sharing the 31 lessons in life learned from myself and from others to end the silver year.
1. attunement - loosen, tighten, pull, pluck, beat - what the six strings of a guitar must endure to play the musician's symphony. despite the unknown reason for one's existence, one has to go through suffering to play the music called life.
2. beauty - the appreciation of the battle scars and other marks perfected by time and experience. the reason why we always recognize ourselves in the mirror every time we wake up is because of the traces of the past we see in our faces. one cannot recognize the present moment when the past is not acknowledged and accepted.
3. change - if we are determined to change, no person, thing or any phenomena can sway a battering iron will.
4. chaos - there is no such thing as good and evil. good and evil are just our perceptions of phenomena. there's nothing beyond labeling which are either of the two. we just have to accept what is is, learn and move on. only through that way we can achieve greater heights.
5. destiny - in mountaineering, it's not how fast or how slow we reach the summit. it's all about the lessons we have learned in every successful and failed attempt we experience and how we apply the learnings for us to move forward to where we are heading regardless if we push for the summit or abort the climb to return to where we came from. in any case, there will be another day to give us new experiences and it's up to us to determine whether the next attempt will be a success or a failure, which again will result to new learnings.
6. discipline - discipline is the act of centering ourselves back to equilibrium the moment we are tipping over to any kind of polarity in our lives.
7. dreams - if you know where you are heading, you know what you are doing and you have a clear vision of the world you want to materialize, everything and everyone will follow. it's up to us to play our own music beautifully or off-key. we are the maestros and the musicians of our own lives.
8. faith - faith is the choice to love and devote in spite of one's knowledge of the other. it is the decision to put the blindfold on as we embrace the other wholeheartedly.
9. fate - fate is the music that plays continuously in the background.
10. free will - in relation to fate, free will is how one responds to the music. sometimes we're only spectators who clap in astonishment, sleep in boredom or rant in dismay after a show. sometimes, we dance, sing, act or play a musical instrument with the music. however, if we choose to perform, we should perform gracefully.
11. heart - opening one's mind won't suffice in learning things. one should also have an open heart.
12. humility - no matter how high or how far we fly, there's always the ground to catch us when we fall. and when we fall, it's up to us to determine whether we land gracefully or we shatter to pieces. the ground, in whatever form it may be, will always remind us where our feet belong. standing grounded is the most stable way for one to become high.
13. journey - when we're lost, we just need to keep on walking and see how far we can go given our own limitations. if you don't know what they are, you definitely will as you move forward. when things doesn't turn out fine, it's not a sin to turn back. learn from the experience.
14. left - "if things don't turn out right, turn left." the left hand is the one closest to the heart. it is often called the "traitor" hand because it is "uncontrollable". and thus, we associate being wayward to the word "left" because being "left" is freeing oneself from systems. being "left" is being free. that's why they say, if you want to commit suicide, hold your weapon with your left hand.
15. lesson - for us to learn, we must declare to the world that we know nothing regardless of the knowledge and wisdom that we have. the moment we say to a teacher that "i know" would compel him not to teach as we are giving them the message that we are superior and do not need the wisdom and knowledge that they have. "be hollow as a bamboo."
16. love - some of us are often advised to change our way of loving the next time we engage in relationships so we won't get hurt. i think nothing can constrict our hearts from loving truly. the reason why they say, "we need to become whole before loving another" is for us to give ourselves when loving. how can one love when he or she holds back? love is just a feeling and is ever flowing. it is our mind which decides when to stop or start. thus, we cannot really learn from past mistakes. what we can only hope for is wait for someone who will acknowledge and accept us when we give ourselves in loving.
17. patience - patience is the marker of one's capacity to will and/or to love. the absence of patience is indifference or, to the gravest extent, hatred.
18. purity - is simply awareness. how many thieves have said to themselves, "i am stealing" during the act of stealing? do we really know what our actions are and what it means to us?
19. relationships - acknowledging and accepting the other despite of who or what he or she is.
20. religion - it's not about what others think you should do and who or what you should follow to become good. it's about what you think, feel, and intuit is right for you to become a better person and to inspire people to become the same in the process.
21. responsibility - responsibility is taking ownership of ones' actions and accepting whatever comes as a result of it without remorse.
22. self - identifying oneself as something or someone is bullshit. ask me tomorrow and i'll give you a different answer.
23. solitude - solitude is a convention with your self and your inner demons to strategize on how to survive life.
24. spirituality - spirituality is succumbing to the fact that although humans have free will, there are things which are beyond control. we can only do so much to survive and to achieve the things we want but rarely do we seek for the light within to show us the path to our journey.
24. talent - every person wasn't born with something for nothing. once a talent has been untapped, it should be mastered and applied until heaven and hell knows when we know what it is for.
25. teacher - it's not about who the person is but what he or she can teach you to make you a better person. a teacher may not be the best role model. sometimes a murderer can give great wisdom than a person who earned ph.d's
26. values - if you know what you stand for, nothing can sway you.
27. will - the ability to say only "yes" and "no" and nothing else matters.
28. wish - acceptance of one's defeat. admitting that you can't do anything.
29. women - chinese acupuncture says that a woman's heart is the strongest muscle ever created. it compensates for the lack of muscles which men possess. it lasts a day of household chores and a career. it sustains another life than hers. it endures the long wait. the pain. if her heart chooses.
30. work - there is no such thing as "easy" work. the term itself means stress. we are all responsible for our own happiness and work is just one of the many means to get it; thus, one should control work in such a way that it won't consume you.
31. zazen - "forget everything and sit down and shut up"
note: some of the things here were recycled from previous "mental diarrhea" entries