Being With ‘What Is’
The first time I saw Daniel Nahmod in Tucson was the second time I set foot in the Center for Spiritual Living Tucson in spring 2009. There might have been 17 people in the audience. Daniel played acoustic, just him and a guitar, for 2 hours. He’s part of the reason I found this Center. That’s a story for another day. If you missed seeing Daniel Sunday, we’ve posted the service on our Facebook page YouTube page.
Among the many topics Daniel talked about Sunday — how he and his family got to continually adjust and readjust their expectations of the world, and what has been truly possible these past two years. Agreements he and his wife Melina made with each other and the divine have allowed them to stretch/grow in unexpected ways and directions. He’s also grown in his faith, trust and love, knowing the Universe works on his behalf.
Derek Sivers just released a new book How to Live, 27 conflicting answers and one weird conclusion. Derek is an American writer, programmer, a former entrepreneur and a musician. He accidentally started CD Baby in 1997 after his musician friends asked him to sell their CDs for them. He thinks a lot, and writes a lot. In this book, he analyzed as many points of view as he could find about how to live, and distilled them down to their essential points. As his title exclaims, these points of view disagree. What’s his one weird conclusion? We live in a world of paradoxes, the world of ‘and/both’, not a world of ‘one right way’, and we each get to decide how we wish to live our lives. So does everyone else. No one is wrong for their choice. It’s their choice.
In 2003, Byron Katie introduced the world to her process ‘The Work’ in Loving What is. She encouraged each reader to evaluate how much of their experience was actual-factual and how much was constructed by their own interpretation, and expectation, of events that happened in the past, or were anticipated in the future.
From Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, “‘I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’”
Zen Buddhist teacher Adyashanti wrote in his 2011 book Falling Into Grace, Insights on The End of Suffering, “When we begin to surrender our demand that life change, that life alter itself to suit our ideas, everything opens up. We begin to awaken from this dream of separateness and struggle, and we realize that the grace we were always seeking is actually right there at the center of our own existence. This is the heart of spiritual awakening; to realize that what we have always yearned for is the very thing, in our deepest source, that we have always been.”
From Dr Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind (110.3-111.1), “If we talk about discord, we shall become more discordant. The more the world arms for war, the more certain it is that there will be war. People who spend all their time talking about their unhappiness become more unhappy. Jesus understood these great laws of cause and effect in the Universe, which work sometimes with apparent slowness, but always with sureness. Eventually we shall understand that all human bondage is an invention of ignorance. Before we leave this subject of bondage and freedom, we wish to make clear that there is no sin but a mistake, and no punishment but an inevitable consequence.”
Like all humans, I get to work with my beliefs and expectations. I know I reap what I sow. I do my best to most consistently sow the experience I choose, and dig out the weeds of “I wish life was different than it is” as quickly as I see them. It’s a continuous practice. The reward is being present with Life in all its glorious fullness.
–Rev Janis Farmer