Personal Note

My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From your thoughts, you can create greatness.

This is what I need to remind myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create. Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgemental, love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are love.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sundays With Buddha


Week Four

Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.

I picked this quote because my son is graduating high school this Sunday and this is wisdom that I have tried to instill in him his entire life.

I resist the urge to look up a quote, such as this one, to read someone else’s interpretation. I think it defies the purpose of working through this journal. I believe you are to find your own meaning and adapt it to your own life, making it useful to you in this modern age. Most of these lessons seem pretty straight forward to me, while others are a bit more perplexing, so these are just my interpretations. Maybe they will trigger something in you that you can apply to your own life.

That being said, my interpretation of this quote is something I have taught my son, and have been working towards for myself, for many years. The Buddha’s lessons are all about Peace and Happiness. Through his enlightened wisdom he offers you examples of how to begin to reach these states. As you will see, he does not ask you to perform great feats of overpowering another, but the greatest feat of overpowering: that of yourself. Only with producing harmony within yourself can you become harmonious with another.

One of the ways to this harmonious state is to become happy with your state of being. How do you become happy with your state of being? I believe this quote tells you one major way to gain the happiness that you seek.

I have been searching for mine for some time. I know I have found it in writing, but it is scary to feel I must give everything else up to pursue it; I have a full time job. But, I realize, I am giving myself to it. These lessons are but a tool to self-discovery. As I have said before, nothing happens overnight. Everything takes work, but if it’s work towards something you love, it doesn’t feel like work at all. And I don’t feel I have to give up my steady job to pursue it, either. I have done a lot of trial and error ‘work’ to find what I feel is my true purpose, and now I am giving myself to it. That, in and of itself, may be a bit of trial and error. But I don’t mind, because I am passionate about it.

When you take the time to center upon yourself and really search for what makes you happy, that is “discovering your work.” Taking the time to center upon yourself and really search out what it is that you feel your “work” or ultimate purpose is, is that  work” with which you should “…then with all your heart to give yourself to it”, meaning, once you’ve discovered what your work or purpose is, you give yourself to it, wholeheartedly.

So, how does this pertain to my son's graduation today?
I have always taught him to never get himself stuck in a career or job just to make money or survive. I’ve always told him to pursue what makes him happy, what he’s passionate about. He has the full understanding that, in this society, one needs an income. But it is not necessary to give yourself over to “the almighty dollar.”

He is fortunate enough to be just at the threshold of his life, to have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes. If doing what you love means making less money, you adapt your life to need less. If you don’t become attached to all the possessions that many believe give you status and happiness you don’t miss these things. If you do the type of work on yourself that gains you the understanding that happiness does not come from without, but within, then most likely the inherent release of attachment to things will follow.

This means that you can pursue things that make you happy and enjoy all the things you have, but stay unattached so that you can let them go if they all go away, and not be destroyed by their loss and absence, as the things aren’t what you should ever rely on for your happiness (but that’s a whole other quote to explore).

I don't think our generation always fully realizes how the world is changing for our youth that is heading out into the work force. There are many University graduates left with high student loans and no jobs in the corporate world. Most of these graduates were following a set of "rules" laid down by a society that they have grown out of, for wanting to do the "right thing". I am not saying that these kids are wrong in what they picked, as long as they are happy and truly passionate about their 'work'.  But I have been hearing a lot more lately of people leaving their jobs in pursuit of a more passion driven path. Sometimes out of necessity due to becoming unemployed, or because they just couldn't take the dread of going through the monotony any longer. If everyone was afforded this opportunity, can you imagine how much happier this world would be to live in? 

 While my son is going to college, he picked where as well as his major and minor.  He is a musician and has already produced several pieces of music, starting at just 16. He is interested in music production and education and I support him in that because it is his passion, his gift and is what makes him happy.

I had a conversation with someone at work who told me there was no money in music, production or otherwise. Not a musician himself, mind you, but someone who probably meant well enough. But if we always give in to other people's opinions and let naysayers sway our decisions, we may not have all of the wonderful discoveries and inventions we are now blessed with. 
I taught my son not to pay attention to what others may try to discourage him from. Never let someone else crush your dreams or tell you that you 'can't'. It's also not always all about the money. You can't put a price tag on your passion. If you make yourself happy, you will be in a state of being that will bring to you all that you need. Richness is being happy with you, and what you do. If your work ends up touching another in the process, all the better.
 These are lessons that I wish I had been taught earlier in my own life, to live passionately and not get stuck doing what is perceived as the 'right thing'. But I am working on the change I need to live from my own heart. Change is always available to you. There are no stone walls built around you. Your path is paved by the bricks that you lay. 

So, you may wonder if he thinks this career path will make him wealthy. He doesn’t ever talk about that, really, except for the richness of his life by following his passion. He knows the trade-off for living your passion is possibly the under abundance of money in the bank. He just wants to make music and teach others how to do the same. He wants to encourage other youth to follow their dreams and believe in themselves, too. That dreaming big and going for it is not unattainable, when you believe in yourself.
Boy, that's rich.

He’s done his work, he’s discovered his work and you better believe he’s given himself to it…wholeheartedly.

And I couldn’t be more proud.  
Thanks for being with me today.

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