Monday, April 23, 2007

It's not the job you perform, but creating and manifesting your vision of the world

What career or work or job or activity do you want to do? How will you occupy your time? How will you earn your living and keep food on the table and a roof over your head?

It occurred to me this morning that many times someone sees a job being done or a skill they can learn in school. They learn the skill and then pursue as their life "I'm going to be a X" where 'X' could be Nurse, Barmaid, Soldier, Lawyer, Barber, etc. What occurred to me is how this misses an interesting option.

What is your goal? What world do you want to live in? What is your vision of the perfect world? In answering the question try to remove from your thinking any concern over how you're going to achieve that vision of the perfect world to live in. We're dreaming here for a moment, so let the dream sink in and become vivid.

With any vision there are many ways to bring that vision into reality. Let me ask, do you know the best way to accomplish your goal of world peace, one where people live in harmony with each other and their environment, where the plants and animals are given sufficient consideration in the planning of the affairs of human kind? Do you know the best way to accomplish this? Most likely not. However there is wisdom held in the jointness of us all, you might call this Divine wisdom, and that wisdom has a path for each and every one of us if we choose to follow that path.

We can choose to follow a path where we see some skill, enjoy using that skill, and then decide we want to earn our living using that skill. Or we can choose to follow a path where we see a vision or goal of a desired outcome, and then learn the skills necessary to achieve that desired outcome, and make connections and communities of people who will together create that desired outcome.

The interesting option we miss by saying "I'm going to be an X" is to ignore the desire which led us to learn X and to be drawn to X. The desires which drive us to specific X's are threads that, if we pay attention to them, represent the tapestry of our personal wants and desires.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Making peace with mass media tragedies in our society

Today in the news we have: Officials: Gunman dead after bloody campus rampage ... the story? A lone shooter goes on a rampage on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg VA, he managed to kill 31 people and wound many more. The police sent in SWAT teams, found the killer, and shot him dead.

This is clearly a tragedy, one which will be a focus of the mass media attention for a couple weeks. Or at least until the next mass media tragedy comes along. We don't yet know why this happened, what motivated the person who perpetrated the shooting. We know from past shooting incidents like this that the people have been disaffected people in pain about their lives, etc.

Such violence can only be perpetrated by a person who believes violence is a way to ease their pain. Perhaps they are unwilling to acknowledge their pain, and need to lash their pain out to others instead. But it's easy to get lost in second-guessing why someone else might commit such an act. Many spiritual traditions such as Buddhism teach that the universe is one consciousness, and that our ego's create an illusion of being individuals with identities separated from the identities of everybody else. Hence, the spiritual teaching is that our true identity is unitive consciousness and that everything which happens, every persons individual thoughts and hopes and fears and pains, all happen within that unitive consciousness.

Clearly in our world as it stands a lot of people are in pain. We have seemingly unnecessary death happening all over the world in all forms. If the teachings of the spiritual traditions are true, then in our true identity as a being of pure universal consciousness, all those unnecessary deaths and pain is happening within us. In particular Buddhist practices ask us to seek inside ourselves the pain we see in the world. And to hold that part of ourselves in compassionate awareness.

Essential Phowa Practice contains a very good and clearly described method from a Buddhist perspective.

While looking at the CNN.COM web site for news I saw the following title: Having baby at 12, 18K dead a day; $34 to stop it

It's a link to a video about world hunger, and discusses how at least 18,000 people per day die of hunger. There's an intriguing contrast between this figure, 18,000 people per day, and a single incident involving 32 deaths. This clicked something in my mind .. often the mass media goes into a frenzy over certain stories while ignoring other stories that have similar attributes. Last week the frenzy was over "shock jock" Don Imus and an inflammatory and racist statement he said on his radio program. The frenzy over that event led to his firing as a radio personality, but isn't it interesting how there's a whole industry of "shock jocks" who are famous for pushing the bounds of indecency, who regularly get fined by the FCC for public indecency, etc, and why does this one incident by this one guy get so much frenzy when the same thing happens every day by dozens of other shock jock's?

Similarly why will this shooting incident get so much coverage compared to the tragedy of 18,000 deaths per day due to hunger?

Tragedy is happening every day in every corner of human society on this planet. While we may be led to incredulously ask Why?, it's clear this has been the path of human society for millennia and it shows every indication of continuing for the forseeable future. I believe that a practice of praying for and manifesting peace around the world is a necessary part of changing the course of this pattern in human society.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

How to fall in love?

I came across a blog posting by Mario Torre How to fall in love... where he linked to an image of a beautiful young lady. Yup, as a red-blooded male she sure catches my attention.

But it occurred to me ... is that Love? Okay, lust, love, but what I really mean is this question: With whom is your primary relationship?

You may say, oh my Wife/Husband/Lover is my primary relationship you silly person, what are you talking about? I'm talking about ones relationship with ones own self.

Any relationship with another person will eventually go away. That person might die or might become disinterested or might grow to hate you etc, and what happens to that being your primary relationship? Hopefully when that person leaves your life and stops being in relationship to you, you'll find a way to move on gracefully. Many people aren't able to make this transition gracefully, leading to long morose periods of longing for this person that is no longer in their life.

If a relationship can end can it be considered to be your primary relationship?

The one relationship that cannot end is your own relationship with yourself. It seems to me, then, that this, your inner self relationship, is the primary relationship. And that the longing for another, the type of longing that caused Mario to post about that beautiful young lady, that is a fleeting relationship, one that is destined to end in time.

As I've explored the ideas I'm calling Inner Homeopathy I'm learning that one key is ones inner relationship to themselves. That the Inner Homeopathy practice is a way to learn to have a wholesome relationship with yourself.