SEED QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What does letting meaning flow into our purposeful activities mean to you? Can you share a personal story of a time that death put your responsiveness to the ultimate test? How have you been able to use death to reflect on meaning?
Today, after few weeks I was back home, hosting the meditation in the common room.
I was not sure if anyone would attend, but was glad when there were 3 others who came by and 4 of us together had a silent sitting.
During the discussion, one member shared, how she was taught from childhood, that she is 'replaceable' and that has helped her a lot. Another lady said that she loved all her people so much that death is scary and she never thinks about it. One man stated few words of Gandhi ji - 'Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.' One woman shared, how being close to death, taught one person to release negativity and design a course which helps others do so as well.
Overall, the Awakin circle was a great welcome!
I deeply value such reflective writings. They evoke deep thinking in me and I am very grateful to Awakin for giving such gifts to me and others. Here are my reflections on this reflective writing.
We all who are born are journeying from womb to tomb, from the first breath to the last breath.The question is how awakened and conscious we are as we are aging every moment?Are we present to ourselves, to others and to the surroundings or are we half present or absent to what is happening? Am I aware of the fact that my inhalation is accompanied by my exhalation? Awakening and awareness are the foundations for me to live fully. Awareness of death-the tomb-makes me realize the value of living my life wisely.
Am I living my life purposefully and meaningfully? What is the purpose of my living and how am I realizing this purpose? These are foundational questions for me. The purpose of my life is to live a good life, a happy life that brings goodness and happiness not only in me but in others connected with me. What am I doing that unfolds goodness within me and gets me connected with others? What am I doing that brings happiness in me and in others? When I am engaged in doing meaningful activities that are attuned to the purpose of my living I feel happy and good.
I would like to conclude my reflections by quoting the last two sentences of this thought evoking writing:
" We distinguish between purpose and meaning not in order to separate the two but in order to unite them. Our goal is to let meaning flow into our purposeful activities by focusing activity and passivity into genuine responsiveness."
Let our daily life be a monastery by incorporating the Benedictine Rule! Namaste!
Jagdish P Dave
As Steindl-Rast says, purposeful and meaningful are different and can be united. Purposeful means goal-directed, having a goal that I want to accomplish. Meaningful means something has significance to me. I can be purposeful about something that is meaningless to me. Something can be meaningful to me and I do nothing about it. Meaningful and purposeful are united when I am purposeful or goal-directed about something that is meaningful or significant to me. I don't know of a personal near death experience, other than everyday living, but my wife was very near death, and my responsiveness was probably greatly selfish as I was sad and scared as I wanted her to continue to be bodily with me, and worried about my being without her. She lived, is well, and we go on, I am happy to say. For me, death precipitates thinking about what is meaningful to me, what it is I want to do, and stirs some urgency to be more purposeful about what is meaningful to me as I am more sharply aware that the big death is coming closer every day.[Hide Full Comment]