After a long absence from "Peace and Health," I'm back! It's so good to be among you all again.
Like you, I have been surviving and thriving in combinations of both. Like you, riding the ups and downs of life.
And like you, I am a sinner, not perfect, and could be a better wife, friend, daughter, sister, and member of my society. And of course, like you, I am doing the best I can.
During my absence of about four months, I have studied, practiced, read, listened, meditated, and thought. Plenty. I realize that at the end of the day, literally and figuratively, I (and you, too) can start anew, accepting gladly that what we did today has already become the past and our present can inform our future. We can try again tomorrow to be more compassionate, more kind to ourselves, be a better listener to those who need help, and perhaps recommit ourselves to our work, our relationships, our community.
I admit it's hard sometimes to be upbeat when the weight of world events is crushing our spirit. There are many books I've discovered that help me get through rough patches, some of them new, some of them ancient teachings. The practice of yoga and going for long walks in the fresh air makes a big difference, too, along with making sure I am rested and eat a very healthy diet that is right for me at this time in my life. All of the daily practice I do – the daily routines I have adopted – make a very big difference in how I "right" myself, get myself straight, smooth my feathers so to speak. Knowing something intellectually is only part of the picture. The rest, "life is the teacher," proves that experience tells us what we can trust.
We each have goals, dreams, and expectations. The Buddha's first noble truth is, "Life is suffering." It's hard to argue with that! Attachments to people, things, outcomes certainly bring us up, and down. Finding a way that helps you accept the changes that occur (with, or without, our consent or control) is a way to live the "middle path." I'm not a Buddhist, but have a reverence for what Buddha taught as a next step beyond yoga which is what he studied, predating him. Yoga is more than postures and breathing and meditation. Both yoga and Buddhism are forms of tough love that in the end show the sweetness of life.
Here are some links you might enjoy checking out. Till I write next, keep in touch! To me, that is the most important reason to live, to know we are meaningful in the eyes of others.
Video of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1968, "Life finds its purpose and fulfillment in the expansion of happiness." Watch till the end... he embodies what he says.
Video about fear, an informal interview with a teacher named Tony Samara: