yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

yoga is a way of life.. For inner peace and good health, practice yoga

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Declaration of Human Rights

Have you felt how much is going on in the world? I don't mean nature-wise necessarily, but the energy and dust being kicked up by humans in an ever-increasing way. The politics in this country are angering and frustrating a great many average citizens and our over-crowding is starting to have a serious impact on our ability to peacefully co-exist in a clean environment. In today's The New York Times, I read a startling article about how the earth's inhabitants, in digging, drilling, and tearing up the earth for its resources like minerals, oil and other fuels, is creating a climate for military leaders to gear up for future conflicts in order to protect our share of these earth resources in the name of "national security."

Human activity is reaching and devastating formerly pristine areas in the rain forest, the Arctic, under the sea, inside mountains, everywhere practically. Nothing is sacred. Except our consumer way of life. Be grateful for the (gulp) clean water available right now because it might not last. Make sure you don't run the tap longer than you need to! Most of us feel this information is "old news," yet it is persisting to a greater degree. We are not cutting back on this sort of devastating activity--it is going on and on and on.

I don't need to mention the economy and the astonishing and overt level of greed that is sinking our country from under us.

But in defense of the greatness of the United States of America, there was a time when we had some outstanding citizens.

Over sixty years ago, Eleanor Roosevelt helped form the League of Nations which became the United Nations. And this body, with her involvement, created a "Universal Declaration of Human Rights." Did you know this existed? I didn't until I read a biography of Eleanor. I have included a link to the United Nations site with the entire declaration. I implore all of you to read it thoroughly. It's amazing that this document exists and yet it is not honored fully, still, all these years later.

How will peace prevail on earth? It starts with YOU.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The "Pain-Body": Never Too Old to Learn

My birthday is coming up this week (Dec. 9th) and I'll be 54 years old. Holy crap! Oops, sorry. I really don't mind having birthdays since the only way to escape aging is to croak. So, since I am a living being aging comes with the territory.

But none of us is too old to learn about ourselves. I have spoken several times in the past about reading the books of Eckhart Tolle, a current spiritual teacher and writer, and not to go on and on about his teachings like I'm obsessed, I find that the way he presents his very knowledgeable ideas resonates with me. He describes the human condition in a way that I experience and recognize it.

On a fundamental level, we humans are subject to being driven by our egos and are living as "pain-bodies." Sounds kind of like "the Borg," doesn't it? There is the collective pain-body which consists of horrible things we humans have done to each other throughout history such as waging war, torture, raping and pillaging, and utter destruction and violence that bring pain and suffering. This stuff is in our DNA. Then there is the pain and suffering we inherit from our parents who have their own share of pain, as well as the environmental experience we have as children at home and in our society. Some people are born with dense pain-bodies and tend to be sensitive, empathetic, and of course very disillusioned with our dysfunctional world made up of others with their pain-bodies. Some people have egos that feed on the negativity and do a good job of inflicting their pain onto others.

I find that there are certain "triggers" that touch off a spiral of anger first, then morphing into feeling like a victim, then lashing out at others, basically inflicting pain because I am in pain. Being in the grips of my pain-body is the height of unhappiness. My ego then tells me stories about how worthless I am, how my life has no value, how other people don't care about me, how horrible the entire world is, etc., and this feeding frenzy of negativity is what the ego wants most. Finally, I discover what is going on and it diffuses the ego's grip and I find it was all a bunch of self-created hooey.

Triggers can be family members (for me, my mother) or friends who are in such emotional pain themselves, so out of touch (unconscious) with themselves that they inflict their pain onto you in the vulnerable spot in your soul or psyche that hits like a poisoned arrow. Triggers can also be expectations about events or experiences or people who let you down.

As the Oracle of Delphi in ancient Greece was inscribed over the doorway, "Know Thyself," there is no greater power of life-force than being conscious of who and what you are about. I know I am not too old to keep learning about myself in my quest to be happy, of course. Ah, but then happiness is only one component of the ultimate state of being: Contentment.