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   Essays by Liah

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When we say “Yes!” to what life brings, we are living in the flow. Of course, this is much easier said than done. To focus our attention on the positive, loving aspects of our existence, and turn away from the irritating situations, is the key to feeling akin to the current of life rather than fighting life. Yet, how do we do this? How do we master our minds, which are sometimes fueled by self-righteousness and self-will, and become the humble participant in life who is here to contribute our best, rather than dwell in negativity?

The answer is to cultivate mindfulness, along with a powerful faith in the goodness of life. Many spiritual teachers who have gone before us have left their imprint on humanity. They shared with us a more transcendent way of living, one which can bring fulfillment. At the core of the values these teachers espoused was the concept of acceptance.

Consider the Tibetan monk, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who lost his country through violence and is now teaching people worldwide about peace. His Holiness has stated that “compassion is the pillar of world peace.” The Dalai Lama is showing us that humankind can overcome difficult obstacles through kindness. Although leaving his country of birth was not in his life’s plan, he has made the best of the situation and has contributed greatly by surrendering to the flow of where life brought him.

Each of us are presented with situations that may seem too daunting or too difficult to handle with love. Yet, I know from experience that learning to rely on my faith in the infinite and divine universal source made all the difference between feeling like life’s victim, and feeling empowered to go with the flow. After my mother’s sudden death, I was horrified, angry, and overwhelmed with grief. And though I understood that acceptance was the only answer, I still needed to pray for forgiveness to fill my heart for the doctor and the nurses at the nursing home. I had to move forward in my life and turn my grief into something positive. For myself, it was giving to others, but there are many ways in which the divine universe tests us, and meeting those challenges is almost never easy

Sometimes it is hard to see the lesson and gift in the circumstances that seem out of the flow, especially for those small, but annoying instances in life—the noisy neighbor, our always-late friend, the barking dog. These are the times, however, when we get to put into practice our hours of meditation and mindfulness practice, and accept with compassion this new presence in our lives. We must simply remind ourselves that we are all souls on a journey, and that people are sometimes unconscious of their effect on others. When we refuse to personalize the disturbance the universe has brought into our world and instead seek to conquer the chaos in our minds, then we are rewarded with not only more peaceful lives, we can also rejoin the flowing life.

Life may not always bring roses and riches but by learning to say “Yes!” to what life offers, and by learning to apply the mantra of acceptance to life events both small and large, we open ourselves to the gift of living in the flow. In the gentle and wise words of the Dalai Lama, “we can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”

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