Human rights and human responsibilities

Some cite human rights when they refuse to take the vaccine or wear a mask.

For me, human responsibility is equally important.

I chose to take the vaccine and wear a mask because I want to protect others. I want us all to move through the pandemic as fast as possible. I want to be part of our collective solution and not contribute to the problem.

That’s my human responsibility.

Also, human rights are not just for me. Other people have their own human rights. They have the right to expect me to do my part. They have the right to expect me to take the vaccine, wear a mask, and do whatever else I can to protect them.

The question is: Do I value the human rights of others as much as my own? Do I value my human responsibilities as much as I value my human rights?

Adyashanti: To take full responsibility

To take full responsibility for your life (which is not judging yourself) is actually

a key to being free, because it means that no one, and no past experience, can control or determine your current state of being. The keys to your life, and your freedom, are in your hands.

– Adyashanti, from Fierce Love

How can we do this?

A good start is to take responsibility for how I relate to this situation — to myself, others, what’s coming up in me, the situation I find myself in, life.

I cannot blame anything or anyone for how I relate to whatever is here.

I can ask myself: Do I take responsibility for how I relate to this situation? If not, how would it be to take responsibility for it?

And what in me urges me to blame someone or something else? What’s the belief? Identity? Emotional issue?

In this situation, what does it give me? What happens when I do it? How would it be to take responsibility for how I relate to it?

Going one step further, I can see that I am always my own final authority. Even if I tell myself I am not, I am still my own final authority. I cannot blame anyone or anything on my choices.

When I blame someone or something else, I give away my power. I overlook what I have control over and what’s my responsibility. I miss out on the life I can have when I take responsibility for how I relate to what’s here, and for my own choices now and in the past.

Taking responsibility for what shows up in my life

In the ho’oponopno world, they talk about taking complete responsibility for what shows up in our life.

It seems radical and perhaps nonsensical or even ill advised or dangerous. And yet, when we take full responsibility – for instance through ho’oponopono or tonglen – we may discover something else. We may find that it’s deeply healing and frees us up to engage in life with more clarity and heart.

Whatever is here that’s stressful, painful, or uncomfortable, it’s something I can do ho’oponopono or tonglen with.

I am sorry.

Please forgive me.

I love you.

Thank you.

Say this to the person, situation, or part of yourself you experience as troubling. Repeat over and over until something shifts, and do it some more. Notice any fears that come up, and say the words to these fears before returning to the initial object. I sometimes stay with one sentence for a while and then move on to another. They don’t have to be in sequence.

Alternately, visualize the person you experience as troubling sitting in front of you. When you breathe in, visualize their pain and suffering as dark smoke and breathe it in. When you breathe out, visualize clarity, peace, and love coming out of you and entering the person. (I like to imagine the pain transforming into clarity and love in me, moving over and entering the other person, and filling the other person completely and so it pours and radiates out of the person.) Repeat many times.

In both cases, say it until you feel it more deeply and it gradually becomes a sweet experience. Eventually, it will feel sweet and natural. There will be ease. (When there is a deeply ingrained pattern of seeing someone or something as an enemy, this may take time but it does eventually happen.)

My world is my world. My world is happening within and as this mind, within and as this presence. My world is my images of the world. It’s created by this mind. My experience of my relationship to anyone (including myself) and anything is happening within and created by my mind. My experience of anyone and anything is happening within and is created by my mind.

So using ho’o or tonglen is taking responsibility for how my mind creates its experience of the world. And it’s a healing of my own images and experiences of the world. It’s a deep healing. A deep reconciliation. A deep release of stressful and painful images and stories. A deep alignment with my heart, presence, and reality.

Sometimes, it’s easy to do this. Sometimes, it takes time to get to the point when I am ready to do it. And sometimes, I do it even when something in me fears it – and first with this very natural and understandable fear.

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Understand & take responsibility

I can understand the actions of myself and others, at least to some extent. Or, really, I can tell myself I understand it. It may be due to personal history, culture, genetics, physiology, circumstances, and so on.

At the same time, I can take responsibility for my own actions. I did it. I made the choice. I lived it out. Whether it seemed wise or not, whether it helped or hurt others and myself. (At least as far as I can tell.)

For me, these are two sides of the same coin. I can understand my actions, to some extent. I may see it comes from unhealed wounds and trauma, or from more clarity and kindness. I may see it comes from how I relate to this in myself. I may see that any of my actions have infinite causes. And I can still take responsibility for them. All of these are pieces of the puzzle.

Craig Holliday: It is not until we are willing to take full responsibility for our lives

It is not until we are willing to take full responsibility for our lives, will we be free, until then we will still be able to be a victim to the causes and conditions of this world and our ego. Through the act of claiming full responsibility, we become free and empowered to create our lives by choosing our reactions to this play, in doing so we live beyond the reactive nature of our minds, and become free in this world.

If we make this commitment, we must first be willing to put down all blame and judgement, and take total responsibility for our life as it is.

When we do this we discover how powerful we actually are, because we have taken all power from the victim consciousness of our egoic mind and claimed that power as our own autonomy.

– Craig Holliday

Anthony de Mello on waking up and responsibility

That’s the reason why I told you the wise guru will not attempt to wake people up. I hope I am going to be wise one of these days and make no attempt whatsoever to wake you up if you are asleep. None of my business! My business is to do my thing, to dance my dance. If you profit from it, fine, if you don’t, too bad. As the Arabs say, the nature of the rain is the same but it grows thorns in the marshes and flowers in the garden.
– Anthony de Mello, 3:55 to 4:45

I am responsible for my my own choices, actions, words and how I relate to situations. All of that has infinite causes, but I am still responsible for it. And the more I take responsibility for my own life, the easier it is for me to see that we are all responsible for our own lives. I am responsible for what I do, you for how you receive it. You are responsible for what you do, I for how I receive it. There is a great relief in seeing this.

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Well deserved

After working more consciously with taking responsibility for my own choices, I notice another shift.

I am now happy to recognize that the consequences that come out of my choices are indeed well deserved.

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Taking responsibility

My practice these days seems to be taking responsibility or my own choices and actions, and my part in the consequences of these choices and actions.

As any other area of practice, it is a rich and fertile area of exploration.

First, I notice that when I hear it from others, it may come across as moralizing, as a “should”. Instead, I can take it as a question, as something to explore for myself in immediacy. What happens when I don’t take responsibility for my own choices and actions? What happens when I do?

I also notice that it is easy to say, and it is even easy to do to some extent and in some areas of life. But there is always further to go.

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Taking responsibility


Take responsibility for your choices and actions.

Taking responsibility for ones own choices and actions is an essential aspect of healing, maturing, and awakening. And so is differentiation.

In this case, there is a distinction between the innumerable causes for our choices and actions, and taking responsibility for our choices and actions.

Whatever I chose and do has innumerable causes, from the basic set-up of this universe to evolution to culture to family to fear, beliefs and confusion to circumstances such as the advice or expectations of others. There are many good and understandable reasons for why we chose and act as we do. That is one side of it.

The other side is our choices and actions themselves. If we don’t take full responsibility of our own choices and actions, we are out of integrity. We end up blaming fear, beliefs, confusion, or the wider world for our own choices and actions, and this easily creates stress and dissatisfaction. We are out of alignment with reality, and life tells us so through discomfort. When we take full responsibility for our own choices and actions, there is a sense of clarity, honesty, and of coming home.

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Not neccesary, but sometimes best option

…. for the maintenance of equilibrium of the society, sometimes killing is necessary. 

That quote is from the Youtube user who uploaded this documentary on Iwo Jima.

Is killing ever neccesary? Is any choice or action every neccesary?

Even from a conventional view, it is obvious that it is not.

We may chose an action because it seems appropriate in a situation. Or we may believe a story and feel compelled to chose and act a certain way. But there is nothing inherent in any situation that “require” a certain way of chosing and acting. (Although we can also say that whatever choice and action happens is neccesary because any choice and action has infinite causes, it is the local manifestations of the movements of the whole.)

Using words such as “neccesary” is a way of covering up this choice, and our responsibility in making the choice and taking a certain action. We put the responsibility out there, on the situation, while it belongs right here with ourselves. 

So the question, as always, is: When do I see something as neccesary? A view? An action? When do I try to cover up my choice by making it appear neccesary? 

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