Monday, 20 October 2014

Loss and Love

It’s coming up to another end of year and, as per every year, albeit this year a little earlier than usual for some unknown reason, I start to evaluate everything that has happened and everything that, potentially, is yet to come - not only with regards to my life but, also, with regards to my life in respect to everything and everyone around me.

This year, more than usual, there seems to have been a lot of loss around me. Or, maybe the older we get, the more natural it becomes for people to start departing this plain. Many people I have had the pleasure of exchanging views with and walking the path with, for a while now, virtually and otherwise, have passed into the realm of peace. Many others, as I type, are going through some kind of suffering; whether it be illness, inability to survive in a world where money has become an essential part of living, natural disasters or heartbreak.
The point is, everyone on this planet suffers with something.

As a lot of you know, even though I accept death as just another step in our evolutionary process, I have been struggling with my own grief for the last 4 years after the death of someone who was like a baby sister, a daughter and a friend. I grasped at every single memory, wept on every occasion and, even, went as radically far as up rooting; leaving a perfectly good life in Madeira to retreat to Spain. Yet, nothing eased the pain except the slow acceptance of the cycle of life and time even when it seems to be at its cruelest.

The truth is, there is no such thing as a cruel life. Life is what we make it and we end up with what we attract. Every thought produces an action. Every action creates a pattern and every pattern draws us to what we want; whether we truly want it or not. What we invest our energy into is what we will ultimately attract. We, basically, get what we focus on. We create every aspect of our lives and we choose who to have in it.

People argue that they don’t attract bad people, or disasters, into their lives, but they do. Whatever you put our into the world, is what you will get back. If you think negative and behave negatively, you will attract negativity and negative people. If you think positively and behave positively, you will attract goodness and everything that is positive for your life.
The best part about all this is that we choose. Nobody chooses for us.

When we close ourselves off in a dark hole, and trust me, I know because I did it for a year while I was still in Madeira and a another year after I came to Spain, everything around us becomes dark. Maybe through the trauma or the great shock we receive, we become blind to everything and everyone around us because it’s almost as if we’re looking at an invisible brick wall that stands between the sorrow we feel and the happiness that awaits us on the other side. The best bit is that a part of us wants to see over the wall and experience that happiness while another part of us wants to continue to wallow in sorrow.  

I hear you ask why we would wish to wallow in our sorrow and pain when it’s so destructive for us. Well, for one, because it’s easier to become the victim in our own self pity than it is to stand strong and be happy.  Two, whilst we are a victim, people show us loving kindness and attention, and three, most people have a complex of some kind and for some absurd reason, they feel unworthy of love and happiness and, thus, feel guilty at feeling joy at such a sad time. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a conscious feeling but, none the less, it’s there. Let’s not forget, as well, that in a kind of sadistic way, our pain becomes our comfort. It becomes a safe place where we can hide and not have to face the world.

As far as loss goes, of anyone or anything, we need to remember that nothing in life is permanent. Everything is subject to change. Chatting about the cruelty of life and people being snatched away from us, I recently said to a friend on Facebook
that nobody is snatched from anybody. It may feel that way but, in truth, we all have a time to come into this world and a time to leave. It’s the Kalachakra of life (according to Buddhism).  We all come here with a purpose and our purposes may be very different to one another. When we have achieved that purpose, we depart. We carry on with our journey; leaving others to carry on with theirs. What we need to accept is that every single hello must end with a goodbye of some kind because everyone has their own journey to travel, and sadly, we must travel it alone.

Of course, along our path, on this beautiful journey of life, we meet many people. Some stay in our lives for long periods of time and some just walk a short distance with us. We will never forget some people and others, we will forget the minute they're gone. We grieve the loss, but what we should do instead is rejoice the time we shared together, good or bad, rejoice for what we learned, rejoice for the strength a situation gave us, rejoice because we changed our way of thinking, we became a little wiser, a little more patient, a little more flexible or even a little more loving and compassionate. Everyone on our path taught us something. When we look back without the emotions attached to a person or a situation, we find that we grew more with what, apparently, seemed bad than with what apparently seemed like roses and poetry. 

We focus too much on the negative. Instead, we should think about the positive. First and foremost, for me it’s an honour and a blessing that someone else would want to share our journey and walk our path with us, whether it’s for a day, a month, a year or a lifetime. Since we all have the free will to choose to do as we please, some more than others of course, I consider it of the highest honour that another human being chooses to be my friend, my lover, my partner and a life long influence, because even long after that person has chosen to leave my life, the influence remains and the lessons learned never leave me. In this time of virtual friendships, it’s even more of an honour that someone you’e never met would want to be there for you and share in your life. 

At some point during everyone’s life, someone has loved them without being retributed, how lucky is that? Usually when it happens we are not mature enough to appreciate it. Just think how lucky it is to love someone who doesn’t love you back. It shows you are capable of loving without receiving; that you can give without expecting anything in return. Of course, we get too involved in the despair of it all, and the selfishness of expecting them to love us right back, to truly understand what a blessing it is. If only we could harness that love, control it and direct it at every human being on this planet and help them, in some way, without expecting anything in return. What a wonderful world we would create. 

Anyone who has ever been shown love or shown love is truly lucky. Some people will live their entire life without knowing what love, kindness and compassion are. Even when someone treats us badly, rips us off or tries to hurt us, we are lucky. Those people are teaching us to be wise and cautious. They help to improve our sense of understanding of this materialistic world we live in, which helps us to navigate our way through all obstacles we encounter. If we could stop for a moment and see those people as our teachers, we could smile at the whole situation instead of causing grievous bodily harm to ourselves with stress, anger and impotence.

As for losing things, well, the trick is to never be attached to something so much that you can’t live without it. Nothing lasts, and as many disasters have proven to us, it only takes a split second for everything to be reclaimed by mother nature. Nothing is truly ours anyway. As I discovered, first hand, when I had my near death experience, we take nothing with us into the next phase of being; literally nothing. 

Owning possessions has become a way for clever corporations to make you a slave for their ever increasing bank account. Things have become a way to keep people distracted, amused and separated. With more, or less, things, we believe in a so called differential social class. We compete with each other for the bigger, the best and the newest. It’s only because we believe in this social class that it exists, because, believe it or not, we are all the same. No amount of possessions and no fictitious social standing is going to protect anyone from disease, illness or death.

Owning as many possessions as possible has been sold, to us, as a reward system for the hard labour we endure in order to buy things. Marketing campaigns are so psychologically clever that we crave things before they come on the market. We queue for hours to buy, buy, buy. We’ve allowed ourselves to become slaves of things to such a point that we’ve put their importance above that of human lives. In fact, we’ve become immune to the loss of life.

We are slaves to TV; mind-washed by fear and always fighting for something or other; whether it be physically (as in war), emotionally (as in spiritual) or mentally (as in intellectually and politically.) 

I think it’s time we all realise just how much impact we have on one another and I think it’s time we make some conscious decisions about whether that impact is positive or not. I influence you, you influence your friend, your friend influences their friend and before you know it the whole world has been touched by one person. Be responsible in your choices, your thoughts and your actions, please, for all our sakes.

One global love

Thursday, 24 April 2014

From the flowering Udumbara ...

Dear Chinese Government,

It's time.

The wheel of Dharma has been turned, not once but twice. There is one final turn left and not even you will be able to stop the events about to come. None of us will.

The Universe has conspired to bring about a peaceful transition and change is inevitable so you too may as well embrace it.

Try as you will to eradicate a nation, a culture, a religion and a people, you have done nothing more than fuel a fire that burns deep in the heart of every Tibetan and the ones who love them around the globe.

The irony is that the more you tty to erase every trace of them, the more determined you make them. Their legacy is now global and they shall survive long after your heartless leaders have departed from this world. You made and make them stronger. For that, I am truly grateful to you. You made my people the great survivors they are now.

It is time for you to learn there is no supreme race on this planet just a single human race.

The twist in the knife you so gravely wish to implant is that your own people have become influenced and are getting closer and closer to Tibetans. Have you ever considered why?

The double irony is that in wishing to erase Tibetan culture, you have corrupt your own. Maybe it"s because your people find hope among Tibetans. Maybe it"s becausd they admire their peaceful determination. Maybe it"s because Tibetans have qualities your corrupt leaders can only dream of and maybe it"s because among Tibetans their life has value, which you have always paid little attention to.

I find it rather amusing that you took Budhism to Tibet centuries ago and now they are returning it to you by your own doing.

I am but a singular faint voice but you are making me stronger too. Soon I will be echoed a thousand times over.

You cannot stop the inevitable.
The Dharma wheel has been turned.
Turn with it in peace and harmony.

Yours truly budding

The Flowering Udumbara

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Happy Women's Day to every woman, girl, child and baby around the world.

To all the beautiful ladies around the world,

It's not easy being a woman nowadays. So much pressure is put upon us to be one way or another, to behave one way or another, to look one way or another. We're given false illusions of what beauty truly is. Everywhere we turn, we're led to believe we're not good enough. We're laughed at, ridiculed, bullied and name called when we don't fit the false standard big corporations (making the money) set for us.

Well, ladies of the world ... let me tell you. You don't have to be any one particular way. There is no right or wrong way of looking, behaving or being as long as you are being true to yourself. You don't have to look like some plastic "Hollywood" fabrication to be accepted. You don't have to dress with as little as possible to show who you are. You are neither your looks nor your clothes. These are cleverly designed marketing strategies to make you feel inadequate. The more you buy, the more big commercial companies laugh all the way tot he bank.

These companies would have you believe you're not beautiful just so you would buy their latest makeup or sunglasses to hide your real beauty. They would have you believe you're not thin enough just so you buy into the latest diet fad and line their pockets with your hard earned cash. They would make you believe that you're never going to fall in love unless you comply to rules they have set, for you, according to their own desire for greed and power.

I'm here to tell you that all you need to be beautiful, radiant, full of love and desirable, is to be a woman of substance - A woman of compassion, a woman who knows what she wants and how to get it - A woman who doesn't need to trample all over others to get to where she wants to go. All you need is to have the inner strength to stand up and be who you truly are within you, and trust me, who you truly are within is more beautiful than makeup, clothes and the latest fad diet.

All you need to receive love, kindness and compassion from others is to give that love, kindness and compassion. However, let me tell you that there is no greater love in this world than the love you can give yourself. If you want happiness, learn to be happy and share that happiness with others.  Whatever you put out into this world is what you will get back tenfold.

All you need is to shine bright like the true star you really are and illuminate the way for yourself and others. Be firm if necessary but never lose your tenderness. Be strong but don't forget to be flexible and delicate. Cry if you have to but 9 times out of 10 make sure they're tears of happiness. See beauty everywhere you go and beauty will be seen in you. Learn to forgive and forget and, for sure, others will forgive and forget too. Laugh out loud and others will laugh with you. Be infectious and spread the light you have within.

Above all just be yourself and if "yourself" doesn't fit in with everyone else, be proud that you stand out from the crowd. The world needs people who are different and who break free from the chains that binds society. Don't be afraid to be that difference and make a difference.

When you look at yourself in the mirror, be proud of who you are and what you've become. Honour yourself. Love every curve and every line for only you can know the true extent of this life journey you've been on.  Be proud to be one of life's survivors. Be proud to be a woman.

Most of all ... don't forget to simply "be a woman."

Don't forget one important thing ... Don't let anyone tell you "you can't". You can be whatever you want. You can whatever you set your mind, body and soul to. All you need is the determination to succeed and the courage to see your dreams through. Remember, all dreams are just dreams until you put them into practice. Add the effort on your part and they become reality. Just go for it!

Happy women's day!

Please feel free to share this if you think it contains a message that is relevant for any woman you know.

Photo courtesy of http://www.fantasticprovence.com

Sunday, 19 January 2014

From the flowering Udumbara

Dear Chinese Government,

I am the voice you wish to silence. I am the one who exists in this lifetime, yet speaks from the spirit of ages. I am the one you should fear. For I am the one who will keep the fire of life burning in the hearts of my people.

Although I may seem like a mere mortal in this lifetime, I am the soul of centuries. I am the fire from the flame that never dies.

I have lived through wars and famines. I have watched as all life ceased and started again. I have watched in silence as man killed man. I cried tears of lotus leaves when you tore the heart out of he who dared to carry my name but not relinquish his people.

I have returned for the love of my people. You know this and I know this. You cannot kill me. I am everywhere. I speak through the voice and with the voice of millions.

The very core of my heart grows stronger every day as I learn more; as does the love I share with those who call to me.

I hear the cries of those you hold in chains. I feel the pain of those you beat because they yield not to your will. I know the burial grounds of every corpse you have violated. Yet, you cannot kill me. Your time has come. Relinquish. The wind has changed. You know it and I know it. The tide has turned. You know it and I know it.

My people are already free. You know it and I know it. You cannot bound that which you do not possess; that which you cannot possess. You know it and I know it.

Freedom is relative. Spirit is free. The heart is free. The will is free. Land is a matter of material convention. Politics are a mere dispute to justify gross salaries and inflated egos.

I am the prediction. I am the prophecy. I am the flower you wish to deny. I am the beginning, I am the end and I am the middle ground. I see all. I hear all. I feel all.

You cannot kill me for I am eternity, but if you wish to know my name; you may call me hope.

The flowering Udumbara

Watching over Tibetans everywhere

Photograph courtesy of:

http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/