and then I began again

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If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is and who and what is really important- if you want to operate on your default setting- then you, like me, probably will not consider possibilities that aren’t pointless and annoying. But if you’ve really learned how to think, how to pay attention, then you will know you have other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars- compassion, love, the subsurface unity of all things. Not that the mystical stuff’s necessarily true: The only thing that’s capital- T True is that you get to decide how you’re going to try to see it. This, I submit, is the freedom of real education, of learning how to be well-adjusted: You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn’t. You get to decide what to worship.

Because here’s something else that’s true. In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is actually no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship- be it J.C. or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles- is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things- if they are where you tap real meaning in life- then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It’s the truth. The trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness.

But of course there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day.  That is real freedom.

~David Foster Wallace

we forget how much endless choice feeds our capacities, our fears, and our denial….

inquiry for today~   when will you stop fighting yourself today? why choose peace?

how many ways?

For all of us, the starting place of healing is reconciliation with our own heart. Whether we are unable to forgive ourselves for what seems a major wrongdoing, or we have locked into chronic self-judgment, we are at war, cut off from our own tenderness, our own spirit. If we can see past our faults to our human vulnerability, we are on the path of reconciliation. Our self-compassion will naturally lead to caring about others, and perhaps, to an experience of love and connectedness we never imagined possible.

~Tara Brach

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