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Wake Up and Live!

“Wake Up and Live!” by Bob Marley is the theme we will be exploring this month. And it is quite important to explore this when there are those in places such as Florida who exclaim, this is where woke goes to die. And even within CSL where there are ministers who consider “woke” to be a political agenda. Have they forgotten that the title Buddha means, Awakened one?

 

 

Wake Up

It is Monday morning, and we hear the call to Wake Up and get ready for school. Wake up in this context is easy to understand. We were asleep. That state that according to the National Institute of Health is a necessary part of our biological system that allows your body to do the work of supporting healthy brain function and maintaining your physical health. Sleep is very much required for children and teens to help support their growth and development. And an area many adults do poorly in is in getting enough sleep and the National Institute of Health warns that inadequate sleep over time can raise your risk for chronic (long-term) health problems. All of that refers to physical sleep and the need for rest. But what about the other ways we tend to be asleep.

 

Apathy, Complacency, Ignorance, Disregard (ACID)

Why did Dr. King, in “Letters from a Birmingham Jail” say “First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate.”

 

Why did Bishop Desmond Tutu say, “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”

 

Why did Elie Wiesel say, “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence. encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

 

When we believe that ignorance is bliss and choose to remain asleep to the injustices and inequities and the tragedies of others, we are contributing to the very consciousness that created those systems of oppression. The ACID of our sleepfulness causes hope, imagination, compassion, and effective communication to erode.

 

If you were to approach a trusted teacher, minister, parent and expressed some ache or pain that could be physical or emotional and the person responded with, I don’t care,” what would you feel? What would you begin to think as a result? Their response, their lack of concern or empathy was ACID-ic and harmful to you.

 

And Live

Upon waking, we begin our day. We clean ourselves, do our hair, brush our teeth, get something to drink and eat, and continue to be active participants out in the world. And much of this, if we are not “awake” simply becomes a repeat of the day before, and the day before that, and the year before that.

 

Depending on which research you look at, it is said that our brain processes about 50,000 thoughts every day on average. Or as another study said a more accurate number is 70,000 thoughts. The actual number is less important than the quality of those thoughts. This is because it has been stated approximately 98% of our thoughts each day will be the same thoughts we thought before and that only about 2% of those thoughts are actually NEW thoughts!

 

So how do we boost those numbers?

 

Buddha and Brain Games

Let’s begin with the premise as offered in many Buddhist teachings that says, Buddha-nature is a term that refers to the potential for all sentient beings to become a Buddha and the fact that all beings already have a pure buddha-essence within.

 

“The Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra is one of the main scriptural sources for buddha-nature in China and Tibet. Set around the time of Buddha's passing or Mahāparinirvāṇa, the sūtra contains teachings on buddha-nature equating it with the dharmakāya—that is, the complete enlightenment of a buddha. It also asserts that all sentient beings possess this nature as the buddhadhātu, or buddha-element, which thus acts as a cause, seed, or potential for all beings to attain enlightenment.”

 

In my many explorations of spirituality I was once in a class on Buddhism where the instructor made the point that Buddha being a title that means awake and enlightened is our innate inherent nature now, we right now have the nature of being awake and of being enlightened but many of us do not know it and that is why we do not live from this nature. We live from the nature we have been conditioned to believe simply by being in the culture that says you are a sinner from birth. “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” ~Psalm 51:5

 

In Religious Science we do not teach or believe in sin as it is traditionally taught and yet we find ourselves fumigating ourselves to rid the scent of it from our consciousness and mental equivalents. That is part of the process of waking up so that we can truly live and no longer exist on the carousel of life.

 

Once we step off the carousel, we find a whole new world of places to go and things to experience, other rides to enjoy, games to play, and foods to eat. We find there is an entire carnival and more to experience in the adventure of life. But how do we get off the circular and cyclical nature of thinking and doing the same things over and over again?

 

There is a television series called Brain Games that is in its eighth season. It is listed as a documentary series that explores the way the brain works, how to understand it more, and how to improve cognitive abilities. Waking up and Living our Best lives involves many of the same concepts this television show highlights. We engage in activities that invite us to look at our beliefs. To ask questions regarding those beliefs. To challenge assumptions and opinions. And to be in discomfort of “I don’t know” while pushing towards, “Even though I don’t know, I am continuing to question and to seek.”

 

So let’s begin with this Brain Game (smile) Look over each of the WE BELIEVE statements and put them in your own words as if you were explaining them to someone who is not in our movement and possibly to a child who is 12 or 13. Pay attention to the challenges that arise, especially with avoiding common jargon.

 

Now that you did that… Do it again but do it differently.

 

“Variety is the spice of life!”

 

Blessings

Rev. Ray

Excelsior!

 

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