Do we create our own pain?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

This one is for you Aminda!

"Mind precedes its objects. They are mind-governed and mind-made. To speak or act with a defiled mind is to draw pain after oneself, like a wheel behind the feet of the animal drawing it.

Mind precedes its objects. They are mind-governed and mind-made. To speak or act with a peaceful mind, is to draw happiness after oneself, like an inseparable shadow."

(Buddhist, Dhammapada - Sayings of the Buddha 1 (tr. J. Richards))

I absolutely love this quote!  I think it is a very powerful metaphor for what we do to ourselves.  Not that I think ALL pain is self-created.  But I do believe there is opportunity in all that life has to offer (including the challenges that can bring pain) and to me those opportunities are beautiful and a grace from God.  I totally agree that if we approach life from a peaceful state of mind, then we will experience a much happier existence while we are here. 

The challenge is to CREATE that state of mind!  That is why I am going to go to Yoga class with Aminda.  ;-)

The Meaning of Life

Sunday, October 11, 2009

One thing that I feel very grateful for is that as a Baha'i, I actually know the "meaning of life" and it is really very simple.  It boils down to two things - to learn to know God (read His writings, reflect on their meanings and meditate upon them) and to worship Him (love Him by putting what we know into action - prayer, compassion, humility, detachment).  That answer makes complete sense to me.  Although there are only those two things, it really amounts to a lot of work and in my opinion is enough to keep me challenged for a long time to come.  ;-)

Here are some writings from the Baha'i Faith on the purpose of life...

"I bear witness, O my God, that Thou hast created me to know Thee and to worship Thee."  (Baha'u'llah, Prayers and Meditations by Baha'u'llah, p. 313)

"The purpose of God in creating man hath been, and will ever be, to enable him to know his Creator and to attain His Presence. To this most excellent aim, this supreme objective, all the heavenly Books and the divinely-revealed and weighty Scriptures unequivocally bear witness. Whoso hath recognized the Day Spring of Divine guidance and entered His holy court hath drawn nigh unto God and attained His Presence, a Presence which is the real Paradise, and of which the loftiest mansions of heaven are but a symbol."  (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 70)

"The Purpose of the one true God, exalted be His glory, in revealing Himself unto men is to lay bare those gems that lie hidden within the mine of their true and inmost selves."  (Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah, p. 287)

What do you believe to be the meaning of life?  Please share your own thoughts, quotes and experiences from your spiritual journey!
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