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3 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2011 - 12:31PM #21
malachan
Posts: 54

Feb 9, 2011 -- 6:05PM, Brooke wrote:

Hi Malachan!
Wonderful to hear from you! You're right in saying that emotionally and spiritually I'm in a better place. Actually, to put it better...I'm getting to that better place. My life has literally turned upside down. Hit rock bottom a little while ago and have somehow found the strength needed to pull myself up enough to at least get my head above water. My son has most assuredly been my saving grace through all of this. Sometimes I think it takes another person's life to appreciate your own. I don't know if you have children but the realization that you must be strong and pull yourself together for the welfare of your child can be quite the awakening in and of itself. My Mom has a friend that is a buddhist Nun. Apparently, years ago, her husband decided he wanted to be a doctor. Well, that was going to take about 7 years or so so my Mom's friend thought "Well, I'm gonna go and study with the Monks." And she did and voila! Anyhow, everywhere I've read has said that you should have a good teacher. That the teacher won't seek you out but you are to find him/her. My Mom's friend lives in a different city than myself so I'm going to email her and ask her if she knows anyone in my area or nearby that could maybe be my teacher. I've such a long journey ahead of me. (I know that's not keeping on the 'now' saying that lol) I just want to make sure I've got the proper road map for the trip. ;-)
Again, wonderful to hear from you and I hope that all is well with you.
Brooke ;-)



Overall, this is really excellent to hear, and certainly sounds like your life is moving in a wonderful direction!


I've been wanting to reply back sooner, but I went through some rocky things recently.  When I reflect back on these challenges, and objectively view both the negatives and positives from the experiences, they almost always are blessings in disguises, that teaches us new lessons, and makes us better (even if just a little at times) in some or many ways.


I think that's great that you want to continue to learn and evolve, by seeking a teacher.  In general, I find that regardless of the teacher, we can learn a great deal from each of them, since each are unique, and will likewise have their own unique knowledge and perspective.


What I'm also finding really helpful, is learning to listen more to my inner guidance.  I'm finding that I'm getting or receiving a good amount of practical and beneficial information by doing this.  Some ways I find helpful in order to do this is to stop, slow down (mentally and physically), meditate regularly, and in general keeping the mind and body relaxed throughout the day.  As a major caveat, the process is much more in depth and complicated, but this is a good starting point.  In addition from what I'm learning from personal experiences, is that what makes the process even more complex, is due to the holistic, integrative, and complimentary nature of various disciplines, techniques, teachings, and interrelated nature of life in general.  For example, if someone tries to relax, there may be multiple causes that prevents her or him from fully doing this, or moving into deep relaxation.  In addition, the root of the cause(s) may be physical or mental, and sometimes even both. 


On the bright side, since a multidisciplinary approach may at times be ideal, there's typically a teacher / book / information, etc. that covers the areas in our life, that we would like to enhance and improve upon.  If we can't find this information from external sources, again and very importantly, we can try to rely more on inner guidance. 


May everything keep getting better and better!


 

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2011 - 4:08PM #22
Brooke
Posts: 22

Dear Malachan


I want to say that I'm sorry to hear you've had alot on your plate recently but it sounds as though as tough as it may have been it's helped you to grow even more. As you said.."A blessing in disguise." ;-)  Strange isn't it...how when in the middle of some 'crisis' we can find the 'silver lining.' The smart part I guess is knowing to look for it. I have said before that I believe everything happens for a reason. Sometimes I think it takes a lot of insight to see what that reason is but it's there...for sure.


My Mom's friend got in touch with her friend who lives in the same city as myself. She said she would be more than happy to teach me some meditation. I have been doing it on my own for a while now but 'something' inside of me wants to reach out to others who have somewhat the same philosophy as myself. It's funny really....I began reading Tolle a little over a year ago. It made sense to me then and I continued (although not daily) to place the philosophy into my daily life. I remember in the book Tolle said "You will know when the time is right to find a teacher." If you had told me then that it would be over a year before I'd get to that place I probably would have thrown in the towel. But, the other day I was just sitting, thinking, and suddenly I remembered the bit about knowing when the time is right. I smiled to myself and thought "I'm there." I'm not the most patient of people (when it comes to my own life). I tend to want near instant gratification....wanting my life to be some sort of montage of all the bad things and have the happy climax quickly follow. I'm working on that and that realization of "I'm here now" really felt good.


I went to my library and got out some dvds on meditation. I was going to join the local Tai Chi Society but lessons have already begun so I thought I'd work on some stuff on my own and wait until the new classes start in spring. I took out Chi Kung and another (which I'm assuming is the same just spelled differently) called Qi Gong. I don't know if you're familiar with it but it's beautiful. Very slow moving like Tai Chi. Well, I've found, although visually looking 'easy' that it's quite demanding physically. I've had muscles hurt that I didn't know I had! LOL Anyhow, one problem I'm having is that my knees tend to go into this constant shakiness. (The exercises are done in a 'horse stance' or semi-squat postion) I've written a few places online asking if I'm doing something wrong or if it's just a matter of me having to build up strength but alas...no replies. :-(  I'm pretty sure it's a strength issue as my knees do not always shake.


So, Mom's friend's friend (Lorraine) told me that there is a Lama coming to visit and do a lecture in a nearby town in April.  He spent 3 years in Nepal at a monastary. I'm very excited about it as I've never been to anything like that before. There will be a lecture followed by a question and answer period and ending with a meditation. Just to be in a room filled with people who are walking the same path is exciting to me. Who knows...maybe I'll meet some wonderful new people who will bring wonderful things to me and maybe even ME being able to bring wonderful things to them. I'll keep you posted on how it goes. ;-)


Well my friend, I have to go and get my son ready to go to his Dad's for dinner. Thank you for writing and for all that you say. I wish you happiness and the peace of yourself.

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3 years ago  ::  Mar 31, 2011 - 5:29PM #23
malachan
Posts: 54

"I went to my library and got out some dvds on meditation. I was going to  join the local Tai Chi Society but lessons have already begun so I  thought I'd work on some stuff on my own and wait until the new classes  start in spring. I took out Chi Kung and another (which I'm assuming is  the same just spelled differently) called Qi Gong. I don't know if  you're familiar with it but it's beautiful. Very slow moving like Tai  Chi. Well, I've found, although visually looking 'easy' that it's quite  demanding physically. I've had muscles hurt that I didn't know I had!  LOL Anyhow, one problem I'm having is that my knees tend to go into this  constant shakiness. (The exercises are done in a 'horse stance' or  semi-squat postion) I've written a few places online asking if I'm doing  something wrong or if it's just a matter of me having to build up  strength but alas...no replies. :-(  I'm pretty sure it's a strength  issue as my knees do not always shake."



I wanted to briefly touch on this.  I think the shaking of the knees are natural, especially if you're new to the horse stance.  I've done meditations (using this stance), a particular yoga exercise, and an exercise where I combine qi gong with other practices (primarily Bagua) into a single routine, and I'll go into this stance regularly, so I know what you mean.  Just as an aerobic instructor will teach various levels of a single exercise (e.g. beginners, intermediate, advance, etc.), I think this likewise should be taken into account when practicing other physically related disciplines, especially considering each and every person will have their own current level of overall fitness.  So if the legs start aching and gets shaky again, you can perhaps stand taller to give your legs a break.  After it's rested, maybe once again go deeper and return to the horse stance.  If the instructor allows, and if it gets too intense, you could also just literally sit down and take a momentary break.   If you continue the practice, your legs should gradually build strength and endurance over time.  For further assistance, you may also want to consider a good pre-workout meal.


I remember reading some tips by an old Chen style Tai Chi master.  He basically said, that any position held for too long in general isn't healthy. 


"Who knows...maybe I'll meet some wonderful new people who will bring  wonderful things to me and maybe even ME being able to bring wonderful  things to them."


I think this is such a great point.  Not a single other person, has experienced the unique accumulation of all your experiences and what you've learned.  In addition, if you believe and take into account your unique set of spiritual guides, and past lives, this especially makes your life even more unique and special.  Therefore, I certainly do think you have great value and wonderful things you can bring to others as well. 


I like your openness and willingness to continue to learn.  Some of the most knowledgeable teachers, are humble and honest enough to admit that they're still learning, because they know obviously that they aren't omniscient.  So ultimately, I think many of us are to a degree both teacher and student.  I also think this is important to remember for another reason, since this belief will prevent us from ever totally giving our complete power and total trust away to another.  This is more apparent in cults, but with many other teachings and other settings, people may fall into this trap as well, thinking the teacher is omniscient.  To me this belief is empowering, since it allows us to more readily question, doubt, and maintain our discernment with any aspect of a teaching that doesn't seem or feel right.


And also wow, that's great to hear about the lama!  Sounds like it'll be a great experience!


 

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3 years ago  ::  Apr 01, 2011 - 3:54PM #24
Brooke
Posts: 22

Hi Malachan


Thanks for your tips re: my shaky knees. LOL If it gets too shaky I just stand straight and do the exercises that way. Otherwise my attention is more drawn to the shaking rather than to the meditation.


Teachers....I believe we are all teachers. As you said, we each have our own unique experiences that no one else has ever had and therefore I think we can all learn from one another. I'm not seeking a 'teacher' in the title sense but rather someone else who can maybe shed some light on some stuff that I maybe wouldn't have noticed. I think it's good to have someone out of your own box to look at things for you and maybe give you a different (or sometimes more realistic) view of yourself. Kinda like when someone who is skinny and only sees a fat person in the mirror....we tend to view ourselves differently than how others view us. Good and bad.


I hope you have a wonderful weekend and that the sun is shining for you.


Brooke ;-)

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