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At some point some of us come to the realisation that they really want to help others (there are others who just do it, but it’s a different story). The aspiration is urgent. We start out small, by donating to a charity or two. We volunteer. We ask friends and family about causes to support. We give away a bonus. We progress to a giving pledge where we start giving away regularly a chunk of income to causes that we care about. We sign petitions, try activism and research local foodbanks.
As I was completing my Level 2 course in Counselling Skills, as part of one of the assignments was this question:
What is your motivation for helping others?Continue reading
Recently, Action for Happiness, a UK charity celebrated 10 years of promoting science based approach to happiness, growing happier communities and helping reduce loneliness. The charity’s patron, The Dalai Lama, gave a talk from his home in Dharmsala and answered questions from the audience. The words that stuck with me the most are below (paraphrased).
Cultivate warm heartedness and peace within. Happy world comes from happy humans. For those who hurt you feel pity – they forgot, they hurt because they are hurting.
But also remember, you are nothing special, just one of 7bn people (lose the righteousness). You are just a human being, we are all just human beings, we need to learn to live together with loving kindness.
Reacting, resisting is from I, from Self, from forgetting. Love, not burn. It is just another dust cycle 😉
Do you write yourself future notes? I like to play this time travel trick, especially when I worry about something. For example, I added this note above in my calendar for a future me in March nearing 2 years of unemployment and heavy emptiness practice. In April things started moving and in May I found a purpose driven job. When this note popped up in my calendar in June, it made me smile. My life was very different. It reminded me that everything is always in flux, after darkness comes light and trusting the universe is always the best way.
I am not into watches so don’t know who Philipp Wagner is. But what he says in this short documentary stuck with me. He quotes a line from the Die Fledermaus operetta. No point dwelling on it, save your energy and time and stop reliving the past. Stop trying to “learn from it”, playing out different scenarios in your head. It is what it is, fellow nomads.
Whether you were a karmic automaton or took a decision consciously, whether you reacted from a place of blind rage/ righteousness or loving awareness, your dharma unfolded this way. And so it was supposed to be. There was no other way. Let it go. Love and light.
I think about the melodrama of my life, the so called problems that seem so solid, real and long-lasting, and words that someone told me ring in my mind: “We will all be dust at the end of it.”
It is just another dust cycle. I chuckle. The “problems” no longer seem so immediate and hard pressing, shadows of themselves. Ego dissipates like a cloud of dust. Ah, the power of perspective.
A loved one who hurt me. A friend who turned out to be toxic. A friend who is not in touch. A neighbour who seems annoying. All mellow drama. All emptiness. All just another dust cycle.
We shall meet again. Burned bridges are just an illusion. However this time perhaps try to love, not to burn?
Being able to stay calm in triggering situations is a power. Being able to pause, for a tiniest fraction of a second, and see options available to you at that point other than snapping into reactive mode, acting out the karma and/or flying into automatic primal rage, is liberation and enlightenment. Can anyone do it? How did you get there? I don’t know if I will ever learn…
I read about this mantra in one of the books about Buddhism. I instantly had to look it up. Now it is my daily companion reminding me “to keep cool”, to remember, to see beyond phenomena and people behaviours.
Om Svabhava Shuddha Sarva Dharma Svabhava Shuddho Ham
I found the best interpretation in Dahlia Cabe’s blog, click through and have a read. Below is her short but impactful meditation on surrendering back to the emptiness:Continue reading
Ram Dass keeps reminding me of this quote. Imagine if every moment of our life we remembered that this was our mission?