Sunday, July 13, 2014

Got a plan for living? Meditation for 7/14

A fish that can fly at Murrell's Inlet; SC

“.. When self-examination, prayer and meditation are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life.”  -  William Wilson

“If you do not define the role that people, places and things play in your life they certainly will define you.”  - Anon

     In the first quote, the author points out the three key elements that lead us to a soundness of mind and body.  But when we do the work to come into synch as an individual, we still need a plan for living that allows us to deal with the world and yet still “wear it like a loose garment.”  So it is of great value to us to examine our attitudes about the things outside ourselves that we interact with.

     People, places and things.  I think this pretty well covers the gamut of the things temporal that we deal with.  Outside of our own spiritual condition, is not the cause of our worry and angst almost always related to one of these three?   Is there a plan for living that will allow us to operate in these arenas without being drug down in the mud or drawn into fantasies of grandeur?  I think there is, and as always the solution is simple.  If we are working to maintain synchronicity at the individual level, we can extend this harmony into our environment through service and stewardship.  For people the answer is service – for places and things it is stewardship.

     When dealing with other people, if our intentions and actions are service oriented we will eliminate virtually all day to day issues that plague our ego.  But we first have to understand what service is.  Doing courtesies and niceties, as admirable as they are, do not constitute service.  Service is doing for others what they cannot do for themselves, which usually boils down to encouragement.  Encouragement is not cheerleading – it is giving another the tools they need to act in the face of their fears and obtain the growth they need to move further along on their path.  We can give them the tools, but unless they take the action nothing will improve.  So we train ourselves to constantly be aware of if and how we are being of service to those people in our life right here and right now.  If we are unable to be of service to them at this moment, is there someone else we are able to be of service to?  Of course this is a broad topic and much needs can be said about it, but realizing that being of service to the others in our life will lift us above the battlefield of petty competitions and bring meaning and value into our lives is the first step toward a life of freedom and serenity.  And when we take the posture that our job is to be of service to our fellows, what they think of us is no longer our worry – in fact we realize it not only is none of our business, it is totally irrelevant to what we are supposed to be doing.  In this way we protect ourselves from being defined by “what we think other people think of us.”

     Likewise, stewardship is a much misunderstood concept.  Stewardship is a state of mind we take when we reach a level of maturity that we realize that things are just things – they will remain and we will be gone.  Anything “temporal” in our life is indeed “temporary,” and making the mistake of feeling we “own” anything puts us in the state of mind that the things in our life define who we are.  And if you want to be miserable, start gauging your worth based upon where you live or what you have.  It is a bottomless cesspool of “keeping up” and “needing more.”  But when we view each material thing in our life as being something that is entrusted to us for a short time and something which we are thus responsible to take care of we experience a huge shift in the way we look at “things.”  More “things” = more “responsibility” and thus less freedom.  So we winnow down the things we are going to allow into our life to those things we cherish enough to truly look after or those things we absolutely need.  And in this way things no longer have the power to define us.  Synchronicity, Stewardship and Service.  How can I improve, who can I help and what needs attended to?  It is a plan for living that will season any storm that might come our way.

Today, may I know harmony.

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