Our choice of achievements, before we die, will be driven by our desires and interests – or maybe by the interests and desires of others! We live in a collective bucket list.
If we can accept or understand the notion of rebirth, then maybe our bucket list was set even before we were born. Desires and interests are part and parcel of our karma, and so the bucket list we are holding onto now was created by our past, and our present, unfulfilled desires are setting the stage for our next incarnation. We are the designers of all our lives. Our existence is one great, never-ending bucket list, each life finalising with the five regrets of the dying…again!
Life is too short to achieve all our wishes, and firstly we have to sort out what is of true value – truly satisfying. One of the main problems in the human realm is desire itself, because not getting what we want or trying to maintain what we have is frustrating, and therefore we become addicted to our desires. It’s exhausting! Most of our life is driven by the material corporate world – and the rest of the time, we’re asleep.
“…Here is your radio and TV guide for today. Today you will identify with either program 1. 2. 3. or 4. Here is your censored ‘news’. Now take these pills…I mean, check your phone as many times as you can in a day and you will forget your troubles. Don’t forget to leave your phone under your pillow…just in case!”…
It doesn’t have to be like this; we do have a choice, and we can break out of this continuous programming and free ourselves from all this nonsense. We can be realise our full potential and know our true nature – our first nature, rather than the second nature we have acquired – or which has been given to us. I am not this given name of ‘Tony’.
When it come to reaching our full potential (Buddhahood) however, life seems a little short, so we have to be satisfied with every step we take in the right direction. If we haven’t reached our full potential in this lifetime, then that very longing or desire will carry us through to the next incarnation. Interesting, isn’t it? We set the stage. It’s just a matter of stabilising pure awareness, recognising that all appearances are merely projection in the mind….that’s all!
If we do want a wish list, then wish that our life has been fruitful, and hold the same wish for others.
The four mind changes
Preciousness of human body
Impermanence and mortality
Consequences of actions – karma
The negative characteristics of social existence – samsara
It is not beyond our understanding to see how precious life is, and that everything is impermanent. It is not beyond our intelligence to realise that there are consequences to our actions, and that the search for lasting happiness in a material world will never be satisfying.
Reflecting on these four mind changes is the mechanism to changing our limited view, with its constant ups and downs. When we start to understand how our fixated ideas are limiting our experience, we may begin to wonder who we are and what on earth are we doing here. We may have considered these questions when we were younger, but we learned to conform and fit into a social lifestyle: we may secretly resent this. The problem lies in our sense of value.
When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.
Life is a choice.
It is our life.
Choose unconditional happiness;
a happiness that does not rely on conditions.