Category Archives: Point Seven – The Epicure

This Moment

“Present-moment living, getting in touch with your now, is at the heart of effective living. When you think about it, there really is no other moment you can live. Now is all there is, and the future is just another present moment to live when it arrives.” Wayne Dyer

The concept that the present moment has all that we need has been confusing to me. I am now, however, at peace with it.Thich Nhat Hanh‘s quote resonates  with me. “Find joy and peace in this very moment.”

If I didn’t have all that I need in this very moment, I would not be breathing. I would not be thinking. I would not be analyzing.  I would not be here writing.

I find great peace when I can be here.

I’m not worried about my loss yesterday. I’m not worried about what I need tomorrow.

Many years of practice have not perfected my ability to stay present. I don’t often look back, but I can easily leap into the future. I can plan. I can calculate. I can anticipate.

Nothing is better than this moment.

The Student

 

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Filed under Dr. Wayne Dyer, Paths to Progress, Point Seven - The Epicure, Self-examination, Thich Nhat Hanh

Lessons of the Ego

Reflection

“What has the face of the ego taught you? Which of its aspects are you still struggling with: fear, attachment, control, entitlement, or the need to be special?” The Second Half of Life, Angeles Arrien

Hello ego, you are obviously still my best friend.

Well, this reflection isn’t about having eradicated these aspects of myself. It is about what I have learned, isn’t it? I could probably write an entire post about each of these. But, instead I am capsulizing my thoughts.

Fear: Here I am again, a seven on the enneagram, a part of the thinking triad which experiences a great deal of fear and anxiety. Knowledge is the first step, however, and I am aware. I question my motivations when I am scurrying about – distracting myself. What am I dreading? What is it that I am avoiding and why?

Attachment: One of my highest levels of work at this time in my life is to detach in a healthy way…without distancing. Attachment to things? Well, I am losing that gradually. “Stuff” becomes so much less important to my life. It is my attachment to outcome that is my greater struggle. How to be open to the mystery (per Richard Rohr) is a lesson I am trying to learn.

Control: Well, there’s that attachment to outcome again, isn’t it? I have lived a long life as a control freak and can only say that I am stepping back from that role in baby steps.

Entitlement: This is not an easy reflection. I believe that as a white woman my entitlement is so deep as to be invisible to me. I don’t see myself with the outward manifestations of entitlement. I certainly am not demanding to the detriment of others, I don’t consider myself better than; but I am constantly scouring my thoughts regarding ingrained racism, biases against groups, belief systems, etc. Entitlement at any level can’t help but be gained at the expense of another.

Need to be special: Another trap of my enneagram type. It’s hard to see myself as ordinary. This trap grips me the tightest and holds me back in my progress. I don’t need to stand out, necessarily. It isn’t always attention that I seek. I clearly want to stand apart, however. I want to be smart, capable, stylish, well-versed…the list goes on. Okay, I know my assignment here!

The Student

*The Thinking Triad: “Types 5, 6 and 7 ….Underneath their ego defenses these types carry a great deal of fear.” The Wisdom of the Enneagram, Riso and Hudson

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Filed under Angeles Arríen, Point Seven - The Epicure, Reflections, The Enneagram, The Second Half of Life, The White Picket Gate

The Beginning of Growth

P1050093In late November/early December I attended a retreat at Teotihuacan in Mexico. Although I was unfamiliar with the leaders of the retreat, I have studied Toltec Wisdom. And I was committed. My daughter-in-law had invited me to join her and I would never refuse the opportunity to be with her.

I knew that my attitude during the week could influence her enjoyment of the experience.. I must behave in a manner which would be helpful to her in this pursuit and not be an impediment. So when asked to state my intention for the retreat, I said with no hesitation, “To be open and without expectation”.

This shouldn’t have been so horribly difficult…except for my personality.
I am a seven on the enneagram. It is a part of my personality to be courageous and adventurous. At the same time, my self-preservation sub-type compels me to be very careful that my needs are met.  This means that I can take off to a new destination with a reservation for only one night – but must pack my soft pillow. I can live for a month in a house whose bathroom in the back yard and with no running water inside – but I must carry in a full supply of my favorite decaf c9ffee.
 
I was confident that I could take a deep breath, control any gritchiness, and enjoy the participants and leaders gathered in the B & B. And the people proved to be a delight. I found when I listened without judgment or agenda, I was treated to the very best of everyone.
The hard part was NEVER asking what was coming. I knew that if I could keep from plotting out each move in this retreat, I would have accomplished something momentous.  This may not sound difficult for those of you who don’t plan ahead, but trust me, it was huge for me.
I did not allow myself to ask the minimum of five burning questions each evening. “How long will we be gone tomorrow?” “Is there food available at the pyramids?” “Are we allowed…???” “Can we…?” “What if I…???”
Instead, each day I made the wisest possible decisions for weather and comfort and headed out in silent meditation, approaching the pyramids with my walking partner. Unguarded and open, I found myself savoring the beauty of the surroundings without worrying about my role in the retreat. I could do what was asked of me without concern of “doing it right” since I had not created criteria for what the result should be.
It was a glorious week and a glorious beginning for me. In the months since that retreat I have carried this intention with me in many situations. It is my mantra for being present and aware without being closed off in fear.
We never know from which direction our lessons are coming.
The Student

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Filed under Living our best life, Paths to Progress, Point Seven - The Epicure, World Religions