I INVITE YOU
I invite you to speak these vows out loud:
As long as I live, I vow to die and be reborn, die and be reborn, die and be reborn, over and over again, forever reinventing myself.
I promise to be stronger than hate, wetter than water, deeper than the abyss, and wilder than the sun.
I pledge to remember that I am not only a sweating, half-asleep, excitable, bumbling jumble of desires, but that I am also an immortal four-dimensional messiah in continuous telepathic touch with all of creation.
I vow to love and honor my highs and my lows my yeses and noes, my give and my take, the life I wish I had and the life I actually have.
I promise to push hard to get better and smarter, grow my devotion to the truth, fuel my commitment to beauty, refine my emotions, hone my dreams, wrestle with my shadow, purge my ignorance, and soften my heart -- even as I always accept myself for exactly who I am, with all of my so-called foibles and wobbles.
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Sometimes from sorrow, for no reason,
you sing. For no reason, you accept
the way of being lost, cutting loose from
all else and electing a world
where you go where you want to.
Arbitrary, sound comes, a reminder
that a steady center is holding
all else. If you listen, that sound
will tell you where it is, and you
can slide your way past trouble.
Certain twisted monsters
always bar the path – but that’s when
you get going best, glad to be
lost, learning how real it is
here on the earth, again and again.
– William Stafford, “Cutting Loose” in "Dancing with Joy: 99 Poems"
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Alert, relaxed listening is the radical act at the heart of our pronoiac practice. Curiosity is our primal state of awareness. Wise innocence is a trick we aspire to master. Open-hearted skepticism is the light in our eyes.
To achieve what the Zen Buddhists call "beginner's mind," you dispense with all preconceptions and enter each situation as if seeing it for the first time.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities," wrote Shunryu Suzuki in his book *Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind,* "but in the expert's there are few."
As much as I love beginner's mind, though, I advocate an additional discipline: cultivating a beginner's heart. That means approaching every encounter imbued with a freshly invoked wave of love that is as pure as if you're feeling it for the first time.
To be the best pronoiac explorer you can be, I suggest you adopt an outlook that combines the rigorous objectivity of a scientist, the "beginner's mind" of Zen Buddhism, the "beginner's heart" of pronoia, and the compassionate friendliness of the Dalai Lama.
Blend a scrupulously dispassionate curiosity with a skepticism driven by expansiveness, not spleen.
To pull this off, you'll have to be willing to regularly suspend your brilliant theories about the way the world works. Accept with good humor the possibility that what you've learned in the past may not be a reliable guide to understanding the fresh phenomenon that's right in front of you.
Be suspicious of your biases, even the rational and benevolent ones. Open your heart as you strip away the interpretations that your emotions might be inclined to impose.
"Before we can receive the unbiased truth about anything," wrote my teacher Ann Davies, "we have to be ready to ignore what we would like to be true."
At the same time, don't turn into a hard-ass, poker-faced robot. Keep your feelings moist and receptive. Remember your natural affection for all of creation. Enjoy the power of tender sympathy as it drives you to probe for the unimaginable revelations of every new moment.
"Before we can receive the entire truth about anything," said Ann Davies, "we have to love it."
To read the rest of "RECEPTIVITY REMEDIES," go here:
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