Wise Young Man

Sometimes this young man uses profanity. Doesn’t bother me in the least ( I use it also sometimes) but if it offends you, please don’t allow it to keep you from hearing his exquisite philosophy.

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10152687483099769

To Serve, Find Balance

A bodhisattva is a person (usually Buddhist) who strives to end the suffering of all beings.

 

From Jack Kornfield’s blog:

In some form, the vision of the bodhisattva is celebrated in every culture. We revere the figures of Saint Francis and Kwan Yin and we take public inspiration from the medical mission of Albert Schweitzer in Africa and Dorothy Day, the founder of the Catholic Worker Movement. But following the bodhisattva way does not require us to become a monk like Saint Francis or to work in Central Africa like Albert Schweitzer. It is based on the truth that we can transform our own circumstances into a life of inner and outer service. To do this without being overwhelmed, the bodhisattva creates a life of balance.

This is eminently practical. If we want to act wisely in the world, the first step is to learn to quiet the mind. If our actions are born fro anger, grasping, fear, and aggression, they will perpetuate the problems. How many revolutions have overthrown oppressive regimes, to then turn around and become the oppressors? Only when our own minds and hearts are peaceful can we expect peace to come through the actions we take.

To understand this integration of inner and outer, we can again look at the life of Gandhi. Even during the most turbulent years, when he was dismantling the British Empire’s control of India, Gandhi spent one day a week in silence. He meditated so that he could act form the principles of interdependence, not bringing harm to himself nor another. No matter how pressing and urgent the political situation, the day he spent in silence allowed him to quiet his mind and listen to the purest intentions of his heart.

If you want to live a life of balance, start now. Turn off the news, meditate, turn on Mozart, walk through the forest or the mountains and begin to make yourself a zone of peace. When I return from a long retreat or from traveling for months, I’m amazed that thew news is pretty much the same as when I left. We already know the plot, we know the problems. Let go of the latest story. Listen more deeply.

Remember the story Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh told of the crowded refugee boats. “If even on person on the boat stayed calm, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive.” When we react to terrorism with fear, we worsen the problem, we create a frightened barricaded society- a fortress America. Instead, we can use courage and compassion to respond calmy, with both prudent action and a fearless heart. The quieting of our mind is a political act. The world does not really need more oil or energy or food. It needs less greed, less hatred, less ignorance. If we have inadvertently taken on the political bitterness or cynicism that exists externally, we can stop and begin to heal our own suffering, our own fear, with compassion. Through meditation and inner transformation, we can learn to make our own hearts a place of peace and integrity. Each of us knows how to do this. As Gandhi acknowledged, “I have nothing new to teach this world. Truth and nonviolence are as old the hills.” It is our inner nobility and steadiness that we must call upon in our personal and collective difficulties.

This excerpt is taken from the book, “Bringing Home the Dharma: Awakening Right Where You Are” 

Be Wary of “Light and Love” that is Really Denial

We can easily believe we are “living in the present” and still be half asleep, following our old comfortable habits. Our initial sense of love and light can become an excuse to say that everything is already divine or perfect, and cause us to gloss over any conflict or difficulty. Some students practice this way for a long time without gaining much real wisdom. Stuck without knowing it, they may feel quite peaceful, but their lives have not been transformed and they may never fulfill the spiritual journey, never find true liberation in the midst of the world.—Jack Kornfield

On Aging


Posted January 30, 2013

One of the reasons that old age is so disconcerting to many people is that they feel as if they’re stripped of their roles. As we enter old age and face physical frailty, the departure of children, retirement, and the deaths of loved ones, we see the lights fading, the audience dwindles, and we are overwhelmed by a loss of purpose, and by the fear of not knowing how to behave or where we now fit in this play. The Ego, whose very sustenance has been the roles it played in the public eye, becomes irate, despairing, or numb, in the face of its own obsolescence. It may harken back to roles in its past to assert itself, but these strategies bring only more suffering as the Ego fights a losing battle.

As we learn to distinguish between our Egos — marked by our mind and thoughts — and the witness Soul — who’s not subject to them — we begin to see the opportunity that aging offers. We begin to separate who we are from the roles that we play, and to recognize why the Ego clings as it does to behaviors and images that no longer suit us. Stripped of its roles, the Ego is revealed as fiction. But for the person without a spiritual context, this is pure tragedy, for seekers of truth who are aware of the Soul, it is only the beginning.

Rather than wonder what new “role” we can invent for ourselves in the world then, the question that concerns us might be better put this way: How can we, as aging people, make our wisdom felt in the world? By embodying wisdom. We can find a happy balance between participation and retreat, remembering that while it is our duty to be of service if possible, it is also important that we prepare for our own journeys into death, through contemplation, quiet time, and deepening knowledge of ourselves.

 

— Ram Dass

Habits: Thoughts and Desires

Back in the 70’s until now many people who labor under illusions, could not hear what Ram Dass was actually saying, so they picked up a random bit here and there and twisted it into the illusions they could understand.  I’ve been rediscovering him lately now that I understand (40 years later) what he was trying to tell us.

 

One Day on Earth

Addiction Explained in Three Minutes

http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/what-is-addiction-gabor-mate/

Do Not Be Afraid of the Suffering of this World

Meditation is More than We Think…

A friend sent me this and I liked it very much,

Meditation Is the Catalyst for Growth

My parents made me meditate for the first time when I was 13 — in a weekend-long meditation retreat. It was pure torture. I went on for the next two decades refusing to meditate and opining that it was only for crazy people — of course, I was the crazy person, because I wasn’t meditating!
This week many of my clients and readers are beginning to meditate for the first time and they are searching for clarity around what it is to meditate, how to do it, when to do it, and even if they’ve been meditating for years, they’re discovering there’s a way to go deeper and make it more productive and applicable to their daily lives.
Oftentimes when we begin to meditate we can experience a lot of resistance showing up in the form of sudden itches, discomfort sitting, anxiety, or just not even making the time for it when we had the pure intention of doing so. The voice of the ego — the loud, chattery voice that is always worrying, analyzing and trying to figure things out — seems to get louder when we start to sit with ourselves and it also likes to make things more complicated than they are and to judge the process. This can be disheartening and frustrating. And the reflex is to keep running away from ourselves in distractions, habits, relationships, work, food, the way we’ve been doing forever rather than staying there and being with it all.
So let it be messy. In the beginning, the ego speaks first and loudest. As we practice witnessing our thoughts and the stories our ego has been telling us, we detach from them rather than going into the vicious fear cycle. Our awareness around the ego’s thoughts actually helps to dissolve it and the voice eventually gets more quiet, clearing the space for the voice of our inner guide, the loving voice within that has all of our answers and brings us peace.
There is a gradual effect from meditation, like building a muscle over time. When we’ve never worked out before or haven’t done so consistently, it’s more difficult at first, but the more we do it, the stronger we get and the more expansive and limitless it can feel. We think a lot about staying in shape on the outside and how much work goes into that, but when we realize the power of flexing our spiritual muscle daily, we can see its life-changing impact.
Remember, this is the gentle approach of self-love, so don’t let the ego hijack your spiritual practice. Meditating out of obligation or forcing and pushing yourself to do it, beating up on yourself if you don’t or haven’t been consistent with the daily practice, is not self-love and it’s the ego’s way of keeping you down. Rise above it and love yourself enough to be patient with you.
My first two months of meditation were crying. They were not blissed out, zen experiences where I floated on clouds and had no thoughts in my mind.
In fact, the goal was never to sit in silence, with no thoughts, feelings or insights. From the beginning, I went into meditation from a pro-active place with a deep, inner knowing that this was going to be the key that would unlock all of my answers — I just had no idea what, how, why, or when. I allowed my meditations to be whatever they needed to be. I listened to music, used guided meditations to help my thoughts focus, going in with clear intentions around seeing things from a higher perspective, releasing whatever I needed to let go of. I would begin with five minutes and then it turned into 10. After I stayed into 30 minutes or an hour, sometimes a couple hours, I would be able to bypass my mind and fully connect with my spirit.
When I began meditating I was in a rock bottom in my life and I could barely get out of bed in the morning. I sat through tears; I sat when I was angry; I sat when I was scared; I sat when I was lonely; I sat when I was confused. I didn’t need to create a fancy alter or even buy a meditation pillow. I just sat up in bed in the morning and began. Or I would pull myself up from the sofa crying and sit there and meditate.
Meditation became the gateway to the relationship with myself and with spirit, my higher self, the universe — whatever you would like to call it. When I needed to call on someone, when I needed answers, peace, clarity, love, I meditated. As I strengthened this relationship with myself, I connected with the higher aspects of myself that had been blocked by my ego for so long — I was connecting with who I really was, pure unconditional love, perfect, whole and complete, lacking nothing, and abundant beyond anything I’d felt.
The impetus to begin was so that I could get the relationship I wanted and have things on the outside work out for me, but what I found on the way was myself. I found me. This was my awakening.
I woke up and in doing so I found the prize wasn’t my beloved; the prize was me.
This practice became the most liberating and empowering thing I had ever experienced — the miracle was my shift in perception around needing something outside of myself and realizing I had everything I needed within me. I found happiness within when there was chaos all around me on the outside. And that new energy within me was the energy that transformed and healed the chaos around me.
Meditation is no longer a passive practice or one in which we remove ourselves from the world. Meditation is the catalyst for transformation, self-knowledge and taking action in the world from an aligned place of love rather than a limiting place of fear-doing things from our heart rather than what everyone else wants us to do or what we think we should be doing.
Love takes action on behalf of our own dreams and desires and on behalf of humanity. Not only did I find myself in meditation and my spiritual path, but I found my mission and purpose on the planet. Each of us has gifts to share with the world, ways in which we serve others and bring light onto a darkened planet.
The more I connected with myself, the more everything outside of me began to transform in miraculous ways. I was tending to my internal space daily which directly affected my external world in awe-inspiring ways and new relationships blossomed, my business transformed, my mission expanded, and my energy hit a high that I had never known possible — I didn’t need an alarm clock anymore and began rising with the sun.
The daily practice of prayer/intention and meditation is the backbone of a spiritual practice and a commitment we make to ourselves and ultimately to humanity because we are all connected and it is our duty and responsibility to bring our light and our happiness to others. Our devotion to this practice is devotion to love and to reality, allowing us to detach from fear and illusions.
I invite you this week to begin or to deepen your daily practice. These steps are also in The Happiness Blueprint, so that you can easily integrate them into your daily life. Begin your day with prayer/intention the moment you open your eyes, silently calling on your higher self by saying whatever resonates for you at that time. This could look like, “Thank you for guiding me to loving perceptions today,” “I choose happiness,” “I choose to have faith in love and not faith in fear.” You can begin your meditation with a question and listen for guidance that’s coming in, having a journal next to you if you need it. Throughout your day, the living prayer and meditation is witnessing your thoughts and the ego’s stories and calling on your higher self for new perceptions. Peace is available to you in any moment.
I love hearing from you! Please share in the comments below your experience with meditation, what you’re working

Man/Woman Relationships

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