Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Found A Breath of Reality

I remember how lost in wanting to be "amazing" I was. I didn't realize that I was being amazing the whole time! It's sad how we drive ourselves crazy chasing what we already have. "Amazing" was an illusion in my mind that I could see almost anywhere outside of me... well, not anywhere, I was pretty picky! It had to be Ricky Martin, Adam Lambert, Mark Baxter, Adyashanti, Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, I don't know... all these "amazing" people who did "amazing" things.

I feel so grateful for the men who have inspired me. All they've done is show me who I am and who I have always been! This AMAZING manifestation of the diversity and divinity of life.

With a big head, with the tip of a pinky missing, with a loud voice, with a brassy personality, with a sweet smile, with bushy dark eyebrows, with a little belly that splits in two, with a scar on my stomach, with a funny posture, with a strange view. I'm a freak! And I love it!

Thank you men who unknowingly fooled me into thinking that there was such a thing other than amazing and that that was me and the rest of the world. It all started with my mom and dad, to me they were gods of perfection, then it went to Ricky, then it went to college professors, to Broadway actors and actresses, then it went to Mark, then it went to Adya, then it went to God and now it's back to me.

I am an amazing being of light and nobody can convince me otherwise! I love myself COMPLETELY and I believe in myself one hundred percent! The sky is the limit and self-love is all I got for me... I don't need anyone else to do it for me... and I don't need to pretend like I am less than anybody else anymore!


Monday, May 16, 2011

Yes, I get it

Yes society, world, culture, people... I get it. Being good looking is better than being ugly, being tall is better than being short, being smart is better than being dumb, having a college degree is better than not having a college degree, being heterosexual is better than being gay, being rich is better than being poor, having a BMW is better than having a Toyota, being famous is better than being unknown, being skinny is better than being fat, living in a prestigious neighborhood is better than living in the ghetto, being well-spoken is better than not being well-spoken, being charismatic is better than being boring.

Yes, I get it, following the norms and rules is better than not. Behaving according to what is expected by all is better than breaking out of the box.

I get it world, you have set standards that when not lived up to them then that means one has a lot of work to do. I get it, life is all about impressing the world and having people admire one. Yes world, I know that according to you this life is all about getting your acceptance and approval - that those who make it to the cover of a magazine are better than those who don't. I get that life is all about who has more, who looks better, who does more, who sells more. I get that success is all about numbers. I get it.

I get how the whole thing goes, I know what competition and comparison is. It's actually quite simple. If I'm taller and better looking then I must be better, if my house is nicer then I must be better, if I have a special talent then I must be better, if I have a bigger muscles then I must be better, if I have nicer clothes then I must be better, if I have a higher position then I must be better, if I can type faster then I must be better. It's all about comparison and who's the best. If I run faster then I'm better, if I make it to 1st place then I'm better than the rest. I get it... it's about popularity, the most popular is the best. If I have a Master's then I'm better than whoever has a Bachelor's - it's hysterical.

One's worth and value is determined by what the world says, by what others say. That's how this whole thing works! Whoever can sing the highest note is the better singer. Whoever can work more hours is the better citizen. This culture is a hoot. It's so nice to not be playing that game and feeling like a true success. Drop out of the madness and follow your heart and your love and passion -- not the world... you'll go crazy! Believe me, I already did... thank God I lived to tell the story!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The "Everything Should Be Easy" Syndrome

Ah, America! I write that as if I knew much more about other cultures, which to be honest, I really know close to nothing about anything outside of the way we Americans live. I mean, sure I grew up in the Dominican Republic but that's still Latin America and it seems like contemporary Dominicans are highly influenced by the North American way.

No long ago I was teaching a class to kids in a private school that was about building wooden airplanes. The process required some sanding, gluing, coloring and adjusting. The reaction of many of my students was "Why do we have to sand them?" or "Why do we have to build them ourselves, why can't we just buy them at the store?"

It's amazing, at first it happened in a private school where the kids where obviously (financially) wealthy, but then it started happening in public schools too. We are so spoiled as a nation that we don't want to work for anything. We don't want to learn how to cook, how to drive a standard transmission vehicle, we don't even want to have to use our bodies anymore.

Forget just not wanting to do any physical work, we avoid going to college because it takes too long and it's too much work. We look to do a three-month course in photography or a two week bar-tending class so that we can get a license and make quick money. We don't want to use our brains. We want the car to automatically shut the headlights for us and we want our food to be ready in less than five minutes. No wonder why the fast food industry is owning the world.

In any kind of relationship we feel that if it's not easy to get along, then we should just discard them and move on. We don't want to do any kind of work. In our personal development we want to go see a psychologist once or twice (if even that) and if we didn't get results then the whole thing is bullshit. In spirituality if we don't get to know God within the first few months of seeking, we discard our devotion and convert to more worldly ways. If it's not EASY, we scrap it.

If the pill doesn't cause weight loss then we just forget about the whole thing and move on to forgetting all about ever being healthy. If the natural herbal pill doesn't get rid of the cold immediately then we say that the product is a scam. If it's not easy we just say FUCK IT! We become defeated, comfortable people who have settled for cynicism and low-level despair.

I can't tell you how many students I've had that when I tell them that learning to sing takes YEARS, they run for the door, move on and find another teacher that lies to them telling them that they can learn right away and takes their money. All only to later come back to me and tell me I was right the whole time.

The whole "everything should be easy" spoiled brat syndrome is slowly taking people's PASSION for living away from them. It is an immature, absurd and defeatist attitude that stinks like dead rats. NOTHING THAT'S REAL IS EASY! Only fantasies and delusions are! Like credit cards, make-up, instant soup, tights that conceal your fat, beach resorts, computer editing, magic, lies, tricks and bullshit. All those things are easy, but they are not REAL. Phony relationships, phony weddings, phony orange juice, phony laughter. All those things might be easy but they are PHONY.

It is easy to build a house without a foundation because we don't have to get dirty and dig a whole. It is easy to make a house out of cardboard because we don't have to chop wood and carry water. But all the easy stuff goes away as easy as it comes. EASY COMES, EASY GOES!

Wake-up from the silly dream of magic, perfection and ease -- it's a fantasy. Look at Kim Kardashian, she looks like an idiot... is that who you want to be?

I feel very SORRY for people with the "Everything Should Be Easy" Syndrome... they're half brain-dead! I am so HAPPY I got out of it! Anything worthwhile is CHALLENGING!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Declaration Of Spiritual Autonomy

It's pretty obvious that there doesn't seem to be a single human being on the planet who isn't in a search for something beyond the material. Even self-proclaimed atheists and so-called materialists whether in denial or not, have an intrinsic curiosity toward the otherworldly. To me, that's just a fact, why? Because I have never personally met or even read about anyone who hasn't been intrigued by the whole notion of there being something more to life than what we can see.

Sure, there are people that go into a denial that is so deep that they use the power of their own beings to suppress and hide their innate curiosity. Perhaps there are even some people who haven't awoken to their latent spiritual curiosity, but the fact to me is that we all have an inner calling towards what most of us like to call God. The way I see it, atheists have it too. Why else would somebody be so adamant in their insistence that something does "not" exist. What is it that they are denying? I always use the example of how I never create a label around not believing in Santa Clause. I just don't believe that Santa is real, period. I don't call myself an "asantaist." To do that would be to be showing an unusual interest in Santa, which would be funny because it would probably have something to do with me actually believing in Santa.

Now, I'm not saying that every atheist believes in God deep down, perhaps some people have come to their own realization that there could not be this singular and distinct entity called God. They may argue that there is no such thing as extremes, that things are not black or white - that those are primitive and simplistic ways of looking at things because it violates the laws of relativity and so on. I'm really just interested in making it a point that we are all called to explore life in a way that goes beyond what we consider possible. That's all.

Where else would all religions come from? Where else would all philosophies and arguments come from? We are curious AND uncertain about many things in life. To me, that's just the plain truth.

The point of proving this is basically explaining and clarifying mostly for myself and hopefully for others where my spiritual quests, journeys and paths have come from. I'm just human, and it's in our nature to inquire and be curious about the unknown. Lucky for me, this was never really shut down totally. I've always been a curious bighead peeking deeper and deeper into everything. With this incessant curiosity and with this relentless personality I have driven a lot of people to the edge of temporary insanity. I have driven my mom, my dad, my brothers, my sister, my lovers, my friends, my teachers and even acquaintances crazy - most of all I have driven myself to actual insanity, leading me to be institutionalized.

Yes, my love for God has driven me crazy. It has created many paths, quests, confusion, angst and every other emotion and non-emotion that I could imagine. I have laughed, cried, sang and remained quiet and everything in between. My thirst for God and my passion for discovering the truth has made me a very awkward and strange individual. Even though on the exterior to some I may seem completely normal, I could assure you that I have been far from it. My dysfunction as an ego in this society according to its standards has been pretty pronounced. I have only managed to get myself in a lot of trouble and have independently accomplished very little so far. At least in my eyes. For others the story might be completely different. I am speaking from within me and being truthful in my feelings.

The truth is that at 27 years-old I still feel like a child that has used the whole world in order to fulfill his needs. At first my needs were spiritual, then my needs became material and egoic and finally they mostly became spiritual again. At this last stage I leaned on various spiritual teachers. The teachers are really too many to mention but my greatest attachment and clinging were on two (in my eyes) wonderful teachers by the names of Mark Baxter and Adyashanti. I have carried what I've been able to collect of their minds and I have depended on the knowledge of these teachers like a kid learning to ride a bike depends on the training wheels. Mark Baxter has been my right wheel and Adyashanti has been my left.

The immense fear of letting go of these training wheels perfectly resembles the fear I had of letting go of my actual training wheels. I was terrified and horrified more than any of my other brothers seemed to be (I have no way of knowing the truth about their situation, but it seemed like it was a lot easier for them.) Yes, I realize that this is all good and well and natural, but the other good and well and natural thing to do is to let go.

And as terrified and horrified of never referring to either of my teachers as I am, I feel naturally inclined to release the grip of dependency today. Yes, today on May 4th, 2011 I declare myself spiritually independent and I abandon myself to myself completely. No more external authorities, no more religion, no more external seeking. I am left alone with myself for I feel sure that I have everything I need directly inside and even though I may not be an expert at accessing my own inner wisdom, I know that true learning can only happen when one lets go of one's crutches.

I have a long way to go in all the different levels of my development, but one thing is for sure: this declaration and this acceptance of myself as my own spiritual teacher will make things a lot easier for me. I will no longer be waiting around to hear what Adyashanti has to say and I will no longer be waiting for Mark Baxter to reply my e-mails. It doesn't mean that Adya and Mark won't be in my life anymore, it means that they have gone from being my teachers to being my friends. Friends who I love and appreciate deeply and find myself deeply interested in, but now I am individuated from them and I will no longer seek their approval.

This is as relieving as it is terrifying yet the time has come for me. My journey has come to a fruition that demands that in order for there to be more growth I step into my heart and become the leader of my own life. Sadly most people never arrive at this point but now I can be here for others in a way that I could never be before, so yes, I accept my duty to be present for those on the path of which today I step off of.

My life is pathless, my steps create the illusion of a journey that even I do not fully comprehend. I declare myself spiritually satisfied. And yes, it is the greatest satisfaction of all!