Today marks the start of the holiday shopping season in the U.S. The day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, followed by Cyber Monday. This is when stores make 40 percent of their sales for the year.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday are good examples of people going with the flow. Trying to acquire “stuff” that isn’t necessary for survival. I was there in the past, trying to get a good deal on “stuff.” That one item you are buying may be cheap but how many times to you end up with more than one item? The resellers know how to maximize your visit to their store and have the know-how to squeeze that extra dollar from you.
If you have to pay for this “stuff” with a credit card or forced to buy less of the basics needed to survive, then you have been fooled by the mind. The mind chatter tells us that we are lacking if we don’t acquire this “stuff.” After a little time has passed, when the credit card bill arrives, you have buyer’s remorse. You were expecting this “stuff” to make you happy indefinitely. The mind tricked you that getting this “stuff” would solve all your problems. You cannot buy happiness; true lasting happiness is within you.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I am reflecting on all the life experiences, and feeling a deep sense of gratitude.
Many experiences caused suffering – being hit by a van, being diagnosed with various life threating diseases, and in the past year the loss of my mother-in-law.
Other experience brought joy – getting married, buying the first house, and my first full year of being disease free.
I am deeply thankful for being alive, for every breath that allows one more experience.
I see every experience as a teacher to allow growth – to find my true nature, our purpose for being born.
Every person I met is a teacher, helping me see something a new way that will allow continued growth.
I am deeply grateful for all experiences. It has made me the person I am today.
To my U.S. friends, Happy Thanksgiving!
To my Jewish friends, Happy Hanukkah!
To all beings everywhere, may today bring you great peace and joy.
I can count all the sane people that I know on one hand. Most are unaware of their insanity.
The insanity originates from the non-stop mental chatter of the mind. The mind tells you how to behave — the mind wants you working out for endless hours at the gym; the mind wants you to find a new spouse; the mind wants you to punch your neighbor in the face; the mind wants you to voice hate against another race; the mind wants to jerk you around, like a leashed dog pulling you down the street after he catches a glimpse of a cat. This uncontrollable dog rules his master.
The insane are possessed by thoughts. Thoughts create opinions, and judgments — good, bad, right, wrong, happy, sad, love, hate. Thoughts are the root of suffering. Suffering occurs when the mind demands a specific outcome, and the outcome is not met.
Reality is neutral. Thoughts transform nothing into something.
People are unaware that they are merely following the programs in their head. They have created a story of “me.”
In the story of “me,” you are supposed to behave and react according to your own mental scripts. This script creates your view of the world. Your thoughts become your reality. If you see a situation you will interpret the scene; compare it to your script and you will make comparisons and make a final judgment. Judgment is good, bad, right, wrong, love, hate.
Often, we will try to change our story but fail. They read well intended books, but most books that I have read , on my diseases, teach you ways to cope. They are trying to make your story better, not ways to get out of your story. In my story I was destined to live a life of suffering. I dropped my story and no longer suffer.
Who would you be, if you dropped the story of “me?”
When I was driving down a highway going 60 mph, sometimes I got stuck behind someone that is doing 50 mpg; ROAD RAGE!
The mental chatter was telling me that I must drive 60 mph. I began to look for a passing opportunity; if none were found then I would flash my lights. Right now, I was suffering. I was unhappy going 50 mph. It did not match my need to go 60 mph. There was an internal conflict, the root of all suffering.
I didn’t consider the other drive. I wasn’t plugged into their brain to know why their program is set at 50 mph. Perhaps they had a rough day, sick and have a headache. There are 1000 reasons why they are driving at this slower speed. It was ironic; I later became the driver going 50 mph from the MS.
The above situation will turn violet if the road rage is strong enough; he flipped me the finger when lights were flashed at him. This is how our thoughts create a lot of chaos in life. The mental chatter from the brain was not allowing compassion for this other driver. Have compassion for yourself and all beings everywhere.
We have a brain that is inherently faulty. The brain is trying to interpret the scene unfolding before it.
For a similar experience: Recall the prior experience and apply a conditioned response to this experience and make a judgment. Judgment is good, bad, right, wrong, love, hate. These are black and white areas for the brain as the judgment is predetermined.
For a new experience: Recall an experience that reminds you of this experience and create a new program using a previous program template and create a new conditioned response and make a judgment. People are often confused for a short time, since the brain is trying to acquire more information to formulate a judgment. These are the grey areas for the brain as there is no fixed judgment.
The older we become, the fewer new experiences. We become crotchety old people with our predetermined judgments.
The brain is naturally not seeing reality as neutral; it’s all subject to interpretation.
I was gifted with good health after years of suffering. A lot of family and friends told me to write a book about my experience. At that time writing was not on my to-do list, I was simply thankful not to suffer. I would have been happy sitting on a park bench doing nothing.
My family and friends kept on asking how I did it. I didn’t really know, it wasn’t clear in my mind what I went through. After a few months, I was getting the internal urge to write a book about my experience.
I haven’t written anything of the magnitude of a book ever, the longest paper I ever wrote was probably in school when I had to write a ten page report. I wasn’t even reading that much at this time.
With multiple sclerosis my eye sight was affected, and reading more than 15-20 minutes gave me a migraine. Besides, the bipolar brain was obsessed with thoughts and it was stuck in “the land of poor me.”
After I healed the MS and bipolar brain were no longer obstacles in my life. I was starting to read a few books in order to gain an understanding of what I went through, and none of the books had a precise answer. There was a need for my story, and if I only knew what I went though.