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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The stillness of snow, oh how the mind falls silent, calm and peaceful.
A while ago I wrote about life on the 17th floor, the sunsets like an air bound fire, the fear through the eyes of others & so many shades of green – even the greatest of artists would be envious. Many a physician will die of old age before finding a more powerful sedative – a more potent relaxant. Looking out onto blankets of white, any signs of anger, stress, depression pale into insignificance even if it’s only slightly. Tomorrow maybe the joy will return fully with a multitude of colours visible from the 17th Floor.
When it comes to health advertisements & promotions, I admit to being a skeptic. I’m fed up of diet plans & anti -ageing adverts none of which seem to work
But there’s something about the 5 Tibetan rites. There’s really no way around it, Ive noticed definite changes in my health & wellbeing. The rites are said to be over 2,500 years old, and a type of yoga. They only take 10-15 minutes to complete— also fantastic for those with busy lives. After setting myself a 28 day challenge to do the 5 Tibetan Rites each morning this is what I found…..1– weight loss (just by doing 10 of each exercise every morning for 28days, I lost just over half a stone) 2-improved memory ( my memory actually got sharper) 3-physical strength 4– A feeling of alertness (feeling clear, awake and less sluggish) 5– An enhanced sense of general wellbeing. The Tibetan Rites are also called the Fountain of youth as they’re supposed to slow down the aging process, which is why they’re also known as the Five Rites of Rejuvenation. HOW THE FIVE TIBETAN RITES SHOULD BE DONE
Each exercise should eventually be done 21 times, but if you’re new to exercise its better to start of with about 3 of each at first and increase the repetitions slowly over time.
Do you spend most of your time on autopilot? Welcome to the club. It’s something we all do at some time in life.
Making plans, thinking about the future, trying to complete our To-Do lists. We’re so busy rushing towards the future and some wonderful event more exciting than the present moment, we forget to really live. Many great experiences in the here and now are missed in the chaos of life the present moment is an obstacle between now, and the best bits of life. We don’t even realise, we could already be there.
How often have you walked or driven somewhere, and not remembered the journey? Or eaten your favourite meal without tasting a single bite or savouring any of its delicious flavours. Mindfulness or being present is the fastest way to live life more fully with happiness and wisdom. It simply involves moment to moment awareness of what is happening now, both inside and outside. Internally we become more aware of our body and our mind, while externally we begin to broaden our awareness so we notice what’s really happening in the external environment.
One way to experience present moment awareness, is to just to STOP for no more than a minute and be totally aware of what is happening right now.
“You wouldn’t catch me going up in that lift” they said. “Being so high up, anything could happen” they said – and they’re right!
Some see life through my eyes as terrifying, they’ve even said it to my face. What a gift it is though, to be living on the 17th floor. Standing on my balcony, the view is incredible and they’re so right – anything could indeed happen. Not only can I see the whole of the city & further, an abundance of trees present too many shades of green to even count. As spring approaches, peregrine falcons take flight after hatching their young, and circle in the distance in search of pigeons separated from their group. Sometimes I hold my breath as they come right outside my window. At night, glistening jewels that are street lights & houses, dominate the landscape taking me on a journey of wild imagination but not until my mind & body have bathed in the image of fiery orange/yellow sunsets.