Posts Tagged ‘meaning’

Searching For The Meaning Of Your Life

November 12, 2015

In meditation last morning, a thought came that I was “in search of my own doing.” My life is the result of choices, of things I did and did not do that cannot be undone. Life goes on, and I am still wondering what I should be doing with the rest of my life.

Then I thought of my children and their attempts to make sense of their lives, to fulfill their destiny. So, I wrote this philosophical tanka about being and becoming.

Searching For The Meaning of Your Life

Your destiny is
A search for your own doing
What your life will mean

But doing starts with being
Only then can you become

Yogastah kurukarmani
Established in Being, perform action

I’m reminded of what Krishna said to Arjuna on the battlefield of life — to perform his duty and fight. But he also gave him the technique for skill in action — to first transcend, to Be (Ch 2, V 45); and then, established in Being, to perform action (Ch 2, V 48).

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in his translation and commentary on The Bhagavad-Gita (Chapters 1-6), said this was the essence of the Vedic wisdom of life, and his effortless, natural technique of Transcendental Meditation was the way to accomplish it.

So “meditate and act” is the formula for success in life. Do what comes naturally and brings you bliss. And if life sometimes stretches you in ways you’re not comfortable with, keep meditating and acting, and you will have grown stronger in the process, becoming more of yourself.

Here are some related poems: kintsugi: japanese pottery inspires poetry, Two kinds of knowledge about living and learning, and Seeing Is Being.

Mary Oliver’s Summer Day is filled with wonder

June 23, 2014

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean–
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down,
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

~ Mary Oliver ~

(New and Selected Poems, Volume I)

Related: Mary Oliver’s poem, Praying, is a lesson on attention, receptivity, listening and writing.

Other poems: The Journey by Mary Oliver | Wild Geese by Mary Oliver, photo by Ken West | Varanasi by Mary Oliver in A Thousand Mornings.

Art of the Haiku by Ken Chawkin

July 19, 2012

Art of the Haiku

do away with words
and you’ll have a way with words
speak less and say more

© Ken Chawkin

Also see Haiku On The Nature of Haiku

Words—a poem on the nature of words and mind

February 19, 2012

Ever looked at a legal document and wondered what the heck you just read? Depending on the way we use language, communication can obfuscate or elucidate, confuse or clarify.

Words can mean different things to different people. The English language uses different words to mean the same thing, and different things use similar sounding words. It can get confusing, especially if English is not your first language. Apparently only Sanskrit has a direct one-to-one relationship between a word and its meaning, between name and form, nama-rupa.

One way to use words to create clarity of mind is in meditation, where the mind, if allowed, can refer to its own essential nature. In the case of Transcendental Meditation, a technique that automatically transcends its own activity, a different kind of word, or thought, is employed—a mantra—a suitable harmonious meaningless sound. With the appropriate mantra, and instructions how to use it properly, the mind can effortlessly transcend words, thinking, its own activity, and arrive at the source of mind, a state of pure awareness, the meditator’s inner Self.

Hope this introduction helps you to better understand this abstract poem I wrote in the late 1980’s. For lack of a better title, I just called it, Words.

Words

the mind is of two minds
one listens to the sounds of words
the other follows their meanings
words help the mind to know things

names are the words for things
things are the forms of names
sounds and meanings of names and forms
things are contained within words

when words become things in themselves
then words get contained within words
sounds and meanings within names and forms
names and forms within sounds and meanings

layers of communication get built up create complex structures
and break down under the weight of their own words
too many words hinder the mind’s ability to know things
the mind cannot know its own mind

. . . . .

when words use themselves
to lose themselves
they allow the mind
to experience itself

experiencing itself
losing itself
to the Self
left to its Self

alone
the silent home
where things and words are one
all one

© Ken Chawkin


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