Yesterday I read "The Meaning of Life: How Shall We Live?" - finally, something easy for me to work with, despite its gravity. The core question was, "What should you live for?" Pavlina says "It is important to make a global choice about how to live our lives, since this decision sets the context for everything else we do." For me this choice is simple - it is one made long ago: Buddhism - of the Vajrayana variety - Dzogchen - that is my 'context.' Now, the intention of this article was to invite the reader to investigate his or her own beliefs and choices, and most of the material in this series of articles has indeed given me a lot to think about. This investigation, however, I completed many years ago.
I encountered Tibetan Buddhism in 1976 - became the student of a very good teacher. It was not an easy path, but it was what I'd been looking for. I kept at it, did my best to fulfill the demands it made, but by the early '90's I was worn out. It didn't help that I had a high-pressured computer job that required me even to sleep with a beeper under my pillow. I wanted both to rest and to explore other options. So I stepped back from my teacher and from Buddhism for a couple of years. The details of this really aren't important - what is, is the fact that somewhere about a year into this process, it became clear to me that Buddhism - the view of reality it expresses, not just written doctrine - had become more central to my mind and my being than anything else, than my name, my history, my sense of self. That was clear and final - though almost inexpressible.
So there's my answer.
The rest of the article - Pavlina's discovery and exploration of his own 'context,' was interesting and thought provoking. But not something I needed to apply to my own life right now.
The next piece in the series is about finding in this context an explicit and achievable purpose - I'm looking forward to reading it.