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Hope Diamond

The awful things that we say to ourselves - about regrets, failures, disappointments, assaults, etc. - are bound to make us feel bad. What a way to live! In our minds we continue to hope for a better past, as if thinking could make the past better. Frustration with the way things are produces obsessive thinking.

The truths of existence are very hard to accept. Most people avoid them, often by turning to religion, the belief in which counteracts loneliness, guiltiness, and fear of death. It is not accepting the truths of existence that keeps us stuck in trying to remake the past.

We must not assume that we are destined to this kind of life. There is another kind of life waiting to be found - a life of comfort, strength, and reassurance. However, it is found not in the hurly-burly of everyday life but in quiet moments. If our lives are filled with moments that don't matter (or worse), it is up to us to find moments that do matter. It is at those times that we can say to ourselves, "This moment matters. Life only avails, not the having lived. Each moment is new." It is then that our inner nature/life gives us the gifts of the best part of life.

To find it, we have to abandon being somebody - a static concept - and, instead, adopt living, which is a process. It's up to us to make our own peace. No one else can do it for us. Relief comes from within. Finding it comes from listening, from paying attention, not from commanding. We can't make insights. We can only let insights occur to us. This is true as we live our lives moment by moment, continuously. Isaac Newton wrote, "Truth is the offspring of silence and unbroken meditation," and William Wordsworth wrote, "Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake, / To perish never."

Doonesbury cartoon

The Buddhists call this attitude mindfulness. It amounts to taking a dignified attitude and reminding ourselves of our newness in each moment.


by William Wordsworth
. . . . . . . . For [Nature] can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life
Shall e'er prevail against us or disturb
Our cheerful faith that all which we behold
Is full of blessings.

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