“Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. And between the two my life flows.”  –Nisargadatta Maharaj

Pick up an Instrument!

Instead of vegetating on the couch in front of the television or on the Internet each night, spend 15 to 30 minutes a night learning how to play an instrument.  It is much easier than you may think and the rewards are far greater than you imagine.  In this article I will dispel many of the common myths and try to describe the incredible benefits associated with playing music.

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Under the Surface

When a bird flies low over a Koi pond, the fish instinctively jump.  This self-defense mechanism creates a splash, which scatters the light on the surface of the water making it difficult for the bird to see potential prey below.  This behavior serves as the perfect metaphor for a very similar human instinct; when an individual or group wishes to create attention, promote their own agenda, or spread their beliefs, they often do so by creating waves in an attempt to obscure the real truth below.

The proliferation of the Internet, the cancerous growth in the number of television channels available, and the proliferation of easy, large-scale communications has made it easier than ever to create waves that last longer and travel farther.  Over the last decade it seems as if life is the surface of an ocean being churned by a hurricane.  In this incredible maelstrom it is easy to miss a very important point; a wave is only an illusion.

Consider a wave.  Where does it start and end?  How deep does it go?  It may look as if a wave moves; but, the water in which it sits does not.  Ultimately, the wave is nothing more than water manipulated in such a way that it distracts us from what is actually below.

One must penetrate these distractions and look below the surface to find the real truth in life.  While the surface of the ocean may look expansive, the incredible depths below are far greater and contain the serene, undisturbed treasures of life.  Ironically, while we splash around on the surface looking for happiness, it sits right below us, obscured by our own actions.

Unfortunately, this is a struggle mankind has been fighting through its recorded existence (and I am sure much longer).  The solution is not as easy as this metaphor implies.  Here are a couple of recommendations to help you through the storm.

  • Avoid the flotsam.  Just as a drop of soap will push away dirt and bubbles, you should avoid anything that keeps you stuck on the surface.  Push away those influences that keep you from seeing the deeper meaning of life.
  • Don’t bury your head in the sand.  While a wave may only be illusion, it does have the power to sink a ship.  While you should look through the surface, you cannot ignore it.  While you should try to remain free from the surface, you must be prepared to deal with it.  Living in a cave to avoid the troubles mankind brings to itself will not make anything better.