This is exactly what I’m doing now! This is my experience of reconnecting when all hope seemed to have gone. When things seem tough, when you feel you can’t move any further and all energy has gone – surrender. It worked for me & I know it will work for you!
There’s always light, but sometimes you have to surrender yourself to it.
Im sure lots of my readers will identify with what I’m about to say. Recently life’s been like a giant rollercoaster of stress, anxiety & people piling on more. My partner must be the unluckiest guy in the world, wherever there’s a problem it’ll find him, and in life we carry each other but it’s worn me down. All this pressure has taken its toll on my physical & mental health and I’d reached a point of disconnection from myself & Spirituality. Spirituality is a huge part of my life as a Buddhist and so is meditation but something was lost, I was lost. It was 2 nights ago, in tears I rang a very close and wise friend who gave me the best advice I’ve ever had.
Tonight she said, go into your prayer room – make up a bed on the floor and sleep there, amongst the Buddha statues, pictures of HH The Dalai Lama & your teacher, and give yourself up to them. Don’t ask them for help, this isn’t their mess to clean up. Just give yourself up to their power.
Even with a strong faith, and the greatest respect for my lovely friend, my mind was still racing at 100mph. The likelihood of me getting any sleep whatsoever at this
When ordering online from a trusty Ayurvedic pharmacy in Rishikesh, I should’ve known it wouldn’t be straightforward.
Whilst living in India, this little place had been a hidden gem, away from the hustle & bustle of the busy Rishikesh markets – so back home in the UK, I thought I’d try ordering from their website. If anything, the entertainment value has been fantastic, but the quality of the oils I actually got is a whole other matter. So this is how it goes 😂 Only in India! Purchasing pure Rose oil can be an expensive venture in the UK at around £30 for a small bottle – so to get it in India for around £6 is a massive bonus. Anyway I accessed the website and ordered 1 bottle of rosé oil, 1 bottle of frankincense at £4 & 1 bottle of lime oil at £2 and waited. Exactly 1 month later, my parcel arrived in traditional Indian style – bound in cotton and hand stitched. The excitement was killing me, especially knowing I was getting such a top quality product. That’s why I was so unprepared for what was inside. The rose oil was there in its perfect little bottle. The frankincense was half full & the lime oil bottle looked 100 years old & completely empty. Inside was a note which read:
I only charge you half price because it’s half full and I don’t charge you for lime because it’s empty.
I don’t mean to put you off your sandwich but…..”Give us this day our daily bread” should come with a health warning which reads -‘As Long as It Isn’t White.’ White bread will mess with your mood amongst other things.
What happens if you drop a piece of bread in a glass of water? You got it! The bread swells to twice maybe 3 times its normal size. Now consider the body is made up of around 60% water.
In theory, bread should be healthy, made with grains etc. But these days it goes through a process before reaching our grocery store shelves, that makes it unrecognisable. I’m talking about White Bread – the end product after all thenutrients have been destroyed and a variety of dangerous chemicals added. Wheat is a seed like any other, and seeds are well known for supporting a healthy bowel. This means there’s no build up of poisons and we can think clearly as the mind is sharper. Wheat has an outer covering (bran), an embryo (wheatgerm), and a fuel supply (the endosperm). But to create white bread the bran and germ are removed leaving just the soft endosperm then milled into flour. Because the endosperm contains mostly carbohydrates, they immediately break down into single units of sugar causing dangerous spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. Flour used to make white bread is bleached with benzoyl peroxide. This has no purpose other than making the product more visually attractive to customers.
Here’s another vital piece of info & please feel free to google it! Benzoyl Peroxide creates something called ‘free radicals and benzoic acid’ which all together contribute to DNA damage, aging, contact irritation, bloating discomfort, weakness, and malaise. When ingested, the agents can cause headache, nervousness, nausea, and vomiting.
Many with an interest in Buddhism, hope to meet with HH The Dalai Lama or HH The Karmapa even if only for a few minutes. But what’s to be learned by those fortunate enough?
In 2010 I had the opportunity to do that very thing. Something many people only dream of – meeting his Holiness the 17th Karmapa on a one-to-one basis. It came out of the blue, totally unplanned from a young girl I’d been helping with English language. It turned out, her husband is the bodyguard of his Holiness the Dalai Lama, and in return for my kindness she wanted to arrange a one to one appointment with his Holiness the Karmapa. It would have been The Dalai Lama if he hadn’t been out of the country. Of course I accepted the offer, not wishing to appear ungrateful. But in situations such as this, I would have preferred to have something to say, questions to ask and something constructive to base my appointment on. The time came quickly, in fact it was the following day, so even if I’d wanted to think something up I didn’t have time. Arriving early afternoon in Norbulingka the home of his Holiness, I was shown into a small basic room with only a short wait, before being shown into something far
Did you ever wake up not wanting to face the day? There’s nothing particularly wrong but you just feel out of control?
Thats what happened to me this morning. Last night I went to bed early, slept well snuggled up to the love of my life but this morning, I woke with a sense of forbearing. An awful feeling, something terrible today is going to happen. My energy levels are low, & I don’t feel like doing much of anything at the moment – so guess what? I’m not going to. I’m listening to my body and staying under the duvet for as long as I need. No point racking my brains for a solution to a non existent problem. There’s also no sense in getting up, and throwing myself into things when I don’t have the energy. Well meaning people say “Get up & go for a walk you’ll feel better” but I don’t actually want to. This morning brought me to the realisation, nobody knows my body better than I do. Nobody can tell me what’s best for me. Which is why this morning, I feel no guilt about staying in bed. This experience has also made me realise sometimes things happen for absolutely no reason at all, and when they happen this way we must just relax and move with them. There is nothing wrong with me, but if I see a problem, I’ll begin to fight and therefore I’ll face a battle that may become an unnecessary war. For me, peace means so much more.
Did you ever have one of those days? What did you do?
Why have we been born human? And what’s our main purpose in life?
A question someone asked me recently during one of our deep philosophical conversations. My reply was its my belief we were brought into this world as humans to end suffering. She looked at me and said “Well where does God fit in then?” The thing is, I have no clue where God fits in if I’m being truthful. As humans we’ve been born with a moral & ethical conscience – something no other species has. We know it’s wrong to cause harm to another sentient being and whilst we may not always act on that knowledge, we have it. As humans we are tangible, we can touch each other and if we work together we can achieve great things.
So what are your thoughts on the Purpose of Human Life?
The western world – a hub for mindfulness, meditation and all things mind related. But what is the mind? And where is it located? Let’s debate!
In today’s fast moving societies where targets and deadlines dominate & our economic situation is constantly changing. It’s no surprise people are trying to find ways of quieting the mind, to manage stress and deal with every day life. It’s true we talk about it every day, but even if the most skilled surgeon on the planet cut open our head and body he/or she would not find anything that resembles mind. So where & what exactly is the mind?
It’s a funny word control. Full of illusion, power & submission.
When we become attached to situations, things or ideas, naturally we’re going to stress about losing them because we believe we own them. Then they begin to dominate our lives as if they’ve taken over that very ownership until we’re terrified of pretty much everything. Here’s a great example:
You’ve seen a car you love, yours is way past it’s time now and you’re on the look out for a new one. This car is shiny, new with great mileage and will be the envy of the street. Every night you look to make sure it hasn’t been sold and then you buy it. That dream is now reality – it’s yours. But you’d forgotten about bad drivers on the road and you guard that car with your life. You’re out there making sure nobody has scratched it, you have it alarmed to the hilt and woe betide anyone who gets too close. That car is no longer the love of your life, it’s your personal responsibility it preoccupies most of your time. The constant worry about losing it, someone damaging it or even it breaking down, is haunting you.
In reality though according to Buddhist Science, everything is impermanent & empty (void of self) which actually means, nothing exists in the way we see it whether it’s material, phenomena or human . Everything will inevitably end or perish at some point. Given this idea, there doesn’t really seem much point in stressing out over things does there? But then not everyone’s Buddhist.
whats your take on why we stress about things beyond our control?
To be exact, Lama Ahbay Tulku Jigme Thupten Tendar Rinpoche -but who’d have thought it? On the 17th floor of a council block?
At a very young age, Rinpoche was identified by His Holiness the Dalai Lama as the reincarnation of the hermit Lama Lobsang Tenzin. A year later, he was enthroned as Tulku in Gaden Jangtse Monastery. There, at the age of seventeen, he was admitted to the congregational debate on the first chapter of Abhisamaya (Perfection of Wisdom), and six years later, to the congregational debate on Madhyamika (Middle Way). He studied Pharchen (Perfection of Wisdom) for six years, Uma (Middle Way) for three years.
I first met Rinpoche when he came to deliver some teachings & Puja in my hometown of Rochdale at a holistic centre. At that time I’d pretty much finished writing my first book but needed a foreword. The book was about death and dying from a Buddhist perspective and he agreed to read it through. True to the Tibetan way, for several weeks I heard nothing and then it was there in an email along with a self invitation to meet with me and my then group of Buddhist students in my home. This is really how we became friends and now each year Rinpoche comes with blessings teachings & laughter to eat and spend time with us. Ive never met anyone who’s laughter ricochets around so many people leaving them in hysterics so quickly. Some people identify one main teacher in life whom they stick with until death & sometimes beyond. For me, life has brought many great teachers, and subsequently many great lessons – Rinpoche being one of them. This year I expect we’ll be seeing him again for tea & teachings. Who is your greatest teacher?
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