fear

Giving up hope is encouragement to stick with yourself

“Giving up hope is encouragement to stick with yourself, to make friends with yourself, to not run away from yourself, to return to the bare bones, no matter what’s going on. Fear of death is the background of the whole thing. It’s why we feel restless, why we panic, why there’s anxiety. But if we totally experience hopelessness, giving up all hope of alternatives to the present moment, we can have a joyful relationship with our lives, an honest, direct relationship, one that no longer ignores the reality of impermanence and death.”

~ from the Pema Chodron book, When Things Fall Apart

If you are motivated by a wish to help on the basis of kindness ...

“If you are motivated by a wish to help on the basis of kindness, compassion and respect, then you can do any kind of work, in any field, and function more effectively with less fear or worry, not being afraid of what others think or whether you will ultimately reach your goal.”

~ the Dalai Lama, in this tweet

To live a creative life ...

“To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.”

~ Joseph Chilton Pearce

The Soul Game

[This is a chapter from a currently-unpublished book I’m writing on meditation and mindfulness.]

As a spiritual being, one possible way to think of life here on Earth is as a “game” that serves as a training ground for the soul. It’s a game like other games, so it has many levels, and they get harder and harder as you progress. So in this case, the better you become at the game of spirituality — the Soul Game — the harder the levels become.

To help set some rules for the game, let’s say that it has fifty levels. The first time you play the game you’re born here on Earth in Level 1. Hopefully you score some points and move up, so maybe by the time it’s “game over” for your first lifetime, you’ve passed Level 9 and you’re playing on Level 10. Maybe you get a brief break in between lifetimes, but the next time you’re born you start right where you left off, at Level 10.

This brings me to a very important rule: Once you start playing the Soul Game, you’re strapped in for eternity. (That was clearly mentioned on page 52 of the End User License Agreement.) Once you’re in the game there are only two ways out:

Worrying is like praying for what you don't want alvin August 21, 2019 - 10:49am

For the person in your life who always says, “I worry ...”

“Truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing”

“Truth waits for eyes unclouded by longing.”

I keep running into various versions of this quote (from sources like the Tao, Ram Dass, and Zen books), so I thought I’d share it here. All sayings like this mean that if you become like a clear mirror and view the world exactly as it is — not how your desires (and fears) want it to be — you’ll see the truth.

Invictus, by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever Gods may be,
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance,
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears,
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years,
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume alvin June 16, 2019 - 2:15pm

I’m surprised that nobody I know knows the story Tiger Eyes, either the book by Judy Blume or the movie based on the book.

Probably the main theme of the book is about people who are afraid. Presumably they’re afraid of dying, and the result is that they’re afraid of living. Meanwhile, a teenage girl who has good reason to be afraid encounters these people who are afraid of life, and eventually realizes that a fear of life is no way to live. Despite a horrific thing that has happened in her recent past, she makes a conscious decision to live her life.