Saturday, June 5, 2010

habitual tendency and bamboo

sometimes i can't help but wish, o, please, i've been working so hard on this habitual tendency, can it go away for good, please?

but, of course, i know i have already made a lot of progress from way back when i would have these yo-yo swings. one moment i am ecstatic and thinking, this anxiety, that fear, such worry are gone forever. unfailingly there would be another moment when i am down and low because i say, i thought i had already got rid of this, why is this coming back to harass me now? what did i do wrong? did i do not enough? blah blah blah.

between then and now i have made a shift in understanding in terms of the nature of habitual tendency. they are sort of like bamboo roots. here's how it works. i think, in fact, i am positive i have removed all of bamboo roots. come next growing season i see a little bamboo shoot coming above ground several feet away from where they used to be. in that moment i feel such a failure. jen, a friend and bamboo nursery owner says, that's the way they are, they keep coming back. i say, man, what should i do? steeped in experience and knowledge, jen says in a clear tone, you nib it when you see it. i say, how long will this go on? she says, could be a while.

that's the way with habitual tendency. when i see it looming in the periphery of awareness i make a conscious inner effort to turn away from it, dive into the sound and motion of the breath, tie my attention to the light of the inner self. in this way i'm not feeding it, i'm nibbing it. meanwhile i hold  the understanding that it will come back. but i'm not worried. it will be smaller and weaker. i will be in the driver seat. not the habitual tendency. case in point. yesterday there was a surprised shake up in a set of circumstances. yet i notice the tendency to get angry and anxious come up in a wimpy way. i barely throw a glance at it before i put my attention back into the present. where the inner self resides.

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