the biggest obstacles

anonymous asked:

hey i dont mean to sound like an idiot but you mentioned that you support macdennis because it would fulfill the narrative... what do u mean by that?

nah don’t worry! you don’t sound like an idiot

okay so like….. there’s been a TON of subtext throughout the show since season 3 (you could argue that it was even earlier than that) that mac is in love with dennis, or at least has Feelings™ for him. it’s gradually been built up season by season– mac tries to kiss dennis in s8, he accepts the role of househusband in s11 without dennis having to coerce him at all, etc.

before, the biggest obstacle to the two of them having some kind of moment together (ala charlie and dee in the gang misses the boat, loath as i am to say it) was that mac was closeted. now that he’s out for real, though, there’s not really anything stopping the two of them from at least kissing. even if you don’t believe that dennis is bisexual (which i…. think he is, and rcg has pretty heavily hinted that he is as well), we’ve seen before that dennis is willing to have sex with men– he almost did in frank’s back in business after all. after ptsdee, we also know that rcg isn’t at ALL afraid to ramp things up between mac and dennis even more now that mac is out.

so when i say that it would fulfill the narrative if macdennis happened, i mean it would deliver on twelve years of subtext in the show. and now that the biggest obstacle to macdennis happening has been removed, there’s even more reason for it to happen.

did this clear things up? let me know if not!

4

Crippling insecurities and carelessness get the better of us all, even Kings

♊ Gemini Romantic Compatibility 💛

Gemini And…

♈ Aries - Aries and Gemini are considered a very compatible couple. They have common interests and similar temperaments. Though Aries is slightly more dominant, Gemini is more observant and adaptable to Aries’ ways. The biggest obstacle for the pair is a lack of planning and foresight.

♉ Taurus - Taurus and Gemini face challenges when it comes to communication and common interests. The differences between the two come out slowly and often simmer for long periods of time. This can lead to passive aggression in the relationship. Taurus can be stubborn and Gemini impatient, if not addressed this characteristic clash can cause the demise of such a romance.

♊ Gemini - Two Gemini can foster an interesting and well balanced relationship. They are both open and communicative with one another and are equally comfortable having adventures and resting at home with each other. This relationship is filled with active conversations.  Geminis tend to be impractical and this can lead to distance within the relationship. Making time for one another is imperative for long term success.

♋ Cancer - Cancer and Gemini have some fundamental characteristic differences that can make this pairing difficult to navigate. Cancer is sensitive while Gemini has a tendency to make light of heavy emotional situations. If the couple can listen to one another and become accustom to their partner’s emotional characteristics, the relationship can become well balanced.

♌ Leo - Leo and Gemini is considered a very fun and harmonious match. Both enjoy an active and adventurous lifestyle, though Leo enjoys the dramatic more than Gemini. Leo is more organized than Gemini, which can lead to a bit of tension. Both signs are flirtatious, but Leo can become jealous easily so communication is important when it comes to fidelity.

♍ Virgo - This pairing is highly dependent on compromise between Virgo and Gemini. Both are great communicators and adaptable to their partner’s needs. This makes for a solid foundation. Virgo has trouble separating work mode from relaxation mode, which can bother Gemini. If Gemini can help Virgo relax and Virgo’s work ethic can rub off on Gemini, the relationship had real potential.

♎ Libra - One of the most compatible pairings in the Zodiac. Libra and Gemini are extremely in sync and often make others jealous of their seemingly perfect relationship. Even though both are adventurous and social, they are also indecisive and not great at keeping track of finances.

♏ Scorpio - Scorpio and Gemini share an intense sexual attraction, but have very different personalities. Gemini can be very social and often flirtatious, while Scorpio enjoys the company of very few and in small doses. If Gemini is patient with Scorpio they can figure out together how to balance their very different interpersonal appetites.

♐ Sagittarius - Sagittarius and Gemini have a strong pull toward each other. Their initial attraction is further solidified by their shared love of deep philosophical conversation and their inquisitive minds. Sagittarius tends to solve problems by considering the big picture, while Gemini is more detail oriented. If they can consider one another’s perspectives it can lead to both becoming more well rounded.

♑ Capricorn - Capricorn and Gemini is not considered a particularly compatible relationship. Capricorn tends to be more organized and serious than Gemini, which can lead to Capricorn feeling like they look after Gemini like a child. Capricorn is also less sociable than Gemini. These factors can lead to serious strain on the relationship if Gemini is unwilling to adopt some of Capricorn’s maturity.

♒ Aquarius - This pairing is said to have soulmate potential. Many Aquarius and Gemini grow a strong friendship even if they decide not to pursue a romantic relationship. Gemini can be unsure of what they want in a relationship which is part of why Aquarius is such a great match. Aquarius is dynamic and will keep Gemini on their toes and constantly in awe of Aquarius’ personality range. Gemini is one of the only signs that can keep up with Aquarius’ love for lively debate. The downside of this pairing is both signs’ lack of motivation to complete menial tasks like everyday chores and maintenance.

♓ Pisces -Gemini and Pisces make for a bittersweet match. Both signs are emotional, but Pisces needs reassurance that Gemini shares their unconditional love. Gemini, on the other hand, does not need as much reassurance and may be confused by Pisces’ need for romantic gestures. Gemini’s sense of humor can also cause Pisces to feel that they are not as important as they need to be in the relationship. Gemini must be aware that their tendency to make light of emotional situations can hurt Pisces.

Otherkin tarot spread

A 20-card spread for divining advanced information about a past life, id, or kintype. 

It looks chaotic, but each card is placed with intention and relation to the questions of cards around it. I recommend using the spot in the middle for an item of divination, such as a crystal or a pendulum to work with your deck, or even as the space for an oracle card.

See questions below read more.

Keep reading

♈ Aries Romantic Compatibility ❤️️

Aries and…

♈ Aries - Though this pairing is considered unique, it can make for a stable relationship under certain conditions. The biggest problem between Aries’ is their affinity for competition. This can be accomplished if both partners focus their energies on their own ambitions and goals or if they work in very different fields.

♉ Taurus - Aries and Taurus may not be attracted to each other initially, but with effort and time a strong connection can form between the two. There may be vast differences in the pair’s interests. Neither of these signs are particularly flexible in relationships, so learning how to balance the strong inclinations of each other is very important.

♊ Gemini - Aries and Gemini are considered a very compatible couple. They have common interests and similar temperaments. Though Aries is slightly more dominant, Gemini is more observant and adaptable to Aries’ ways. The biggest obstacle for the pair is a lack of planning and foresight.

♋ Cancer - This pairing can be challenging to navigate. It is imperative that both signs be diligent toward the others’ needs and preferences.  Aries is more adventurous than Cancer, but Cancer is more sensitive and level headed. Both are very strong willed, which can supersede the differences in these signs and make the relationship stable.

♌ Leo - Leo and Aries are an extremely compatible couple. The key to this pairing is the balance between what the signs have in common and their differences. There is just enough competition and exciting differences to keep the relationship fresh and active.

♍ Virgo - Aries and Virgo typically have great mental compatibility and are sexually well matched. The biggest hurtle for this couple is their lack of communication. Though there may not be an initial connection between the two, Virgos and Aries’ that decide to build on their relationship can create something very worthwhile.

♎ Libra - This pairing can be extremely sexual compatible but may struggle with differences in lifestyles. Compromise will make all the difference in this relationship. Aries is a person of action, while Libra prefers to plan and give great attention to detail. If they allow one another to influence their decisions, they will both be able to make bigger and more precise strides.

♏ Scorpio - The Aries and Scorpio pair has been described as “explosive”, mainly due to the intense sexual compatibility between the two. Both signs are known to be passionate and strong willed. Sex can become the strongest aspect of the relationship, which may not lend itself to longevity. Cheating can be the biggest mistake in an Aries/Scorpio relationship and can breed terrible outcomes. Scorpio may not be used to Aries’ openness and it will take some time to get used to. Aries should be aware of Scorpio’s initial caution.

♐ Sagittarius - Aries and Sagittarius is another highly compatible pairing. Both are adventurous, active, and spontaneous. This couple is special. As many other signs have trouble keeping up with Aries and Sagittarius, this relationship stands out to both partners.

♑ Capricorn - Capricorn and Aries can be a challenging relationship. Getting used to one another will be a slow and sometimes confusing process. They both have their own set ways and have trouble communicating their needs to one another. The two are compatible sexually. If Capricorn becomes the dominant personality in the relationship Aries may feel things become stable, but stale. If Aries takes the lead in the relationship Capricorn will feel that things are unstable and rushed.

♒ Aquarius - A pairing full of potential, Aries and Aquarius can build an exciting life together. Aries admires Aquarius’ unpredictability and uniqueness while Aquarius will relish the independence of Aries and their shared rebelliousness. Aries may become a bit demanding of Aquarius when it comes to their sexual relationship.

♓ Pisces - The success of a Pisces and Aries match is largely dependent on Aries’s ability to show their patient and romantic sides. Pisces is loyal and sensitive and can be a great supporter of Aries if given what they need emotionally. Pisces is at the most risk in this relationship, as they can be made to feel unimportant by a dominant sign such as Aries. Communication on Pisces’ part and understanding and effort on Aries’ part make all the difference. 

9

We have a restore from the show plot to a rep plot, and so far this season most of our restores to rep have had a number of difficulties, part of which includes technician skill levels (by which I mean some of the staff at the roadhouse and some of the overhires the PM has hired leave much to be desired.)

So we figured in addition to more thorough plots and instructions (and hand holding where necessary), we decided to try Lightwright 6′s new Label making software. After working with the Venue ME to figure out what information was needed on the labels, I got to work deciphering and understanding how to make these labels really work well. Some of the challenges are that LW6 allows conditional formatting, so the column on the left changes color to match the color of the paint on our instrument barrels (So all our 26s have pink paint, 50s yellow, 36s white, etc), the symbol changes to match the symbol on the plot, and the gels and gobos autopopulate accordingly.

The biggest obstacle is that LW6 has a very narrow list of images it can produce, and VW symbols or instrument symbols is not one of them.
To work around this, it does allow for the presenting of focus charts. So in the focus chart editor for each light I uploaded a picture of each instrument symbol. It means we can’t use that aspect of focus charts, but we’re not likely to, and if we do want to, we can just make a separate LW file.

The second biggest obstacle is that the column on the left is actually a stack of columns that are transparent in their default state, and change to a color based on what instrument the label is for.

Our goal is to make this as idiotproof as possible, so there’s going to be a 2″ by 4″ label to the left of where every rep unit lives that indicates all the vital information an electrician will need to make the light fully functional and ready to focus, and leave little room for mistakes.

But as Douglas Adams once aptly stated “ A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

So we’ll see where we get with strike on Monday.

Seriously, folks. In the course of five seasons, Brian and Justin’s relationship managed to make it through:

  • A significant age difference
  • Brian’s deep-seeded emotional issues and insecurities
  • Justin being bashed and the resulting trauma both of them experienced stemming from that event
  • Ethan
  • Brian losing his job and being deeply in debt
  • Brian’s cancer
  • Justin living in Los Angeles for an indeterminate length of time
  • A breakup based on incompatible views of their future
  • A bombing

And you’re going to tell me that having to take a 90 minute flight to see each other is going to be the death knell for them as a couple?

I don’t fucking think so.

question of the moment is whether I should pursue grad school and get a doctorate in some kind of conservation-directed marine biology subset or if I should go balls to the wall on getting involved with educational television production as soon as the oregon job ends

my brain says the former is a safer choice but I’ve wanted to be jeff corwin since I was literally a toddler so

This is a daily forecast spread perfect for a workweek morning! It’s focused mostly on keeping up your momentum and maximizing the potential of the new day.

Today’s Energy - This is how things will feel for you today. Use this to consider whether you need to speed up. slow down, or schedule some extra self-care.

Today’s Theme - This is the gist of what will happen to you today as well as the area of your life that needs your attention the most. Useful to consider if you only have time/energy to complete some of your to-do list.

Today’s Problem - The biggest obstacle to getting what you want to do done. Could be external or internal..

Suggested Course - Something you can do to help yourself through today with the least fuss.

Wrap Up Yesterday - This is a thought, feeling, or task that has been sticking around too long. Address it now and put it to bed, you’ll feel much better for it.

Key to Tomorrow - Here’s what you should know or do to give yourself a head start on the next day! This card should show how to end your day and wind down.

Cards are read in the order I have listed their descriptions.

I'm Supercorp Trash But I'm Rooting For Lena and Winn

Hear me out.

Lena’s spent pretty much all of her life surrounded by darkness. I dunno if they’ve confirmed exactly when Lex Luthor went to jail, but Lena’s ascent to CEO following his arrest seems quite recent. That means realistically she’s been locked in a family dynamic where her only protector turned out to be a genocidal monster until maybe a year ago. Winn Schott is a guide to get her to the light. He’s the only person (outside of Maggie) that could really help Lena in the way that she so desperately needs right now.

I live and die for Kara Danvers, but Kara can’t empathize with or validate Lena’s darkness. She’s got her own separate issues (abandonment), but there’s a special darkness to realizing your family’s violent and destructive. I don’t mean “made a morally gray decision” like Kara’s mother. I mean recognizing that the people you love are hateful and cruel and that no matter how much you love them, they won’t change. Winn knows that just as acutely as Lena does. And Winn is also proof for Lena - proof that there’s a way out. Proof that you can come from that violence and darkness and pain and find your way toward doing real good in the world.

Yes, Lena could get there on her own, but that path is so hard by yourself. Then you layer on a friendship with Supergirl where Supergirl can’t quite get how Lena might be worried that it’s only a matter of time before she goes evil and boom - ready-made recipe for Lena to backslide each time she thinks she’s making progress. Having someone who’s only a few steps ahead of you on that journey out of darkness means you always know where you’re going. You have someone who can forgive your moments of darkness while acknowledging that you still have to do the work. Lena would because she wants to measure up to Supergirl’s expectations.

Once Lena finds her way out of that darkness - once she can accept that the Luthor name can stand for good and that her inheritance is more than genocide and pain, then Lena and Kara fit together. Then they get to be endgame.

Anyway, that’s my long-winded speech on why I think Lena/Winn would be a Winn/win situation.

Make a move. The board is cleared. Get on with it.

The two biggest canonical obstacles for people to embrace a homonormative read of Holmes & Watson in the ACD stories have undoubtedly been Irene and Mary. This episode concretely recontextualizes both women to remove their presence as obstacles to accessing the full depth of care and intimacy shared between Sherlock and John.

The Baker Street scene at the end of TLD is a cathartic confrontation: Sherlock and John must confront the specter of each of the women–through memory/mind palace (Mary) and phone/heart (Irene), but they end up, the two of them, against the rest of the world, embracing and then walking on together, the ghosts of Mary and Irene left behind–not forgotten, but folded into the past.

Phone and mind palace/memory are potent symbolic devices, but they are abstractions, echoes of the obvious heart of the matter, just as continuing to insist that these two women are the ultimate partners of Sherlock and John is, at best, abstraction based on heteronormative expectation. In this scene, Irene and Mary are considered and acknowledged, but are moved into positions of auxiliary tenderness, while John and Sherlock are re-emphasized as the epicenter of tenderness and affection in this world and especially in the space of Baker Street.

The women, markers of decades of presumed normative intimacies, are allowed to fade back and Sherlock and John go forward together, partaking together in a small celebration of Sherlock’s life, especially potent in the wake of acknowledging the strife of Sherlock’s near death in this episode and harkening back to TRF. But in stepping back into the into the world together (for cake!), they lay to rest the two biggest reasons people continually refute their intimacy, Irene and Mary and get on with it already. Mary disappears, literally, from John’s subconscious vision and there are no more text sounds from Irene. It is just Sherlock and John, when all is said and done.

Importantly, space is opened a bit through reaching a new physically and emotionally raw and intimate moment so that they soon may stop refuting their intimacy to each other through so many layers of miscommunication and poor timing. The accumulated damage of these blockages has been cathartically, even painfully removed throughout this episode.

The presumed canonical blocks to the depth and care of their intimacy are fully, finally removed. Grieving is given its space and healing can openly begin and continue, acknowledged. The ghosts of past presumptions are laid to rest, first with viewers, and then finally, we surmise, for Sherlock and John.

The path is clear.

@neroslyre @kinklock @teapotsubtext @quietlyprim

anonymous asked:

On a scale of 1-10, how kinky is Urd? :DD

// Looks on the Saito post from some days ago. Looks at all the shit I’ve managed to him HC into. Uuuhhhh….
Usually he’s like a 2, and will kink-shame the shit out of people. He’s not that much into sex, or kinks for the matter. But mix a bit of blood into the game, and a person he has interest in… And then he’s suddenly the one who suggests.. Stuff. I don’t know, like 8-9? He has his on’s and off’s, but you bet he wouldn’t hold back on most things.

3

A REALITY OF OUR OWN” by literaryempress | @xmasmickey

Ian Gallagher’s heart lies within the world of comic books and fictional universes, for he lives in a reality quite darker than Gotham City itself. He uses these fictional characters and their experiences as a means to cope with the emotional and psychological abuse Frank has put him through, which resulted in the death of his mother and the lack of his own self esteem. At a Chicago Comic Con, he meets Mickey Milkovich, an equally bright-eyed teenager just like him with a mutual interest in comic books and superheroes. They both come together to deviate themselves from the darkness of the outside world, ultimately strengthening their friendship while constructing a deeper connection. However, will friendship, love, and alternate universes be enough for them to overcome life’s biggest obstacles?

In with the Bad Air, Out with the Good

by Gelek Rimpoche

“Give and Take” mounted on the breath is the magic device
Bringing love, compassion, and the special mind.
To save all beings from this world’s great ocean,
Please bless me to awaken true bodhimind.

From “An Offering Ceremony to the Spiritual Masters ” by The First Panchen Lama

As the First Panchen Lama suggests, the practice of tonglen—give and take—is a major way of subduing our self-cherishing, ego-pleasing thoughts. Ego is our biggest obstacle to developing bodhimind. When we try to destroy ego, we are training our mind—the mind that ignores all other people, the one that thinks we are the most important person of all. Once we have been able to destroy our selfish, egoistic thoughts, we begin to act as our true selves and we have a real ability to benefit ourselves and others.

Right now, the ego blocks our capacity to help not only others but also ourselves. We have to understand that we cannot really help anyone until we have learned how to help ourselves. But the ego prevents us from helping ourselves by presenting a false notion of what it really means to help ourselves. What does our ego want? Ego wants us to be superior to everybody else; ego wants me to be the best of all. If you are a meditator, your ego would like you to be the best meditator, and if you are an artist, your ego would like you to be recognized as a creative genius. If you’re a businessman, you want to be the most prosperous, wealthy and efficient, and to that end you will do whatever it takes to destroy your competition. Your ego always demands supreme superiority. In Tibetan, we call this attitude dag zin , holding tight to the self.

The more successful you become, the more the demands of your ego will increase. In the beginning, you simply want to succeed, but your ego will not be satisfied. When you become a little more successful, your ego wants to kill your competition. And when you become even more successful, it wants to make you the universal king. There is no telling what ego wants because our desire doesn’t have any limit; therefore, its demands continually increase.

Our ego is so interesting. Just watch your mind when you say, “What do I want? What do I want to take? All the best! Whatever anyone has, I want it!” And what do you want to give? “All the problems and the misery.” That’s ego talking. But it’s not the real you. You are a good and wonderful person. You are kind. You have a compassionate nature.

To free ourselves, we need to turn the tables on ego’s demands. So whatever ego wants, you should turn around and do the opposite. If ego tells you, “Go up,” make sure you go down. If ego tells you, “Go down,” go up. That’s how you have to treat your ego. If ego tells you, “Get all the best!” it means it is time for you to take all the worst. And if ego tells you, “Give all the miserable things,” then take all the miserable things. That is the premise of the practice called tonglen, or “give and take.”

Tonglen practice is united with the flow of the breath. The breathing system we have is to inhale and exhale air. That is basic human nature. We breathe in and out, and if we stop doing either of them, we’re gone. Tonglen uses this basic human function to develop compassion and love. As we breathe in and out, we try to develop love and compassion: compassion-oriented breathing in and love-oriented breathing out.

One important difficulty you might encounter is thinking, “It doesn’t make any difference to me that all these people are suffering. Why should I care?” That is worse than thinking, “I need to help but I can’t.”

Ego’s trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help their parents, too, whether they want to or not. You may say, “My mother and my father were supposed to nurture me. It’s okay to help them because they were supposed to help me.” Or you may say, “I don’t really like this difficulty, but it involves my mother, so I can’t look away.” It is very similar to the feelings some people have when they are divorced. A woman might say about her ex-husband, “He’s my daughter’s father”—she dislikes him, she’s angry, upset, yet he is still “my daughter’s father.” She can’t cut that part out. Even when she’s dying to cut it out and tear it into pieces, he’s still her daughter’s father.

This is reality. The connections between people are so serious, so strong and so long-lasting, that we cannot remove them. Our changing lives have made it so that we don’t recognize each other, but we do have a tremendous amount of connection. We have dealt with each other so many times in our previous lives. We put trust in each other, we consult each other, we try to gain some wisdom from each other and we try to solve personal problems for each other. We also try to help the future generations. All these things we do together, and as a result we have a tremendous amount of connection. We are karmically connected. Even though we may feel we cannot connect to “all sentient beings” right at this moment, we are still very much connected to them.

Interdependence is reality, but we human beings have taken an “I couldn’t care less” attitude. Environmentalists have been telling us about the idea of interdependence, so we have begun to understand it on that level. The environment isn’t the only connection, though. The major connection is among the people. If there are no people, the environment doesn’t mean much. What makes the difference is the interpersonal connections. Buddha has presented the idea of interpersonal connection and how important it is, how relevant it is to our lives and how much our lives depend on it. Great compassion, responsibility and caring are based on the interpersonal relationship. The most important interpersonal relationship is bodhimind—caring and committing to others. That’s not a perfect definition of bodhimind, but that’s what it boils down to.

We are connected in a way that is similar to the connections between the parts of your body. If you get a thorn in your foot, your hand will go and take it out. If your foot is suffering from the thorn and your hands say, “I don’t care. I don’t have suffering. It’s the foot that has suffering,” or if the left hand gets a thorn and the right hand says, “I don’t care. It’s you who is suffering, not me,” in the end, the foot will suffer and the hands will suffer. That is how we function. Likewise, whether it is a personal problem, group problem or international problem, we should address it, talk about it and try to solve it together. If you don’t care about other people, it is a spiritual problem. If you don’t care about them, they won’t care about you, and we’ll all suffer and the problems will continue.

Tonglen practice is based on this connectedness, but when we practice tonglen—giving and taking on the breath—are we really helping others? In the long run, the answer is “yes,” we are helping others. No, it is not an immediate help for them, but it is helping us. At this moment we are not even taking their suffering; we are taking our own future suffering. So, we are also giving our positive karma to ourselves first. We try to materialize it, so that we don’t have to suffer. Then we do the same with the people that we care about. Then with the people they care about. Then with their family, children, spouses and so forth. That’s how we extend our practice when we involve ourselves with it seriously.

THE PRACTICE OF TONGLEN: GENERAL INSTRUCTION

If you are a reasonable person, you want to make those nearest and dearest to you happy. What makes them unhappy? Their mental, physical and emotional suffering. Normally that’s what our lives are all about. When we have physical pain, we say, “Ouch!” When we have mental or emotional pain, we have a long face. When we hear and see pain in those we love, we try to make them happy by removing their suffering. To make use of that urge, we do a mental exercise. The tool we use is our breath. The power of inhalation lifts their suffering. The power of exhalation gives them our joy, and the cause of that joy, our virtue.

You breathe in from the left nostril. While breathing in, you take their suffering. You take it completely, without any fear, without any hesitation, and you don’t leave anything out.
Breathing out from the right nostril, you give all your happiness and the causes of your happiness, your compassion, everything. Without any attachment, without any hesitation, without any miserliness. It reaches them in the form of light, and all become happy and joyful.

The visualization that accompanies the breathing is very important. It makes a big impact on our consciousness. When practicing tonglen, it is recommended to imagine people with faces and names—actual living human beings. You may think, “That way we will only care about human beings. What about the others—my cat, my dog?” This is your cat or dog, but in this tradition you visualize them with a human face and body, simply because it is easier to deal with human beings. And it may also contribute to linking up with a certain good karma, so that the cat or dog may become a human being in its next life.

In your visualization, your friend, your companion, and all the people you care for can be the most important ones, right in front of you—face to face if you want to. They are the object of meditation. When I say, “each and every person with a face and name,” this doesn’t mean that you have to keep on thinking, “Oh yeah, he’s here and she’s there and he’s there.” Your major focus can be on one or two people, but at the same time, you think that all the space is filled up with people. I very strongly object to visualizing nameless, faceless dots, but somehow it easily becomes that. If you have to keep on remembering everybody and go through all of their names and think of all their faces, that would be quite difficult. If we do it the simple way, we imagine that everyone is there, and when we are specifically thinking of somebody, they appear with a name and face.

At first, you may not have that much difficulty, but when you begin to think about it seriously, you may become afraid. You may have fear of taking or you may have hesitation in giving. That’s the ego-controlled part of our human nature. When you begin to take the suffering of people on yourself, your mind is going to have a tremendous amount of resistance. If you don’t think much about it, your attitude may be, “Whatever it may be, so be it.” That’s occurring on a very superficial level, where there are no problems. When you begin to think seriously about this, then you start to encounter resistance. You’ll say, “Why? Why me?”

THE PRACTICE OF TONGLEN ON SELF

If you are afraid of taking somebody else’s pain, start with taking your own suffering. If it’s in the morning, you take the suffering you are going to experience in the evening; or you take the suffering you are going to experience tomorrow, next week, next month, next year or next life. If we take in suffering that will come to us in the evening a little earlier, it might not become quite so big. It is much easier to take on your own suffering and problems in advance than taking on someone else’s. It is good to keep training your mind in that way.

While breathing in, take your own suffering from yourself. For example, say to yourself, “I’ll take my own suffering of this evening into me now, and tomorrow’s suffering, and next week’s, next month’s, next year’s, next life’s, and the sufferings of my lives thereafter.” Take your own pain into yourself, make it come a little quicker, so you settle for a smaller problem rather than the heaviest difficulties.

SPECIAL GIVE AND TAKE

Before we take any suffering, either our own future suffering or the suffering of the other person, the question arises, “What do I do with this now? Where am I going to put it within me?” We have to be prepared for that. We need a garbage can, some place to throw it. It so happens that we have an enemy inside: Mister Ego. That becomes our target. This method of making ego our target is called “special give and take.”

Collect your own negativities, which are the deeds of your ego. Collect your negative emotions, which are the thoughts of your ego. Then visualize your ego in the form of whatever you dislike—a big spider or a heap of darkness. Collect all of it. Don’t leave any part of your body or consciousness out. Just collect it all, somewhere at the center of your body, at the heart level.

What we are taking from the others is not only their suffering but also causes of their suffering, such as attachment, hatred and ignorance. All of these things come in through the breath. When these gather, it has an effect like lightning striking a rocky area; or—as we see on television these days—bombs exploding; or a cyclone picking up everything in its path. In that way it hits our ego, shreds it completely and destroys it. Not even a trace is left. Nothing! We don’t have to keep what we took inside us—feeling it and saving it there and suffering. Not only do we not have to do that, we shouldn’t do it.

THE PRACTICE OF TONGLEN ON A ONE-TO-ONE BASIS

Step 1. Visualize and connect. Visualize the person right in front of you, and think of their suffering; the disease they have; or the mental, physical and emotional pain they are going through. When you really see your friend suffering with unbearable pain, tears will come to you. That is true caring. It may not be great compassion, but it is a true feeling of compassion.

If you don’t feel anything when seeing the person you really love the most—your current companion or whomever—then you need to change the focus and try to recollect the suffering you have gone through yourself. Think about when you experienced similar difficulties, or if that’s not possible, any other difficulties: “How unhappy I was, how much pain I went through, how much anxiety I had, and how many times I woke up in the middle of the night with a heavy heart.”

Think of that, and then try to understand that this other person is going through the same kind of pain. Anyone can say, “Poor little thing!” but if we have no feelings, it isn’t very good—it is being out of touch. Being out of touch with compassion doesn’t work. We have to have the feeling. We can only understand and develop that feeling if we think about when we went through that, or something like that. If we think that way, we get a better understanding of what the other person is going through.

This particular feeling is not necessarily just for tonglen . It is important to use it within your family and apply it to all relationships: between husband and wife, between children and parents, among all members of the family. If you don’t understand the other person’s problems, you have to sit down, calm your mind, and think about when you had that pain and how you felt. If you can remember that, then your attitude toward your family members will be different. You will no longer be that short-tempered, snappy person. It will give you a better understanding of what other people’s pain is all about. Otherwise there is a danger for us of falling into saying, “Oh, the poor little things, how they are all suffering!”

Once you have that feeling, once you can really appreciate and understand what the other person is going through, you are giving rise to real caring. You would like to offer some kind of immediate solution. Right now you would like to destroy that pain. “If I can do something about it, let me do it right away, to make that pain go away.” That desire, anxiety and eagerness are what you need. Normally, when you see your child suffering tremendously, you will anxiously ask yourself, “What can I do?” You need that type of anxiety. You have to train your mind up to that level. When you have that anxiety, you will say, “Let me take the pain. Is there any way I can take it?”

Step 2. Take. When you come to that level, you can visualize it. Take it and lift it up by your own sincerity, by your own compassion, by the power of the truth, by the blessings of the enlightened beings: “I’m here now to take all the pains of that person.” Take it in the form of an undesirable color and breathe it in. Breathe it in—whatever that pain might be, including cancer. Take in the pain itself and the cause of the pain. In your visualization literally pick it up and bring it in. Like a powerful lightning bolt, it will hit that mountain of ego, that heap of darkness you have at your heart level, and destroy it. That is the taking in.

Step 3. Give. Then you give. You give love, affection, virtue—everything—without any hesitation. You give your own positive karma, your own body. Whatever the desire or need of the person may be, you give it to them. You are giving three things: your body, your wealth and your virtue. That’s the best we have to offer, so we give that. And whatever the need of the person might be, the giving comes in that form. The person becomes free of pain and happy, just as you wanted them to be.

The moment you have any hesitation, the moment you attach a condition, it is not good. People appreciate generosity, but when it is attached to a condition, it becomes difficult to accept it. I remember living in India, which is such a poor country. In the seventies and eighties, America gave a lot of aid but it came with strings attached. India didn’t appreciate it. India kept on saying, “We’d rather have trade than aid.” They even forced the U.S. aid office to close. If aid comes with strings attached, you become a puppet that has to dance on a string. Even India can say no to that. They are very proud of it, actually. And that is a good thing.

The quality of generosity involves not looking for return. There is no attachment, no hope of gaining something back, no looking for gratitude, and certainly no looking for control, influence or power. When you give, give without any hesitation, without any reservation. Just give.

To do tonglen on a one-to-one basis is very helpful. It is a tremendous opportunity, believe me. You can do this between partners. You can do this between healer and patient. You can do this between teacher and student. You can do this between caregiver and patient. For the caregiver it is a great opportunity for practice. For the patient it is an opportunity to thank the caring people. For the therapist it is a good opportunity to make the therapy work better. For the patient it is a good way of expressing gratitude to the therapist.

THE PRACTICE OF TONGLEN EXPANDED TO ALL BEINGS

From the traditional Buddhist point of view, we are expected to expand our object of focus. First, we can focus on the human level and whatever suffering we encounter there. We begin with one individual and expand our focus to two, three, four or five and multiply that. Eventually, in our Mahayana practice, the focal point becomes all beings, without leaving anyone out—all beings with the physical appearance of the people we know, with all their difficulties, with their normal egoistic characteristics.

The traditional teachings will tell you that when you are focusing on the hell realms, you take the suffering of the hell realm beings completely. You either do the eighteen hell realms one by one, working with their eighteen different characteristics, or you work with them more simply by dividing them in two, taking the hot hells and the cold hells separately. You could also take them all at once, taking the hot and cold hells all together. You do it according to whatever time you have and whatever is convenient for you. Then you move to the hungry ghost realm, then to the animal realm, the demi-god realm and the god realm. You cover all six realms, or even eighteen realms, whatever you want to do. But you always begin with the people you know and recognize.

Visualize those who are suffering in the hot-hell realm. Visualize that light rays of your body manifest there as a cold shower or a rainfall that has a tremendous cooling power. You take their suffering: the heat, the fear, the pain. You take the causes of their suffering: the karmic cause as well as the delusional cause—in particular the anger and hatred—together with the imprints. When you give your light, it goes out and reaches to the hell realms, and just by the touch of the light, it purifies the environment. This is extremely important, because most hell realm people suffer because of the environment. So purify the environment, and take their hot and cold sufferings. Bring it in and use it to destroy your ego. And then give. Empty the hell realms completely; close the hell realms altogether. All those people become free of suffering.

Similarly, you meditate on the cold realms. There, your body’s light rays will manifest as powerful sunshine, something to make them warm. Not only do you separate them from the pain of being cold, but also you give your body to them and they become human beings. You can also transform your body into houses—not shabby old houses but good solid ones. Transform your body into food to satisfy them; give it as clothes for them to put on, as medicine, whatever they need. You can also visualize manifesting your body as a teacher giving them teachings. They are ready to become a buddha.

Similarly you give food to the hungry ghosts, wisdom to the animals, weapons to the jealous demi-gods and lovely flowers to the gods. Whatever their needs are, you fulfill them. For human beings, however, you take a different approach. Human desires are limitless. You cannot make a blanket statement about what they want. So you give them whatever they want, whatever they desire. Manifest your body in that form and give it to the human beings.

Give your wealth and your virtues. You give body, wealth and virtues to your teachers and the buddhas, in the form of offerings, so they may have long life and prosperity. You give all your virtues of the past, present and future. You give your body and wealth of the present and future—you can’t give those of the past, the past is gone.

COMPASSION IN ACTION

Training in compassion is a mental activity. But our mind should also be brought to the level where every action we take is influenced by compassion. That means engaging ourselves in compassion in action. The Judeo-Christian tradition has tremendous examples of compassion in action. In the West, people have built hospitals and schools in peacetime and have also relieved the suffering of people in war. There are groups who look after refugees and address human rights issues. There is a tremendous amount of work being done on social and environmental issues. If this is done with kindness, it is an example of compassion in action. If we get personally involved in such activities, it is compassion in action. If we don’t, it is only compassion at the meditative level. That may not be sufficient.

If we only practice on the mind level, we run a great risk of our compassion being just talk. As we know, talk is cheap. To develop true compassion, we have to put our money where our mouth is. That is why we need to combine the mind training practice of tonglen with compassionate action. We are fortunate to live in a society that provides us with many opportunities to put our compassion into practice. That is what will really make a difference in freeing ourselves from the tyranny of our ego-cherishing thoughts. That is what will help us to gain true control over our lives so that we can be of real benefit to ourselves and others. That is how we awaken true bodhimind.

You are the biggest, toughest obstacle you will ever have to overcome. And you will need to break down first, fall like the rain, just to rise back up like the Sun. You need to be in pieces, before you learn to grow ahead of yourself.
—  Lukas W. // Grow ahead of yourself
I’m trying my hardest. 
And honestly, I’m failing a lot. 
But I’m trying, that’s the important part. 
As long as I keep trying, failure is just a little ice on my uphill journey. 
I’m going to slip and fall. But if that’s my biggest obstacle, I think I’ll be just fine.
—  KJS // Excerpt from a book I’ll never write #21

anonymous asked:

Reasons to abandon this blog #193: tamhonks despises you! A xenophobe even before Pangea had broken apart, tamhonks and her demoniacal black pussy are the biggest obstacle in this quest for equality. We can only hope that nobody will pay her any real attention!

this reads like a poem

soo I decided to make a sonic fan comic, I’m a huge nerd. I’ve sketched more than half of it and I’m working on completing the first pages to start uploading. I’ve never made a comic with more than a chapter so this’ll be something. Still, I’m pretty excited about it, and I hope you guys will like it!  

Really short description:
Sonic and tails discover an island emitting strange energy signals after the collapse of Angel Island. Suspecting Eggman they journey to find out what he has planned, finding old rivals who might prove to be their biggest obstacles, or they’re most useful allies.

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