The Power of Forgiveness

“Compassion is the foundation of peace. Compassion resides within everyone. But it is difficult to experience it and express it in all of our actions. We must turn inwards to search deep within ourselves. ‘Is my heart still vibrant with life? Can I still experience the source of love and compassion within me? Does my heart still melt at the pain and sorrow of others? Have I cried along with those who are suffering? Have I really tried to wipe another’s tears to console them or given someone at least a single meal or a set of clothing?” Like this, we can honestly introspect. Then the soothing moonlight of compassion will spontaneously shine within our minds. If we want to bring peace to the external world, first our inner world needs to be at peace.” Amma

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There is a great ambiguity in the whole concept of ‘forgiveness’, thus many write about it and perhaps we all have moments where we can truly forgive. However, it has been my experience, despite feeling a deep need to find forgiveness and coming very near the entrance of this energy. I found that in some way I could not fully let go of the burden I had been carrying. I still choose to hang onto the suffering that I felt from my own actions and those of others.

The point is, when do we really get to a place to allowing this beautiful and divine energy to come into our hearts and cleanse them of all the anger, resentment, and other energy that we constantly hold on to and renegotiate with on a regular basis.

“Not causing harm requires staying awake. Part of being awake is slowing down enough to notice what we say and do. The more we witness our emotional chain reactions and understand how they work, the easier it is to refrain. It becomes a way of life to stay awake, slow down, and notice.” Pema Chödrön

My realization is that at the end of the day, you have no control over others or the external environment. However, you do have an element of control over who and how you choose to be as a person. 

I have tried to find this feeling throughout my life, yet never really managed to allow it to permeate my consciousness. Yet, with grace all things are possible and when the time comes, it can and will happen. When you are no longer willing to continue to carry the burden of emotional pain over something that is beyond your reach. This is when you can choose to either become hard, like an impermeable rock, or let it all go and allow the softness of love and forgiveness to awaken from within and flow throughout your life.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2016

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The Subversive Nature of Being

“You were born with wings, why prefer to crawl through life?” Rumi

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We live in a predominantly homogenized society, despite the fact that a large percentage of the younger generations are acting as a unified force to counter this form of social conformity. Although, throughout history the majority of brilliant scholars, artists, musicians, philosophers, and mystics were all focused on living non-conventional lives due to their awareness of the confining aspects of homogeneity. The most brilliant minds of even today, use the faculty of discrimination, critical thinking, and even intuition to assess and weigh what is accurate and what is not.

Even Einstein was a great advocate of using one’s intuitive faculties,“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. We will not solve the problems of the world from the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. More than anything else, this new century demands new thinking: We must change our materially based analyses of the world around us to include broader, more multidimensional perspectives.” Albert Einstein

In essence, through the intellectual and intuitive faculties which we all have a certain degree of access to, we should be able to discern what is of relevance and what is not. Yet, how many of us actually question the relevance of certain social patterns that most people blindly follow. 

The act of being subversive is a tactic that is used everyday by numerous people who have the awareness that becoming fully homogenized within society is not a true representation of imbibing their highest potential, nor a clear representation of what they would like their lives to emulate. The act of living a life that is based on subversive actions; to have the awareness to contest even basic issues lacking in transparency, reveal our basic need to know the truth of what is going on in society and the larger global world.

Through all of our actions and words, when we choose to questions certain patters in society and go against them, there can be repercussions. I recently experienced this phenomena, in which a certain individual launched an attack against the conceptual discourse and content of the discussion related to the social, political, and ecological importance of choosing organic food, over the other choices available. I realized instantly, that when people are highly homogenized, or when they are faced with concepts that they view as subversive, or even intellectual discussions that question the pattern of their ‘normal’ social conditioning; they become highly defensive. 

I first experienced this when I became a vegetarian 23 years ago, during a time when it was not mainstream or even remotely cool to practice this form of dietary choice. I was actually a vegan vegetarian, due to reading John Robins “Diet For A New America”, and several other related books. Given the information I was able to assimilate on this topic, I made a very clear choice to eat a diet that did not cause harm to animals, supported a holistic principle to health, and was more viable within the parameter of being more ecologically sound. Even though the choice was mine to make, I found myself constantly running into people who would become immediately confrontational and defensive against the choices that were inevitably affecting me, not them. I found this phenomena rather interesting as I realized that people’s deep seated fear of others doing something that is considered subversive triggers massive fear, defensive mechanisms, and can make people very confrontational.

In todays world, most of us are homogenized to some degree within the cultural norm of our social milieu. Therefore, the use of subversive action can be a mechanism to create small circles of change through discussions, or it can occur on a much large scale, such as being highly aware of the social economy of what we inevitably support with our time, money, and actions. To this day, I have lived my entire life attempting to liver more subversively than allowing myself to fall into the homogenization of becoming en-mass, like a drone in a vacuous society devoid of any depth of meaning. To live a life bound by social conformity, accepting everything at face value, and without questioning the larger social and political paradigm is to be completely asleep. “Some people live as though they are already dead. There are people moving around us who are consumed by their past, terrified of their future, and stuck in their anger and jealousy. They are not alive; they are just walking corpses.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Today when I meet people who become defensive and confrontational over the choices that I make, I clearly state that if they don’t like what I write or how I live my life, its absolutely fine, as the actions I make only affect me, no one else. Thus, “my only true belongings in life are my actions.” Thich Nhat Hanh

To choose to live a non-conventional life one must be very strong, strong enough to confront others ignorance in a non-confrontational, grounded, and calm way. Ironically, many things that were seen as subversive at one point in time, soon become mainstream. Several of todays trends were once limited to much smaller subcultures and seen as highly subversive. A few of these are: organic food, vegetarianism, other heath based dietary regimes, yoga, meditation, consuming herbs or health supplements, etc. Yet, today it seems most people have some awareness of all of the above topics.

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The Holistic Face of Beauty

“Beauty is truths smile when she beholds her own face in a perfect mirror.” Rabindranath Tagore

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Through the dawn of time or so it seems historically, woman have been adorning themselves in some way that is seen as culturally and socially beautiful. This phenomena can been see throughout the world in every form of organized society that has existed up until our current era. Even the most basic form of social organization finds both men and women highly interested in some physical sense of beautification and individualization to assert who they are and their status in the society. Of course, today we really don’t have as much social demarcation through creating distinct appearances, even more specifically, we could say it appears very shallow and superficial.
However, in my opinion, I would have to say that the current idea of women and beauty is being dominated exclusively by consumerism.

I mention the latter, as I was brought up in a very androgynous sense where my mother was highly opposed to any form of beautification and it was highly criticized in my family. However, at this point in my life I see that the masculine reform of women is a far greater problem and issue than mere beautification of women. I am not directing this discussion towards the idea of gender and gender stereotypes; which does dominate and directly affects the appearances of both men and women to a large extent today.

Moreover, I would like to discuss the simple idea of what constitutes true beauty and what does that appear to be, including various factors of adornment from changing one’s hair color, makeup, or any of the massive number of other avenues of physical ‘beatification’. In addition, my interest is more at a holistic, organic, and natural approach to this topic. As well as, looking at the deeper underlying topic of first having a healthy body through proper dietary adherence to clean, pure, organic foods, and fresh water.

The entire discourse around organic dietary preferences and keeping your body healthy through high quality organic food, super foods, pure fresh water, herbs, and lastly food based supplements is highly important for outer beauty. To truly be beautiful one must resonate a healthy vibrance. Yet, as we all age and don’t take proper care of our bodies through eating a cleansing, nutritious, and vibrant diet, the aging process will be quite apparent. Thus, women succumbed to spending billions of dollars a year on toxic products, procedures, and other harmful treatments all to preserve the inevitable from occurring.  True beauty is not looking a certain way or even having a youthful appearance; its the whole energy, feeling, and look that people embody. 

Most people living a holistic lifestyle, who work on all aspects of themselves and keep a very healthy diet, mental and emotional state, and seek to evolve towards their higher potential in life; all have an energy that is apparent, beautiful, vibrant, and youthful. There is no magic serum or product that can bring about an overall essence of true vitality and energy.

However, most of the women I know in addition to living holistically love their organic products. I too am one of these woman, yet the reason I may appear to look youthful for my age is primarily due to my diet, spiritual focus, and constantly working with my own mental and emotional equilibrium.

Thus, the true essence of beauty is found as we grown and evolve in life, shedding the heaviness of certain patters through a holistic purification brought about through dietary, mental, emotional, and spiritual efforts to reach a higher potential of being in life. This is the life I am living and striving daily to embody, a life that is filled with the essence of true beauty and vitality on all levels of being.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2013

 

The Disillusioned

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.” Rumi

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The romantic notion of transformation is so prevalent in the current homogenous cultural context, as a joyous and exuberantly positive mystical experience. However, the reality and truth of this process resembles the opposite, appearing more reminiscent of some type of suffering; painfully letting go of our outdated notions of who we have been and a feeling of extreme disillusionment and dispassion with the nature of our surrounding reality.

Historically, throughout the world, within  indigenous cultures there have been numerous rituals of passage into various spheres of life. These rites of passage had many functions, yet the main purpose was to shed the previous ‘self’, which is necessary to embody a deeper sense of empowerment and shift positionally within the cultural framework appropriate to the individual. Since, we no longer have such rituals or acknowledgment of personal transformation into a more wise, empowered, and mature version of ourselves, we are on our own in terms of going through the liminality of transformation.

It has been my personal experience of going through a liminal period of deep and painful transformation that the process began when I came to the end of a cycle that I had been going for a long time of  continuous education and working at a job that did not utilize my skills or creativity. All of the education was necessary, yet I was not on the path that I needed to be on in life. Therefore, as transformation occurs numerous things radically changed in my life without me having to do anything. Everything that did not support my growth suddenly fell away, creating a large space for me to begin the work that I am now doing. However, through the duration of this process, I felt severely disillusioned, to such a degree that the only word that comes to my mind is severe ‘dispassion’. 

Throughout my life I have been an optimist, so when I say that I have reached this point of perception, there is a massive transitional movement occurring within my inner world. I am painfully letting go of the person I used to be, with all the ideals, dreams, fear, uncertainty, sensitivity, and vulnerabilities that were so wide open and unprotected.

I realize I am much stronger than I can even fathom, even though I  have felt this energy throughout my life, now I know it’s there for me to use whenever I need it. I am coming into my sense of deeper self empowerment and self understanding of who I am at a much deeper level; than the person I used to be who lived mostly on the outside of my ‘being’, rather than deep inside.

One of the main characteristics of undergoing deep transformation, is an extreme difficulty that acts as a catalyst. Its when your entire life starts falling apart, everything starts to change, things and people are pulled away. Through such a disconcerting experience, our inner feeling of ‘self’ begins to dramatically changed. In my experience, even thought this process can be very disorienting to our sense of security with who we have associated ourselves to be, thus often leaving us feeling less than we used to be in some ways. However, the end result most often leaves us feeling so much deeper, wiser, and richer in so many other ways. I personally feel much stronger to be who I am fully and completely. 

For me, this transformation was necessary for me to fully embody who I really am in this life, to allow myself to emanate as myself, and to feel fully self empowered in my unique and reflexive approach to life. I feel committed to this journey where I can fully embrace who I am, I can fully live my life to the greatest potential that I have wanted to pursue for the entirety of my life. I am allowed to be me, the person that I am right now, without any compromise, without any excuses, without any explanation. 

To feel this extreme emancipation of freedom to be the person you really are and live it with ease and joy, there is no greater power, expansiveness, or liberation that I have thus far felt in my life, that can even come close. Its a very small form of awakening, to be who you are in this one moment, to be free to exist as this very person with all the glaring beauty of life. To have the grace to be free enough to contribute to the world in the way that I wish to contribute, is also a great gift.

Copyright © All Rights Reserved 2013