Unhappiness and Suffering Cause Each Other

It was another glorious morning in late summer and
our simple seeker was enjoying it to the full;
relaxed in her secret, sacred garden.

Don’t you feel guilty enjoying yourself
while there’s so much unhappiness and
suffering in the world?

Is there a difference?

Between what?

Unhappiness and suffering.

Yes.

What?

Cause and effect.

Which causes which?

They each cause the other.

In the same situation?

Yes.

How is that possible?

Unhappiness triggers suffering, and

Why is unhappiness not a form of
suffering?

There is no form involved.

What, then?

A misunderstanding.

What is misunderstood?

They are each self-inflicted.

Why?

Lack of awareness.

Of what?

The unstable nature of emotions.

But, love is an emotion.

Yes.

Is love necessarily unstable?

Yes.

In what way?

In that love is a variable.

We can love more or less?

Yes.

What about thoughts?

Thoughts aren’t emotions.

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Experience Teaches Us Lessons of Life

Our simple seeker was admiring, in her mind (but
where else could she admire anything?), that someone
had generously shared on Twitter. But, as beautiful
as the rose was, there was something more going on.
Envy was slipping into the picture. This was annoying.

What’s wrong with envy?

I want to be able appreciate the skills of others
without always wishing that I, too, possessed them.

Do you envy everyone’s skills?

No, just the ones that I wish I also possessed.

Why don’t you possess the skills you admire?

Some people have more natural talent than do others.

Some people may be unaware of what so-called
natural talents they do possess.

It isn’t possible for me to develop all the talents
I admire in others.

Have you tried?

There would never be enough time for that, and …

Yes. It would pull your focus from what you now
do well, or might, with a little more effort.

How would that protect me from envy?

Nothing can protect you from envy.

Why?

Envy, in its most sincere form is a recognition of,
and inspiration toward excellence. We all, at least
to some extent, aspire towards higher levels of
personal skills. Envy is seeing the qualities in others
that we want for ourselves, It can encourage us.

Or discourage us?

No. An unhealthy mind would feel resentment, not
discouragement.

How can we know the difference?

Experience teaches us. We know because
we have experienced it, if we have.

And, if we haven’t.

Then, we will, all in good time.

The Middle Way is not Halfway Between Extremes

A simple seeker of enlightenment had studied
and thought deeply about possible meanings of
the images portrayed on Tarot cards. She had
pulled a card from somewhere near the middle
of the pile and was now contemplating the
possible personal message expressed by the
Two of Pentacles (or Coins).

A juggler or clown seemed to have stopped
tossing two large discs, and was staring at one,
as if it represented, after deep reflection,
the chosen option between two lifestyles.

At the same time, a stormy sea behind him
also seemed to have stopped tossing two ships
One was atop a high wave and the other seemed
to be slipping into a deep trough. The boats
seemed as much at the mercy of the sea as
the discs were, in the hands of the juggler.

But, why did he stop and why did the storm
seem to have ended, and was now preparing
to ease its demonstration of power over
those who dared to risk its instability?

Why call the ocean unstable?

It can be.

Then it has potential to become, or
to appear to be more or less unstable.

What about the juggler?

What about him, or her?

The two large disks seem frozen in time;
one high and the other low.

Which is the object of focus?

The lower one, why?

Why what?

Why do you ask?

To focus your attention on the relative
positions of the disks, and how this might
express a personal psychic message for you.

Wow!

Yes. You were looking at details and not
at the general picture and the message
it might offer.

But, there is no steady middle point
in juggling, or in a stormy sea.

Nor is there any middle way to travel
through life.

Then, why do the wise ones speak of
a middle way?

They do not mean neutrality, as might seem
to exist between positive and negative ..

Or between good or bad?

Yes.

Then, what does the term ‘middle way’ mean?

The true middle way is always on the side of …

Transcendence and truth?

Yes, but neither rigidly nor casually.

The middle way as relaxed awareness,

acceptance, and commitment?

Yes.

Then, the middle way resists both neutrality
and self-righteousness?

Yes.

Then, how can a pendulum ever settle near
midway point on the positive side of its swing?

A perennial problem.

And Anyone Else

The Page of Wands looked strangely familiar and yet
it was a young boy dressed up in clothes that he
did not seem to feel comfortable wearing.

What does it say to us?

It wouldn’t say the same to me as it would to you.

How do you know? or, do you?

What does that mean?

When anything or anyone speaks to our inner knowing,
we are receiving a message, and we know it.

Can it be an important message?

It’s always more than important. It is vital
to our self-interest and to our personal world.

That would create inner tension.

Yes.

Who wants inner tension?

It’s not a case of wanting.

Then, needing?

Yes.

Why do we need inner stress?

There’s a difference between stress and tension.

In degree?

In cause. The situation causes tension and …

Ignoring the message of tension causes stress?

Yes.

So, if we feel stressed then it’s not directly
caused by the situation?

Exactly. Too many people seem to attempt to cope
with stress with medication, instead of meditating
on its possible cause, alone or with a trusted
and qualified teacher.

Are we talking about You and me?

Yes, and anyone else who cares to listen.

Another Hero Gone

Our simple seeker was in mourning for someone
she had never met, at least not in person,
during this lifetime. But, he was to her a hero;
a giant of a soul.

Even the trees around her hung heavy, as if to share
her mood.

We each come for a purpose and when we have
completed our chosen role, then …

I like that story, but …

It is much more than a story. But?

If it was time to go …

And it was.

Then why did he have to …

Perhaps that, too, was the plan.

Whose plan?

His.

And we each …?

And we each …

Do some of us choose to be bombed?

Not everyone who is.

Then what?

We each choose, if we have developed
to the level of capacity to choose.

And the rest of us?

A supporting cast of millions.

What purpose …?

To learn to develop your capacity to choose.

What?

And where, when, how, and why.

And who?

Yes.

Once you begin

Our simple seeker was meditating on the powerful
symbolism of The Tree of Life. It suddenly seemed
to almost overpower her with a feeling of intense
devotion when respect and reverence were her usual
spiritual limits.

Had they been self-imposed limits?

How could that possibly be?

Resistance.

To losing control?

Yes.

That’s possible, but, if it was then it would
have been …

And still is?

But, it surely makes good sense to have
at least a small reservoir, or supply, of …

Defensive mechanisms?

They do have survival value.

How can you explore the complexity of
quality and intensity of thoughts and
emotions, and the ever-developing
interdependence between them, armed with …

Protection from them?

Not protection; distance.

How do they differ?

I explained that to you long ago.
Once you begin to open your mind,
there is no way you can close it.

Awareness as an Option

A simple seeker was meditating on the four Tarot
queens until her mind seemed to rest, or focus, on
The Queen of Cups.

What about her?

I seem to relate to her.

How?

Her throne has a high back, as does my new patio
recliner, except that she looks much more at ease
than I feel in this high and over-sized, for me,
chair.

Perhaps elegance has always been part of her life.
Is hers the style to which you would like to become
accustomed?

No. It’s too late.

It was always too late.

Why is that?

We each have a path prepared for us.

Isn’t that fatalism?

No, destiny.

What’s the difference?

Fate is imposed from outside sources and/or forces.

And destiny isn’t?

Yes. Destiny is not.

The acorn theory?

It’s more than a theory.

How would the results be different?

Fate allows for no adaptation to the journey
or destination.

And destiny does?

Yes.

How?

An acorn is destined to become an oak tree, but
not all oak trees live to maturity or grow
straight and strong.

Outside forces influence but don’t determine
the outcome?

Yes. A seed’s inner essence determines the path
it will follow. It knows what it is, where it is
going, and why. Whether it arrives or not is out
of its hands, and not worth considering.

Then, why can’t I be as an acorn?

You are. Everyone is.

Whether they’re aware of that reality or not?

Yes. Awareness is an option.

How to honour the deceased

Georgia was slipping into a mood of overwhelming sorrow.
Memories of her first son’s lost battle with a rare
form of cancer, before he was old enough to understand
what possible purpose his suffering could serve, flooded
er mind. But, neither did our simple seeker understand,
nor does she now.

Of course, medical science gained. The horror was still
with her, as it was then, when she learned that they
knew and had known, before so much was done by them in
their …. Why did they tell her that they had known
that it would come back again and again until it won?
Why not just let him die, in peace, in one piece?

Stop.

What? and How?

Many more parents than you have grieved for loved ones.

Then, perhaps we each are grieving for each other.

The living and the departed?

And for each other’s departed.

No.

You know what I mean.

Yes, but do you?

The departed, or so-called, may be rejoicing while
the so-called living are grieving.

Could you rejoice while those you left behind were not?

There are traditions where rejoicing and celebration
replace sombre funerals.

Yes.

But, surely, that could, in many situations, be no more
than fulfilling societal expectations, while grieving
was accepted as a personal, private affair.

Public grieving can also be a fulfilling of societal
expectations.

Perhaps there is a case for both ways, as in time
and place to honour the life of the deceased,
so-called deceased.

Yes, and more.

And more? What more?

Transforming our grieving into a tool of self-discovery.

How?

We can practice meditating on the effects the lives
of those who are no longer with us in physical form
still have on our lives. In this way we can practice
turning our grieving into a search for understanding
the so-called mystery of Life.

How?

Meditation with a focus; to focus on the value of
our loved one’s life, to us. Their life was a gift.

Then to meditate on the meaning of their gift of life?

Yes. They were and still are in our lives for a reason.