Monday, March 29, 2010

Samsara in Detroit


     As I reflect on my childhood, football career and subsequent 12 years searching for my purpose, the most valuable lesson learned is that there will be change, the journey never ends and the work is never done. The root of anxiety is lack of preparation and the inability to adapt.That being said, I'm trying to change.
    'Change' is often heard these days, but where is it? We can't wait for things to miraculously change themselves. We need to do the work. Understand that we create our own existence. And always remember it's not where you're from, it's where you're at. 
    Preparing children for life's challenges needs to be the foundation of their future. Giving them the tools to cope with the journey that lies ahead. Showing them how to do it. There's no better place to start than in the city that needs most - Detroit. No stranger to change, The Motor City is perfect example of how we must press on. Embrace the task, dig in and make a stand. The D is like an uncut diamond. Brush away the outer layer, in lies the gem. 
   The following text shows us that if you plan on it, change can and will  be your greatest ally. And guess what?.........It's never too late.




       'Samasara' by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Samsara literally means "wandering-on." Many people think of it as the Buddhist name for the place where we currently live — the place we leave when we go to nibbana. But in the early Buddhist texts, it's the answer, not to the question, "Where are we?" but to the question, "What are we doing?" Instead of a place, it's a process: the tendency to keep creating worlds and then moving into them. As one world falls apart, you create another one and go there. At the same time, you bump into other people who are creating their own worlds, too.
The play and creativity in the process can sometimes be enjoyable. In fact, it would be perfectly innocuous if it didn't entail so much suffering. The worlds we create keep caving in and killing us. Moving into a new world requires effort: not only the pains and risks of taking birth, but also the hard knocks — mental and physical — that come from going through childhood into adulthood, over and over again. The Buddha once asked his monks, "Which do you think is greater: the water in the oceans or the tears you've shed while wandering on?" His answer: the tears. Think of that the next time you gaze at the ocean or play in its waves.
In addition to creating suffering for ourselves, the worlds we create feed off the worlds of others, just as theirs feed off ours. In some cases the feeding may be mutually enjoyable and beneficial, but even then the arrangement has to come to an end. More typically, it causes harm to at least one side of the relationship, often to both. When you think of all the suffering that goes into keeping just one person clothed, fed, sheltered, and healthy — the suffering both for those who have to pay for these requisites, as well as those who have to labor or die in their production — you see how exploitative even the most rudimentary process of world-building can be.
This is why the Buddha tried to find the way to stop samsara-ing. Once he had found it, he encouraged others to follow it, too. Because samsara-ing is something that each of us does, each of us has to stop it him or her self alone. If samsara were a place, it might seem selfish for one person to look for an escape, leaving others behind. But when you realize that it's a process, there's nothing selfish about stopping it at all. It's like giving up an addiction or an abusive habit. When you learn the skills needed to stop creating your own worlds of suffering, you can share those skills with others so that they can stop creating theirs. At the same time, you'll never have to feed off the worlds of others, so to that extent you're lightening their load as well.
It's true that the Buddha likened the practice for stopping samsara to the act of going from one place to another: from this side of a river to the further shore. But the passages where he makes this comparison often end with a paradox: the further shore has no "here," no "there," no "in between." From that perspective, it's obvious that samsara's parameters of space and time were not the pre-existing context in which we wandered. They were the result of our wandering.
For someone addicted to world-building, the lack of familiar parameters sounds unsettling. But if you're tired of creating incessant, unnecessary suffering, you might want to give it a try. After all, you could always resume building if the lack of "here" or "there" turned out to be dull. But of those who have learned how to break the habit, no one has ever felt tempted to samsara again.


We'd all love to live with the naiveté' of a puppy; thinking life is going to go off without a hitch. Fact is life is tough. And the sooner our youth are given the tools to cope, the better.GM

Friday, March 26, 2010

Suicide Is Not An Option



Love is the center.
Acceptance the goal.
Destruction abundant.
Doing 'time in the hole'.

Our fear of the truth.
Of never being enough.
How funny when we get there.
We fuck it all up.

Why do we do it?
Spin out of control.
What is our purpose?
Will we ever be whole?

Our burning question.
Is it worth it...... this fight?
Just as legend has it.
We must fight for that right.

You've gotta make it.
It's all in your mind.
You've got a message to carry.
And delivered on time..............

.GHM



Monday, March 22, 2010

Utterly

.This poem was recently posted by Herman Le Roux on the Facebook group page , Bipolar(s) Supporting Bipolars.

Somes it up.......Thank you, Herman

Utterly

   by Herman Le Roux


Utterly lonely, utterly sad
Feelings of desperation, utterly bad
Utterly brilliant, utterly bored
Utterly cut by this two edged sword.
Utterly loving and utterly glad,
Utterly passionate about the thoughts of mad

Would I change this utter world of me
For one where every moment can just be?

For one of mundane and always the same,
Without regret and without blame?

Would I take a world of only light?
Where there is not this life and love fight?

Or would I choose one of darkness and fear,
A one where thought are stuck in one gear?

Would I change all of this for one plain and true?
Where sun is just sun and blue is just blue?

I thought about that, of a life free of pain,
In exchange for one where there is no passion to gain.

And may answer is this, yes
I would for a day,
Go to that normal, life that people say
Is part of billions and billions of men,
But I know that I would return to my own when,
My passion for love and life return
With its feelings of hate and love that can burn

A mark in this world that will evermore be,
Because you see that is this,
This life called me.


.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

About a Weak Back........



       I've been off the radar for a couple weeks. In my former years......as a NFL punter.......the many years of throwing my leg up over my head has led to a plethora of injuries(hip, back, legs,neck) that have required(need) surgery. Like clockwork, 2-3 times a year, the scar tissue and bone fragments around the L4 in my lower back shift into a position where my torso locks up due to sciatic nerve pressure. I'm guessing the 36 hr car ride to AZ didn't help the issue.


    The loss of physical activity (golf, gym workouts, cardio) usually leads me to a funk......which it did. This simply reminds me that I(we) must stay active. Keep moving. Our descendants were hunter gatherers. Case in point, when we stop moving, our brains will have too much time. Too much time to think....into the past and into the future. 


     Lack of activity and/or reading will lead to atrophy in both our bodies and our minds. So keep moving people. Stay in the moment.  I was reminded that whether it be a physical and/or mental ailment, we must stay focused, stay strong and stay active. And remember take an aggressive approach to wellness. GM