“The Burden” – that’s the message I received. What started as excitement, anticipation and curiosity quickly turned into anxiety, fear and self-doubt. My shoulders slumped and I felt myself shrinking inside, hoping not be noticed…even though nobody else was in the room. Where did these words come from – delivered with such power? They were written on a card in The Osho Zen Tarot deck and I was the one who pulled it!
Devastated by this phrase, “The Burden”, that sounded so ominous, I contemplated that maybe it was a mistake, so I peeked at the card next to it. (Full disclosure: I once accidentally picked up two cards while playing Candy Land – one of the cards would win me the game. I used that one and have never lived it down!) Not exactly the same scenario and yet wouldn’t it be amazing if I learned a lesson that one card is enough? I guess some habits remain :-) So, in this instance, wasn’t I thrilled when I flipped over the second card? It was beautiful with bright, bold colors, the crescent moon subtly drawn in the night sky, the number 9 was dazzling with a rainbow background and it read “Ripeness”. Oh, now we are talking – I like this very much!
Well, I decided to read the notes for the card “The Burden” since I now had new life in seeing the beauty of “Ripeness”. And the summary read:
When we carry a load of shoulds and shouldn’ts imposed on us by others we become like this ragged, struggling figure trying to make his way uphill. “Go faster, try harder, reach the top!” shouts the foolish tyrant he carries on his shoulder, while the tyrant himself is crowned with an imperious rooster. If life these days feels like just a struggle from the cradle to the grave, it could be time to shrug your shoulders and see what it feels like to walk without these characters on your back.
You have your own mountains to conquer, your own dreams to fulfill, but you will never have the energy to pursue them until you release yourself from all the expectations you’ve gathered from others but now think are your own. Chances are they exist only in your own mind, but that doesn’t mean they can’t weigh you down. It’s time to lighten up, and send them on their way.
Osho continues this description in more detail with this excerpt from “This Very Body The Buddha”, Chapter 6:
A man’s true life is the way in which he puts off the lie imposed by others on him. Stripped, naked, natural, he is what he is. This is a matter of being, and not of becoming. The lie cannot become the truth, the personality cannot become your soul. There is no way to make the nonessential the essential. The nonessential remains nonessential and the essential remains essential, they are not convertible. And striving towards truth is nothing but creating more confusion.
The truth has not to be achieved. It cannot be achieved, it is already the case. Only the lie has to be dropped. All aims and ends and ideals and goals and ideologies, religions and systems of improvement and betterment, are lies. Beware of them. Recognize the fact that, as you are, you are a lie. Manipulated, cultivated by others. Striving after truth is a distraction and a postponement. It is the lie’s way to hide.
See the lie, look deep into the lie of your personality. Because to see the lie is to cease to lie. No longer to lie is to seek no more for any truth–there is no need. The moment the lie disappears, truth is there in all its beauty and radiance. In the seeing of the lie it disappears, and what is left is the truth.
Then I understood – YES, YES, YES,my false thoughts are the burden. Like so many things, I have been wearing a mask to the truth. I don’t like the word burden, probably because it’s so heavy and has been weighing me down! I have chosen to carry around all this stress and ideas of what could be when I am some better version of myself. Striving for perfection, I am often looking ahead at the vision I have created and culture has nurtured and forget to accept and embrace that I am everything right this minute. This roller coaster of life is amazing and yet I’m not quite smiling on the ride yet. Now is the time for me to choose to be present. I’ll check to see if I’m buckled in and then throw my hands up in the air and enthusiastically enjoy the ride!
And so it is just right that “Ripeness” would be the other card, as it literally follows suit, just as it should…
When the fruit is ripe, it drops from the tree by itself. One moment it hangs by a thread from the branches of the tree, bursting with juice. The next moment it falls–not because it has been forced to fall, or has made the effort to jump, but because the tree has recognized its ripeness and simply let it go.
When this card appears in a reading it indicates that you are ready to share your inner riches, your ‘juice’. All you need to do is relax right where you are, and be willing for it to happen. This sharing of yourself, this expression of your creativity, can come in many ways–in your work, your relationships, your everyday life experiences. No special preparation or effort on your part is required. It is simply the right time.
The time is right and both The Burden and Ripeness are working in unison. Without my burdens, I wouldn’t recognize that I’m holding onto outdated paradigms and thoughts. Getting clear on the barriers that are holding me back from this very right time are crucial to be able to make the next step. Life is a series of oppositions – we couldn’t know light if there was no darkness. There would be no comparison for reference. Ripeness is only understood by seeing the maturation process of the fruit and I am so ready for this season of spring to take in all the blossoming by just allowing. We won’t always have the luxury of seeing the ripeness card in such quick succession as I did today – yet it is always there. Just knowing can be the motivator to take the unknown steps forward…
~ Health, Happiness and Prosperity ~