Several years ago, I had the opportunity to see the Dalai Lama speak in Madison.
I didn’t really know what to expect, honestly – I’d never heard the man speak before, and I never managed to finish reading his book. I did know that I read some things he’d said and agreed with them, and that he was the leader of a huge faith in our world. I’d probably go see the pope, too, if he was as accessible as the Dalai Lama was.
He said several things that day that have stayed with me since then. I’ll share one with you tonight.
He said that we have long misunderstood the act of “Turning the Other Cheek”. In our western culture, it is equated with weakness, with being taken advantage of. While it is seemingly a Christian value, it is often positioned as a holier-than-thou moment or condescending forgiveness. But the Dalai Lama wanted us to understand that it was truly an act of a powerful person to turn the other cheek.
When someone acts aggressively towards us, they are taking an action upon us. To react with fight or flight is to RE-ACT; in essence, to behave in accordance with their action upon us instead of choosing how we wish to behave. In that way, that person gains control of us.
If you turn the other cheek – if you choose not to react to their action – you are in control. You are in power over your place in the world. You choose not to go to a place someone else leads you to, but to where you wish to be.
This doesn’t just belong in physical activity of aggression and escape, but in our words and social interactions. If someone approaches me with aggression – accusation, anger, the like, if I respond with defensiveness or retreat from the situation by giving up/giving in, I am allowing them to have control over my actions. Instead, I must stand with assertiveness and not allow their behavior to dictate mine.
The hardest part is…Sometimes that aggressor is Me.
A video made by my husband from his perspective of entering this new phase of family.
Practically moments from the birth of my first child, it’s a time of growth and exploration as well as moving from the concepts of the past into the embrace of the unknown future.
Therefore, I give you a three song EP from The Dark Clan. It’s available for Free on our Bandcamp site. Places and moments in time in which most of us can probably relate.
A new album is in the works for 2013. Enjoy the past for now while we work on the future.
People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.
I am probably micro/blogger #13,432,671 to write something about resolutions, whether for or against, and discussing the past with intention for the future.
I’m going to reaaaally try not to though. Instead, I want to talk about the present. I want to talk about practice. I want to talk about Abhyasa.
So, I’m not going to hold myself to NaNo per the rules this year. Let’s forget for a moment that my brain is consumed by BABY OMG BABY. I thought, perhaps, that I should take some mothering lessons for myself and rather than squeeze this wizened, wrinkled grape of my creativity to try and get some drips of juice, I’ll plump it up. I’ll learn. I’ll *gasp* try to do things I’m not already able to slide through without much effort.
It’ll be the NaNo of Nurture. I will spend every day of November building nurturing habits for my inspiration, mind, body and spirit. And perhaps in doing this, I will build something that will continue PAST November, that will lead me to NaMar’s and NaJan’s – to be able to call upon that unsettled lightning inside me whenever, even when I have a lot of laundry and THINGS ™ to do.