Posts Tagged ‘Upaya Buddhist Retreat Center’

‘Tis a Gift

March 23, 2014

I have only a little time this evening, set aside for writing, but without any strong motivation regarding a topic. There are four or five essays I’ve started at various points in the past few months – none of them grab me just now, asking to be completed and posted. Too abstractly intellectual; too much social commentary when I don’t feel particularly engaged; too removed from my current state of being… Too, too, too.

The only immediate concern that engages me in this moment of relaxation, is how to keep my present calm acceptance and contentment going when I am bombarded by Saturn’s powerful strictures, or the draining needs of others. I’m sure you’ve encountered people whose sense of deprivation, or overwhelming pain, or just plain exhaustion have turned them into emotional black holes, sucking life force from everything around them. I’m not referring to those who have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder – the ultimate in black-hole-ness. Working effectively with these fragmented people requires professional training and a great deal of practice.

No, I’m referring to people who mostly manage to make their way in life, but lean extensively on anyone and everyone around them in order to function. They hold jobs, they raise families, and they suck up the energy, the enthusiasm, the very vitality of those around them. I’d forgotten how many such souls draw on our health care system for portions of their support. I’d forgotten to what an extent I have to develop mechanisms to balance myself out, after spending days working with these needy individuals.

Some of the exercises in my weekly Ba Gua class draw energy from the earth and bring it up through the body and out the fingertips. After a particularly challenging work day recently, I rooted myself in the standing tree pose until I felt a resurgence of chi in my body. The technique is effective, but not one I can practice easily in the car, traveling between clients.

Checking in with my Master helps, always.

So does the company of friends, though I feel cautious about relying on the energy of others, not wanting to become, myself, the sort of leech that I am seeking to recover from.

At Upaya, a Buddhist retreat center in Santa Fe, there will soon be a workshop on compassionate caring, subtitled how to be engaged without being entrapped. It sounds like an answer to the challenge of my present situation. I will have to absorb the lessons by osmosis, however – I can’t take that much time off from work just yet.

Nor do I think such a workshop will guide me in dealing with the most serious source of leeching energy – the brutally frustrating, inefficient, too often non-functional data software system with which I must interact on a daily basis at work. I’ve learned that my employer is threatening the computer system contractor with a breach of contract lawsuit – and cancellation of the contract for failure to perform. One part of me is cheering wildly at the thought of becoming free of the monster. Another, though, cringes at the idea of having to redo – in a new data base – all the work already completed since the first of the year.

You’ll get some idea of how awful the data system is, if I say that keeping paper records and duplicating multiple entries by hand would be far more efficient and user friendly than the program we are expected to negotiate, when it works – if it works. I had set today aside for data entry – and couldn’t even get into the system until almost 1PM, effectively losing half my work day. To keep up and not feel totally overwhelmed by unmet obligations, I’ll have to work on Saturday – again.

I can work on Saturday. I’m free to work on Saturday. I have paid work to do on Saturday. I have a good paying, mostly enjoyable job being of service to others, after many long months of being turned down for every sort of work I sought.

No, I’m not practicing affirmations, just reversing a possible spiral into negativity that could begin with today’s frustrating failure, yet again, of a system that is supposed to be an asset in my work my life.

Giving attention to that which uplifts, enjoying the company of friends, sharing a bit of my daily life with these words – these are activities which allow me to regain energy, to move forward into my next day of interaction with whatever sentient or mechanistic black holes cross my path. Outstanding astrologer, Eric Francis of PlanetWaves, urges that we face the coming months of a unique and powerful astrological grand square by daring to trust. For me, that translates to moving forward with confidence that my inner sun is strong enough (provided I remember my Source) to keep shining despite any loss of energy or sapped strength.

To have the opportunity to experience this constant regeneration is a gift for which I am most grateful.
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