Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Nourish the world with your bliss!

   Purpose can be wonderfully discovered in the things that bring us joy. To uncover it, it is helpful to ask yourself what you want in this life, what actions make you feel whole, what hobbies or talents give you thought seizing enthusiastic joy. Those things are your God given talents and you have the right and responsibility to share them with the rest of us. Our joys are given to us not only to bring us pleasure but also to bring the world pleasure. Life is not merely made up of biding our time hoping for good raises, healthy pension plans, and recognition from a boss we’d rather not work for. It is about expansion, and growth, it’s about reaching the limits of our possibility. Settling for a safe life free of risk, free of taking a chance on our bliss prevents us from living a glorious life and prevents joy from flourishing not only in our life, but also in the lives of others whom we may potentially impact.
   So we must develop the courage to follow our bliss and to listen to our intuition! Yes, to follow this invisible voice for our practical, scientific, thought filled minds can be scary. This is because intuition can appear to have no ground and can feel strange and unsafe. A life less risky feels much safer because it appears to have a bottom and on this bottom we crawl around the floor of our potential settling for unfulfilling jobs ignoring the mystery of greater purpose that surrounds us. We choose lack because of its tangibility, because it feels recognizable and secure.
   Real risk is placing trust in your bliss. Bliss is the messenger of universal love! Begin to put the brickwork of you in place by following your joy. The path that it weaves through your inner landscape leads to your emancipation. Let go of the idea that what you do can’t be something you enjoy and that your work is merely a means to an end. The work that we do and the life that we live must become the outward expression of our inner elation. After all, happiness is the reward for doing what we were born to do. In this moment there is opportunity to bring excellence into our life and into the lives of others. Nourish the world with your bliss!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Rich Soil of Anger

   Some people will cling to angry emotions the same way that an alcoholic clings to alcoholism, as though it is a disease, as though they will never step out from under its shadow. In AA meetings I have heard that members will state their name followed by, “and I am an alcoholic”. There must be some use in this practice. Perhaps they hold memories of the ill times in their life close to their heart to remind them how easily they can relapse. My feeling is this: we are not defined by our past and we limit our ability to grow if we hang on to dusty definitions that stem from unskillful moments in our lives. I will never open a conversation by saying, “My name is Jason, and I’m pissed off!”  Yes I may still be sifting through feelings of anger, but I am not angry. Yes you may want a drink, but if you haven’t picked up a beer in 15 years you are not an alcoholic!
   It is a shame that we define ourselves by the emotions that we feel. Because you feel angry, does not mean you are an angry person. Because it rains for a week in the desert, does not mean it is no longer a desert. And because it is a desert does not mean flowers can’t bloom from its soil. Anger can become rich soil for the blossoming of our greatest potential. The rise of anger creates an opportunity to listen to the deeper dimensions of our heart. It is an opportunity to heal, to feel and to see with clarity our imbalances. When we make the decision to cool the coals of anger and move toward peace and when we hold on to that decision, our un-peaceful parts begin to rise to the surface to be healed. We hand down a great injustice to ourselves when we judge and label our fragile and vulnerable emotions surrendering to the altar of consciousness. Those tender parts are joining the peace movement. Give them the space they deserve.
   You don’t have to be angry simply because you feel anger. Indulging in those feelings or pushing them away only makes them stronger the next time they return. Spending time with them like an old friend weakens their hold on you.  Anger is an old friend that has guided me toward peace. By cultivating the ability to listen to anger and irritation, I began to understand that it is present in me not so that I may destroy my life, but so that I can heal. It is suffering within us that wants us to look more closely, to listen, and to mend. Only when we have the courage to lesson our reactions and increase our ability to stop and listen to our anger do we begin the process of transforming it into love.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


   We hang on to our resentments and our grievances toward others like they are the last meal to be had on earth. We tighten our fists around bad blood because we need to be right and we need others to be wrong. Over time the heart begins to decay. It becomes harder and harder to feel joy, it becomes more difficult to hear the voice of peace within and love begins to escape us. It can’t be felt. We run out of love for ourselves and for anyone else as barriers are built out of the putty and stone of pride. What is the use in this practice? Why is being right so valuable? It is much more precious to be at peace than to be the most right person on the planet; that person dies alone. I want to feel my inner warmth and to feel the merriment that radiates from my heart. Hanging on to grievances congests the pathway to this inner delight.
   There is enormous worth in knowing yourself, knowing what is best for you and understanding your truth. And there is nothing wrong with expressing this to another person. But when you defend your boundary with violence, you have reason to be sorry. Hanging on to a position of rightness in defense of some broken element of your pride stiffens your heart. Let go and apologize for the hurt you might have caused someone. Tell the truth; that you were afraid, that you are sorry for speaking from a place of fear instead of from love.
   Forgive yourself for feeling and acting this way. Forgiveness brings us into the now. When we are unable to forgive we are wedged in the past. It’s as if we are dragging an anchor in deep sand with our sails filled; we are working toward today’s mission, but are standing still. Whether our anchor has settled into the sea floor of personal mistakes or mistakes others have committed against us, if we lay in this unforgiving bed, we deny ourselves life’s beauty by veiling our ability to see it. The flowering of the heart cannot happen if it is constricted by resentments. Let the photons of forgiveness lift the petals of the heart and begin to bask in the glow of the present moment.