Monday Mantra: Shift


“To shift the direction of our planet, we must now be willing to experiment with the theory that within the speed and stress, we are good.” – Sakyong Mipham

So many reasons why this sentiment might appeal to you with the current state of our shared world and your personal pathway. Thoughts?

– TaraMarie Perri

7 Responses to “Monday Mantra: Shift”
  1. Jonathan Matthews says:

    There’s a certain non-mutually exclusive ambiguity in this quote that I love. That, within the speed and stress, our intentions and the actions we carry out are good in the moralistic sense, but also in the modern vernacular sense that when we say that we’re good it simply means we got it…we can handle whatever is being tossed at us. If we look at this in terms of “shifting the direction of the planet,” it would seem that Sakyong Mipham intended the former, as it’s hard to imagine an attempt to change the world without some zealot paving a new way. This, however, because it’s so hard for me to imagine not changing the world in such a way, is arguably how the world has always been. Therefore, to consider a true shift in the direction of the planet, I move to consider the latter option. This doesn’t mean a kind of “old ways good, new ways bad” stasis where we just wait in a bastardization of the practice of contentment, for if everyone just waited, there would be few challenges to remain “good” for. Instead, it seems that a major part being good amidst speed and stress is offering a counteraction out in more subtle ways. When you stand in the water at the beach, and the push and pull of the tide is coercing you, you don’t remain standing tall by doing nothing; you must ground yourself, pushing slightly against the current in a way that is barely noticeable to the force, or else disaster ensues. Furthermore, you can rarely predict when a new rush of water will come for you – you must be able to perceive in the present moment what direction the force is coming from, and build a gentle resistance in the opposite direction to keep your stability. If you get knocked down, at least you were knocked closer to the earth. In my current journey marked by non stop deadlines, it is so easy to be only in a mode of planning for the future. We don’t all need to change the planet, but we can all overhaul the individuated world we each inhabit by being prepared for the pushes of our own tides when they come, and when they come, simply being OK with it.

  2. Traci says:

    I think that this goes along the lines of what we were talking about with our practice and that it is not only important to be physically healthy, but to be mentally healthy as well. “We need sound bodies so we can develop sound minds.” As we “shift” from being practitioners to teachers, it is also important for us to be “good” on in the inside in order to be confident and effective teachers.

  3. Gwen Gussman says:

    Jonathan, you wrote, “we can all overhaul the individuated world we each inhabit by being prepared for the pushes of our own tides when they come, and when they come, simply being OK with it”. I love this and agree! To piggy-back off this idea, I have been thinking about how to accept and deal with the ongoing shifts, transitions and changes that are forever happening in my individual life and in the world. With the shadow of mercury retrograde currently looming over us, or at least this one excuse for all the shifts i’ve felt in the past week :-), I have come to a realization. The world itself is constantly in a state of motion, therefore things are ALWAYS changing and shifting. So why is it that I feel the effects of these shifts at sometimes more than others? Well, what I have realized is that when I step outside of the comfortable illusions or false perceptions of my life (basically cut the bullshit), I am much more aware and in tune with the experience of the changes going on around me. Shifts can cause us to be able to see where we have been blind before. They can bring light on things stuck in the darkness- they can bring truth. And you know what? Today, after a week of experiencing so many changes and shifts in my life and the world around me, I feel more free. Clearer in my intention and my own “truth”, I’m starting to really believe that the overused saying: “the truth sets you free” is not so cheesy after all!

  4. Jessica McCarthy says:

    Gwen, that was well said…and thanks for the heads up on Mercury being in retrograde! In my social psych class, we’ve been talking about emotions and this idea of shifts reminds me of how emotions function. According to my textbook, emotions can be defined as “brief, specific, socially oriented states.” Brief as in a few seconds or minutes, not hours or days. Facial expressions of an emotion last somewhere between 1 and 5 seconds and the physiological responses our bodies have to these emotions last up to a few minutes. Emotions are just life these shifts we experience in our daily lives. They are brief and constantly changing…and that is completely normal! When you get stuck in an emotion, that’s when it can be labeled as an emotional disorder. So, when you get caught up in a particular shift, that’s when you start to feel the burden of the shift to an overwhelming, sometimes uncontrollable level. I say, just roll with the shifts and nothing will seem too permanent or too much for you to handle at any given moment, because in actuality, you and the world around you is in a constant state of flux!

  5. CallieRitter says:

    Brilliant Jessica –

    This is a really interesting quote; I would like to know how old it is?

    “To shift the direction of the planet…”
    Yes it’s at capacity, yes it’s over heating. Yet – has there always been something that humans of each era believed is the ultimate chaos? Is the ultimate escalating speed? Are we seeing chaos as we’ve always seen it, despite its actual reality (which I don’t know if we even know). Is being stressed-out more in our pop culture? I can’t say. – – If you believe you are good. first. Time will slow down as a result, and even if it doesn’t, sometimes clarity needs suffering, displacement, and destruction to be birthed from.

  6. Brandi-lea says:

    I, personally, find a lot of solace in knowing that the speed and stress that I feel is part of the larger collective consciousness/ experience. Sometimes, it feels as though we’re living in the eye of a storm and it’s so easy to freak out and to project ourselves into the future, waiting for it to pass so that we can be okay and get back to being present and doing our work. I’ve been having so many conversations lately where I observe myself doing this and others too. However, despite what my ego persistently wants to believe, I know that there isn’t some utopian day in the future where flux and transition have subsided – or if there is, then the present chaos is definitely needed to reconfigure our reality to create it. As one of my favorite artists/ thinkers Anne Bogart writes in her book, A Director Prepares, “Artist are individuals willing to articulate in the face of flux and transformation. And successful artists finds new shapes for our present ambiguities and uncertainties.” I love this idea of not only feeling okay with being in the eye of the storm but being called to it – challenged to live, love, grow and create inside of it.

  7. Caitlyn Johansen says:

    I would like to say the time stamps on some of these posts are … HILARIOUS.

    That being said. The words “willing to experiment” stick out to me. Of late, I feel like everything in my life is falling apart around me. I am desperately trying to navigate the road of life…. like I try to navigate around the mess of things on the floor in my room. I’m thinking maybe if I switch out the desperation with “willingness to experiment” I may navigate the mess of things with a little more joy .

    see ya’ll tomorrow

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