Tag Archives: Ego

How do you make hard decisions?

3 Ott

Yesterday morning the above question was dropped from a dear friend, and the answer that came seemed valuable, so here it is, just slightly edited.

There are two answers to that, yet they share the core, which is you go deep inside of yourself. Deep inside of you, you have two advantages: one is equanimity (the balance needed to take hard decisions), the second is that you have the space to accept the pain or sorrow that might come with it. From that deep space you also are sure that you have to do what comes to you, and you are ok with it.
By going deep inside of you I mean: you put all of your attention inside the body and start noticing every single little activity, energy movement, sensation, that goes on inside. Special attention among all those activities is deserved by breathing. By that, you make your mind reasonably silent and you notice the space inside of you, and breathe into it.
Initially I mentioned that there are two answers, so let me now explain them: the first is the classic and real life one. As soon as you reach the depth of you, you allow for whatever needs to come to you, to arrive. If the time is right, it will arrive, or you might actually already find it, down there. If the time is not yet right, you should simply wait. Normally you know. If you are deep enough you are immune to the frustration or urgency, you can see them but you shouldn’t be bothered too much.
The second answer actually implies that there is no you taking that decision. That decision is taken by itself. It just comes and it has a power of its own, that cannot be ignored.
At the end the difference between the two answers is how well you know yourself. It always boils down to the depth that you are….. Whether you know it or not, you are a little bit (or a lot) like the Sun, therefore deep down you don’t care if a plant lives or dies because of your light, your love, and it is not because you lack compassion. It’s just that you have to share it ceaselessly.

You mean meditate on it, pretty much?
Well, very close, yes: it only depends on how you see meditation. The difference would be just that often meditation is seen as an effort to keep thoughts out, while this is just sinking in and watch what comes.


You don’t push away “causeless” joy, do you?

14 Set

I don’t know why last night brought me this question nor why she made me answer it. Maybe because I felt that in older and less cheerful times I happened to enjoy random bursts of happiness too, but I must have been pushing them away, by wondering what reasons I had to be happy.

Perhaps there is no need to say it, yet: joy is perfectly justified, always. She is, for millions of reasons. I could list some of them, starting with the fact that you are alive, you can read these words, you can probably tell your loved ones how much you do love them, you can walk (ever tried to do without, for a few days or months?), or you can take something with your own hands… I could go on forever, probably.

“What? How about all the misery that surrounds us?” Dear, you can neither tell how much such “misery” is, nor why it is there. On the first matter, if you ask someone who lives in the slums of Calcutta or Rio if he or she is happy or not, you will probably get very similar answers to the one you could get in Manhattan or Milan. Actually, they could be even better. If you ask a 10 year old boy… the first enjoy themselves more for sure. To address the second statement, let me confess one of my feelings about life: this experience has a purpose, and it is to grow up. I shall use Catholic language to make my point, but I could use another one: “misery”, if and when you experience it, is the gift that God is sending you so that you can grow up a lot. I know that sometimes it is not easy to see, let alone to accept, it, but if you could it would make it so much easier.
Mother Teresa, during an interview with the BBC, was once told, “You know, Mother, it’s easy for you to be more dedicated to service than us, mere mortals. You do not own a house. You have no possessions. You do not have a car. You do not have insurance. You do not even have a husband.” Mother Teresa replied: “Forgive me. I do have a husband -showing the ring that her monastic order wears to symbolize the marriage with Christ- I have a husband, and I want you to know that He can be really rough, at times.”

“But I feel awful!” I am sorry to hear that. May I ask you a question? Why are you feeling bad? I do not care about your answer -no, I did not just go nuts- but you should. I advise not to respond just now, though. I highly recommend sitting on the question, maybe even sleeping on it, and let it dig inside until it can. In the spiritual world I might say meditate on it. The insights that might come could be a significant surprise, and they might even change something inside.

A small additional “caveat” (a Latin word meaning a meaningful detail).
Let’s pretend for a moment that Life is a mother. A deeply loving mother -like most mums- who can not read minds. How does she know what you want?
If I were talking, now I would switch to whispering: “You need to let her know.” How? By saying thank you. Being grateful for everything that she sends our own way, which is very much, puts her in the mood to be even more generous –how human of Her!– and even more importantly lets her know what we really like, what moves us, what excites us and what makes us really, deeply happy.
The famous book “The Secret” contains quite a bit of nonsense, but also a few important truths. We do have the power to create our own reality, but it pertains to the depth, or heights, of ourselves, not to our silly minds. What attracts our energy now is what creates our reality. That’s why you see many people who are very rich and yet might not exactly be deemed to deserve much (how judgemental, lol). They are honest and clear, perhaps only towards life but that’s more than enough: life loves them just like she loves us, and she hears them.

Non è che per caso attribuisci la gioia “ingiustificata” a stupidità, vero?

13 Set

Non so come mai la scorsa notte mi abbia portato questa domanda e spinto a risponderle. Forse perché in tempi passati e meno allegri certe abbondanze di felicità c’erano, ma mi chiedevo per quale motivo le avrei dovute avere e chissà quante volte, invece di godermele, esserne contento e ringraziare, me le facevo passare.

Forse non ci sarebbe bisogno di dirlo, ma per un istante lo faccio lo stesso: la gioia è perfettamente giustificata, sempre. Lo è per milioni di motivi. Li potrei elencare, partendo dal fatto che sei vivo, che puoi leggere queste parole, che probabilmente puoi dire quanto vuoi bene alle persone che ami, che puoi camminare (mai provato a stare senza per qualche giorno o qualche mese?), che puoi prendere qualcosa con le tue mani e potrei ovviamente andare avanti in eterno.

“Ma come, e tutta l’infelicità che mi circonda?” Tesoro, tu non sai né quanta sia, nè perchè ci sia. Quanto al primo argomento, se chiedi a chi vive negli slum di Calcutta o di Rio se è felice o meno hai praticamente le stesse risposte che nei quartieri alti di Milano o New York, forse perfino meglio. Se poi lo chiedi a un bambino di 10 anni… puoi star certo che le percentuali migliori le hanno loro. Quanto al secondo argomento, sono costretto a fare una piccola premessa sul mio personale punto di vista: questa esperienza di vita ha uno scopo ben preciso, crescere. Il “male”, per usare un gergo cattolico ma potrei usarne un altro, è il dono che Dio ti sta facendo perché tu possa crescere, e molto. Mi rendo conto che potrebbe non esser facile da accettare o da vedere, ma il vederlo lo rende molto più accettabile.
Madre Teresa, nel corso di una intervista alla BBC, si sentì dire “Sa, Madre, è facile per lei essere dedicata al servizio più di noi, comuni mortali. Lei non possiede una casa. Non ha possedimenti. Non ha una macchina. Non possiede una assicurazione. Non ha nemmeno un marito.” Madre Teresa rispose: “Mi perdoni. Io ho un marito.– mostrando l’anello che il suo ordine monastico porta per simboleggiare il matrimonio con il Cristo– Ho un marito, e vorrei che lei sapesse che Egli può essere un tipo davvero difficile in certi momenti.”

“Ma io sto male!” Ok, mi dispiace sentirlo. Posso farti una domanda? Perché stai male? Ovviamente la risposta non mi interessa –no, non sono impazzito– ma interessa te. Non ti consiglio di rispondere subito, però. Ti consiglio invece di sederti sulla domanda, magari dormirci anche sopra, e di lasciare che ti scavi dentro fino a che riesce. In gergo ti dovrei dire meditaci sopra. Le risposte che troverai ti sorprenderanno e potrebbero perfino cambiarti.

Un piccolo caveat aggiuntivo.
Facciamo finta per un attimo che la Vita sia la mamma. Una mamma che -come tutte le mamme- è davvero amorevole ma non sa leggere nel pensiero. Come fa a sapere che cosa desideri?
Se ti stessi parlando adesso bisbiglierei: “Glielo devi far capire”. Come? Ringraziando. La gratitudine per tutto ciò che ti dona, che è molto, la predispone a darti anche di più, ma sopratutto le fa sapere che cosa ti piace, che cosa ti muove, che cosa ti entusiasma e che cosa ti rende felice.
Il famoso libro “The Secret” contiene tante sciocchezze ma anche qualche verità. Il potere di creare la nostra realtà lo abbiamo, ma pertiene alla profondità di noi stessi, non alla nostra mente, spesso sciocchina. Ciò che ci muove davvero è ciò che crea la nostra realtà. Ecco perché ci sono molte persone magari non del tutto degne che sono ricchissime. Sono oneste e molto chiare nei confronti della vita (magari solo di quest’ultima, ma è sufficiente), che ama loro esattamente come noi, e li esaudisce.

Bring that candle around your depths

4 Apr

When you find the light within, you know you can access it. Call it recognition of yourself, awakening, or else, you know you have been changed, and Grace has entered your reality. That, normally, does not mean that the clarity it brings will affect all of your earthly experiences. Quite often we tend to develop  frustration on the topic, since at this point we can distinguish when the light is on and when it is not, we feel pain if it isn’t and we can’t stand going back to old repetitive patterns, which at this point become even more annoying.

Recognition needs to be integrated. This, in practical terms, means that you want the sparkle to spread out into the entirety of your human experience. How should you do that?

Imagine that the sparkle that entered yourself is a fire. Once you light it, it’s not going to extinguish itself. You can actually grow it bigger, usually by practice of some sort or by “trying to be present”. It will affect you, but ultimately it is extremely difficult that just out of that practicing it will enter every corner of your being. In fact you could say that once you light the fire in your cavern, it will brighten it but, because you are so much vaster than you think, its capacity to guide you will be still somewhat limited. As soon as you turn around the wrong corner, being it relating or some area affected by old pains or clutter of some kind, you will experience darkness again. What comes with it, is that most spiritual seekers will normally do the opposite of what is needed: meditate some more, and keep off dark spaces. Or become frustrated, maybe even teach so that they can get some confirmation that they are “perfect” as they are and brighten up the initial fire. Maybe ego is no longer in perfect control, but it has still quite some grip and can reinvent itslelf in a new, subtler and more acceptable version.

What needs to be done is integration. Because your fire is not going to be exhausted, you can start going around your cave, and the world, bringing a candle with you. Yes, go towards dark places. Let them suck you in at whatever depth. You have the candle with you. You will need to move slowly, humbly, of course, but do not worry too much because existence only gives you what you can handle. Gently and willingly enter those places with your candle, let yourself be consumed by that darkness. What actually reveals itself, is that if you do go into those corners as the light that you are, you will notice that obscurity not only gets enlightened by your candle, but it starts firing up itself. Yes, your obscurity, your pains, your fears, your gloom, are made of fuel, and as you enter them consciously and willingly stay there, not only the pain at some point seems to dissolve, but it turns out that it reveals itself as Love, the highest quality fuel for your candle.

How do you deal with the pains? Feel them. At the physical and/or energetical level: when something comes up, gently move your attention towards it, towards the area of the body where the feeling or the contraction appears, and sit with it for as long as you can, and as long as it is there, possibly be mindful of it even while doing other things. Do not run away. Just a little practice will show you that you can and it is not hard, not nearly as difficult as you imagine. You might also get “downloads” afterwards, understandings about it (do not look for them, especially initially or you will just approach it from your mind, which would be useless at best). It is a matter of relaxing in it. A little bit like entering a new area of the cave and becoming comfortable with the new space. It’s not new, most of the time, of course. It was just never entered consciouly, nor you ever tried to be comfortable in there. Still you will notice you can, and after a little practice you totally understand you should, since what you get out of that sitting is that you liberate that area!


Most of these understandings, and the metaphore of the cave, came during my weekly session with Christine Wushke. A few more infos on hers might be found at the links below:



Do not identify

22 Mar

Today I noticed an interesting detail. While involved in driving, I remembered a wise suggestion: don’t take things personally. If someone cuts your lane, don’t even believe for a second “what did you do to *me*?”. Whoever did that, he didn’t do it to you, a) because most likely that’s what that driver does, he might do it often and at whomever, b) because there is no such thing as a you or a him in the first place (if you really investigate).
Fine. But the interesting appendix to this suggestion was: do not identify with everybody, either. Yes, because the a) statement, above, tends also to generate a famous “he shouldn’t do it. period”. That particular reaction generates a “protect the world” reaction, more often than not manifested in lots of wise, serious, maybe angry thoughts. Is it better than the range of thoughts belonging to the series “he did it to me”? Not much better, honestly. It triggers mind boggling and ego exactly in the same way. Maybe potential damages from the you driver might be less serious: after all if my identity gets challenged the little me can get very serious about it, while if it is the “us” that gets affected we tend to be less prone to start a war. Still, the old paradigm of separation IS reinforced, even in the second case. And the ego is reinforced even more, because it’s rambling for a good cause.
Hey, what should I do? Should I let everybody do anything? Check: which wars did you fight for much more serious world issues, lately? Are you sure that’s a valuable excuse to lose your inner peace? Breathe, just breathe consciously. Also this shall pass. It is actually already gone, or maybe it didn’t even happen in the first place, and “life is but a dream”.

Drop the hot stone?

29 Giu

Very often the process of stopping doing something that is hurting yourself is described like a “dropping the hot stone you are holding onto”. Today it came to me that this particular way of describing is misleading. You are not holding something hot, you are sitting on something hot. The difference is crucial, though. Saying you are holding onto something hot assumes you always can drop it, right? But that doesn’t seem to be the case, most of the time. Most of the time the internal energy is so low, that you can’t move your butt from the hot stone you are sitting on. If is low enough, you do not even realize it is hot. Often you know it is hot, but you can’t move past it. That is why most people won’t get it and act instantly on it, and at times it takes them forever. That applies to me too. Just like I heard in here “don’t make the pain smaller, Great Mother, help me giving me more courage”…. Just find ways to raise energy, or presence, seems to me the only way. If that is the case, being awakened seems like being able to… never sit. Or being always able to fly and never land on anything.

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