Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Search For Meaning

The search for meaning
Wayne Dyer offers insight into how to live a life based on meaning and purpose, rather than the demands of the ego.
There’s a wonderful Turkish proverb that says, “No matter how far you have gone on a wrong road, turn back.” It doesn’t matter how long we’ve allowed ourselves to travel the road of our false self. The awareness that our life lacks meaning is more than enough evidence that it’s time to make a U-turn. Here are three important things to watch out for as we shift to the path of a meaningful and purposeful life.
1. Choosing humility
This is a monumental shift away from ego’s habitual thought pattern, which says that we’re entitled regardless of the impact on others or the planet. The fact is, we’re entitled to nothing. Ego’s me-first self-importance keeps us in a persistent state of frustration. This type of mentality provokes generalised anger at the world and many of the people in it. The directives we give to young, spoiled, ego-dominated children are valuable when we catch ourselves in ego’s dominance: “Think of someone other than yourself,” “Share your toys,” and “Treat others the way you wish to be treated”.
Making the shift to humility doesn’t mean that we put ourselves down or are weak, but it does mean we think of serving others before ourselves. Humility is the way of service, nurturing the sense of purpose that gives significance to our lives. Asking ourselves, “How can I want for someone else even more of what I’m feeling entitled to?” may help suspend our sense of entitlement, if even for just a moment.
2. Learning to trust
If we’re honest with ourselves, every one of us can agree that we’re acquainted with the ego part that controls and manages our lives and eagerly attempts to do the same for others. Be they family, friends, co-workers, or even strangers, ego routinely accepts the job of edging God out and taking on the role of master manipulator. As we move in a different direction, we realise the pointlessness of attempting to control any individual or situation.
When you disengage from ego control, what is it that you trust in? There are three markers to look for on this road:
* Trust in yourself This means hearing your soul speak in whatever way it does. Mahatma Gandhi explained his sense of it: “What is truth? A difficult question; but I have solved it for myself by saying that it is what the ‘voice within’ tells you.”
* Trust in others This means non-interference as much as possible. Trusting others frees you from feeling obligated to interfere. In the words of Lao-tzu: “Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it? I do not believe it can be done. Everything and everyone under heaven is a sacred vessel and cannot be controlled. Trying to control leads to ruin; trying to grasp, we lose.”
* Trust in the Source of being This means trusting the mystery of creation. When you trust in Divine intelligence, you cooperate and invite the shift to meaning.
3. Letting go
Perhaps the greatest lessons of my life have revolved around the slogan of the recovery moment: “Let go and let God” – a notion that involves relinquishing ego’s attachment to, or fear of, something. The single most pronounced attachment for most of us is the attachment to being right! Most stress results from hanging on to beliefs that keep us striving for more, because ego stubbornly refuses to believe we don’t need something. Chasing and striving – and then becoming attached to what we chased after – is a source of anxiety that invigorates ambition, but it won’t satisfy the need for meaning at our soul level. Another way to practise breaking ego’s attachments is to clear out the garage, cupboards, and wardrobes. Let go of material possessions and practise not being attached to them. If they haven’t been used in the past 12 months, they belong elsewhere.
. Natural harmony
Mother Teresa said, “Love must be put into action, and that action is service.” All of us can get into the habit of living a life based on service without expectation of reward by simply adopting a practice of radical humility. This is one of the key components of highly evolved people. Just observe how nature operates: The ocean stays low yet gains tremendous strength. That’s because all of the rivers and streams ultimately flow down and come to it. As the Tao te Ching reminds us: Why is the sea king of a thousand streams? Because it lies below them. Therefore, those desiring a position above others must speak humbly.
5. Practise radical humility
Trees bend low with ripened fruit, clouds hang down with gentle rain, and noble leaders bow graciously. This is the way of meaning and purpose. By practising radical humility, we send a firm message to our ego that we intend to have meaning and purpose in our life and are going to live from these four cardinal virtues: reverence for all life, natural sincerity, gentleness and supportiveness. These traits describe people who have transcended their false selves. They are not tormented with questions like, What if my whole life has been wrong? They have made the shift to a higher level.
6. Say thank you
Start each day with a prayer of “Thank you,” as the first words out of your mouth as you awaken. This is to keep you in a state of gratitude for all that you receive, as well as for the opportunity to live your days in service to others. As the famed Sufi poet Rumi once declared, “If you only say one prayer in a day, make it ‘Thank you.’”

Source : Nature and Health


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