Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A mind of love

I discovered today just how simple it is to supply the necessary amount of 'something to do and something to live for' that I talked about recently. I take that to mean that the chore may not be as daunting or difficult as I'd thought -- although this was just one day and isn't likely to carryover long-term, so maybe not.

After my morning workout I hit the library, made a long overdue recycling run half-way to Rome, hit WalMart and Kroger on the way back, where I found a reply to an email I'd sent regarding an upcoming retreat, along with an email from my Malaysian teacher, Sayalay Susila, asking if I'd read over an article she'd enclosed, try to make the English 'more beautiful', and proof read. I worked with that for a couple of hours, until whatever creativity I had was gone, then switched over to work for the hermitage and balanced their December bank statements. After all that, I felt great! Productive. Satisfied. Serene. And I still feel great.

The key, I guess, is to find similar things to fill at least most of my days. The bank statements and other simple financial assistance for the hermitage will be there, but it's not enough all on its own. Sayalay sends similar requests from time to time, but not often. Something more regular would be preferred. Still -- I'm encouraged to think that perhaps I need only a few occasional drops to fill the bucket to an acceptable level -- rather than starting with an empty bucket, as often seems the case.

I found this article by Deepak Chopra to be of interest a few days back, especially the paragraph on how to inspire your brain. Much of what he wrote seemed obvious to me, but other suggestions left me with the thought that he was saying exactly what I'd said I needed last week. I've bolded those words, below, and I find I don't have any better idea about how to accomplish either of these things than I did last week. I don't have a personal vision, have never had success in pinning anything like that down. Attaching myself to a cause that is bigger than me is what I've been looking into doing, but again, what cause? Where does one find such a cause? I think one needs to be inspired by some great passion, and I don't have that. The closest I've come is a Buddhist teaching center in Burma, and that's a long way to go. I have much of that passion for the work being done at the hermitage in California, but I know in my heart that I would not be happy living on the premises. Cold, remember? And no music. I'll keep looking, keep thinking about it. Maybe something will magically click one of these days. Today was encouraging.
Take care of stress. Avoid dulling routine. Do something creative every day. Read poetry, spiritual material or anything else that makes you feel uplifted. Take time to be in nature. Bond with another person who is heartwarming. Pay attention to being happy. Make sure you take time every day by yourself to relax, meditate and self-reflect. Deal with negative emotions like anger and anxiety. Focus on activity that makes you feel fulfilled. Give of yourself. Follow a personal vision. Attach yourself to a cause that is bigger than you are. Take the risk to love and be loved.
There was a line in the article I worked on for Sayalay that reminded me once again of something I've long known, even mentioned on these pages from time to time, and which lurks near the surface of my mind most of the time as I seek this unknown fulfillment, this next step and probable next move in my life, a move I'd rather not make. 
The wise person sees that suffering and happiness do not come from without, but from within the mind a mind of love and claims nothing as his own.
Makes me almost want to stay here -- but then I think of the roof and the rotting floorboards, the mold, the cold winters, hot summers and noisy neighborhood. Would becoming a martyr to this house bring happiness? I guess it depends on how much love I can find within my mind. And I don't think I have enough to overcome all that!

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