Beginning again.

As 2015 approaches, I’ve been going back through a lot of things — my goals for the coming year, my approach to the socialnets, my plans for various projects, this blog — and starting over. You will see this reflected in the fact that I’ve deleted most of the old posts here.

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So much has changed in my life since I started this site. Maybe I’ll take some time to chronicle some of those changes in future posts, but honestly part of the change has been that I have lost my last vestiges of patience with the narcissism of the Internet. My creative aspirations have taken somewhat of a back seat to my renewed battle against chronic illness and disability, as two years ago I had a breakthrough and have been making strides towards resuming my long-dead career as an athlete (now disabled-athlete) that I would have previously thought impossible. It has been an incredible journey to places I thought I would never be able to reach again, but I continue to be quite profoundly ill much of the time and live in a state of suspended terror that it will all come crashing down again.

More about that shortly, as I am facing a turning point with this new journey that I have been on….since continuing the forward momentum with my health and quality of life has become my priority, second only to my children, all of my other plans pivot on what has to happen for that to be possible.

For now, I just wanted to have a fresh update on here to replace all the old posts that I deleted, and to say that you can expect a lot more activity on here going forward. One way or another, 2015 will most definitely be the most important year of my life to date. It should be quite a ride, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

The True Sound of Truth

This is an old Buddhist parable that I’ve always enjoyed and found to be a useful reminder about rigidness in philosophy. It is usually entitled “The True Sound of Truth.” Well worth sharing, in my humble opinion.

An old story speaks about a similar problem. A devoted meditator, after years concentrating on a particular mantra, had attained enough insight to begin teaching. The student’s humility was far from perfect, but the teachers at the monastery were not worried.

A few years of successful teaching left the meditator with no thoughts about learning from anyone; but upon hearing about a famous hermit living nearby, the opportunity was too exciting to be passed up.

The hermit lived alone on an island at the middle of a lake, so the meditator hired a man with a boat to row across to the island. The meditator was very respectful of the old hermit. As they shared some tea made with herbs the meditator asked him about his spiritual practice. The old man said he had no spiritual practice, except for a mantra which he repeated all the time to himself. The meditator was pleased: the hermit was using the same mantra he used himself — but when the hermit spoke the mantra aloud, the meditator was horrified!

“What’s wrong?” asked the hermit.

“I don’t know what to say. I’m afraid you’ve wasted your whole life! You are pronouncing the mantra incorrectly!”

“Oh, Dear! That is terrible. How should I say it?”

The meditator gave the correct pronunciation, and the old hermit was very grateful, asking to be left alone so he could get started right away. On the way back across the lake the meditator, now confirmed as an accomplished teacher, was pondering the sad fate of the hermit.

“It’s so fortunate that I came along. At least he will have a little time to practice correctly before he dies.” Just then, the meditator noticed that the boatman was looking quite shocked, and turned to see the hermit standing respectfully on the water, next to the boat.

“Excuse me, please. I hate to bother you, but I’ve forgotten the correct pronunciation again. Would you please repeat it for me?”

“You obviously don’t need it,” stammered the meditator; but the old man persisted in his polite request until the meditator relented and told him again the way he thought the mantra should be pronounced.

The old hermit was saying the mantra very carefully, slowly, over and over, as he walked across the surface of the water back to the island.

Everything I ever needed to know, I learned from a demotivational poster.

awesomeness

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