This Guy Ate An Avocado…And You Won’t Believe What Happened Next!

Some time in the last century a friend of mine offered me some of her avocado.

No, thanks, I said. I don’t really like them.

Her eyes grew wide. How can that be? she asked. They’re so good.

I don’t get why people make such a big deal about them, I said. They’re bland. They don’t taste like anything. There’s nothing special about them.

But how can you not love that light, creamy, green taste? she pressed. It’s so rich and delicate at the same time.

She handed me the avocado and a spoon. Go ahead, she said. Try it again.

I didn’t hate avocados. They didn’t disgust me. And she seemed really sincere. So I thought, What the hell? And tried it.

And the windows were opened and the light came in.

Sun in clouds framed

Of course there was a light rich, creamy flavor somehow deep and delicate at the same time. But it wasn’t new. It had always been there.

It was the taste of an avocado – and I had tasted it before. I’d always known it. But I’d been looking for something else, something more obvious. Maybe something sweet or sour or salty, something intense.The avocado was none of these things, but it was extraordinary as it was. I just had to see that, and take it as it was. There was nothing extra needed – it was there all along.

It makes some people nuts when you say they’re perfect as they are. They feel pretty shitty a lot of the time, and they’re 20 pounds overweight, or they can’t stop smoking, or they’ll never finish that novel, or whatever the fuck it is. They can’t get their shit together. So when you tell them they’re perfect it seems idiotic, it sounds like bullshit.

Because they aren’t what they want to be, or what they hoped they would be, and time is running out!
 
And there’s no getting around it: life is a litany of disappointments. You lose everything you love, and you die at the end.

 True story.

Dream seat framed


And Death is so scary! It’s awful. Death is Darth Vader. Death destroys worlds. Everything frightening is frightening because it threatens us with death, even when we don’t see it that way. Even if we say we’re afraid of losing our job, or losing our wife, or losing our minds, it’s all death. It’s the loss of ourselves.

Because everything threatens us. Life is a stranger’s sojourn, and we’re never at rest. To be alive is to be uncomfortable, and to be imperilled. When we’re lonely we long for love, and if we find love we’re afraid to lose it. And often we do lose it, despite our best efforts or, worse, as a result of our best efforts, because our best efforts were not what the beloved wanted.

And other people are always happier than we are, or better looking, or they have more money.

So, you know, when you tell some people they’re perfect the way they are, they just think you’re mocking them, or that you’re full of shit.


But, regardless, each of us is perfect and pristine, an unfolding miracle, exactly as we are.

The problem is that our consciousness, the faculty that makes us so successful, that thrust us into unfettered dominion over the beasts of the earth and the fish of the sea, and endowed us with the vision and the tools to create the Alphabet, the Electric Light, and Two and a Half Men, has brought with it this illusion of a Self that is separate from the rest of the universe, that travels through it and is threatened by it.

And because this Self is so small compared to all that is, because deep inside we know that we die at the end, we have to spend our short lives propping up and defending this illusory ghost. William Mortensen - Creature

But it never ends. It’s never good enough. It can never be good enough. And we see everything from the inside, from the ghost’s point of view, from the grave.

And the world doesn’t care, and it doesn’t help us. It doesn’t take us seriously. It keeps throwing shit at us, and taking our stuff away. We can’t keep anything, and nothing works for long. To protect ourselves we have to fix everything. If we can just organize our shit we’ll be okay.

Because we’re never satisfied, the world is wrong. We need to fix it, to fix it, to fix it.


Take a second, right now. Just stop, and take a breath, and feel the breath within your body. Cool through your nostrils and throat, gently swelling through your torso, warm and full in your belly.


You will have felt some part of that. Even if you are racked by suffering and sorrow, there is some part within you that is at peace.

How can you reach it?

You can breathe again, and watch the breath, and feel it spread through your body.

You can rest for a  moment, for the span of a breath, just a few seconds. Feel the tingling in your toes or the top of your head, feel the warm luxuriant suchness of your torso, your belly, your chest. It’s just there – it just is. Feel how you are. Don’t back away.

You can let the pain go – there will be time for it later.

Don’t neglect the simple pleasure of being, the simple peace of being. Don’t neglect the miraculous fact that you are here, and that the time is now.

Do you see? It’s right here in front of you. Everything you’re looking for.

 

Look closer…

 

Do you see?

 

This guest contribution was by Chris Logan.  Chris is a long-time Dharma practitioner who writes about culture, ethics, and wisdom in Victoria, British Columbia.
His favorite color is blue.
His favorite berry is black.
Read more of his works at www.chrislogan.ca

If you enjoyed this, please sign up to our newsletter.  As a bonus, you’ll get our free ebook, The Dharma on Accomplishing Anything, to help you in your path to excellence!

 

 

Learning to Accept Injury

Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/hotnacho/1369952540/

Last year, (November 11th 2014, to be exact) while bending over to pet my cat, I felt a sudden “oh sh%#” moment, as my L5 disc bulged, my right SI joint locked up, and my right psoas muscle pulled and seized in a moment of dimension shifting pain.  If my friend Dan wasn’t in the room, I would have cried.

Funny moment in retrospect: frozen in stationary position in my hallway, bent at the waist, petting my cat as he purred and stared at me.  I stood there for a few seconds, contemplating how to take the next step.  This moment left me immediately unable to walk, stand straight, or sit down without being in deep pain.  Now, this pain, and the resulting injury is nothing in comparison to others I have had which left me disabled for both months and years… but it was enough to remind me of the following important lessons: Continue reading

Chapter 1 sample of our upcoming book

Beach-Ocean-Wave

Well friends, we’ve been working feverishly and furiously on the book.  Following is a sample of the first chapter, for your reading enjoyment.  We’ve included clips of a few of the sections.

We hope you enjoy it, and share it too!
 

Chapter 1 – Finding the Path
Sojourn, pt. 1

It’s raining cold, dark sheets on the windy road to the coastal surf town. I left as early as possible to get to the beach for sunrise. It’s 8 AM, but the sky is still dark with grey clouds and torrents of water. I pull up to Long beach to see if I want to get in the water before heading into town and warming myself up with one of the greatest gifts from the earth: a freshly brewed coffee.

The scene is a familiar one on the west coast of Canada: mountains of deep blue water crashing onto sandy and rocky beaches. Driftwood logs from the logging industry litter the coastline. Rain comes from all directions. Strong winds spray the tops off of the distant waves and help them keep from breaking. All in all, this morning is perfectly frightening.

The sound is violently calming. The universe moves these waves at its whim, pushing them against the sand and stone beaches of this once remote part of the world. I roll down my truck window to smell the air.  Salt floods my nostrils and refreshes my soul as the ions enter and play with my senses, pulling memories of past times in the ocean to the forefront of my mind. Continue reading

How I stopped incorporating Dharma, and left my dreams behind.

Dawn dust grass

 

This post is a little different. It’s more of a rant, an honest expression on how I thought I failed, and what I have created to bring myself back from that mindset. I hope this contributes some value to you, and that you can use the system for your own benefit.

There was a time, months ago, where I was fervently moving towards everything I wanted in life. I was dating a beautiful, intelligent, and motivated woman, with the thought that I would one day have a family to nest with.

I was always pushing my career further, moving into new areas in which I had no experience, but wanted to take on and grow into.

I exercised daily, and pushed my martial arts skills to new levels, motivated by the satisfaction of better, faster, and stronger movements.

I wrote for this blog almost daily, with notebooks and post it notes full of ideas to be one day incorporated as insightful posts and chapters for our upcoming book, Dharma in Every Wave.

I read books on leadership and communication, using the lessons, tips, strategies and systems in my career, personal relationships, and day-to-day interactions with strangers.

I meditated daily, a half hour in the morning on waking, and a half hour before bed. This brought peace and ease to my life in immeasurable ways.

Then one day, in March of 2014, I suddenly lost all my motivation for most things I was working towards. I lost my vision of what I wanted my life to look like. Things were automatic and built in, but I did not remember why I was doing all these things.

I forgot the essence of my life, and what was important to me.

Continue reading

The Suffering of lies

When is a cat a dog?

“Rahula, for anyone who has no shame at intentional lying, there is no evil that that person cannot do.” – The Buddha to his son, on lying.

This week, I am going to touch on something that has hit close to home recently.  Sadly, I discovered that a close and dear friend of mine had been lying to myself, and others, about both unimportant and important things.  I was angry and reactive at first, thinking about the wrong that had been done to me.  Over the course of a few days, I let go of the attachment of being wronged, and began reading up on lying, trying to gain and understanding of where it comes from.  I re-read portions of the 5 precepts in Buddhism, but also the reasons of why we lie and the effects on us. The major discovery I unearthed is that lying is usually born out of shame, and essentially, a twisted method to trying to be happy.

Let me start at the end of my research, as understanding the causes of lying can lead to more compassionate understanding of others, ourselves, and the purpose of the fourth precept which is “to not lie, to be truthful”. Continue reading

The Zen of Relationships

Zen Heart

In one of our previous posts, Love and need: Are they the same?, we touched on the idea of Love versus the attachment to another human being.  Now, these ideas are easy to understand, but what about when an event happens, such as the loss of someone you care about, through the end of a relationship?  This is all written with the background that this writer had a relationship end quite recently!

Enter the Zen of Relationships.

Why Zen of relationships, and not END of relationships?  Well, even after a separation, you still have a relationship with someone.  Even if you do not speak, you have shared experiences and created memories.  These memories still form views of relationships in your mind, and shape relationships to come.  Also, this person is someone you once cared for tremendously.  To cut them off, with no remorse is, in essence, cutting off a part of yourself, and not acknowledging the love that existed in the first place.

Remember that Love is described as “unselfish loyal concern for the good of another”.  The key word here is unselfish.  This is synonymous with the words “if you love something, let it go”.  If you truly love, then no matter another’s actions of reciprocity towards you, you continue to act benevolently towards them.  You are looking out for their best interest out of a genuine, caring place.  Even at the end of a relationship, if you truly loved or cared for that previous partner, you want what is best for them; even if that means them being with people other than yourself.

These things being said to lay the foundation of thought, here are some ways that can help move through the end of a relationship.

1.  Act with dignity.  This is simple: Be polite, amicable.  If the other person has decided to end the relationship, then be civilized.  Treat them with respect and dignity.  Do not insult them; that will only further their belief that the relationship was wrong, and leave them with bad memories of your reaction to the event.  Remember, Life is not only about events, but more about how we REACT to those events.

2. What did you learn?  Ask yourself, what did this other person, or the situation, teach you about life, your self, other people, and relationships?  By realizing what you learnt in the relationship, you will consciously appreciate some extra details in your day-to-day life, as well as take new learnings to your next relationship, your friendships, or even just for solo adventures.

3. What did you teach them?  It is important to think about what you taught the other person,  not from the mindset that they needed to learn or that you are better, but from the mindset of proper self worth and appreciation of your gifts.  By realizing what you have to offer to the world, as well as understanding what you have learnt (Step #3), you can realize that you are a constantly changing and improving being, that has tremendous worth and love to give to the people around you.

4. Set some minimum time apart and give yourself time.  Yes, even though I am saying Zen of Relationships, it does not mean that you necessarily say involved at the outset!  After all, we are still human beings with very powerful emotional responses.  It is still important to set some time apart, and decrease the intimate & emotional familiarity that was created between two people.  It is important to take time and re-connect with being independent, and remember all of the things that make you a wonderful human being.  This goes hand in hand with #5.

5.  Let go of the relationship.  The idea of attachment is a key concept in Buddhist thinking.  It is one of the components that can lead to suffering in our lives.  By being attached to the way things are, were, could be, or could have been, we tend to create emotional sufferings that are far greater than the end of a relationship.  As Sheng Ts’an said, “Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional”.  Events that cause us pain will happen, no matter what.  How we choose to respond to these events is what will create great freedom in our lives.  Why?  Because  thoughts of attachment can follow us and affect or day-to-day emotions, behaviours, and thoughts.  Letting go of them allow us to have room for new possibilities and potentials.  In particular, one should:

  •    Focus on the steps above and see the relationship as it was.
  •    Spend some time letting go of the past. Realize that the relationship ended, and that you now have room to create something new.
  •    Enjoy the present moment, and the things that give you happiness. Bike riding, time with friends, hobbies of all kinds.
  •    Accept the thoughts of the past relationship, thank them for what they mean, an return to the present.
  •    Stop justifying and thinking about what could have been. Take the lessons you learned, and apply them in your life, for the next time. Every relationship teaches us something which can be used to build stronger relationships in the future.

6. Love yourself, and others.  Be open to love again.  It is easy to build an emotional wall and say “I won’t get hurt again!”  This emotional cut-off will prevent love and strong binds between you and others.  In order to love and be loved, one must take the risk and be vulnerable.  One cannot truly love if naked vulnerability is not present.

Sometimes, you have to accept that some people can only be in your heart, not in you life.