GREAT MORNING BELOVED!!
It’s great to be back. I am saddened that we lost one of our folks, one of my guys, Jay Busche. Please keep masked, be careful who you are around, keep your distance if you don’t know if they are vaccinated or not. Keep safe. That means here at the Center also. WE are requiring masks and no hugs without a green light on both sides please. Let’s stay safe and keep everyone safe.
Now, Today, we begin a series based upon the book by Frank Ostaseski titled, “The Five Invitations, Discovering what death can teach us about living fully.”
Now why, you may ask, would we want to discuss a book about death. But look a bit further on…it’s about living fully.
But I also think it is appropriate to discuss it because of the ‘pause’ we have been in these many, many months. Whether we wish to admit it to ourselves or not, death has been knocking on many a door lately. And not the death, or transition, we like to refer it, as a normal thing…not at the end of a long and wonderful life, necessarily.
The COVID virus has taken many lives that were not necessarily expected. No long illness. No expected end. No, COVID has been a surprise to us all, and an awakening, even more so as it struck so close to our home and hearts.…so what do you think about death?
The book, “The Five Invitations; Discovering what death can teach us about living fully,” is divided into 5 invitations: the first, ‘Don’t Wait,’
next ‘Welcome Everything, Push Away Nothing,’
third, ‘Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience,’
next, ‘Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things,’
and 5th, ‘Cultivate Don’t Know Mind.’
So, this morning the first invitation, “Don’t Wait.”
When you hear that short sentence, what do you think about? Probably the saying we hear often, don’t wait to use the good china, or to wear the fancy clothes, or even take the imagined vacation.
And that is part of it.
We forget that this world, this life is one of impermanence, of change. We really do not know what is around the next corner, what the next day will bring,
Now, where did your mind go just now…where you thinking of negative things?
That statement didn’t mention anything negative, and yet that is where we so often go.
Knowing that we have not mastered the long life that Charles Fillmore and many others envisioned…that our cells would revitalize and restore our bodies to long, long lives, we then know that at some time, our bodies would stop beating and breathing and our soul would go on…to whatever you believe.
In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” the 7th book, toward the end, after Harry and Lord Voldamort meet and he tries to kill Harry, Harry meets the supposedly dead Dumbledore in a very clean and ethereal Kings Cross train station. Harry asks if he is dead and what could happen next. Dumbledore, as usual, in his not complete answer way says he could step on a train and ‘go on’.
We don’t know what we will face when the time comes when we ‘go on’, which makes this book even more important.
The 1st invitation –Don’t Wait!
Don’t wait to live. Don’t wait to enjoy your life, your kids, your hobbies, your loves, your life.
Embrace the impermanence of our physicality. We have had so many examples of this here in this country, not to mention our world. Let’s start with Covid and so many who have lost their life so suddenly. And then there are the wildfires, and the flash floods. The extreme weather.
What are you waiting for????
Spend time with those you care for and love. Take time for a cup of tea and just chat. Offer a hug to someone you know needs it. Visit someone in the hospital or senior home. Offer a meal to an elderly member of your community.
Reach out in whatever way you are able. Give hope where there is little or none.
Use “The 5 Second Rule – The moment you have an instinct to act on a goal you must 5-4-3-2-1 and physically move or your brain will stop you.” ― Mel Robbins, The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage
What does this do…it gets you moving. If you remember that new outfit you haven’t wore yet, within 5 seconds, get it out of the closet and wear it for your evening out.
If you see someone that looks interesting in a gathering, in 5 seconds, start walking toward them.
If you think of a person you haven’t seen for a while, contact them.
It’s making your choice within 5 seconds, no time for talking yourself out of getting out of bed when the alarm goes off.
And that can lead us right into Forgiveness. Yes, that word again.
If you are holding onto something that needs attention…. attend to it now. Don’t wait.
When the thought comes into you mind, make a commitment to do something…get on the phone, get in the car, sit down and write your heartfelt thoughts about the forgiveness you have for that person.
And why would you want to. Why carry around that extra weight when it feels so nice to lighten up. Forgive, too, because we don’t know what is around the corner.
I didn’t know I would be in an accident that would lay me up for months and delay the start of Unity here in DE. Would I have been in a good place spiritually if it would have been worse and I would have died? Did I have any forgiveness work yet to do? I certainly asked that question as I recovered.
Don’t wait. Reach out to that person and forgive them, and while you’re at it…forgive yourself for holding on to whatever that word or action you thought was there. Most likely, it probably wasn’t as you are remembering it now. And Byron Katie would say, “Is it true now?” No…it’s in the past and we are not living there, we are living in the NOW, today, this moment.
Carol Hyman tells us, “We can’t step into the same river twice.”
Think about it…. that means it changes, the water flows, and maybe that’s the best lesson, be in the flow of life.
Each day we become a different person, just like that river. Are we good with that? Apply the 5 second rule to that…are you thinking of something that you’d change? Take that step! Within 5 seconds.
Be happy NOW!
What are the opportunities found in impermanence? Is there such a thing as permanence in our lives? Everything is changing.
When we embrace our own impermanence, we travel on a journey. The self is not a separate thing but a process…when we realize this, we see that there is always an opportunity to respond to a situation creatively.
Stop waiting for perfection. It’s not there. Don’t look for it, don’t expect it. Do not attach to it. That only brings suffering.
Be vulnerable to what’s happing now.
And Frank discusses Hope in this book. What is hope? Hope is defined as “a feeling of expectation or desire for a certain thing, a feeling of trust.
What happens when what we hope for doesn’t happen? We are sad, unhappy, maybe frustrated.
What is Expectation “a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future.”
Should we hope for something or have an expectation for something?
I’ve always told my Tuesday Group that having expectations leaves us open for disappointments.
With hope, we have a feeling, we place that desire with feeling into the ethers and then let it go. We say, “this or something better”.
Believe in the blessing, that it will reveal itself. And then live your life without expectation.