Who is in charge of your mind? Your moods? Your emotional reactions? The government? Your spouse? Your boss? Your dog? No. Of course not. Each of us is uniquely in charge of our own mind. What an incredible responsibility! Can we embrace it for the benefit of all beings? Can we take charge and become a loving witness and creative conductor of our inner world? Buddha said "Become a lamp unto yourself." Which by the way is more fun if you go to Target and get this certain light bulb which comes in strengths such as "reassuring, relaxing, inviting, and vibrant." I chose the reassuring bulb. Wanting to be a lamp unto myself, I turned it on and sat under the glow. It did feel surprisingly reassuring. I tested it out several times during the first day. Walking to my entry table, turning on the reassuring bulb, and letting it shine on me. Yes, I was beginning to understand. Be a lamp unto myself.
As I progress on the healing path and the project of rewiring my brain and nervous system, the concepts of INSPIRATION and HUMOR are forefront these days. I love a good project, don't you? Brian Swimme, my favorite mathematical cosmologist and someone who I would invite to Sunday lunch, says that what inspires and delights us is the very same force of allurement behind the magnificent gravity that in its perfect way keeps everything in the universe in a superb state of tension. Gravity is not a fortuitous coincidence and neither are your passions. Our personal allurements are the universe's way of applauding itself. What inspires you is not the same thing that inspires me. We can honor our uniqueness by following our hearts.
If you feel challenged by your mind, your mood, your attitude, I invite you to first buy a reassuring light bulb at Target, then sit under it for a while and contemplate what you love in this world. If you are not pursuing your allurements, then you are stunting the growth of the universe. It is hard to be happy if we aren't doing what makes us happy. And when we are happy, we can help others be happy too. When we let our light shine, it effortlessly illuminates everything around us.
This is a primo reason to develop an interest in your own mind. To learn to meditate and watch what in the world is going on inside your brain, heart, and body. Gaze inward then listen to the narration. My first therapist back in the early 90's said to me "You know, you don't have to follow every thought you have." I was stunned. Why hadn't anyone told me this before? Why wasn't this pasted on billboards and broadcast on the radio?
What? I can intervene in my thoughts? I can choose my own thoughts? I can dissolve thoughts with awareness? Which leads to having some choice about my emotions and behavior. Hello. Newsflash. That sparked something in me that continues to this day.
Instead of being caught up with the swirlygig thought machine in the brain, how about dropping into the heart and pursuing our allurements, our heart's voice? Be a lamp unto yourself. Light yourself up.
One way to start, after the lightbulb purchase of course, is to start an INSPIRATION BOWL. Choose a big and pretty bowl of your liking then start filling it with images and quotes and words that draw your attention. I started mine a few weeks ago. Every morning, or even several times a day, I choose a few clippings from my bowl. Then I set them under my reassuring lamp (I'm not kidding, I really do. You can come over and see it.)
Yesterday my inspiration was "Figs, Endless Summer, Retreat, Picnic". Today it is a simple cut out that says "Now". Tomorrow it might be "Delicious, Find your island, Mindful Silence". Who knows? The point is when I look at the images and words, it does something to my mind and molecules. I remember something about myself. I feel inspired. My heart feels more open. They are just words cut out of magazines and catalogs. It is that simple.
The second part of this current rewiring project is humor. It goes along with inspiration. It is a means of working with the mind. Of cutting through the habitual negativity. I have a couple cartoons placed strategically around the house. They crack me up whenever I see them. Then I have several funny lines from good movies stored in my memory. I somehow work them into the daily mental proliferation of thoughts. I smile every time at the same things over and over. Here is a sure bet for a good giggle...when I say a certain planet's name I can't help from laughing. Hint: it is not Mars. Humor. It is that simple.
Buddha was right. Again. Be a lamp unto yourself. Ignite and delight yourself. Inspire and surprise yourself.
I hope you will join me in Project Allurement, mingle gravity and brevity. Imagine a planet aglow with inspiration. Isn't that reassuring?
All my love, Thupten (the ''h" is silent)