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Self Work, My Personal Diary


Contained in the following pages is a personal diary, of a sort. I experienced a powerful emotional catastrophe in my life and this triggered a search for how to deal with it, how to get over my own suffering*.

Once I had overcome the event's emotional impact, I realized the path of self-work I embarked upon was just starting. This doesn't need to be seen as a diary. You and others can use it as a resource for the same ends. I wrote it for me as a way to order my thoughts, see where I was going, and what I have and see. I like to write this way, which makes it useful as a guide for others. If no one ever reads this, it will be just fine. If others find it useful, that's fine too.

I've stripped much of the actual details regarding the events, only including the effects they had and what went into getting past them. The details are irrelevent.

Some background into how I have dealt with grief may explain the why I feel this is of such value. Ten years ago, I went through a similar type event and it took me over two years to get over it. Even then, there were issues remaining up until I did the work to get past the current issue. The act of dealing with this eliminated the vestiges of pain and anger from the past.

What I couldn't completely get over in ten years, I was able to get past in three weeks doing this work.

This self-work is grounded in the teachings of Byron Katie and in my Zen Buddhist training, though any type of meditation will work. I used several Byron Katie books, most notably Loving What Is. The books I Need Your Love - Is That True?, A Thousand Names for Joy, and Pema Chodron's When Things Fall Apart are all quite useful.

Without both meditation and the books, I would still be in a very bad place. I hope this can be of value to you, whether you are dealing with profound grief, relationship issues, anger, or simply the minor dissatisfactions of daily living.

It's broken into chapters, with each chapter shown in a link at the bottom of the page. It is unlikely to be finished by the time you read it.

My personal diary - Living in Ambiguity

* It's important to understand my vocabulary. When I say suffering, it's not in the typical western use of the terms, but those used by Buddhists. If you are enraged, you are suffering. Think about it. Is feeling at peace not better? If you are jealous, angry, just a little down, each of these is a form of suffering. If you are not at peace, then you are suffering. Even physical pain doesn't need to be suffering. It's our mental processes, focusing on it to the exclusion of everything else that converts it into suffering. When a parent runs into a burning building to save their child, being seriously burned in the process they feel the pain, but until the child is safe they are not suffering.