Daily OM for October 31st – Giving the Gift of You

Giving the Gift of You

Serving Your Community

by Madisyn Taylor

Being of service to our community is part of being a good citizen of the planet earth.

 

To live harmoniously, we need to be supportive and helpful to all people, creatures, and plant life that share this earth with us. While “being of service is part of being a good citizen of the world, it also feels good to help others. When we do something for others in service, without the expectation of anything in return, we are turning our actions into offerings.

There are many ways to be of service to our community. There are the obvious and much needed volunteer opportunities, such as serving Thanksgiving dinner at a shelter, mentoring our youth, or cleaning up a beach. Then, there is the kind of service that we may not even think of as being acts of service. Learning a new language (perhaps sign language) so that you can talk to more people is a way to reach out to others. Inviting someone who isn’t motivated enough to exercise on their own to join you on your daily walk is a way to give of yourself. Sharing flowers or vegetables from your garden, organizing a poetry reading, offering to babysit for a busy parent, or donating pet food to an animal shelter all are simple ways to offer your services to your community.

There are many ways that you can serve the world. Imagine the impact we would have on the environment if we picked up one piece of trash off the street everyday and chose not to drive our car once a week. Even gardening tactics such as throwing wildflower seeds onto a vacant lot can brighten the lives of others including the lives of birds and insects. Everyday, you can do something to make this world a better place. During meditation, ask for guidance on what you can do to be of service. This can be a wonderful way to start your day. Smiling at a stranger who looks down in the dumps or teaching your neighborhood kids how to whistle will impact someone’s day or even their life. Giving of yourself is the best gift that you can give.

The Daily OM

Are You Aware Of Your Unconscious Tendencies?

Are You Aware Of Your Unconscious Tendencies?

posted by Deepak Chopra
 

The question of free will versus determination is huge. In the one reality, every pair of opposites is ultimately an illusion. We’ve already blurred the division between good and evil and life and death. Is free will going to turn out to be the same as determinism? A lot seems to ride on the answer.

Free Will = Independence, Self-determination, Choice, Control over events, Future is open.

Determinism = Dependence on an outside will, Self determined by fate, No control over events, Choices made for you, Future is closed.

These phrases sketch in the common understanding of what’s at stake. Everything in the free-will column sounds attractive. We all want to be independent; we want to make our own decisions; we want to wake up with hope that the future is open and full of endless possibilities.

On the other hand, nothing seems attractive in the determination column. If your choices have been made for you, if your self is tied to a plan written before you were born, then the future cannot be open. Emotionally at least, the prospect of free will has already won the argument.

And at a certain level nobody has to delve any deeper. If you and I are marionettes operated by an invisible puppeteer – call him God, fate, or karma – then the strings he’s pulling are also invisible. We have no proof that we aren’t making free choices.

There is a reason to delve deeper, however, and it centers on the word Vasana. In Sanskrit, a Vasana is an unconscious cause. It’s the software of the psyche, the driving force that makes you do something when you think you’re doing it spontaneously. As such, Vasana is very disturbing.

Vasana is determinism that feels like free will. If unconscious tendencies kept working in the dark, they wouldn’t be a problem. But human beings, unique among all living creatures, want to break down Vasana. We crave the assurance of absolute freedom and its result – a totally open future.
Is this reasonable? Is it even possible?

Adapted from The Book of Secrets, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2004).

What Is Real Happiness?

What Is Real Happiness?

posted by Deepak Chopra

 

What is real happiness? It is being at one with your soul. So, then what’s a soul? Its everything that the ego is not. The ego tries to build you up. It makes you feel special and protected. But what’s really happening? You wind up being incredible insecure.

“I’m stuck on myself, on my way of doing things. I don’t love the way I am, but I’m addicted to it, and I don’t know how to stop.”

Your soul and your ego are as invisibly mixed as white wine and water. That’s why people are so confused. They wander through life searching for the soul when it’s right there. They all believe their soul will go to Heaven after they die, but the soul is everywhere already.

In other words, the soul is a mystery. It can’t be lost or found. It is neither here nor there. It belongs to you and yet it belongs to God. Without a process, no one would ever get to the bottom of it.

You’re searching for a label. Don’t. The process can’t be named. It’s invisible and yet all-powerful. It alters everything you say and do, yet nothing you say and do is part of it.

You can’t own the process. You can’t cling to it, any more than you could hold on to the smell of the ocean. The process happens entirely in the present. It’s here one second and gone the next.

You keep going back to your old self. That’s the worst addiction. As long as you crave the old self, you can never fully contact the unknown. Everyone is addicted to their old self.

You can’t have real roses, so you buy plastic ones. You can’t think sweet thoughts, so you gobble down sugar. You can’t figure out how to be happy, so you make other people laugh. There’s nothing wrong with what you do, but that’s not real happiness.

Adapted from Why Is God Laughing? The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2008).