Excellence Reporter: Dr. Alexander, what is the meaning of life?
Ronald Alexander: For me the meaning of life has three tributaries as forks in this great river of time in our lives ~ purpose, fate and destiny.
The first fork in the river of time is purpose. This is where we embrace what the great existential writer Jean Paul Sartre wrote that for us to have meaning we must first choose a “project” or choose to step forward and activate ourselves towards a direction, purpose and goal. The existential position is very clear that by making a choice we assert ourselves towards creating meaning for our lives.
Fate is the second fork in life. For me it is the transpersonal or spiritual view that when we take a physical body and enter this world we are also enrolling in a spiritual curriculum. Part of fate is to allow our souls and self to remain open and enter into what I call Open Mind and Wise Mind. As we open our awareness and cultivate compassion towards ourselves and others we discover the wonder and awe of synchronicity, the meaningful interconnection of events in life’s experience that support us towards the higher planes of awareness. Open Mind is the state of consciousness where we connect to our inner or core creativity. This allows us to then move towards the wisdom of Wise Mind.
The third fork in the river of time is our destiny. Our destiny is what’s written in our soul’s code and is similar to the vast great oak tree that begins with its DNA in an acorn. I believe within all of us is a diamond of an acorn (soul code) to live out the innate deeper purpose of our lives and attain a non dual pristine and pure awareness of both our personal self (Atman) and our higher self (Brahman).
So the mission or task of our lives, if we choose to accept it, is to first decide to take hold of the compass of life and direct ourselves towards the creation of a meaningful existence. As we pair discipline with intention we can direct our life’s purpose towards becoming Bodhisattva beings. Those who wish to alleviate pain and suffering and replace it with wisdom, truth and enlightened awareness. This is a wonderful opportunity and challenge to embark upon in this incarnation.
~Ronald Alexander, PhD is a mind/body psychotherapist, international trainer, leadership consultant, and the Executive Director of the OpenMind Training Institute in Santa Monica that specializes in the practice of Somatic Experiencing, Gestalt Therapy, Ericksonian & Mindfulness based mind/body psychotherapy, transformational leadership and coaching. He is the author of the widely acclaimed book Wise Mind, Open Mind that provides practical and innovative applications to help us through today’s challenging times and two meditation CDs. Alexander is a pioneer in the fields of Positive Psychology, Creativity Thinking, Buddhist Psychology and Mindfulness Training. He is the originator of the Open Mind Training®; a unique method of mind/body healing that integrates the wisdom teachings of the east and Integral psychology. A Buddhist practitioner who was ordained as a lay Zen Buddhist he has studied and teaches Buddhist Meditation including Vipassana, Tibetan and the Non Dual approaches. He has been conducting professional and personal trainings in the USA, United Kingdom, Europe, Japan, Russia, Canada, Asia, and Australia since 1970.
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