If I Only Have One Year To Live, What Will I Do

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This is what I would do if I only have one year to live:

  • I’ll sell most of my things and live lighter
  • I’ll go travel with my soul mate, daughter and my mom to visit the pyramids, travel across Canada, travel with my Buddhist teacher, visit Tibet, skydive with my Buddhist teacher, visit India again, hop over to New Zealand, spend a few weeks in Indonesia and Malaysia, visit central America
  • Tick off my 100 bucket list and do it all!
  • Blog about my experiences!
  • Do yoga, swim with dolphins, teach in spiritual courses and deeply connect to my soul mate…

So now for the real question: “What is stopping me from achieving all the above now?”  I could answer that it’s in fact…Life: I have too many responsibilities, money issues, my life is too settled and I don’t have much time right now.

Are my responsibilities keeping me away from living my dream because I think I’ll live long enough to experience my dreams anyway? Or do I have to wait for death to come knock on my door, make the change and then live my dream? Who am I kidding! 😉

An Out Of Body Experience

Astral Projection

Have you ever had an out of body experience? I had one, and it was the scariest feeling ever! It was not my intention but somehow I made my way outwards, floating in the air and then…I panicked!

After my horrific experience, I questioned: “Will this happen when I die?” Will I experience the same feeling?”

My experience exposed a wild, imbalanced and clingy mind. If it is my mind that continues to exist after this life, then it makes sense to get to know it and train it. Meditation is a great tool for the mind. It means effortlessly remaining in whatever is. It creates the necessary distance to whatever we experience, it shows us the way things really are in life and creates the awareness of my true nature, of who I truly am.

In Buddhism we have a lot of meditation techniques. I choose Buddhist meditations, as I can trust in Buddha’s methods. He is the one who reached enlightenment (as they say, he got the ticket!) and left us various teachings, meditations and he onced said: “Don’t believe because a Buddha told you, check it out for yourself.”

Diamond Way Teachings 

The Wheel of Life, Samsara

 

Samsara also known as the wheel of life, turns continually because of our ripened karma. Our actions and karma accumulate and through this our experiences manifest in Samsara.

When we create mainly positive actions, we will experience a more or less joyful result. When we have mainly negative actions, we mainly experience unpleasant results.

To be unenlightened means we separate a ‘me’ from a ‘you’. We have been in this state of duality since time without beginning. The cause for this way of perception is the fundamental ignorance of our minds: our mind works like an eye. It looks at the outside, but cannot see itself and so the separation between me and you, outside and inside, here and there arises.

As a result from this duality, we wish to have certain things we experience as separate from ourselves that leads to attachment. Now that we’ve attached ourselves, we know what we want, and we wish to avoid certain things we don’t want, so aversion arises. From our attachment greed arises, as we want more of that what we like and from our aversion to things, jealousy arises as we don’t want others to have that what we have and from our ignorance pride arises because we don’t want to share what we have.

We call the above the five disturbing emotions that make us say and do certain things. Because of the law of cause and effect (Karma) our actions return to us. We create habitual tendencies from our disturbing emotions, thus finding ourselves in the wheel of existence, Samsara.

We can differentiate between six different kinds of experiences or states of existence within Samsara:

  1. God states
  2. Half-god existence
  3. Human existence
  4. Animal existences
  5. Ghost states
  6. Paranoia realms

In all the above states of existence, there is suffering. Samsara is nothing but suffering because it is simply the result of accumulated actions through our disturbing emotions. At times, the wheel turns upwards and then down again. We experience these states as real, although according to Buddhist teachings, they lack reality.

Our problem is that we take everything for real existent as we cling or we reject it. The Buddhist path shows us how to realize the true nature of mind and freeing ourselves from Samsara. For more information on Diamond Way Teachings 

 

Cause and Effect

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Cause and effect, known as karma is not the same as fate. It is the basis of personal freedom and universal responsibility for all living beings. Logically, positive causes cannot bring about negative results and vice versa.

According to the Buddha, four conditions come together for a karmic impression to come to full effect (positive or negative):

  1. A being has to understand clearly its own position and the corresponding conditions, meaning one must know exactly what one is doing and the consequences of such an action.
  2. It has to have the wish, to influence them actively, meaning one wants to and has a need to do this.
  3. The being must do something accordingly or have others do it meaning one does the deed or allows others to do it.
  4. The being has to be satisfied with the results.

When these four conditions come together, a fully developed karmic impression develops, which is stored in our consciousness. So the karma is the strongest when all four conditions come together and the weakest when only one condition is present. This counts for all our actions.

The stream of consciousness flows from birth to birth. In every situation we digest and dissolve old impressions and at the same time, we store new impressions into our minds. For this reason, Buddha never taught karma in a dogmatic way or as a moralist like “You must not …” or “You always have to …”.

A conscious understanding of the way cause and effect work can support you as an individual to create beautiful, positive impressions and to benefit beings in the ‘cycle of existence’ with wisdom and spontaneous activity.

This article was inspired by my Buddhist teacher, Lama Ole Nydahl   

Buddha Shakyamuni
Buddha Shakyamuni (Photo credit: Wikipedia

My Top 200 Achievements

My understanding on the subject achievement: a thing done successfully, typically by effort, courage, or skill. 

When my teacher instructed this ‘impossible task’, I froze and procrastinated until I finally sat down and wrote my story as brief ‘possible’:

  1. Born as a human being 
  2. Had my first boyfriend at the age of 6: Superman!
  3. Became a member of the local library and read all the books in the kids section by the age of 11!  (10 points)
  4.  Tried flying in the air and broke my arm at 8 years old. 
  5. Had my first crush on a teacher….I won’t say who he was 🙂 
  6. Became a beautiful woman at the age of ….not saying 🙂 
  7. Hated high school with a passion for 5 years!  (10 points)
  8. Learned to drive at the age of 14  (10 points)
  9. Tried rollerblades, fell 100 a times and still loved it!
  10. Read all the teenage books in the library by the time I was 17!  (10 points)
  11. Fell in a stormy river while I thought I was flying between the trees! 
  12. Married my soul mate  (10 points) and then divorced him 😦
  13. Survived a small plane crash in 2004  (10 points)
  14. Studied at University of Stellenbosch and Cape Peninsula University of Technology 
  15. Learned German and a little French  (10 points)
  16. Fell in love…again…again..and again..etc 🙂 
  17. Got my first car out of the box and sold my first business in my late 20’s!
  18. Lived in London for a year!
  19. Meditated in Spain under the hot sun and became a Buddhist
  20. Received blessing to start Buddhist centre in Africa (www.buddhism-southafrica.org) (10 points)
  21. Learned with ‘Osho’ in Puna, India
  22. Studied life coaching for a year!
  23. Watched Avatar 30 times and Matrix 20 times! I am undeniably and unconditionally in love with the Twilight series and Vampire Dairies!  (20 points)
  24. Backpacked Thailand alone and did 39 zipline flights, the longest one was 800m in Chiang Mai!  (10 points)
  25. Jumped off a cliff in Goa with a paraglider 
  26. Learned forgiveness, how to let go and how to love myself unconditionally 
  27. Travelled the world!  (20 points)
  28. Had 22 flights within 2 months and flew over the Northern Pole!  (10 points)
  29. Met the best girlfriends and friends around the world  (10 points)
  30. Had a baby daughter who is the love of my life (50 points) 
So that’s it for now: 200 Top Achievements in this life!
What do I now? Of course, I look very much forward to doubling it by the time I reach 50! 😉

How do I realize the true benefits of meditation?

personal source*

Today meditation is well known and practiced in our societies. I strongly believe that meditation is our key to lasting happiness. Unfortunately meditation itself seems so complicated and vast. How can I realize the true benefits of meditation without getting confused, demotivated or lost on the way?

To understand the actual experience of meditation, it seems logical to understand the definition of it. Meditation means effortlessly remaining in whatever is. Now effortlessly remaining suggest that I sit in whatever is happening around and inside of me. In short, just sitting with my doing, saying, thinking and external environment.

Let me explain: what happens if I close my eyes, sit straight and look at the flame of a candle. I am aware of sounds, my breath, the object in front of me and my thoughts. Can it be that meditation makes me more aware of what is happening around me? Does meditation create the awareness of who I really am and how the world really functions?

After my experience, meditation brought amazing awareness and clarity in my mind, gave me inner peace and created a balance of tranquility. It makes sense to learn from someone who has reached this state before. I believe that if I continue with meditation and its tools otherwise known as dharma, the benefits will bring phenomenal results, even enlightenment. Just like Buddha Shakyamuni did.

personal source*