I dedicated my life to only one thing; conquering death by learning to die consciously.
As a young adult I gladly and with great relief left the world and joined a group of monks in a simple small remote village. A village isolated and far removed from the activity of the world. I spent the rest of my days meditating and listening to and trying to understand the teachings of the Buddha and the wisdom of my Lama (teacher and spiritual guide in Buddhism). I tried very hard to learn how to die consciously. It was the only goal I had. Nothing else mattered to me. Why would it? The world as the scriptures taught me, is just an illusion.
Recently I was struggling with my mind and was experiencing exhaustion. I could barely focus on anything longer than a few minutes and the exhaustion felt deep and existential.
My thoughts were around how it's all so meaningless. I'm too tired to care. What's the point? It's all so meaningless. So much suffering (mine and others). So many lifetimes of seeking, of trying and what has it done? Nothing. I have nothing to show for any of it.
I had an experience.
It happened while bartending. Over 12 years ago.
The bar I worked in had a cigarette machine in the back. The bartenders were told to keep an eye out for under-18 teens sneaking in to get cigarettes.
One night three young-looking guys walked in and headed toward the cigarettes. I stopped them to check their I.D.s.
I’ve been exploring what ‘life purpose’ really means.
When I was younger and not happy with my life, I wanted to find the work that would fulfill me. If I’m going to spend so much of my life in a job or career I want it to be joyful and fun.
I didn’t know what I wanted to do and had very little I felt passionate about. And all the questionnaires and books on choosing a career or finding my purpose didn’t help me.
Some of you can relate to this. The constant assessing of the mind. How am I doing? Did I do or say that correctly? Is it good enough? The comparing with other people.
Or worrying about what people think. Second-guessing. Doubting. On and on it goes. That’s what mine can sound like. Yours may have its own default trajectory.
I’ve been noticing in some people who even though they have no interest in this whole inner work stuff, they will actually light up when speaking about a dream they’ve had.
It’s really cool to see that.
They wonder what the dream means. What it symbolizes. And sometimes they will even open up about their inner world when they normally wouldn’t.
The dream becomes an opening. A safe way to take a closer look.
I’ve always had this gift (curse?) of making something small and enlarging it, expanding on it, embellishing it. Stretching it for miles and miles.
I did this with situations that were painful for me. Creating all kinds of fear scenarios. All kinds of stories. Rolling them around in my fearful worried head. Hanging onto it for as long as I can.
What used to seem like a bad habit, I’ve made it into a gift now. I’m now making mountains out of what feels good. Taking tiny beautiful moments and pulling whole universes out of them.
It’s February, the month of Love. It's another excuse to turn up the heat on your Inner Flame. Drenching each cell in your body with ruby red, juicy, and luscious love.
Even when you are howling from that deep bottomless ache inside of you. Even when life feels impossibly hard and there is pain and fear. Are you willing to open to the possibility of embodied pleasure and love? Even if it just means letting yourself feel the coziness and softness of the bed covers you are hiding under. Or smelling your favorite oil or perfume and noticing how sensual and yummy it makes you feel. Letting that in. For even just a moment.
Author: Leela Haris ~ Intuition
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