I use tarot and oracle cards as tools for reflection and contemplation. Rather than divining the future, they are a way for me to look more deeply at the "now."
"The goal isn't to arrive, but to meander, to saunter, to make your life a holy wandering." ~ Rami Shapiro

Friday, April 6, 2018

Mental Upgrade

From the Tarot of Durer, the Six of Swords; from the Philosopher's Stone Deck, 'Impression:'
 No matter what god or doctrine you believe in, if you become attached to it, your belief will be based more or less on a self-centered idea.
― Shunryu Suzuki
          This fellow is following Suzuki's definition of 'beginner's mind,' as he leaves all his swords on the shore. His strategies, fundamental beliefs, and ideas about how things should be have been left behind. He has realized that the self-centered thoughts he tightly held greatly limited his world. Most every belief framework has a dividend plan of sorts - if you do this, you get that. Serve God well and go to heaven. Study hard and make good grades, then get a diploma. Be a responsible employee and be rewarded with a paycheck. Seems simple, right? But what happens if you're gay, and God thinks it's sinful? What if you struggle in school because of a learning disability? What if your employer wants you to do something unethical? Sometimes we must step out of the framework and into something more spacious. The handprint impressed upon the stone face is a reminder that every experience (good or bad) leaves a mark in the memory. Knee-jerk reactions are a strong indication that we are operating from an experience of which we may not be mindful. As Pema Chodron says, "they're like messengers that show us, with terrifying clarity, exactly where we're stuck." Yet once we're aware of them, we can choose to allow their influence or not. 



    Today is your day.
    You're off to Great Places!
    You're off and away!

    You have brains in your head.
    You have feet in your shoes.
    You can steer yourself
    any direction you choose.
    You're on your own. And you know what you know.
    And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go. DR SUESS

  2. Many psychological interventions, including mindfulness, are intended to help you massage out those imprints. Still, those impressions can run deep, and sometimes seem to pop back up. I'm not sure if it's purely a question of choice - when things run that deep it can take a lot of hard work to make a different choice, and you have to keep making that different choice over and over...

    1. They do run deep and are hard to 'buff out' even when we are aware of them. I think it often takes a lot of conscious practice doing or thinking something differently.