“When you look closely at the nature of human suffering you will find that an essential ingredient in most kinds of suffering is a diminishment of one’s sense of self.
In reality, of course, what feels like a diminishment or loss of your sense of self is the crumbling of an image of who you are held in the mind. What dissolves is identification with thought forms that had given you your sense of self. But that sense of self is ultimately false, is ultimately a mental fiction. “
“For many people, illness – loss of health – represents the crisis situation that triggers an awakening. With serious illness comes awareness of your own mortality, the greatest loss of all.”
“In the proximity of death, there is always that grace hiding underneath the seemingly negative event. Death in our civilization is seen as entirely negative, as if it shouldn’t be happening. Because it’s denied, people are so shocked when somebody dies – as if it’s not possible. We don’t live with the familiarity of death, as some more ancient cultures still do. The familiarity of death isn’t there. Everything is hidden, the dead body is hidden. ”
Where there is anger, there is always pain underneath.
We might experience far fewer relationship conflicts if we look at those who lash out as those who are in pain…because they are. This is how we practice equanimity.
We were walking behind our lovely Airbnb off Route 66 in Parks, AZ (to get away from three-digit temperatures)…
in a National forest…when Ava I noticed something hopping about.
This lovely creature is the Arizona Treefrog!
According to reptilesofaz.org, this is their call (audio file). We think it sounds like a bunch of muppets.
The Arizona Treefrog grows to 1.5 inches. They breed in mostly temporary waters, which I find strange because they look like they need a lot of water.
“In Arizona, Arizona Treefrogs have been found to feed on beetles, spiders, earthworms, flies, and bark beetles. They likely feed on a variety of other small invertebrates, as well.”
This finding was a lucky one as they are nocturnal animals. However, it appears that their skin is toxic and holding them is not the best idea. Oops. Well, I didn’t feel any after effects. My family is doing a collective eye roll as I tell them this because I once caught this in a jar:
According to Sciencefriday.com, being stung by one of these is painful. Quite painful:
“The pain is so debilitating and excruciating that the victim is at risk of further injury by tripping in a hole or over an object in the path and then falling onto a cactus or into a barbed-wire fence.”
Aren’t you glad I passed this on to you? Now you’ll be extra careful when you try to catch one.
This painting is highly imperfect. The face seems to be floating around, detached. The fur is stiff and square. Painting it was not as fun as painting the hedgehog and it shows. The process reminded me of this quote:
Take chances, make mistakes. That’s how you grow. Pain nourishes your courage. You have to fail in order to practice being brave.
Mary Tyler Moore
Some pieces will be better than others. I love watching August Wren (Creativebug.com) paint because she talks out loud and often laughs at her mistakes.
Fear (or terror) is the root of all anger.
Do you get angry often? Want to change but don’t know how? Try the five “whys.” Ramit Sethi recommends asking yourself “why” five times to get to the root of procrastination, but I think it can help identify all types of suffering.
When I drive, I get angry with drivers who are slow and get in my way.
Because I’m tired and I just want to get home.
Because my clients were terrible and I want to relax.
So I can feel good and forget about the day.
It was a hard day because I don’t feel good about how I handled one of my meetings. I’m afraid I didn’t seal the deal (or impress the boss, or look good to others, etc.)
Because I didn’t prepare well enough… I went to bed too late last night….I wasn’t at the top of my game…I don’t like my job…
By the fifth why, you usually get to the real root of the problem. It’s not the traffic, but your fears that drive your anger.
Painful events and relationships are lessons to us. Life is a persistent teacher and homework will keep coming until you’ve passed the test.