Simple Living, Simple Joy
--by Bo Lozoff (Jan 13, 2003)
A friend of ours here in North Carolina recently lost her beautiful 19-year-old son to suicide. She told us he was the sixth among a small group of friends who have committed suicide in the past two-and-a-half years. Suicide is now the third leading cause of death among teenagers ...
We need to start asking ourselves some searching questions about why life seems to be of so little value to our kids. From a spiritual perspective, one sentence can sum up the whole thing — not only our own and our kids' problems, but our planetary problems too, from pollution to wars:
Human life is very deep, and our dominant modern lifestyle is not.
It is as if a king had sent you to a country to carry out one special, specific task. You go to the country, and you perform a hundred other tasks, but if you have not performed the task you were sent for, it is as if you have performed nothing at all. So man has come into the world for a particular task, and that is his purpose. If he doesn't perform it, he will have done nothing.
Our "task" is the spiritual journey. Life is deep, we are deep, and we're not acting like it. Life is inherently joyful, yet we're not enjoying it. We're caught in the details, in the "hundred other tasks" which will count for nothing if we don't wake up to our depth.
Right now, while you are reading this, take a moment to center yourself in your body, in this place you sit, and feel yourself breathing, and smile. Don't just speed-read on to the next paragraph, please. Let go of past and future. Appreciate that you're alive; appreciate knowing how to read. Appreciate knowing about spiritual wisdom. Bring a soft smile of gratitude into your heart and onto your face.
--Bo Lozoff, (with his wife Sita, he has started the Human Kindness Foundation and served hundreds of thousands of prisoners to give them a taste of life's depths: more)