Posts Tagged With: buddhism

Walking as Meditation

560919_324582447633583_2146583692_nI wish to write a few words on the topic of walking as meditation. Meditation, prayer, or whatever you want to call it, is a practice by which we become settled and at peace. It brings us to the present in that it is by its nature a manifestation of what occurs when we are quiet, still, and simply observe where and who we are.

Meditation is something which occurs naturally. It doesn’t need us to force the issue in order to happen. To intentionally meditate for the purpose of getting something in return, is not true meditation. To explain further we need to distinguish the difference between walking as mediation, and meditating as a means to an end.

As we walk to enjoy our surroundings, slowly observing the trees, people, and other living organisms, the experience brings with it a sense stillness. We didn’t need to look for it or try with all our might to be still, because of course if we’re trying really hard for something, exerting all of our energy for some purpose or pursuit, we aren’t being still. But when we let go of trying to achieve something we thought we didn’t have, we are finally able to see that we’ve always had it awaiting us to see it for ourselves.

As we meditate our thoughts seem to clear. It is not as though our mind becomes emptied, but the confusion of the conscious is put to bed. We come into contact with who we really are beneath the veiled thoughts and symbolic disguises that perpetuate our outward lives. In one sense, meditation brings us to a place where the mask we wear vanishes and we see who we are – who everything is – beneath the mask we call our persona.

Walking is a perfectly natural exercise, and the best way to be alert and aware of our world. There was a time in recent history where all of humanity walked all of the time. Perhaps you may have a grandparent who can still tell stories of walking 8 hours to school in the snow everyday. (Although I suspect some of those stories are at least slightly embellished.) We once walked all the time, anytime we wished to go somewhere. I propose that this is one reason for the increasing epidemic of obesity in societies which now rely so heavily on machine-modes of transportation. We now drive to a gym that is 5 miles from our home so that we can run 5 miles upon a treadmill. Does that make sense to us?

Walking should be done as the heart beats, as the lungs breath, and as the eye sees. You do not have to tell your heart to beat, it does it on its own. In this way, we should not walk for what rewards we might gain; rather, we walk because it is in our nature to need to venture beyond the four walls of our home. When two lovers get into a heated argument it is quite common for one of them to end the hostilities with a proclamation of “I’m going for a walk!” Perhaps if couples fought more often people would walk more as well. Ha ha ha. My point being that we intrinsically know that walking is an activity that naturally brings about a clearing of the mind and stillness to be at peace with who we are.

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The Now Life

here_and_now_living_presentMany problems in this life derive from worry about the future and regret from the past. But truth and reality is here now.

The only way for us to recognize true life, true reality, and our true identity, is to recognize and directly engage with the present moment. When the mind wanders into the unknown territory of the future, we have a tendency to begin to desire control over our future, and this creates a problem. Once we believe we can control the future, we limit our life’s possibilities and rob ourselves of the joy that comes with not knowing the surprises that life will bring.

But what is far more robbing to our life, in living mentally somewhere other than the present, is that we live mentally in a place that is not reality, which is the definition of insanity. We do this because we have bought a lie that if we do not have a specific plan of what we will do and what we will accomplish that we will wind-up homeless, hungry, or worst of all – a failure at life.

As Jesus taught:

 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

I believe that Jesus, in the previous two paragraphs, teaches a truth is quite uncommon and foreign to western society. It is extremely rare that I have heard a preacher speak on this teaching with any true conviction (or from a place of personal practice). But I do often hear sermons in church about personal finance planning. In sermons which speak to the latter (personal finance planning), they even use verses to claim their personal finance advice is biblical and “God’s wisdom on managing your money.” Their first point is generally the tithe, ensuring that your 10% gets to pockets of the good clergymen. But I have never heard the above quoted verses referenced in a sermon about managing money, even though it seems to me that is exactly what Jesus was teaching about.

The Dalai Lama is quoted as saying, when asked what surpises him the most:

 Man; because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then he dies having never really lived.

Now, I believe that it is good to have goals; however, I use the word “goals” in the sense of that which is in your heart of what is truly your passion to do. A goal is not something to say “I will be this and do this at this exact date and time,” but a goal is something which you know to be an aspect of your heart. When we connect with what is in our heart, and see our true goals, they naturally flow out of us as live in consciousness of who we are. For example, let us say that a goal is love God with all of our heart, soul, and strength. If we were to set this as a goal, without realizing that it is who we are, we will always fail to reach that goal. We cannot love from a place of duty or obligation, as that is not true love. In order for love to be genuine and true, it must be given from a place of total free-will.

What are you doing right now, in this moment (obviously you’re reading this text)? Remember, as you go about your days to fully engage directly with what you are doing in each moment. In this way, you will see a difference in the quality and enjoyment you gain from what you are doing.

Who are you in your heart? I believe that every human being has the truth of reality within their heart, the place where peace, love, and happiness exists. However, we must see past the symbols and conceptions that our mind has been filled with by the external world to see what we possess within the internal world.

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The Love Flow

love-the-world-imageAll of life itself is found in the nature of Love. It is the nature of life simply to love.

That which is not Love is not truth. Love that is truly Love cannot be named nor defined in terms of words. Neither can any action itself be defined as an absolute manifestation of Love.

Love motivates our being. Love is who we are. The actions we see are the actions of Love happening. Love is as breathing. As we do not intentionally initiate our breath, so it is with living a life of Love. Being loving is our most natural state.

When we try to love; as though it were not the core of who we are; we are rendered incapable from truly loving another.

Love that is attempted to be given from our own works, not of our being, are superficial. There is no lasting benefit from actions such as these.

The one who understands their nature of Love also understands oneness with God. We see that God is in each one of us as we all in God and one with another. There is no separation between life and God in reality.

If we do not see our oneness with God, our oneness with all of life, we do not see the truth. We do not see reality.

God dances in the forms of life and death. As one dies; one is born into life. If we fear death we also fear life. When we are liberated from fear we embrace death as we embrace life. Death is not the end of our reality and life is not the beginning. They are components to the dance of the eternal reality.

God is reality and we are one with God. Embrace reality and reality will embrace you. Fear is the false reality. So do not fear.

We fear because we cling to that which are reality’s components but not reality itself. It is as though we are loving the attributes of a person without ever knowing who the person truly is.

The path to God is narrow and there are few who see it. But you do see it. It is being illuminated to your vision at this very moment.

The moment of Now is the only reality. To directly engage with this moment is to engage with the path of God.

We flow with our path as a river flows to the ocean. If we fight against the current of the river we may grow weary and exhausted. If we attempt to flow too far ahead we may grow anxious. Indeed; all that we try, is only to our folly. It is much easier to let go of our effort to control our path and allow the river to guide us where it may.

Either way, we cannot change our destination – reality.

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The Contentment of Peace

peace_hands_peoplePeace.

The way of peace is filled with contentment.

At each stage, within each moment, we are content with who we are and our surrounding circumstances.

To be content is to be at peace. We progress through life by allowing peace to present the choices we make.

A choice is not deciding one action over one other; as though we lack more than two options in any case. But the choice of peace comes from knowing truth which dispels the multiples of non-truth options.

When we know peace, our peace is unshakable. To be moved away from peace by external forces is to be lacking in the knowledge and sight of peace. But the knowledge of peace is always within us, awaiting our reclamation of itself.

The external of the human being is at war with itself, as the armies of two nations are at war. War is wages from a desire for expansion; rather, a dissatisfaction with our present state. Therefore, when we know contentment we will no longer be at war – but at peace.

The mind at peace is liberated, therefore, it produces liberation. Not through force or violence, but through establishing an environment of non-expansion.

Within the environment of non-expansion members of that environment feel no threat from one another. Peace expands when we do not dictate or force its expansion.

Peace grows as the heart beats. As we are in tune to the beat of the heart, actions flow as naturally as we live.

As we do not force the heart to beat, we do not force peace to dwell within us. Yet as the heart still beats, peace still dwells.

Violence is initiated by the aggressor but is perpetuated by a violent response. If we respond to violence with violence we make ourselves just as the aggressor. There is no difference.

The violence initiated by the aggressor – the cause of the problem – infiltrates and works within the response we as the defender may use, and violence completes its work to destroy both the aggressor and defender.

If we respond to violence with peace and contentment then violence is severed. The severing of violence leads to a more peaceful world for us all.

What does it gain a man to protect his possessions yet end the life of another through violence? By that philosophy a man believes his security is enabled by violence; thus, if that man finds himself in need of possessions for security, violence is used for circumstantial gain, but eternal folly.

If a man’s security is anchored in peace – free from attachment to possessions – there is no act of violence that poses a grave threat to that man. If another seeks to plunder the man’s possessions, but finds a man at peace, the aggressor is at the mercy of peace and may become dismayed by their own aggression without the acceptance by a victim. But returning violence with violence provides no opportunity for true peace at all; thus, the world continues in its current state of war.

We may fear that living and acting in peace may lead to the violent’s domination of earth. But of course, this end result would also be seen if we were to respond with violence, even if we may believe that our violence is in the right.

Peace to be realized must always behave by means of peace. A peaceful being subjected to violence, but remaining at peace, expands peace beyond their being.This is how peace becomes more widely known in the earth.

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Jessie M Honeyman Campgrounds: The Story of Sky

jessie-honeyman-park1

I had spent the day at a coffee shop in Florence to use their Internet connection, and of course, to drink coffee. Upon learning of two campgrounds to my south I began my walk to discover where I might find a place to pitch my home (tent) for the night.

 

At first I came to the South Jetty RV and Camping Resort, but at $30 per night, I determined to continue south toward Honeyman which was suggested by the kind gatekeeper of South Jetty.

 

After another 50 minutes or so of walking, I had arrived at Honeyman. At $5 per night, it was well within my budget to rest there for awhile.

 

I walked through the trail leading to the campsites and as I viewed the grounds filled with other travelers pitching their tents, I was greeted by a jolly looking, long white haired gentlemen who introduced himself as “Sky”.

 

Sky was a man, in his late sixties of years, who had spent most of his life wandering the world. He said he had traveled completely around the world 4 times, with little to no money, but only with a song and a guitar. Wherever he might be, he would play music on the streets, earn a little food money for the day, and sleep wherever he might be when he became tired.

 

He told the story of once upon a time being on a boat headed for the Bahamas. He pitched a hammock on the deck and had himself a sleep. When he awoke he found his guitar was missing – stolen. He had been experiencing some hassling from a soccer team which was also on board, and presumed to believe that one of them had stolen his instrument.

 

He approached the captain of the soccer team and informed him that one of his mates had stolen his guitar, and that they would return it to him. The captain laughed at his assertion and the rest of the team made mockery of his situation. Well, this was pretty serious for Sky. He said to the captian of the soccer team, “listen, I’m a musician of heaven, you’ve stolen my harp, and you will return it to me or I will tear your team apart until I have found it.” Within moments, one of the players brought his guitar and returned the “harp of heaven” to its’ rightful owner.

 

That was one of the many stories Sky told about his travels around the world. He was certainly a spiritualist, and the topic of conversation was almost entirely on love, freedom, and peace. We discussed travel, spiritual realities, the Holy Spirit, and so much more. It was incredible to debate with someone who understood so well how to share differences without becoming frustrated or without the desire to prove a point, but simply to share insights.

 

With the topic of travel he was a staunch supporter of one building their own raft, with lofty ideas of sailing on a raft from the west coast of the United States to Japan or China. “All you need is raft, man”, he would continuously proclaim. “With a raft you can go anywhere you want.”

 

I spent three days and two nights at the campgrounds just south of Florence. Meeting Sky was indeed an honor and treat.

 

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