How to Live in Wild Times
Perspective is a key to happiness. From a higher perspective, it might be helpful to ask the question: Why is it that this earth realm is the realm of fear, loss and brokenness? Because this is the place we’ve elected to come to challenge ourselves as souls. Challenges are our means of personal and spiritual growth.
Nobody escapes earth alive…it’s not designed that way…but the afterlife is. The afterlife is where we evaluate how we dealt with our challenges that we came here to experience. This earth realm is the place where we voluntarily fall asleep to who and what we are behind the veil of our human space suits. When we begin to awaken to the truth of ourselves, to the part of us that’s infinite, and the truth that the human part of us is wholly loved and guided from the spiritual realm, then life on earth with its built-in challenges can become easier to deal with.
How we react and respond to our challenges and to loss is what creates our karma, or in other words, what we might experience in our future. Do we react to hurt and loss by living in fear and guarding our heart, or by using these experiences to grow stronger and perhaps be a guide to others?
One of the lighter challenges in my life is how I deal with the cold weather of Minnesota. I have the habit of feeling cheated somehow when I look at the weather patterns and sometimes see that it’s 15 degrees warmer where I grew up about 4 hours southeast of my current home. It would benefit me to keep in mind the saying, “What you resist persists.” Byron Katie puts it another way: “When you go to war with ‘what is’, you’ll lose every time.” If I’m choosing to live here, acceptance would benefit me. What other areas in our lives could use acceptance? Is it possible to work towards change while having an attitude of accepting whatever unfolds?
Joan Pancoe, astrologer and mystic, recently wrote that if we’re ready to upgrade and refine our attitudes about how to work with the state of the world these days, perhaps no one says it better than Chögyam Trungpa:
“Working with conflict is precisely the idea of walking on the spiritual path. The path is a wild, winding mountain road with all kinds of curves; there are wild animals, attacks by bandits, all kinds of situations cropping up. As far as the occupation of our mind is concerned, the chaos of the path is the fun.
All the things taking place around our world, all the irritations and all the problems, are crucial. Without others we cannot attain enlightenment—in fact, we cannot even tread on the path. If there is no noise outside during our sitting meditation, we cannot develop mindfulness. If we do not have aches and pains in the body, we cannot attain mindfulness; we cannot actually meditate. If everything were lovey-dovey and jellyfish-like, there would be nothing to work with.
Very beautiful situations have developed using chaos as part of the enlightened approach. There is chaos of all kinds developing all the time: psychological disorder, social disorder, metaphysical disorder, or physical disorder, constantly happening. If you are trying to stop those situations, you are looking for external means of liberating yourself, another answer. But if we are able to look into the basic situation, then chaos is the inspiration, confusion is the inspiration.”
Adyashanti challenges us to ask the question in any situation: “What is the highest truth right now?” It always comes back to what is referred to in Hindu scriptures, “God’s Lila, or God’s play.” We are all a part of God experiencing ourselves. We’re all role-playing here. This perspective is a good one to hold in the back of your mind when facing the inevitable ups and downs of life.