All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything-
Awakening experiences in life, are truly positive experiences. Personally and more recently, the Citizens Academy for Omaha’s Future has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for me. Awakening experiences and moments in this thing called “life” are when we perceive reality with a heightened intensity, when a powerful sense of inner well-being – resonates deeply. When we experience a sense of connection and meaning to so many “things” … Even while sitting in a three-hour class where the topic of discussion is community planning. My question through three classes is prolix in nature: Why are these awakening and positive experiences immensely stressful?
Revealing a more nuanced side of myself to you this lovely Spring morning – Let’s discuss attachment. I am physically, spiritually and emotionally attached to a large number of “things“, such as my hopes and ambitions for the future of our community, my beliefs and ideas about compassion, Seva, kindness, life and this amazing planet we call home. I’m attached to the knowledge and education I have accumulated, my physical body, and achievements. At the same time Dear Friends, there are more tangible attachments that have far too much influence on me – possessions, my career etc. These are the building blocks of my ego.
I feel that I am “someone” because I have hopes, beliefs, a job, possessions and because other people prop me up with false approval. Which is why I am so awkward to be around when I have to talk about myself in front of others. I’m torn between revealing my true self and what others, society expects of me.
In these moments of despair, my spirit becomes broken. My sense of identity slowly falls away. My passion(s) in life are revealed as illusions; my possessions and status have been taken away in a few awkward moments, I feel vulnerable, stressed and adrift.
After three weeks of participation in the Citizens Academy for Omaha’s Future and after much thought about my personal attachments, there is a renewed sense of clarity and openness inside me. I am starting to feel a tremendous sense of well-being and energy, now that my outward energy is no longer consumed by maintaining these “attachments“.
To review the convoluted mumbo-jumbo above (I sincerely appreciate your patience in making it this far into the post) – When we surrender to One-ness, choosing to toss aside “I-ness” and “Me-ness” … Some amazing things start to happen! Just a humble thought to digest as we head gently into the weekend – Take care and be well!
The ego relies on the familiar. It is reluctant to experience the unknown, which is they very essence of life-
We cultivate a sense of identity from what we do, and when a habit bolsters a positive sense of identity, it’s immensely powerful. Over time, the pure joy of this “habit” fades away into the ether, and what are left with? Race bibs. medals, memories and for me personally – Nothing. This past weekend after much thought, I have arrived at a point in my life where I need to stop pursuing fleeting dreams, choosing instead to do something meaningful with my free time – other than racing and competing. Its time to focus on other areas in my life …
Over the course of the next six weeks I will be attending the Citizens’ Academy for Omaha’s Future and I would genuinely love to have you along for the ride! In essence, I’m trading race bibs and medals to hang in the garage, for the chance to create meaningful change in our community.
Thank you once again for your continued support as I walk a path to discovering my true self.
Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything-
Our appetite for wealth, the latest and greatest, and material gain isn’t driven by any sort of “hardship“, but by our own, deep-rooted inner discontent.
I was convinced that I could buy my way to happiness after all the years of abuse I put myself, and my family through. I believed that my discontent was wrought from hardship, and that the only way to permanent fulfillment and well-being was the acquisition of things. Sadly, our society still measures “success” in terms of the quality and price of the “things” we can buy, the size of our house and salaries – the size of our manhood and Ego when we drop trough and boast about a new bike or whatever.
As much as I take comfort in casting blame on society for my faults, my Ego is what defines my role(s) in the material world; I am a father, I am an engineer, I am an avid cyclist. I am liar, I am a fakata of things in this thing called life. When asked to introduce or say a little bit about myself – I instantly define myself in the conscious realm, and my ego is hell-bent on pulling me away from my True Self.
The more I identify myself with the “I am … “, the less I am able to identify with the, me.
I’m not making this up. In Cafe Latte’s wine bar
one of the lovely coeds at the next table
touched John on the arm as if I wasn’t there
and said, Excuse me, sir, but what
is that naughty little dessert?
And I knew from the way he glanced
at the frothy neckline of her blouse,
then immediately cast his eyes on his plate
before giving a fatherly answer,
he would have given up dessert three months
for the chance to feed this one to her.
I was stunned; John was hopeful;
but the girl was hitting on his cake.
Though she told her friend until they left
she did not want any. I wish she wanted
something—my husband, his cake, both at once.
I wish she left insisting
upon the beauty of his hands, his curls,
the sublimeness of strawberries
and angel food. But she was precocious,
and I fear adulthood is the discipline
of being above desire, cultivated
after years of learning what you want
and where and how, after insisting
that you will one day have it. I don’t
ever want to stop noticing a man like the one
at the bar in his loosened tie, reading
the Star Tribune. I don’t want to eat my cake
with a baby spoon to force small bites,
as women’s magazines suggest. And you
don’t want to either, do you? You want a big piece
of this world. You would love to have the whole thing.
– Katrina Vandenberg
It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit-
Have you ever stopped at a “stop walk” when there’s no traffic? Waiting patiently for the signal to indicate its safe to cross the street, when out of seemingly nowhere, another almond chai tea latte sporting pedestrian comes along and proceeds to saunter on through? Do you lament, “I’m a moron for waiting!” Or do you think out-loud, “Try not to get run over you jack ass!” These benign and tedious social interactions, offer us a glimpse into our inner “moral police,” and how we spend more time defending our own egos than actually enjoying this inspiring moment in time.
I don’t believe we are abandoning morals in our society as a whole. We still lean heavily on moral arguments to justify our daily behavior (topic for another day … ), although we tend to prop ourselves up on “morals” more randomly, pulling out whatever moral code serves our interests best in any given situation. So how do we begin to tie in morality, which is a painfully tedious and a woefully self-serving discussion. With mindfulness, harmony and surrendering to the moment? Or, simply being?
What ever happened to here-and-now relational responsiveness in our society? Actions that are open-hearted, sympathetic, and not embedded in rigid ideas of the self, and our “personal interest?” Helping the elderly to cross a street or carrying their groceries to the car? Holding a random door open for someone? Waiting at a cross walk, and sharing a smile with the driver, before you both carry on? Its amazing what we can achieve as a society when people go out of their way to help one another with no thought of self-advantage.
Instead of being propelled by an outside force – Morality – Ego – Self Advantage … Allow your heart and spirit to propel you gently this morning.
When my nineteen-year-old son turns on the kitchen tap
and leans down over the sink and tilts his head sideways
to drink directly from the stream of cool water,
I think of my older brother, now almost ten years gone,
who used to do the same thing at that age;
and when he lifts his head back up and, satisfied,
wipes the water dripping from his cheek
with his shirtsleeve, it’s the same casual gesture
my brother used to make; and I don’t tell him
to use a glass, the way our father told my brother,
because I like remembering my brother
when he was young, decades before anything
went wrong, and I like the way my son
becomes a little more my brother for a moment
through this small habit born of a simple need,
which, natural and unprompted, ties them together
across the bounds of death, and across time …
as if the clear stream flowed between two worlds
and entered this one through the kitchen faucet,
my son and brother drinking the same water.
There are some questions that shouldn’t be asked until a person is mature enough to appreciate the answers-
We are made up of many “things,” so are our handy gadgets, fancy cars, spiffy shoes, colorful yoga mats and ridiculously expensive bikes – A bunch of cells and molecules blended craftily together. If there’s a major distinction to be pointed out between us and these cherished inanimate objects, it’s that we tactile beings are blessed with the ability to feel our emotions and to communicate them to others. Or do we?!?
While we have the ability to express our emotions to others, sometimes – most of the time, we don’t always do it when we desperately need to. It’s important to pause and ask why every once in a while. As you may have noticed in my recent posts, I have been asking myself “why” quite a bit of late. I do so because we live in social media/hyper connected world that tells us, don’t feel upset,” or don’t feel sad, don’t worry, and to “Be brave and stand tall” when adversity graces our lives. It’s also important to remember that the world we live in has a double-edge sword, waiting patiently to chop our heads off when our emotions sway the opposite direction, when we boast and brag about a new gadget, personal best and buying a new bike. The net result of all of “this,” is one sad but brutally true underlying message – Stop being and don’t feel anything.
My posts of late have been painfully tedious for one important reason: I’m starting to make a habit of honoring myself and you, each and every day. One last question before we part ways this morning: Before you click “publish, “like” or post anything online … Is there a moment where you think about the ramifications of your action(s), a moment where you stop being and fail to feel anything?!?