One day I was faced with an opportunity to ask a Rinpoche one
question. He was in town staying at a friends house and I was invited to ask
him one single question. I spent a week thinking about what one question I
wanted to ask this holy man. I searched and searched and when that day came to
stand before this man, I froze. Through his interpreter he asked me what my
question was. I froze, completely froze, I really felt like a deer in the
headlight and stuttered asked what the meaning of life was. I could not believe
I said it. Today I am grateful as ever I ask this holy man what the meaning of
life was, and a shower thought was came....
That day was well over 20 years ago and yet his answer is as
clear to me today as it was over 20 years ago. He laughed when I asked him what
the meaning of life was. Then he had me remove my glasses and put my finger
flat on my nose and up the bridge of my nose and he told me to look at him. I
looked at him. I looked in his eyes and he smiled and said what do you see. I
looked at him and said I see you. He smiled and said that was my problem, He
told me I do not see what is right in front of my face. He nodded gave me a
blessing and I walked out. What just happened? I felt dazed, blessed and
confused. A holy man just told me the meaning of life was right in front of my
face and it was a finger. Really?
I would spend days and weeks trying to figure out what he
meant by it. I am unsure what day it was when the answer came to me. I would
like to think it was so clear to me that I figured out what the meaning of life
was. I figured I would remember that day, the time and what I was doing when I
discovered the meaning of life. There was no lightening or thunder, no
fireworks or grand lights, it was just a sigh and a smile and nod as I
whispered to myself I get it!
I Tyler Woods figured out what the meaning of life. The
meaning of life had been in front of my face all along! The meaning if life is relationship!
Period, end of story! I know I know it is right in front of our faces right?
The real meaning of life is simply relationship. It is not complicated; in fact
it is so simple it is right in front of our face. Life is a process of
relationships. If you stop and look in front of you, there is no life without
relationship. We must face it, without relationship with, there is no
existence, there is no life. We need to realize that everything is a
relationship, and it is the meaning of life plain and simple.
I am not talking about relationship with your friends, or
family or people. I am talking about a relationship with everything. With our
planet, with our friends as well as our enemy, with our hopes and fears, with
our government, with our love, with our
hate, with our pain and sorrow, with our happiness and joy, and with our spirituality
and beliefs. Everything we feel, touch, smell, love, hate, it is us having a relationship.
When we realize we have a relationship with everything, we realize relationship
is the meaning of life.
I asked myself to look at everything in life as having a
relationship with it. One day, something very painful came up for me, and I
approached it like a relationship. I gave it love and care, and I nurtured it,
I talked with it like an old friend. I asked it what it wanted, and I listened.
I asked what it needed and it responded. My pain wanted to be seen, heard and
then released. I had a great relationship with that pain and I let it go. Now I
know when pain comes, not to run from it, but have the relationship it needs in
order to let it go. Some days pain and I get along well and other days I cling
onto pain even though I know it hurts.
It is the same with most my emotions, for instance, when anger knocks on
my door for a visit, I let it in because I do not want to lock it out.
I do try
to set boundaries with anger, as I set boundaries with everything in my life. Anger
was a tough one to have relationship with. Sometimes it made me scream and yell
and throw things and even become bitter. Sometimes anger made me run from it
and I thought holding onto it would keep me safe. Seems like the more I had
relationship with anger, the more I understood anger, the tamer it got and the
more I understood my anger just needed to be heard and understood.
The more I began living my life with the knowledge that
relationship was the meaning of life, the better person I became. I began to
have a relationship with the planet. I started recycling, composting, doing
things that helped the earth. I treated that relationship with my planet as if
I needed to save her life and I respected my relationship with the ground I
walked on. The more I came to realize that the meaning of life was relationship
the lighter I become and the more focused I was. I came to realize that
relationships exist at the level of unconscious and I had to become more conscious
of my relationships.
I started to understand life is about relationships and the
better my relationship with it was, the better I was able to
endure whatever happened to me and how I could unfold the possibilities of
having relationship with everything. Somebody sent me a message recently and ask me
why I do not hate certain political figures. I smiled and said I don’t have a
very good relationship with hate. They were clueless and probably thought I was
crazy, but I do not have a relationship with caring what people think or say
about me. I refuse to have a relationship with hate, but one day it knocked my
door down pulling me towards it. I finally approached hate and asked what it
wanted, come to find out, all hate wanted was to be understood. It was very
hard to understand hate, and hate likes lots and lots of friends it doesn’t
even know, so I keep hate pretty distant from my life because it is so strong
it overpowers me. I just refuse to allow hate in my life. So no, I do not have
a relationship with hate which made my relationship with patience and tolerance
I discovered to have a relationship with life I needed
virtues like humility, detachment or letting go, integrity, honor, courage,
truth, justice, self-control, and the ability to accept. The more harmonious I
came with these virtues, the more I was able to discover the meaning of life.
So that holy man who said I did not see things right in front of my face lead
to the real meaning of life, and no longer do I say I froze or my question was
stupid, it was the greatest question I ever asked because I now know the
meaning of life.
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