It was a shovel the driveway twice day yesterday but I am inside and its warm. Julia and I have a long list of things that need to be tended to including making a new website but as I reflect on the past week, we have been given so many tools and treasures to deal with our ‘list’. It is amazing to me how many things we get exposed to during the week that we can grok on, to help us with our various challenges.
Last week I was at a Shababa summit in NYC for building family experiences for Jewish gatherings and services. The emphasis was giving people an experience rather than the routine of a program. We were turned onto this short 3 minute video that animates the difference between Empathy and Sympathy:
Watch it if you can, it is illuminating and funny.
We were also exposed to Simon Sinek’s concept of the Golden Circle- which has 3 tiers, the middle of the circle is Why, the middle is How and the outside is What. Most of the time, companies and individuals start with What they do and never get to Why they do it. The great leaders from Apple to Gandhi start with the Why. When we played with Joe Crookston last week he said that when he travels and is bumming about the GPS malfunctioning, his road manager reminds him to look at the Why. Why are we in the car? Why are we doing what we are doing? It makes the difference.
Simon Sinek- Golden Circle clip:
Then on Sunday, Julia and I were playing a Unity where they were discussing the Buddha sitting under the bodhi tree and Mara, his opponent, coming to tempt him from reaching enlightenment. When his temptations failed, he threw everything he had at him but his arrows turned to flowers. So how do we deal with our challenges and turn them into flowers? How do we not get hooked by the emotional things that come up for us?
This quote was part of the talk on Sunday:
“The first noble truth of the Buddah is when we feel suffering, it doesn’t mean something is wrong.
What a relief. Finally somebody told the truth. Suffering is part of life and we don’t have to feel its happening because we personally made the wrong move.” Pema Chodron
This made me cry, for I often berate myself for my behavior, my reactions etc. to the point of tightening the knots around me instead of loosening them.
There is a paradox within understanding this suffering for while:
“Medicines have limitations; the divine creative life force has none.”
“Thought is a force, even as electricity or gravitation. The human mind is a spark of the almighty consciousness of God. I could show you that whatever your powerful mind believes very intensely would instantly come to pass.”
-Chapter 12/ Autobiography of a Yogi- Yogananda
This understanding did not prevent Yogananda from experiencing suffering during his lifetime but it did allow him to navigate through them and continue to teach love right until the very end of his life and beyond it.
May your challenges become the garland of your internal happiness.