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Posts Tagged ‘needs’

Well, maybe the new way will not be better. But it surely will be different. In retrospective I find that it is definitely worth trying: an external shift makes it easier to take a new perspective which is always enriching. Besides, it’s a great opportunity to learn something new about my own reactivity and resistance to change that I don’t approve of.

For a while I was at a loss: should I encourage my sangha-friend to open up to this change and at least give this new way a try? I noticed how my thoughts went in different directions almost simultaneously: one side of me was concerned with my self-image (how will this influence how others see me?); another side was glad the person spoke up; yet another one wished he had said something in the line of  “I feel uncomfortable and disconnected from the sangha by splitting into groups for the discussion but I am willing to give it a try”. A friend and sangha-member helped me out by voicing the need she sensed coming from the person, that of connection, which I heard in the beginning but lost when it did not make sense to me (splitting into groups is not the same as splitting the sangha!)

Suddenly I felt the tiredness of the last few weeks coming down on me. I saw the person next to me, also quite tired and obviously very uncomfortable. I backed off, invited everyone to rejoin the circle and do it the way we used to do. I felt relieved as the peace in the room was restored and we could finally turn to the poem which,  incidentally, was about impermanence and not clinging to the solid picture of the world we carry with us.

During the discussion one person said that he thought we did not have to be shaped only by “some immense storm” but in fact could allow every little thing influence us. Back then that comment didn’t strike a chord with me but as I am writing this I can see how our everyday lives here in the West are not that stormy but still consist of countless situations in which we can allow ourselves to get softer, let go of holding on to the ways we are comfortable with for the moment. A sensitive soul can feel the touch of a breeze…

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Returning to the earlier post on reactivity and pants. For starters, I believe it is never  really about them pants or whatever becomes a trigger for our reactivity, although in the situation when it actually occurs it can be very hard to see it.  We so much want to believe that the root of our discomfort lies outside ourselves that we start believing it and acting on it. For me the question is not whether to pick up the pants or not but rather what I can learn from my reactivity around it:  why and how matter more than what.  This is not to give myself yet another reason to beat myself up over something but to see what underlying beliefs run the weather of my emotional and mental landscape.


If you don’t realize the source,

you stumble in confusion and sorrow

Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching


sherlok

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Listened to the show with Alissa Kriteman on Just for Women, on which she shared about using the NVC model in daily communication because she now could make sure her meets were met. As an example Alissa gave a not entirely unusual situation in which the partner leaves his pants lying on the floor. She approaches him saying something in the line of , “Honey, would you be willing to put your pants in the laundry basket?”. As I understand, in the NVC model we are to express our feelings, voice a request but also say what need this request would meet and why it is so important to us. In the example above Alissa did not do those steps so in fact the request was formulated in the usual way, not following the NVC model. In the partner’s place I might simply ask her “Why would I want to do that?” and carry on.

Say I were in the same situation and actually used NVC. What kind of need would I expect to be met in this case? Possibly the need for the house to be tidy. For starters, can we really see that as a need? Secondly, what if I before turning to the parner with my obsession about keeping the place tidy, looked at this so called need of mine and asked myself, “Why is it so important for me that the place is tidy?”  I’d encourage myself to not accept any fluffy answers but really look into the “why” behind.  After all, I am interested in the truth. This is how the inquiry could go (easy to imagine as I used to obsess about things being “in the right places”):

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They certainly got my attention there: what IS the modern Zen perspective anyway? The other day I listened to the first episode of  Life Zero – a new podcast that discusses Lifestyle Design and aspires to “follow the modern Zen perspective”. The more I listened to it the clearer it became that the word Zen was used rather freely with little if any anchoring in Zen practice and teachings. Still listening to this show triggered some personal response and made me think of how the practice reflects on my lifestyle design.

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