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“It’s not happiness that makes us grateful but gratefulness that makes us happy.” – Br. David Steindl Rast

The Friendliness of the Universe

A note from Carl:

Good morning!

What glorious fall mornings we are having here in Salt Lake. I have been enjoying the cool moonlight as I start my days on the porch in the early morning. I’m very excited to be welcoming Russell Delman to town tomorrow. It will be a wonderful community gathering tomorrow evening at Avenues Yoga. Please come! His workshop is full with a waiting list. You can find more details about both by reading below.

I appreciated so much what Erin wrote last week about inner richness. The line she quoted from Dzigar Kongtrul Rinpoche has been alive for me this week:

Richness and meaning don’t lie outside of us. And life is not just about “what can I get?” or “what don’t I have?” When we open up to the richness of experience, we are less fearful and more able to enjoy life to the fullest. We appreciate the beauty of our world and everything we encounter. With this unrestricted mind of richness, even a beggar on the street can feel like a universal monarch.

The incredible power of our attention!

In our Embodied Life class last week, we explored these powerful lines from Albert Einstein:

When asked by a reporter what he thought was the most important question facing humanity today, Einstein thought for a bit and then replied,

“I think the most important question facing humanity is, ‘Is the universe a friendly place?’ This is the first and most basic question all people must answer for themselves.

“For if we decide that the universe is an unfriendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to achieve safety and power by creating bigger walls to keep out the unfriendliness and bigger weapons to destroy all that which is unfriendly and I believe that we are getting to a place where technology is powerful enough that we may either completely isolate or destroy ourselves as well in this process.

But if we decide that the universe is a friendly place, then we will use our technology, our scientific discoveries and our natural resources to create tools and models for understanding that universe. Because power and safety will come through understanding its workings and its motives.”

So here is Einstein, considered one of the most intelligent beings and scientists of our age, and essentially he is saying the most important question we have to ask ourselves is “Am I orienting from a place of love and curiosity, or fear and protection?”

Hafiz sums it up even more briefly:

A Better Job
Now that all your worry
has proved such an unlucrative business,
why not find a better job?

My body reveals, in each moment, what my response is to Einstein’s question.

In my breath, in my connection to the ground, in my jaw, in how I respond to a stranger on the street…

Is the Universe a friendly place? It is valuable question to live into.

May it be friendly for you in this moment.

Best,

Carl

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