creating boundless space in our lives

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Here’s another way to look at this: we have a right to say what we want to say, and other people have the right to reject it.


Here is a story that illustrates how to create space in our lives: the Buddha was walking with his disciples on a country road. There they met a man who did not agree with the Buddha’s teachings. The man ranted and raved and called the Buddha every imaginable word. The Buddha remained silent and watched the man. After the outburst, the man left and the Buddha and his disciples went on their way. The disciples were very upset because they believed that the Buddha should have defended himself against the tirade. When they reached their destination, they asked the Buddha why he did not retaliate against the man who verbally abused him. The Buddha was puzzled and asked which man were they talking about. The disciples reminded him about the man they met on the road a few hours ago who was raging mad. The Buddha then remembered and said that…

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Less is More

We often feel inadequate so we look to the world of things to add to our sense of self. We buy a big house, purchase an expensive car, or wear trendy clothes–all in the hope that these things will cover up our sense of not enough and make us feel important. We identify with things that are passing which never make us happy in the long run because the polarity of forms–good/bad, positive/negative, high/low–will always manifest sooner or later.

If we have a big house, we pay higher taxes, utility and repair expenses. If we have an expensive car, we pay a lot of money to maintain its spotless condition. If we wear trendy clothes, we constantly update our wardrobe and thus end up in credit card debt or bankruptcy. If all we do is identify with form, we will always be out of balance and in despair.

How do we break this vicious cycle?  We withdraw identification from form and welcome the formless into our lives. We let go of our need to control things and become friendly with whatever happens at the present moment. We allow things to change or disappear so that space can come into our lives. We become less so we can be more. We release our heavy burden of thoughts, judgments, and beliefs into the universe so something wonderful can happen. In other words, we let our false sense of self dissolve so our true self can emerge.  The less baggage (or self-identification) we have, the more we are able to enjoy life. As a buddhist monk puts it, “No self, no problem.”

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Dealing with death

Most people shrink away from death. They live in constant fear of it and try to run away from it. Some people even deny its existence. But if we realize that death is an opening into another dimension, then death loses its grip on our lives. We are not denying death but simply acknowledging its existence. Death is as natural as life. It is good or it would not be. Others talk about life and death as if these two are opposites. But as Eckhart Tolle puts it, the opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal. Death is the loss of form so that a new form can arise. Life is rearranging itself even in the presence of death. We have to let things happen so that we can experience the full spectrum of life–from birth to marriage to retirement to death–and to see the magnificence and beauty of God in every situation.

This posting is dedicated to a dear friend, Mark Boggs, who passed away suddenly on May 12, 2011. This one’s for you, buddy.

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Emptiness as a way of life

Emptiness sounds like a terrifying thought to many but it is actually liberating. When you are no longer attached to form, the formless (or unmanifested or whatever you want to call it) comes into your life and fills it with unlimited possibilities. It is like a new road has been opened for you and all you have to do is follow the road. You trust the universe to take care of you and guide you along life’s journey. You no longer think of life as hard and difficult. It just is. When you reach this point, you will no longer be disturbed by the constant flux of things. You may even play with forms and enjoy them for a change!

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Easter Thoughts

Good Friday and Easter Sunday had me thinking about Jesus and how he was open to life. He controlled his destiny–no matter how painful it was. He did not run away but instead took control of a bleak situation. For example: when Peter struck the off the ear of one of the guards, Jesus rebuked him. When he was interrogated and insulted by the high priests, Jesus stood his ground and told them the truth. When he was dying on the cross, he asked the Father to forgive the people for they did not know what they were doing. The message here is this: Good Friday happened because God was in control; and when God is in control, only good things can happen if we allow it to be. The key is to be open to life so the universe can work its magic through us.

Happy Easter!

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Creating loving relationships

How do you bring love into your relationships? You start by giving your full attention to the other person . This means that as you look at or talk to the other person, you don’t wish for  anything other than that moment as it is. You are not judging but you are watching the person and situation without any mental interference. You are creating space within and around the relationship. You feel the essence of that person beyond what he/she is saying. You are aligning yourself with the universe. If right action is needed, it will come out of this state of full attention. Try it now and see what happens.

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Having a Beautiful Mind

The beautiful mind is at peace with the world and all beings. It is still and does not impose anything on anybody. It looks at people and things and feels its oneness with everything. It is connected with, and supported by, the universe. How can you achieve a beautiful mind? Start by knowing that you have a noisy mind. Once you are aware that your mind is chaotic, you are present as the watcher. Presence and noise can not coexist. Being present means the noise has subsided. For a while. Then it comes back with even more thoughts. That’s how the mind is. It can not be still for long.

The key is to observe your mind without judging it. Just watch the thoughts that come into your mind. Don’t personalize them. Don’t mistake these thoughts for who you are. It is human unconsciousness manifesting at that moment. They are surfacing now because they need to be resolved. But you can’t resolve them by acting on them. You can only resolve them by not reacting to them. You are taking away the energy that is within and around these thoughts. This energy then becomes transmuted into something blissful and beautiful. You are starting to have a beautiful mind. Try it now and see what happens.