Look at ourselves

Let’s really look into ourselves, for once, candidly and unstintingly. What are we seeking? What are we missing, if anything? What do we want? Let’s put it very crassly. Not just what do we “aspire to,” but what the hell do we really want? And then try to go for that. Even if it’s just money or a new car or love interest. Because then when we have that, we might still find that we want more. Then we must go on and look deeper until we find what is really satisfying, fulfilling, and leads to long term contentment. But if we are afraid to reach out, afraid to ask, to want or take anything for ourselves; if we pretend we don’t want anything; if we deny all our impulses, desires, hopes, wishes and needs, then we don’t get anywhere. We take all the passion and energy, drive and juice out of our path.

So I ask you: Ask yourself what you are really seeking and want, your greatest desire? Also, what are you afraid of? What is holding you back? What is your greatest fear, and would you be willing to face it? I assure you that fear is already motivating and conditioning you, unconsciously or obviously. The Dharma is the end of all desire. Not the end of passion, but the end of craving and grasping at desire in unhealthy ways. Spiritual freedom and autonomy brings liberation and the immense untapped raw energy that awaits us just below the surface of desire and passion.

I take refuge in awareness and reality-testing, and awaken warm and empathic compassion in recognizing others in similar situations. Fearlessly seek what we are after, and penetrate deeply. We can’t control our conditioning and karma, but we can learn how to be more skillful with them, and ultimately how to be accepting and one with them as well as free of their unhappy effects.

With love & blessings,
Lama Surya Das

Article Source – http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Looking-at-Ourselves.html?soid=1103289318709&aid=7eSkbcHdATY

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Natural Meditation Group Practice – Orange County

Tuesday Evening Weekly Meditation Group
in Orange County

All are welcome at this regular gathering, which is offered free of charge. We will practice natural meditation together, supported by chanting and teachings, in the Dzogchen tradition of Nyoshul Khenpo Rinpoche and Lama Surya Das.

This weekly session is a wonderful opportunity for meditation in a group setting, and to connect with this timeless contemplative tradition. It is entirely appropriate for those new to meditation, as well as those more experienced. This activity is offered free of charge, and is open to all.

For map and directions, please visit here – http://www.dzogchenla.org/event-1915843

Happy Holydays!

One of my inspirations is the late Boston teacher Howard Thurman (1899-1981),  a great thinker, educator, and peace-activist—Dr. ML King’s mentor– he taught me how important this attitude is for each of us personally and for the well being …of our world. He says: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Those who are alive in this sense look at our suffering world with compassion. Deep inside they know the truth of St. Augustine’s advice: “Look at the whole: Praise the whole.” This vision of the whole triggers an inner singing that echoes on, long after the song of the Christmas angels has fallen silent. Howard Thurman says of it:
“When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,
The work of Christmas begins:
To find the lost,
To heal the broken,
To feed the hungry,
To release the prisoner,
To rebuild the nations,

For More information about Lama Surya Das feel free to visit – http://www.surya.org

To bring peace among people,
To make music in the heart.”

Who Decides Who Decides?

Watching the recent election results, I’ve certainly noticed that the pendulum of public opinion seems to swing back and forth in much shorter cycles than it used to — just like in so many other areas of life in this hurried age. A single party used to control the House or Senate for decades, as for example during the FDR era. Now each administration seems to suffer a similar fate through being incapable of satisfying the public by living up to voters’ hopes and expectations.

But who actually decides who’s in charge? And who decides who decides? Is it really the voters? Or is it the lobbyists, or the talking heads? I personally would like to vote for reason and universal consideration and concern being at the helm, challenging as that ideal may be.

Now there is not going to be a single African-American in the United States Senate, which does not bode well for our methods of representation. (There do happen to be two Buddhist members of Congress; one is a woman from Hawaii.) This imbalance and lack of diversity reflects the world of power politics rather than the real day to day which we live in; it is a symptom of selfishness and lack of perspective, which is at the root of inequality and iniquity of all kinds.

Without diversity and the art of compromise, extreme voices sharpen and the decibel level rises without any significant gain in mutual understanding or agreement. I hear too much strident criticism without much in the way of viable solutions to the problems we face. Without meaningful public conversation, tolerance and empathic compassion, short term gains and goals are forced to the fore at the expense of more long term concerns. Instant gratification is the law of the land. Being re-elected becomes more important than governing well, while deeper meaning and purpose-such gets lost in the rush to power and success. Where are the more moderate, reflective, truly constrictive voices attuned to the complexity of life and our issues today?

The speed of life today and our ingrained hyper-reactivity makes so many of us fall prey to small groups of canny strategists bent upon eliciting specific responses conducive to their own narrow ends through buzz words, provocative slogans, and highlighting wedge issues. For example, religion, which was originally intended to be a unifying force, has become a divisive one today. I believe we would do well to focus on finding a middle way of balance and inclusiveness.

The United States of America has for long stood out as the symbol of the free world. So we must be strong, resolute and decisive including vision, compassionate action, and long term planning in our civic lives. We would do well to listen to other viewpoints, focus on the deeper meaning, and remember the purpose and value of our brief life on this fragile planet. In our busy lives, it is ever so important not to get caught up in mere reactivity and end up feeling disempowered or even victimized. When you are able to focus on long term vision and deeper goals, you are the one who decides.

Article Source – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lama-surya-das/who-decides-who-decides_b_783759.html

To find out more about Lama Surya Das, visit www.surya.org/.

For more information on Surya’s books- visit www.surya.org/books/

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