These are my notes from a conversation Ruth and I had, after a meeting, in 2013. I added little bullet point symbols in an effort to clarify each thing can be a singular kind of meditative reflection, focus, and practice unto itself. May it support You in your journey… especially for those who can struggle from time to time with interpersonal relationship difficulties, some￼times in the range of codependency. 一Dignity and Grace
· Started with reading from "Hope For Today." The focus of the discussion was in and around Step Six: What is my "Primary Purpose? It's the fact that I want to be fully realized with myself.
· Wholesome… to be in alignment with morals, values, wellbeing and beneficial.
· We can take a vacation from being our own crisis creator with our self and others. That could be the ultimate act of kindness.
· I can't stop people from dropping bombs through phone calls, email and text messages. They may not even be able to prevent themselves from doing so. The choice comes for me in not having to open or trigger those bombs, especially if I’m clear they’re not on my team or are trying to lure me into a power struggle. I don't have to be like one of Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber’s victims.
· We feel guilt when we stand up for ourselves.
· Learn to let the phone ring, I don't have to always pick up the receiver.
· Why did I come to Buddhism? Because it gave me the freedom and ability to be the real me.
· Books to read… Hope for Today, Al·Anon Family Group meditation book; Courage to Change; and "I Am That," by Sri Nisargadatta Maharaja
· If you're going to dig for water… dig in one place… don't get into a lot of distractions… narrow the focus… If I'm answer shopping for the "Right answer," then that's just more manipulation of myself.
· Defect/Unhealthy… Thinking and acting in a way that says "Everyone's needs are more important than mine…" That kind of thinking got me to *NOT* take care of myself.
· Learn to do the next "Right thing" based on being and living my life from a place of being as "Centered" as possible.
· Who I am and what I am is the message I have… Be without distractions.
· There's always something going on, inviting us to leave our focus and detour from happiness.
· We've spent our whole life orbiting around insecurities and fear. It’s doing our work that breaks the gravitational pull of suffering and we can go on real journeys of discovery, instead of living in a continuous loop that is just a version of being stuck
· I'm here to *ENJOY!* my life. And I can, if I'm treating myself with kindness and love… doing the work...
· I'm not running out of people telling me how I "Should" spend my life, my time or my money. But it's really up to me to decide what I want to do with myself and my resources.
· Spontaneous service based on our deepest Love and appreciation of our values. We do service not as a "Have to…" or out of obligation. It's about naturally sharing happiness.
· "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear" is something that we're all used to hearing. The truth is that it's not that the teacher appears The teachers are always here. Once we hit a point of honest (Authentic) surrender… desperation, there's so much willingness that everything… everything... becomes our teacher based on that willingness.
· There's no creature alive that will sit down and let you take it's life… because there purpose is to live… Our goal is always to love, live and be who and what we authentically are.
· We've always loved ourselves… We get confused by the personality and self-image. That's when things can become unloving, and we go against our "Primary purpose."
· We are life's expression of Itself…. Steps 4, 6 & 7 remove the blocks from that freedom to fulfill that expression, in our own unique and beautiful way.
· We've been told and taught to live and do for each other. The problem is when we do that to our detriment.
· I don't know who I am, but I can know what I'm not. Identity on paper what you’re not, so you can realize who YOU are.
· I have to inquire and examine thoughts that come to mind. Thoughts, still even after all this time, continue to betray me because that is the nature of addiction… attachment and commitment to thinking that tends to reflect an unhealthy need to control people, places, and things so that the mind's sense of comfort isn’t overthrown.
· Life is the best Al-anon (member) in the Universe. It's not letting us off the hook for anything that we do.
· Step Four: Know my limitations and take responsibility for them.
· Make it easy to take care of myself… Is it a defect of character if I make it difficult to take care of myself? Do I have the sincere willingness to do that for myself?
· When I'm dealing with needy people, those who want me to continue to enable, say and be… "I'm able to put my program of recovery ahead of theirs."
· Don't jeopardize personal recovery for the sake or hope that we can help others save their own recovery, if they are verbally and behaviorally fighting against being happy.
· It's helpful to look at "Meditation" as time to "Incubate."
· Personally for Seiho, "Recovery meetings are my meditation cushion." I like to invite myself into deep listening.
· Do I value my serenity? Do I want to entangle my life with people who are going to influence me in a negative way? Remember when not aligned I’m still susceptible to the negativity of other people, as a result of being human.
· Simplify rather than complicate.
· Have "Bingo" pages… focus on one page that you want to know something about or learn to do for *10* days in a row.
· Group conscience… it's adding something, not about "Yes" or "No." It's what's in addition. And the way I personally relate to that is like adding a color or brush stroke on a canvas.
· Do I want a sponsor with “firm limits” or do I want one that's a cheerleader and cherishes me? Sponsorship is not meant to be an opportunity to continue unhealthy patterns that result in harm.
· Authenticity has the ability to say, "I don't have my shit together and I don't care."
· Triggers vs Tendency… People, places and things can be triggers to tendencies that I've had my entire life. Be careful. We don't have to continue our conditioning
· My responsibility is to stay present. I can only know in the present.
· Do I want to live my life based on emotional blackmail.
· We need to learn how to answer to ourselves with key support people in our corner.
· Our life can simply be about being committed to doing the "Next" right thing.
· Prayer to Higher Power
"If it's okay, I'd like to keep doing spiritual practice as I'm doing now, and have the means of being supported this way so that I can continue. The other stuff… the things that could be a distraction… please don't let me volunteer. Will you let me know if you need my help… will you please ask me.
· Have conversations with Higher Power... my values
· If you’re going to “Turn it over,” let the "F" go…
· I have to get right sized and ignore my fear, doubt & guilt. Ego deflation.
· If a crisis comes up and I drop everything, I reenforce their world view. That's how I become the fireman.
· We project who we are into the world.
· Keep my hands off of things and see how it turns out.
· The whole Universe is represented in every event. It's all right here and right *NOW.*
· Detach from negative self-thinking. Tell yourself the truth.
· My help is here… My help is within me…. the inner mentor... my values... spiritual principles that I care about.
· We have to change and take responsibility... respond-ability.
· Step Six… Do I trust the Universe… based on Love or do I act and react with character defects based in fear. In the process, I need to be honest…
· Say things directly and honestly… reflect integrity…
· When I'm dealing with people and it's not really in my best interest, I need to have the ability to say… "I love you and no."
· Stop believing in the words of others… act shocked or surprised by those who don't have a serious intention or practice towards healing, and obviously don't have a sincere interest to know themselves. There are a lot of people that will show up to a dance, and despite what’s happening on the dancefloor are just holding up walls, looking on, spectating.
· I love my life when I have a lot of space and without the clutter of the drama.
· I don't have to take every call. Allow people to trust themselves.
· Have I seriously questioned the things that I do?
· My worry is reflective of my defect of "the mind not wanting its sense of comfort being overthrown" and as Kelly identifies "Self-righteousness," and an aspect of the minds game. I focus on effort and money expended, which flips me into a martyr, etc… and justification protecting myself by shutting down…
· My key defect is "Not wanting my self of comfort to be overthrown…" to the extreme; as a result of the minds fear and insecurity about itself. It’s not necessarily about me. Ego has the capability to have a kind of parasite effect. Read the section on the parasite from the “Four Agreements,” by Miguel Ruiz.
· Integrity to the best of our ability… Do what I have to do… which brings us to the larger truth.
· There is NO end to self-discovery.
· Wanting to understand nonunderstanding is insanity.
· To be willing to be without support… to lose things connected to money, property and prestige.
· My life is not about being good… It's about the authentic self.
· The perspective I've been working with hasn't been "Wholesome" for me.
· Acknowledge and comfort myself with friendliness and compassion… including the "Inner kid" first.