Way I see it, if I can come outta this alive, I’m good.
If I can come through it in peace, I’m flyin’!
Finding inner peace in the midst of madness is my goal, lesson, teaching, aspiration. And a lofty one it is.
My landlord is irrational and behaving in ways making me uneasy.
Some residents are attacking me.
The apartment of 1-month residency is unsettled.
I’ve become afraid to feed myself (cook) after learning that the landlord instructs residents (i.e. me) to not cook a dish if another resident complains about the odor. What gives him that right I still don’t know.
I’m feeling no fundamental security or safety in the midst of the attacks and continuing false accusations from residents and landlord himself.
I’m feeling the intrusions, unprotected and unsafe and trying my very best to establish boundaries.
In navigating these challenging, often overwhelming, storming seas, I’m not losing sight of that one word — a word like a beacon from a lighthouse spotted on land ahead:
P E A C E
What does inner peace really mean?
That’s a journey of Zen that I’m discovering as I go. I’m new to this — in this lifetime. Here’s what I’m learning so far:
* Sometimes it means breathing. Just: breathing.
Sometimes the simplest if not “most obvious” action is the hardest. Simply being with breath seems a natural relaxant.
* It means letting others be who they are and as they are.
In an other word: acceptance. It does not mean accepting their bad behaviors, their attacks, their lunacies, their madness (all befitting my current living situation and landlord). Acceptance means being aware of who another is and letting him or her be. No efforts to change others.
Let them be. And breathe.
* It means letting yourself be.
That is by far the hardest of these three “keys” to Zen for me. I’m waaaaay better at accepting others than myself, of feeling compassion for others, not myself (though I do have my days), of being thoughtful, kind and considerate and responsive to others, not myself.
I’d like to say that somewhere along the way in 57 years of living that I fell out of the equation. But the truth is, I was never in the equation (a horribly dysfunctional toxic childhood environment). Learning to be in the equation is part of my lesson this lifetime. Learning that I matter: a huuuuuuuuuuuuuuge lesson.
Letting others be.
Letting yourself be.
These seem the fundamentals of Zen … Zen = inner peace.
In my current housing/landlord challenge:
As long as I don’t draw the sword, which is often my natural response when attacked, I’ll do better.
As long as I don’t head the brigade of Fighting for Right and Fairness in a situation gone mad, and stupid, I’ll do better.
And as long as I hold something for myself — something precious and valuable that I can’t quite articulate but something like Self — I’ll do better.
Am I doing these as well as I’d like? Nooo.
Do I want to do them better? Yes.
Am I willing to practice even as my feet are to the fire? Yes.
Am I giving my awareness to Zen and doing my very best to practice it to my best of my present abilities and skill level? Absolument.
Zen doesn’t develop overnight. It’s not like it’s there with a snap of the fingers — though sometimes wouldn’t it be nice if it could be delivered just that simply?! 🙂
Zen requires facing the fires — including fires started by others in their madness — with an inner stillness that, I’m learning, begins with those three aforementioned elements:
Let others be.
Let yourself be.
Three B’s of Zen:
Being: Letting others be.
Being: Letting yourself be.