My grandmother, who was quite the small-minded bitch, & supremely un-fun to be around, had a word she used just for me: “Shala is so assy.” It was most definitely NOT meant as a compliment. It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I began to realize how much we were alike …….. my first response upon realizing this being: Yech!! But, upon reflection, I realized that having similarities to her could be one of my best examples in life of how to be, &, even more importantly, how not to be!
I never actually heard her say this about me, but others told me over the years. Which, as I consider it, means she was being a little bit nice by not hurling this to my face. No one could really define this term, “assy”, but as I came to know myself better, I realized, more or less, what she meant. Intransigent. Smart-mouthed. Hot-tempered. Prone to doing just the opposite of what I was told. And, also, if I was told to not do something, I reallyreally wanted to do it. ((If they had just realized it, they could have completely controlled me because of this latter quality, but I digress.))
Nowadays, I prefer ***ahem*** to call myself ‘a piquant & feisty little tamale’, but ”assy” was really never meant as an affirmation.
Many years later, recently, I ran across this quote on a website of Buddhist jokes:
A Zen master once said to me, “Do the opposite of whatever I tell you.” So I didn’t.
Who knew that “assy” was just the right quality!?! Could mark a sea-change in my destiny ……
- Some Buddhist Humor (davidyerle.com)
I think that no one would really call me a ‘thinker’,
but I am of a strong existential bent. I have always, since my earliest memories, been concerned with questions of How To Be — “what is the purpose of life?” & “what happens when we cross over into death?” & “how the hell have we created this crazy world?!?” – such musings as these. Questions of ‘being’ as pursued in Western philosophy provide different ‘answers’ than do those of Buddhist philosophy. Over the decades, this exploration, & my meditation practice, have moved me from most fixed positions, away from ideologies, to something more along the lines of wishing for What Is Best. Though at first glance that may seem rather wishy washy, it really is most applicable & practical —>> for in any situation, especially re other people, how could I possibly know what ’Best’ is?!? So, in some ways, I am achieving that dispassion & equanimity of mind that Buddhist teachings say will gain us the most peace & lasting happiness. So, yea for me LOL.
And I wish this for you too. For enduring peace & happiness abiding within each of us is key to bringing about enduring peace & happiness for All of Us. As hokey as it may sound, this is Love. Love, in some form, is what this is — Loving myself, I can more easily love you. The more I love others, the more love there is in the world. Love feeds Love. And, I believe, Love is the only thing that really exists beyond our physical lives; Love continues after death (& here we get into the really existential, metaphysical questions, which are not very practical at all, haha:)
But I think that this thought from Leo Buscaglia has a practical use:
What love we’ve given, we’ll have forever. What love we fail to give, will be lost for all eternity.
It is practical in the sense that it points to a way of life, a way of being, that of giving & being Love. So, you see, to the questions of How To Be, & “what is our purpose?”, Love IS the answer.
Do all things with love.
It seems this idea is far grander in its simplicity than is at first apparent. Judging by the ‘likes’ & comments that original post generated, I’d say ‘doing all things with love’ really resonates with some people.
Valerie Fulford (who apparently doesn’t blog with WordPress) says:
I think it lies with the young people and I applaud everything from the Occupy Movement to the Arab Spring in Tahrir Square. Like the hippy movement of the 60′s we need young hearts and minds to lift us out of this quagmire. Thanks for your wonderful posts Mindmindful! (my original blog’s name) I think that you have a young heart and mind.
And this came on a day when I am keenly feeling the age that is creeping up over me, haha. She didn’t know this, of course, but someone thinking I have “a young heart & mind” is actually high praise to me. I hope people will say that at my memorial, laughing, as they blow bubbles & get tipsy on good wine:)
In my musings, I was also wondering if there would have to be strong rule-making (shudder, shudder!) to keep everyone sharing & volunteering, & holding resources in common. Mary, of Cultivating Sunshine offers this comment:
It all starts with one. We can become overwhelmed by all there is to do, by all the change that we feel needs to take place. When we become overwhelmed, we do nothing. It all starts with the individual, if everyone chooses love, then there is not need for policy. This continues to happen as We become more conscious as a collective.
The two of us agree that it is an awesome thing to be part of that changing consciousness.
Alejandro De La Garza, of Chief Writing Wolf, posted this:
Yes, in this crowded world, we’ve become too self-centered. I know I have at times! It’s easy, though, when I busy myself with so many things. I have to stop every once in a while and appreciate what really matters – which isn’t always the material things!
That sense of appreciating what really matters, which includes many non-material things, is an important part of ‘doing all things with love’, I believe. Being grateful for what we have helps to foster contentment, & love, which certainly influences one’s subsequent choices, & surely that makes it easier to do the next thing with love …………
What is there to lose, really? Oh, I realize it does sound silly, doing all things with love ……... Daring this silliness, though, can make us very aware of what we would otherwise be ‘doing all things with’: self-centeredness …… ambition ….. hate?! ….. vengeance …… expectations of others ….. grievance ….. There are innumerable things with which we could ‘do all things’ —- why NOT love??
Let’s be silly together ………….. &, as always, let me know what you think & experience