Anxiety and Compulsion and NOTHING

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Recently I gave up the habit of biding on ebay. I had been addicted to the search, the bidding process and the anticipation of winning. When I dropped this habit what was left was: NOTHING in it’s place. I believe that warding off NOTHING is why I developed the habit. Maybe NOTHING is behind every compulsion and anxiety. And behind these little compulsions and anxieties are what really makes us anxious: like death being in our future and the truth that so much of life is not in our control. Being okay with those truths is scary, but liberating.

Change, Rest, Renewal

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As I follow my path, sometimes I seem to take this big jump. I get insight, or I drop an old way of thinking. Sometimes, when this happens, I feel that my whole world view has changed so radically that I no longer recognize myself.  And I get tired, so tired I want to sleep most of the day. Then, as I start to feel rested, I return to my daily routine: work, people and all the stuff of my life.

This happened recently. Over time, situations, conversations and awareness led me to see my grasping in  a new way. I realized that I have nothing to prove or achieve. I feel radically different and I slept for most of yesterday. Today I am coming back to my activities. And although I’m doing the same stuff as before I’m less attached to it, not less interested, just less attached. I like the way it feels–free.

Greed, Grasping and The Justice Card

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I have to admit that I haven’t been happy the last few weeks. I’d been trying to push that feeling aside and focus on getting things done, but it really hit me this morning. Thinking about it, I realized: my greed (what Buddhist’s call grasping) was causing my unhappiness.

It just so happened that at last night’s Tarot meeting, Justice was discussed. The Justice Card calls us to look at our own lives, our past and present behavior and to “own our shit” so to speak. Well, I had some pretty stinky stuff to see about myself.

  1. I’m grasping at success.
  2. I’ve been doing the same thing over and over throughout my life.

My story is: I’m an artist. It’s a weird way to make a living. Some projects work, some don’t. Sometimes I get money, other times not. Usually, I focus on the task at hand and take pleasure in what I’m doing. But once in a while, my mind goes into monkey-mode, and I lose that simplicity.

Recently, I was featured in an article on Tarot. Instead of just being grateful, my mind turned. Publicity, I need more of that!  What can I do? I got busy. I wrote my own articles and found an on-line publisher. And I started this blog. My idea behind all this was that when I’m ready to take the Tarot deck that I’m designing to a publisher, I could say: Look at me. If you publish my deck, I’ll be able to promote it.

The problem with that was that it was making me miserable. I wasn’t in the moment, creating because I had something to share with others, I was doing it for greedy, grasping reasons. And I could feel the effects in my body and mind; I was keyed up and my thoughts wouldn’t give me rest. I asked Life to bring me peace.

I remembered the lesson of the Justice card. Justice demands that I look at my past and the way it effects my present. Often, I’ve grasped for more and caused myself to suffer. As soon as I realized what was going on, calm came to me and I could think clearly.

I’m resolved to go about my business without hurting myself. I still want my cards to get published and I will still work on them, but I will try to do what I need to do each day without so much concern for the future. My wisdom tells me that things unfold in their own way in their own time. I’m still going to write articles, but hopefully without so much attachment. As for this blog, I apologize for the spirit that I brought to it. From now on: I’m only going to write when I have something to say that really comes from my True Self.

Animal Gifts

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Photo by Monkie

I feel so blessed by any connection to animals. I live in a city, San Francisco, and don’t have any pets. Last night I visited a cat that lives in alley, behind a cafe. Over the last 10 years, I’ve watched her go from semi-feral to a real love bug, enjoying petting– and she even lets me pick her up. I am always amazed by her transformation and the love and attention she receives from the people at the cafe and surrounding businesses.

And then this morning, on my windowsill I saw a dove, her eye looking right at me. Then another eye! And another! A whole dove family had graced me with their presence. What a gift!

Have you had any animal gifts lately?

Death–so Important for Life

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Yesterday, I was reading one of my meditation books. In it, Geshe Kelsang Gyatso talks about the importance of remembering our mortality as a way to remember what is important and to act accordingly. I really thought about this approach and the power that it has to change my life. I mean, if I remember that I’m going to die; and I’m upset with somebody, and I remember that they’re going to die, naturally I’m going to be less attached to what we are arguing about. And I’m going to be kinder to myself and the other person.

And wouldn’t my thoughts in general be more positive if I remembered that I only have a limited amount of time? This made me think about my last trip to Rome. Of all the cities I’ve been to, Rome is, hands down, my favorite. So when I was there, I wanted to soak up all the beauty and enjoy every minute. I ignored my jet lag to fully experience a Bernini’s sculpture. I let go of the fact that I lost one of my earrings on the flight because–I didn’t care–I was looking at the Forum! When somebody shoved me on the bus, I wasn’t bothered because I was going to see the catacombs. The reason I had this attitude is because I knew I only had six days to be in my beautiful favorite city.

I don’t know how long I have to live, so really, everyday, no matter where I am, is precious. And by remembering my mortality and the mortality of all living things–I can enjoy my time here on earth more fully.

Happy August– Free Skype Reading!

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Hi, Happy August!

To celebrate the beginning of the new month, I want to give the first 3 people who respond a free Tarot reading. I see my role as a reader to facilitate a conversation between the cards, you and me, so together we can help you remember your true self and path. We can do the reading by Skype or phone.

If you would like a free reading, comment below and email me at buddhisttarotchick@gmail.com

Blessings,

Maria