Prevent trouble…

Prevent trouble before it arises.
Put things in order before they exist.
The giant pine tree
grows from a tiny sprout.
The journey of a thousand miles
starts beneath your feet.
Rushing into action, you fail.
Trying to grasp things, you lose them.
Forcing a project to completion,
You ruin what was almost ripe.
Therefore the Master takes action
by letting things take their course.
He remains calm
at the end as at the beginning.
He has nothing
thus has nothing to lose.
What he desires is nondesire;
what he learns is to unlearn.
He simply reminds people
of who they have always been.
He cares for nothing but the Tao [the Way].
Thus he can care for all things.

-Lao Tzu

I found this amazing quote in the book “Buddha Is As Buddha Does” by Lama Surya Das. It is exemplar of all I strive for as my purpose. Great quote! Great book.

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Atonement and Sadness

The trees,
how they sway speaks to me personally of miracles.
Waves of green leafs in perfect motion evokes emotion,
and in the perfect moment I grasp atonement.

Still the lamenting relents, and I wonder if I’m implementing this Dharma Right;
is life a dance, a struggle, a fight? My mind is mildly wild,
but the sadness I feel at times is mightily mighty.

So why is it that I am filled with this sadness inside me? I have no reason,
gratitude is an insight I have not lost, but still I feel tossed in a turbulent sea of synaptic tsunamis,
and maelstroms sinking me to depths of crushing weight.

Expatriate me from this state.

Liberate me, myself.

Lend me a new slate…

Just breathe!

Sit, breathe, exude; Don’t seethe, but Imageextrude from me this sense of impending doom. I’ve been dealing with some anxiety. Sometimes I thinks it’s proprietary like I’m the only one who feels it, or feels like it seals me in this glass box of two way mirrors. I can see you, but you’re blind to me. I kick at the sides. I punch. I scream, I plead “Just let me out into this world of beauty and talkative people who want to converse,” but whom i avoid because this anxiety wont let me be. I practice mindfulness, yet more and more my mind is full of this fear. Why do I fight it instead of letting it go to pass away? I feel sometimes like I’ve been cast away. An outcast with the strength to outlast, and endure with heroic effort. Exert the mind.Sit. Breathe. Exude. Vipassana, Anopana. Pranyama, Avalokiteshvara give me that never ending compassion so that I may withstand this mind lashing, and lashing at me with whips of fear so hot they sear my flesh. Sila. Somati. Panna. I’m on ya like a drug that I use as a tool…my meditation is my medication to see through to reality and find peace, and increase the wealth of wisdom to help others. My sisters. My brothers. Anxiety, terror, panic, uneasiness; fear comes in such variety. Calm my heart.Tame my brain, and cure me of this queasiness. liberation, my frineds, it’s no easy quest, but I feel blessed to be on the path no matter what fury like hell hath no. Just breathe!

You’re Living on the Cusp of Death

Craving, the riot of the soul not quenched as we go on extolling for our vices. This imbibement, this chemical romance that entices and entices until the soul is sold for the price of a bottle. We lay coddled by our own nightmares unaware that death looms like a dark cloud, the shroud of Turin wrapped around my whole being. Help! i’m doomed, entombed, exhumed every morning by the grace of some creator that may or may not exist. I’m shaking! i’m screaming! I need a fix. Mix that powder in that spoon until it dissolves, drop in a cotton, hit a vein and swoon. Rinse and repeat until every inch of life is nothing but one   big deception. Hell, I might as well change my name to deceit and bleach another syringe, and tell myself its all worth the risk. Tisk! Tisk! It burns! It burns! Oh shit! I missed! I missed! Abscesses dot my heart, and in the recesses of my own mind I want them to pop. Self-loathing crops me down to an impish figure whom hates the light and every night I fight this urge to approach the kitchen, grab a knife, and just start slitting veins and arteries. Maybe just cut this part out of me. This addiction. Call 911 I’m falling out, seizing, convulsing, expulsion of vomit ,urine, and feces. get me some help! Please! Please! I’m crying! I’m dying! Get me to rehab! I’ll try this time! I’m trying! Just save my life, Mr EMT! I’ve been flat-lined for three minutes, and I’m realizing that life is worth living, and that the things I want most won’t come for free. Okay, on the count of one, two, three–zap me back to life so i can cope and deal with the muck, mire, and strife. Here it comes! the light at the end of the tunnel glaring! Nope, it’s an inferno just for me. Just let me go. Let me have some peace before those demons poke and prod at me. Man, if I just realized sooner that I could be free!

Here’s to turning 30

Today I am 30 years old. As I look back on this life I see a vibrant, at times turbulent and miserable, potpourri of experience. I am reminded of a couple of poems. The first:

“Alone”
By Edgar Allen Poe 

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were—I have not seen
As others saw—I could not bring
My passions from a common spring—
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow—I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone—
And all I lov’d—I lov’d alone—
Then—in my childhood—in the dawn
Of a most stormy life—was drawn
From ev’ry depth of good and ill
The mystery which binds me still—
From the torrent, or the fountain—
From the red cliff of the mountain—
From the sun that ’round me roll’d
In its autumn tint of gold—
From the lightning in the sky
As it pass’d me flying by—
From the thunder, and the storm—
And the cloud that took the form
(When the rest of Heaven was blue)
Of a demon in my view—
 
And the second:
 
“The Men That Don’t Fit In”
By Robert W Service
 

There’s a race of men that don’t fit in,
    A race that can’t stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
    And they roam the world at will.
They range the field and they rove the flood,
    And they climb the mountain’s crest;
Theirs is the curse of the gypsy blood,
    And they don’t know how to rest.

If they just went straight they might go far;
    They are strong and brave and true;
But they’re always tired of the things that are,
    And they want the strange and new.
They say: “Could I find my proper groove,
    What a deep mark I would make!”
So they chop and change, and each fresh move
    Is only a fresh mistake.

And each forgets, as he strips and runs
    With a brilliant, fitful pace,
It’s the steady, quiet, plodding ones
    Who win in the lifelong race.
And each forgets that his youth has fled,
    Forgets that his prime is past,
Till he stands one day, with a hope that’s dead,
    In the glare of the truth at last.

He has failed, he has failed; he has missed his chance;
    He has just done things by half.
Life’s been a jolly good joke on him,
    And now is the time to laugh.
Ha, ha! He is one of the Legion Lost;
    He was never meant to win;
He’s a rolling stone, and it’s bred in the bone;
    He’s a man who won’t fit in.

These wonderful poems used to describe me. I identified with them. Now life is about drawing happiness and sorrow from a common well, and maintaining serenity, mindfulness, and peace.

Looking forward I can say that i finally see hope. I have found new purpose, and with it new direction. Compassion and generosity are becoming a way of life that gives me a joy I did not know i could have simply by reaching out to and for others. I look around and feel love now. I have a long way to go, but by living this way i can be there before I get there. I draw inspiration from the random acts of kindness I witness daily, and it gives me courage to do what i never thought was possible. I am grateful for everything I am given, and look forward for what’s to come, good or bad.

Idle Hands

Imagine watching someone destroying everything good in their life! Imagine the horror of witnessing that person hovering demonically over a spoon with a syringe. He shakes so badly, but somehow he is able to steady his hands enough to gently draw back the plunger, filling the syringe with a solution of heroin and tap water. He hates himself. He wants desperately to stop, but can’t. Maybe this shot will kill him, and he will finally be done lying and stealing from those who love him! Maybe he will die and the woman he abuses as a result of the constant psychological torment of addiction will heal. Imagine watching as he wraps a belt around his arm to act as a tourniquet. He has done this a hundred times and wastes no time checking the syringe for air bubbles, or blood clots that could travel to his heart, lungs, or brain to cause embolisms, or aneurisms. The rush he gets as he sticks a vein, pulls back slightly on the plunger to see it fill with a cloud of red blood, and then the pinnacle comes, the most exciting moment, he injects the poison inside of himself. You’re screaming at him to stop! “Stop, you have so much potential! Don’t you realize you are killing yourself? What about your family?! What happened to you?! You used to be such a nice person!” You scream it, but he can’t hear you! It’s not because he’s deaf! It’s because you are the voice in the back of his mind. You are what is left of his sanity, but he has learned the damnable skill of hateful ambivalence. He has come to believe that he has nothing to live for because he is too proud to admit helplessness, but recovery is possible. Even he can be redeemed.

It is my goal to attain a Bachelor’s degree in health Science with a minor in Substance Abuse and Addiction. I believe I can bring a fresh perspective, and enrich the education of other students by sharing my perspective as a recovering addict. Alcoholism, drug addiction, and substance abuse related recidivism are serious problems facing our community, and with no real solution in sight drug and alcohol counselors are as vital as ever in managing this health care crisis. Rehabilitation seems to be the only solution, and it is my aspiration to become a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor. There is a kind of understanding that comes from having struggled with addiction and alcoholism. The above paragraph, while not completely autobiographical, could have easily been about me. Having this kind of firsthand knowledge will enable me to help other addicts find relief, and become recovered. We are all in this together, and it is the responsibility of every one of us to help one another ease or end our individual and collective suffering. Service to others, I believe, is the highest purpose, and to help others find what I have found would be both an honor and a privilege.

A Mindfulness Poem

Life renewing silence, seething.

Breathing in.

Breathing out.

Ebbing like the give and take of the lunar tide, full and empty.

Impermanent

Passing on like fleeting moments, their seconds tick, tick, ticking.

Like the sticking of drops of dew on rose pedal destined to dry in the morning sun. The same petal destined to be shunned from its stem:

Tumbling

Drying

Crumbling into dust and blown away by a breeze that is finite itself.

Like that rose petal into the swaying trees I will some day flee as my consciousness does as I fall into the deepest sleep