beyond the zone is much better

The Habitable Zone of Suffering

“Some people suffer too much and others suffer too little,” a wise friend of mine once said. 

Although we don’t like to admit it, suffering can be a blessing. 

The first noble truth of the Buddha states that life is suffering. Yet the word “suffering” fails to capture the meaning of what the Buddha really intended. By “suffering,” he didn’t simply mean pain and discomfort, even though these too are inescapable in life. Rather, he intimated that life was incapable of fully satisfying us, that there was something about this life and this world that just didn’t quite fit. 

Suffering is the experience of that absence. The very fact that this worldly game is broken belies the reality that it can’t bestow happiness. And that sucks.

If you suffer too much, you might think that happiness and peace do not exist. You would see the way the worldly game is broken but you’d see no redemption to be found. You might forget that there is a song in your Soul and an ecstasy inside you. Too much suffering and you lose hope and heart. You forget your divine connection and never suspect the godly dimension within.

If you suffer too little, you might not see that this worldly game is broken. You might mistakenly believe it can actually give you fulfillment. You wouldn’t bother to ask if there is more to this reality or your existence. You’d merely concern yourself with sensory and intellectual pleasures. While suffering too much is like being parched in a desert, suffering too little is like drinking saltwater. It seems fulfilling but it isn’t. 

Between too much and too little lies the habitable zone of suffering. My guru often says that suffering is a wellspring to throw you back to the divine. It is not that there is some virtue or merit in suffering. But rather, the right amount of suffering is what lends intensity to our turning away from the unsatisfactory play of our worldly experience. The right amount of suffering kindles the fire of our longing to be free from our limited sandbox of a “reality” by awakening to The Real Thing. 

For me, my suffering peaked after I graduated college. I was living at home, I had no idea of where to steer my future, my girlfriend of six years had broken up with me, and my world was in shambles. I would wake up every morning and just think, “Oh. I’m still here.” Stuck in that same situation day after day for two years. 

And over those two years, I felt this suffering in my gut and this confusion in my mind. But I knew there was more. I persevered in my meditation practice and started to immerse myself in Buddhist compassion teachings. I stumbled upon the book The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron, which I endlessly recommend to this day. It is a very short book and yet it took me six months to work through because it kept pointing out everything within myself that I had tried so hard to ignore. 

Every day I strived to make peace with the suffering, sometimes succeeding and sometimes failing. But either way I would wake up every morning at the beginning again, feeling like shit. And again I would work through it during the day. This did a lot to soften my heart and enthusiastically introvert my attention away from the world and into myself. I grew to value non-attachment and love. 

Of course, all of that suffering I described was circumstantial. Eventually I found a direction for my life, I moved out of the house, I experienced new loves, and my world changed. By then, however, I wasn’t fooled. I had known suffering, it had pointed me to a profound and intimate realization within, and I wasn’t about to be seduced by a pleasurable change in circumstances. I was grateful for that change, but I didn’t forget my path inward. 

To and fro goes the way. Suffering did come again. And so did relief and pleasure. Nothing is permanent in this world, everything is temporary and transient. Good things and bad. The right amount of suffering turns us away from this false dichotomy of good and bad to find something indescribable, blissful, and beyond them both. 

Instead of resenting your own suffering or the seemingly better fortune of others, contemplate the habitable zone of suffering and what the emphasis really should be. 

Namaste! Much love. 

Shut up and dance with me

I wrote this for ursulaismymiddlename as a thank you for helping me figure out this world of Tumblr and for the fun talks we’ve had over the last few days!

Her request: Okay, so how about Peter Quill loves to watch you dance around his ship in just your underwear and one of his old shirts.  Sometimes, he can’t keep his hands off of you *wink*

I might be the only one silly enough to wonder how the Guardians would wash their clothes in space, after seeing the movie and especially after getting this request, but there you have it. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this. Let me know what you think!

Word count: 3282

Warning: contains smut!

The title and the lyrics are from the song ‘Shut up and dance with me’ by Walk the Moon!

Keep reading

anonymous asked:

All the guys reaction with a shy s/o?

  • Ayato: “Come on, don’t be shy. Yours Truly would love to hear you..” He is actually sort of bummed out. He does like quiet girls sometimes, but he doesn’t like it when you won’t speak to him at all! He tries to ask you questions all the time just to get an answer from you.
  • Reiji: SWEET. SWEET. V I C T O R Y. He loves that you silent almost all the time, the only time he doesn’t like it is when he ask you a question and you don’t answer him. That annoys him beyond words.
  • Kanato: Good. Dolls aren’t supposed to talk. He is much like Reiji though, don’t answer him and he get angry. He doesn’t like it because he think that you think you’re better than him.
  • Laito: He makes it her personal mission to get you out of your shell. He ask questions, tries to get you to do fun activities that involve talking like singing.
  • Shu: He doesn’t mind that you’re quiet. He just lets you take naps with him and doesn’t force you out of your comfort zone when it comes to speaking.
  • Subaru: Lots and Lots of playing chess and checkers. He knows since you don’t want to speak then he still wants to have fun so he picks games where you have to be quiet.
  • Ruki: “Livestock, why don’t you come read with me?” That was his method to coax you into talking, he would read aloud and then pass off to you and eventually try to have full conversations.
  • Kou: “It’s embarrassing!” He would pout, “All my fans keep asking if you’re mute…” He didn’t like how shy you were, but he would try to play it off like you actually were mute.
  • Yuma: “Sow, I’m not going to kill you for talking. You know that, right?” He thinks maybe you thought he was a serial killer by how quiet you stay. He would make you help out in the garden and ask you questions like, “What’s your favorite type of flower?” To try and get something out of you.
  • Azusa: “It’s okay…I don’t like being..loud either.” He’s very kind and doesn’t make you talk, he just hugs on you and holds you a lot.

anonymous asked:

You know I legit scrolled past the drawing because I didn’t recognize the art but then I did a double take and found out it was you who posted that Alphyne battle thing! You bamboozler! Keep up the good work, it’s nice to see you’re improving your art skills! :D

aaahh thank you so much, I’m really happy I’m getting better!! It’s always really fun to do stuff that’s somewhere beyond my comfort zone, I feel so accomplished when it turns out good :’D

Anonymous said: I LOVE HOW YOU MADE ALPHYS’S GLASSES DO THE ANIME SHING THING IT MAKES MY OTAKU HEART HAPPY

YES I KNOW RIGHT, ALPHYS DESERVES TO LIVE HER ANIME TROPES, SHE’S VERY COOL AND SHE NEEDS TO KNOW THIS

SPOOKY SCIENCE LIZARD

Dear Introverts,

Being an introvert isn’t an excuse. Your introversion is simply your natural tendency; your comfort zone. It doesn’t define what you can or cannot do.

Don’t put yourself inside a box.

It isn’t an excuse not to master social skills. It isn’t an excuse not to try new activities or meet new people. It shouldn’t limit you from chatting up to a stranger or organizing an event. It cannot stop you from mastering conversational skills beyond those boring small talks you can’t stand.

If you want interesting conversations - start them.
If you want interesting friends - find them.

We already have an advantage: we don’t need people as much as extraverts do, and we don’t care as much about what people think of us. Use that to your benefits.

Get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. These are just skills you can master, just like any other skills, not something off limit. You won’t believe what you can experience and how much your life can change for the better.

Sincerely,

A former reclusive introvert who became outgoing and experienced this first hand.

______________________________________________

Note#1: Just to be clear, I’m not telling you to become an extrovert but to simply master social skills and get out of your comfort zone.

Note#2: An INFP asked how to meet new people. Here’s my answer.

mmhhHHHHMMM MY GOSH GUYS this is super important!! Again, this applies to all school levels, so listen up!

This is a lesson I learned early on, all the way back in grade school. As someone who competed neck-in-neck with someone for honors throughout elementary to high school, you need to be careful about not letting competitiveness get to you. Worst case scenario, you can ruin relationshipsCompeting with others can cause stress and bitterness

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a friendly rivalry. A relationship like this will encourage and push you both to work harder, but maintan a friendly relationship. 

A rivalry is no longer friendly when instead of encouraging, you or the other person begin to try and pull each other down, or become angry or irritated at the other for getting better grades than you. This is very harmful to one’s mental & emotional state, and prevents you from giving your best. 

On the other hand, competing with yourself, I’ve found, is more healthy. By focusing more on yourself improvement than doing better than others, you lessen your points of stress. 

“Know thyself”, a Greek proverb, is very important for being able to compete with yourself. You know what you can do, thus you know how far you can push yourself. You know your strengths & weaknesses, so you focus more on bettering yourself by working with your strengths and finding ways to overcome your weaknesses. Instead of thinking “How much do I have to do to be better than this person?”, you should think, “What can I do to be better than my current self?” 

Learning and self-improvement is lifelong, so don’t be pressured to rush it. Take it at your own pace, but don’t be afraid to go beyond your comfort zone! You may discover some hidden strengths, and overcome some weaknesses along the way! (●´ω`●)

Find more of my tips here