HALTingly aware

Work quietened down over this weekend and I’ve had some time to myself for those long walks. While I have been on the walk, I remembered the HALT rule when making a big decision or even just a thought which may bring you back to old habits like smoking.

HALT before you make that decision and it boils down to analyzing some drivers of common emotions. The rule is to address those emotions first before acting out on any big decision. Since I have been rather lost lately, I have decided to find my balance and centre again by analyzing what i really feel towards events which occurred rather than ignoring them and sweeping them under the carpet.

From that first breakup, the last breakup, to recent attention from some people. Guarding my privacy and space has been so important that I’ve cut off many people in my life and even resulted in rash breakups. It is now time to think if this is still what I want.

Of the four HALT elements, I found myself feeling at least three of them. I am probably feeling slightly angry towards how I have been treated or what people see me as, lonely might be possible when I feel like I need someone and there’s no one I wish to be with. Tired is an understatement now with work taking up most of my awake time.

As I see it, I just need to address ‘Tired’ first and then access how I feel about being lonely. Being a Tibetan Buddhist also means understanding loneliness and that a practitioner is not lonely. Hence the number of years in retreat. I don’t usually admit to feeling lonely as I’ve always been comfortable with it. I am not sure why I feel this suddenly. It may be due to realising the many opportunities I have passed up. People I could have been with and made a life companion. Also partly angry about how I appear as nonchalant towards a relationship or companionship that most people simply see me as someone who could join them for some fun.

Sometimes, I feel that learning or practising Dharma can be confusing and lonely especially since I’ve cognitive dissonance about the concept of loneliness, balancing what I know from Dharma with a need for someone who could also be a companion.

I would need some more reflection on this issue so that I am absolutely clear about what I want.

Public display of compassion

Compassion with family is more difficult. I am sure even some parents may not have the full courage and capacity for compassion towards their children.

Due to a longer history and prolonged exposure to one another in the family, we tend to have preconceived notions of the other party. It may or may not be true. But I would like to think that it is just a projection of my mind and a mixture of bitterness from some childhood experiences. It is much easier to stomach.

That aside, I am also aware that as long we change our mindset and apply living compassion in everything, we will live ‘pain free’. Losing the part of me to which holds dear to what should be is not easy especially when the things or people who frustrate or hurt you the most are constantly at your side. This must be guru’s blessings to practice in a ‘controlled’ and comfortable environment.

Music doth gladden the soul

Easing into a relaxing evening, I started reconnecting to music which had made me feel happy and alive. I do have quite an eclectic range in music genres. However, music which really appeal to my being will always be rock, blues rock, blues jazz and some industrial rock. 

One particular experience which brought out intense feeling of joy was experiencing Trombone Shorty live. That was pure hormonal music. Simply energetic and sexy. I was captivated and connected with the music. Categorically ‘pheromonal’ music.

Up in the ranks of my playlist are good old eighties rock such as INXS, Bryan Adams, Def Leppard, Tracy Chapman and even Scorpions. My interest in stronger rock music such as Metallica, NIN, Megadeth have waned greatly over the years due to ‘possibly’ increased spiritual interest. 

Retro and electro are both lifting and socially engaging or what I coined as happy music. Even a lyrically sad song may sound happy, like ‘What is Love’ by Haddaway. The retro era screams physical expression. Videos are mostly about body expression and some ooze sexuality. A personal favourite with all elements of body expression, inspiration and sexuality is ‘What a feeling’ by Irene Cara for Flashdance. (oh yes, I do have the movie too.) 

What do we like about the music we listen to? How do they make us feel? Do we embrace the feeling as part of us? Why do certain music appeal to us?