We humans rely on our eyes so much that we are challenged by not being able to “see” beyond the physical. In fact, we rely on our human senses so completely, they may become a barrier. Our physical, emotional, and mental states bind us. Over time, they become weather systems which run our lives, so much so that we say “I weathered the storm” when we speak about personal challenges. Casting out the toxic tempest is the only way to authentic wisdom.
These “systems” continually surround us and threaten with rain, wind, sleet, snow, ice and scorching, fiery heat. They consume our attention. We use them as excuses. Colloquially we say things like “she rained on my parade”; “I’m going to put that on ice”; “this situation is like a tempest in a teapot”. In our own lives, we may hear our excuses sound like this; “I can’t go to that event, Darla will be there and she is a horrible person”; “My boss is unbearable, I hate going to work”; “I know I shouldn’t have eaten that, but I was just so stressed”. These are “weather-related” events in your mind, creating your own personal toxic tempest.
It is only when we become aware of this entrenchment, in our own weather systems of the mind, that we are able to intentionally direct our senses away from ourselves.
In ancient yoga, it is said “one becomes aware of the raincloud of knowable things”. By being aware, we make space and free ourselves from the conditions which hold us. When we tear down the barriers, we find the weather systems were all our own making. And as we refuse to engage in the inclement weather, we unveil inner wisdom, or spiritual knowledge.
When we beat the system of inclement weather, our outlook on life changes, our language changes, and the people around us change. We now say, “I will go to that event regardless of who else is in attendance because no one else controls my emotions or mental state but me”; “the difficulty with my boss may be overcome by addressing it, mediation, or leaving. That difficulty will not define my relationship to the work that I love”; “Before I take the first bite of food, I ask myself why am I eating – hungry? Stressed? Tired? Annoyed? Bored? Then I count to 10 and step away from the food if I am not hungry”.
In awareness, our decisions are ours. We are no longer wading through the muck and mud, ice and snow, or scorpion infested sand-dunes of the weather-system mind.
In the book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, the wise-elder, Socrates, guides his young apprentice:
“Mind” is an illusory reflection of cerebral fidgeting. It comprises all the random, uncontrolled thoughts that bubble into awareness from the subconscious. Consciousness is not mind; awareness is not mind; attention is not mind. Mind is an obstruction, an aggravation. It is a kind of evolutionary mistake in the human being, a primal weakness in the human experiment.Dan Millman, 1980 pg. 52
Mind is the noise, the weather-system. It pours down upon us and we engage with it. We put on galoshes, pop up umbrellas, and do our best to “manage” it. Our purpose as humans is to identify and deconstruct the weather-system mind, allowing the pure, loving, divine light to create authentic wisdom.
“Soc” further implores the auto-biographer, Dan Millman:
To really get it, you must observe yourself to see what I mean. You have an angry thought bubble up and you become angry. It is the same with all your emotions. They’re your knee-jerk responses to thoughts you can’t control. Your thoughts are like wild monkeys stung by a scorpion.The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, 1980 p.53
How do we cast out the toxic tempest of the weather system mind (or the wild monkey mind) and enjoy authentic wisdom?
Observation. Intention. Being Response-able.
Deep commitment to observation means getting rid of all distractions and being in the moment. Looking at people, places, things by using physical and non-physical sensory abilities. Touch, taste, sound, smell, texture, colour, weight, temperature; there are many ways to describe an observation. We also have feelings, hunches, associations, and synchronicities regarding our observable surroundings. Developing a deep awareness is the first step to getting away from unconscious daily living.
Intention is critical to developing awareness and being free of the winds that blow through your mind and scatter mental trash. Intentions allow you to set the framework for how you want to experience life. Following through on set intentions strengthens the ability to make more, and live the life you desire. Intentions are the building blocks for living free of the wind-strewn trash which was once piling up in your mind and demanding a response.
Intentions allow you to focus on the life you choose to live, not your response to the toxic tempest of your mind.
Being response-able is your ability to respond with full awareness. You choose to respond or not to respond – either way is a form of intention and communication. You decide if this situation is worthy of a response. You may ask: does it affect me? Does it affect the world I wish to live in? If so, what is an appropriate response that is respectful and compassionate? How do I honour myself and others in this response? This mode of questioning is freeing, allowing you to take the “front porch view”.
Looking from the outside, from the observation point, enables you to choose a response that best supports your intention(s).
When you own your responses, you become a disciple of your own intentions. You have empowered yourself to live your best life. You have cast off the toxic tempest and have found your authentic wisdom. And that’s a breath of fresh air!
Check out my blogs for further support on how to get started today: https://www.thewisdomofus.ca/7-easy-steps-to-tame-your-hectic-life-make-time-to-breathe/
For further exploration:
Dan Millman, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, 1980
The Wisdom of us: www.thewisdomofus.ca