You Are RAD!

Yep, you read that correctly. You are RAD! So RAD, I might add. Wow, I’m really not trying to sound like Dr. Seuss, and I’m certainly not a West coast surfer dude. Although, surfing would be fun to learn. Surfing aside, doesn’t it feel awesome to hear that? Of course it does! When you are RADically YOU, that is the truest gift in life!

In fact, this message is similar to the final message of The Buddha’s teachings. The Buddha’s finals message is: you are free. That’s it. Plain and simple. You are FREE. By now you’re probably thinking, “How can it be that simple?” It is that simple. The fact of the matter is, we’re human and we over complicate things. Well…ego over complicates things. In the Buddhist tradition the “ego” is seen as the false self. Throughout our lives we label ourselves and others, we tell ourselves that we’re not worthy of living our dreams, and fear has a constant grip on us. We see ourselves as “separate” from one another. Simply put, we spend a big part of our lives living in this foggy haze, living in “ego.”

Feeling a little overwhelmed? Pause for a moment, take a few breaths. The mere fact that you are able to breathe and feel your feelings is a miracle!

Charlotte Joko Beck, an American Zen teacher says, “We have to face the pain we have been running from. In fact, we need to learn to rest in it and let its searing power transform us.” Rest in our pain? That doesn’t sound so pleasant, does it?

The Buddha taught that we must come face-to-face with our feelings and emotions. What makes his teachings so radical is that The Buddha teaches us to cultivate gentleness and compassion with ourselves, no matter what arises. Why is this so radical? Our culture has conditioned us to walk through life being rather mindless, not aware of our feelings and emotions. We're human, we are suppose to be in-touch with those things!

There is a beautiful practice in the Buddhist tradition called, the “Brahma Viharas”. The Brahma Viharas, translated as, “The Four Radiant Abodes” point to a place of dwelling within us. This place is an open, expansive, boundless space where our true selves reside, there is no "ego" present. Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh calls this, our “True Home.” This is a place where there are no differences, we are all one. No one is judged by color of their skin, by their religious affiliation, by their sexual orientation, or by any of the other labels that cause us to be divided. As we sit in meditation, we offer “The Four Radiant Abodes”: Loving-Kindness, Compassion, Joy, and Equanimity to ourselves and ultimately to all beings. Dwelling in this place, you are radically free to be you! :-)

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