BY MADISYN TAYLOR
Every day we can incorporate actions into our lives similar to that of the great yogis of Tibet.
The word “yogi” means “to realize the wisdom of pure awareness.” To do this, the yogis of Tibet practice Tibetan Buddhist meditation techniques. They have gained a level of mastery that makes it possible for them to practice in isolation for periods of one to three years. During this time, they focus their complete attention on connecting with spirit and gain an extraordinary level of control over their minds and bodies. We may not want to focus on one activity for one to three years, but there are principles that the yogis of Tibet live by that we can apply to our lives.
Like all yogis, we can make it a priority to connect with spirit. A few moments spent focusing our attention inward can allow us to see life with fresh eyes. We can also expand our view of the world by educating ourselves like the yogis do before they attain yogic mastery. Yogis study not only spiritual disciplines, but they also study science, philosophy, the arts, and medicine. Another way to emulate the yogis of Tibet is to focus our minds on positive thoughts that affirm the well-being of the planet. Yogis chant prayers for the well-being of the world even while doing tasks that don’t require their full concentration. It is through chanting, positive thoughts, and meditation that we learn to have compassion, feel empathy, and look for the good in every situation. We also become aware of our ability to create change in the world with our thoughts, actions, and intentions.
The yogis of Tibet have been called “supreme artists of life” for their ability to treat every situation like a spiritual endeavor. As we aspire to express the same art of patience, compassion, and peace in our lives, we too can radiate the tranquility, warmth, and joy attributed to these spiritual masters.
You will lose everything. Your money, your power, your fame, your success, perhaps even your memories. Your looks will go. Loved ones will die. Your body will fall apart. Everything that seems permanent is impermanent and will be smashed. Experience will gradually, or not so gradually, strip away everything that it can strip away. Waking up means facing this reality with open eyes and no longer turning away.
But right now, we stand on sacred and holy ground, for that which will be lost has not yet been lost, and realizing this is the key to unspeakable joy. Whoever or whatever is in your life right now has not yet been taken away from you. This may sound trivial, obvious, like nothing, but really it is the key to everything, the why and how and wherefore of existence. Impermanence has already rendered everything and everyone around you so deeply holy and significant and worthy of your heartbreaking gratitude. Loss has already transfigured your life into an altar. Jeff Foster
I thought I’d share what happened to me this evening. After my AA meeting, I stopped at a convenience store. As I got out of my car and began to walk in I heard someone say something to me. I looked to my left and there sat a woman on the bench outside. I looked at the woman and said “pardon me”. She asked how I was. I told her that I was doing fine and asked how she was. I’ll begin by describing this woman to you. She was heavy set, disheveled, a tad dirty and was missing many of her teeth. My heart sank when I saw her. Oddly I hadn’t even noticed her when I parked my car in front of the store. Nor did I notice her as I got out of my car.
She went on to tell me she had just left the hospital. Apparently she had an asthma attack. She told me her story and I just listened. My heart really went out to her. I told her that I hoped she would get better. Before I turned around to walk in the store, I noticed a Hispanic man walking toward the store. He opened the door for me. I couldn’t help but notice he was wearing a beautiful cross rosary around his neck. I got my things and walked up to the counter. The man was in line behind me. I asked the clerk if she knew if the woman outside was homeless. She wasn’t sure but said she comes around a lot. I told the clerk I felt sorry for that woman and wanted to buy her something to eat. The clerk was a little taken aback. I had several people behind me waiting to pay. I just explained that I wanted to buy the woman something to eat if she was homeless which is why I was inquiring. The clerk shared she didn’t really know but what she did know is often the woman would sit outside until she had enough money to buy a pack of cigarettes. I told the clerk I wasn’t willing to buy cigarettes but was happy to buy whatever food they had in their deli case. She handed me a pizza pocket. The man wearing the cross rosary said “Maam.maam” I turned around thinking he might be irritated because I was holding up the line. Instead he said “Maam that is a really nice thing for you to do. I wish I could help her too” he showed me the money he had in his hand. It was only enough to get fuel.
I paid the clerk however I was surprised that she didn’t even charge me for the pizza pocket. I took the pizza pocket and walked outside and handed it to the woman. She told me she was trying to figure out how she was going to eat this week. Wow. My heart sank again. I felt the tears build up. I simply said “well for now you don’t have to worry. You now have something to eat.” She was very grateful.
I’m sharing not for accolades, rather to share how God uses people to make a difference. He also can use one person to touch the lives of many. That homeless woman touched my heart. I felt inclined to buy her food. The man wearing the cross rosary was touched by my act of kindness. The clerks heart was open too. She didn’t charge me for the food. In short, each of our lives was touched by a woman who was sitting on a bench and had the courage to say hi despite her circumstances. I’m not sure what the miracle was but for me it was awesome to help someone but at the same time fill the hearts of others.