Sunday, February 25, 2007

sticks and stones can break your bones

But words can never harm you.
I never believed this, because it wasn't true. Still isn't. Words do hurt. In 2005 - at the Western Wall in Jerusalem - a "holy" man said to me- when I told him that I was gay - that I was an abomination against G*d, and no better than an animal. Did those words hurt? Yes! They were like a knife in the gut.
A definitive moment in the "story" of two men talking is about the power of words to hurt, and later to heal. Language not only expresses human experience. It shapes it.
But what about thoughts? What is the effect of thoughts on experience?
Can thoughts harm the way words do? Can one's destructive or negative thoughts harm others or do they only harm us? And if so, how does one change one's thoughts so that they don't cause harm?
The first time I ever met the Venerable Khenpos (www.padmasambhava.org), they told me that I think too much. And they were right. I am utterly addicted to thinking. And entrenched in the habit of trying to think my way out of anything! The Khenpos suggested that I relax my mind.

This is sometimes possible in the practice of two men talking. When I am in it, particularly when I am on stage performing, the thoughts are quiet for a while. Telling stories - sticking to the "what happened" rather than thoughts about what happened is a way of disciplining the mind. And paradoxically relaxing the mind.

Please feel free to share your thoughts about any of this.

7 Comments:

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12:34 PM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Conscious living, connecting with loved ones and others,and awareness only prepare me to face what comes my way. These practices don't prevent agressors from attacking or criticizing ( or worse, me adopting the agressors position and degrading and diminishing myself). My instinct is to avoid conflict, walk away, cross the street; and yet in avoiding confrontation, what shrinking, lightless, cold dank cell does that leave me?
Why, too, I wonder, did your encounter with the "man of G+d"occur at the very moment you'd reached an exalted state, a sense of higher calling and connection? Talk about being brought(slammed?) back to earth!
So the only choice for life, being and expansion is to go toward to pain, the shame, and the rage. Invite it in, give it a comfy seat.Ask it, "What's up?" I think you're doing this, and there's no doubt that it hurts.I think there's some release behind the suffering.
I know a lot about the restless, ego driven mind talk that calls on me to be this way or that (fulfilling someone's **MINE!** idea of "should" and "ought", never how I am-- essentially human.
Another big question is why you or I might need oppressors and punishers in our lives? What role do they fulfill in me? How do they keep me under wraps?

10:21 AM  
Blogger Eddie said...

Conscious living, connecting with loved ones and others,and awareness only prepare me to face what comes my way. These practices don't prevent agressors from attacking or criticizing ( or worse, me adopting the agressors position and degrading and diminishing myself). My instinct, historically driven from my past, is to avoid conflict, walk away, cross the street.In avoiding confrontation, what shrinking, lightless, dank cell does that leave me?
Why, too, I wonder, did your encounter with the "man of G+d" occur at the very moment you'd reached an exalted state, a sense of higher calling and connection? Talk about being slammed back to earth!

So the only choice for life, being and expansion is to go toward the pain, the shame, and the rage. Invite it in, give it a comfy seat.Ask it, "What's up?" I think you do this all the time, and there's no doubt that it's way more challenging than walking away, living a fuzzy life. I think there's some release behind the suffering.
I know a lot about the restless, ego driven mind talk that calls on me or others to be this way or that (fulfilling someone's **MINE!** idea of "should" and "ought", never how I am/"they" are-- essentially human.
Another big question is why you or I might need oppressors and punishers in our lives? What role do they fulfill in me? How do they keep me under wraps and safe and inauthentic?

10:58 AM  
Blogger Paul Browde said...

I try to remember that the mind is housed in the body. One of the accesses to a quiet mind, is a still body. I am sometimes so wrapped up in thinking, that I forget I have a body, or that I live in one.
Everything is a stimulus for noise in the mind. Everything. Even writing this comment, or reading the blog. I guess that's what it means to be alive!!

2:19 PM  
Blogger Wergern said...

I am struck by your use of the work G*d to spell the name of the supreme deity. That is the jewish way of doing things, and even in the face of hurt and rejection at the wall, you adhere to that superstition.
I understand. I believe *od is a force which like gravity has no attachment or personal need. Gravity does not expect me to call it Gr*vity and nor does god. THere I did it. god god god.
Feels transgressive, but also liberating, and I refuse to consider myself any less spiritual or righteous for writing those three let*ers.
Th*nks

10:37 AM  
Blogger Craig said...

I am dieing to hear how things are going. You are opening tonight. I think you are about to walk onto the stage for your first performance. Good luck.
lots of love
Craig

2:26 PM  
Blogger Craig said...

I am dieing to hear what is going on. It's 2:30 in NYC. I believe you are about to step on stage for your first performance. Break a leg and write as soon as you can.
Love
Craig

2:27 PM  

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