The 100 Day Reality Challenge

Swim, sink, float, or do nothing and hope I do not drown?

I need to swim. I would like to float but it does not seem possible or realistic. The other two are obviously not options.
Too much desperation in my life, and I have never really ever been one to feel or be desperate. So why now? No changes have come way. Regrettably, in one big way, things have stayed the same. That is cause for growing concern.
So how am I going to change it? How am I going to tap into a source of energy and prosperity? One step at a time? Serious planning and calculating? Why is it not easy? easier? Natural?
It is no longer natural because it has become more removed. It has become more removed because... So I need to tackle the cause of removal, really tackle it and take care of it, and then move on being me again. God that would be nice. To be me again. Like the old me. Not like the me of the last nine years, for worse.
So I need to tackle it. Then take care of it. How am I going to tackle it? I need help tackling it.

My mind is f-ing with me too much. I need to quell it somehow. Become friends with it or kill it. Can it be totally rid of? How would I try? Would it be better to make peace with it, friends with it? Is that what I really want? that compromise? Not really, not if I do not have to.

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Comment by Marc on July 10, 2008 at 11:20pm
Hey Mary. Thanks for offering me the direction of finding some things to laugh about. I generally do; I am pretty sanguine by nature. However, I do have my off days just like everyone else. To note, I have been told that I laugh a lot more than the average chap. I think it is true, for whatever reason.
As to what happened... IT IS in the past, however it has killed the last almost nine years of my life. The guy I was referring to in a previous message - the one who knew Eckhart Tolle and brought him to the restaurant in Santa Barbara - well he is a yoga teacher, and back in 1999 he decided he was competent enough to teach a very powerful breathing technique class. (Obvious and safe to say he was not competent enough. And that is not just my opinion.) So, I take his class - it is a rapid breathing class - unaware of the repercussions to be expected from breathing so. And I do have a very wonderful experience from the class - that deserves repeating. BUT, I also end up having a psychotic break, going through manic mental phases, going schizoaffective, and experiencing high levels of anxiety I had never before experienced or had. Turns out these are not uncommon side effects. I found this out from reading about the technique. I then turned to the/an organization that founded the technique, or at least tacitly claims to be the organization for it, and one of the main persons in charge there informs me that what I experienced is not uncommon and that the teacher should have had me see a doctor prior to attending the class as well as should have supplied me with more info about the dangers and consequences of doing the technique. So, I was manic without really knowing it for about 5 years; schizoaffective too. As odd as it may sound, I thought I had special powers more than I had a mental illness or three. I refused medication from a psychiatrist once my mother finally put me through medical help, because it knocked me out completely. I have since realized that he should have had me take the medication before going to bed - not first thing in the morning. Jacka$$!!!
So, I have been in and out of work this whole time, at times more out of work. I had been experiencing high levels of anxiety and sensitivity to the point of being misanthropic. I lost many friends; caused others much grief and worry; unintentionally hurt my family and caused them lots of grief, my mother the most. It was a nighmare. And I am still having to put pieces back together. And the moron who taught the class has been such a wimp about it all, deflecting responsibility, showing no real concern and responsibility. One big nightmare. Alas, as you put it, it is in the past though. Mostly. Except for the parts that still create the present.
I hope that song is long out of your awareness. Thanks again for the lift. Be well.
Comment by Mary on July 3, 2008 at 11:19pm
Hi Marc, Thanks for sharing your past. You have made me curious as to what happened, yet I know that it IS the past, and only that.

Today I tried an experiment in quieting the mind - and it has really made me crazy. I am on vacation - so to speak; at home alone - no one to speak to except the cat and the fish. So I chose a day of silence. No radio, TV or conversation for 8 or so hours straight. I have this awful, awful song just burning incessently in my mind. I can not rid myself of it. It persists over and over and over. I turned on the Cubs game after dinner, they lost. I called my sister, and then my brother. Made plans for the weekend - and Nothing can get this stinking song out of my head! So this song in my mind is frivolous. As is the mind as well.

Desperation and longing are two words I have heard often in spiritual seekings. I have felt desperation in a material way, and only recently - longing in a spiritual way. OK I recant - I am desperate to get this fricking song out of my head!!!

I am going to finish reading Tolle's book, and continue on my path - not alone - but with others like you, who seek and question guidance.

This is totally making me crazy - the songs lyrics are "Feel the rain on your skin, no one else can feel it for you, no one else can let it in...." So maybe there's some relevance for both of us :-) I should probably have a good long conversation with my fish and my cat now. Maybe they can break my insanity loose!

Do me a favor please. Make sure you can find something to laugh about. If nothing else, I've given you some silly ramblings to laugh at! My cat is on speaking terms with me again, and the fish could f'ing care less.
Comment by Marc on July 3, 2008 at 12:27am
Thanks Mary. The comments and quotes are very relevant. Regrettably, I got burned, very bad, when I was meditating, and by someone who knew Eckhart Tolle as the book first came out. He brought Eckhart Tolle to a local restaurant for dinner and so it spoiled my first impression. My life has been so immeasurably damaged by this person that I fell into an intellectual pitfall and made the mistake of giving my meditation practice and most of my spiritual practice. I have since ebbed and flowed back into and out of it.
Now I find myself needing to connect to something desperately. And I hate desperation. I don't mind longing. I don't mind needing. But the desperation shows me how much I have been coming up short in life. And, had I not been burned, I probably would not be in this position.
But, those quotes, the first one in particular, touch something inside. I have heard so much about the present moment that I am a little turned off by it now. But the first quote touched me in a way reminiscent of Huxley's "Perennial Philosophy". And I have been longing, tacitly, to be moved by words like those since I first read the book back in 1997. (Krisnamurti, Ken Wilber, and D.T. Suzuki came close.) But for the sake of integrity, it looks like I better give his book(s) a looking over.
Thanks for your thoughfulness. It came at a much needed time. This too shall pass, right? :-)
Comment by Mary on July 2, 2008 at 10:36pm
Hi Marc,
I have just been reading about the mind, and came upon your post. Here are a couple of things that I underlined in the book The Power of Now by Eckart Tolle, that you might relate to.

"The predominance of mind is no more than a stage in the evolution of consciousness. We need to go on to the next stage now as a matter of urgency; otherwise, we will be destroyed by the mind, which has grown into a monster."

"The present moment holds the key to liberation. But you connot find the present moment as long as you are your mind."

"It wasn't through the mind, through thinking, that the miracle that is life on earth or your body was created and is being sustained. There is clearly an intelligence at work that is far greater thatn the mind...The more we learn about the workings of the body, the more we realize just how vast is the intelligence at work within it and how little we know. When the mind reconnects with that, it becomes a most wonderful tool. It then serves something greater than itself."

OK, it was harder than I thought to pick out quotes from the book that I thought spoke to your post. There are too many to choose from that I personally am connecting to. (And way too much to type out!) To put it in my words - being able to shut down your mind, and turn off the thoughts brings amazing peacefulness and creativity. And when you can't shut the thoughts off, become witness to them instead of being part of them. Much like meditation - one of the most difficult things for me in the beginning - yet it really is the simplest things to do. Making peace with your mind, and realizing that it is not you, yet it is a tool for you.

Didn't mean to carry on so much here, but your post was soo relevant to what I am reading about and making a part of my life.

I wish you all the best! Mary

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