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Yin Yang, Trigrams... all of it is happy coincidence with an alarming amount of appropriate truth to it....
From what I've read about the I Ching, when we cast hexagrams ('do an I Ching'), we are consulting something with an intelligence and an awareness about our current situation / predicament. That it can correct our thinking suggests to me that the I Ching is a means of communicating with a higher part of our nature - perhaps our Buddha nature - that can then guide our lower, ego driven nature back towards enlightened thinking and being through the I Ching.
In the I Ching it counsels us at first to remain open minded because skepticism etc. will lead to a muddled result, whereas an attitude of openness allows the I Ching to bring more pertinent guidance. This is something I've definitely discovered to be true. Having had a sincere openness that resulted in accurate messages, I now have immense confidence that the message I receive will be on point, which in turn means I get very on point messages... 'happy coincidences'. It's a beautiful tool that I sometimes abuse - not sexually, or anything, but through over use, especially when confused or in hard times.
Of course I can question it! But, of course, I can also be wrong! The point remains... only you know, and only you need to know. If you know that your exchanges with Carlita were of metta then whether I question it or not is irrelevant. If it is the case that your words truly were reflecting your behaviour then I apologise for misinterpreting them. But that's just the way it goes. You've felt cause to challenge my behaviour in the past based upon your perceptions (which I would challenge as incorrect), and in this situation I've challenged your behaviour based upon my perceptions, which you have challenged as incorrect. I suppose we've both taken a risk and perhaps both been wrong. The likelihood is that, given how complex we are as humans, that it's all been a bit inbetween. That would be my guess, but again, I might be wrong!
Phew! For a thread dedicated to an "enlightenment" many claim not to possess or know, there surely is a lot of willingness to implicitly declare direction, intent and understanding. Kind of a "I know where I'm going but I don't know where it is?."
Let me get this straight: I don't know what it is, but I long for it ... is that the gist? Am I the only one who finds this a peculiar exercise? This is just a question, not a critique.
I suppose we have a teacher (the Buddha) who taught of a highly desirable state that we can live in, and, for whatever personal reasons we each have, we are pursuing the path he prescribed to reach that state. I don't think we need to know anything about what enlightenment is in totality, but we can all relate to the idea of less suffering and understand it is as desirable. I think for everyone here just the chance to suffer less is more than enough motivation to check this enlightenment thing out.
I thought I'd post a follow up to this topic. Fortunately, things are looking up. I'm out of training and flying solo nights and weekends (rotating shift, ugh.) Obviously, if there's no one around, no awkward topics come up. But even when people are present, getting along with them has become easier. For some reason, the gatherings have been smaller lately and it's easier to manage the conversation.
Management has since publicly stated that discussions of politics are not allowed after a rather awkward and testy departmental meeting (I'm not the only liberal, and he's much more vociferous than I am.) However, everyone ignores that directive unless management is present. Nonetheless, I've so far managed to negotiate the minefield. I don't think anyone realizes I'm a liberal, though the fellow I mentioned above may have a clue.
Thanks for the suggestions and support. I don't feel like a spineless coward now.
I get bored very, very easily in mundane conversations so I've become quite adept at taking them 'deep'. It doesn't have to be Buddhism, it could be whether alien life exists, or if there are other colours in other dimensions... whatever you want. But what I've learnt is that almost everyone loves these kinds of discussions, even if their normal appearance is superficial - which is really just their own desperate attempts to make sure they fit in by hiding everything they regard as potentially controversial about themselves.
Which is also another important consideration... see their suffering, not what they present themselves as. Because they're all hurting. Some were bullied in school, some abused by family members, some with parents with cancer, some struggling with an addiction, some who've just found their partner has been cheating on them. You don't have to know the details of the suffering, but knowing that it is there in some form and holding that in your heart will dramatically change how you interact with them... much softer, much more concerned, and greatly liberated from your own suffering.
Franche-Comté, North East, Haute Saône. Quite an off-the-track area for tourism, more of a passing through region, than a stop-and-stay one.... Very influenced, cuisine-wise, by the previously-German Alsace-Lorraine region.
I once played the part of a Fortune teller at my daughters' School fund-raising fair one summer. I used 9-star Chi and the baGua to find people's Birth Numbers and thereby tell them their fortune. I remember telling one guy he had an affinity with wood, and that if he could he should find himself a favourite tree and just go there now and again. To my astonishment, he then told me he worked for the Local Authority as a Park Keeper and attendant, and that at lunchtimes, whatever the weather, he would go to a particular tree and always sit under it or shelter from the weather and eat his lunch there, under its boughs. he claimed he always felt better, invigorated and ready to face whatever the afternoon brought.
Weird, yeah, from our limited perspective, but I'm sure there is so, so, so much more to reality than we have even a modicum of awareness of, and it's kind of fascinating to ponder on why, karmically, someone would have an affinity with wood... many lives as a tree?! I have a numerology reading with my birth number plus many other numbers attributed to different aspects of my life. One of the numbers said that after the age of 35 I'd experience significant spiritual growth, and, well, here I am having just turned 35 alone in Spain for six months, kind of doing a retreat. There's something in those things, for sure, but explaining the hows and whys of it all is beyond me. Just another peak into the awe inspiring mysteries of existence.