Thursday, February 20, 2014

Getting Real

To each his own.  I truly believe that.

Letting the universe and the spirits that make it up take its course is just about all we can really do.

At the ripe ol' age of 31 I'm noticing a few things happening, all due in part to my continual reading of the dharma and yoga practice and training:
1) I am more aware that I (and we, and everybody) judge people.  This can be as simple as thinking, "I really like that shirt," (positive judging) or "He really should not have worn that color," (negative judging) or "that bird must've flown a long journey to get here," (neutral judging).
2) I try to stay away from any kind of excessive judging - if our ego allows us to do it so naturally, why would we succumb to watching, or listening, or looking for it?
3) I try choose new friends more wisely, and don't take what my friends do or say as personally as I used to since we all have our own paths and journeys and essentially all come from different planets, so to speak.

I have a friend who watches a reality show every week.  He says it "reinforces why you shouldn't have friends."  He says it's a mindless show that allows him to unwind and decompress.

I would love a show of hands.  The last time you were in a room full of shouting people - especially rich housewives who gossip about each other and each other's spouses and family (if you were ever so lucky) - do you feel at ease or "un-wound?"

I have absolutely no problem with anybody's habits, hobbies and extra-curricular activities - as long as they don't cause harm to someone else and it makes you happy - all the power to you.  If I don't want to be involved, I'll let you know or I'll leave.

Watching a reality TV show about rich housewives' personal lives is not on the top of my list.  Here's why.

A friend told me recently I had to "up my twitter game" in order to run a more successful business.  I totally agree with this.  I don't have a smart phone, however, and really don't like being on social media for more than an hour a day.  She suggests I tweet every hour, at least. Ugh.

After a really successful twitter day with re-tweets and tags and #hashtags galore, I felt like I had brainfreeze. Legit. You know when you eat ice cream and you can't do anything to rid you of the pain that is permeating your brain?  That's what I had.  A complete Twitter freeze.

I get a similar feeling if I'm on the ol' FB too long.  It's less hectic feeling, but it's as if I stopped breathing for a while and then someone woke me up and told me to breathe again. ahhhhh.

Think back to a time if you ever over-heard someone gossiping about someone else or talking about a topic that you felt really strongly about.  Did you want to say something? Did you say something?  Did you feel a pressure in your chest or your throat?

Take the above three sensations and put them all together in one big juicy package.  That's how I feel - physically and mentally - after watching maybe even ten minutes of these kinds of reality TV shows.  It takes me back to the middle school hallways - the high school locker room - the back of the bus (aha, huss that fuss).

Thich Nact Hahn would probably say something like: Watching this kind of behavior is akin to punching a pillow over and over again.  Some psychologists in the western world recommend this action to rid yourself of anger.  Thich Nact Hahn would say, this just reinforces the anger inside of you, building it up and making it worse.

The funny thing is - about my friend who watches this stuff and thinks it decompresses him - I wouldn't say his behavior either during or after watching the show is - peaceful.  I usually sense agitation, frustration and stress.  Being his yogi friend, I've tried to impart just a little peaceful wisdom on him so that the agitation doesn't sink into his physical body and make it worse.  Problem is - this stuff is addicting. 

Well - as I said - to each his own.  The practice of yoga, after all, isn't for everyone.  Maybe I live in a dream world.  I mean, who knows what is real and unreal anyway?

All I know is that when I go and sit in silence or read some kind of dharma while my friend watches a shouting match over haircolor and man-stealing - we emerge with a very different definition of friends and of hope for the world.

In tribute to "getting back to reality" I bring you this Thursday throwback :)

Om namah.

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