Happy day to you, everyone!
Every morning at the end of meditation I offer a reading of some sort that I feel may be of interest, or may inspire or set a focus for the day. Once we work our way a bit further through the texts we are enjoying currently, I’d like to introduce a new one: The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.
As you are likely aware, Marcus Aurelius was a Roman emperor. He governed nearly half the population of the earth at that time, and nearly all of the world that was known to him. There are few humans in history who have held more power in their hands, and yet Marcus, according to accounts, managed to not lose his head in the midst of all that power, and was able to lead a virtuous life. He was a philosopher in the sense that the word ‘philosopher’ conveyed that time: someone who dedicates themselves to living according to their principles. He sought to understand the nature of human existence and our relationship with the universe; he wished to live well and according to his deepest understanding, even though he could have gotten away with the most outrageous selfishness. I find this to be most inspiring to consider. I don’t live with anything like the temptation he faced, of course, and yet an opening is here to choose to spend my life supporting and maintaining an egocentric self. I don’t want to do that anymore than Marcus did, however, and it’s inspiring to have his example.
At any rate, I opened The Meditations the other day, and here’s something I found there:
“But if, when you have come to the end…. You honor only your guiding wisdom and the divine that is within you, and you do not fear ceasing to live so much as you fear never having begun to live in accordance with Nature–then you will be a person who is worthy of the Cosmos that created you; and you will cease to live like a stranger in your own land…..”
Oh my gosh that’s so good. Pretty much says it all, doesn’t it? If we will but choose to live according to our authentic nature, to say the same thing in a different and more Buddhist way, then we will find our place in the universe, we will lose our false since of separateness and autonomy, and we will live in peace and belonging. That’s what this is all about, friends! That’s what we’re up to! Let us dedicated our lives to this pursuit as best we can.