“all around the globe”
“Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past.” ~ Lama Surya Das
Sanity is a basic principle of the spiritual path and forgiveness is an essential aspect of sanity. As Lama Surya Das points out, forgiveness is what allows us to accept the past. It is only by accepting the past that we can allow ourselves to be present. When we are hooked on the past in the form of resentment or fear or anguish, we are constantly reliving and experiencing from a place that doesn’t actually exist now. Thus we aren’t able to be fully ourselves here and now. On the most basic level, forgiveness is for your own sanity so that Life can be Life.
The party is always better when everyone is having a good time. That is the underlying recognition that gives form to compassion. We wish for others to be peaceful, happy, and free because this will make everything better for everyone, including ourselves. Compassion isn’t a talent, it’s a cultivated practice. It starts with intention and then manifests into activity. We work on compassion for ourselves, then compassion for our loved ones, then compassion for strangers, and finally compassion for enemies. Furthermore, compassion provides a way for us to touch the suffering of this world and offer relief.
Within each of us is a fathomless eternity. It is an unborn placeless place that is not our personality, not our bodies, not our minds. It is what gives us the feeling that we exist. It is what gives all living things the feeling that they exist. It has nothing to do with the world or the events happening within it. Feel your Self more strongly than you feel the world. That is mindfulness practice. This can be done anywhere, anytime. By practicing daily meditation, you will learn how to deepen your mindfulness.
Noticing our patterns, challenging our assumptions, questioning our desires, examining our perspectives, these are all activities that paralyze the ego. The ego is made up of assertions. Therefore the ego is dismantled not via new or different assertions but by questioning. The power of an insightful question can be explosive to our sense of self. Learning to be less defensive and more willing to question ourselves without being insecure about it can lead to incredible growth.
There is no way to peace, peace itself is the practice. We cannot afford to wait until circumstances align perfectly before allowing ourselves to feel peace. Otherwise we will just be changing the world to try to make ourselves feel better. Instead, we discover peace within the depths of our being. Then we can work with the world as needed, not trying to comfort ourselves but trying to be of genuine help. And because we have found some peace within, we actually have something to contribute and share. We aren’t trying to get something all the time, we can be abundant and give.
Whatever religions, paths, or practices an individual may engage, these qualities are markers of authentic spiritual practice. They are qualities that can benefit any life. Nothing is stopping you from adopting them and triumphing.
“When a man no longer confuses himself with the definition of himself that others have given him, he is at once universal and unique. He is universal by virtue of the inseparability of his organism from the cosmos. He is unique in that he is just this organism and not any stereotype of role, class, or identity assumed for the convenience of social communication.”
— Alan Watts
We have no way of knowing if everything thing in the Universe wasn’t created last week, along with our memories.