Remember What It's All About

Robert AlthouseAt our Zen Life & Meditation Center, our mission is to empower you to live a Zen-inspired life of openness, empathy and clarity. We have built our practice upon a strong foundation of mindfulness meditation. Today mindfulness can be found every where. This is not really surprising because in our complicated culture, we are increasing imploding and burning out from stress, over-work, anxiety and depression. So mindfulness is a relevant practice which can help people cope with the stress. Mindfulness has become almost as broadly accepted in our culture as yoga. So it's important to remember that yoga, like mindfulness, was originally taught in the context of a spiritual practice. But in our culture where the cult of self and consumerism dominate, these important spiritual practices can easily be distorted. They are not meant to make you better consumers. They are meant to help you be a better human being.

What does that mean - "to be a better human being"? We could look to the leaders we cherish and love and remember such as Nelson Mandela who just passed away. We could look to Martin Luther King or Abraham Lincoln. What was it about these leaders that is important for us to remember today? They all had a large, magnanimous view of their world that included both their friends and their enemies in their considerations and their prayers.While they were often viewed with hostility by their enemies, they did not give in to small-mindedness in their responses. They remained open and committed to serving a larger collective that included their enemies.

So while mindfulness meditation can help you learn how to manage your stress and your anxiety, and we can teach you how to do that at our Zen Life & Meditation Center, please remember that we are teaching this in a larger spiritual context of living an awakened life. Such a life is not interested in winning and losing. It's not interested in punishing enemies or demonizing one's enemies. It's not interested in shopping and acquiring more things either. It's doesn't exhaust itself in busyness and endless activity. Waking up means to remember, to know without a doubt what is important. Our greatest spiritual teachers never tired of reminding us to love one another, to be kind and to serve our larger collective humanity in times when it was often easy to forget.

So this winter, please take time to rest, to be with your loved ones and to cherish all beings with a loving and open heart. Make friends with yourself. Mindfulness teachings can help you do that. But also make friends with your world. Spiritual teachings are here to help you remember how to do that as well.

We face complex problems and challenges in our world today. So the world needs you awake and sane. It needs you without pretense and without self-deception. Remember what it's all about.

Robert Althouse