“The Guest House”
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
— Jellaludin Rumi
I recall in the 1980’s, while in my contemplative practice, the “shadowed griefs” of my guesthouse, began visiting me in vast broken forms of degeneration. I became intimately aware of these childhood constructs of repression starving for emotional equanimity as they asked if their service was necessary to my survival anymore.
I felt surprise and compassion for their nature and resolve to still continue service if it meant my survival. My spiritual guides, the Great Masters of the Heart, helped me to coordinate a spiritual campfire to meet each of these shadowed griefs as a living truth of their embodiment in me.
As I welcomed and listened to each shadow’s story of grief, we shared a cup of tea, ate biscuits and cried together. After the tears, I thanked each for loving me in service of my well-being. And as a gift for their loyalty, I offered passage upon a golden eagle into the beauty and power of loving kindness.
One by one, they mounted, waving and smiling and as the golden eagle took flight, I felt a warm flow of gentle kindness bless my heart space quietly, with equanimity. – Katy Rose (March 2018)
Genuine Heart of Sadness -Katy Rose (2018)
The “genuine heart of sadness” is the awakened heart, the non-conceptual awareness of genuine sympathy for the human condition of suffering. The sitting practice of meditation prepares us to connect with our own heart through the breath as we learn to appreciate who we really are in our physicality of earth embodiment with all of its conceptual thoughts, behaviors and attitudes. We begin to access our own basic goodness with fresh understanding and sympathy for the self-created cocoons birthed from experiencing reality as a victim of circumstances or simply lack of not enough. We eventually learn when awakening the heart, our human condition is workable and perfect in its own truth as an empathic tenderness radiates with kindness and appreciation for all of life. This is the true birth of fearlessness, the warrior’s greatest asset.
We must acknowledge our fear and by doing so, we recognize behind the nervousness a sadness that prompts a tear in the tender, or awakened heart. Rinpoche Chogyam Trungpa relates this tear as the first touch of warriorship. An awkwardness or uncertainty may follow this first birth of working with the softness of the human heart, but if one stays true to authentically experiencing this rooted sadness in human suffering, one comes to know humans were meant to be tender and open, receptive to life in full brilliance of our sense perceptions. Fearlessness is simply accepting yourself as you are in gentle kindness and personal peace. Relating to others in this calm of decency radiates basic goodness, the hearth of genuine warriorship.
Positive Psychology – Katy Rose (2018)
Seligman in his article “Positive Prevention and Positive Therapy” speaks to the changing wisdom in psychology today to focus on “building competency, not correcting weakness.” The disease model applied in psychology before WW II, did not address the prevention of major emotional disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression or substance abuse. Instead, psychology sought out the weakness in the self-constructs of mind and emotion. As a result, stigmas were reinforced when a patient was labeled with mental illness. How can one heal with such negative reinforcement devaluing them as a human being? Not possible. Building human strengths, not weaknesses, provide opportunity to either prevent or possibly heal the individual.
The aim of positive psychology is to build strength, individual fulfillment and to nurture a thriving community on three different levels: subjective level, individual level and group level. The subjective level embodies well-being in the flow and joy of life, including optimism for the future. The individual level calls forth the capacity to love and forgive, thus, cultivating wisdom. The group level engages civic virtues within the larger community, such as altruism and responsibility.
The narration of my life story remains the same at core truth, but my understanding and integration of the horrors I lived in my youth and young adult life are now wisdom rich with power and authenticity. I would not seek counseling in my young adult years because those I interviewed did not comprehend my transpersonal nature which is my greatest strength and truth. So, I found answers in spiritual practice and meditation to help me heal the trauma. It was important to access my innate ability to love and forgive, while developing a strong and stable sense of well-being, so that I may contribute with loving kindness to my community.
One of many living examples of this integration process in me with spiritual practice and meditation occurred in a court room in the Spring of 2011. A man tried to break into my home at 2 AM in the morning. He was loud and violent while kicking in my front door screaming obscenities. I awoke from a sound sleep startled and without hesitation, grabbed my phone and rushed to lock myself in the bathroom while calling 911. The police were able to arrive before the man entered my home. They had to wrestle him to the ground on my front porch, so while in the bathroom, I am hearing all the shouting, cursing and slamming of bodies against my home.
I received a Victim’s Advocate Specialist as this case was going to court. I asked if I could face my attacker. He was a young man standing shackled in prison uniform. I learned he had a history of alcoholism and domestic violence. The court room was full to capacity. My Victim Advocate walked with me to stand before the judge and this attacker with the attorneys. The courtroom went silent as they listened.
I asked him why he would do such a thing and he shook silently with fear. I told him I felt violated and frightened for my personal safety. I asked him to consider a rehabilitation program that would build strength and wisdom in him, rather than steal his sense of well-being and that of others in the world. He shook his head in agreement. I then told him that I forgave him. He broke and wept uncontrollably, stating in between sobs, how sorry he was for violating me. I thanked him for his sincere apology.
The courtroom remained stoically silent in gasp and wonder. Then the judge spoke to me directly: “In all my years of serving on the bench, I have never witnessed such grace and beauty in forgiveness from a victim’s perspective; you are the most gracious lady ever in my courtroom.” Surprised, I thanked him, with a gentle bow, responding, “we must learn to forgive and love each other.” As I turned around with my Victim Advocate to walk back to my seat, people in the courtroom began to clap one by one, respectfully bowing their heads to me. What a gift we all gave to each other that day! Positive psychology at all three levels: subjective, individual and community.
Love Extends the Grace – Katy Rose (2018)
The secret of beginning a life of deep awareness and sensitivity lies in our willingness to pay attention. Our growth as conscious, awake human beings is marked not so much by grand gestures and visible renunciations as by extending loving attention to the minutest particulars of our lives. Every relationship, every thought, every gesture is blessed with meaning through the wholehearted attention we bring to it… We often discover that the greatest healing can lie within the smallest gestures; a loving touch, a caring word, the gift of a compassionate heart, allow us to extend ourselves beyond the boundaries of our personal worlds (Feldman, p. 3).
Distress causes people to act out of social grace. It is not our job to condemn them, but to simply understand we are in communion with them as a deeply integrated compassionate heart. Love extends the grace for the distressed to reach and find comfort in the peace of kindness. – Katy Rose (Jan. 2018)
Human Bravery by Katy Rose (2018)
“The Shambhala teachings are founded on the premise that there is basic human wisdom that can help to solve the world’s problems” (Trungpa, p. 5). Our basic goodness is not a concept, but instead, a trust in our human self radiating competence in spacious clarity of presence. It can be painful to be aware, as we let go of self-idealized concepts. Human bravery comes from working with the softness, the tenderness of one’s own human heart with fearlessness.
Psychology defines attention as “the enhancement of selected sensory information.” Our sense perceptions will be pure and wisdom rich when we first tend to our own shadows. When this unresolved grief, often repressed, selects and creates our reality, we fail to be authentic in our basic goodness. Meditation offers the opportunity to befriend our inner most dialogue in its full emoted presence, safely.
On my website: www.eagleheart.life I write: “When the perception is loss, separation occurs, thus, in an effort to protect the human heart and intellect, grieving shadows emerge articulating loss and disconnection, the precursors of metabolic illness in body, mind and spirit. This then compromises the integrity of Soul’s spirit to perceive others correctly with right intelligence and true compassion…Soul uses the thoughts and feelings of our subtle bodies as the regulators of experience. If love is not the prime mover of cause in one’s life, then often, in a misguided arrogance, the individual may project misalignment of purpose.” Our subjective reality rules the authenticity of our human bravery.
Last night I shared with someone who asked me about love and self-peace that we must learn to cherish our traumas as god-markers of spiritual brilliance, as it opens curiosity and respect for oneself and others. By choosing to know oneself in this way is practice in self-care. It’s about opening the heart – its intelligence, to the random beauty and radiance of the moment without concept…choosing to live in the human bravery of basic goodness.