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Service and Exhaustion

Mar 24, 1998 11:37 AM
by Thoa Tran

Dear Murray and Julien,

I believe in listening to ourselves as to what our needs are.  We should
realize our needs without feeling that we are being selfish or weak.  We
all would love to be arhats, but we are only human beings.  Hey, we should
pat our wondrous evolved backs!  Not listening to ourselves will only
result in unhappiness and sickness.

Your suggestions are good, Murray.  Human association is powerful.  It can
be either positive or negative.  I've been greatly encouraged and inspired
by people.  I've also been discouraged and hurt by people.  It takes fine
talent to deal with people.  It's a gamble.  Sometimes we choose not to
gamble and isolate ourselves by opening a good book and listening to
beautiful music.

New Zealand T.S. sounds like a great group.

Thoa :o)

>I am in a helping profession and also find myself drained in helping
>situations. It seems the more intense the encounter(s), the more re-energizing
>time I need. Recently, I experienced such an intense encounter that, although
>the outcome was positive for the participants, it seems to have knocked out
>part of my immune system and I was down with a nasty cold for a few days.

>Ah, yes :-)  A familiar pattern. I think people who give a lot this way
>*need* to be alone and recharge inwardly, by whatever method works for them,
>be it going on a nature walk, listening to some beautiful music, painting
>something, meditating etc etc. And to give themselves space to be grumpy and
>then more space for the waves and vortices in their energy system to subside
>and the tendrils of consciousness to withdraw from the tangled alveoli of
>thought and feeling, so to speak. A mixed medical metaphor, but the idea is
>like the breath withdrawing from the many little pockets in the lungs to
>recombine into one stream.
>One method that works for me is a kind of light-seeking, centre-seeking
>meditation that begins with a complete-as-possible relaxation of body and
>mind. Sometimes, the right kind of music does it, but oddly I don't usually
>like music going at the same time as meditating. Sometimes a
>spiritually-recharging, soul-contacting conversation with another person
>does it, where we discover an inner resonance and share in a way that leaves
>both feeling inwardly fed and glowing. That last one sounds a little odd -
>to recover from being with people by having the right kind of exchange with
>another person - but I find it works. Sometimes a good theosophical meeting
>- even an e-mail exchange - can lead to this effect.
>In fact, it wouldn't be a bad idea for theosophical groups to make it a goal
>for *all* their meetings and dialogs to leave people feeling recharged and
>all lit up, having delighted in each other's presence. Even had fun! IT IS
>POSSIBLE - I know.  It happened in my "Karma Drama" study course evening
>last week. And there was a lot of it at the NZ TS Convention early this year.
>I think that further along the evolutionary track, there are those who know
>how to keep their centre, probably because the connection to it is so wide
>and clear, and the centre of gravity of their consciousness is so much more
>into the realm of light, while doing all sorts of arduous things under
>difficult circumstances. The energy just seems to flood through them. But
>even they, I think, need time to be reflective and attune inwardly.

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