I love what I do, and where I've been, and where I am, and I have deep sadness/melancholy over how few people understand that what we do, where we have been and where we are are the most important things, and that how we are with that is how we are. It doesn't matter where we are going. Where we are going is just going to be where we are. And if we have never been glad just to be here/now, we cannot expect to be glad to be there/then. It is all about perspective. How we see what we look at. The way we are with whatever is with us. What do we need to be content with how it is with us? What is standing between us and joy/gladness/satisfaction? Except for what things would be fine? For how long? What do we do about the things we can't do anything about? Where do we go to be at peace? To enjoy the wonder of balance and harmony? What is disrupting our balance and harmony? Upon what does our stability depend? In what ways do we need to transform our relationship with ourselves, our life, and with other people? What needs to be changed about our relationships with those things? What is keeping that from happening? What do we think about that prevents/interferes with our thinking about this? Reflection is the path to new realizations. Nothing changes until our mind changes about what is important and what needs to happen and what we can do about it.
The world needs a good listening to. Too many people are talking too loudly to listen. All we need is to be heard to the point of hearing what we are saying. We all need that. Where do you go to be listened to? To be heard? When is the last time you said anything beyond your usual banter? When has anybody asked you about your balance and harmony? Your spirit, energy, vitality? The ground of your joy and satisfaction? Your specialty and how often you engage in it? We all need people in our life who can listen to us (hear is) on a level at which we need to be listened to (heard). That is pretty much all we need. The trick here is to become what we need by offering to others what we need from them-- with no strings attached. Become the listener other people need. Without using that as a ploy to get them to listen to you. Just listen. To them. You will hear from them what you need to say, what you have to say-- particularly if you listen to enough of them. It is the same story. It is the same pain. Listening deeply is seeing clearly. We are the solution to our own problem. It hinges on our being what we need to find.
The song goes, "We get out kicks on Route 66..." Where do you get your kicks? This may be the most important question. Knowing where we get our kicks, and getting them regularly, so that our life is lived around the things we get a kick out of doing, is the most important thing (Without question to my way of thinking). And, if that doesn't apply to you, start living in ways so that it does apply to you. You will probably discover that the things you get a kick out of doing won't pay the bills. You will have to live on two paths, or tracks, at the same time. So that there is what you do to pay the bills, and what you pay the bills to do. Live that way. It will make all the difference in your life, beginning almost immediately. It will require you to change the way you live, in order for your life to support your life-- your being alive to the time and place of your living-- instead of being an automation, an automaton, going through the motions of life, like canned laughter on some sitcom. And your direction will come increasingly from your heart and not from your head, or from someone else's idea of how your life ought to be. Our life has its own meaning, its own orientation, its own flow, and it is our place to live in accord with our life's idea for itself. We are built for a certain life, directed toward certain modes of expression. We get our kicks in different ways. We have to be true to the things we get a kick out of doing/being-- and to be careful to not allow addictions to sidetrack us into thinking that addiction is the kick we are looking for. Addiction is a substitute kick. A false kick. An artificial kick. We are kidding ourselves, and have to do the work, and pay the price, and bear the pain, of being true to our heart's deep joy and our soul's deep yearning, while figuring out how to do that and pay the bills. It will help if we incur only the right bills.
Why are we here? What are we here for? What do we mean-- and for whom/what do we mean it? What do we intend with our life? Does our life have intentions for itself that we must intuit/realize/ascertain and serve with liege loyalty and filial devotion? How do we know? How can we be sure? What if we are just making it all up? We will be worse off or better off by the quality of the things we make up. How we answer these questions determines everything that follows. It would behoove us to give ourselves to these questions with an appropriate degree of curiosity and seriousness, which is to say, playfulness, and to make our best effort at a life well-lived-- though this may have no correlation with ease of life, wealth and position in society, and any of the supposed signs of a successful life. So, at the start, we have to understand the difference between outward appearance and inward pleasure and satisfaction, and being satisfied with appearances may result in being starkly empty and disappointed with our inner reality, and how the way we live can impact either, or both, inner and outer. Why are you here? What are you here for? What say you? How do you know?
The Buddha and Jesus never had a chance. Nothing has a chance. Drugs, sex and rock-n-roll carry the day, every day through countless ages of days from the first day to the last. It has always been about drugs, sex and rock-n-roll. Buddhism and Christianity attest to the validity of the statement. What is the Institution of the Dalai Lama worth? Or the Vatican-- ignoring for the moment the value of the holdings worldwide of the Church. Of all the churches. That wealth represents the victory of drugs, sex and rock-n-roll over time. You can have your Four Noble Truths and your Sermon on the Mount but wealth and privilege are drugs, sex and rock-n-roll maxed-out in overdrive, downhill through time what a ride, with institutional Buddhism and Christianity joining in the festivities and dancing into the night every night. If you aren't saying what they want to hear, they will spin it into what they want it to say, and the beat goes on, and on, and on... Poor ol' Buddha... Poor ol' Jesus... Queen, Elvis, the Beatles, et. al., have crashed your show, stolen your thunder, and led you to the door. The only thing that sells, ever has, ever will, is the tried and true, Drugs, Sex and Rock-n-Roll! Your own people attest to that.
The five hallmarks of life are balance and harmony, spirit, energy and vitality. Monitoring these markers will guide us into doing the things that support/maintain/sustain them, and avoid the things that deplete/disturb/destroy them. Our life is our responsibility. It doesn't "just happen." It happens consciously/mindfully, with awareness, attention, intention and aforethought. Being alive requires our complete participation in making the choices which affirm, enable and allow life to be more than being 98.6 and breathing. Taking regular readings of our balance, harmony, spirit, energy and vitality-- and making the adjustments necessary to stay in the black and avoid the red-- is the path to the path of a life well-lived.