Sidewalk Bends

Exploring the soul and it's reaches.

Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category

Realization of Self

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Prestige, awards, honors, titles, sainthoods; These are all things that cannot be taken with us into death. Recognitions bestowed by other men serve no purpose except to buoy the confidence and egos of those lacking in self-understanding. They in turn are recognized and propagated by those also lacking in understanding of self. They rely on others to confer worth and validation, none of which can be given. The self can only be realized. Validation is but an illusion.

Once realized, everything becomes an illusion. The title or award becomes a symbol, not of achievement, but of values placed on hold. The recognition becomes a symbol not of good deeds done but of a past gone, and a present and future forgotten.

With the true realization of self, faults are no longer faults. Hate is no longer hate. Joy is no longer joy. Anger is no longer anger. Resentment is no longer resentment. That is not to say that these no longer exist. It is to say that the illusions that have defined these emotions fall aside.

These emotions are no longer at the forefront of what defines our existence and by extension, our thoughts and behaviors. When the self is realized it no longer needs to define others nor seeks validation from others, for in defining others and seeking recognition from others it is the self that is projecting its current understanding of its place within all that exists, which again is the self.

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Written by Sidewalk Bends

July 11, 2013 at 5:40 am

Simply Me

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I am not Hindu. I am not Buddhist. I am not Christian. I am not Jewish. I am not Muslim.

That is not to say I do not believe in God, or whatever name you shall attach to that which has no name but is called by many names.

I claim no flag as my own. I live under no one roof. I am beholden to no one’s truth, but that which sits firmly in my own heart. That is not to say that I am separate, but that I go from day to day depending on my struggles and that I only know what I feel. And what I feel may change daily depending on my struggles.

That is not to say that I do not believe in anything, but that my faith is challenged every day. Some days I know myself as though 1000 years have passed, and other days I know myself as I know a stranger.

I do not always know why I am. I only know that I am here. And as I write this there seems not to be a purpose but simply to be me.

Stoning the Devil

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Hajj - Stoning the DevilWhen we stone the devil, are we not in fact stoning ourselves? We each make choices in our lives. Surely we are guided and influenced in many directions, but ultimately we make our own choices. We make our own decisions, good or bad. We are who we are, not because of the devil or because someone has forced us into becoming who we have become.

At every step, whether we have been enveloped in love, or subjected to hate, we can choose how we decide to walk away from a situation. We can choose to nourish our hearts, or feed the disdain. We can spend our time ridiculing others, be it the devil, or someone who might seem different to our own sensibilities, but we must ask if this truly brings us closer to the divine. Do we shine brighter, or are we in reality tarnishing our own soul?

We each have much to offer, even if we can’t quite understand the person or the devil beside us. So we can spend our time contemplating someone else’s ill thoughts and behaviors, or we can work to improve our own. Ridicule and hate can never bring love and peace. They can only be stifled until we are ready to truly accept them.

Set down the stone, and remember the true strength it takes to put it down, and share it.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

October 26, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Planting a Seed

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green light

This is dedicated to my mom who inspired this thought.

Several years ago while meditating I decided to ask God to show me Himself. I asked Him to show me what God is, and to remove any of my preconceived thoughts of God and of existence itself. I asked that any internal and external biases be removed so that I may come to understand.

As I asked this through my heart, I attempted to quiet my mind. What I experienced and what I saw I could not expect. With my eyes opened, I became blind. I could not see anything. Slowly my vision went, and everything became black. There was not even a hint of light. With my ears straining to hear any voice or sound, I could hear nothing. The buzzing of the street lights disappeared and the distant traffic became non-existent to my ears. I had become deaf. Next my racing mind seemed to pause. All thoughts sank away. Not even an image or random thought had crossed my mind. It was quiet, yet at the same time I was all too aware that it was quiet. It was not overwhelming. I was peace.

Not a worry had occupied me. As I became aware of this emptiness, this lack of sensation, I began to see a tunnel in my mind’s eye. At the end or perhaps it was the beginning, I saw what appeared to be a green light, beckoning, almost like a cocoon. With that, I began to hear again and I began to see again. The image had disappeared and thoughts came flooding back.

At the time this occurred, I thought I had understood what happened. I thought I knew what God or perhaps my inner self was trying to tell me. I found solace in this quietness, this communion of sorts. And yet today I found myself seeing more understanding in this experience. I found God to be everything, and at the same time I found God to be nothing. I found God to be peace, inner peace, a choice seemingly made by me, but not entirely by me. Perhaps like a seed in our heart, God is there waiting to be nurtured, waiting to show us our true selves, our true potential.

What or who is God to you?

Diverging from Buddhism, Self-Immolation

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Quang DucSelf-immolation is a misunderstanding of the tenets of life. Love thyself. Love all others. Do no harm. When we do harm, even to ourselves for a perceived cause that we support, we lose sight of love. We may try to convince ourselves that by sacrificing oneself for a cause greater than ourselves we are in fact shining a light on the injustice, but we are in fact distracting from that which is without condition.

Love does not require all others to believe for it to exist. Love and truths that surpass the boundaries of the mind do not need capitulation or agreement from all sides in order to continue. Whether it is self-immolation through burning oneself or whether it is a person who decides to blow oneself up, the act does nothing but to place a light squarely on oneself. It is the ego, which seeks to be known that receives attention.

Love cannot be forced. Understanding also cannot be forced. When one decides to love without condition, understanding comes not far behind. The struggle is always internal, for in a hurricane, a sand storm or on a clear day, all that we try to suppress comes boiling up. When we can accept ourselves and when we can accept others, we will find understanding.

Ascension?

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circlesThere is no inner circle and no outer circle. They are one in the same. There is no circle.

There are no boundaries. There are no upper heavens or lower heavens. All that we wish to know is before us and not beyond some veiled mystery. There is no center or edge, for all exists equally. There is no rising above or sinking below for all that stands in our way is ourselves. We cannot ascend past our selves, but we can choose to accept all aspects that make us complete. We cannot surpass infinite expression, or fall short of its mark, for we are creation expressing itself.

When we turn inward, we also turn outward. Whether we choose to accept ourselves in pieces or fully embrace that which is, the result is the same. There is no time lost, or missed. There is awareness and understanding. Whether one decides to take the long road or the short one, there are no questions asked for the difference in the two is none.

Let not words separate. Let not our fears divide. Let no limitation become you. Let no disturbance become a hindrance.

Withered Truth

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leather bound bibleBound leather.
Parchment paper.
Saints of men.

Stains of time.
Words warped.
Intentions lost.

Guidance sought.
Warped minds.
Confused soul.

Stay true to your heart. Stay true to yourself. In the face of pressure, in the house of another, do not judge. Accept as you wish to be accepted. Love as you wish to be loved. Compromise not the essence of your soul, but allow another to be.