Why I Don’t Care About Success

October 19, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

I really like the below post by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits.  www.zenhabits.net.  It offers a personal take on success.

Success is a relative term.  Defining success as doing something we love and doing it today is a healthier and more satisfying way to live our lives. Enjoy.

‘Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.’ ~Albert Einstein

A lot of people in my field write about how to be successful, but I try to avoid it. It’s just not something I believe is important.

Now, that might seem weird: what kind of loser doesn’t want to be successful?

Me. I’m that loser.

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Letting Go Requires Love

August 31, 2010 by  
Filed under Blog

Today I read Theresa Brown’s “A Dying Patient Is Not A Battle Field” on CNN.Com.  Theresa is an oncology nurse in Pennsylvania. She is a leading contributor to The New York Times’ blog Well and the author of “Critical Care: A New Nurse Faces Death, Life, and Everything in Between.”

In this particular piece Theresa discusses the end of life of a cancer patient who encouraged by family and doctors decides to continue a losing battle with his illness.  The end result was a more brutal death than if the patient had chosen to go home and live what was left of his life the best way possible.  Theresa writes if the patient had been given clear information of the consequences of continuing chemotherapy he would have chosen to go home.  Most people knowing there is almost no chance for survival would move forward with chemotherapy especially when their bodies are already so weak and fragile.

Nurse Brown, you are so right and wise.

In the last couple of months of my husband’s life it had become clear to me that the end was coming.  In the last couple of weeks it was clear the end had arrived.

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Our World Is In Peril, How Do You Cope?

May 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

I like this article because it discusses the dual world we are living in today.  This is the time in our history with the most amount of wars, famine, hatred and destruction.  But I also feel this is the time with the greatest amount of possibilities for us to evolve and connect in a different way.  While forests are being destroyed the number of people coming together from all of the world to try to stop it is huge.  While there are wars and injustices the number of people caring and coming together keeps increasing.  There are a number of us that see the hate but choose to find ways to embrace love.  There are a number of us that after embracing people all over the world that are like minded, want to find a way to reach out to others that are not like minded a find a world we can all live in.

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By John Robbins

I am someone who longs for world peace. Perhaps you are, too. But every single day our world spends more than $4 billion on war. The last hundred years have been by far the bloodiest in human history.

I support human rights and human dignity. I want every child to grow up healthy and strong. No doubt you do, too. But today, like every day, 20,000 children will die of hunger and poverty. Even in the world’s wealthiest country, the U.S., nearly 25 percent of children live below the poverty line.

I believe in upholding the brotherhood and sisterhood of all people. I believe in the inherent worth of every human being. But we live in a time of grotesque inequalities. There are shoe companies who pay famous athletes $20 million to endorse their shoes, while paying their workers only 20 cents an hour to make them. The CEOs of some companies make more money in an hour than many of the company’s employees make in a year.

Many of the world’s spiritual traditions teach that inner peace is found when you love the world as it is, rather than faulting it for not living up to your expectations. But our addictions are not only damaging our spirits, they are also causing irreparable harm to the biosphere and to humanity’s future.

I believe in holding a positive attitude toward life. But the rate at which forests are disappearing, coral reefs are deteriorating, the arctic ice cap is melting, and species are going extinct is undermining the capacity of the earth to support human life.

I draw strength from my kinship with animals. Some of my best friends have had four legs. Perhaps you, too, have had a relationship with an animal that has enriched you as a human being. But today, almost all of our meat and dairy products come from animals raised under conditions of horrific cruelty…Continued

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The Dark Seed

October 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Uncategorized

Where is the dark seed

that grows the forget-you plant?

Searching, now I see

it grows in the frozen heart

of one who has murdered love.

- The Monk Sosei

(D. CA. 909)

What is this thing the Zen monk-poet Sosei calls love, invoking it to anchor his poetic statement? What is the place of love in a tradition as unsentimental and austere as Japanese Zen? In what way does such love serve as the ground of remembrance? And what has been forgotten by the one in whose frozen heart the dark seed has spread its roots? Sosei implies that it is by the loss of connection to living pathways of feeling that we lose our own humanity. The poisonous plant of forgetting in this poem obscures any sense of personal authenticity, leaving its victim unable to recognize his soul within his own skin.

The poet points to the heart, to the body of living, human emotion, as the causeway whose flow must be kept open, in order to attain the wisdom and understanding toward which Zen aspires. The recollection of the true self, he suggests, comes by way of an open, compassionate and tender heart. This, from the most unsentimental of spiritual traditions.

Sosei also confronts us with a thoroughly unsentimental conclusion. No one can “murder love”, or destroy the capacity to feel fully and deeply, from without, but each one of us can allow it to perish from within. While the world may be filled with accomplices to the crime, the ultimate responsibility lies within each human heart.

NPR recently broadcast the news that one of the most wanted war criminals of the Rwandan genocide had just been apprehended. He was number 6 on the most-wanted list; apparently 1-5 are still roaming the African countryside. The coverage of this event included an interview with a man whose family members had been brutally killed by one of the criminals still at large. There has been a “Truth and Reconciliation” movement underway in Rwanda for some time, an endeavor to bring stability and a modicum of justice and closure to the victims and to the society as a whole. The movement unites perpetrators and the survivors of their crimes through a process of acknowledging culpability, and the absolution that such acknowledgement confers. In the report, this man called out to the ones who had committed the killings, asking them to come forth, in order that he might forgive them.

Through his poem Sosei offers his conviction that no one, or thing can extinguish love from without. The Rwandan man’s readiness to forgive strikes me as a living testament to the truth of this idea. Nelson Mandela once said that there was no force in the world that could separate him from his own dignity. It seems that in the case of this man, there was no trauma brutal enough to separate him from his own humanity.

If there is any evidence for God’s existence, it is in the graceful hearts of such people, who have not forgotten their own humanity in the face of such violence and suffering.

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