Sunday, July 28, 2013

Learning To Be The Light - The Big Picture

I have been reminded lately that "we are the sun, and not the clouds." That reminded me of the story of the optimist who is digging through the pile of dung trying to find a pony. In that case, we are the pony and not the dung. Ajahan Brahm tells the story of building a wall with one crooked brick and focusing on that one mistake at the expense of all the rest done properly.

That seems to be the problem, getting wrapped up in the cloudy smelly stuff of life, and forgetting to enjoy the goodness. "But life is very cloudy and smelly!" you say. True, there are still many wars going on, political abuses, an ecological crisis, and many other serious problems we must face, but if we focus mainly on the bad, it is all too easy to miss out on the good.

That's the point here. How can we focus on the good so as to keep a good attitude to deal with and improve life without getting dragged down by difficulties? For me, it is the big picture. this may not work for you, but it might, so here goes. I start with creation. If it was just all the planets, stars, solar systems, and galaxies, that is amazing in itself.

Do you ever consider what a marvel astronomy really is? Yet after a few billion years of that incredible scenario, something infinitely more amazing happened; life. Something magnificently diverse, tenacious, abundant, intelligent, and beautiful came to fill the the landscape, even changing the whole dynamic of the surface of our planet and most likely many others.

Imagine the great flocks of birds in the skies, schools of fish in rivers, wildebeests across the plains of Africa, wolves playing in the forests, whales breaching in the ocean, and so on. The story of life through-out the ages is certainly amazing, emotional, and dramatic. Thinking on that for a few minutes should bring a smile to your face and some passion to your soul.

Consider now, the also wonderful and beautiful story that is humanity. We have developed the sciences of astronomy, geology, oceanography, psychology, biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, reasoning, and philosophy as well as the fine arts, liberal arts, visual arts, decorative arts, applied arts, design crafts, performing arts, and so on to an incredible degree. The play of human events has been just as amazing, emotional, and dramatic.

It unfortunately has also been a story of great misery, suffering, and pain, but let's set that aside for now and tap into the helping, healing, and beneficent side of the story. Think on that for a few minutes, the great intelligence of the sciences, and great beauty of the arts we created and elevated to a profound degree. That should stir your soul. If not, there is one more superb example of excellence of life; you.

Think for a moment all of the wonderful, relationships, experiences, learning, trips, meals, books, movies, games, music, possessions, pets, homes, friends, and love you have had or seen. Then there are the simple things like a good shower, sleep, or conversation. Eighty two years of life are thirty thousand days to enjoy, many of them etched into eternity by their deep and  profound experiences. Think on that one for a good long while.

Congratulations! You just had your first guided meditation in the preciousness and wonder of life, from the big picture of all creation and life, down to the intimate but often seemingly infinite life that you have had. YOU are awesome, amazing, and wonderful. You may not think so, probably because you spend too much time thinking about what you don't have and haven't done rather than all the wonderful things you have done and are.

This is the light on the inside. Creation, life, and all the good things people have done are the light on the outside and just as important. All of this light can serve to shine through the clouds of dysfunction and unhappiness to bring us back to the well being that is our birthright and perfectly natural despite our thoughts otherwise, the BIG, beautiful picture of which you are an important part, the sun and not the clouds.

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