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A Signpost.. Something Meaningful To Me


badpuppy
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My spiritual life seems to be guided by sign posts. It's interesting that I tend to bump up against things which help me find my way or reassure me when I need them. When I was first deconverting from Christianity and going through a very difficult time, I came across a signpost at the exact moment I needed it in a greeting card of all things. It was so meaningful to me that I bought that greeting card and still have it. It reminds me that there are keys to figuring things out all around me. It gave me this really strong feeling of not being alone. I don't know what the author of that card was thinking about or what inspired them to write it, but they said something that was meaningful and helpful to me while maybe not knowing how important and profound the message would be to one of the receivers.

 

Today I picked up my Winter issue of Buddhadharma magazine from my post office box. I'm not sure how long it's been sitting there, but inside it was another signpost. Another one of those little "hey, you're doing all right, kid" nudges from the universe.

 

The last article/column on the very last page was called: "Why I'm Not a Buddhist." It was written by someone who has followed a Buddhist path for awhile and still does, but has chosen to drop the label. What he said in his column really echoed so much of how I feel about coming to this place of not attaching to labels... not wrapping my identity in them.

 

It really meant a lot to me because it made me feel not alone. I just felt like sharing that with someone.

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It seems to me that the main substance of Buddhism is the Dharma. I can totally relate to adhering to a body of teaching and trying to make it my own, and all the while rejecting the constraints of the label generally associated with these teachings.

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I know this feeling all too well. While it's important that not everything on earth becomes a "sign," I do believe seeing those things that do bring meaning to us, especially if it's positive and feeds our souls, is also important, and quite lovely.

I've saved fortune cookie messages before, because it happened to say something useful to me at the time. I even still have a bottle-cap from some organic tea on a shrine, because it contains the perfect quote from The Lorax on it.

"Unless someones like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Of course, it was one of my favorite books growing up (and still today), but being reminded of it just while shopping was a wonderful thing for me.

The signs, for me, are little reminders that the beautiful and ineffable are so close, and always are - I just need a kick in the pants as a reminder, now and then.

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That happens to me and my daughter also and we will just turn and look at each other and grin. This is going to sound pretty dumb, but I was listening to some of my Alan Watts CD's on the way to work a year or so ago, and I can't even remember now exactly what he was saying, but it had something to do with Buddhism and how everything is tied together, even the cows in the field. At that instant, I looked over in a field of cows that I happened to be driving by, and this white calf (an older one) lifted up it's head and looked right at me. I've never had a cow look at me before. Now, it could have been a sound that caught it's attention and made it look, but I swear it looked me right in the eye. Gave me goosebumbs. smile.png

 

One time my daughter and I were at Sonic and I was wondering how I could get a hold of her after school care guy to ask him about taking her to and from summer school. This was a few years ago. I was worried, because I have to work and knew I couldn't take her. As we were talking, this guy pulls into the slot next to us... I don't know about coincidences. I think it may be more synchronicity (sp?). I don't know, but it's pretty cool.

 

I get more signs from the universe than I ever did from praying to God/Jesus. I once begged to hear a song play on the radio I was listening to as a sign I was meant to be an artist...it never played. Bummed me out! biggrin.png

 

I should say that when I prayed, I was asking for a direct response. I never do that anymore, but I seem to notice things. Maybe I'm not being fair to people that pray, because if it's used in a meditative way, maybe they can be open to the more subtle signs.

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I know this feeling all too well. While it's important that not everything on earth becomes a "sign," I do believe seeing those things that do bring meaning to us, especially if it's positive and feeds our souls, is also important, and quite lovely.

I've saved fortune cookie messages before, because it happened to say something useful to me at the time. I even still have a bottle-cap from some organic tea on a shrine, because it contains the perfect quote from The Lorax on it.

"Unless someones like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

Of course, it was one of my favorite books growing up (and still today), but being reminded of it just while shopping was a wonderful thing for me.

The signs, for me, are little reminders that the beautiful and ineffable are so close, and always are - I just need a kick in the pants as a reminder, now and then.

 

totally! :)

 

hehe yeah, I don't see everything in life as a "sign". :P Though... really... using the word "sign" is just a descriptive language to express a concept. i.e. I don't necessarily think anything/anyone "out there" is "communicating with me". One can call it synchronicity, coincidence, or whatever. It really doesn't matter. The point for me is that I felt a moment of connection with another person at the exact moment I needed to feel it.

 

The problem with language and saying things like "sign" or "signpost" or whatever is that there is always someone who will look at that and think I'm talking about "the supernatural". Since I think life is an interconnected web, I don't think there is anything supernatural about it at all. I don't hear voices. Nobody special and supernatural "talks to me", etc. LOL. Though... I am not saying that to look down on anybody who has personal deities and feels that they communicate because... I'm not going to push the way I conceptualize things onto others. It's just my personal working framework. I think there is a big communication difficulty in general sometimes because when we hear: "I had this experience and this is how I see it/conceptualize it"... what we THINK was said is: "This is what happened and it's exact empirical interpretation."... and to be fair, sometimes that is the case with people. It's something I'm always working on... trying to make it clear that I understand my opinion/perception is just that. (Hell, I don't even think we think the word 'interpretation' because that would admit we might actually be wrong about something! shudder gasp! :P )

 

Language is both the disease and the cure sometimes, LOL.

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@NotBlinded that's really cool! And i love Alan Watts.

 

Also, sometimes I think animals are FAR more aware than we give them credit for.

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Oh my god...I just texted my daughter to see if she wanted to go eat and she said sure where and I said Mexican and at the same time or a fraction before she said Chelino's...just what I was thinking. I didn't see her text before I sent Mexican. She said you know where I mean because her friend and her parents are going and she wanted us to go. I told her that I was just telling you guys about how this happens all the time. Once again. hehehe

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Yeah, "sign" is kind of a loose term here. But whether it's "wow, everything is connected" or "the Gods really are with me here", I do see a danger in getting addicted to such things. Being unwilling to act without them is basically what I meant when there is a danger to "seeing" them everywhere, or whatever. Or acting far too impulsively because of a perceived one. Not that I think you are in danger of such behavior, I'd rather think not. It's just that I have seen such behavior before, and it's not very helpful.

 

On the other hand, when I do feel like I'm getting "messages" from a deity, they have to be pretty blatant - well to me. Some might brush it off as coincidence, but when my internet radio goes off on a wild tangent, and the lyrics speak to my situation in several songs in a row, I tend to go "Ok, Mom (Hethert), I get it! I hear you!" xD If that makes me crazy, k, I'm a little nuts there.

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hehe yeah, I don't see everything in life as a "sign". tongue.png Though... really... using the word "sign" is just a descriptive language to express a concept. i.e. I don't necessarily think anything/anyone "out there" is "communicating with me". One can call it synchronicity, coincidence, or whatever. It really doesn't matter. The point for me is that I felt a moment of connection with another person at the exact moment I needed to feel it.

 

The problem with language and saying things like "sign" or "signpost" or whatever is that there is always someone who will look at that and think I'm talking about "the supernatural". Since I think life is an interconnected web, I don't think there is anything supernatural about it at all. I don't hear voices. Nobody special and supernatural "talks to me", etc. LOL. Though... I am not saying that to look down on anybody who has personal deities and feels that they communicate because... I'm not going to push the way I conceptualize things onto others. It's just my personal working framework. I think there is a big communication difficulty in general sometimes because when we hear: "I had this experience and this is how I see it/conceptualize it"... what we THINK was said is: "This is what happened and it's exact empirical interpretation."... and to be fair, sometimes that is the case with people. It's something I'm always working on... trying to make it clear that I understand my opinion/perception is just that. (Hell, I don't even think we think the word 'interpretation' because that would admit we might actually be wrong about something! shudder gasp! tongue.png )

 

Language is both the disease and the cure sometimes, LOL.

 

You know, I read your post earlier today, and I was going to respond but didn't quite know what to say.

 

I've been seeing these little "signposts" as well. I like the way you call them that, because, call it coincidence, call it whatever you like, but I just have a feeling that I am going down the right "path" in my life now. It's funny, but little things that I've encountered or learned, heard or seen seem to be connected in such a way that it seems some true meaning is unraveling for me since I've left Christianity. I'm free to find my own way now, and that is such a beautiful and freeing thing.

 

I don't have any gods. I don't pretend to know that there is or isn't a god. But, things are happening that seem to connect, and seem to be guiding me in a certain direction. Where is it coming from? I have no idea. Coincidence? My crazy way of looking at the details and connecting them in ways significant to me? Could very well be...but there is a certain peace in it that I have never experienced before and can't quite explain.

 

None of this may make sense to anyone here, but thanks for sharing your experience, I have had similar feelings lately.

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Yeah, "sign" is kind of a loose term here. But whether it's "wow, everything is connected" or "the Gods really are with me here", I do see a danger in getting addicted to such things. Being unwilling to act without them is basically what I meant when there is a danger to "seeing" them everywhere, or whatever. Or acting far too impulsively because of a perceived one. Not that I think you are in danger of such behavior, I'd rather think not. It's just that I have seen such behavior before, and it's not very helpful.

 

On the other hand, when I do feel like I'm getting "messages" from a deity, they have to be pretty blatant - well to me. Some might brush it off as coincidence, but when my internet radio goes off on a wild tangent, and the lyrics speak to my situation in several songs in a row, I tend to go "Ok, Mom (Hethert), I get it! I hear you!" xD If that makes me crazy, k, I'm a little nuts there.

 

 

Yup. :)

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You know, I read your post earlier today, and I was going to respond but didn't quite know what to say.

 

I've been seeing these little "signposts" as well. I like the way you call them that, because, call it coincidence, call it whatever you like, but I just have a feeling that I am going down the right "path" in my life now. It's funny, but little things that I've encountered or learned, heard or seen seem to be connected in such a way that it seems some true meaning is unraveling for me since I've left Christianity. I'm free to find my own way now, and that is such a beautiful and freeing thing.

 

I don't have any gods. I don't pretend to know that there is or isn't a god. But, things are happening that seem to connect, and seem to be guiding me in a certain direction. Where is it coming from? I have no idea. Coincidence? My crazy way of looking at the details and connecting them in ways significant to me? Could very well be...but there is a certain peace in it that I have never experienced before and can't quite explain.

 

None of this may make sense to anyone here, but thanks for sharing your experience, I have had similar feelings lately.

 

Isn't it reassuring to know that you didn't need an "infallible, inerrant holy book written by GOD HIMSELF"? We each have our own inner wisdom...

 

And to go back to something lunaticheathen said... about not looking at everything as some "sign"... Something I've been working on is looking at an integrative way to see that sort of thing. i.e. it being just one part of experience. It can be meaningful but it doesn't have to be elevated to the absolute top of everything. I think balance is important.

 

Like I generally don't wait for any "sign" to make a decision. I look at the information in front of me and my own experience and I make the decision I feel is best for me in the moment. (When a decision is warranted. Some things aren't decision-based, necessarily. Like what I do or don't think about the nature of reality isn't really a "decision" it's more honest reflection on how I see things.) For me "signposts" tend to happen after I've made a decision.

 

So I don't (and I know lunaticheathen wasn't suggesting I did) sit around twiddling my thumbs waiting for some sign to act. I tend to be pretty pragmatic about my decisions and also pretty confident (hopefully not to the point of hubris) in my own ability to make decisions. For me what makes any given thing a signpost is timing. That article could have been published (and read by me) before I dropped the label. If that had been the case, it would have given me something to ponder and think about. Since the timing was after I'd made the decision, it made me feel not alone. I wouldn't have had that specific feeling if the order was reversed. But of course it can be "coincidence" or "random chance". To me, that's never the point. For me the point is the experience itself and that sometimes I have these experiences exactly when I need to have them.

 

Dropping labels was a decision I needed to make for myself without anyone else influencing me. It wouldn't have felt like my decision if the article had come first. So i'm glad it happened in the order it did, even if it's coincidence. :)

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I think balance is important.

I agree. To me it's critical.

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