Quick update and…. A taste of my passion

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Hey all!!! Yesss I’m back! It’s been quite a while since my last post, and so much has happened… However…. I’m going to keep things minimal this time.

Now, this semester has been yet another challenge. I started off with an overload of class work while getting ready to be released from physical therapy without being fully healed. So…. The waves started crashing, however… This time I begin to learn balance. Instead of trashing myself with class overload along with a crazy busy home life, healing, work, and house sitting, I cut back to 3/4 time at school and cut back on my hours at work PLUS I made sure to increase my Jesus time. Though it still has been a battle, I’m refusing to back down.

So, what would make someone press on through injuyr (working through pain off and on praying for provision for treatment), crazy home life, financial struggles and constant waves of battle? Well, there’s a passion I have for the human trafficking victims in the Bay Area. Those of you who’ve kept up with my blog know why. To spare details that have already been shared, I’ll say… It’s a cause that hit rather close to home with a loved one of mine,  originally against their will.

I guess you’re wondering what I would intend to do, right? Well, I want to hello people get free from human trafficking and into a new life feeling worthy of all that God has for them. In order to keep my “golden envelop” sealed until the official revealing of the program I’m working on… I’ll simply say… Find your passion, it will lead you to your purpose. I truly believe I’ve found mine!

Will I ever run again? I believe so… However, I choose to remain focused on the blessed gifts that are currently before me… My beautiful nephew, my mom, god mom, new friends, church family and… SCHOOOOLLLL ohhh how I LOVE to learn!

In closing, I’d like to share my most recent paper … I hope y’all enjoy:

Tanha, Human Trafficking, and the Eight Fold Path

(Comparative religion, soooo… Of course I put Jesus all up in this one!)

    Tanha as defined by Wikipedia.org, is a thirst,craving, or

desire. According to Buddha, it’s a craving or burning desire to

have what we don’t have, for something to be what it isn’t, a

selfish drive for more, thus putting “me first” before anyone and

anything else. This is like a plague in today’s society!

Everywhere I go, magazines are smeared with things like, “Get

the wardrobe, or body you’ve always dreamed of!” Articles ,

billboards, commercials and internet ads flashing the latest

cars, phones, dream houses, means of entertainment, and

sensual pleasures. All of these things screaming out to their

audiences, “come and get more!” The sad thing is, the audience

can often become so enwrapped in obtaining these temporary

pleasures that some even take it to the extreme which leads to

things like robbery, abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, gang wars,

world wars, and countless other acts. In the following paper, I

will discuss one form of Tanha that has had a huge impact, not

only on the world, but my family as well…. Human trafficking. I

will then discuss some steps from the eight fold path that could

possibly help eliminate this problem once and for all!

    So, what would cause someone to take a young woman (or

man), drug them, beat them, rape and brainwash them

senseless, then put them out on the street to be sold and used

like sexual toilet paper to those of perverse nature over and over

again until they are completely numb to ANY idea of true

freedom and virtue? In my opinion, it’s a severe case of tanha!

These people are so full of selfish cravings and desires for more

sex, money and power that they put themselves first by forcing

brainwashed victims out onto the streets to get what they are

after! This has led to the victimization of 20-30 million slaves

actively being trafficked worldwide ! San Francisco just happens

to be one of the three core trafficking cities! The average age

range of the victims in America is 12-14 years of age ,

sometimes even younger! It is the third largest international

crime industry and profits an estimated $32 billion each year

(Dosomething.org). My mind is blown when I think of the filth

behind this! Selfish desires and cravings leading to the

continuous misuse, torture, and many times… death of millions

of young men and women worldwide! Truly, this is tanha at its

worst!

    Now, in studying Buddhism, the question has arisen… What

two steps from the eight fold path would be especially useful to

reduce this form of tanha? Well, this one was really hard for me

to narrow down being that every step contains so much power

and they seem to weave interchangeably with one another in

such a way that it , to me, seems difficult to have one or two

without the others. For example: A right mind leads to a right

view, right view leads to right intentions and so on! However, I

have opted to narrow my choice down to the following three:

right thought, right action, and right livelihood.
 

   To me, it begins with right thought. Even the apostle Paul

stated that we are to “take every thought captive” (2

Corinthians10:5 NIV), meaning that we need to take a good look

at it and see if it’s a productive, wholesome, life-giving thought.

Thoughts are the very core of our actions! If those who are

committing these horrific acts were taught to change there

thoughts to free them of the selfishness that lies within, there

actions would be sure to follow. I mean, really think about it…

They brainwash the victims wich shows they already know the

power of thought! Thus leading me to my next choice of step…

right action.

    Actions speak louder than words, and our actions are

byproducts of our thoughts. Once the mind has been cleansed

(as already mentioned) the actions will begin to follow. One

whose actions flow from pure thought will no longer act with the

selfish drive for more sex, money and power, but rather a more

compassionate form of action in which putting the needs of

other first would be their main drive. In turn, I could see the

release of millions of victims being one of many direct results.

This would lead to a beautiful array of selfless actions that

would dance rhythmically into my next step of choice, which is

right livelihood!

    “And what is right livelihood? Where a follower of the noble

one has left unethical livelihoods, he keeps his life going with

right livelihood” (The Buddha). Now, livelihood (right or wrong) is

usually the outcome of the thoughts which produced action in

an individual’s life. One whose thoughts and actions have been

cleansed from selfish ways is sure to have right livelihood

nailed! Once the actions are full of selflessness the entire life of

that individual would become a beautiful display of selfless

livelihood. In turn, this would be displayed by them earning an

honest income without harming themselves or and/or others!My

guess is that any person who would be freed from the drive for

more sex, money, and power would desire to live a life dedicated

to helping others find freedom as well! With such a bold , leading

statement made, it could very well become like the domino

effect. Other perpetrators witnessing the joy and freedom

expressed through the livelihood of the individual who has

“gotten right,” are sure to crave the freedom from tanha as well,

thus causing many to turn from their ways which, I’m positive,

would destroy the foundation of the sex trade !

    Overall, looking at these steps and comparing them to

scriptural references that pertain to my own faith (II Corinthians

10:5, James 2:14, Ephesians 4:1) when one takes every thought

captive (right thoughts), their faith (or right beliefs/ thoughts)

will show through their actions (producing right action, thus

leading to a life that is worthy of the calling (right livelihood).

This has shown me that these are three very solid steps that

could very well help cause this dark industry to crumble and fall!
   

    In closing, I ‘ll say that while human trafficking (as stated

before) is one of countless forms of tanha, the destruction of it

from the root up is just as important as the destruction of all

other forms . So, where do we start? The awareness begins with

one individual. Let the passion for the cause burn within you!

Then, like Mahayana Buddhists taste nirvana and return to

share it with the world, so should you do for the cause that

burns within. Hopefully, somehow, that passion for liberty from

the selfish/ “me first” mentality will trickle into those who are

caught up in various forms of tanha, leading to the total

destruction of such. Don’t think for a second that this is

impossible, because all things are possible to those who

believe. In truth , it all starts with you.

Works Cited

“Tanha Definition.” Wikipedia Online Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2915. <https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taṇhā>.

“11 Facts about Human Trafficking.” Do Something. Do Something, n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2915. <https://www.dosomething.org/facts/11-facts-about-human-trafficking>;.

“2 Corinthians 10:5, James 2:14, Ephesians 4:1” Bible Gateway. Biblical Inc., 2011. Web. 1 Oct. 2915. <https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+10%3A5&version=NIV>;.

“Right Livelihood.” The Path To Peace. Peirce, 2009- 2011. Web. 1 Oct. 2015. <http://www.noble-buddhism-beliefs.com/right-livelihood.html>;.