just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness

The Joy Found in “Just Be”

There’s tremendous joy and peace that comes from “not thinking“. We’re born into this world before thought. The craving mind has not developed, the mind that leads to so much suffering. As we grow, we receive reinforcement and hopefully the good approval from others as we begin our journey from nobody to somebody. We find praise or complaint for what we accumulate and for what we do. We become attached to identities that lead us along this journey. So we go from “being“ to reinforcement and praise for “having” and “doing“ and if all goes well, we come to that place again of “just being“. There’s no longer the craving to have. No longer the craving “to do” motivated by our need for the good approval of others. Within this “being“ state we practice awareness and wake up to the interdependence of all. There’s no need to fix, no need to change another, no need to “be right“, no need to win at another’s expense, etc.  There’s just a commitment to engage the moment in complete awareness. This is the state of love. This is bliss. This is harmony, alignment, peace and joy. It’s not a static state. The next craving or the next fear is just around the corner. Yet, this is where our real spiritual security lives. It’s a state of “no complaint, no complaint”. Free from anger and greed, it’s a place of light, positive energy, gratitude, and higher vibration.  As we move through life we witness the illusion of happiness from “to have“ and the illusion of happiness from “to do“. As we witness the inevitable aging of the body, the inevitable moments of “dis-ease“, the surrender of the body and the inevitable letting go of all that we have and all that we’ve done, we face impermanence. We’re free from the typical anxiety and worry. We touch the ultimate, that space where the only response is “yes” and “thank you”.  We touch that space of wonder as we leave worry  behind.

Are We Strong Enough to Enter ‘Don’t Know Land’?

Can we at least agree to make space for finding the gift in the moment? Can we agree to affirm this next opportunity to participate in life? Breathing out, can we give thanks for all the wonder, joy and mystery that is so far beyond the capacity of our understanding? Can we agree to not knowing everything? Can we humble ourselves in the gift of this moment, of this opportunity to participate, and pledge ourselves to forever aim in the direction of not causing harm?

Do I have the strength, courage, and discipline to engage in practices of surrender? Or do I hold a sense of security from what I “have“ or what I “do“. I can enter the creative experience when I surrender from my thoughts of “knowing“. When I take refuge in the land of “I don’t know“ I humbly surrender to the Mystery and the creative. I surrender the thoughts of my separateness, a separate body, a separate mind… surrendering into awareness. Surrendered into the consciousness of this fleeting moment I find “fullness“. No longer worried. No longer concerned with thoughts of “not enough“ or “pride“. Just surrendered into “being“. Touching this “just being”, I find true peace. That space beyond division, beyond thoughts of “subject versus object”, that space where awareness wakes up to the illusion of separateness.

My fight is to stand up for the choice of “not fighting”. That’s the paradox.

Mother’s Day Story (take 2)

Our desire for another’s attention.

 I’ll never forget the time when my mother was close to death and I felt angry about it. She could sense my anger and I’ll always remember a bluish yellow green halo around her body when this question penetrated my very soul, “Randy, what are you holding onto?“. And now many decades later, I can reflect on this and more accurately answer that I was holding on to her unconditional attention to who I thought I was. She was my greatest cheerleader. She had so much pride in who she thought I was. She invested everything into having her hopes fulfilled through my successes. Some would call this a mother’s unconditional love. Yet, because of her tremendous support I developed a great need to have her audience and approval. I’ll never forget 10 years after her death, still wanting to go to her when I felt I did something well. I am now 70 years old and I realize my joy and happiness must not depend upon another’s approval or attention. As a leader in running my speech pathology clinics, a business leader, trumpet player and a father, there were those who felt somewhat obligated to give me attention. Yet, the real work is how we hold our integrity without audience. The real work is to hold equanimity, balance, alignment and a deep commitment to not cause harm… even when there is no audience. Reflecting on my mother’s question, I can now say my deepest desire, that which I continue to hold onto, is to not cause harm. I will hold on to the desire to steward health and well-being as best I can. I will hold on to those practices that nurture and nourish, committing to letting go those thoughts, actions and speech that cause harm. In effect, my mother was asking me to hold on to love, to the freedom and the desire to foster freedom for others.

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