What it feels like to have lips

You know the feeling when you kiss someone for the first time? When their lips feel foreign and their skin feels light because you’re afraid to press hard against it. Everything feels so new and unusual. You don’t know what the other person is thinking and you know that you’re thinking a lot. At this time you’re really in tune with the other person and you’re receptive to whatever they do.

There’s a certain delight in that strangeness and how foreign everything feels. Someone’s lips are weird but they’re not weird at the same time. Their skin has a particular feeling and you like that tang.

The other I was thinking about all of this and it hit me. Why does it feel so unusual? We should be used to feeling of our own skin. Every time we touch something or brush our hands against ourselves we feel ourselves. So why is there a delight in feeling someone else’s skin?

I think it’s because when we’re with someone we have that receptivity. We’re completely present and ready to feel whatever is going on. We pay attention to all of our feeling and all of our emotions. The joy that we get may not be just because we’re with another person but because we’re totally here. We’re fully alive in those moments.

Most of our life we don’t pay attention to the normal sensations of living. The feeling of gravity or our feet as they step on the ground. We only notice our back when it hurts us but we don’t pay attention to it otherwise.

We seek solace in other people because we crave the feeling of being alive. We crave the sensation of what skin feels like even though we’re already wearing a full suit. We don’t notice what our lips feel like when we’re eating or breathing.

What we should be doing is finding that presence within ourselves and sharing that with somebody else. Find where you feel most alive and bring that our in somebody else. Not only when you are intimate but when you’re just walking around. Remember the physical sensations of life like walking into the hot sun or the feeling of grass. Truly feel it and breath it all in! That is the way to happiness, not through somebody else.

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To live is to suffer

It’s odd how when we suffer, we can gain a lot of insight into our lives. It’s not until everything goes wrong that we see what was going right before. When our car finally breaks down, we notice how well it was running before. We hate our job but we find that we don’t have any other job we like better.

To suffer is a condition of life. We must constantly tear down and rebuild everything around us. If we don’t tear it down, the walls will crumble anyways. The impermanence of everything assures that. By accepting life as a struggle it ceases to be one.

I wrote last night about a lot of the struggles I was going through. My car broke down, my jaw kept me up all night, and a lot more things were at the forefront of my mind. However, I was unconditionally accepting of it all and let it pass by. I accepted the suffering as part of life’s way of challenging me as a person.

When we stagnate, we become ignorant. When we stop all struggling and suffering, we neglect change. We become ignorant of the things around us. By suffering, we embed compassion and understanding in everyone.

This does not mean that to suffer is good. Rather, suffering is part of life and as much as we wish for only growth, we also have to take a few steps back sometimes. To suffer and to mentally reject it, we fall into another self-defeating track. We must realize that although we will suffer through our lives, we will also have great joys and great losses.

To have is also to lose. To have loved is also to have lost. In great happiness, there is also great sadness. As Osho describes, it is like a great tree; happiness grows towards the sky and branches out, while the sadness buries itself into the ground to form roots. The greater the happiness, the greater the sadness. In everything is its opposite.

Once we realize that life will inexplicably move on, we can accept life as it is and the suffering is not as bad. We can help others who suffer and enjoy life in a different way.

Remember, when you’re going through a tough time, it may become worse but it will definitely become better. Life challenges you and sometimes you will feel like you’re peddling backwards, you’ll feel like everything is wrong, but I assure you, your life is moving forwards. When you struggle, you learn how not to struggle, then you struggle with something else (ad infinitum). See the process as part of life and you will relieve a lot of stress.

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Let go

One of the things I struggle with, and I think many of us struggle with this, is trying to find ground. When we have situations that discomfort us, we resort to certain things. Stereotypically, women love chocolate after break-ups. That’s a ground. When someone dies, a ground may be looking at photographs of them.

As I’ve been reading further into Buddhism, I’m finding that a huge part of our suffering as humans comes from this grip towards a ground. We try to find solace in materials things or memories in our heads. The truth is, there is no ground. There’s no point of absolute stability that you can stand on.

By accepting that there is no ground, or replacement for what we’ve lost, we can move on to to the next stage of our being. We can accept what is.

This is my struggle right now – I search for a ground and I’m tired of trying to find peace. I’m tired of trying to find solace. I place my ground as producing art, driving my car pointless around, and, mostly, by giving time. I think that if I reach for time and think everything will be better in a few years, I don’t have to deal with what is happening now. I find comfort knowing parts of my life will end. That’s a ground that I struggle with.

Realize that there are no true grounds in life. A ground is a replacement for what truly is in front of you. It’s the excuse to not accept what is in your life. Things are hard, trust me I know, but things are much easier once you accept them. Stop trying to hold onto everything.

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Let it go

Take a moment to think of what you want most in life… what couldn’t you live without doing?

Have you ever thought about how much conflict this brings to our life? Our desires conflict and cross and orient our lives in directions that are illogical. They drag us in one way and we get tunnel vision for the end result.

Think of the most beautiful person you’ve ever met and how much you wanted to get to know them. How much you focused on them and were compelled to do anything to know them further. Think of the one-mindednesss that you got when you looked at this person. Everything else faded.

This is true of material items too. When you’re window shopping and you see that item that pulls you in. It may cost too much money but you can’t help reading everything about it. Envisioning yourself wearing the item, maybe driving the item if it’s a vehicle, or just owning it in general.

Looking back at the item it may seem illogical that you spent so much time looking at it. If you own it maybe you are disinterested in it now or if you didn’t, you may think “why did I even want that”?

Desire holds true for experience as well. Personally, I see skydiving posters, movie ads, and travel maps; all I can do is think about experiencing these things. My mind goes into tunnel vision and all I can think about is what that experience would be like.

The difficulty with this is we’re comparing what we currently have (no other person, no nice item, or no experience) and imagining having more. This obsession with wanting more fuels our distaste in our rudimentary lives. Nothing satisfies us because we’re always wanting more. More money, more time, more things, and more everything.

Because we don’t have what we’re seeking, we become unhappy. We are dissatisfied and we know what we want. We want thing that we can’t have. That is why Buddhism regards desire as a poison. It can taint a full glass of water with a single drop. All the things we have cannot satisfy us. That glass of water will no longer refresh us.

That is why we need to learn to let go of our desires. When we let go of wanting things we don’t have, or anything at all – we are free. By realizing our desires we can choose to let them go. The tunnel vision may last for a while – but it will fade. You’ll be able to see clearly when you aren’t narrowly focusing on one item.

Desire is a difficult thing because we can so easily want more. All we have to do to satisfy it is do whatever we desire. It is much more difficult to learn to love what you have. To be full with what your life already is.

Think of what you desire most in life – a happy life, a healthy life, 3 kids and a dog, a new car, traveling to exotic locations – then let them go. Let your desire for the perfect body or the latest trendy item. When we pursue happiness, it evades us. When we seek what we don’t have, we become unhappy.

Let it go and satisfy yourself with what you have.

This doesn’t mean orient yourself in the opposite direction. Don’t turn away from happiness. Just let things be as they are and adapt your mindset. Change your inside mind set and choose not to acquire more things.

Have a wonderful night WP.
Eric Albee

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No-Mind Language

No mind is the condition when thoughts pass through your head but you don’t place any attention on them. Eventually it’s as if there are no thoughts because what you are taking in through your senses at the moment are more important than your thoughts about it.

Think about a Hawaiian sunset, how catching it is and how beautiful. When you see something very beautiful like that, it’s as if everything else vanishes from your life except what is in front of you. It’s as if your life has peripherals and you spend more time staring at the peripherals than what’s directly in the moment.

Basically no mind is this condition of the absence of thought. It’s like a clearing where you can direct your attention and make thoughts arise as needed. You can act more efficiently and get more out of life.

Much of no mind comes from removing your desire to label everything. This coffee is cold or the palm trees are beautiful. While neither assertion is incorrect or bad, we spend too much of our time labeling things that don’t need to be labeled.

Ponder this for a moment; why do we need to say something is hot or cold inside our heads. We can just accept that our drink is what it is without labeling it. We can look at the sunset without the desire to try to make it tangible. We can walk across the sand and feel the sand without the need to call it soft or hot. We can just leave things at their experience or sensation.

Much of this leans into language. For example, we make action more tangible when we explain what we’re doing. I can go through the process of walking over and picking up a glass of water without thinking about walking over and picking the glass up. We have a fixation on words.

Like I wrote before, there is nothing inherently wrong with words. However, we passively label everything in our lives. This is too hot, too artificial, interesting, boring, great, horrible. We don’t spend enough time without these words.

As I’ve started to study Danish, I learn by labeling the things in my life. For example my friend turns into min ven. After learning many words to describe the objects around my dormitory I realized that I do this in the English language as well. My mind constantly speaks to my body. “Let’s go for a walk”, “I’m hungry”. Rather than making these expressions tangible I could just do them.

It’s difficult to explain but I think by labeling everything, we remove so much of the experience. By saying the sunset is beautiful, we reduce it to a word that is too generic to describe the experience of that sunset. Extravagant, or unique cannot do it justice.

These things which are conversations in our head “wow, that sunset is beautiful” are going nowhere. We are literally thinking them to ourselves. Because we are only thinking them and not communicating with somebody else, we mental reduce our experiences to generic words. We reduce them to much less than the experience of it.

Instead of labeling things, we should just feel them. The sensation of them and what it’s like to experience it. If someone asks, reduce it into language. But if you’re trying to remember something in your head, remember it for it’s sensation and not it’s descriptors.

Experience things as they are, don’t label everything.

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Striking Balance

And in the end, all the suffering we inflict will be equivalent to the suffering we incur.

With running the risk of sounding like a preacher, I think that everything evens out in the end. All the pain and discomfort we strike on one another, shall be the same amount as the suffering we experience. It is as if you are striking yourself when you strike another.

On the other side, all the good you bring into this world shall also be returned. Every kindness you bring about for a stranger, shall be brought onto you.

So then I pose this question; are you birthing kindness to all those around you or are you bringing suffering into this world?

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Daily Meditation

Feel the weight of your hands at your sides
the sensation of your feet as they press against the soles of your shoes
feel the air through the tips of your nostrils
and sink into your chest
notice how casually everything around you flows
without effort and without force
notice how life moves

Once you feel the forces around you
shift your consciousness to what is
all of your problems disappear
there are no problems
only mind

Feel the sensation of living
let life flow and be attentive to that which is around you
great peace arises from great attention

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