Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Throw back Florence - Kait's Mixtape

Florence + the Machine

I have several songs on a playlist I call my 'Buddha mix'. They're lyrics that contain wisdom. I use these songs as reminders, songs that compliment things I've come to understand or embrace.

One of the first teachings I came across when I began reading Pema Chodron was about groundlessness. The idea is we all spend a lot of time scrambling for ground - looking for definitive answers and solid reasons behind everything that happens to us. We want security and comfort in the form of a good job, a loving partner, a nice house. We grasp and cling to thing to make us feel 'solid' and 'safe' as if we can get life to fall into place and everything to reach a point of being okay. 

And it doesn't work.

It doesn't work because, to put it bluntly - shit happens. 

We are made redundant or we become too ill to work. Our partner stops loving us or dies. Our income doesn't allow us to buy the 'perfect' house of our dreams or we get our house and a fault in the wiring causes a fire so we still lose everything.

When these things happen, when stuff breaks down or wears out as it inevitably will, and we've used these impermanent things to give us a sense of having something solid to rely on our hold onto, the effect is devastating. It feels like our world has fallen apart and we are helpless to control it. It feels like we are being punished. We ask things like, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

But it's not so black and white because no human being is just one way. We are people and we are complicated and we do different things for different reasons and life is chaotic and stuff just happens.

The idea of embracing groundlessness is a radical one because it goes against everything we have been taught. In school we are told to get a good education so we can secure a good job and afford a good house and attract a good partner. We are taught that anything less is to fail.

Being told that it was okay for me to embrace the unpredictability of life - to make it what I will as it comes at me - was liberating and terrifying at the same time. 

Applying it is a life-long task and one I've thrown myself into since I first read 'Start Where You Are'. Until recently I didn't really understand what it truly meant, although I intellectually grasped the idea. It wasn't until I stopped trying to answer it with my conceptual mind that I began to truly get living by it.

These lyrics have, for me, been a great reminder of embracing the groundlessness of life. We are all free falling. We create a ground to plummet towards by fixating our minds, by having expectations or holding on too tightly to that which is constantly changing.

By remaining open to experience - all experience - we can free fall with joy. We can be thrilled at the very fact that we get to be here, that we are so lucky to even exist considering the miraculous nature of life, that any experience we have becomes something we're willing to face.

Not because we won't feel hurt or anger or fear - but because we will accept these things as part of the deal, part of the package of getting to have a conscious mind. 

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