Monday, January 2, 2012

Correct Yourself

And so it begins…2012 has arrived and, whether there is some prophetic galactic convergence on the winter solstice in December or not, change is upon us. There has been a fundamental shift in the world that we can no longer turn a blind eye to. It is starting to affect the daily lives of more and more people. The circus-like distractions of the mainstream media are no longer able to divert our attention from what is happening. The basic tenets of fairness and rule of law have been broken by greed and selfishness. Free market Capitalism is failing, the climate is a wreck, and the already-scarce resources of the planet are shrinking every day. Hubris and fear threaten to tip the world into chaos. The world is much in need of correcting.

There is an old Chinese proverb that states if you want to correct the world, correct the state; if you want to correct the state, correct the family; if you want to correct the family, correct yourself.

It is time to correct yourself. It is the only way you are going to make it through this. You can no longer live in distraction and fear. You must now turn towards what is good, and right and just. This means taking responsibility for yourself and owning what is yours. It means you must start working on being present in every moment of every day and maintaining balance along your path.

Staying present can be a challenge for yogis who live in the mountains and meditate every day. For the rest of us in today’s crazy world it is downright impossible. But we must now do the impossible if we want to avoid the inevitable. Yes, there is too much going on and it may often feel like you are one inch from the edge, however, if you are to continue on this journey and bring peace, love and light into the world, staying present is vital. Staying present provides a solid ground from which to focus on difficulties as they arise. It is a way to take control of things and get your life in order. It is no longer an option to spend your time distracting yourself as you try to escape from being present.

There are three ways of distract yourself from staying present: Looking Forward, Looking Backward, and Looking Sideways.

Looking Forward is focusing on the future. This happens when you become diverted from the present moment by wishing or wanting things to be different. It also happens when you seek to protect yourself from imagined consequences of present situations or when you try to find ways to undo what you have done. In reality Looking Forward is merely an attempt to escape from a present moment you are unhappy with. The truth is that the only way around a problem is through it. Face your difficulties with courage and honesty. The creative power of the universe is available if you are able to acknowledge the power of right and good.

Looking Backward is focusing on the past. This happens when you spend your time wishing you had made different choices and blaming yourself for things that have happened. You also are Looking Backward when you feed your ego by congratulating yourself on things you have accomplished. Looking Backward is another method for escaping from the present moment. It is time to let go of all of the baggage you are carrying. If you are dragging all of that stuff behind you it is impossible to open yourself to new opportunities and experiences that appear before you.

Looking Sideways is looking at anything but yourself in the present moment. This happens when you spend your time comparing your situation with others. If you gauge your rate of progress through the rate of progress of others it is very easy to get caught up in envy and resentment. Envy comes from the perception that others have more than you do and resentment comes from the perception that others have it easier. The truth is that everyone is on his or her own journey. Each of us has our own struggles. Someone’s good fortune is not to be looked upon with covetous eyes. Turn your attention away from what other people do or have. Focus on yourself.

When you are not satisfied with your lot in life it is very easy to get drawn down into a negative spiral of fear and disappointment. Focusing on Looking Forward, Looking Backward or Looking Sideways is a diversion from dealing with the present moment. When you are distracted by wishing, wanting, blame or resentment, you are unable to act spontaneously as the moment demands. If you are looking at the goal rather than the needs of the moment, it is very likely you will stumble over something in the road. If you are looking back at where you came from rather than the path forward, you are likely to run smack into something. If you are looking around at what the other people are doing rather than paying attention to your own life, you will get lost.

The time is now to pay attention to yourself. Let things happen by allowing to be guided by the present moment. Focus only on that which is before you. Cultivate an attitude that is concerned with what is essential and correct. Leave the rest be.

The force of inner truth influences us. No matter the darkness we find before us, going through it is the only way to reach the light.  Be simple in your needs. Be sincere in your interactions with others. Be serene in your state of mind. It is the only path forward.

Wishing you much peace.

1 comment:

yariten said...

Thank you sensei --so beautifully put and so needed right now. Be the change you want to see - but recognise your tendencies to turn a blind eye and don't simply go the easy ignorant route. Many warm osses!

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