Posted by: sistermom1 | September 3, 2013

Living Large (Part 2)

I have been doing more reading lately, and it has come together in an unexpected way.
In reading chapter 25 of The Lotus Sutra, the author Shakyamuni Buddha describes the Bodhisattva Perceiver of the World’s Sounds. A character in the universe who protects and supports humans and possesses a life that is so broad that it encompasses, welcomes, understands and accepts all of the world’s beings. This reminds me of the type of life I have pledged to develop — one that is broad, welcoming and supportive of myself and others — regardless of the challenges that we face each day.

I’ve also been re-reading Michael Singer’s book, which has reminded me of so much:

“The purpose of your life is to enjoy and learn from your experiences….Events don’t determine whether or not you’re going to be happy. They’re just events. You determine whether or not you’re going to be happy.”.

A powerful statement. Singer goes on to discuss how we create situations inside of our heads that lead to us requiring that life be a certain way for us to be happy. In Buddhism that kind of happiness is termed “relative happiness” — a happiness that is based on what is happening at the moment. As enjoyable as that can be, it pales in comparison to the type of happiness we strive for. Absolute happiness is something that has no condition/requirement — it just exists regardless of what is happening. Singer goes on “…Regardless of your philosophical beliefs, the fact remains that your were born and you are going to die. In between, you get to choose whether or not you want to enjoy the experience…You’re sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere…You’re floating in empty space in a universe that goes on forever. If you have to be here, at least be happy and enjoy the experience. You are going to die anyway. Why shouldn’t you be happy? You gain nothing by being bothered by life’s events. It doesn’t change the world; you just suffer. There’s always going to be something that can bother you if you let it.

Deep huh? A great reminder not to get bogged down in the routine of my daily life. My current challenges include MS, along with other things like developing a strong marriage. raising healthy and self-reliant kids, maintaining meaningful friendships and positive family relationships. Yes, the MS is usually not fun at all, but it is the hand I am playing in this lifetime. Regardless of how it may look (in a wheelchair, unable to walk…), I am determined to enjoy my life as the blessing that it is and not be swayed by what has happened but to learn from it and hopefully pass that spirit along to anyone who can use it.

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