Greetings in a Wednesday!
So, to begin this class today, a story written by Bruce Rogers when he was very young, he waved his arms, smashed the teeth of his massive jaws and trumped around the house and saw that the dishes trembled in the china cabinet. Over goodness sake, his mother said, you’re not a dinosaur, you’re a human being. She said, she’s not a dinosaur. He thought for a time, he might be a pirate.
Seriously, his father said at some point, what do you want to be? A fireman, or a policeman, or a soldier? Some kind of hero? But in high school, they gave him test and told him he would be very good with numbers, perhaps, he’d like to be a Math teacher, that was respectable. Or a tax accountant? He could make a lot of money doing that.
It seem to be a good idea to make money, ___ falling in love and think you’re not raising a family. So, he’s a tax accountant even though he’s sometimes regretted that he’d feel small. And he felt he was smaller when he was no longer a tax accountant, but a retired tax accountant. It’s still worse as a retired tax account, because he forget things. He forget to take the garbage to the ___, he forgot to take his pills, and he forgot to turn his hearing aid back on.
Every day, he seemed to have forgotten more things, important things like which of his children live in San Francisco, which of his children were married or divorced. Then one day, when he was out for a walk by the lake, he forgot what he was mother told him. He forgot that he was not a dinosaur. He stood blinking his dinosaur eyes in the bright sunlight feeling the familiar ___ on his dinosaur skin, watching dragonflies fleeting among the horse tails at the watersheds.
So, I began with that beautiful and poignant story really ___ a little bit on how we view ourselves. These ideas about who we should be, and what we need to do in living a life that end up very much shaping our life experience and not always in a not enriching way.
Often, I refer to a ___ of caregiver of ___ who was with thousands of people who were dying. I wrote an essay about the major regrets. And she said there were five (5) major regrets of the dying. I want to read them to you.
The first is, I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
The second was, I wish I didn’t work so hard.
The third was, I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
The next was, I wish I prioritized loving relationships.
And then the last, I wish I had let myself be happier… which is interesting. That happiness is a choice. That we, in some way, are addicted to patterns that keep us from being happy.
So, we stay in these beliefs about who we are, on who we are supposed to be that really day by day we go through the day living that kind of story and like the guy who wanted to be and felt he was a dinosaur and then got told he was something smaller and different. We keep ourselves really from what’s possible. We live in something smaller. We keep ourselves in beliefs that diminish ourselves, or create separation from others. Beliefs that we have to make certain expectations, we need to speed along and we need to accomplish this and that, and the other things or we need to defend ourselves or high part of ourselves.
The deepest suffering, which can be described as the daily sense of failure is that we lose sight of the light of awareness. We lose sight of the quality of being-ness. This basic essence of heart and loving presence. That’s what we really are. We lose sight of that and that translates to some way a daily sense of failure like we’re not quite living up to something, but we’re not realizing we’re cutting up ourselves from something that’s already here.
So, what I would like to explore in this talk are the key elements on a meditative path that helps us to wake up out of a prison of thoughts of ___ beliefs. How do we identify the beliefs that really keeping us from being all we can be? And how do we wake up out of that. Because of a really key question.
Seems like the starting place is to really look at how it happens that pretty universally, we end up and identified as an egoistic and limited self. How does that happen? So, we look together at that, because it’s really part of the evolutionary design that we emerge and we’re sent a sense of separateness, and then we develop all the strategies to protect vulnerable self, and expand and enhance ourselves and we live with some sense of being threatened that things are not okay.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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