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“Not one single atom opposes us…”

Jul 9, 2018

 

Not one single atom opposes us.
Behold the gleaming arising from the single mind.
-Hongzhi

 

It was 4:00 am. Usually I am excited when I awake. But today I was sighing in the early morning darkness.

“Ohhhhh….” I sighed, as I reluctantly got out of bed. “I don’t know if I can pull this off… this Big Hairy Audacious Goal… this BHAG I’ve been envisioning.”

Yet everything was in place. I was set. I had carved out the time and created two offices.

One is the Analog Office. It’s filled with five white boards mapping projects, the long art table brimming with brushes, paints, opened books, notes and more notes, and a thick carpet to keep the Qi flowing with yoga or Qigong.

The second office is the Digital Office. It is filled with three large computer monitors and a dynamite stand-up desk with a treadmill beneath it.

Like a good Girl Scout, I was prepared – even down to the special Pomegranate Dragon Fruit Tea I’d gathered from the Tea House on Canyon Road.

Yet all the physical preparation didn’t matter that morning. It was the Sisyphus self-talk that needed to be up-leveled, or there would be no creativity and motivation for the project.

I began going into a trance with distractions:
… The Avocado and Corn Gazpacho needs to be made before everything is overripe…
… The package needs to be sent before 10:00…
… The squash plants need peppermint spray to keep the bugs off…
… While it’s cool, maybe a good bike ride down to the preserve…

And on it went. I was listening-impaired. I only heard the myriad things that distract.

The rabbit hole was beginning to beckon me down. The trance was becoming thicker. I purposely pushed myself toward the Inspiration Box I’d created years ago, opened it, and pulled out this poem:

 

Froglessness
by Thich Nhat Hanh

The first fruition of the practice
is the attainment of froglessness.

When a frog is put
on the center of a plate,
she will jump out of the plate after just a few seconds.

If you put the frog back again
on the center of the plate,
she will again jump out.

You have so many plans,
There is something you want to become.
Therefore you always want to make a leap,
a leap forward.

It is difficult
to keep the frog still
on the center of the plate.

You and I
both have Buddha Nature in us.
This is encouraging,
but you and I
both have Frog Nature in us.

That is why
the first attainment
of the practice –
froglessness is its name.

 

Mmmm… yes, that is this moment for me.

Then I pulled another snippet out of the box. It was a quote by Zen Master Hongzhi, “Not one single atom opposes us. Behold the gleaming arising from the single mind.”

In reading this, the Inner Critic oppositions began tumbling out… I felt a trance-like anxiety.

What if I fail????? What if I can’t figure out how to do this?

“Behold the gleaming arising from the single mind.”

Get to your cushion, I told myself. I went and sat. My belly relaxed. Cushion Wisdom began to manifest and “the gleaming arising from the single mind” came forward.

No longer was I in opposition to the goal. I sat up straighter and moved into the silence. The trances were easily spotted. The frequency rose through awareness and Cushion Wisdom, and Growth Mindset took over…

I remembered six questions I ask myself when working on my BHAG:
1. What is stopping me? (“It has to be perfect.” “I will fail.”)
2. What is the best thing that could happen if I accomplished the goal? (Happiness and satisfaction…)
3. What is the best thing that could happen if it wasn’t perfect? (The fabulous feeling that I gave it my best…)
4. What is the best thing that could happen if I failed? (The experience will help me do it better next time…)
5. How can I get into the creative flow again? (Getting leverage on the importance of the BHAG, qigong, breathing exercises…)
6. Who in my community can be at my back for support and accountability?

This whole community can!

Please join me on Saturday, July 21 at 8:00 am Mountain Time, to take your BHAG to the next stage in our Community Playshop. We will come together for encouragement, accountability, and mindfulness exercises, while taking blocks of time for focused work on our individual BHAGs.

I’ll also be exploring this during the Mindfulness Coaching Call on July 9th!

Deep Bow to you,
Ann-Marie

2 Comments

  1. Courtney Sherman

    Insightful and soothing. Thanks for sharing, Ann-Marie.

  2. Mimi Peak

    Awesome!!! and… YES!!

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