Cool loneliness allows us to look honestly and without aggression at our own minds. We can gradually drop our ideas of who we think we want to be or ought to be. We give it up and just look directly with compassion and humor at who we are. Then loneliness is no threat and heartache, no punishment.
Cool loneliness doesn't provide any resolution or give us ground under our feet. It challenges us to step into a world of no reference point without polarizing or solidifying.
When you wake up in the morning and out of nowhere comes the heartache of alienation and loneliness, could you use that as a golden opportunity? Rather than persecuting yourself or feeling that something terribly wrong is happening, right there in the moment of sadness and longing, could you relax and touch the limitless space of the human heart? The next time you get a chance, experiment with this.
BY Pema Chodron-
I love this story, it's a good reminder of living in the moment and dropping held tight beliefs, feelings & views.
Two monks were returning home in the evening to their temple. It had been raining and the road was very muddy. They came to an intersection where a beautiful girl was standing, unable to cross the street because of the mud. Just in the moment, the first monk picked her up in his arms and carried her across. The monks then continued on their way. Later that night, the second monk, unable to restrain himself any longer, said to the first, "How could you do that?! We monks should not even look at females, much less touch them. Especially young and beautiful ones." " I left the girl there,", the first monk said, " are you still carrying her?"
When we get what we DON’T want, when we DON’T get what we want, when we become ill, when we’re getting old, when we’re dying- when we see any of these things in our lives- we can recognize suffering as suffering. Then we can be curious, we can notice, and be mindful of our reactions. Our suffering is so grounded in our fear of impermanence. Our pain is so rooted in our lopsided view of reality. Who ever got the idea that we could have pleasure without pain? It’s promoted rather widely in this world, and we buy it. But pain and pleasure go together; they are inseparable. They can be celebrated. They are ordinary. Birth is painful and delightful. Death is painful and delightful. Everything that ends is also the beginning of something else. Pain is not a punishment; pleasure is not a reward.
Adapted from “Comfortable with Uncertainty” by Pema Chodron
Start where you are. This is very important… it’s not about later, when you get it all together and you’re this person you really respect. You may be the most violent person in the world-that’s a fine place to start. That’s a very rich place to start- juicy, smelly. You might be the most depressed person in the world, the most addicted person in the world, the most jealous person in the world. You might think that there are no others on the planet who hate themselves as much as you do. All that is a good place to start. Just where you are- that’s the place to start.
What you do for yourself, any gesture of kindness, any gesture of gentleness, any gesture of honesty and clear seeing toward yourself, will effect how you experience your world. In fact, it will tranform how you experience your world. What you do for yourself, you’re doing for others, and what you’re doing for others, you’re doing for yourself.
Adapted from “Comfortable with Uncertainty” by Pema Chodron
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
WE ALL WANT TO BE FREE AND HAPPY. Many of us believe that we can attain these qualities through external success, and so we tend to see our obstacles as out there in the world, in people and situations. When we recognize that the promise of fulfillment and what stands in its way are both within us, we begin the inner journey. It is a journey into our own consciousness and experience, a path of discovery and realization of the inner riches of human potentiality. Even though it is a thrilling adventure, the inner journey, as with any real adventure, is not an easy one, full of its obstacles...
The inner obstacles have been known and discussed for thousands of years by many of the wisdom teachers and teachings. However, some of these primary obstacles could not be understood in a detailed manner until the development of psychology. Now with this understanding the inner journey is assisted in ways not possible previously.
- from 'SOUL WITHOUT SHAME' by Byron Brown
What is contentment?
The dictionary informs us that it is the experience of being satisfied, of not desiring more than you have. This is a starting point, but it leaves out important elements of contentment, including the most essential aspects from a psychological perspective. What does it feel like to be contented? What are the conditions that produce contentment?
Recall again a satisfying time when everything seemed right: there was no need to alter what you were doing, who you were with, or where you were. During such moments life is rich and full. The mingled buzz of worries, fears and anxieties that so often circle your head like a swarm of hungry mosquitoes is quieted. Instead of judging or second guessing yourself, you are satisfied just to be. Even the old familiar voice of desire , the disturbance in your mind that cries out like a needy child, I want, I want, I want, is somehow settled. Contentment feels peaceful as the moonlight at the bottom of a stream, tranquil and constant change.
Now. Here. This is it. Contentment gives you a different experience of time; your mind stops wandering into the past or future. As modern people we waste so much time wishing we were in a different circumstance, which of course is quite impossible. You could call contentment being in love with the moment, not just dutifully accepting it like an arranged marriage but passionately, rapturously embracing the eternal now as your soul mate.
Contentment grows out of a willingness to surrender preconceived ideas and affirm reality as it is. Honouring “what is” is just the opposite of living out of “ just as soon as” mentality. Reality doesn’t always go the way you would like. When this happens you can either become frustrated and redouble your efforts to push reality around, or you can learn to accept, affirm, even dance with what is given.
Contentment- a way to true happiness by Rober A. Johnson & Jerry M. Ruhl
Male and female brains are different.