The Battle Within

Divinity is found

Within you and I

But also ego

All humans have this battle within

Dark & light

Devil & angel

Ego & divine

Grow the divine fertile seeds with love & compassion

Acknowledge the ego

Bow to it

Feed it carefully

Feed it with understanding

Care for the darker side

For in caring for the dark we grow the light

Darkness, Transformation, and Redemption.

The darkest moments of my life led to the most transformation. The darkness brings self-reflection, awareness, and focus.  This is only if we do not numb the pain with alcohol, drugs, and/or overeating. When a family member suddenly dies or a relationship ends, we can have moments of pure awareness and clarity on what led to this moment in time.

My first experience with this transformation was when I was honest with my ex-fiance about my infidelity. She left me the following day. At first, I numbed myself with distraction but when her parents moved all her stuff out of our studio I was forced to sit in a dark & empty apartment. My first reaction was to run away and move to a new place. Luckily I chose to stay in my empty studio. The following weeks I cried every night in sorrow. Pain, suffering, and anxiety filled each moment until one day I picked up a book called “Buddhist Bootcamp” by Timber Hawkeye. Suddenly I was meditated 1 hour a day, reading, writing, eating healthier, and working out every day. I quit smoking and significantly cut down on drinking alcohol. My days were now filled with joy instead of sorrow. This all took place from March-May 2015 in San Luis Obispo, CA. Since then I have fallen back into old habits, relearn lessons, and also had new transformations from suffering. I began a journey of self-love, peace, forgiveness, and acceptance; a journey I am currently still on (and always will be). There is no destination on this path, only the love of the journey itself.

The famous Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh says “No Mud, No Lotus”. The beautiful lotus flower grows in the darkest and muddiest environments; I truly believe humans are much the same as the beautiful lotus flower. The right environment for growth usual consists of awareness, compassion, and love while we are suffering. Once we learn how to suffer, we suffer much less. Suffering can actually be the most transformative process of life if we allow it to be.

Through the darkness, we can transform ourselves and become the light to see out of the darkness. We accept the darker side of ourselves (and the world) with compassion, understanding, and peace. In this practice, we feed the light while accepting the dark. This allows for peace instead of war. The key to transformation is to sit with ourselves through the pain instead of distraction or numbing the pain. The coldest winters of my life have always ended with a warm inviting spring. All is impermanent, even the darkest of times.

 

With Aloha,

Johnny Hoffman

The Darkness Within.

Inside me

There is darkness

Greed, fear & even hatred

Inside me

There is light

Compassion, forgiveness & love.

I acknowledge both

For there can not be light without the dark

I vow to acknowledge the greed, fear, anger, and hatred with me

But to feed the seeds of love, compassion, and faith

To love both of them unconditionally

To acknowledge the light & darkness within myself and all

The Ghosts of Our Past.

A grandfather & his grandkids sit around a campfire on a cold winters night. The grandkids ask their grandfather to tell them a scary story. The grandfather takes a deep breath, knowing this story could have a huge impact on his grandkids. In the distance, a coyote howls into the deep silence of the forest.

The flame flickers

The moon shines into the cold night

As the grandfather tells his tale

His grandkids hearts drop

As they listen carefully to each word

Our past is not our past

If we refuse to let it go

The wise grandfather proclaimed

The ghosts of the past are real

They are dark creatures

More powerful then any demon

For they torment you

Day or night

They even follow you into your dreams

They steal your joy

Bring endless suffering

These ghosts

Lock you in a jail of regret

“How do you get out of this jail?!”

His grandkids screamed into silence of the night

“It’s simple but difficult” the grandfather proclaimed

The key to your freedom is the power of letting go

If you let go of the attachment, regret, and sorrow of your past the ghosts will disappear into the nights sky

Only to be seen time to time

To guide you on a different path then what led you to your own sufferings

Do not fight the ghosts, that is their fuel

Accept your past with compassion

For the past is gone

This exact moment is what matters

The grandkids slept good in their tents that night knowing that they are not helpless to these ghosts. The grandfather knew his grandkids would most likely have to learn the same way he did, through clinging to his past mistakes of infidelity, lying, and addictions. They will find their own way.