Saturday, August 24, 2013

Freedom from Internal Harm

Common well-wishes or blessings in Buddhism include freedom from pain and suffering and their causes and conditions, and safety from internal and external harm. Last week I realized I have access to this in a new way. It's perhaps like realizing you can take control of a dream when it goes nightmarish, but still have moments without lucidity, thinking it's real.

It's that thoughts are just thoughts. I can choose to let it go instead of growing it and clawing at it and punishing myself for it. I can let it go instead of blaming myself and making up a frightful story of who I am as a person for having had it. How could I have made such an ugly judgment of him?! I'm so judgmental -- it doesn't matter, I chose not to act on it and it's gone. I've already bested 9/10 choosing the responsible action or speech while having worse thoughts. But first one must notice that thought for what it is.

Not to say thoughts can't be wonderful; like dreams, they bring joy and innovation as well. But usually I want more awareness and knowledge that allow responsible choices. So let me realize when a dream is a dream, a thought a thought, so I can choose. The relief and clarity I now have are worth every sitting meditation, every moment of receptive listening practice.

It's not instant freedom, but after the first time you fly out of a nightmare, you know you alone have control.

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