On Sep 26, 2014 Ken Elkind wrote:|
Music gives life meaning! By creating it, it becomes something that can be loved around the world. Simply playing a drum gives us intellectual, physical, & social strengths, Gatherings of music makers has been loved by all cultures & societies. www.groovism.org gives us all a chance to contribute some of our Groove energy to the global community. Give your life some meaning, knowing that your (& your's alone) Groove energy , created the miracle that will occur, when enough people are Grooving, for a long enough period of time.
On Sep 26, 2014 Jagdish P Dave wrote:|
How to live a life is a choice making journey. The bottom line as I understand is to make choice that that makes and keeps my body healthy, my mind calm, clear and creative and my heart caring, compassionate and loving. The wise choice for me is learn to be fully present to my self, to others in my life, to nature and to what I am doing and what is happening in me and around me.To me life is a like a flute through which divine music flows which brings deep joy in me and fulfillment in me. I share my music with my family, my friends, my clients and my students and whoever is around me and with me. The more I share, the more I feel I connected within me and with others. Life is a beautiful song which does not depend on having expensive things and making a big name. All these things are things, not me. The big challenge for me is not identify myself with my external clothes and lose my being.
I have not found it difficult to follow this simple path and I have never felt poor inside of me.I am blessed to have such inner abundance. I am grateful to my parents who lived that way and showed me the path how to live from within. I am very grateful to them and also grateful to many wonderful spiritual teachers who have inspired me to live that way.
Jagdish P Dave
On Sep 28, 2014 david doane wrote:|
All that is is one and is sacred, and that includes each of us. To me getting a life means to realize that and live accordingly. It means seeing others and every being, animate and inanimate, as an expression of the one and sacred, just as I am. It means to be grateful for my living. It means to take the time to appreciate and enjoy all of nature and all that is. It means to not be controlled by making a living or pursuing other ambitions in such a way that I lose my life. I don't know of a specific time when I noticed the grandness of life. I know I noticed it today, which was a glorious day here where I live. Awareness of the grandness of life that I am part of and that is all around me developed as a result of my becoming aware that all that is is one and sacred, and that awareness changed me and is enhancing my developing a life that is grand, generous and shared.
On Sep 28, 2014 Rebecca McCarty wrote:|
Recently a person commented to me, "Life is what happens to people, while they are making other plans." This is true for many people today, which begs the questions: How has this happened? Can this be changed?
With the advent of mass media, our societies have been saturated with social programming that introduced new attitudes among peoples. This phenomenon has caused a change in humans, as a result, we behave differently, than generations of the past did. Through mass media programing, humanity adopted a different set of attitudinal criteria for assessing and assigning "value" . The value of "things", the value of "actions", the value of "others", the value of acquiring "money", the value of "affluence", the value of being "in", the value of "virtue", the value of "spiritual development", the value of the" inner Self", all these have been assigned a changed degree of importance or non importance by media broadcasts in our various cultures.
This has come to us in the form of advertisements, movies, it is a kind of collective propaganda, haphazardly created by people who can afford to use the media for their promoting their products,agendas, ideas, services, opinions etc.. In the past an individual or small group of people, could only effect the values of so broad a slice of humanity very slowly, if at all. Miss information was not so easily spread, fashions were not so easily influenced, trends not easily manipulated, virtues not so easily ignored. Every one alive on the planet has been effected to a lesser or greater degree by mass media programming, we share this in common.
In the past ideas governing attitudes changed slowly, trends tended to remain steady. People had more time to evaluate ideas from their own experience, to question whether an idea, a thing, an action proved itself useful, valid, according to their own set of experiential criteria for judging values, comparing values. Now many of our experiences are created for us by mass media. These experiences are artificial, we've filled up much of our inner space with these artificial experiences, our ideas about the world, our attitudes toward life, our standards for good and bad, the interpretations we make about our personal experiences are influenced by them.
Do modern humans, as a whole, have a life of their own? We are so filled with artificial attitudes, which operate quite automatically, un-examined "as if" they were our own, that we can no longer be sure if we are living our own life, making our own choices. We are programmed to "make money", to "settle down", "reproduce", "get an education", "drink coca-cola", belong to this group or that, we are told, what to hate, what to fear, what success is and the standards whereby to measure it, we are programmed, how to dress, and how to think, what is "cool", what attitudes to use to deal with every kind of situation which we may find ourselves facing. In the midst of all this, where are our authentic Selves? What would it mean for our own authentic Self to begin to live, not according to our programming, but according to the essential nature of our own true being? Would we engage in activities contrary to our own authenticity? I think not. We would be true to ourselves in the purest sense. We would not live lives we hated, perform jobs we found no joy in, say and do things we'd later regret...even now, deep down inside, we know we would be different, truer to our inner Nature, if we could figure out how to do it effortlessly, and the world, we know, would be a changed place for it.
So how can we "get a life? Our own authentic life? The answer lies in penetrating the moment. Our life is composed of events, events are composed of moments, moments are composed of NOW. This moment, right now is where we, authentic living Being, exist. If we do not find our selves here, where else can we find our selves? If we let this moment go by, like so many others, without truly penetrating "now" with our conscious Being, making it our own crystal of time, if we fill our minds with all the things we're programmed to think, to value, to feel, to fear, and act from that programming; can we be said to "live an authentic life"?
Socrates said "the unexamined life is not worth living". To discover our own authentic nature we must begin to examine our programming, where it came from, we need to question our motives, question our habitual attitudes, prove ideas out under the open sky, in the light of our daily moments. When we shine the light of examination on our programming and with open eyes, pick out the artificial attitudes and values, and replace them with attitudes and values that "sit right with our own hearts", then our lives will truly be worth living. We will live our own authenticity. Authenticity is infectious, when the authentic living Being in us, vibrates with the truth of it's own authenticity, it sets up a similar vibration in others. When we embrace an authentic life, we send out ripples of authenticity through all of humanity, one moment at a time. The present is the leading edge of eternity, live here and embrace your own life, true to tour essential Nature.
It takes a certain kind of courage to live authentically, it is not popular, nor will such a life heap up money. Such a life however, is richly filled with experience, from which grows wisdom and understanding, and these can not be bought, at any price.
On Sep 28, 2014 Rebecca McCarty wrote:|
Thank-you for sharing your inspiring observation.
On Sep 29, 2014 Rebecca McCarty wrote:|
Everyone suffers, there is no escape from it. How we respond to suffering, is a different matter. Some people prolong suffering unnecessarily, wallowing in self pity, resentment, anger, self righteous indignation, blaming others and etc.; others accept suffering, separate themselves from it and rise above it, thereby they attain "grace".
There are different kinds of suffering, real and imaginary. If you break your arm for instance, you experience real suffering, if you choose to be offended by the action of another, considering the action to be an insult and/or that the other "does not understand me", this is imaginary suffering, for if you had chosen to take the action in another way, or if you had tried to understand, what circumstances led the other person to perform the action, instead of feeling miss-understood yourself, then you would not have suffered.
From one point of view, it is all a question of energy, a specific kind of energy, psychic energy. Wallowing in self pity, or imagined wrong, uses up this energy, which is the very energy we need to sustain higher states of consciousness. When we accept suffering, endure it without expressing it, we transform the negative energy suffering evokes into positive energy, this process allows us to not only gain energy that would otherwise be lost, but to produce more energy, this energy fuels the state of "grace", because it can be used to sustain higher states. Upon experiencing suffering, we can choose to elevate our state above it, penetrate the present, and add to this "grace" to our true selves, or we can choose to descend into self pity, anger, resentment, bitterness, blame others, etc., and loose our Selves in these lower states, how we respond to suffering is entirely up to us.
It is difficult to separate one's true self from the suffering of the personality and body, yet the reward for doing so is an increased ability to sustain higher states within, and an increase of the energy required for doing so.
Suffering is not pleasant, yet taken rightly, it can furnish us with the very thing we need to awaken, and from this point of view is something to be thank-full for. Rilke, a sensitive German poet of the past, said "We are wasters of sorrow." To wallow in negative emotions produced in response to suffering truly wastes our finest energies, where as transforming suffering, boosts our finer energies, making them available for sustaining states of "grace", increasing our understanding, leading us into wisdom.
On Sep 29, 2014 Susan Winslow wrote:|
To me life is very sacred, I have had cancer and an almost deadly pneumonia. Other events have happened that have changed me. I no longer take anyone or anything for granted. I am an Emergency Room Nurse and I see accidents happen every day- we are all very lucky to wake up every day. It is that simple. I know first hand that in the blink of an eye things can change. I go about life enjoying people, smiling and breathing.
On Sep 30, 2014 Amy wrote:|
Amen! This ought be a priority "awakening".
If there were a way to "mark" this as "favorite", I would surely give it a "flag"!
Thank you for sharing!
On Sep 30, 2014 Syd wrote:|
I want to thank everyone for your reflections on “Get a Life.” I like to be real and speak simple truth, as everyone is doing here. I enjoy everyone being direct and authentic. There is also a side of me willing to reveal my flaws and irrationalities, since it reflects my essence. With this said, I am willing to communicate a part of me which has over identified with my suffering and woundedness. Because of my physical deficiency and even my inner deficiency I have made a lifestyle out of suffering. To suffer is to feel deficient.
I am gradually realizing I am caught in my emotional reactions to my suffering. I do not stay with my direct awareness to allow my suffering to transform me. My belief is in my deficiency. I have constructed an identity out of it. If my ego is going full force, such as identifying with my feeling my inner lack, I begin to live in my story and I will even make up stores about being inadequate, unimportant and undesirable. My story results in this constant emotional storminess and reactivity. The whole of it obscures my ability to perceive my true identity, my value or anything else for that matter.
I am beginning to realize I fixate on suffering, a bittersweet loss, and other melancholy feelings. Unfortunately, this activity is immature and the fixations always play themselves out as a constant inner commentary on my inadequacies. I can even get caught up in how others have let me down. It feels like my fixation on my suffering is causing extreme self-consciousness, and is profoundly cutting me off from my source of truthfulness.
I want to move to a new place and consciously accept my suffering, especially learning to accept this suffering from anxiety. True enough this makes me feel edgy. I feel like I am stepping into nothingness, this void, and like I am walking off the edge of the world. I understand this place is beyond any beliefs and learned procedures. I realize there is a self that can suffer and transcend s it. I realize when the moment is felt and suffering is accepted the self is possessed. Yet I get caught into trying to make my suffering a meaningful force.
The moment or even my getting a life is no concept or belief. It feels like the direct experience of my identity to suffer, without creating a particular image or idea from it, is living in this contact with Being. Therefore, Being must partake in my suffering or there could be no self in this flow. The hopelessness would make me look for ways to escape the crushing negative self-consciousness. Maybe it is courage that draws upon the Essential and is this inner strength. I just wish my faith could constantly let go and learn to rest in this void.
I have not learned to rest in suffering and totally accept it without creating an identity out of it. Yet also there is dynamic unfolding of life in this moment. There seems to be a confidence to rest that offers this hope without my ego mind being caught in its agendas and projects. Maybe this inner place can only be touched by stillness and getting a life is this stillness. Stillness is simply learning to rest within pain and suffering, yet my mind is questioning this. Nevertheless, this edginess, the void, suffering, depression all seems to need to fall into stillness where this raw material is given a place to rest in Hope.
My writing creates this note like an echo of tears, yet truth also strikes my soul. She is my hope just as you are all my hope. This seems to be just a place to begin this journey, to let go as faith. May the journey begin in truth and in faith, and hopefully it is an opening to this hidden depths. Your presence is significant!
On Sep 30, 2014 Syd wrote:|
Good news you are Randy, thanks
On Sep 30, 2014 Syd wrote:|
Thank you for your hidden depths Rebecca and the preciousness of your truth.
On Sep 30, 2014 Syd wrote:|
Your life is truly shared with us David and is this unshakable confidence in the goodness of life . Thank you!
On Sep 30, 2014 Syd wrote:|
Thank you Jagdish for no need to prop the ego up as being good. Your goodness appears in your freedom. And maybe it is your freedom from the ego that helps me recognize your goodness within your freedom. This is very good.
On Sep 30, 2014 Lfm wrote:|
Still cannot help believe your experience/reality, though painful, is for good . . . Preparing you for the future . . . Giving you reason to hope, hang on and even celebrate the journey.
He is the Potter and we are His clay. Let's continue to allow God to manipulate our shape and form us to His likeness . . . For His glory.
We "get no life" outside of Him.
I still very much admire your courage!
Again, I will pray for you this Thursday at mass.
On Sep 30, 2014 Abby wrote:|
Excellent and inspirational! Very helpful to me at this moment in time. I love the positive thoughts, but I do think getting a life can be a journey of enlightenment and making decisions. Decisions to move forward and make choices, not to be stagnant or trapped in any situation whether it's internal or external.
On Oct 1, 2014 Syd wrote:|
Lfm, it is interesting you use the terms, “He is the Potter and we are His clay.” This is probably true enough, where the Potter turns all our experiences, both the good and the bad, into something more for our growth as human beings. Maybe the Potter can create beyond my human limitations. Yet I do not like this being burned in the oven, as this chasm creates inner darkness and it feels like a black hole draining whatever life I have out of me. I feel like I am being burned from the inside out.
You may know of John of the Cross. He describes wood being burned in a stove where the snow, ice, dirt and bark finally turn into a red hot coal. Naturally this red hot coal puts off heat and love, yet my unconscious impulses also burn in anger. So it helps to open the door to the stove and draw a little inspiration from this heat. Painful and paradoxical, raw material and inspirational is truly the highest form of creativity. It is rather “soul-making,” something beautiful here and seems to be this fire which creates.
I thank you for your prayers, as there is terrifying attraction to this darkness and yet a little opening in the door allows me to not see this darkness as being demonic.
On Oct 1, 2014 Syd wrote:|
It seems I could have described John of the Cross’s terms better about the wood being turned into a red hot coal. For some reason something blocking my brain cells from saying the wood becomes the red hot coal. This is strange. Oh well, fire is purifying and many of us in hell maybe can see it that way. It is a place where the Supreme Being or our being cannot be harmed.
On Oct 1, 2014 Blessings wrote:|
Like a butterfly, Abby! When I feel trapped, I have to get creative (As agoraphobia is a personal problem, I know)!
On Oct 1, 2014 david doane wrote:|
Good essay, Rebecca -- thank you. I disagree with only one point, your last paragraph. For me to live authentically, live my truth, I may not be popular and may not heap up money, but I may -- many who were authentic have -- you never know.
On Oct 1, 2014 david doane wrote:|
Susan -- I appreciate your attitude. Thanks for sharing.
On Oct 1, 2014 david doane wrote:|
Syd - A couple thoughts occurred to me as I read your words. 1) I suffer my pain, that's life. To suffer my pain efficiently is wise. To suffer my pain painfully may not be necessary. 2) I hope I have and suffer my pain, and not my pain have and suffer me. Thank you for sharing openly.
On Oct 1, 2014 Syd wrote:|
What you write is well said David. It feels like my suffering cuts me off from the ground of Being My suffering seems to create a particular identity and I lose my source to Being. So writing this out, after digging up my emotional reactions, is to find stillness or peace will allow my soul to transform all my experiences. I am not fully certain about my ability to live by this, yet it is a good place to begin. “Get a Life” fits the ground I am on and with this I honor your realistic faith David, as your faith helps me to find my center.
On Oct 1, 2014 Lfm wrote:|
Why so angry, Syd.
I pray God keep working your clay BEFORE the kiln.
Let not the sun go down on your anger. Give it away. Walk it away. Talk it away. Forgive it away. ****when the time is right****
(Anger would be equivalent to an air bubble within your clay. Put to heat, you'll blow up)
His peace I leave with you, brother!
On Oct 2, 2014 Syd wrote:|
Lfm, I thank you for asking, “Why so angry, Syd?” I believe the greatest reason is my expectations are unfulfilled, such as simply walking. Because my cells do not produce energy for my muscles there is lots of exhaustion, fatigue, and feeling alienated from myself and others. If I sink into this physical or inner deficiency then suffering becomes my identity. I will then turn anger and aggression against myself.
I use to feel there was no way out of this tormented consciousness, like feeling hopeless. I then realized I was caught in my emotional reactions and my beliefs about my deficiency. I realized my inner commentary is creating an identity based on suffering. My ego is based on suffering and ultimately is deficient. So the best I can tell to gain a better satisfaction with my life is to move beyond all my beliefs. This not a concept or even an idea to live up to, but is more like falling into a direct experience of Essence.
The falling is letting go. My moving into stillness is letting go of my anger. There is no clinging to anything here, inner or outer. This Essence feels like a place where everything arises and disappears, which creates this state of stillness and peace. Peace also creates this flow, so it seems right in your offering His peace. There is enormous dignity, self-respect, and this unshakable equanimity within peace. It feels like this place of true worth. Powerful!
On Oct 3, 2014 david doane wrote:|
Syd -- You might enjoy Ram Dass' book, Still Here. I found it helpful.
On Oct 3, 2014 Syd wrote:|
Thanks David and I just order it.
On Oct 6, 2014 Dey wrote:|
Thanks for this advice .. sometimes i feel like burdened with something that i dont know what .. and sometimes i feel i'm the most " pathetic " human ... but this advice a little more give me strength to wake up and facing the problem ...
On Oct 6, 2014 Rebecca McCarty wrote:|
Everyone suffers, there is no getting around this fact. However what we do with our suffering is a different matter. There are different kinds of suffering, and there are different ways we can deal with our suffering. There is real suffering, like physical pain, or loss of a loved one. And then there is imaginary suffering, based on negative imagination; worry about what others may think of us, feelings of disappointment or resentment, when events don't turn out the way we expected them to turn out, feelings of being misunderstood, feelings of self pity etc.. The difference between real and imaginary suffering is often difficult to see. Real suffering is unavoidable, imaginary suffering is a result of our own negative trains of thought, and is entirely avoidable.
When we suffer, a chain of automatic internal response begins. The negativity of suffering multiplies by something like a factor of 100. Some one insults us, first we are hurt, then offended, then resentful, then angry, we turn the subject over and over, think up ways we should have responded, plot revenge and so forth, all according to our programming, and we only forget the insult very slowly. From one point of view, it is exciting to feel negative, it even gives us the illusion that we are "real", for anyone who is suffering to the extent we feel we are suffering,"must be real".
When something good happens to us, a chain of automatic response also begins. However, as odd as it might seem,the positive emotion only multiplies by a factor of something like 10. Someone compliments us, we feel a spark of happiness,a momentary thrill, we may think about it a couple of times, feel a few good feelings related to our memory of the event, then we forget about it fairly rapidly.
It takes psychic energy to sustain moments of higher consciousness. Negative emotions burn up psychic energy, which is why we feel exhausted afterwards. When we have a positive emotion it actually creates psychic energy, which is why we feel invigorated after a good laugh.
If awakening is your aim, that is, if one is actively committed to the process of spiritual development, one comes to the problem of where to get enough psychic energy, to elevate one's higher self, high enough to enter, and sustain a higher state of consciousness. This is where suffering can be of great value, because the negative emotions produced by suffering can be transformed into positive emotions. When this happens the 100 factor multiplies by the 10 factor, positive emotions produced as a result of transforming negative emotions multiply by a factor of 1000. Christ's simple statement, "Forgive them, they know not what they do". Has multiplied itself far beyond the 1000 times factor, it has powerfully touched people the world over,changing the way generations of men conduct themselves toward one another, a most beautiful example of this principle in action.
How can we transform suffering? Very simply, by accepting it, by rising above it without expressing it. To do this one must find a place above suffering and from that higher space, simply watch all of the automatic negative feelings that arise as a result, without attaching a sense of identity to them. We are not those negative emotions, they are just passing phenomenon, temporary, transitory in nature. Transforming suffering is not to be confused with suppressing suffering, pretending to ourselves that we are not suffering, is simply living a lie. Transformation occurs when we find a space "to be" above suffering, and observe it, without identifying with it, without blame without judgment.
When we successfully are able to transform suffering, something grows in us, something strengthens, virtue expands, we find ourselves blessed with increased tolerance, patience, increased ability to compassionately forgive. There is nothing which makes us more God-like than transforming suffering, for think...God, the source of all Being, must have transformed the travail associated with the act of turning the potential of pre-creation, into this, our manifest reality. I remember this when suffering seems more than "I can bare", and it is exactly at this point, where all that is weak in one says, "I can't take any more" that one CAN take more, and it is at this leading edge of transformation, that surmounted, leads to the greatest spiritual development. Rilke, a sensitive German poet of the 1800's said, "We are wasters of sorrows". Everyone suffers, there is no avoiding it, if we burn the energy we could gain by transforming it, by indulging in negative emotions, wallowing in self pity, resentment, anger, self doubt, and so forth, we waste our opportunities to add much, to our inner spiritual life.
Deep down inside, we all know that transforming suffering leads to states of grace, studying how to gain the strength to rise above, and how not to succumb to the lower states suffering evokes, is a worthy pursuit. One we master, slowly, over time, by degrees.
On Oct 6, 2014 Syd wrote:|
Rebecca, I was pleased to see your post. I appreciate you expressing the point when we say, “I can’t take it any more” and is the point of transformation. The last few days I have worked at not being lost or swept away in my emotional reactions. There is this connection with truth, sometimes painful experiences and realizations, yet I allowing peace to find my suffering and experiences worthwhile. This day, I am realizing by not attaching an identity to my suffering experiences, is this profound stillness. There is no accomplishment or a source of doing or even dividing my experiences into different categories. This stillness is a self, empty, yet paradoxically everything. Maybe it is the point my identity becomes Beingnness and there is nothing to prop up here. Maybe this stillness is Divine awareness, rather than my projects and preoccupations of my personality around my suffering.
I just want you to know your writings are offering confidence to rest in hope and it feels like this place to cease my agendas and projects. I never new stillness could offer such Hope and becomes everything. I am just touching this awareness, suffering moving into stillness. I want to thank you for your awareness and writing, which helps my awareness to be in stillness and rest in Hope. Your presence touches me and your presence is deeply significant
On Oct 6, 2014 Lfm wrote:|
Satan plays the "pathetic card" to many of us. I am thankful, after a time of "holding that card" in my hand awhile, God helps me discard it. Hitting us with his (satan) best shot, however, is not good enough. Thanks be to God. Dey, imagine a friend holding your hand in the Truth of Christ.
On Oct 7, 2014 deydiit wrote:|
Thanks so much lfm..
and now i know,God always beside me even i'm in trouble or anything else that can crush my strenght..
On Oct 7, 2014 Amy wrote:|
Wow, Rebecca! Amen to your thoughts! T y!
Much to ponder . . . "recycling" our pain.
On Oct 7, 2014 Jo wrote:|
Back at you, Syd! We help each other . . . we are His Body . . . given this day to offer life and love support as He directs us. Blessings
On Feb 9, 2015 Jack and Naoma Irey wrote:|
Way to go, Son in law. Thanks for sharing the posting. You are the best example WE know for all these generous attributes.