I did a public reading of my book Spark the Flame at BookCon at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City on June 2, 2018. I read from the section/chapater titled “Theory of General Positivity”, pages 46 – 49.
Just wanted to share, that it seems like I will be required to be mostly straightedge. Maybe a little portion of a hookah every once in a blue might be ok, but even that I dont know.
- I cannot smoke cigarettes because even one now will create in me a hacking coughing fit
- I cannot drink alcohol because even one sip may cause me to binge where I become a danger to the lives of myself and others
- I cannot smoke weed, because the last two times I broke my abstinence from marijuana I became extremely emotionally distraught, where I am at risk of wanting to leave this world.
Looks like this leaves me with tea and hot sauce 🙂
I ran into this very nice talk, and included some great quotes below:
“…for a life to be meaningful, you cant keep looking at the life. You have to see how that life is placed in larger, broader context.”
“…a life that is rich in happiness and rich in meaning….theologian Frederick Buechner I think would label that: finding your calling.”
“Your calling, Buechner says, is that place where your deep gladness, and the world’s deep hunger, meets. Your deep gladness is about you, about what makes you engaged and alive.”
“Finding your calling is discovering what it is that makes you feel alive. And then taking those gifts and skills and moving them out into the world to feed the world’s hunger.”
“…the tension we feel between what we want and what the world needs, is in fact something we don’t want to eliminate, but instead we want to encourage and cultivate.”
“When the world pushes and presses and prods and occasionally pummels you, it is in those moments that you can begin to imagine something different. You need the world and all its adversity, just as desperately as the world needs you.”
“To lead a happy and meaningful life, is to understand the tension that exists between what we want and what the world needs, and to recognize that tension as the gift that it is.”
Sometimes we are given distractions on purpose, so that we look elsewhere while our gift is brought right into our hands
Faith converts adversity into harmony.
Everyone has their own Path
When this difficult thing occurs to us…they are opportunities and those who avail themselves of those opportunities are the ones that you admire, they make something out of Life. And those who fail…get another opportunity. You always get another opportunity. That’s the wonderful richness of Life
“…the beautiful thing is with Faith you never know how you will get passed things but you just do.”
“Your Life will come back to haunt you or to help you.”
“Every minute of life carries with it its miraculous value, and its face of eternal youth.”
“Turbulence is a life force. It is opportunity. Let’s love turbulence and use it for change.”
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
“At the moment you are most in awe of all there is about life that you don’t understand, you are closer to understanding it all than at any other time.”
Spark The Flame. The Flame is within. An inner fire, that grows everytime you focus on it. This is the fire of your power, your power to affect your life and your world. Just like a physical fire, your flame affects everything it comes across, everything.
Spark The Flame, within yourself, and help to Spark the Flame in others. We are all matchstick figures, flammable to the highest degree.
…this is the opportunity to rise out the ashes and evolve into something newer, stronger, better for the future
When life makes all these sudden changes, it means the river is changing course, based on our thoughts energy actions. This is when we must keep positive w/faith
Keeping faith, being grateful, and righteous, will keep the circumstances resulting well, regardless of how they seem at first. They are turning the right way
You just have to keep the steadfast effort in faith, positivity, and the transformation of the circumstances will complete properly. Like caterpillar
At first things may look dire for caterpillar in that casing, but it is necessary step for evolution. The burning of all this unnecessary gunk in ur life,
…is necessary step for your evolution. Keep the faith and positivity and the transformation will complete properly at the right time for you.
“Life is like a game of cards. The hand that is dealt you represents determinism; the way you play it is free will.”
“Tomorrow’s life is too late. Live today.”
You are always affecting yourself, and your surroundings. Everytime you do, or dont do something, you are directly causing the results you experience.
not in control of my life
You are the decision maker. Whether you like it or not, that’s the deal. All decisions about your life fall ultimately square on your shoulders.
dont have the right to do what I want to do
Hey, this is your ilfe. Nobody else can live it for you. Not your parents, not your teachers, not your friends, not your kids. Exclusive rights to do what you want, belongs to you. Your life, your rights.
dont deserve to be happy.
You damn skippy you deserve to be happy. Why not? Why would someone else deserve happiness, and not you? As far as we can tell, every happy person on this planet is still a human being, just like you. They are the same species as you. If they can be happy, so can you. If they have the right, so do you.
t change things
Of course you can. People have been changing things throughout recorded human history. People have changed things about themselves, things about others, and things about the world. Society would still be living in caves, building fires every night, if humans couldn’t change. You are the same as everyone else in that respect, you can change things.
only do so much
Yes, you can. And you can do even more than that. There is no limit to what you can accomplish. The only limits that exist are the ones you accept. Every “limit” has its answer, its resolution. Its antidote.
Martin Bayne speaks about partaking in “assisted living” on NPR (National Public Radio)
Assisted Living snip part1 – 2min 30sec
Assisted Living snip part2 – 4min 14sec
it’s a slower process, generally, and I’m allowed to kind of take part of it.
This woman that died last week, I went into her room that night and sat with her, holding her hand, and she died the next morning while her son was by her bedside. And I talked to her son and gave her son a hug, and I’m much more – I guess relaxed is a word I have to use again, about my own death. When it comes, it comes. And whatever happens happens.
I’m told that 100 billion people have died up to this point in time on our planet, and none of them have come back to complain, and so it can’t be that bad.
TERRY: So how did you become the person who goes in and holds the hand of the person who’s dying?
BAYNE: Because I wanted to. I wanted to be there, and people know it. I make an attempt when anybody new comes into the building to introduce myself to them immediately. And when people are coming to an assisted living facility, it’s typically after a trauma in their life: They just lost a spouse; they have some terrible disease; or they’re in a stage of dementia where they can’t live by themselves.
And it can be frightening for people at that age to come in and all of a sudden have to deal with all this foreign, new stuff. So I make it a point to go right up and introduce myself. And I think that my philosophy that it’s the small things in life, the very small things, that mean the most. That too has given me a certain position, if you want, in the community.
And I think my age, too, people just kind of scratch their heads and look at me sometimes. But I love the community I’m in. It is my home, and the people there, no matter how demented or how sick, or whatever wrong with them, I feel that my responsibility to make their journey while still on this planet as joyous and fulfilling as possible.
TERRY: So something about your background that I’d like to bring up, you spent five years, I think, living in a Buddhist monastery on the West Coast.
BAYNE: Close, four or five years, yeah.
TERRY: Four or five years. And were you in a Jesuit monastery for a time, too?
BAYNE: I was in a Benedictine Catholic monastery for a year.
TERRY: Oh, for a year.
BAYNE: For a year, yeah.
TERRY: So I’m wondering if the things that you learned there about meditation, contemplation, are helping you at this stage of your life and helping you live in an assisted living facility, in an atmosphere that some people might find very depressing, you know, because people are so much older than you are and so much, you know, closer to death and often more seriously impaired – and so on.
BAYNE: You know, the Buddha said – I wasn’t there obviously to hear him, but I’m told he said that life isn’t permanent. And the time that I spent as a monk in both monasteries was without a doubt the most productive, powerful period of my life. And I owe, I believe, everything to the training that I received in both monasteries.
Zen is not that far from Catholicism. I was at the Benedictine monastery, and they encourage their monks to be rather eclectic when it comes to religious beliefs. They’re obviously Christian. But one of the monks had built a small Japanese tea ceremony room. And I was reading a book one day from – it was in the room. And it said the Buddha had learned how to turn the stream of compassion within.
And I dropped to my knees and started to weep. It never occurred to me that one could turn the stream of compassion within. Sometime later I was on a plane to California to the Buddhist monastery to try and find out how does one do this. How does one love themselves? How does one give oneself the benefit of the doubt?
TERRY: How does one give to oneself the compassion that would come naturally when it came to caring for other people.
BAYNE: Exactly because in my experience, Terry, this is all in a mirror, and how you treat yourself and how you treat other people is identical, identical. The love and affection that you have for other people is only as much as you can afford for yourself. It was like a homecoming. I had forgiven myself, Terry, of all the things that I had done that I didn’t think I should have done, of all the things I wasn’t I thought I should be. I accepted them.
And when that happened, it’s indescribable, really, that something so simple as accepting yourself, turning the stream of compassion within, yet it’s such a powerful gift. And not to just myself but to all those now I come in contact with.
TERRY: Well, it’s really been good to talk with you. I appreciate you making the trip to a radio studio so we could speak over microphones to each other so that the audience can hear you well. Thank you so much. Thank you for talking with us.
BAYNE: Terry, it was my pleasure.
TERRY: Martin Bayne is a resident of an assisted living facility because of Parkinson’s disease. He wrote an article about life there in Health Affairs, which was excerpted in the Washington Post. You’ll find a link to both, as well as a link to his new blog, and his literary journal on our website freshair.npr.org. I’m Terry Gross, and this is FRESH AIR.
Here is full interview from NPR
So you are born. That’s happened to us all. Well some say Jesus was ‘begotten,’ but you were most likely born.
Now what? You go thru life. You choose what to do, every second of everyday.
Some may think that they do not have a choice, but really ‘choice’ is a fundamental part of our existence.
You exercise choice all your life. we may think we have no choice in certain things, go to school, go to family gathering, sell drugs to make ends meet.
Who’s In Charge?
Who was born? You were born. You were born and put in charge of your body, and mind. Who is at the helm? Who controls the motor functions of your body? And the subject matter of your mental focus? You do. You are in charge of yourself. You decide how + when to move muscles, you decide what to put your mind onto.
Like it or not, you are in charge of your mind and body. I would hope you like it, because with such tools, the human mind and body, you can steer yourself any way you like.
You are in charge of these things, you have the potential to be in control of these things. We are born this way, so that those would become under our control. Does it make sense any other way? Are we meant to be in control of ourselves? Are you meant to be in control of yourself?