Push: Exert force
A potted plant can only grow as large as its container. Denied proper opportunities to expand, it will eventually begin to shrivel up and die as its roots are starved of nourishment and the space to flourish. In my kitchen, you can’t open the fridge and the drawer at the same time. In the universe, we’re Vastly Infinite Possibilities, divinely designed with unlimited capacity for biopsychospiritual growth and quantum consciousness. Because of the constructs of Man, big ideas don’t necessarily equate to eudaimonia, the good life, or a big kitchen. HA! You idiot! I came to the happy realization that I’m incapable of ordinary reasoning after asking the wrong question. Despite my limitations, I think we’re getting somewhere.
This week, while watching a series of YouTube videos for a training (Psychological First Aid; best practices for first responders. There are eight core components of restoring equilibrium in the wake of a disaster. Spoiler alert: Enlightenment isn’t one of them. It’s all about meeting basic needs and gently stabilizing people who are in shock. I can’t help but love the timing of this particular coincidence.), I got a notification that Deepak Chopra was doing a live talk. Apparently he’s doing them everyday. Who knew? Moment of truth because karma: I watched the last ten minutes of his live talk, just long enough to ask a question, which he read and answered. I’ve felt like electricity ever since. I don’t know how else to explain the experience, other than to say, even though his talk was almost over and the chat box was flooded with comments from all over the world, I knew as I typed, he was going to reply.
Can those born into poverty achieve enlightenment or, is the highest human expression reserved for the rich? -me
My question came after months of watching dharma talks and recorded spiritual conferences; the pandemic and civil uprising have me running full speed, through to the center of the earth for answers. I’ve noticed a common theme in all the talks: those speaking or referenced as being ideal examples of the fulfillment of human potential are, more often than not, highly educated men and women from wealthy backgrounds. For instance, Jiddu Krishnamurti, the Indian philosopher and Rabindranath Tagore, award winning poet, were both Brahmo: “one of the wealthiest and most anglicised communities of colonial India”. Brah’s are like, living gods brah.
There are exceptions. Brother Phap Dung is a monk who lives at Plum Village, a Buddhist monastery which is also home to Thich Nhat Hahn. Phap Dung immigrated to Los Angeles from Vietnam when he was nine. He speaks often about the cultural, racial, spiritual, relational and financial challenges of his childhood. So, are the only paths to enlightenment great suffering, great sacrifice or great…inheritance? I wanted to ask a sanctified expert and apparently manifested the chance.
“Enlightenment is the domain of the poor. Blessed are the poor for they are the children of god. And so, poverty here means lack of self importance, to be generous in spirit, and breath. Here, generosity comes from letting go of self-importance and breath has no boundaries, it doesn’t discriminate. In fundamental reality there are no boundaries.”-Deepak Chopra
You can watch the full recording here:
For some of us, breath ceases
For some, ceaseless breathing is the sum of all being
A suffocating reality from which
For some of us
Are You Experienced?
Who in your measly little world are you trying to prove that you’re made of solid gold?
I interpreted Deepak’s use of the word ‘boundaries’ to mean limits but his definition is the opposite; In fundamental reality there are no limitations. Fundamental reality is out of this world, literally. If we’re all stardust, maybe we have varying definitions of what it means to shine? The clinical definition of boundaries means having clarity about our sphere of limitations and possibilities. I’ve been in codependent recovery for over a decade and still trip over my yeses and no’s. So, you can imagine how confusing it is for some of us to be told we’re worthless and that’s great! but anything’s possible and someday… we’ll inherit the earth? Hey man, I don’t need a whole planet, but how ’bout (insert your basic needs and fundamental rights here)?
Vocabulary and semantics sorted, do we agree with what he said? Breath is free. Spirit is infinite. And, in all our worldly worthlessness, we’re unconditionally loved by god. The end?
Nope. So here’s my next question: What’s the point of inner peace if our outsides are at war?
Oppression is or is not an illusion, depending on our level of hunger, satisfaction, safety and sleep.