Thursday, February 28, 2013

Episode 23: Thoughts

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival
A joy, a depression, a meanness
Some momentary awareness
Comes as an unexpected visitor

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows
Who violently sweep your house
Empty of its furniture
Still treat each guest honorably
He may be cleaning you out
For some new delight!

The dark thought, the shame, the malice
Meet them at the door laughing
And invite them in
Be grateful for whoever comes
Because each has been sent
As a guide from the beyond.


During the past month, I've done a lot of studying. I've been reading this short book titled Thoughts Matter: The Practice of the Spiritual Life by Mary Margaret Funk, OSB and I found it to be easy to read and digest, but difficult to repeat in daily life. After all, I'm working on my inner self, it's not as easy as taking a shower! To internalize more fully the content and nature, I'll be posting this mini-series on my spiritual weight training and help everyone else in their everyday lives as I do the heavy lifting (pun intended). Rarely do we get to practice what we say or practice what is read, thus one must simply "do." Right? Fire away.

We must first realize that we are not our thoughts. When we meet a new person for the first time, how do we judge them? By the shoes they wear or the color of their skin? Naturally, we judge the book by its cover and it only becomes later that we get to learn from its pages. Whether welcomed or not, thoughts surface that can be positive, neutral or negative. But thoughts are not ourselves, just simply a bunch of synapses that fire from inner and outer stimulation. It is said that our brains are an orchestra without a conductor, so as resulting conductors, let us conduct our body, heart, and soul in rightness.

A person told me once:

"Be very, very careful of what you think, because what you think you will eventually say. Be very careful of what you say, because of what you say, you will eventually do. Be very, very careful of what you do, because our actions become habits. And be very careful of your habits because they create your way of life."
Our thoughts become our way of life. Once we train the way we think, it translates not only in our lives, but to the rest of humanity in a small way. I firmly believe it is not the extraordinary things people do but the everyday ordinary deeds that makes life more beautiful. As a kid I wanted to do extraordinary things like make an invention that would change the world like Edison and the lightbulb. Then I wanted to "grow up" and become the person I want to be and attain enlightenment and have all the wisdom in the world. Little did I know that life is about today, the present moment, because that's all that matters, the past was yesterday and the future will always be tomorrow.

I read once:


And I didn't understand. For English speakers:

At fifteen my heart was set on learning; at thirty I stood firm; at forty I had no more doubts; at fifty I knew the mandate of heaven; at sixty my ear was obedient; at seventy I could follow my heart's desire without transgressing the norm.

As we observe our thoughts, our actions and habits, let's work on living what we think- to love ourselves so that we may love others, to improve ourselves so that others may improve themselves, fail so we can succeed, and succeed so we can fail. And, hopefully when we're seventy, our heart's desire is in line with our heart's desire today.

Until next time.

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