What have you found lurking in the shadows?

Lately, what I am recognizing is the transactional nature of what I have been doing, do this, expect to get that. I also see this deeply buried sense of it all playing out before a witnessing, external overseer. When I’ve done a good act, it’s infected with a sense of pleasing the overseer and earning benefit for me. Obviously there is a deeply buried self sense and scale of reward and punishment woven all through this. It seems elusive. If I could, I’d like to catch hold of it, pull it out and look at it in bright light. Ah, well, that is what the cushion is for…

Anyone care to share what was previously completely unrecognized and became recognized?

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I have become aware that a lot of my “preferences” and choices are really the results of some type of fear, often disguised as intellectual choices or cultivated habits. However, deep down, it’s fear guiding the choice to go one way and not the other. For example, I’ll take a certain route to my house from point A because I almost was hit someone at point B years ago so I naturally go from A to C because it seems like a smoother ride. That’s closer to conscious thought, but so many choices that I’ve examined have often turned out to be nothing more than avoidance strategies. I try to contemplate this often.

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I think we can cultivate a Bodhicitta attitude of doing things without personal expectations for a reward if we cultivate the attitude, knowledge and realization that things done for our own benefit get us nowhere, while it’s the things that we do for the benefit of others that will propel us forward.

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I agree. I was think of, for example, asking people who look like they can use some help if they need anything, and then going and buying what they ask for. I don’t identify conscious expectation of reward, but I do recognize what is like a residue in the crevices of the mind.

This is interesting, I find, for what it says about submerged beliefs of a system of measurement and a self to receive credit. Funny cartoon!

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Fear.

Not sure about this, but twice in the past week I’ve been on a line at a store and the person in front of me has been unable to pay for their goods—and so I paid and moved on. I only mention it because it wasn’t a big deal, but when the opportunity presents itself to pay, or to open a door for someone, or to say a kind word to a young person at the fast food restaurant, they are all equal in intent and desire to help others. That’s a habit to cultivate.

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I have recognized that is is very hard to divorce myself from outcomes. In the past, going in with the hopes of things playing out perfectly, can sometimes deeply sabatage the outcomes of a situation.

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