The second we think that our purpose here to go and help ‘other people’ and fix ‘other people’ and solve ‘other people’s’ problems…that’s when we’ve got to re-purpose!
As far as any of us can know, the entire world is an illusion – a dream. Who can know what’s real?
Perhaps that’s why Gandhi embraced, “being the change you want to see in the world.” So many have talked about “turning the gaze inward.” It’s not about what goes on outside in the world, but what happens internally.
Like Emerson said…something like…external events have no power over us unless we let them!
On the spiritual journey, we are not here to ‘help other people.’ Ultimately, there is no other. And ultimately, we don’t know! So, how can we help the other, who might very well be an illusion, when we don’t know anything to begin with?
As soon as we become attached to knowing and to a sense of being right, that’s when we stop loving and start judging, maybe even criticizing and condemning, possibly striving to change ‘others’ because ‘we know better than they do.’
Re-Purpose! Turn the gaze within. Be the change you want to see in the world. Helping yourself is helping everyone, including all the ‘others.’ The best thing you can do for everyone and everything (someone saying this ‘not knowing’ ;)) is to experience Peace, is to unconditionally love everything, is to become enlightened, is to realize your True Nature and abide in the Truth.
And the Truth Shall set us Free!
Free from? Free from fear, free from judgment, free from worry, anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, pride, lust, even free from desire itself!
And the Truth shall set us Free to? Free to accept, free to love, free to enjoy, free to laugh, to play, to dance, to sing, to express ourselves fully and creatively, to embrace the fullness of the Present Moment, and to know God and Infinite Goodness. Free to live in Reality.
What a silly way to live in the world…going around try to change the behavior of people, like one of us knows better than another.
For me, two of the strongest examples i connect with are marijuana and alcohol. Previously, this body has consumed copious amounts of both. Under the influence, had some good times and some bad times. And experienced a lot of pain, physical and mental/emotional. Also experienced some intense feelings of liberation and deeper understanding. So…pros and cons to everything. Personally don’t remember the last time this body consumed alcohol or smoked marijuana, and don’t have any plans to in the near future if ever again…yet i also find it so difficult to discourage anyone from doing either of them. I thoroughly embrace the place where i am now along this wonderful journey through life, and wouldn’t want to change anything about it (except maybe to digest dinner better ;)). Alcohol and marijuana have played significant roles for me, and as much as i abstain from them now, who am i to discourage someone from possibly experiencing the same highs and same lows i did that resulted in dramatic shifts in lifestyle and perspective?
It’s like the teaching about the hot coal…you’re holding the hot coal, and you ask your spiritual teacher, “Should i drop it? Should i drop it? It really hurts…it’s burning my hand…should i drop it now?”
Your teacher responds, “No, don’t drop it, hold on to it.”
You say, ‘Well, when will i know to drop it?”
Teacher, “When you no longer have to ask the question.”
We learn from experience. Supposedly we can learn from the experience of ‘others,’ and i guess that makes sense if we’re all one :-) Then again, why not have the experience yourself? There might be pain, sure, but generally after valleys there is a peak, and so we ride the rollercoaster of life. Pain is a wonderful teacher, and with our personal experience we can then relate so much better to people which can enhance our joy of being in community.
I’m glad i’ve done a lot of ‘stupid’ things that i don’t ever plan to do again. I’m also glad that i make some decisions on a regular basis that i really enjoy and find them rewarding in the short-term and long-term. At the same time, who am i to try and force those win/win decisions upon anyone, and what’s to say they would be win/win for someone else?
Ahh…and now i am maybe starting to grasp a teaching from the Sermon on the Mount that generally has eluded me…”Don’t cast your pearls before swine, lest they be trampled underfoot.” Which reminds me of something my cousin shared with me a while back, “If you make a homeless person meditate, it might be like hell for them.”
Same same, but different. We’re all on the same journey, in the same place, Here and Now, but for each of us the prescription for happiness, joy, peace – fulfillment – might be completely different. That’s what i love about the Buddhist teaching of Upaya – skillful means. To experience peace and success with people, we meet them where they are at. We climb into their shoes and walk around for a little bit. We don’t go trying to change, but instead to understand. Apparently Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said that if he could pick just one habit as the most significant, he’d pick “Seek first to understand.”
Seek first to understand. It’s not about changing anyone. It’s about understanding.
Notice too that seeking first to understand is a habit. That means it is practiced regularly! So it’s not like we suddenly reach a point of understanding. Seeking to understanding is a continuous process, hence we always find ourselves, on some level, in the space of ‘not knowing.’ Because we don’t know, and we’re simply seeking to understand, we free ourselves from inclinations to judge, criticize, condemn, and complain. Instead we embrace curiosity, and we engage with what is before us, seeking to understand.
Recently, even in this present moment :-), as glorious as it is, this body is experiencing some physical discomfort from an excessive amount of feasting tonight. From the standpoint of ‘not knowing’ and ‘seeking first to understand,’ i guess i can embrace the discomfort – might as well call it pain – i guess i can embrace the pain as something beyond good/bad – it simply is. It is in the present moment, offering a message for healing, for growth, for higher consciousness and evolution, as all things do :-)
What is the message? It is many! Even infinite. Certainly, just while writing this post and previously posting on a forum about things i’m grateful for in 2014, i was not nearly as aware of the pain. In fact, it might not have even been there! So one lesson here is the power of where we direct our attention. Whatever we give our attention to grows. Where awareness goes, energy flows. And directing attention to gratitude creates such wonderful sensations that the physical realm stops mattering so much.
What i want to write sounds selfish in some way, but i think ultimately it’s where the journey takes us, and at some point selfishness and selflessness merge, because the True Self is One, so looking out for your Self is looking out for everyone and everything.
Essentially, at least – Upaya! – for this body in the Here and Now – the journey seems to be very much about personal practice of certain disciplines that i find greatly enhance my awareness of the interconnectivity of all things, as well as enhance feelings of gratitude, love, joy, peace, and oneness. And maybe that’s where the spiritual vocation comes in…instead of thinking about ‘how to serve others’ in the context of teaching or coaching or counselling…i think for me the ‘service’ as well as the ‘growth’ are in the personal practice, and all the goodness flows from there. Namely, the service and the growth every moment is Presence – at least that’s the ideal :-)
Which reminds, the most joyful/blissful moments of today, as far as i can remember – occurred when consciously taking deep breaths. Perhaps the key world there is consciously.
Living consciously. Being conscious. Become more conscious. Moment-to-moment-to-moment.
I heard a yogic doctor say, “The aim of our yoga practice is mindfulness.”
Mindfulness is moment-to-moment-to-moment. It is living in the Reality of Here and Now. Listening to sounds. Feel sensations. Becoming aware of what is Reality, Here and Now. To see, to listen, to touch, to taste, to smell. To notice, observe, witness. To be in this moment. What can you hear? What can you feel? What’s the body doing? What shape is it in? Are there any parts of the body you notice holding tension? Can you relax them? If not now, when?
Relax. You are in the Present Moment :-)
And with mindfulness, in the Present Moment, we can notice the fleeting nature of our desires, and become aware that we have everything we need to enjoy our Here and Now. As i heard Bob Proctor say, “All you will ever need for fulfillment in life, is awareness.”
Awareness! Consciousness! Awareness! More conscious! More aware!
What have you been grateful in the year of 2014?
One of my favorite lines from TV that i remember, from the Brady Bunch, the family is sitting down at the dinner table and the father is leading a prayer…all i remember…
“Help us to be ever mindful of our blessings.”
Amen! Of course, personally not a big fan of the idea of ‘blessings,’ because that kind of implies the existence of the opposite, ‘curses,’ as well, so i prefer ‘gifts.’ So many gifts! All divine gifts :-)
Help us to be ever mindful of this abundance of divine gifts!
Ha! Speaking of overhearing life wisdom from TV, just remembered that i overheard ‘Re-Purpose’ from some political thing tonight that father eagle was listening to. Thank goodness for TV sharing divine gifts :-)
Perhaps the biggest re-purposing for ‘me personally,’ this mind/body, is with food. And with the re-purposing of food, the rest of life more easily re-purposes. Food is the foundation in so many ways. Especially as far as the mind/body can understand, food is the foundation. Our Higher Self knows that the foundation is more like God / Spirit / Essence / Love, though the mind/body is just like “Food! Water! Air! Light! Bathrooms!” Hehe.
Anyway, the way to re-purpose, as i read from Thich Nhat Hanh…he says there different ways to eat food. Many of us might tend to eat so that we gain energy! We eat so that the body becomes energized and then we can go out and serve and love and give in wonderful ways. Nothing so wrong with that.
What’s the other way? We can eat to eat. Just like when washing the dishes, we can simply wash the dishes. Eating is not the means to anything else. Eating is the ends! The Present Moment is not the means, it is the ends! We are Here and Now in this Cosmic Moment, and it doesn’t have to get any sweeter than this :-) With awareness it can be sweeter than maple syrup.
Our experience in the moment…this is it!
Let more of our actions be oriented towards the reality of the action itself, not some future outcome. Peaceful ends by peaceful means – Peace is every step. We can eat to eat, clean to clean, think to think, read to read, sleep to sleep. All the while, there can be an understanding of how such activities are good for the long-term flourishing of the mind/body and perhaps humanity and all the world, yet…let us remember this moment!
Ultimately, who knows how anything might turn out? In one minute, a bomb could explode this computer, your computer, an entire city…who knows! Embracing not knowing, and the infinite possibility of Reality, we open up to the freedom we have to love here and now, to enjoy here and now, no strings attached! Love to love. Eat to eat. Let this moment by your moment to fully enjoy and experience the wonderful abundance of creation – steep the heart in gratitude! – and maybe even slip into the bliss and the oneness :-)
When we think we are just a mind/body, then we eat to energize and nourish the mind/bod.
When we connect with our transcendent self, our true nature, the essence, Spirit – we remember we are eternal. Or you might say – “Relax, God is in control.” Either way, any actions the mind/body takes don’t have to be for any particular reason or to achieve any ends. Every action is the ends when we remember God and Eternity. The Present Moment is the Eternal Moment, and in every Moment we have the freedom to experience whatever we desire – whether it’s peace and love and joy or hatred and anger or anything in between :-) We have the power, tis a gift indeed! Choose. Choose. Choose. Live in the Present Moment- that’s where our power is to choose the quality of our experience. And in the Present Moment we can slow down…really slow down…slow…slow…slow…we can slow down so much…just to where the mind stops…the body stops…all attention goes to the breath…just noticing the breath…and then gratitude…smile…you’re on the cosmic camera :-) Wave to your Eternal Self!
Forget the means.
This is the ends!
Time to enjoy :-)
Experience the Fullness.
Your Divine Choice!
Praise the Lord!!!!!!