Anamchara - Living a Meaningful Life
At some stage of living your life you will ask the question "What does it mean to be here?"
You may phrase the question in different ways but the essence of the question is the same. It represents your desire to know what it means to be alive on this earth. The search for meaning has gone on through all time. It has been a question for all the greatest minds and hearts that have graced this earth.
For many of you meaning is found in the work that you do. It is found in one or more of the roles you adopt. This can be the role of employee, mother, father, lover or friend. When these roles end there is a sense of loss. When work life ends for many the heart is broken and dies. Children grow up and leave home. Relationships end and friends come and go.
Placing meaning in activities you do and identify with will give you a false sense of security. Roles come and roles will go. However, without a meaning and purpose your life is only half lived, if at all. Too many people come to the end of their lives and regret that they missed a great opportunity to live to the full.
Each person is required to discover the meaning of his or her life. Meaning is not something that is waiting to be found in a book or from the teachings of another. It is more a flow of process than some fixed idea. It is a feeling moment-to-moment awareness of being present to your experience.
There is a paradox in seeking the meaning of life. The more courageous and focused you are the more illusive meaning becomes.
The search for meaning is told in many great fairy tales. The story of the search for meaning abound throughout the world's cultures. In the West the major story is the search for the Holy Grail. The answer to finding the grail is in asking the right question at the right time. This means entering deeply into the question. It is to become the quest-I-on.
The meaning of life is not fixed.
It is a free flowing experience of knowing who you are in each moment. Those who know who they are live in the eternal now. When you do this there comes a point when you and life are one. You become holy. Then in that moment you know. Your search will be over. You have come to the place of the Grail. You will not be so concerned about the meaning of YOUR life because you will have surrendered to the Beloved. You will have become one with it all. You who are part will become whole.
You will know the meaning of life is simply to be here now.
We can learn more about the meaning of life by watching small children at play. When you ask a child why it is playing a game you often find they get annoyed. They will think you are asking a foolish thing. You are enquiring of them what it means to be playful. They will look puzzled. They can only say they know. To try to explain is to lose the essence of play.
The question of the meaning of life is often approached with a great sense of seriousness. It is asked via the intellect when it can only be felt and known via the heart. The knowing of your life's purpose is an individual act of the highest courage. It is to become a child again. It is to become childlike without the intense separation anxiety you experience when you were little. You return to the garden and know that this is your home.
Allow yourself to play more and do less. Ask great questions and wait. When you do this then "the singing bird will come." This is a phrase I love. It comes from a Chinese proverb. The full proverb is
Keep a green bough
I leave you with this proverb. It focuses your direction toward meaning via the heart. Keep the sap of your heart knowledge flowing and you will come to know the meaning of your life. Whatever you discover know that you are enough now and forever more.
So be it.
Tony Cuckson is an Anam Cara. This Celtic term means "Soul Friend." He specializes in providing insight for the spiritual journey, Blessings for YOU, words of wisdom and finding inner peace. Visitors to Irish Blessings Matter website and Tony's Blog get the opportunity to develop a purpose driven life through articles, newsletters and other programs.
Get your free report called "7 ways to it's a wonderful life" at http://www.irishblessingsmatter.com/, or go to Tony`s Blog at http://www.irishblessingsmatter.info/ where you will find links to information related to spiritual parenting, spiritual coaching and spirit in business.
A Bit Of Turbulence
Direct Answers - Column for the week of July 1, 2002
Making Commitments of Love and Courage
There is a story about a little girl who suffered from a serious disease. Her best chance of recovery would be to receive a blood transfusion from her five-year old brother.
Create 10 Delightful Daily Habits
Practising extreme self-care in our life involves practising good "daily" habits.Daily habits involve more than just exercising and eating right. They include all the things that bring us enjoyment and delight.
It Only Takes a Spark - Pass It On
Great inspiring people have influenced people in every area of life throughout centuries. Henry David Thoreau, the great 19th century transcendentalist writer, was influenced by the great Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thoreau was the impetus for Ghandi's and Martin Luther King Jr's civil disobedience, which ultimately changed the shape of the world for a better humanity. Socrates taught Plato who taught Aristotle, who collectively remain the greatest philosophical trio in history. We often stand on the shoulders of giants. And we can notice connections such as these throughout history--a lineage--a passing down of wisdom. Such is the case in the drumming world as well. It only takes a spark. And that spark can potentially inspire many to enter a new encouraging world, accompanied by enthusiasm, new hope, and excitement.
What is the Meaning of Life?
A young man in search of enlightenment had traveled to Tibet at great expense and more than a little consternation amongst his family and friends. It was a week before he was allowed to speak with a red-capped administrator of the Dalai Lama's personal staff; in the meantime he enjoyed the wondrous sights of the Himalayas. The people of the countryside had welcomed him and he was learning their language slowly. They had made it clear no one got to talk to the Dalai Lama and ask a personal question unless they had waited a long time and shown proper respect and intent.
Trouble, trouble, trouble. Nothing but trouble. The night before, I was just talking to a friend-cum-feng-shui master about the direction of my life. The horrible things that are currently going in my life right now. The things that could go wrong, is going to go wrong or has gone wrong. I spent a total of 3 hours complaining, ranting and raving about how unfair life is and how come others who are close to me or my husband can afford luxurious lifestyles. How come they have 2 family cars and we have to share 1 car. How come they can afford to have four computers for the four family members of their home. The youngest being barely 3 have her own computer at all ? like she's got tons of work to do on her own and absolutely needs her own computer, you know what I mean? I was just ranting and raving about how my kids have to fight with me for the computer ? me rushing things out for my clients and my kids sitting right next to me, waiting for me to finish with the consistent but patient enquiries like, 'Mom, are you done yet?' or 'Have you made enough money yet?'.
A Path To Peace
The root of discord and violence between people and nations comes from our tendency to forget our humanity. We "forget" our true nature.
Neither A Borrower
Direct Answers - Column for the week of November 4, 2002
You Reap What You Sow
There is an old principle: You reap what you sow. In fact, it is about as natural of a principle as you can get. When you put an apple seed into the ground, you always get an apple tree. You reap what you sow.
The Importance of Friendship
My students and clients have constantly heard me stress that our Martial Art is more than just a physical discipline; that it is a discipline that develops both the mind and body. This is so important that Soke Masaaki Hatsumi, the grand master of our lineages, has made it the primary thrust of just about every one of his books about Ninpo and Martial Arts in general.
20 Ways To Improve Your Life
People often ask me how they can improve their lives.
My friend Donald said to me one evening, "this is what I admire about you, whenever you say you're gonna to do something, YOU DO IT"! People always ask me how do I stay motivated? How do I stay encouraged? Whenever I am asked this question my answer is always the same. I tell them that I stay focused and motivated by remaining in an autopilot mode. However, when I ponder that question on a deeper spiritual level, I come to the realization that the true answer is much more involved than the "auto-pilot" response. Would you like to know what the real answer is? Keep reading.
H-U-G-S -------The More You Give----The More You Get!
How many of us couldn't use a hug on a daily basis----------well, when you get out of bed as part of your daily practice in the morning wrap your arms around yourself and just say "Good Morning----What a Great Day to be Alive!!!!"
I Believe in You!
Ally Becker came home from school after Varsity basketball practice and was extremely gleeful. She looked frantically for her Father and walked into the kitchen, the laundry room and finally the living room."Dad!!" Ally yelled.
Who are you?
I have a question for you.
Food for Thought
We all love picnics. They represent a fun time as we prepare the food, the entertainment and the guest list. I think that the main idea behind picnics is the eating! Everyone usually brings some kind of a special treat that we all like to sample and sometimes in excess. We are left feeling overly full and tired. Forget the volley ball for a while and it's not good to go swimming after eating, so let's just lay here for awhile and rest. Our bodies will digest all this and maintain the essential vitamins and proteins and minerals and everything else turns to fat, or gets wasted. It's a good thing that we dispose of this because we'd blow up otherwise. But in all this eating, it's possible to be starving for another food. I'm talking about spiritual food.
Just the other day, I escaped the business of my daily life and sought refuge on the water front here in Montreal in an attempt to recharge my energies.
The Bouncer (Turning Defeat into Victory)
I'm a pretty competitive guy, though I try to keep it in perspective. But there are times, often when I least expect it, when life teaches me lessons about the true nature of competition. One of those lessons came on a warm spring day several years ago, in a small town outside Portland, Oregon.
Make Life Work: Repair the Relationship with Yourself
What areas of your life are working well? Career? Finances?
Direct Answers - Column for the week of December 9, 2002
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