Positivity Press #27

My brother in law just had a newborn baby. As part of a gift box that we put together, me and my wife made these cute monthly progress cards out of watercolours and ink. It became a giant project, and we had the best time working together. For a week, we turned off the TV and said no Netflix, and we sat on the floor in front of the coffee table designing little animals, discussing which 12 to choose, and painting them until they were perfect. It made me realise how much more fun working with our hands and talking all night is better than being glued in front of the TV.
 
The little baby was born in France, and me and my wife live in Melbourne, Australia with our own 7-month old. We’re on opposite sides of the world, and we’re super excited to get these two little cousins to meet up one day soon!

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

PUZZLE FOR ME

Insects on flower bud
A puzzle for the chameleon’s tongue to solve

Beauty mask by bumpy skin
A puzzle for the beholder’s eyes to solve

Farmer’s seeds in his field
A puzzle for his Patience to solve

Influencial a darkness
A puzzle for light to solve

A cold winter night
A puzzle for fire to solve

So many eves
You were the puzzle I solved

Inungjosephblog.WordPress.com
Instagram: Inung Joseph

If you would like to have your work published in The Poetry Bar send your poem, a few words about yourself and the link to your blog and Instagram (if you have one) to the e-mail poetrybar1@gmail.com

POISONOUS

Under the skin, something poisonous.
Like an acid flowing,
as if from the Alien monster.
Watch out for the dribbling!

Often now, there are thoughts that reflect
that menacing countenance.
A wrestling match
(With an Angel, or Devil?)

Tenderness, not likened with love,
Pain’s manifest in the body glove.
Sore to the touch, no matter where.
Could be from cooking to medium rare.

The chef is the spirit
that wallows in sorrow,
and all need to fear it,
’cause it swallows Tomorrow.

 

Hello, I am Lee Dunn.
Working stiff (retired).  Avid reader, dreamer, and searcher.
I write some eclectic poetry, prose, personal stories, and fiction.
Have had work published in the Shelburne Free Press
And Spillwords Press.
I blog on WordPress at https://secret-lifeof.com/

If you would like to have your work published in The Poetry Bar send your poem, a few words about yourself and the link to your blog and Instagram (if you have one) to the e-mail poetrybar1@gmail.com

Positivity Press #26

With a Heart for Any Fate

Getting to “Acceptance”

Samarender Reddy

(Blogs at https://selfrealization.home.blog/)

 

“The Ordainer controls the fate of souls in accordance with their past deeds. Whatever is destined not to happen will not happen, try how hard you may. Whatever is destined to happen will happen, do what you may to stop it. This is certain. The best course, therefore, is to remain silent.” — Ramana Maharshi

 

“Suffering is due to non-acceptance.” — Nisargadatta Maharaj

 

“You cannot be both unhappy and fully present in the Now.” – Eckhart Tolle

 

It happened over a cup of coffee with my brother-in-law Suresh Boddapati in Starbucks of Banjara Hills, Hyderabad. Over the past week or so, I had been discussing with Suresh some philosophical ideas and concepts, as we often do, on this visit of his to India, and the topic of “acceptance” and “living in the now” came up. Initially, the discussion veered around, with me raising various objections as to why I did not find “acceptance” acceptable as I was not getting a handle on that concept. One objection I raised was, “Does acceptance mean we do not do anything about the situation we find ourselves in? Is acceptance a passive way of being?” He said, “No, acceptance does not mean you do not plan for the future and take action accordingly. What it means is that you are doing that from a place of acceptance, that is, without mental agitation and agony over the current situation you find yourself in.” Cracks were beginning to develop in my resistance to getting to acceptance.

 

Then a few days later as we were sitting in Starbucks and sipping coffee it suddenly dawned on me that acceptance and living in the now were great concepts and they started to make sense. Perhaps what triggered the shift in understanding were the answers that Suresh gave to these questions that I posed to him: “Suppose you were a prisoner of war, say in Abu Ghraib prison, and were being tortured. Would you still be in acceptance in that scenario?” Suresh replied as a matter of factly, “Well, what choice would I have other than to accept and bear the physical pain. But mentally I would not suffer because I would be in a state of acceptance because by being in a state of non-acceptance I would be adding another layer of mental suffering onto the physical pain.” I persisted and asked, “What if you lost your job and could not find another job and so were forced to become homeless?” Suresh replied, “Well, in that case, again, what choice would I have other than to accept and adjust to being homeless and figure out whatever it is that homeless people do to get by.” Those replies of his did it for me, in that, I saw at once that if acceptance made sense even in a state of being tortured or homeless then it has to make sense in every other scenario and circumstance or life situation you find yourself in. I was almost readying myself to say, “Life, bring it on.”

 

Over the next day or so, as I mulled over that conversation with Suresh, the following became clear to me: Stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread, and unhappiness are symptoms of non-acceptance of “what is” or the present moment, and symptoms of not living in the Now but in the past and future. Realising that these negative states do not change “what is” or what will be and merely cause suffering one sees the sanity in acceptance and living in the now. Of course, acceptance and living in the now do not mean that if there is some action you can take to see if you can better the situation in some way you should not. Only thing is acceptance and living in the now means such action is not accompanied by unnecessary and futile thinking and mental commentary in the form of stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread, and unhappiness. You see, acceptance and living in the now calms down the frenzied and incessant thinking, and in that stillness, the inner intelligence operates and guides the mind to deal with “what is” and hence right action ensues appropriate for the present moment. Non-acceptance of “what is” is self-created suffering.

 

Stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread, and unhappiness do not contribute to positive outcomes in the future; if anything, they contribute to negative outcomes in the future. Not only that, but they also ruin the present. So, it makes sense to dump them at once by getting to acceptance of the present or “what is’. The constant expectation of a desired outcome in the future generates stress, worry, anxiety, and fear as to whether it will come to pass or not. But “a heart for any fate”, or in other words, acceptance, eliminates them. And you need to have “a heart for any fate” because when the fate comes to fruition in some future present you have no choice but to face it and any amount of stress, worry, anxiety, fear, despair, dread and unhappiness at that time, which is non-acceptance, is not going to change the situation and is merely going to ruin that present without contributing anything positive toward future outcomes. That is why Ramana Maharshi says, in the quote at the beginning, the best course is to remain silent (that is, cut off thinking in the form of stress, worry, anxiety, and fear) in the face of predetermined fate, which amounts to acceptance of any fate that befalls us – not doing so only adds to the suffering without changing the course of future events.

 

How does acceptance tie in with living in the Now? Non-acceptance means your mind will be thinking in the form of regret, stress, worry, anxiety, and fear, and what are they but synonymous with living in the past or future. Acceptance at once cuts off such thinking and leads to a still mind, and thus you find yourselves grounded and attuned to the now. And when, thus, you get to acceptance and living in the now, you reach a state of inner calm and peace. In that state whatever you do will be in a state of “flow”.  When you function in life with such acceptance and living in the now you are basically surrendering to “what is” or what life brings to your doorstep, and what is that but living in surrender to God’s will. And surrender, as Ramana Maharshi pointed out, is one of the two paths that lead one to enlightenment or self-realisation, the other path being self-enquiry.

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com

Poetry Bar submissions

Guys we are close to 3000 followers and you all are just not sending submissions in for The Poetry Bar. Oh, no, no, no! We can’t let our bar run out of business. Let’s review the rules one more time and lets fill our inbox with poems and your faces with happiness as you send in your works!

  1. Send in a poem to poetrybar1@gmail.com
  2. Write a few words about yourself (so that people could get to know you)
  3. Put the link to your blog (so that people could come to your blog, read more of your works, follow you and it will help you gain some exposure)
  4. Put a link to your Instagram profile so that I could tag you when I publish your work on The Poetry Bar Instagram page

Can’t wait to read your lovely works!

Sending love and positive vibes,
Luna

Positivity Press #25

Did you ever think that you might benefit from travel advice from a 65-year-old Tibetan monk? It does make sense: the image of a religious Buddhist spiritual leader (Khenpo is an honorary title) is one of a pure soul floating above day-to-day irritations and life challenges. But he would be the first to tell you that it is not always easy to face the physical difficulties and deprivations of travel. The mental trials? Well, that’s another story.

Khenpo Pema has been traveling for much of his life. A Buddhist monk since the age of 7, his family escaped from a small village in Tibet in 1959 and eventually resettled in a refugee camp in South India. Through the years he has established a center for Tibetan orphans in India and a school in Nepal. He has been teaching Western students for more than four decades and continues to travel from his home base in New York City to dharma centers around the world.

I first met Khenpo Pema in 1986, when I wanted to learn some basic Tibetan phrases before a trip to Tibet. Khenpo Pema was a very patient teacher and misinterpreted my early facility with the language as talent; unfortunately, none of it stuck. I did remember one phrase when I traveled in Tibet soon after: “You are very pretty,” which I said to everyone I met. Khenpo Pema told me that no one would ever say this in Tibet but that he could understand how it would amuse them.

Why Travel? Because “This is It!!”

Khenpo Pema travels to teach, but he also finds travel mostly a pleasure—he is constantly fascinated by and curious about what he has learned about the world and by people. Travel is, in many ways, pure inspiration.

“I am obsessed with ideas! I get hundreds and thousands of ideas when I travel. And you always have to keep trying to make things happen,” he says. “If something doesn’t work, try something else—try hundreds of times. Mistakes are good. If everything goes well you become soft. Mistakes you learn from make you better able to face problems in the future.”

“Buddha,” says Khenpo Pema, “teaches on every subject, especially about Mind. And one of the major teachings is on impermanence. Everything is so precious, since we are not going to have this forever. That is why appreciation grows. Everything that is constructed, dissolves. We learn to appreciate things: This is it! This is precious. You learn to appreciate but learn to let go when it is not good.”

How Travel Has Changed for Him

Pema believes that technology has changed the experience of travel. Fifteen years ago, Khenpo jokingly told me that, when his friend asked how GPS worked during a drive to my home for lunch, he told him that “a little plane flies above the car and lets me know where I am and where to go.”

Now, besides his GPS, Pema usually has his iPhone and laptop along. Because of that, he says, experiences have sometimes become less wondrous. “Now we are saturated with images,” he says. “That freshness and touching and seeing is sometimes not there, in my case.” Also, constant travel can take a toll. “I travel so much,” he says, that “globalizing the mind sometimes dissipates emotional connections.”

On the other hand, technology has been an outlet for him when he experiences travel delays. Khenpo Pema told me that being stuck somewhere is a great opportunity to read, write, make calls—and he believes that being sidelined in an airport makes work easier because when he isn’t at home and is surrounded by new people, his mind “is fresh.”

How You Can Change Your Attitude When You Travel (Because Your Mind is Like an iPhone)

Meaningful travel may require us to change our attitudes and to be open to new ways of reacting to the world. These changes, Khenpo Pema believes, take work. “The great part of Buddha’s teaching,” he says, “is that we learn to put our mind on a certain setting. It’s like using an iPhone—set your mind and it becomes part of your mindset. I have no psychological or emotional problem at all wherever I am. Oh, six hours you have to wait in airport when they tell me that your flight is cancelled? No problem. And I’m never bored, I’m like a kid.”

In order to develop such an attitude requires learning mindfulness. For this, Khenpo Pema meditates on a daily basis. “Getting to the point where delays and challenges do not disrupt one’s life,” he says, “is not easy. To change inside is not easy. The hardest thing to change is the way that your mind works.” That’s not to say that you will escape negative emotions, he believes. He says, “You feel what you feel. That’s O.K. as long as we do not follow those thoughts or try to justify them….when you travel, always prepare because things can go wrong. Then when they go wrong, you can smile.”

Even if he encounters a rude travel agent, Khenpo Pema retains his good humor: “If I am mindful, no problem if people are rude. With mindfulness you let it go. With meditation, that independence is there.”

Blog: https://thebabybloomer.blog/

If you want to share positivity here at The Positivity Press send in your positive news with pics and the link to your blog (if you want) to postpositivity@gmail.com