Using Desire As Fuel To Life

February 16, 2011 by  
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Read the below post by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche on the Huffington Post today and wanted to share.

Although having a name that is difficult for most of us civilians to pronounce, the wisdom of his words are nothing but fully inclusive.

In his post Dzogchen discusses the nature of desire; the fuel for every human action.  We desire a good meal, relationship, comfort, pleasure, and all is good.  The difficulties only arise when those desires turn from fuel to obsession.  Wanting to have a better job to feel more engaged is one type of desire.  Wanting a better job just because we want to show how smart, how superior we are, is empty.

Dzogchen writes: “Our desire may be to help others, to create something of transcendent beauty, or to realize union with God. It may simply be to find a perfect love in our life.

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Slowing Down For Self-Love

June 3, 2010 by  
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heart on the beach

heart on the beach

I’ve always wanted to do important things.  I don’t know where that came from but since I was a little girl I felt the pull for something “big”.

As I grew up that inner feeling turned into inner drive and some of my desire to do “big” things started to be associated with career success.  All of that would have been fine if I along the way didn’t loose – or maybe I never had – the ability to appreciate qualities and accomplishments of mine that I didn’t judge by the same standards I considered material success.  That was my loss and the result; a steady decline in self-esteem.

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The Pleasures Of Solitute

May 31, 2010 by  
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our orchidsI ended up having a lovely day yesterday; actually very recharging.

I had written about being in a funk in the morning – as I had been waking up feeling down and fighting the feeling throughout the day for the past few days – but then I realized it was a beautiful day.

I usually go to Yoga on Sundays but I knew I needed to do my day differently so I put the dogs in the car and went to the farmer’s market.  Walking around the market amongst the many other people with their partners and children made me feel part of a community.  I guess I could have felt lonely but I have come to a point in my own personal growth that I take the good moments for what they are, good moments.  I have learned to leave myself alone and not have the banter within that could have pointed out that while most people had others, I was alone.

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Being In A Funk, But Being Okay

May 30, 2010 by  
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I have been in a funk these last few days.  I have this deep feeling that the best time of my life is behind me.

I know it may surprise some of you to read that because I’m often so strong and positive.  But that’s how we humans are; complex.  We can have many different thoughts and feelings, sometimes even contradictory happening at the same time.  So the key is to know ourselves well enough to navigate the ups and downs.

Now back to my initial thought. Why do I have the feeling that the best time of my life is behind me?

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Shaking Things Up

May 3, 2010 by  
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I’m in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I was born and raised.  I’m here visiting my parents and friends I still have from when I was a little girl.

When I travel, I’m often reminded about how important it is to take a break from the place and situations I live in. Let me explain: seeing other people and locations that have no direct relationship to my day to day, helps me see things from a different perspective.

When we never take a break from our life, as beings of habit, we tend to respond and see our lives the same way time and time again.  I’m not saying issues go away.  But I am saying we get to see them in a different way. We get to put them in a different perspective.

Solution, inspiration and energy come from allowing creativity to exist in our lives.  Creativity requires time, space and change.  So if we stay stuck in our routines, whatever they are, eventually our lives become stuck.

Now, I know not everyone can take off to Brazil.  And not everyone can take off at all. But we all can take small brakes within our time and financial constraints.  We just need to be interested in doing so.

I’m suggesting in being creative and courageous to try out different things on a regular basis to give ourselves the different perspective that a trip to a foreign country can give us.  Going hiking, to a museum, to the beach, bike riding, checking out all the different “meet-up” groups (www.meetup.com) in our area to join new people and do different things that are attractive to us, buy half-priced tickets to a concert or a play, are just a few ideas on how to take a break.

What I’m trying to say is let’s find things that take us outside of our comfort zone and do them on a regular basis.  Staying stuck is easy, changing our perspectives takes resolution.

Making a list of what these things are, and crossing them off as we go along, is a good a way to make sure we will follow through on this idea of shaking things up.

Life goes really fast and our purpose is to grow as human beings, learn about ourselves and others and find contentment.  Being stuck is not a path to happiness.  Feeding our creativity is.

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6 Ways To Restore Your Energy And Find Rest In Everyday Life

August 21, 2009 by  
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You may be the type of person who tells yourself that you need to get away in order to rest or that you will rest when you have time. Perhaps you say that when the job or project is done, then you’ll rest. Maybe you are even waiting for “the kids to be grown up” before you’ll rest. This way of living life, where we are consistently putting off what is essential for us, makes no rational sense at all. Rest is already in our presence and the purpose of this article is to assist you in making a crucial, subtle shift that may enable you to fully experience rest in at least one of its many facets.There are many ways of looking at what rest actually is. It is not only a multifaceted word but also, in life, a richly nuanced expression — an attitude that we can bring into our daily lives, no matter what we are doing. There is no need to wait to rest when we can rest right now in the moment or between moments. We don’t need to strain to live. As counterintuitive as it may seem in today’s culture, for the most part life can be lived in a relaxed, restful way.

As far back as 300 B.C., the philosopher Chuang Tzu observed that when an archer was practicing, he shot with relaxation and skill. When a moderate financial award was placed in front of the archer, he got a little tense, his aim faltered and he often missed the target. When a large award was offered for his accuracy, he became nervous and worried, with obvious results. This led Chuang Tzu to wryly observe that, “He who looks too hard on the outside gets clumsy on the inside.”

In modern times people who play golf find their swing is near perfect when there is no ball to hit. But once a ball is placed on the tee and someone is keeping score, the inexperienced golfer’s swing inevitably fails and the ball goes off its intended path. When a golfer has a drink, he often becomes more relaxed and his game improves. So even though a specific feat can be improved by artificial means, it is at the expense of our being fully present and reduces our ability to respond to other circumstances. Imagine how our performance in everyday life would improve if we could learn to find rest and relaxation from within ourselves.

The question is, “How could we relax in the process of living?” or, “How can we have rest in our daily lives? How do we live for the rest of our lives?”

Here are six resting points or techniques that can assist us in finding rest and relaxation, peace, tranquility, and restoration within ourselves and within the great self that embraces and holds us all. Try one and you’re on your way to the rest of your life.

1. The Breath: Following the rise and fall of your breath can bring you to a peaceful and calm place and restore your energy. It brings you present. Allow your breath all the way into your belly to reduce stress. The key to natural and full breathing is in the exhalation – the letting go. However, don’t force anything.

2. The Nap: It is very underutilized in our culture. Twenty minutes is ideal but even a five-minute nap can be very restorative. Don’t go more than 20 minutes or you may feel groggy. If you only have a minute, try this. Hold some keys in your hands and bend forward in your chair with your lower arms resting on your thighs. As you nod off, the keys will drop and wake you up. Even in that minute, you will feel a little more refreshed. The point here is that taking a little time for yourself for rest, prayer, meditation, or spiritual exercises can profoundly affect the quality of your day.

3. The Pause: Learning to pause is a great tool to have up your sleeve. Its value is in bringing you consciously present. You can pause a moment in your daily routine and say, “I am present. I am here, now.” Then allow yourself to be with whatever is revealed. A further refinement is to bring your attention to the pause between exhaling and inhaling. Even doing this once will give you a moment of rest and restoration.

4. Silence: The word “listen” contains the same letters as the word “silent.” Choose to be present and alert and to listen past the inner conversations of the mind. Listen past the sounds of the world and just listen to the silence. Listen attentively to whatever comes forward out of the silence. If things start to distract and disrupt you, bring your focus back to the silence. When you practice bringing your presence into the silence, you will experience a knowing and a wisdom that will start flowing within you. It will usually bring you to a state of peace, calm and clarity.

5. Doing nothing: A great way to interrupt the pattern of habitual doing. It is akin to entering a state of observation, where you perceive things clearly just for what they are. An analogy is watching boats going out to sea. You observe them as they pass you. Then you observe the next one. If you gawk or think about how you would like to be in a boat, you have moved out of observation. Observation is only about what is, not what you know or don’t know about a situation. The power that comes from that, internally, is tremendous. It’s an active place of neutrality. The process of observing what is, is the process that releases and restores us.

6. Meditation – Resting in Yourself: “To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” Lao-Tzu. When you haven’t developed an intimate relationship with life or with yourself, you’ll tend to look toward having sex or acquiring more money, or to any attractive distraction to fill the emptiness inside. To fill yourself, you have to be prepared to spend time alone – quality time with yourself, not with a good book, not watching television, art or with music. Although those have their place, learn to be quiet with your own inner self. Any time you can bring your focus onto one thing, a flower, a sacred word, a scene in nature, you are meditating. The simplest way to meditate is to observe the rising and falling of your breath.

Written by Paul Kaye, DSS, President of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness (MSIA) and co-author of numerous books with Dr. John-Roger, NY Times #1 Bestselling Author. For more information, please visit www.msia.org or www.mandevillepress.org.

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