Monday, June 22, 2009

A Belated Thanks

In April, The Ruby Canary awarded me with the Premio Dardos Award. I know this is belated, but I want to thank her for mentioning my blog so many times on her own blog. It is such an honor to be recommended by a fellow blogger who I have yet to meet, but have read a lot about. I highly recommend her blog for interesting books and travel in Korea.

Premio Dardos Award

According to information sited on The Ruby Canary's blog,

“This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.”

She also nominated other blogs, but had this to say about mine,

"A great narrative of a woman who married a South Korean monk she befriended while working overseas."

There are so many fantastic blogs out there and it is hard to find time to read all the posts I'd like to, but I read as many as I can. I am particularly interested in blogs that support a positive change in this world. I'm also interested in blogs about travel and also blogs about Korea, since I spent so much time there. Positive change in this world is not the work of one individual, it is the work of so many. By supporting each other, we acknowledge that all our own personal efforts for instigating change are only effective if there are other like-minded individuals who are also sharing writing, art, music, information and other talents or work with the world.

Here are just a few great blogs by some like-minded individuals. I have had a nice exchange with several of these blog authors:

1. Life Notes-A blog about gratitude and positive observations about life

2. Wandering Photographer- Beautiful photography of Ireland as well as lessons in life

3. Lifeworks Living-Funny, interesting stories about a woman who decided to leave it all behind and live her dream life in Mexico

4. The Lotus Sutra Chronicles-humorous stories and observations on living in South Korea

There are so many others I have just begun to follow, but don't know enough about to recommend yet.

I'm grateful to everyone who has read, become a fan or recommended my blog to others. I write because I feel I have something to share with the world. All of your kind words are what keeps me going and what gives me a reason to keep writing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Greatest Luxury

If you could have anything in the world right now, what would it be? Is it surprising that the things we think we want, never turn out to be the things we need. Humans are always chasing after the next thing. As soon as one desire is fulfilled, there's something else we want. Are we ever satisfied? My meditation teacher, SN Goenka, says this about human desire:

"It's a bottomless pit, you can't fill it."

If we have a car, we want a newer one. If we have a house, we want to remodel it. If we don't have children, we want children. If we have children, sometimes we'd like them to disappear. Most of the people I talk to on a daily basis feel that there simply isn't enough time to do everything they want to do. There isn't enough time? Hmmmmm....let's think about that one.

Actually, there's the same amount of time in every day, so saying that there isn't enough time isn't exactly true. Some people fill up every possible time slot in their appointment books. By the end of the day they are exhausted. Time is only made up of events. Without events like waking up, eating breakfast, taking the kids to school, and going to work, there wouldn't be time. If you tell someone you don't have time, what your are really saying is, "I value another event more than an event with you." Since that is socially unacceptable, we just say, "I don't have time."

If you are feeling worn out, exhausted, sleep deprived, over-worked and underpaid, are you really making good choices about the events you are choosing to fill-up this so called "time?"

In his book, A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle says, "it (time) isn't something that has an objective existence "out there." It is a mind-structure needed for sensory perception, indispensable for practical purposes, but the greatest hindrance to knowing yourself." He also says,

"The elimination of time from your consciousness is the elimination of ego. It is the only true spiritual practice."

He goes on to say, "whenever you allow this moment to be as it is, you dissolve time as well as the ego."

We have all had the experience of having expectations built up around an event, only to have everything come crashing down on us. Having expectations about something or someone often leads to disappointment. The most beautiful moments of my life happened when I let go of any ideas or preconceived notions of how an event should unfold. Witnessing each moment as it unfolds naturally leads to complete peace. Allowing each event to unfold on it's own, without trying to control it, brings deep happiness. The more this occurs in our lives the more freedom we will begin to feel.
If you have read this far, perhaps you already know what the "greatest luxury" is and you already possess it. For conventional purposes, we'll call it "time." If you fully understand, you will realize that time doesn't exist. All we ever really have is this moment. How are you spending this moment right now? It is all you have.