Community Drop In Group
We are looking at Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements, and this week, we are continuing with the 2nd Agreement— Don’t take anything personally.
Before I start however, in one of the zoom groups last week, I mentioned how much I appreciated his framing of this in terms of agreements. Someone in the group wanted to know more, so here are some thoughts on why the word agreement is powerful in this context for me.
Agreement for me feels somehow more purposely binding that just setting my intention. When you make an agreement, it means you are willing to follow it. But there is also a particular tone in the word agreement that is helpful to pull out. For example if two people are in conflict, and they come to an agreement for how to move forward, it implies a finding of a mutually acceptable way to put down the fight. It implies finding some goodwill from which moving forward then is possible.
Community Drop In Group
Last week we talked about Don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements, and in particular the first agreement, “Be impeccable with your word” and how that relates to self-acceptance. I learned about this book from the Prison Mindfulness Institute where many people have found it to be powerfully helpful in meeting the hard stuff we carry.
This week I want to look at the Second Agreement— Don’t take anything personally, and I want to look at it today a little differently than Ruiz does. His way is very useful and we will get there next week. But I think this further context of not taking things personally is a useful starting place with this agreement. Both Buddhist psychology and modern science have a similar idea that all things are unfolding in light of what’s come before. In Buddhist psychology, this is called Dependent Origination and the scientific terminology is evolution. As evolutionary biologist Lynn Margolis says:
Independence is a political term, not a scientific one.
This is another way of saying, don’t take anything personally…
Community Drop In Group 5/5/20
I want to start with the Cinderella story. The basic gist of this well known story is:
Cinderella, after an early sweet childhood, finds herself at the mercy of a cruel step mother and step sisters. Even so, she does the work they ask of her without complaint. Eventually through the help of a fairy godmother, she makes her way out of this situation back to happiness.
One thing that is really interesting about this story is that this is one of the most common archetypal stories in the world, and by some estimates, it is the most common. Versions of the story appear back in ancient times all the way to present Disney, and in cultures across the world. The name and details vary widely, but the basic gist of that young woman in an oppressive situation who finds her way to joy and happiness is amazingly common, and in all of these stories, she is an embodiment of kindness and balance throughout her journey.
This last bit has given her somewhat of a bad name in modern times. The Cinderella figure can
be reduced to a sort of saccharin sweet do-gooder who needs rescuing by others— but the true
Cinderella archetype is actually quite powerful, and it is an image that obviously resonates
deeply in the human mind considering how far spread through both time and space this story