We have all stumbled at one time or another in our life but it is always a great thing that we can change with every new day and mold ourselves into the person that we want to be, at the pace at which we feel is comfortable. Constructing your reality is all you can do to achieve your desires. Changing the world is something you can only achieve by setting an example for others to follow. Put yourself in a position where everything you do and say are the tools that you use to manifest what you want.
Integrity and the ability to act on what you say is a very good way to learn how to follow through. When you follow through, the energy that you have composed in doing what you say you were going to do actually circulates instead of being blocked. When the energy is blocked, the energy stays within and builds up to be a bigger and more detouring energy which grows into a very constant state of procrastination. With this ever building energy of procrastination it will take twice as much work to get to the state of integrity that you are looking for.
Lack of integrity can cause relationships to go bad. People that make plans and don’t follow through with them, people that say one thing and do another thing, these are the people that I am speaking of in this case.
We have all had this happen to us and I am sure you didn’t like it. It is also safe to say that some of us have also had a lack of integrity at a certain times of our lives ourselves. To administer the correct action, it is best to rely on the truth and honesty when dealing with integrity based situations. Telling someone how it is honestly is always the best method of sealing the cracks in a particular situation. If you must partake in an action that you have planned and you have fallen out of the grasps of commitment, it is wise that you advise others of what it is that has changed your line of action. To mend all loose ends is an easy way to keep positive energy flowing.Will Barnes, author of 'The Expansion of The Soul'
Any path is only a path,
and there is no affront,
to oneself or to others,
in dropping it
if that is what your heart tells you.
Look at every path closely
Try it as many times
as you think necessary.
Then ask yourself,
and yourself alone, one question.
Does this path have a heart?
If it does, the path is good;
if it doesn't, it is of no use
Carlos Castanedafrom THE TAO OF PHYSICS Shambhala Publications, Inc http://dgswilson.com/pdf/taophysics.pdf
Yoga is to still the patterning of consciousness. Yoga is to still the thought waves of the mind. Yoga is to bring natural quiet to the mind and body - so that we can, for the first time, see clearly. And in this stillness - miraculously, outrageously - the knots undo themselves. Inner realities emerge. Inner stillness opens a doorway in the mind. A little trapdoor we have rarely noticed. A secret escape hatch for the mind that is not even in the western psychological user's manual. In order to be found, we must first acknowledge the radical degree to which we're lost. Then, we must pay very close attention:
Stand still. The trees ahead and the bushes beside you are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here, and you must treat it as a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to know it and be known. The forest breathes. Listen. It answers, I have made this place around you. If you leave it you may come back again, saying Here. No two trees are the same to Raven. No two branches are the same to Wren. If what a tree or a bush does is lost to you, you are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows where you are. You must let it find you.
The Warrior of Light holds the sword in his hands. He is the one who decides what he is going to do, and what he will not do in any circumstances. There are moments when life leads him to a crisis: he is forced to divorce himself from things he has always loved. Then the Warrior reflects. He assesses whether he is fulfilling God’s will or if he is acting through egoism.
If separation is really the path he must follow, he accepts it without complaining. However, if this separation is provoked by the perversity of others, then he is implacable in his answer. The Warrior possesses the art of the blow and the art of forgiveness. He knows how to use both with equal skill...
from the book “Warrior of Light: a manual” - Paulo Coelho
Life is always changing: we are always changing. We live in a river of change, and a river of change lives within us. Everyday we are given a choice: We can relax and float in the direction that water flows, or we can swim hard against it. If we go with the river, the energy of a thousand mountain streams will be with us, filling our hearts with courage and enthusiasm. If we resist the river, we will feel rankled and tired as we tread water, stuck in the same place.
If we had the patience and a high-powered microscope, we could sit and stare at our hands and watch the river of change flowing through our own bodies right now. We could watch our cells changing and dying and being replaced, over and over and over. From year to year, every one of our cells is replaced. Literally, who we were yesterday is not who we are today. Our skin is new every month, our liver every six weeks. When we inhale, we breathe in elements from other organisms to create new cells, and when we exhale, we send parts of ourselves out into the atmosphere - into the living, breathing universe. “All of us” writes the medical doctor Deepak Chopra, “are much more like a river than anything frozen in time and space.”
“I’ve known rivers” writes Langston Hughes. “I’ve known ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins. My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”
Am I going to flow with my river nature today, or am I going to swim against it? This is what I ask myself when I get out of bed each morning. And when I go to sleep, I apologize to the river gods for any hard strokes I made against the current, and for splashing about like a drowning person. I pray that tomorrow I may once again know the pleasure of following my own soul down stream, because I’ve know rivers - and once we’ve know rivers - once we have stretched out on the dark waters, trusting the river gods, going in the direction of life, even if its head first towards the rapids - we want to taste that water again; we want our souls to grow deep like the rivers again…
From my favorite book, Broken Open- Elizabeth Lesser
If we want to be free of the pain we inflict on ourselves and each other -- in other words, if we want to be happy -- then we have to learn to think for ourselves. We need to be responsible for ourselves and examine anything that claims to be the truth. That's what the Buddha did long ago to free himself from his own discontent and persistent doubts about what he heard, day after day, from his parents, teachers, and the palace priests. Although he was a prince born into a wealthy and powerful family, the young Siddhartha often just wanted to get away from it all. He wanted the space to think independently about who he was and what the spiritual path was about. Such freethinking was important to the Buddha's search for inner truth and his ultimate realization of enlightenment. These days more and more people in the West are following the teachings and example of the Buddha. But what are these teachings about? What is Buddhism?
It looks like a religion, but is it? There are many definitions of religion. Some are so broad they'd include your neighborhood garden club. Others are narrower: your garden club would need a deity, enthusiasm for that deity, and a set of beliefs and practices. We all have some sense of what religion means to us, but when we start talking about it -- trouble!
If you search "world religions," you'll find "Buddhism" on every list. Does that make Buddhism a religion? Does it mean that because I'm a Buddhist, I'm "religious"? I can argue that Buddhism is a science of mind -- a way of exploring how we think, feel and act that leads us to profound truths about who we are. I can also say that Buddhism is a philosophy of life -- a way to live that maximizes our chances for happiness.
What Buddhism is, at this point, is certainly out of the Buddha's hands. His teachings passed into the hands of his followers thousands of years ago. They passed from wandering beggars to monastic institutions, from the illiterate to the learned, from the esoteric East to the outspoken West. In its travels, Buddhism has been many things to many people. But what did the Buddha intend when he taught?
At the start of his own spiritual quest, Prince Siddhartha left his royal home, along with its many luxuries and privileges. He was determined to find answers to life's most perplexing questions. Are we born into the world just to suffer, grow old, and die? What's going on -- what's the meaning of it all? After years of experimenting with different forms of religious practice, he abandoned his austerities and all his concepts about his spiritual journey -- all the beliefs and doctrines that had led him to where he was. At the end of that journey, with only an open and curious mind, he discovered what he was looking for -- the great mind of enlightenment. He woke up from all confusion. He saw beyond all belief systems to the profound reality of the mind itself -- a state of clear awareness and supreme happiness. Along with that knowledge came an understanding of how to lead a meaningful and compassionate life. For the next forty-five years, he taught how to work with the mind: how to look at it, how to free it from misunderstandings, and how to realize the greatness of its potential.
Those teachings today still describe a deeply personal inner journey that's spiritual, yes, but not religious. The Buddha wasn't a god -- he wasn't even a Buddhist. You're not required to have more faith in the Buddha than you do in yourself. His power lies in his teachings, which show us how to work with our minds to realize our full capacity for wakefulness and happiness. These teachings can help us satisfy our search for the truth -- our need to know who and what we really are.
Where do we find this truth? Although we can rely to some degree on the wisdom we find in books and on the advice of respected spiritual authorities, that's only the beginning. The journey to genuine truth begins when you discover a true question -- one that comes from the heart -- from your own life and experience. That question will lead to an answer that will lead to another question, and so on. That's how it goes on the spiritual path.
We start by bringing an open, inquisitive, and skeptical mind to whatever we hear, read, or see that presents itself as the truth. We examine it with reason and we put it to the test in meditation and in our lives. As we gain insight into the workings of the mind, we learn how to recognize and deal with our day-to-day experiences of thoughts and emotions. We uncover inaccurate and unhelpful habits of thinking and begin to correct them. Eventually we're able to overcome the confusion that makes it so hard to see the mind's naturally brilliant awareness. In this sense, the Buddha's teachings are a method of investigation, or a science of mind.
Religion, on the other hand, often provides us with answers to life's big questions from the start. We don't have to think about it too much. We learn what to think and believe and our job is to live up to that, not to question it. If we relate to the Buddha's teachings as final answers that don't need to be examined, then we're practicing Buddhism as a religion.
In any case, we still have to live our lives and face up to how we're going to do it. We can't escape having a "philosophy of life," because we're challenged every day to choose one action over another -- kindness or indifference, generosity or selfishness, patience or blame. When our decisions and actions reflect the knowledge we've gained by working with our minds, that's adopting Buddhism as a way of life.
As the teachings of the Buddha reach us and pass into our Western hands, what determines what they will be for us? It's all in how we use them. As long as they help to clear up our confusion and inspire confidence that we can fulfill our potential, then they're doing the job that the Buddha intended.
We can use all the help we can get, because strange as it seems, we hang onto to our confusion. We cling to it because we think it shields us from something. But like wearing sunglasses day and night, we are only avoiding looking at who we truly are. We prefer to wear our "shades," simply because we're not used to the bright light of our minds. The teachings of the Buddha -- no matter how we label them -- show us how to open our eyes to that brilliance.
Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche
LOVE AFTER LOVE
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the book shelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
THE MAN OUT OF TIME
Oh not because happiness exists, that too-hasty profit snatched from approaching loss. But because truly being here is so much: because everything here apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all.
...Ah, but what can we take along into that other realm? Not the art of looking, which is learned so slowly, and nothing that happened here. Nothing. The sufferings, then. And, above all, the heaviness, and the long experience of love - just what is wholly unsayable.
from the Ninth Duino Elegy
Rainer Maria Rilke
translated by Stephen Mitchell