Sunday Sermon (March 30, 2008)

¡Hola! Everybody,
Today is my friend Jools’ birthday. Always ready with a kind word, forever considerate, kind, and thoughtful, Jools is sometimes like the beautiful presence of nature that, if we’re not careful and conscious, we might take for granted. I never do, though I may not be as quick to respond, I truly appreciate her constant message of kindness. Stop by and wish her a happy (click here). I know she would appreciate it. May you always know true
happiness, dear Jools

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOOLS!

Once I finish writing/ posting this, I think I’ll go have some French toast made Challah bread!

* * *

Decisions, Decisions

“A man had an itch on his ass.
He scratched his head.
The itch never went away. ”

— Ajahn Chah

How much time do waste in our lives worrying about problems that really are beyond our control. But have you ever stopped to think a problem implies a solution. If there is no solution, then it isn’t a problem, it’s something else. Perhaps we can call such a predicament life? LOL For surely there sure is no “solution” to life. The way I see it life is a predicament meant to be lived not solved.

Still, there are problems with solutions and a problem with a solution needs a decision. The issue then is how do we go about making the important decisions in our life?

One way I see a lot is that we try to get someone else to make the decision for us. That way, if something hits the fan, we can blame someone else. One hot summer day, I was outside my friend’s apartment waiting for over 45 minutes for him to come down. Every Friday, a large group of us gets together after work and goes en masse to dinner and sometimes to party. There I was hot and sweaty, waiting yet again for my friend. He does this all the time, I thought to myself as I called and he assured me he was on his way down. I was starting to get pissed off and then it hit me! Why was I waiting? He wasn’t forcing me to wait; I was making that decision to wait. I walked away and I never waited for my friend again. Well, not really, sometimes I would wait for him, but more often than not, if he wasn’t on time, I went my merry way (with my friend usually running behind me).

Sometimes decisions aren’t so clear cut as with the situation with my friend. Sometimes when we come to a crossroad, we are unsure which direction to take. It is in those moments that the best strategy to adopt is to stop for a moment, take a break, and wait. Usually, when we are least expecting it, a sign will appear. Sometimes the sign is like a huge bus with big bold lettering indicating its direction. Other times, the signs are much more subtle. Whatever the case, there is always some form of guidance if we sit down long enough to listen for it. And some buses are for you to take, but if the destination doesn’t suit you, you wait for another one to come.

What I am saying is that when we have to make a decision and we are unsure, we need to take a break and wait. Sure, we are often faced with predicaments that scream for immediate action, but even then, if you can cultivate an inner quality of stillness, we will hear it when a solution comes.

That’s how I try to make my decisions. I try my best to gather all the information and when a good solution comes along, I grab it. And a good one always comes along, if I’m quiet enough. Patience is definitely one of my better qualities, but after having spent virtually all my adult life suffering the consequences of impulsive decisions, I think I have earned the right to slow down a wee bit. For a long time I suffered from a particularly virulent form of the “fuckits” and I have the scars to prove it.

Stopping, taking the time to breathe, applying skillful reflection, will often result in a good solution. Oftentimes, when you’re not thinking about it.

Love,

Eddie

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