Parking lots vs. paradises

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  • murasaki
    Member
    • Mar 2009
    • 473

    Parking lots vs. paradises

    I am continuing the thought I introduced in another thread as a tangent:

    One thing dharma-wise that stands out to me now as these things are happening, is that I seem to have had a lot of "bad karma" (not the best term) in terms of living space, housing stability and comfort, things like that. Moving around a lot, places sub-standard or becoming infested with some creature, not ever having money to buy a house. Then there's the granddaddy of all my complaints...being (currently) in a region that I really dislike and feel miserable in.

    There must be some lesson in this...could I have your thoughts? I might start another thread about it.
    I should add that this has been my view at almost every phase -- everywhere I ended up, at some point I would think, "Gosh, I have had horrible luck with housing and places." Then I would try to get to...wherever else I could. It seems like my whole life has been that story playing over and over. If I think too much about it, I fall into the "why does this always happen to me" spiral, which I want to avoid.

    Now that a tiny bit of clarity is starting to peek through the fog I was in recently, I had the thought that this was somehow a lesson to teach me to detach from "place". But then I start thinking, "Ok, so if I start detaching from the idea of having a house/location I love...*then* can I have a house/location I love?"

    This is tricky for me to wrap my head around and navigate, so I would sure love to hear your thoughts.

    Gassho,
    Julia
    "The Girl Dragon Demon", the random Buddhist name generator calls me....you have been warned.

    Feed your good wolf.
  • Jundo
    Treeleaf Founder and Priest
    • Apr 2006
    • 39454

    #2
    Originally posted by murasaki
    Now that a tiny bit of clarity is starting to peek through the fog I was in recently, I had the thought that this was somehow a lesson to teach me to detach from "place". But then I start thinking, "Ok, so if I start detaching from the idea of having a house/location I love...*then* can I have a house/location I love?"
    Actually, that is pretty good!

    Be just where you are ... find the True Home that is where one sits ... accept all the imperfections ...

    ... yet try to have a nicer, greener, warmer place to live. All at once.

    Nobody wants to live in a rat hole, a prison dungeon, a pig sty (I am just reading a book about Jews in Poland, from a village close to where my grand parents came from, who spent WWII living in a pit dug under a barn). Living in noisy, dangerous, too hot or cold, bug infested conditions is not conducive to peace, health, practice. It is good to do your best to find a healthier, cleaner, quieter living situation (likewise with job, friends).

    Yet, hand in hand ... find that home which is always At Home wherever and whenever, even in a Concentration Camp!**

    I once wrote this ...

    Living our life is much like living in a house with a leaky roof, spiders and broken windows. In Master Dogen's way, we simply sit to drop all resistance to the house we have been living in all along, to realize that there is nowhere to 'go' in life, to cease all efforts to add to or take away from the structure, to let go of the ego's insisting on how things "should be" in order for the house to be "good" ... we ARE that house, our True Home! In the most intimate sense, the house and floors, dust and spiders, parlor and pantry and us ... all One. Then we find, in dropping that resistance, that the house we have always been in is "perfectly what it is", and we can be joyful right where we are. HOWEVER, we can be content with that house even as, hand in hand, there is still much serious repair work to do (an acceptance-without-acceptance of the leaky windows, spiders and creaky doors). There is nothing to prevent our fixing those, even as we accept their existence! We can accept and not accept simultaneously, repair what needs to be repaired.

    We have goals for repair even as, on the other "track", we drop all goals and thoughts of repair.
    Could you image living in a wooden monastery in old Japan, in the cold and snow, no heaters or lights, modern plumbing, little privacy, mosquitoes in summer?

    Gassho, J

    ** PS - A bit off topic, but reminds me of this lovely-powerful book by Victor Frankl ...

    Last edited by Jundo; 04-24-2013, 02:43 AM.
    ALL OF LIFE IS OUR TEMPLE

    Comment

    • Tb
      Member
      • Jan 2008
      • 3186

      #3
      Hi.

      yes, what we are talking about here is trishna/tanha, commonly known as thirst.
      you want something, something other than what you already have, an analogy that springs to mind is that the grass is greener on the other side of the river...

      in my mind i say, not always so, the grass is as green on this side if you just let it.
      if you "just let go off" the "i want" and see that what uou have is not so bad as uou first thought.
      you have roof over your head, an good man by your side, food to eat and so forth.
      i'm not saying that it is easy doing this, just saying that it is an possibility, if you just let it.

      as for the detachment part, that is also good, but don't get to detached, you still need some ground to build your house on...

      And, in the end, as some old fool around here always says, it's all good practice...

      thank you for your thoughts and practice.

      mtfbwy
      Fugen
      Life is our temple and its all good practice
      Blog: http://fugenblog.blogspot.com/

      Comment

      • Kyonin
        Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
        • Oct 2010
        • 6742

        #4
        Julia,

        All my adult life I have been a nomad. I don't own a home and I don't see it easy for me to have one in quite a few years more.

        Not owning the place of my dreams is something I learned to let go a long time ago. I'm lucky enough to have a roof over my head and food on my plate today. That's all that matters, really.

        Letting go of desires and fantasies makes life a lot easier.

        Gassho,

        Kyonin
        Hondō Kyōnin
        奔道 協忍

        Comment

        • Shokai
          Treeleaf Priest
          • Mar 2009
          • 6391

          #5
          This makes me recall a course on Decision Making I took maybe 45 years ago. it defined a problem as being when a difference exists between the "What is" and the "What should be." Once that difference is resolved; voila, no problem. Looking at any problem, most times, you can see that the difference exists in your mind. Most often we can do too much wishing and too little accepting. Like Fugen noted, it's not easy but, a possibility. There is a 12th floor condo (pent house) overlooking the (high above) entire world without obstruction that I would just love to live in (here in Sarnia 12 is as high as you can go,lol); oh well (sigh)!!

          gassho, Shokai
          Last edited by Shokai; 04-23-2013, 10:54 AM.
          合掌,生開
          gassho, Shokai

          仁道 生開 / Jindo Shokai

          "Open to life in a benevolent way"

          https://sarushinzendo.wordpress.com/

          Comment

          • KellyRok
            Member
            • Jul 2008
            • 1374

            #6
            Hi Julia and all,

            Now that a tiny bit of clarity is starting to peek through the fog I was in recently, I had the thought that this was somehow a lesson to teach me to detach from "place". But then I start thinking, "Ok, so if I start detaching from the idea of having a house/location I love...*then* can I have a house/location I love?"
            Yes, absolutely!

            There is so much good advice here, so what I have to say might be a repeat. But from my experiences, since we move around a lot, I've redefined the importance or fantasy of home. I always tell my boys that home is where we are all together. We lived in crusty apartments, a tiny decrepit house, a big house, and now (in my opinion) a house that is too big. I love my house now, it is one that I can safely say is a house of my dreams. But I know not to get attached to it, as we will be moving on from it within a year or so. I will enjoy it for as long as I have it.

            Make wherever you are, your home. It can be an amazing home, albeit temporary. So love it temporarily until you can find another home to love. Even a hotel can be home if you have the proper mindset - we lived in one of those too.

            Take care,
            Kelly/Jinmei

            Comment

            • Kyonin
              Treeleaf Priest / Engineer
              • Oct 2010
              • 6742

              #7
              Originally posted by KellyRok
              I always tell my boys that home is where we are all together. We lived in crusty apartments, a tiny decrepit house, a big house, and now (in my opinion) a house that is too big. I love my house now, it is one that I can safely say is a house of my dreams. But I know not to get attached to it, as we will be moving on from it within a year or so. I will enjoy it for as long as I have it.

              Make wherever you are, your home. It can be an amazing home, albeit temporary. So love it temporarily until you can find another home to love. Even a hotel can be home if you have the proper mindset - we lived in one of those too.
              Beautiful.

              Thank you for this teaching, Jinmei.

              Gassho,

              Kyonin
              Hondō Kyōnin
              奔道 協忍

              Comment

              • murasaki
                Member
                • Mar 2009
                • 473

                #8
                Originally posted by Jundo
                Could you image living in a wooden monastery in old Japan, in the cold and snow, no heaters or lights, modern plumbing, little privacy, mosquitoes in summer?
                Ask me (person allergic to the sun) that in July when it's 120 degrees outside and I would say: "Heck yeah let's try it!"

                The "nicer" place I just moved out of was a very unhealthy environment emotionally. So there's more than one kind of bad space, really. The one I'm in now is older, smaller, and costs more (which I need to start earning, and fast) but I don't feel that cold, bleak gloomy feeling I have felt in other places and my spirits have lifted higher than I even thought they would. It's a good-feeling space. I didn't even go out at all yesterday since I didn't have to. Normally I'm fleeing off to the nearest Starbucks or anyplace that has free wifi so I can work.

                Perhaps I compare myself with others too much -- when I'm at someone's beautiful, expensive home I feel really envious, especially if the owners are my age or younger. I think, "Why haven't I gotten to this point by now?" I feel like it's a kind of failure.

                The thing is, I wouldn't know how to maintain a home properly if someone forced me to take it; I have no concept of something that seems like a normal, expected stage in life for people in my general society.

                It's just something I tend to muse over very often, in spite of the increased patience and acceptance of other things I have managed to develop.

                [Added in an edit after trigger-happy typing fingers submitted message too soon]:

                Kyonin, I have always admired your simple attitude towards big things and how it makes them shrink to little things.

                Jinmei, your message made me think back to a few weeks ago when I first made the scary decision to simply *leave* my mother's house with no concrete plans for where to go. Ended up in a hotel room the first few nights...and I felt very free and calm in a situation where I'd usually have an anxiety attack. I remember thinking, "I could live right here."


                Still, as I mentioned in my previous drama of last year, it's another opportunity to get rid of *stuff* and think more towards travelling lighter through life.


                Gassho
                Julia
                Last edited by murasaki; 04-23-2013, 06:31 PM. Reason: ADD
                "The Girl Dragon Demon", the random Buddhist name generator calls me....you have been warned.

                Feed your good wolf.

                Comment

                • Mp

                  #9
                  Originally posted by KellyRok
                  Hi Julia and all,



                  Yes, absolutely!

                  There is so much good advice here, so what I have to say might be a repeat. But from my experiences, since we move around a lot, I've redefined the importance or fantasy of home. I always tell my boys that home is where we are all together. We lived in crusty apartments, a tiny decrepit house, a big house, and now (in my opinion) a house that is too big. I love my house now, it is one that I can safely say is a house of my dreams. But I know not to get attached to it, as we will be moving on from it within a year or so. I will enjoy it for as long as I have it.

                  Make wherever you are, your home. It can be an amazing home, albeit temporary. So love it temporarily until you can find another home to love. Even a hotel can be home if you have the proper mindset - we lived in one of those too.

                  Take care,
                  Kelly/Jinmei
                  Yes Jinmei, this is beautiful, I like the way you think.

                  Gassho
                  Shingen

                  Comment

                  • Rich
                    Member
                    • Apr 2009
                    • 2601

                    #10
                    Don't it always seem to go
                    That you don't what you got til its gone
                    They paved paradise and put up a parking lot

                    By joni mitchel
                    _/_
                    Rich
                    MUHYO
                    無 (MU, Emptiness) and 氷 (HYO, Ice) ... Emptiness Ice ...

                    https://instagram.com/notmovingmind

                    Comment

                    • Geika
                      Treeleaf Unsui
                      • Jan 2010
                      • 4980

                      #11
                      I kind of feel the same as you, Julia, going from one crappy situation to another sometimes, not knowing when it's all supposed to start looking like a life.

                      My eighth anniversary, though we're not married, is on Monday and things just kind of look the same, with slow, accumulated changes over the years. Neither of us are super goal-oriented or in school. We just keep going to work every day, paying our rent, enjoying the fact that despite some recent troubles, we have a home made of more than one room, and lucky, perhaps, that we don't have children and are still young.

                      I often get struck by the idea that I need to be working on something, but when I ask myself what that thing would be, I don't know. All I know is I don't really want to be making Subway sandwiches, though the job has its enjoyable, tenzo-like aspects. What, then, will I do? I don't know! It took so long to find a job, shouldn't I just keep on it for a minute? Seems a lot of the people I know know what they want to be doing and are working toward it. Maybe they are all faking it, like me!

                      Karma's the reason things look the way they do. Not good karma vs. bad karma, but the karma that just keeps the wheel rolling, regardless of who's driving. Water running down the easiest course, and all that.

                      I hope things start running along in your favor, Julia.
                      求道芸化 Kyūdō Geika
                      I am just a priest-in-training, please do not take anything I say as a teaching.

                      Comment

                      • Koshin
                        Member
                        • Feb 2012
                        • 938

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Amelia

                        the job has its enjoyable, tenzo-like aspects.
                        Love it

                        Metta for you both, Amelia and Julia, and for all of us that don't really know if we are in the right place, work, track.... I don't know... but it is all good practice indeed

                        Gassho
                        Thank you for your practice

                        Comment

                        • Nengyo
                          Member
                          • May 2012
                          • 668

                          #13
                          I should add that this has been my view at almost every phase -- everywhere I ended up, at some point I would think, "Gosh, I have had horrible luck with housing and places." Then I would try to get to...wherever else I could. It seems like my whole life has been that story playing over and over.
                          Hi Julia, I think you and Jundo already hit the nail on the head. The only thing I would like to add is that in the military, during survival training, they taught us a concept they called "small victories." Whether trying to survive on a desert island or in a prison camp the concept is the same. Try to get a couple of "wins" in every day no matter how small. In your case it means that every day you should try to make your living arraignment a little better. No matter how small and trivial it may seem, those little steps add up. Saving 75 cents in a jar for a move somewhere else, painting a crate and making it a new comfortable place to sit, repairing a hole, or simply cleaning up some dishes. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, focusing on a few small victories can really change things around. I think this concept goes really well with the idea of samu. You sit and accept everything as it is, then you get up and do what needs to be done!


                          Seems a lot of the people I know know what they want to be doing and are working toward it. Maybe they are all faking it, like me!
                          Amelia, I spent over 20 years one job and I'm about to start school soon to embark on another, entirely different career. At no point did I ever have a clue about what I wanted to do with my life or what I wanted to be when I grew up (whenever that grown up up thing happens.) I just keep on playing with fun stuff around people I like and things keep working out.
                          If I'm already enlightened why the hell is this so hard?

                          Comment

                          • KellyRok
                            Member
                            • Jul 2008
                            • 1374

                            #14
                            Wow! I love this Nengyo!

                            The only thing I would like to add is that in the military, during survival training, they taught us a concept they called "small victories." Whether trying to survive on a desert island or in a prison camp the concept is the same. Try to get a couple of "wins" in every day no matter how small. In your case it means that every day you should try to make your living arraignment a little better. No matter how small and trivial it may seem, those little steps add up. Saving 75 cents in a jar for a move somewhere else, painting a crate and making it a new comfortable place to sit, repairing a hole, or simply cleaning up some dishes. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, focusing on a few small victories can really change things around. I think this concept goes really well with the idea of samu. You sit and accept everything as it is, then you get up and do what needs to be done!
                            I'm going to remember this on those days when I'm feeling not-so-positive. Thank you for sharing!

                            Gassho,
                            Kelly/Jinmei

                            Comment

                            • Kaishin
                              Member
                              • Dec 2010
                              • 2322

                              #15
                              Enjoying this thread. Julia, you've got good perspective as far as I'm concerned! I don't think I've ever had the idea of a dream home, but I know for some people that's part of the big life dream. For me it's just a place to hang my hat.

                              Amelia -- that's interesting. I think if you don't have any specific desire re: career, then just doing what you do--what's wrong with that? Maybe if you had something specific you really wanted to do, but you just sort of kept putting it off or were lazy about pursuing it, you might say okay something's amiss here. But it doesn't sound that way at all for you. Maybe something will come up, maybe it won't!

                              I know what you mean about "those people" who just seem to have always known what they wanting to do and pursue it doggedly. I'm not one of those people, either. I just sort of fell into my career at a young age and took a "bloom where you're planted" attitude. But I won't lie, I daydream quite a bit about abandoning it for something else entirely!

                              Engyo--that's cool--good luck to you! I could see myself doing something similar (complete change) if this career hits a brick wall!
                              Thanks,
                              Kaishin (開心, Open Heart)
                              Please take this layman's words with a grain of salt.

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