The World is an Illusion

A wise man, recognizing that the world is but an illusion, does not act as if it is real, so he escapes the suffering.


Buddha

Image from:
Wikipedia

Buddha.jpg

 

The above quote appeared on Google+ last month from Famous Quotes.

This conversation arose last month with the same person who recommended The Modern Book of the Dead to me.  We sometimes have many esoteric conversations and we recently spoke about this very topic, which once again proves my point of how connected everything is.

 

What is real?  That’s the question I asked my friend.  You know nothing is real, right?
Everything is perception.
Everything is energy.

 

We only see what we think we see.

What makes the sky blue and the grass green?  These are questions I asked my friend as well.  These are questions I contemplate ALL the time.  Call me crazy; but now that I’m in this paradigm, this is where my thoughts wander.

 

Everything truly is illusion!
The world is made up of atoms, energy and we simply perceive what we’ve been taught to see.  What if everything we’ve been taught is also illusionary?  Our teachers are only parroting what they’ve been told.

 

As far as the wise man escaping suffering goes, I’m not sure anyone can entirely escape that.  For it is through suffering, it is through facing challenges that we grow, that we evolve spiritually.  What’s the use or incarnating into the physical if we are not going to suffer, if we are not going to use those challenges to grow, to mature, to evolve?  We may as well stay in our natural state then, one of light, one of energy, one of spiritual power.

 

Buddha and Buddhism hold many truths for me and as I’ve mentioned here previously, this is where I feel most comfortable with one glaring exception.  You’ll have to read my category on Buddhism to discover the exception, unless you are already aware of what that is.

 

The computer screen you’re looking at at this very moment?
The chair you’re sitting in?
Or the ground you’re standing on?
Are these real?

You know my answer.  Now you must decide for yourself.  I’m reminded of the Moody Blues here with the song Knights in White Satin:
We get to choose what is real and what is illusion.

 

Which will you choose?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;

 

We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying.  For there truly is no end.

Health and Motivation

 

Tiny Buddha

is one resource I use to discover motivation for Wisdom and Life.  It’s one of the reasons I’m seldom at a loss for topics to discuss at my blog.  There is a plethora of resources available in the Spiritual realm to write about.  One of my oldest “spiritual” friends in the blogger community, Carla Goddard, Msc.D.  at Shaman Medicine Woman recently shared  How Do You Motivate Yourself: With Love or Fear?  Tiny Buddha is on Google+  as well.

This is a fascinating column as I recently thought about how much my own diet has changed in the past few years.  I considered writing a column about this change recently and here I found inspiration for this very topic.  So I want to thank Carla for bringing this to my attention.

Like Laura-Erdman-Luntz, I’ve always been quite disciplined.  I’ve generally found it easy to break habits and continue on new paths.  I like what Laura has to say about  whether someone is practicing out of love or out of fear.  I never gave that any thought until reading this column.  Now I wonder whether my own practice is out of fear or out of love.
I understand that I can no longer eat what I used to eat:
Sweets
Red Meat
Chips
Soda

on a consistent basis, otherwise I feel sick. I can no longer digest that type of food.  I actually haven’t had a drop of soda in over ten years.  And it’s all because I find it easy to break habits and make new positive changes.
I WANT to feel healthy.

Perhaps that is what motivates me:
Wanting to feel healthy
Wanting to be good.

Maybe on SOME level I am disciplined out of fear because I know how I feel when I slip and I certainly don’t like the feeling.  Maybe using fear to motivate isn’t such a negative thing; as long as you keep your eye on the prize, as long as you understand that you ARE INDEED using that to motivate yourself.

What do you think?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Fixable Challenge

If a problem challenge is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.

Dalai Lama XIV

Image from:
Wikipedia

 

Worry equals stress.
Stress equals physical ailments.
Physical ailments equals stress

Everything is cyclical.

It certainly seems Buddhists understand this as can be seen by the above quote from Dalai Lama XIV.  Those of us in the West have much to learn.  Fortunately, some of us are are waking up.  You may have noticed the “P” word has been crossed out and was replaced with the word challenge.  I have chosen to remove words from my lexicon that no longer serve a purpose.  That “P” word is one of those such words.

The concept behind the quote above is one I do my best to follow.

Why worry about something you have no control over.  I can tell you from personal experience, that worrying only causes more physical challenges to our bodies:
–Stomach ailments
–Head aches

Do you REALLY want to feel this way over something you have no control over?
I know I don’t!  The next time a challenge arises in your life, one that you have no control over, think about how you want to react.  And remember how you felt when you reacted negatively.  If you believe, why not Let go and Let God?

One of the things that I do when I a challenge arises in my own life is that I stop what I’m doing, look up and ask HIM to take away the emotional baggage that has taken up space in my soul, in my heart, in my mind.

I seriously no longer worry, only because I’ve learned that worry only causes more of it.  Stress is unhealthy for the body and the soul.

What do you do to rid yourself of stress, of worry?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

The Stiffest Tree

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending
with the wind.

Bruce Lee
Simply Spiritual Living

Image from:
Commons.Wikimedia

Do NOT be the stiffest tree!

Everyone experiences challenges in their lives,

whether it be the loss of friends.

whether it be the transitioning of someone close to us.

Whatever it may be, everything comes down to a choice:
How will we react to the events?

 

If we can learn to bend with the changes in our lives,
If we can learn to navigate the tributaries of the river of our lives,
If we can learn to stiffen less,

 

Then life will flow.

 

When a challenge arises
most of us immediately rebel.
Most of us fight.
Most of us struggle.

 

What does that action bring?
Distress, right?
Pressure, right?

 

Why do you suppose we fight back against a challenge?  Wouldn’t it be easier to simply accept what was given to us?  When we stiffen up, we run the risk as the example in Bruce Lee’s quote above says of breaking.

 

That’s not why we are given challenges.  Challenges are simply life lessons.  We must learn to bend more and stiffen less.

 

Do NOT be the stiffest tree!
We must learn to become the bamboo.
We must learn to become the willow.

Can you learn to bend and not break?

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Every Thought You Produce

Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.

Thich Nhat Hanh

 

Those familiar with Wisdom and Life will zero in on Thich Nhat Hanh; for I have written about him here in the past.  Hạnh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist.  Thich Nhat Hanh

There’s that word again:
Buddhist.

 

I keep returning to Buddhist thought because I feel so comfortable wrapped in it’s confines.  Everything about Buddhism feel right to me.  Hanh is particularly engaging and I seem to resonate deeply with what he has to say.  I think because much of his dialog reflects current Law of Attraction thought.

 

As a matter of fact, Buddhism and Law of Attraction share many connections as well.  It seems that many spiritual beliefs share Law of Attraction connections.  It’s why as I’ve said previously as well that discovering LoA has deepened my faith.

 

The above quote speaks to this as well.  What is the basic premise of Law of Attraction?

That our thoughts create our reality, correct?

That our thoughts are an outreach of ourselves, correct?

 

Isn’t that what Hanh is implying here?  So here is another example, as I’ve maintained here since this blog’s inception, just how connected everything is.  There are connections everywhere.  You just have to be astute enough to see them.  You have to be able to remove those spiritual blinders from your eyes.

What do you know about Buddhism?

What do you know about Law of Attraction?

If you dig into both of these philosophies, I imagine you’ll discover bridges to and from both worldviews as everything is connected if you know where to look.

 

Can you find the connections to Law of Attraction to all Spiritual beliefs.

Buddhism has many connections.  Look for them.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!

Blessings to you.

Chris

 

The Answers You Seek

The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy, they come when the mind is still, when silence speaks loudest.

 

Spiritual Truths

 

Image from:

Venerable Mettananda

Buddhist monk meditation on WaterMeditation.
Sleeping.
Dreaming.
The time JUST before fully waking.
 

These are all times when your mind is the clearest. There are no scattered thoughts racing around.  Your mind is settled, calm, serene.

How many times have you awakened in the in the middle of the night and discovered the solution to a challenge you’ve faced?

 

 Do you ever wonder why that is?  It is because of what I said above:
This is the time when your mind is settled.
It’s why I spend so much time meditating.
It’s why I practice yoga.

 

These two practices help me return to that serene state.  When I’m facing a challenge calming my soul, calming my mind, calming my body does wonders to discover that solution I’ve know is locked in my mind.  It’s why when I was writing fiction, I’d always keep a 3×5 notebook on my nightstand with a pen right beside the notebook.

 

So often I’d go to bed with a question in my mind about the direction I was headed with a particular storyline.  On many occasions, I’d wake and the resolution would surface.  All it took was to STOP thinking, to STOP dwelling, to let the solution work its way into my uncluttered mind.  The same can be said if you’re facing an emotional challenge.

 

So easy it is to say simply stop thinking.

 

When the answers flow once you are in that serene place, you MAY realize that’s where you must be to find the challenging solutions.

Stop pressing!
Stop rowing AGAINST the stream.

 

It is only when you are calm,
It is only when you are serene,
that you will discover the answers.

 

 If you are not practicing meditative states and you are faced with stressful situations,

if you cannot find solutions to challenges you are facing,
If you are easily agitated,

Perhaps you should find time to practice silence.
Perhaps you should find time to practice yoga.
Perhaps you should find time to meditate.

 

You may be surprised to discover you find those solutions more quickly.
You may be surprised to discover that stress vanishes.

 

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

 

Love Your Enemies

Our enemies provide us with a precious opportunity to practice patience and love. We should have gratitude toward them.

Tenzin Gyatso
The 14th Dalai Lama


Love our enemies?  Did Chris just say that?  Seriously?
Yes I did.
The 14th Dalai Lama said it.
Jesus preached it.

This is not a new concept as you can see.  And if you notice one of my favorite words is in this quote or at least a derivative of it.  I’m not going to tell you what the word is.  Let’s see how many people really know me.  Can you guess the word?  I gave you the biggest hint, so even if you don’t know me as well some many of my followers, you should be able to pick the word out.

Loving our enemies has much in common with forgiveness.

Those who forgive can lighten their hearts.
Those who forgive stop hurting themselves
.

I see Law of Attraction in this quote as well.  Can you guess where?  It is with that favorite derivation once more.  As you’ve seen with this entry and several others here and for those of you who have been following me for some time I resonate deeply with Buddhism.  I feel most comfortable in that belief system.  It’s why I continue writing about the faith.

If you notice I said:
Jesus preached it.

It’s another example that all religions are one.  We are all connected.
Everything is connected.
Everything is connected to one divine source.

Do you see that?
If not, I think it’s time to remove your spiritual blinders.

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

What is Joy

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

Thich Nhat Hanh

I discovered Thich Nhat Hanh a couple years ago while visiting someone I know.  Several of his books lined the book shelves.  Being that i was in this paradigm at the time I took one down and leafed through it.  I knew this person whose books there were wanted to move in this direction.  They were stuck.  Oh they wanted people to believe they were enlightened.

I knew different.

After leafing through the book I took down from the shelf, I asked if I could borrow the books by Hanh.  What an amazing person he is.  Anyone wanting to understand, joy, peace, love should check him out.  After discovering him, I went into research mode.

Typically, upon finding a subject that fascinates me I dig deep into said topic.  Did you know that Martin Luther King nominated Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize?  Much of Hanh’s writing reminds me of Buddhism.  That’s because he founded a Buddhist Church.  As you may know from previous entries at Wisdom and Life, I identify very closely with Buddhist thought.  It’s where I feel most aligned.  It’s what brings me joy.  So much of what Buddhism stands for is where I stand; with one glaring exception.  That being that Buddhists don’t have a Divinity the pray to, they don’t believe there is a higher power.  They don’t pray to God.

That’s the one thing I simply cannot comprehend.
Not that anyone doesn’t have a right to their opinion.

I’ve seen too much.
I know too much.

I see God in everything.  My Faith is simply too strong.

So, let’s see if we can swing this post back to the topic at hand.  When I began writing this I wanted to know what Joy means to you.  I searched around for quotes on Joy and settled on the one above by Thich Nhat Hanh.

What brings you joy?
What does Joy mean to you?

Would love to hear from you in the comments below.

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Many Paths

There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading in the same direction, so it doesn’t matter which path you take.  The only one wasting time is the one who runs around and around the mountain telling everyone else their path is wrong.

Hindu Teaching
Joleen Halloran

How many times has someone given you advice.
How many times has someone said:
You should be doing this, not that.

How many times has someone said:
You can’t make a living doing THAT.

Did you ever stop and think about the person saying that?  Offering you said advice?

When I came across Joleen’s graphic and quote above I immediately knew I must write about once again about the subject.  Even though I’ve spent an extensive amount of time discussing it I feel that it’s a subject we can all relate to again.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the image of the person running around telling everyone else their path is wrong.  Kinda humorous to envision this serious activity.

Serious, I think because no one should be in charge of our futures but us and the Divine.  Only God knows what’s best for us, and unless we follow the map HE sets out for us, we will find ourselves trapped in misery.

There are hundreds of paths up the mountain but only one is right for us.  We know what the right one is.  What brings us joy?  Where is our bliss?

That’s the correct path for us.  It’s like George Clooney said in The Men Who Stare at Goats said:
Your life is like a river.
If you’re aiming for a goal that isn’t your destiny, you will always be swimming against the current. Young Gandhi wants to be a stock car racer? Not gonna happen.  Little Anne Frank wants to be a high school teacher? Tough Anne. That’s not your destiny. But you will go on to move the hearts and minds of millions.  Find out what your destiny is and the river will carry you. Sometimes events in life give an individual clues as to where their destiny lies.

I also love Clooney’s sentiment above because it is SOOOO true.  As many paths as there are there is only one true one for each of us and we must follow that one true path otherwise as Clooney says:
We  will always be swimming against the current.

We certainly cannot listen to the one running around the base of the mountain telling us that our path is wrong.  For only we know which is the right path for us.

Who will you listen too?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

Let Go or Be Dragged

I originally wrote another column for today but last week I was on Google+ and saw this image:

I found the slogan so spot on, so humorous, so true that I simply HAD to write about it today.  In conjunction with Wednesday’s entry, I’d like to discuss the opportunities that present themselves by simply letting go. I searched images on Google with this as a search and one of the images that popped up was of someone being dragged behind a horse.

Now that had to hurt wouldn’t you say?  Isn’t that what happens when you cling to something you know you’re better off letting go of?

I’m thinking here of anger, of a grudge?  Who is that really hurting?

What about something in your own life that you desperately want?  What if it simply isn’t coming to fruition?  Are you holding onto that thought so tightly that it is constricting your every move?  You do of course understand that you’re being dragged just as much here as you were in the first example do you not?

Let go and stop being dragged!

There have been so many cases in my own life where had I known this earlier I would have been far better off.  The blessing is I understand the concept now and I put these ideas into daily use.
–Since I’ve been practicing Law of Attraction and have become more spiritual, my entire life has improved.
–Since I now see everything as divine and everything happening for my highest good I no longer dwell in low places. I understand that life is a process, that life is a marathon, not a sprint.  I’m just so grateful that I have reached a point in my life where I understand this now.  Because of that:
I no longer hold grudges
I no longer stay angry.
I no longer hold onto something that just isn’t happening on my time.

I understand that time is different in the spiritual realm and what to us is a year to those in the spiritual realm is but mere seconds.

You have two choices when you are incarnated in the the body:
–You can hold on to your anger, you can hold onto your grudges.
You can hold onto your dreams the ones that simply aren’t happening in your own time

–Or you can simply let go.

Which one do you choose?

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.

Chris

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