in close proximity – they poked and stabbed each other, wounding their closest companions.

The warmth was wonderful, but the mutual needling became increasingly uncomfortable. Eventually, they began to distance themselves one from the other, scattering in the forest only to end up alone and frozen. Many died. Continue reading

You’re probably a dog…

English: sleeping dog

“Yes, we have these great ideals about how we’ve supposed to be [...] we don’t have to pretend that our irritablity is not there or compare it unfavorably with our ideal version of ourselves. We could simply take a breath and say, “This is how I am — this is anger, this is fear, this is irritation.” [...] In that regard I would like to read to you my new favorite little piece: “If you can sit quietly after difficult news, if in financial downturns you remain perfectly calm, if you can see your neighbors travel to fantastic places without a twinge of jealousy, if you can happily eat whatever is put on your plate and fall asleep after a day of running around without a drink or a pill, if you can always find contentment just where you are, you are probably a dog.”


The Healing Power Of Furry Friends

healing power of animals

Anyone who has ever had a pet can vouch for the fact that seeing their loving little eager-to-please faces as you come home can really lift your spirits after a long day.

Even if they do destroy your home, keep you up with their crying all night or leave unwanted presents on your new carpet – you can’t help but love their butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-their-mouth faces!

Therefore, it’s not surprising that studies have confirmed that having a little furry friend does indeed do wonders for your overall happiness. Study researcher Allen McConnell, of Miami University in Ohio, said in a statement.

“We observed evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions.

Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extroverted, less fearful and less preoccupied than non-owners.”

On a deeper level, having a pet as a companion can also help mend the pain associated with loss, or during periods of loneliness or depression. They force you to care for another life – thus helping to take the focus off your own problems and provide you with unconditional love.

Everyone wants to be loved and needed – pets fulfill this nurturing role. This can be particularly important for middle-aged parents who may be suffering from ‘empty nest syndrome’ after their children have moved out, or for the elderly who are alone and have limited family and friends.

Of course if you’re not an animal person, or you’re having trouble looking after yourself, having an animal will not be for you. However, if you’re in a position to care for a special little friend, getting a pet can be the best remedy for loneliness.

One of our favorite pet stories has to be the story of Faith, a dog born with deformed front legs. However, as a result of her owner’s love and determination, she not only averted the doggy lethal injection, but now also walks on her back legs!

Has your pet helped you get through a difficult time or increased your overall happiness? We’d love to hear your story and how they’ve made a difference in your life, or to someone you know!” via The Healing Power Of Furry Friends.

Blog readers know all about my black cat Boo and how our ‘kitty time’ has changed my life. How about you? Got an animal friend?