Meditation: Purpose

The definition of the noun purpose is the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. The verb purpose is defined, as one’s intention or objective. Google, what is the purpose of life, and you will get over 9 million hits. I looked at 10 sites devoted to helping people find their purpose of life. There are even life purpose coaches. These coaches help us find our purpose by giving us suggestions like, identifying dreams, goals, and developing success habits to achieve them. They state that we all have something within us. Supposedly, one of their helpful hints is to think of yourself at age 90. I really could not figure that one out. Quite frankly, I never want to think about that, since I am not that far away from that age. Most of these sites said the same thing but in a different way. First of all, they all feel that it is very important to find your life’s purpose even if some of the sites have a very hard time defining what life’s purpose should be. Every country, religion and science have a different opinion of what life’s purpose should be about. They do agree on one thing, finding your life’s purpose is essential, if you are going to make the most of your life. If you are into the Bible then no problem, we are dependent on God and should trust him. Your purpose in life is to do it for God. Naturally all the sites have ways and suggestions on how to find your true purpose in life. The numbers game comes up again, with one site having 5 ways to find your purpose and another site has not 18, not 20, but 19 ways to find your true purpose. One of the all time best selling books is a Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren. This is another view of it all began with God. Now, does yours truly believe that any of this horse manure has any merit. I can answer that with an emphatic no. In fact, I feel that all of this does more harm than good. If you cannot find the so called “purpose” of your life you may not want to even get out of bed. Even though the phrase purpose of life can seem similar to the meaning of life they really are two distinctly different things. The meaning of life is more an idea created by the mind. The purpose of life is a concrete thing to achieve or discover. To get back to the topic should we have a purpose in life. We do, whether we know it or not.

Let’s go back to the beginning and this time let’s leave God out of it. Let’s replace him with the two most God like individuals in the universe, the Mother and the Father. Without a woman and a man having sex and an orgasm at that exact moment you would not exist. The purpose and meaning of your life wouldn’t be worth squat, because you would not exist. Fate, luck and timing are discussed a lot when great or tragic things happen to people all over the world. However, the most fateful of day of your life was when that one sperm fertilized that particular egg. The day you were born is when your true purpose of life began, you began to exist. Believe me, you were damn happy to exist, too. You were happy and joyful but also sad and frustrated. But through all those emotions of your early life, there is not one time you thought about what the hell should my life’s purpose be. As a person gets older the ups and downs of life continue, but when life becomes burdensome is the time when we start to think about the purpose of our life. We start to wonder, what, if anything, can we do about it. The fact remains not a damn thing. We need to feel that our main purpose in life is to exist, and feel every emotion that life has to offer. We all cannot be the best of whatever we are inclined to do, but we all can be the best that we can be. We can maximize our potential in every endeavor that we do. We need to enjoy and feel every part of life, taking in fully the good and the bad. Life is what our parents gave us, and we need to thank them when we can, live every moment to its fullest, and just realize how wonderful life can be. Now, if that’s not the purpose of life then I do not know what is. Maybe I need to reread those awful websites.

Meditation: How

How to meditate? It should be simple enough but if you google such a question, there are over 13 million results. I think even better are the related searches. These include meditation technique for beginners, meditating spiritually, ways to meditate at home, meditation how to start, and guided meditation. Then looking at images associated with meditation, they are almost all of people in various cross-legged positions with their arms in front of them and their eyes closed. Of 200 images, there were 2 lying down, 2 standing and 2 sitting in chairs, with all the rest in the cross-leg position. The videos for meditation will even go so far as to say that you can meditate wrong, which can-do damage to your mental health and wellbeing. In the videos, there is one that is called The No Bullshit Guide to Meditation. I find that amusing because many people feel that meditation is bullshit, so I don’t think it is a good idea to use the word if you are trying to get people to start. If you look under news, you will find articles and news reports on meditation, that are very recent. There is one written about 2 weeks ago for people who cannot sit still. Meditating while moving, perfect. They call this visualization meditation. Well, let’s just try and keep visualization and meditation apart, shall we. Despite what seems like an endless supply of videos, articles and books on meditating, there does seem to be some things missing and lots of PARTICULAR ways to meditate. Even for beginning meditation, there seems to be a very specific way to do it. Is there a way to meditate?

The answer to that question is simply no. Despite the list of the many benefits of meditation, there is only 3 things that meditation is designed to do. Meditation will relax the body, relax the mind, and to explore your inner self. When you begin meditation, one should concentrate on the first two, then worry about finding your inner self, once you have established a good solid routine. A meditation should last at least 20 minutes. That does not mean that when you start meditating you have to go for 20 minutes. This is what many of the beginning guides seem to leave out. They are so much into a so-called technique, that they seem to say that you have to start out doing it for 20 minutes. When you start out, meditating for 30 seconds to a minute is acceptable. This should be fine for people who cannot sit still. They should be able to handle 30 seconds and eventually work their way up to the 20-minute minimum. If you are just starting out and meditating for just 1 minute, you can do it 2 to 10 times per day. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Then just gradually stretch it, 30 to 60 seconds at a time. As far as a certain technique goes, there is none. Certainly, you can do the cross-legged style, sit on a chair or couch, or you can simply lay down on a bed or mat. The only thing about laying down is that you cannot fall asleep. I have meditated for almost 30 years sitting on a couch with my back supported by the couch in the crossed-leg position. You are just trying to relax the brain and the body, nothing else. Remember that sleep does neither. You can put your hands in front of you, to the sides, or in a prayer position, whatever is the most comfortable and logical for your meditation. There is only one other rule for meditation. You must do belly breathing. Belly breathing is simply your belly expanding on inspiration and contracting expiration. This is considered relaxation breathing, get it relax. The opposite of tension breathing, where your belly contracts on inspiration and expands on expiration. This is where laying on you back to meditate can be especially helpful, because when you are on your back you can really feel the difference between the two.

Believe or not that is it, my friends. It might seem like I have left out a few things, like the room being very quiet or dark, the time of day to do it, and using things like fragrances and music. All of these things may help, but they are not essential. Even the room being quiet is not essential when it comes to meditating. All you are trying to do is to relax, not figure out a calculus equation. You can meditate any time at all. Morning meditations are nice, but when you get the chance, meditate, especially if you are just beginning. Meditation can be a scary endeavor, but how to do it is not.

Meditation: Euthanasia

Euthanasia is defined as the painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. The practice is illegal in most countries. When I read this, I did not realize that there may be some countries that have legal euthanasia. While there are a lot of countries that have laws that allow assisted suicide, there are only 3 that have legalized euthanasia. They are Luxembourg, Norway, and Belgium, with Norway being the first to do so, in 2002. Euthanasia at first glance seems like a straightforward process. If someone is having extreme pain and suffering, and it is due to a terminal illness, then the kindest most humane thing to do would be to terminate their life. What about a person that has extreme senility due to Alzheimer disease or aging, how much pain and suffering is going on there? It doesn’t take much of one’s imagination, to see how this is a very controversial subject. Being a veterinarian, I had firsthand experience in being the administrator of drugs to euthanize dogs and cats. Over a 44-year veterinary career, I euthanized well over 5000 dogs and cats, for various reasons. Of course, it was the owners of these animals that made the final decision, sometimes with or without my guidance. Even though euthanasia in theory sounds like a kind and gentle thing to do, I would not support making human euthanasia legal. Let’s look more closely at my experience in veterinary medicine.

This is just one veterinarian’s opinion, when it came to the decision-making process of putting their beloved pet to sleep, I grouped people into three areas. I felt 50% of people euthanized their pet too soon, 25% waited too long, and 25% did it at the right time. This did not include people that put their pet to sleep for non-medical reasons. Some of these reasons I felt were legitimate, like financial restraints, the owner not being able to take care of the dog, and the owner’s death, where the owner wanted the pet euthanized, rather than go to another home or shelter. Sometimes, and fortunately, this did not happen often, but the reason would be rather ridiculous. I would have somebody want to put their pet to sleep because it had fleas, or they were moving, or the kids, who wanted the dog in the first place, had moved out, and would not take the dog. Naturally, I would refuse these requests, even knowing that another veterinarian might do it, or they would just take the pet to a shelter. I did not include people that because of the religious beliefs, would not euthanize a pet under any circumstances. Most people would come to the decision to euthanize their pet too soon. They came to this decision for various reasons. They overestimated how much the pet is suffering. If the dog or cat is eating and drinking and seemingly moving around ok, and still enjoys interactions with the owner, then the pet must not be doing too badly. I think that some people just got tired of taking care of the pet’s problem, or it may have become too costly. These people agonized over their decision but decided to euthanize, when the pet probably had at least a few good months left. I know some people waited too long for the simple fact they could not bring themselves to do it, until it became unbearable to see the condition that the pet was in. Here is the main reason I think that euthanasia can be sometimes, just too convenient. Over the years of practice, I saw many clients with their pets, that other veterinarians had recommended euthanasia. In well over 80% of those cases through a more thorough examination and tests, and relatively inexpensive treatments, those animals’ lives were prolonged at least 1 year or more. The quality of life for those pets were from good to excellent. In my view a year is very significant when you are talking about a dog or cat. There was no question in my mind that euthanasia was taking the easy way out for those veterinarians.

Now I know euthanasia for humans is different than what it is in veterinary medicine. The biggest is that a person is making the decision for his or herself. That does not mean however, that other people cannot be an influence on that decision. Relatives and close family members could put undue pressure on someone that they feel is having extreme pain and suffering. The opposite could be true where family members could influence a person to continue the pain and suffering, just because they do not want to lose them forever. There is no question that deciding to end one’s life can be extremely difficult but should be made with no outside influence whatsoever, other than the person’s physician. Each and every case is so unique, that it is impossible to make some general recommendation on when it is time euthanize an individual. I have watched many people agonize over that decision, when it comes to their pets, and that decision may have lifelong consequences. Those consequences may be even more so, when a loved one is involved. It does seem like a great way to alleviate much pain and suffering, and maybe someday, as a society we might progress where that decision will be allowed to be made solely by the individual involved. I do not think we have reached that point yet. We should allow the natural progression of disease take place, until that day comes.

Meditation: Emotion

Emotion is a very complex feeling. It is something that has been hard to define. Looking at various dictionaries here are some of the attempts. Merriam-Webster defines emotion as a conscious mental reaction subjectively experienced as a strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body. Freedictionary. com states that emotion is an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness. Volitional means making a conscious choice, rather than an emotional choice. The Cambridge Dictionary simply states that it is a strong feeling like love or anger or any strong feeling in general. In most circles being “emotional” is considered a bad trait. People have a tendency to think that feelings and emotions are the same, but basically it is emotions, that lead to feelings. Emotions and feelings arise in different parts of the brain. Another way of putting it is that emotions are aroused before feelings. You could write a blog, or even a book on just trying to define and explain emotions. What is more interesting is how people and mental health experts feel about emotions.

There is a general consensus that we should try, and hide are emotions, most of the time. Crying, particularly by men, and even more so if the man is a leader, is considered a sign of weakness by some. Is there somewhere that we could see, where some part of our society has become more emotional over the last 20 to 30 years, and the effects that that may have had. You do not have to look very far to find that that has happened in the world of sports. Players today, show more emotion, than any time in history. It used to be, that teams and players would only show a lot of emotion when they scored a touchdown or even waited until the game was over. Now players are fist pumping, bat flipping, dancing, and going through extreme gyrations, just when they make a good play. It doesn’t seem to make any difference, when it takes place during the game, or what the score is, players will show their emotions when they make a good or great play. Even coaches on the sidelines are getting into the act by running up and down the field, clapping, fist pumping, exhorting the crowd, and showing every level of emotion during the game. The stoic, stone-faced coach is a dying breed. Has showing all this emotion been bad or good for all of these sports. You can find opinions on both sides of the question, on how all this emotional behavior has affected sports. If you google “being emotional” you will find sites that take a positive spin on being emotional and some trying to give advice on how to stop being so emotional. When people talk about the positive things of being so emotional, they feel that being emotional can help you be more aware of your own and other people’s feelings. The negative spin of being emotional, is that most of time, the emotional person becomes a big pain in the ass. There is no question in my mind, that people are showing more emotion in public, than they have in the past. I think it goes a long with people’s desire to discuss their dirty past, so to speak, in a public forum. Quite frankly I don’t see any good coming from that. Is there a best way of dealing with our emotions?

There is no question that emotions need to be acknowledged and treated kindly. Emotions should not be judged, or need to be justified. The feelings these emotions create need to be examined, and an attempt made to see what their root cause is. Emotions are just another sign, that the inward journey is the most important one you can take. Certain overwhelming, catastrophic, and unexpected events, may cause emotions that cannot or should not be repressed. In the normal, day to day events in life, we need to find a way to deal with the emotions, that could be detrimental to ourselves, and those around us. Relaxed deep breathing is an excellent method to deal with unwanted or detrimental emotions. This can allow you to get over the situation that is causing these emotions, and then you can express these emotions when you are alone, or with one other person. Expressing emotions when you are by yourself, should be just as effective and more positive, than expressing them in a situation where harm may be done. Caring and being emotional can seem to go hand in hand. Many times, the thing that you care about can be harmed if you become emotional in certain situations. You have to take the emotion out of the situation, if you want to make clear and precise decisions. Emotions never should be repressed. You must know when the proper time is to show them and express them. The inward journey can help.

Meditation: An Up and Down Holiday

I rarely write about my direct personal experiences, simply because they are personal and private. However, with the pandemic approaching 2 years, I finally was affected directly by that little corona bug. On December 30th I tested positive for Covid, who knows which kind. I probably contracted the disease while out in California, for the holidays. I am fully vaccinated with a booster in mid-October. My 14-year-old granddaughter tested positive late Christmas morning. She was not feeling well and did have a fever. At that point we all got tested and were negative. I flew out early the next morning just so I would not risk getting sick away from home. What is interesting and good news, is that none of my daughter’s other family members have shown any symptoms and all have remained negative. They are fully vaccinated. What is even more interesting, is on Christmas Eve, my granddaughter was around people that were not vaccinated, and they have not experienced any symptoms. She had a friend of hers come down with similar symptoms, but she tested negative for Covid. Later in the week, my granddaughter tested negative and has recovered. It makes me wonder if she could have had a rare false positive. Regardless, I started not feeling well on December 28, and of course, none of the at home tests could be found. I went to a mobile test area on the 30th, and it took 4 days to get the results on Jan. 3, which showed the test to be positive.

The best way I know how to describe how I felt during the illness, was it was just like having a bad cold. I did not ever run a fever. I have had much worse colds and really just had very low energy levels. I was never congested to the point where I could not breathe in the upper nasal passages. The only odd symptom was that for the first 2 nights I could not sleep, even though I had no trouble breathing. I also went through this odd vision, when I tried to sleep, that had numbers, that were above and below a certain line, and they would appear and disappear above and below this line. In my vision there was some significance to this, but I have no idea what it may have been. This only lasted for about two nights and now my sleep is now pretty much normal. This is my 10th day of illness and I still have some coughing and low energy levels, but overall, I am feeling pretty good. I feel very fortunate that this is all the symptoms I have had with this serious disease. I feel that my vaccination status has helped keep this illness at a fairly minor level. I am not completely better, but I am getting there.

Needless to say, this has gotten the New Year off to a slow start, for me. Hopefully I will continue to make progress, get into the swing of things, and start to write more. There will be lots of things happening. The college football championship game will be Monday between Alabama and Georgia which I have little interest in. The baseball lock out looks like it will head into February. The Steelers have a snowballs chance in hell of making the playoffs, but that is probably just as well. Golf is on the back burner, and we actually have had some golfing weather since I have been back. There is lots to write about and hopefully I will be raring to go by next week. Everybody stay safe, and Happy New Year.

Meditation: The Scary Inward Journey

Meditation has been around for centuries, and there are many benefits from meditating. If you google the benefits of meditation, you will find an almost endless list. First there is the 12 science-based benefits. Science based is a popular term now. The benefits are, reduces stress, controls anxiety, promotes emotional heatlh, enhances self-awareness, lengthens attention span, may reduce age related memory loss, can generate kindness, may help fight addictions, improves sleep, helps control pain, can decrease blood pressure, and last but certainly not least, accessible anywhere. Whew, I am exhausted already. Something called the EOC Institute (I’m not sure what EOC stands for) but they are in San Franscisco, say there are 141 benefits to meditation. Needless to say, I am not going to list them. There are other sites that will tell you the benefits of meditation, with the numbers ranging from 6 to 12. Some are into the word science based, while other sites will use the term surprising, when referring to the benefits of meditation. So, if there are so many benefits to meditation, why don’t more people meditate? Even a meditator like myself, really does not believe that meditation can have that many benefits. So, it is no wonder people that don’t meditate are skeptical. There are a lot of opinions of why people don’t meditate, found on the web. Those sites are also into numbers, like 5, 9, and 10 reasons people do not meditate. I was surprised that no one had 141 reasons people don’t meditate, because I bet there are. After reading about 10 articles, on why people don’t meditate, there seems to be a consensus of about 5 or 6 things that keep people from meditating. They range from not enough time, too difficult, being associated with spiritualism and religion, I could never do it, and I think it is just plain stupid.

None of the articles covered the reason that I think that people do not meditate, or if they start, they suddenly quit, and never really get back to doing it. One of the benefits listed above was enhanced self-awareness. This is the big stumbling block when it comes to meditation. Getting to know yourself, like you have never known yourself before can be very scary. The fear of knowing who you really might be, and facing some of your not so good qualities, can be quite traumatic. Fear is the most powerful emotion known to man. When fear is defined, it is always outward forces, that are defined as fearful. What happens when the source of your fear is you? There are many things that a person may not be proud of, or want to forget, rather than have them explained. We have all made decisions that may have affected other people badly, that really did not need to happen, but did because of our actions. There are always things that we feel we should or could do better. Everyone needs to take that inward journey in order to face and resolve issues, that have been caused by unwanted behavior and emotions, that have originated from within. Anytime, we have done things in the past, that were not very kind, we have tried to rationalize that behavior, by blaming someone else’s actions. There is no question, when you meditate you cannot escape yourself. You will get very close to exploring some of that behavior, but you will pull back out of fear, to keep from learning what kind of person you are. That fear may keep you from ever meditating again. Does this explain why people never even start to meditate. Yes, I think it does. Even though you do not meditate, or maybe have no intention of meditating, you still can not totally escape what you know to be true, deep down in your inner sanctum. For people that do meditate, and have faced their inner being head on, and continue to nurture and be kind to themselves, despite their faults, are the ones who can be kind to their fellow man as well. Even though meditation is a simple and easy process to do, and really takes only 20 minutes per day, it still takes lots of courage and guts to face and love the real you.

Meditation: Money

Money is defined as any item or verifiable record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts, such as taxes, in a particular country or socio-economic context. The main functions of money are distinguished as: a medium of exchange, a unit of account, a store of value and sometimes, a standard of deferred payment. Any item or verifiable record that fulfils these functions can be considered as money. That sounds so simple, but money and/or, the lack of money, seems to cause a lot of problems in the world. There are lots of sayings and cliches concerning money. The best things in live are free. Money or the love of money is the root of all evil. A fool and his money are soon parted. Can’t buy me love. Money, may not make you happy, but it helps you be miserable in comfort. Some of these sayings are truer than others, but money does seem to have a hold on our brains, and mental wellbeing. Some people seemed to have more money than they know what to do with, while others can never seem to make ends meet. Even if people somehow acquire a lot of money, through good fortune, they do not seem to be able to hold on to it. There are many stories of people who win the lottery, but seem to end up broke anyway in just a few years. They allow money to make them into a totally different person. In time, this new person, just blows right through all that money. On the other side of the coin, we have multibillionaires in the world today. The five richest men in the world have a net worth ranging from 174 to 97 billion dollars. It seems that money can create and solve a lot of problems at the same time.

For whatever reason, money does not seem to bring happiness, to those people who seem to have a lot of it. The rich and famous are well known for having many issues, that just seem to make their lives miserable. Maybe the key is being rich and not so famous. Of course, it’s hard to be one of the top 100 richest people in the world and not have some notoriety. We probably don’t hear that much about the happy millionaires. Misery loves company and the news media is well aware of this. It gives the middle-class comfort that the rich are just as unhappy as they are. Most people think the other guy is getting paid too much for he does. This is particularly true when professional athlete’s salaries come up. Money always seems to be an emotional subject. There are people that seemed to be obsessed with money and try to do anything to get more of it. The concept of using money to make money, which is the backbone of wall street, is looked at in some circles as immoral. The movie The Wolf of Wall Street did nothing to dissuade this type of thinking. Money is one of those inanimate objects that we must develop some kind of relationship with. It along, with food, alcohol and drugs, seem to be the main things that control are lives. Many of us blame other people for our problems, but in reality, most problems are related to one of those 4 things. Few of us think about having a “relationship” with something that is not alive. We only consider relationships we have with other people or how we look at ourselves. What is the best way to feel about money?

I have written this before, but never do anything strictly for money. If you can find something to do that you love and if it can make you enough money for the basics in life, plus some extra amenities, then you are well on your way to the happiness destination. You must not let money make you feel all the things that you should not feel, in the outside world. Things like envy, comparison, jealousy, bitterness, insecurity, and rage, can all be triggered by thoughts of money. Money is the object that tends to keep you from making the inward journey. If by acquiring a lot of money, you have ignored your inner self then the results and things that are made with this money will not make you understand yourself any better. This can fuel fear and anxiety in everyday life, rather than comfort and joy. You must be true to your inner self and journey. That should be the number one goal of every living human being. In the end, when your life is near its completion, all the money in the world is not going to help you. If being true to yourself and acquiring money can be one in the same, hallelujah, and go for it. Otherwise just be true to yourself and you will always have that good feeling right in the center of your gut.

Meditation: Obligation, Society

Obligation is defined as an act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment. Society is defined as the community of people living in a particular country or region and having shared customs, laws, and organizations. Does society have any obligations to its general members. There is always some kind of debate about this, which leads to the subject of the welfare state. In my view society should be obligated to make sure that everyone has shelter, food and clothing. No one should be hungry or cold or exposed to the elements. It seems like a simple obligation, and really does not seem all that noble. It should be something that is easy to accomplish. However, throughout the world people are hungry, homeless, and die from exposure to harsh conditions. Obviously society has failed miserably in meeting these 3 rather simple obligations. Despite these failings, society has taken upon itself another perceived obligation. The obligation that everyone should receive proper medical care. Of course society has also failed at this, but should it even be an obligation.

When you look up the basic human rights, food, clothing, shelter, and medical care are not even mentioned. At least not until 1948, when the United Nations got involved, and drafted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. There were 30 articles affirming an individuals rights. It was in those articles, that food, clothing, shelter and medical care, became basic human rights. Should medical care be a human right. The fact that this human right, was first advocated by the United States, is rather ironic, since we are one of the few countries, that do not have a national health care system. Despite this, or maybe because of this, Americans pay the most for health care, with our current health insurance system. Even though the government is more involved with our health care, we are far from having a universal health plan. Health Insurance is nothing more than a form of socialized medicine, where the many, pay for the few. Since the United States is a free enterprise system, which is based on supply and demand, why isn’t the medical profession part of the economic system. If the medical profession was held to the rule of supply and demand, health care costs would probably plummet. Surgeries and hospitals stays would cost around ten thousand dollars, instead of 30 thousand dollars. People may start to take better care of themselves, if they knew that they would have to foot the bill for their own medical care, and not be subsidized by an archaic health insurance system. Medical care for children should be an obligation of society. When the child becomes an adult, then that is when the obligation stops. Once the medical profession has to charge what the market will bear, then medical care would become much more affordable. Those that do not plan for their medical care, simply would get palliative treatment, to alleviate pain. As long as medical care is going to be considered a God given right, then there is no incentive to make it more affordable, whether it is managed by the government or insurance companies. Once people are required to pay for their own medical care, then possibly society will be able to finally meet its responsibility of providing everyone with food, shelter, and clothing. Once that obligation is met, then maybe society will be able to provide medical care for everyone. I would not hold my breath.

Meditation: Different

The word different is defined as, not alike in character or quality; distinct in nature; dissimilar. When applied to people, it is defined as, unlike most others, unusual. People can be different in race, personality, size, and gender. When you look at the meaning of the word different, being unlike most others, you would think that would be a good thing. Standing out from the crowd, and being different should get you noticed, and help you get on to a better life. Companies are always talking about increasing diversity in their hiring practices. However, this is usually not the case, in the real world, where people that are considered different and a little unusual, are often times shunned and isolated from society and the workplace. What society is most comfortable with is “being with their own kind”. In larger cities groups of people seem to congregate in certain areas hence, you have neighborhoods, such as Chinatown, Little Italy, and basically black communities. Why is there such comfort in being with a like kind? Why is diversity never been fully embraced in the world today? In almost every aspect of life, groups seem to congregate to individuals that are like themselves.

Is there really such comfort in being with your own kind, or is there an underlying fear of anything or anyone that is different from you. Even in such things as meditation there seems to be a stigma attached. I know of no one who uses meditation on a regular basis, and if I bring it up in a group it is usually ridiculed, or looked at as something that is a waste of time. Difference could be looked at, as the same as change. People are always wanting things to stay the same, even though that is impossible. Trying to stay away, or avoid people that are considered different, is also impossible. It is like the fear of the unknown. Fear is the overriding factor when it comes to the way people avoid anyone who is different. The reverse is also true. Anyone who considers themselves different, whether it be by race, beliefs, or appearance, will avoid making contact with the “normal” group. There is a fear of being ridiculed, and maybe even being harmed by the so called regular group. There is a lack of respect and acceptance of individuals who do not seem to be in line with the “normal” values of the community. People of certain races and religion have been persecuted and killed for no other reason than they are of a certain race or religion. Many sectors believe in a separatist society. The Nation of Islam has always sought for segregation and has had a belief that the black man is superior to the white man. Hitler had the master race. Looked upon as being different has always been a curse, rather than a positive attribute.

Being different is a fact of life, that is more prominent than any of us realize. Men and woman are different. The cultures and attitudes of various races and religions are different. These differences have nothing to do with an individual’s ability to do a job, and their right to make a living and pursue goals that can make them happy and comfortable. We as a society need to be able to function in our own group if we so desire, but we should allow a sector of society, no matter what the perceived differences are, live the life that they desire and deserve, as any person should, with free will. The fears of what a group or person may or not do, because they are different, must be laid permanently to rest. We need to embrace and accept all kinds of people, to be able to make the world a more livable place. It would be nice for that word different, to have only a positive meaning, and it would allow people to be more themselves, and have no fear of being different.

Meditation: God

Usually when I start a meditation blog with a word, the first thing I do is get a definition of the word, but we need to look at the way the word God is used first. A question many people ask is, do you believe in God. I am not too sure how many believe in God, but there are lots of people, who like to use the word God. You can not get through a day, with at least hearing one of these phrases and some many times. Good God, God almighty, Oh my God, God damn it, and God awful, just to name a few. In the free dictionary God is define as   a being conceived as the perfect, omnipotent, omniscient originator and ruler of the universe, the principal object of faith and worship. Webster dictionary states that God is  the perfect and all-powerful spirit or being that is worshipped especially by Christians, Jews, and Muslims as the one who created and rules the universe. In religion God is given a lot of attributes and none of them bad. God has limitless knowledge and power. God is not bound by time and can not be divided. God is not material, affected or subject to change. God is totally benevolent and simple. There are times when you hear some people referred to as Gods. Quite a compliment for that particular person. For God to have all these great attributes, he then must exist. That is where the rub is. Many people do not think there is a God. If he does not exist, then who is everybody praying to. The biggest problem for God, is that he or she, is always tied to religions, and that is never a good thing. For me personally, I have always felt there is a higher power out there somewhere, but I am not going to give it a name or call it God.

One of the purposes of meditation is to discover your inner master. By discovering your inner master, you will open many avenues to achieve goals and find success. Some people will talk about God, as being their Lord and Master. Allowing another image to be your lord and master could be a way of denying responsibility for one’s actions. We have all heard of the saying the Devil made me do it, when someone does something that is considered wrong or vulgar. Rarely do you hear someone say that God made me do it, to a similar action. However, there have been many wars and attacks on mankind, in the name of God. As written before, God has always been held in a very high esteem. If you are doing something in the name of God, then it has to be something that is for the common good and to overcome evil, at least from your point of view. This one thing is certain, the word God has had a profound effect on mankind, causing man to do many historic things, some good, and some not so good. God is used as a coping device, when bad things happen to good people. It is called God’s will. When tragedy strikes, friends will say, this is the time that you need to really find strength from your faith in the almighty God. Is this something that really helps. Is there this mighty being, that is all knowing, and can explain all the bad things that happen in the world, and on a personal level. I highly doubt it. Can your own inner master explain all of these things. I do not think that is possible, either. What is then, this higher power, that I think is running the show.

I think, this is what simply, is called the unknown. There is so much of life and existence, that we do not understand, or know. There is the belief, that we are all some way connected, not only in the world, but in the entire universe. This is what the higher power knows, and it knows when all of this will be revealed. We, as a people, are not ready to be connected with whatever is out there. The day to day tragedies and events are things that are simply beyond our comprehension. We are just specs in a vast system of worlds and universes, that hopefully, will know how to exist with each other, in a very distance future. There are a number of people that think the world is going to end some day. Some think that day is coming sooner, rather than later. The human race has been thinking this way for thousands of years. The book of Revelations is dedicated to this idea, and goes about how it is going to happen. There are many movies about the world ending, and what it might be like. I feel that the world will never end, and that is what the higher power is all about. In 4 or 5 thousand years, maybe everything will be explain, and our existence will be revered, as one of the steps, that helped it all come about. Life can be hard, but you can always blame your parents for putting you into it. Stay on the inward journey, and life will be easier, even though it may not be more understandable. You will always be responsible for the way your life was, is and will be. God has nothing to do with it.

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