Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Make Your Life a Love Story

Be delighted by Life. Let it take you into her arms and nourish you. Awaken to Life. Embrace Life. Don’t think of life as hard or as a burden. These may sound like lofty words, but these are words that are worthy of us. This is the truth of our being.

Life is not the enemy and fortunately, there is no enemy. Jesus said to love our enemies, because when we do that, they no longer are our foes. Gandhi said the best way to defeat an enemy is to turn them into a friend. This doesn’t refer to the enemies on the outer battlefield; it’s about the enemies in the inner world. Our enemy is anyone we criticize silently (in our mind talk), those we are jealous of, and those we are upset with when they treat us poorly. We are so prone to defense that we turn our friends and loved ones into frenemies even when they are the ones who love us the most. We are in love with defending. We think our existence depends on having people to be upset with. Notice the next time you are upset with someone and see if you want to hang on to your upset or if you are willing to let it go. When we do not want to let go of our upset, it points to our need to hang onto drama. Irritation or anger is more dangerous to our health than smoking or the lack of exercise. It’s one thing to be upset with others, but realizing that the upset is killing us prematurely, should make us take pause in our emotions 

Life is an ever-present unfolding mystery that touches us at every turn with adventure and pleasure.  The real adventure is the inner journey, but too often we get sidetracked with our relationships. We use them as an excuse to get out of our life’s mission. We have a mission. It is not a mission to be a great singer or inventor; it is a mission to be a great lover. We are destined to be a lover of all people, a purveyor of compassion, and transformer of darkness into light. Our mission is to shine our light so others can shine. We are supposed to dig into the souls of others until we find the gold. We are not designed to find weak spots in our friends, coworkers, and family members and then to go after them so we can feel like bigger people. 

We are the very embodiment of love. We are his people and the sheep of his pasture. Let us rest in this knowing because when we set our hearts love-ward there is a universal wind that draws us towards a sweetness that we want to share. We can’t contain the good news. We share it in our smiles, looks of appreciation, and kind words. We shed the cynicism, the defense, and the anger. We release the fear and the sadness dissolves. We rejoice in Life. Let’s set our sails love-ward and share the love of our existence with others, and not project our pain into our relationships. It is our mission. We don’t have to run around shouting that we don’t know what to do with our lives. How much clearer can it be? Love one another and that will not only make our lives EZier, it will make our lives meaningful.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

What's Your Wrong System?

The Wrong System: Do You Have to Right it?

What’s in your wrong system? Is life itself wrong? Is life a problem that requires your assistance? Is it a mystery to be solved? Are you wrong? Do you work hard to be right? Do you have to win arguments or convert others to your way of seeing? Do you go to extremes to prove others wrong or gossip about their shortcomings?

Maybe you have a “wrong system.” A wrong system starts with the belief that life is wrong. Life is a consortium of disconnects, and if life is wrong, then someone must right that wrong. The wrong system is popular among heroes and fixers, a paradise for problem solvers and for those who love challenges. Whether you are a bright-eyed optimist or a naysayer, the wrong system is perfect for you. If nothing was wrong, then you couldn’t be an optimist. If there wasn’t a negative, then you couldn’t be so darn positive!

The wrong system gives meaning to life. “I can fix life, I can fix me, and I can fix others.” I’m a wrong quester. I can see the problem in all situations, circumstances, and people. If I have a problem, I always have a purpose. No one can live without a purpose. You know, without a vision the people perish. If I’m the problem, then even better. It gives me an eternal occupation. My life is then about analyzing me, what I do, and my relationships. When I get it all figured out, I can then dig deeper and find another layer of problems. You know, life is like an onion.

What is in your wrong system? You know. You live there. Most wrong systems come second hand. We can thank parents, professors, and culture for conferring such meaningful constructive data. And we buy it, love it, relish in it. Enchanting.

Enough; convinced. See how we manipulate reality to suit our distorted purposes? Want out? Where is the answer? How does one give up the familiar pattern of wrong? Can it be as simple as just looking for what is right? Looking for what is right is an antidote. We often call that gratitude; we can call it the glass half full. Really anything that stops the mind in its tracks and turns it away from wrong. This is the classic solution, yet to look in the opposite direction of wrong, proves to the mind that the wrong exists.

Changing our perception, which again proves there was something wrong, is different from changing our experience. Perhaps the most direct path to recovery is to remove the wrong system all together.

Let It Be
If we can allow things to be as they are, then no suffering ensues. Emotional suffering is a product of not accepting things the way they are. Resisting reality creates suffering. This doesn’t mean we don’t change things in the future, but we cannot change what already is in the present. As the old adage goes, “Resistance causes persistence.” And suffering exists in that resistance.

I sing the wrong song. I may sing it in a positive way, but until I acknowledge and dispel the underlying assumption that life is a problem – and have the courage to give up the need to define myself as anything, any thought, or any belief system, the life I construct is a house of sand. There is no firm foundation.

Life is radically concept-free. Life is the awareness of the eternal wellspring of being. The living heart sutra, a teaching of the Buddha, is that form is emptiness and emptiness is form.
That which we are is not wrong. Wrongness is a construct that floats in the collective unconscious. As we expose that thought and bring it to awareness, it disappears. When our wrong system crumbles, it takes with it the burdensome thing we call our lives, and brings us life itself. This is reality – life without meaning. You think everyone wants meaning? We have to have it. Think anew; the moment we setup meaning, we reenter right and wrong. Meaning takes time and belief systems that ultimately lead us away from “Now.” There’s nothing “wrong” with meaning. I just ask you to put all things aside in just this moment and see what is here without such concepts as meaning. What is here is enough; it takes away ancient and limiting memories and delivers pure consciousness.

Get It Now
Do not be fooled into believing you cannot get this now. Now is when it is available. The state of full living and life itself is not reserved for masters, saints, or great beings. Don’t think you will fix yourself up enough so that at some unspecified time in the future you will get it. It’s now; only now. The future is a psychological concept of the mind. Forget what you know and enter the awareness of now. Do this and you can’t “go wrong.” This is not the “right” thing to do; we do it because our inner wisdom draws us to now.

I’ve found that trying to fix my junk thoughts is an endless task, and letting things be the way they are, without rising to the drama of mentalizing, brings me back to life. Following thought trails and fixing the mind is such a habit. I prefer taking my mind to a resting place. Just focusing on the breath can tip the mind off its perch into the light of life. Almost anything that brings us into our bodies and out of our head deposes the mind. When we get into our bodies we expand our awareness.
Moving out of the head starts the opening. As we open, we bathe ourselves in the awareness of who we are, in the direct experience of life. As this occurs, all searching, longing, planning, fixing, and analyzing ceases. We are free at last from the ego’s  stand - free from restlessness, free from longing. And the more we dip into this universal, ever-present me-ness, the easier it is to remain present to life.

You will be able to find many times when what I’ve written is not true for you. This is a habit of the mind. It takes us up and down blind alleys, using our best reasoning, but just for a moment, read this with an open mind. This is written about a new dimension of experience; it is not a doctrine to be applied as salvation. It is written to expand the mind, not to refute or support what you already know. Life is full of miracle and grace, and only you can move past the words and into the mystery these words point to.