What is The Garden?
- The Garden
- The Garden is a metaphor for growth. Here, we plant the seeds to grow, and as we cultivate our own garden, we also remove the weeds that negatively effect our garden by tearing them out at the root, not just clipping off what appears at the surface. We grow by taking care of our problems at the root, not taking away the symptoms. And with time, we can overcome anything.
I welcome any questions you may have. Every Sunday, I will do a "Question of the Week", in which I will post and answer one or two questions from the emails I have received. Please submit your emails for this with Monday through Thursday.
Of course, you can email me at any time, but please note that due to the large amount of emails received, I may not be able to respond. I will try to get to as many as possible, and there may be a delay. If I don't answer, feel free to email me again. Thank you for your understanding!
Send to thegardensgate[at]gmail[dot]com or click on the envelope below.
Twitter Updates @thegardensgate
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
What this means is that the Wall Street hotshot will be nothing should he lose his Wall Street job. That is who he thinks he is. And when he is at his fancy parties, with his rich friends, his ego is thriving on the idea of "Look at me! I'm somebody." His status and his "self" are one. But when he's making dinner for his wife at home, is he a Wall Street hotshot? Or is he a loving husband making his wife dinner? There's a good chance that he truly believes that his wife would not be with him if he would ever not be a Wall Street hotshot. Because he truly believes that what he does for a living is who he is. And if he is truly a Wall Street hotshot, who was he before he reached that point? Was he nobody? Did he not exist? Remember, you are not your reputation, you are not your things, your possessions, your status, or your job. You are just you. The reason this is important to realize, is that when you tie who you are to something other than your self, then you will find unhappiness when things are not going well with whatever you tie your identity to. If it is a job, then you will be lost when that job goes bad. If it's a relationship with someone, then you will be lost when that relationship hits tough times or ends. You are simply "you", nothing more, nothing less. Yes, you may have a job, a relationship, money, or even status, but that is not who you are internally. When you connect yourself with something external, you lead yourself away from your internal. And when we are not centered internally, we find pain, confusion, stress, and despair.
Do not let external forces determine your internal peace. You are you no matter where you go, what you do, or who you do it with. Get to know that person. Love that person whole heartedly. Do not connect who that person is with anything, because it's just a lie. You can only be YOU. So start finding out who you are, underneath all that external stuff you've thrown on top of yourself. Examine yourself. Find your strengths and your weaknesses, and learn to love them both. Do not look to other things for what you can fill from within yourself.
And now that I'm done writing this blog entry, I am again, just Brian
Monday, September 27, 2010
I find that many people I work with want to get the help, but their egos won't let themselves open their minds to the ideas that will give them the help they desire to find. It is one of the most difficult things to overcome in someone. But the answer is simple, as are most answers, and it is simply to come from an empty mind, receive the lesson for what it is, then view the lesson objectively from a point of truth. When you can do that, you will watch your ego and it's walls come down, and you will start to see change in your life. The answers are all within us, piled underneath the conditioning of our egos and society. Empty the space, and allow the lessons to fill the void. Positive change will be the only outcome.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Wow... good question. The honest answer is, I don't always... I try to do my best and live by my highest self the majority of the time, but I too, fall. I am still on my path, and I learn every day. But the main thing that I try to do every day is acknowledge where I falter. Again, as acceptance is the first step in overcoming your obstacles, I am aware of when I "fail my test". Being aware, and accepting your behavior leads to you being able to change your behavior. There is a lesson by the Buddhist master Langri Thangpa called the eight verses on thought training. Verse number three states: "May I examine my mind in all actions. And as soon as a negative state occurs, since it endangers myself and others, may I firmly face and avert it." Basically, this says that as soon as we create a negative intention, we must quickly acknowledge it and form the determination to not engage in such behavior again. As we accept our actions, and realize that it comes from within us, and it is not something happening TO us, we can find the resolve to not respond in that manner again, should similar situations arise.
Again, it is a spiritual "practice". The more you practice, the easier it is to respond in a positive way from within ourselves, until it finally becomes a natural process. But if you are not aware, in that you believe the ego saying that something is happening TO you, then you will continuously fail that test, and find yourself in what you would call a "stressful situation". With your thoughts, you create your world. If you look at your world with love, you shall find love. If you look at your world with turmoil and stress, then that is exactly what you will find.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Remember, I cannot make you feel uncomfortable. It's what people know about themselves that make them feel uncomfortable, or any other feeling. Separation starts within you, and has nothing to do with anyone else. It is the trick of the ego that says "I'm right, they're wrong". Waves in the ocean do not look at other waves and make judgments about them. They all co-exist in harmony, as part of something much greater than themselves. We are supposed to be doing the same thing. And it all starts within ourselves. It's ok for you not to like something. If the thoughts stop then on yourself, and don't extend out to the other person, no separation will exist. So the next time you think a thought as simple as "This TV show is stupid", remember, the TV show is just a show, it is neither stupid or smart. And if you judge the show as being stupid, you also judge everyone who watches it as being stupid. Simply say "I personally don't care for this show". Judgment is relieved, and separation cannot occur.
Monday, September 20, 2010
"Why are we here?" "Why did this have to happen to me now?" "Why is the store always sold out of what I came for?" So many questions of why, and in each case, it doesn't matter why. It doesn't matter why you're here, because you are indeed here. It doesn't matter why something happened to you now, because it did indeed happen. And it certainly doesn't matter why the store is out of what you came for, because nothing is going to make it magically appear in their stock. So as you can see, "Why" is a useless question.
It's useless because it only leads to more questions. It never leads to action. And in this way, many people get locked into the trap of "Why". The question of "Why" also leads to all the "what if's" that take people out of the present moment, and lost in a hypothetical world of things that don't exist. And no matter how much you wish that they would, they don't. You only have NOW. Asking "What if this would have happened instead?" is just a way of mentally torturing yourself. With that in mind, the correct questions to ask yourself instead of "Why", are "What", and "How".
You must first accept the situation as it is. This is important. Acceptance is the first phase of overcoming any obstacle. Then, ask yourself the questions of "What" and "How". So, in the example above of "Why did this have to happen to me now?" The replacement for the question of "Why" is "Ok, this happened to me. What can I do to make this situation better, or how can I prevent this from either getting worse, or happening to me again?" "What" and "How" are calls to action. And when you are taking action, you have control over the situation, instead of the situation having control over you. Remember, if you feel that something has happened to you, then you are a victim. Victims never overcome their obstacle. You are only a victim in the moment that something is happening in your life. Once that moment is over, how you choose to react to that situation will define you either as a victim, or, for lack of a better word, a survivor. Some people are a victim of an event for the rest of their life. They use it as an excuse to never be able to achieve things in their lives. They'll tell you "You don't understand what happened to me". The ego is in full force. You may not have control over what happened to you at the time it happened, but you certainly have control over every single moment after that. How will you choose to react to that? From weakness, or strength?
There are so many beautiful cases in which someone has overcome so much. I recently read about a quadriplegic that swam the English Channel. He lost his limbs after being electrocuted on a ladder. But he did not remain a victim of that accident. He has been living his life, including not only swimming the English Channel in just over 14 hours, (10 hours less than even he thought it would take him), but skydiving, and things like that. He could have lived the rest of his life lost in the question of "Why". "Why did this have to happen to me". But he chose the "What" and the "How". What could he do to keep living his life? How can he make his life better? He was only a victim for the moment of the electrocution, now he is a survivor, and deals from a place of strength.
"Why" is a trap of the ego. It begs for sympathy for us from others. It wants others to do for us what we feel we cannot do for ourselves, because we are a victim. If you live your life lost in the question of "Why", it will be a very unhappy place to live. If you turn your mind into the action questions of "What" and "How", you will see amazing changes start to take place in your life.