Overall Attitude toward Life
What exactly is my general, overall attitude toward this life of mine? I may see it as:
• an incredible gift, the opportunity to explore the unique possibilities that life entails as a particular human being, living at this specific point in historical time
• an endless series of challenges, hurdles and obligations to help others
• personal pleasure, accomplishment, direct experience of awe & wonder
• stress, pain, boredom & suffering
Most likely, life's an unpredictable mix of all of the above. But the common, "normal" way of relating to life - "What's in it for me?" - is backwards and blinds us to reality.
We can only see clearly, appreciate things as they are, by forgetting about "me, myself & I." Dogen, who brought Zen from China to Japan, made this very clear:
"To study the way is to study the self To study the self is to forget the self To forget the self is to be enlightened by all things of the universe. To be enlightened by all things is to transcend the distinction of self and other and to go on in ceaseless enlightenment forever."
When seen clearly, life is a wondrous, incredible gift & opportunity, even when it happens to be mind-blowingly challenging & painful - for a while - because everything changes all the time.
We need to hang in there, not despair about what we perceive, rather work more intelligently on improving the clarity of our perception - how we perceive.
"We are luminous beings. We are perceivers.
We are an awareness. We are not objects.
We have no solidity.
We are boundless.
The world of objects and solidity is a way of making our passage on earth convenient. It is only a description that was created to help us. We or rather our reasons, forget that the description is only a description and thus we entrap the totality of ourselves in a vicious circle from which we rarely emerge in a lifetime. We are perceivers.
The world that we perceive though is an illusion.
It was created by a description that was told to us
since the moment we were born." Don Juan