Projection: Who I’m not

snow white mirror In a moment of synchronicity, I read Julie Demboski’s take on ‘Receiving Venus’ very shortly after having one of my impossible conversations with the Mercury in Virgo person (hereafter known as ‘MV’) in my life, though I didn’t allow it to escalate this time.

His Venus falls in my 7th house (as does mine, so the propensity for double projection is definitely there) and here’s what Demboski writes of receiving someone else’s Venus in one’s 7th house, the house of partnerships and projection:

Someone else’s Venus falling in your 7th House gives an interesting effect: there is a kind of projection, where you are drawn to the Venus person, and they to you, and it becomes difficult to tell who is the ‘instigator’ of the energy. Because of this ‘is it you, or is it me?’ exchange, the relationship can devolve into a mutual admiration society that eventually just fizzles away. You’d think it would create a strong attraction, a bond of love and natural assumption that this could be the mate, and sometimes it does, usually when everyone’s owning their own energies and projection and dissociation aren’t issues.

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Right speech


This post is about a year and a half late, but better late than never.

I struggle with Right Speech, and while I can never hope to speak always calmly and kindly, I was looking for a way to trigger a reminder to myself and catch the cycle out earlier whenever the urge to speak in haste or in anger arose.

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Bearing someone else’s karma

I read this excerpt from a selection of talks, called The Transformed Mind: Reflections on Truth, Love and Happiness, given by HH the 14th Dalai Lama.

Is it possible to bear somebody else’s karma for them?

Generally speaking, according to Buddhist teaching, you will not encounter the results of an action that you have not committed, and once you have committed the action, the result will never get lost, and you have to experience it. Here I think it’s quite important to make a distinction. When you suffer, you not only feel pain or discomfort at that moment, but also a kind of helplessness and discouragement. You are completely enshrouded in that suffering and there is a kind of darkness.

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Recycling toxicity

I wondered a little while ago about getting upset with people who choose to live emotional toxic waste dumps. Last night, my unconscious must’ve been trying to tell me something because the word ‘tonglen‘ popped up in my dream. I know very little about Tibetan Buddhism but I do know a little bit about tonglen, having once made the acquaintance of a woman who was trying to put it in practice.

The core of tonglen practice, as described here, is by ‘breathing in other’s pain so they can be well and have more space to relax and open, and breathing out, sending them relaxation or whatever you feel would bring them relief and happiness’, literally using your lungs and heart and body in compassion to purify the negative energy and convert it to joy and happiness.

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Parts and pieces

I rather enjoyed doing the little mini-review the last time, that I thought I’d do another, and later on, one on occasion. Even the simple act of summarising and describing the content in the book helps me to internalise some of its ideas and integrate them a bit better in my mind. So here’s a write up on a book I first read a long time ago, and several times after that, and one which I credit for setting me off on this path with greater certitude.

Mark Epstein’s Going to Pieces Without Falling Apart sort of fell into my lap and pulled me out of some fairly dark times about eight years ago, and recently, I had the chance to pass it on to someone else after reading it for the third or fourth time.

It is a book pondering the limits of modern psychotherapy rather than about Buddhism but I like Epstein’s interweaving of Buddhist perspectives with modern psychotherapeutic practices in an attempt to show how psychotherapy might be more effective if the ego-self were actually allowed to go to pieces, instead of being continually shored up by self-affirmative thoughts, actions or attitudes.

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Trial by fire

I am reading, with much admiration, the blog recounting the efforts of the members of the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, a Soto Zen monastery in California, to cope with the wildfires currently ravaging the countryside. The blog is aptly called ‘Sitting with Fire’, and I am much struck by how calm and circumspect the reporting is by the team on the front line. We can all hope to be so serene in the face of our own, often far less life-threatening, crises.

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Sitting with desire I

The cause of suffering, it is often cited of Buddhism, is desire, attachment or craving. We suffer because we crave what we (think we) don’t have. And we crave any number of things, both tangible and ephemeral — ice cream, a bigger house, a bigger car, someone to love us, we may even crave a more fulfilling spiritual life.

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