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markdohle

Serious business

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Serious business

Our lives are serious business. How we live, the way that we treat others is important and has deep and everlasting consequence on our souls. We are called to become more human, loving and compassionate. To accept all aspects of life as well as the lives of others and not to flee from the pain that is part and parcel of life, is never easy. To embrace reality can be very difficult, and perhaps at times seem impossible, yet grace compels us to begin over and over and never to give in to despair. For those who love God, seek God’s will, all things will work out for the good. Another aspect of faith hard to accept, but experienced by those who keep on the path. We can suffer alone, bitter and cut off from others, or suffer with Christ, embracing all others and filled with God’s healing grace and love. All things pass, all events settled down, the present moment will soon become ancient history, but the love and compassion of God will last forever.

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There be many paths in the forest.

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I love the forest . id like to live in a tree house with elves there

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There be many paths in the forest.

True my friend, not all end well.

Peace

Mark

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There is an end?

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Serious business

Our lives are serious business. How we live, the way that we treat others is important and has deep and everlasting consequence on our souls. We are called to become more human, loving and compassionate. To accept all aspects of life as well as the lives of others and not to flee from the pain that is part and parcel of life, is never easy. To embrace reality can be very difficult, and perhaps at times seem impossible, yet grace compels us to begin over and over and never to give in to despair. For those who love God, seek God’s will, all things will work out for the good. Another aspect of faith hard to accept, but experienced by those who keep on the path. We can suffer alone, bitter and cut off from others, or suffer with Christ, embracing all others and filled with God’s healing grace and love. All things pass, all events settled down, the present moment will soon become ancient history, but the love and compassion of God will last forever.

You have a good heart, Mark. Do you do street outreach? Do you go out in plain clothes? How do people react to you in plain clothes? I live in a beach community. The recent riot has changed the locals' laidback attitude. Even before the riot, people hardly look at each other or say hello. Most people see others on the surface. The haves project a certain look, while the "tourists" stick out like a sore thumb. There's always something in people's minds to compartmentalize others. It's very sad but true. I'm not perfect, mind you, because I, too, do it at times, especially when I see rowdy, gangbanging-looking people, or mentally challenged homeless guys screaming and talking to themselves. I usually take a different route.

Sometimes I think to myself that it would be easier to break the towering ice if I were to wear a religious robe. More often than not, the majority of people on the street don't wear a smile, or they have a harrassed, sour look.

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No I don't wear my habit in public ;-). I work in our retreat house so I do interact with people quite a bit. All kinds of people, it is interesting and does stretch me.

We grow in love when we open ourselves to grace, without that, I think we tend to stick only with those who belong to our family, or expended tribe so to speak. It is a long journey of healing, of failing and getting back up. We all have a lot to deal with in our hearts. Fears, anxious concerns etc. The sermon on the mount, is easy to read, hard to live, it does take a death to an old way of life.

Peace

mark

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No I don't wear my habit in public ;-).

I'm glad to hear that. Do you interact with people (who don't know anything about you) on the street, outside of the retreat house?
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I think people take religion much to seriously. It is just opinion over another.

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The path we walk is one of our own creation. If not we follow along the path created for us. I'd rather walk in faith and make my own way.

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I'm glad to hear that. Do you interact with people (who don't know anything about you) on the street, outside of the retreat house?

Of course when I am out. Now that I am o longer in the infirmary I go out less, which is good for me.

peace

mark

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The path we walk is one of our own creation. If not we follow along the path created for us. I'd rather walk in faith and make my own way.

I understand, we are each unique, and there are many who would love to tell us how to live, what to do etc.

peace

mark

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You folks remind me of something I read once, when the world and I were younger. This fellow has quite a way with words, I think.

Each path is only one of a million paths. Therefore, you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path. If you feel that you must not follow it, you must not follow it under any circumstances. Any path is only a path. There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you! Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question . . . It is this . . . Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same. They lead nowhere. They are paths going through the brush or into the brush. Does this path have a heart is the only question. If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere, but one has a heart and the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it you will be one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong, the other weakens you. -Carlos Castaneda

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....or the same could also be said with the help of this nice little parable:

".......

The Roads

A man on his journey through life upon the Earth came to a place where many roads led in different directions.

He stopped, and said: “Which road should I choose? Which is the right road?” And his eye searched along the

many roads, that he might find the right one.

He chose a path that led over green fields and past flower-filled gardens, and was about to take the first step

when, behold, there came to the same place another man, and he also stopped, looked about, and called to

the first man: “Friend and brother, tell me, which road shall I follow? Which road will lead me to the goal in the

shortest time?”

The first man answered him and said: “By this one; for this is the one that I have chosen.”

But the other man said: “Do you not see the high mountains in the distance? That path leads over them and it

is dangerous to travel past deep ravines and steep cliffs. Nay, I will choose this road; it is the better of the two.”

And he pointed to a wide, straight road lined with tall trees.

But the first man cried heatedly: “Do you not see the river beyond? The swirling currents are strong, they will

drag you along, and you shall assuredly perish!”

Then also the second man cried angrily: “Are you saying that I have chosen the wrong road?”

And they quarreled at length, but could not agree.

Thus, they delayed each other on their journey.

But, behold! A third man came to the same place. He stopped, heard them quarrel, called to them, and said:

Friends and brothers, why must you quar­rel? Why not follow the path leading through the woods beyond? The

path is cool, peaceful and quiet; the trees will shelter you from the burning rays of the sun. Follow me, and we

shall travel together in peace and harmony. I believe that this path will lead us to the goal in the shortest time.”

Then the two others cried: “Fool, do you not know that the woods abound with wild beasts? They will tear you

asunder, or you will lose your way in the darkness.

But he paid them no heed. And he walked on towards the woods.

Then the two looked upon one another, and the first one said: “Friend and brother, let us part in peace and

each travel his own road, the road that leads soonest to the goal is the right one.”And, reconciled, they

shook hands and parted in peace.The different roads led the three men through many obstacles, across

mighty seas and churning rivers, over steep mountains and through wild and dark forests. But they

overcame all obstacles. And behold! When, weary from their travels, they reached the goal, they stood,

all at the same time before the entrance to their father’s kingdom.

They wondered greatly, and they said: “Friends and brothers! How is this possible? Each chose his own

road, and behold we stand before the goal at the same time!”

Then their father’s servant came, and said to them: “The roads of your father are many, and His ways are

unfathomable.”

And he bade them enter.

Then stood the three men and brothers, hand in hand, before their father.

And their father received them fondly, took them to his heart, blessed them and said: “When you follow my

calling voice, when you journey forth along that path which in hope and trust you have chosen, then will you

come in the shortest time to my kingdom!

“My ways are unsearchable, and my ways are many—but they all lead to my kingdom, to my home.”

November 23rd, 1911

......."

Cheers

Edited by Djeminy
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There is an end?

Well temporarily LOL.

Peace

Mark

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I think people take religion much to seriously. It is just opinion over another.

If religion is talked about apart from the inner life, then yes it can be taken to seriously. Religion/spirituality deal with the deep questions of life, so I think it is very important. Not the arguing, that is useless, but sharing and learning from others is never a waste of time. Our perceptions are very important, both conscious and unconscious.

Peace

Mark

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Of course when I am out.

That's good to know, and it is, after all, part of your calling/job and character to interact with strangers; otherwise, you wouldn't have become a monk. All I'm saying is that most people I have encountered while walking were not as open as you.

Almost all people, including myself, are victims of their social standing, upbringing, education, ethnicity, age, etc. Only a handful break away from the mold, especially where I live. Older people (65+) are more apt to reach out to strangers, but they can afford it because like my young nephew once said to me, "Old people are weird..." They're not as threatening. A younger person has to think twice to go out of his or her way to be chatty social -- for many reasons. Since the day one we are taught to be reserved, not attract attention to ourselves. In collage, professors taught us to be suspicious, and that's really the right word for it. "Everyone has a motive...," professors tell their students.

What our culture is really saying is that the street is not the place to be social because of negative consequences, even though there is this Our Town fantasy looming in the windmills of our minds (like a double message), and our religion or spiritual path adds to the pressure to go beyond our programming.

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Sometimes we confuse dogma with religion, I'm not sure they're the same thing, just as religion & spirituality are two separate things. And as for paths, while there are a million paths in the forest, there are also many forests. I'm not sure it's possible to get off our path, or change our path, because I'm thinking where ever we are, what ever we are doing in the moment, that's our path. It may not be the path we think we're on, or should be on, or even one we like, but maybe we're exactly where we should be at any given moment.

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Beany, we are walking different paths in the same forest. :yes: There be different forests, worlds, and stars each with its own start and end. Each step is your choice.

hippylovepeaceflowers....

I love the pathes in the forest analogy of life. There are roots, thickets and meadows each with its own sorrow and joy, step well, mLady.

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Sometimes we confuse dogma with religion, I'm not sure they're the same thing, just as religion & spirituality are two separate things. And as for paths, while there are a million paths in the forest, there are also many forests. I'm not sure it's possible to get off our path, or change our path, because I'm thinking where ever we are, what ever we are doing in the moment, that's our path. It may not be the path we think we're on, or should be on, or even one we like, but maybe we're exactly where we should be at any given moment.

A while ago I watched a National Geographic docu. about stigmata, and it also talked about a priest who was "the defender of the Catholic dogma." I find that curious because beliefs based on "truth" don't have to be defended. I agree with you, Beany, that the area of dogma, religion, paths is very fuzzy since "truth" is the underlying concern.

"Pilate saith unto him, 'What is truth?'"

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Sometimes the dogma can come between us & the Divine, whether it's Christian dogma, new age, Buddhist, etc, and can obscure instead of illuminate. One year I practiced questioning everything that I didn't know from personal experience to be true. Boy, I ended up discarding about 90% of my belief system. It was brutal! Because there were some, you know, that I was really fond of or were important to me. Once I started letting them go, my perceptions started to shift. It was sort of like mowing a field of tall weeds that obscured everything, and finding treasures hidden by weeds that were there all along but unseen. And truthfully, I have never been much of a team player anyway, and have never been able to sustain interest in discussing religion or faith intellectually; I've always more interested in what people feel, what they do, how they see things, what their experiences are.

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Beany, we are walking different paths in the same forest. :yes: There be different forests, worlds, and stars each with its own start and end. Each step is your choice.

hippylovepeaceflowers....

I love the pathes in the forest analogy of life. There are roots, thickets and meadows each with its own sorrow and joy, step well, mLady.

Yes, it's all good, isn't it? From adversity we learn courage, creativity, hope, self-confidence, inner-strength, compassion, empathy, and a bunch of other stuff. I figure all the experiences I've had have gotten me to this point in life where I'm happy & content, including the "bad" ones, so I wouldn't change a thing.

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You folks remind me of something I read once, when the world and I were younger. This fellow has quite a way with words, I think.

Quote

Each path is only one of a million paths. Therefore, you must always keep in mind that a path is only a path. If you feel that you must not follow it, you must not follow it under any circumstances. Any path is only a path. There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear or ambition. I warn you! Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question . . . It is this . . . Does this path have a heart? All paths are the same. They lead nowhere. They are paths going through the brush or into the brush. Does this path have a heart is the only question. If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use. Both paths lead nowhere, but one has a heart and the other doesn't. One makes for a joyful journey; as long as you follow it you will be one with it. The other will make you curse your life. One makes you strong, the other weakens you. -Carlos Castaneda

Nice, but not entirely true. All paths lead somewhere. That place can be constructive/good or destructive/evil. Hence it is important to set out with the correct destination in mind and keep walking towards a constructive goal. Even if onen never reaches the final destination, one will end up in a better place than whence one started.

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Sometimes the dogma can come between us & the Divine, whether it's Christian dogma, new age, Buddhist, etc, and can obscure instead of illuminate. One year I practiced questioning everything that I didn't know from personal experience to be true. Boy, I ended up discarding about 90% of my belief system. It was brutal! Because there were some, you know, that I was really fond of or were important to me. Once I started letting them go, my perceptions started to shift. It was sort of like mowing a field of tall weeds that obscured everything, and finding treasures hidden by weeds that were there all along but unseen. And truthfully, I have never been much of a team player anyway, and have never been able to sustain interest in discussing religion or faith intellectually; I've always more interested in what people feel, what they do, how they see things, what their experiences are.

Dogmas could also alienate others. I always go by the "Love one another, as I have loved you, so you must love one another" verse to bring me back to my senses. After all, human beings are my species, and I've gone through enough to know where my heart's at. I can only speak for myself on this, but I believe that people must go beyond certain dogmas to really connect -- without bullying and disrespecting one another. I totally understand why people cling to religious dogmas as well as their religious prejudices; if I hadn't experienced many life-changing situations, I would've turned out like some people I once knew. It's so easy to compartmentalize people. Just like you, I've discarded beliefs, left and right and concretely, not just mentally. Being a former pagan, I have accumulated quite a number of (beautiful) things, but thankfully, Ebay is just around the bend, among other venues. I'm still, however, in my relaxation and fun mode, getting recharged for the next "whatever" of my life. Besides, what's the rush, they won't devalue, but some objects are up on my website (since a year ago). Edited by No-thingBornPassion

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That's good to know, and it is, after all, part of your calling/job and character to interact with strangers; otherwise, you wouldn't have become a monk. All I'm saying is that most people I have encountered while walking were not as open as you.

Almost all people, including myself, are victims of their social standing, upbringing, education, ethnicity, age, etc. Only a handful break away from the mold, especially where I live. Older people (65+) are more apt to reach out to strangers, but they can afford it because like my young nephew once said to me, "Old people are weird..." They're not as threatening. A younger person has to think twice to go out of his or her way to be chatty social -- for many reasons. Since the day one we are taught to be reserved, not attract attention to ourselves. In collage, professors taught us to be suspicious, and that's really the right word for it. "Everyone has a motive...," professors tell their students.

What our culture is really saying is that the street is not the place to be social because of negative consequences, even though there is this Our Town fantasy looming in the windmills of our minds (like a double message), and our religion or spiritual path adds to the pressure to go beyond our programming.

Getting older is a wonderful journey....I get happier as I age, I think that is true for many, many people. true the body breaks down, but something wonderful happens within. When young, I noticed that older people, most of them actually had an inner glow that came about from making choices to be open and loving I believe. Some older people are bitter and not much fun our use to be around, also based on choices......of course there is mental illness, those are there to draw us out, to let us learn our boundaries and hopefully to work beyond them. Faith is not an escape from life, but understanding that we are responsible for what we become, in the end, we will have to confront ourselves before we can move forward. In the NDE the life review I believe shows this in a very profound way. When we grow, we suffer becasue of inner resistance that we may have no control over, it is then I believe that grace does its work.

Peace

mark

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