Follow by Email

Sunday, November 17, 2019

In our best interest

...even from the most rigorous scientific perspective, unselfishness and concern for others are not only in our own best interests but also, in a sense, innate to our biological nature.
-Dalia Lama









Hmm!  We go through life creating and maintaining this idea of  a little self we use to make sense of our world with.  We attempt to give it all we believe is necessary to make it happy: material abundance, recognition, special people, and some form of socially determined success.  We build borders and walls around it, separating it from others. We defend it and we attack to protect it. In so doing....we are very "little self -centered but we are not Self centered.

Say what?

This little self we created is just an idea of "me, my, and mine".  It isn't real.  It is just a mental construct.  Who you really are is real and exists beyond anything your mind can create. This being is not a little self but the Self.

Sometimes we tap into Self and feel an "Oh Wow!"  We feel love and peace and joy. We have this overwhelming openness and compassion for everything and everyone.  This is the experiencing of a reality in the present moment, here and now. We have tapped into our innate biological nature.  This is who we are and this is how we are supposed to feel.

But.... (you knew there was going to be a but, right???)....

We often can not feel Self because the little self has us pointed in the wrong direction, away from who we really are. We  spend most of our lives with our backs turned away from this pure and natural state of being.  All the things we think and do to keep "little self" going, get in the way of us experiencing this reality of who we are. We become selfish and our concern for others gets muffled by our need to provide for and protect the demanding "me".

When we are feeling unselfishness and concern for others we are operating from the true Self. It is within our best interest to do so because it feels amazing to be who we are!

All is well

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Hurry Slowly

Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice.  Better than knowledge is meditation.  But  better still is surrender to the attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace.
The Bhagavad Gita

Hmmm!  What does that beautiful piece of wisdom from the Gita mean and how does it apply to our practical lives? 

Knowledge...conceptually knowing why we do what we do... is better than blindly and numbly going around doing one activity after another without our awareness of its purpose  and only because everyone else is doing it. Yet...meditation is better than conceptual knowledge. Being able to put aside "thinking" for the true understanding that comes with "Self" awareness is meditation. But even better than meditation is this surrendering, this letting go of a need to control the outcomes, this acceptance of Life as it is. This is what brings peace.

We don't stop doing and we don't stop "being" ( meditating) we just find the balancing point between the two which is surrender to what is.

There is an old Latin phrase that helps us to remember to keep balance between the doing and the being: Fetina Lente or "Hurry Slowly".

All is well!

Friday, November 15, 2019

Are you standing back and judging?

To see, to experience, and to honor is to participate in life instead of standing back and judging it.
Michael A. Singer ( the untethered soul (2007) New Harbinger/Noetic, page 177)


Once again, I come here not knowing what to write about...allowing whatever wants to surface to surface. 

Today....I guess I am talking once again about suffering and happiness.  I cannot stress enough the major point of all my rantings: The outside world, what happens to us or around us is not responsible for any suffering we may experience.  It is our own mental response to it that determines if we suffer.

When Life throws you a curve ball what do you do with it?...That determines if you will be so called "happy" despite or if you will suffer because of it.

So what do you do when you lose your job, your partner, your reputation, your health or all your material belongings because of some outside force?
  • Do you spend months, years or decades feeling angry or blaming and attacking something out there or do you quietly assess your responsibility in what has  happened?
  • Do you seek ceaselessly  to get it all back believing you are nothing without it or do you question quietly Who am I without this thing I lostDoes it define me? Does it make me?  Can I "be" without it?
  • Do you fight, struggle and resist the parts of  it you have no control over or do you quietly sigh and say to yourself , "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference?"
  • Do you use it to determine how your future will be, and create walls and defenses to prevent it from happening again or do you stay peacefully and naturally open to whatever life gives you?
  • Do you stay stuck in the story of it and therefore in the past or do you live in the moment without the story interfering?
  • Do you look at this very moment, at life   with trepidation or do you embrace it  with awe and curiosity?
  • Do you cling to these event or let them go?
Just something to think about.  All is well.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The Main Source of Inner Strength

A heart full of love and compassion is the main source of inner strength, willpower, and mental tranquility.
-Dalai Lama ( desktop calendar, Andrew McMeel, 2018)

Keep your heart and mind open if you want to feel Life. Well that is what I take that to mean.  Or as Michael Singer would say...just stop closing.  We miss too much when we  do.

To understand all, is to forgive all. (from Deepak Chopra's meditation series)

All is well.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Universal Responsibility

...Universal responsibility is ...is the realization that even our enemy is entirely motivated by the quest for happiness.
-Dalai Lama

We are all seeking "happiness"...which I personally(and hesitantly)  describe as a freedom from suffering and a certain contentment with life...whether we know it or not.  Even those who purposefully  cause us harm or distress are seeking it, in misguided ways. They somehow may misconstrue that if they make us suffer, unhappy, or eliminate us altogether they will succeed at their personal or collective mission, which in turn would make them happy.  Their ultimate goal, however , is  not to cause harm to others or the planet but their own happiness.  They are seeking a freedom from suffering (maybe our enemy truly believes we are the cause of that suffering) and a certain contentment with life (maybe they erroneously believe that the world will be a better place without us in it) .  It certainly is more than a little crazy but we are all a little crazy, are we not,  when we undertake this pursuit of happiness?

Many of us are persistently  and relentlessly seeking it indirectly through the attainment of worldly success, material gain, and recognition from others. We keep pursuing it and pursuing it "out there" and wonder why we never find it in a lasting way, other than for  a few moments  of "Oh yeah!  I did it!" which is too often followed by a "Now what?"

What the attacker succeeds at doing  will not bring happiness for more than a brief moment of accomplishment, achievement and recognition amongst his allies with the same mission...but not happiness. What the majority of us do in our outer world seeking, does not bring happiness either.

Happiness...(man I really don't like that word for some reason lol) ...is not found out there.  It is not found in attack or defense, in what we do or what we gain from the outside world. This sense of suffering is really not found there either so the outer world will not eliminate our suffering or make our life worthy of contentment.  Life is already worthy and we are the ones responsible for eliminating our own suffering.  Both suffering and this so called happiness are products of the mind.

Our thinking has created a veil over the truth of who we really are beneath these notions of suffering or happiness.  Who we are is peace, joy, love. We already have everything we need to be happy and life, no matter what it throws at us, cannot harm or hurt this inner being.  The more we pursue our happiness elsewhere, the more we will suffer and the farther away from the contentment we seek, we will be.

Hmmm!  It is our universal responsibility to realize that we all want happiness even if we go about it in a less than effective way.  Redirecting our own personal missions inward is a start.  If we exemplify that happiness is found there and not in attack or outer world pursuit, than maybe the world will follow suit.

All is well.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Security Systems

The most secure person is not the one with the latest, greatest, most technologically advanced  security systems; it is the one with no defenses.
Deepak Chopra (loosely paraphrased from the 21 day Meditation  series, Path to Empowerment, Chopra Meditation Center) 

Hmmm! I think and write a lot about fear in all its many forms, from worry to panic, and I cannot agree with Deepak Chopra more on this truth.  So many of us, when we feel insecure and vulnerable, will seek to build fortresses around ourselves for  protection.  We may invest resources, time, energy, or our own authenticity to build actual walls or images we can hide behind.  We end up avoiding the thing we "perceive" we are afraid of, when the best way to handle it is to step through it.  The less walls we have around us; the less we struggle and fight against fear or hide from it, like so many of us do, the sooner we will realize that fear isn't necessary.  It is just a tool used by the ego to keep us stuck.  Ego wants us stuck and small so it can look powerful.  Ego isn't powerful; fear isn't powerful.  We just "believe" it is.  Once we stop avoiding it and simply learn to sit with it ...we will see fear for what it is and we will realize it never had the power . Who we truly are does. 

All is well! 

Monday, November 11, 2019

Dreams

Your vision will become clear only after you look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
Carl Jung (https://www.azquotes.com/author/7659-Carl_Jung/tag/dream)


I dreamt a poem last night as I often do. It was coming through me, told to me, forming so quickly I had no time to think about it. That is the way it usually is.  It is so beautiful when I experience that in a dream...I can't explain it.  I tell myself in that  dream...that I will remember it word for word when I get up but I don't lol.

It was about grapes on a vine. The vine wilts because it is time but it is all "fine".  Sounds awful when I put it like that lol.  But  it was so amazing in my dream...the way it came out...perfect rhythm and meter, profound almost in depth and meaning...but alas...I cannot remember it.  Sigh.

It is funny too... because I remember a lot about my dreams as bizarre as they may be.  I meet so many people I have never met before in waking life and see and talk to so many who have passed on...it is nice if not more than a bit weird.

The situations and places I encounter are usually so "different" than anything I would even imagine in my waking life.  That leads me to think dreams are very special and we as humans truly do not know what is going on in those hours of sleep, do we?  We know the stages of brain activity and the effects of sleep on the body by watching EEG tracings and the rapid movement of eyes but what about consciousness...what is happening with consciousness?   Dreams have  to be more than just a compilation of memory all mixed up and jumbled together as we solve some external world issues we were unable to work through in the day light hours.  Yeah... there is something very special about dreams.

I would like to look into that a little more.

All is well.


We have forgotten the age-old fact that God speaks chiefly through dreams and visions.
Carl Jung
https://www.azquotes.com/author/7659-Carl_Jung/tag/dream


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Be Happy Anyway

The real question is whether you want to be happy regardless of what happens.  The purpose of your life is to enjoy and learn from your experiences.  You were not put on Earth to suffer.  You're not helping anyone by being miserable...You can be happy just to be alive.
Michael A, Singer ( the untethered soul, 2007, New Harbinger/ Noetic Books)

Life is short. It can be unpleasant. Heck...sometimes it can be down right miserable but that doesn't mean you have to be.  How you respond to life will determine how much you enjoy it, not what happens to you or around you.  Though I still see happy as an ego word and I don't particularly like it,  I often use it to describe that feeling we have when we are okay with everything the way it is. 

We have a choice .  We can look out at our lives and say "Oh this sucks!"...and complain, resist, fight, struggle against it, focus only on what is wrong with it as we dig and dig  our way to complete and utter misery.

Or we can look at it and say, "It is what it is."  I might as well make the best of it.  It is all good because really that is all it can be.  I am alive! I will enjoy the life I have while I am here and will learn whatever I can. "

We are not here to suffer and the only thing that causes suffering is choosing it over the "happiness" that comes with acceptance.

All is well.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Cultivating the Awakening Mind

After meditating on the advantages of solitude and having calmed your discursive thoughts, you should cultivate the awakening mind.
Dalai Lama (Andrews McMeel; 2018)

Why are all most of your  quotes from Eckhart Tolle or the Dalia Lama?

Hmmm!  I do read, listen to and study  a lot more than the quotes on my desktop calendar or the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. lol I am actually all over the place with my interests and what intrigues me in the area of waking up.  As  I have said before I began this process way before I even heard of Eckhart Tolle and while I was still fearful of any religion other than Catholicism.  It began back when I was 19 after  picking up a copy of The Power of Positive Thinking, by Norman Vincent Peale.  There have been many, many different books, messages, lectures, and teachers since then.  But...yes there is a but...I am very fond of Eckhart Tolle's message and the way he delivers it.

After reading the first few lines of The New Earth a decade ago..I was completely blown away.  It was like...Yes!!!! This makes so much sense. Where have you been all my life?  I was so excited with the message .  It resonated in every cell of my being, finally putting all the pieces of my own seeking into a conceptual map that made sense to me.  Not only that,  I felt it to be true. It was literally life changing. 

I ran around for months trying to tell people about what I learned, so sure that once they heard it put the way he put it...they would understand and be so awed!!!  They weren't lol.  They literally thought I went over the deep end. They didn't get it at all!


Still...I did and I was hooked.  My seeking took off even faster and more intensely after that.  It changed direction from a more secular, psychologically based understanding to a deeply spiritual one. People I knew stood back, with their arms crossed and shook their heads as they watched me delve into this. I began to explore eastern philosophy and went a little deeper into my own yoga practice.  I began to slowly disentangle from years of conditioning through which I operated.  I knew there was no going back...only forward and forward I went.

So even though I have studied many different teachings and am determined never to be lost in  the teacher of a teaching...I have yet to find a messenger put this very universal message into a package for delivery  the way Eckhart Tolle does. It resonates with me. So I read or listen to him for a few minutes almost everyday. And of course, since his message has much of its basis in Buddhism...I studied Buddhism a little more deeply...thus the Dalia Lama quotes.  I am not a Buddhist, nor am I an Eckhart Tolle groupie ...or even a follower.  I am merely someone who finds peace in the message these individuals share.  I bring their wisdom and their words into my writing. Actually, they are often the basis or the inspiration for most of my writing here.

That is why I quote them often.

All is well.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Stop Waiting

If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you will never enjoy the sunshine.
Morris West (https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/waiting-quotes)

Are you waiting?  I mean are you projecting your self forward into the future either with fear of what may lay ahead up there and dreading it or by anticipating and seeking some sort of fix that you assume that future time might offer you?  Are you stuck in time and mind? Are you walking around asleep, i.e. over identified with what is going on in that head of yours so much so they you don't even notice the moment you are in?

Well if so...stop it!!! Step out of time and mind and step into the now and the alert "presence/present" it offers. Stop wasting the only Life you have which is right here and right now.  Stop waiting and start living.

All is well

(A little wisdom gained from all I have learned from Eckhart Tolle over the years )

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what is going to happen next.
Gilda Radner

I don't know where to begin today so I will just sit and let whatever comes up to come up.  My mind wants to figure out what I should write and something else just wants me to sit here and type.  Hmmm!

I have been asking such "big" questions of myself and others lately and I am realizing that I will  never get the answers in a form or way that will satisfy the mind.  Whatever this is that is getting me to sit here and type without a mentally constructed plan has the answers and is answering me as I question. 

Hmmm! But I cannot speak of it or write of it because it is not understood with words or concepts.  Knowing that is so strange .  What is a writer supposed to do with that, I wonder?

Just be with it...I guess.

All is well.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Conversation With the Mind

Conversation With The Mind on Your Waking Up

The Mind:   I've been wondering where you were. You haven't stopped  in for a while. What's up?

You:  Oh not much...I've just  been lazy I guess.

The Mind:  You sure you are okay?  You seem a little different. Slower...doing less...more distant.    Maybe together we could find out what's going on  with you and fix it. I probably have what you need.

You:  No, no. Thanks, though.  I'm fine.  Actually, I am feeling better than I have in a while.

The Mind:  Really?  You are? Without me? That doesn't make sense.

You: ( chuckling)  I know eh?  It's kind of weird but I feel pretty good, a little lighter.

The Mind:   What?  How can that be without my input?  You know I am the one who figures things out for you. There is no way you could be feeling better on your own.  It certainly doesn't seem healthy to me.  Something has got to be wrong.

You: ( shrugging shoulders) Yeah maybe...but it doesn't feel wrong.

The Mind:  No...it's not right! How can you function without my fix of  thoughts and ideas?  How can you even see what is going on around you without me?  Something has to be wrong.  You are going to fall apart. Come on in and we can  talk about it, at least?

You: Naaaah !  I don't think so bud, but thanks. I would probably use what you got if I do and I don't think I need it.  I am actually seeing clear and feeling pretty good without it. I  don't want to screw that up, you know? To be honest,   I am starting to wonder if it was the stuff you have been giving me that was messing  me up.

The Mind:  What??? Of course not.  It's the same stuff I am giving to everyone and you don't hear them complaining, do ya?   Geesh Man...get a hold of yourself.

You:  Sorry, sorry...don't mean to offend.

The Mind: What the hell is wrong with you?  Come on man...we really need to figure this out.  There has to be an explanation for what is going on with you, something we both can understand.

You:  That's just it...I don't think there is.  I don't understand it and something tells me it is too deep for you to understand.

The Mind: Now that's a burn!  You know I devote all my time to understanding things.  I can make sense of everything!

You:  Not this I don't think...it is beyond you.

The Mind: Are you losing faith in me?  You used to come crying  and running to me with every bo-bo like I was your Gosh darn mother, for F*&^ sake. Now you are ignoring me, blaming me and insulting me by telling me I can't do my job.  WTF?

You: Sigh...It's not you, it's me. I am not the same person I was.

The Mind: OMG!  Are you breaking up with me on top of everything else????

You:  Relax!!! Just chill man...it's all good.  I am not breaking up with you.  I just think our relationship has to change , you know?  I just kind of want  to explore the world beyond you a bit more.  I  have an inkling there is some real cool stuff out there that  I need to experience for my growth.

The Mind:  What stuff??? What stuff could ever be better than what I can give you?   After all I have given you.  After all I have done.  I can't believe you are leaving me.

You: Take it easy.  I am not leaving you.  I am just going to take more time for myself away from you.  That's all. I couldn't leave for good, even if I wanted to. I need you.  I still value what we have...I always will. I just need a little more space.

The Mind:  Space?  What the h#$% is that? I don't understand it.  I don't understand any of this.  I need to figure out what is wrong with you and fix it!  I won't stop until I do.

You: (sighing deeply)  No I suppose you won't even if I assure you 100 times over that this stuff will never be understood by us in the way you like to understand things.  You are going to keep trying to figure things out.  You wouldn't be you if you didn't.  Okay Mind...you do what you have to do while I do what I have to do.  We will meet up in the middle whenever we can. ... okay?  It is all so very good.

The Mind: Good!!??? You are going to crash and burn, become an absolute nobody in that space of yours.  Just you watch and see.  And when you do... don't you daresay I didn't warn you!!

You: Maybe you are right about that but I need to find out.  Thanks Mind for everything.

The Mind: Humph !!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Pride and Inspiration

Look at me!  Look at me! Look at what I did!
- Little me


Feeling Good About What We Do

Sometimes I find myself pleased when people compliment me on my yoga classes, when I look down at a photograph I've taken  or a piece of finished writing and think to myself, "That is good!  That's really good!" or when I realize that I was "right" about something I figured out long before the professionals did...and even when professionals kept telling me I was wrong for decades. Yeah I feel good at those times and I wonder if it is an ego reaction, I am experiencing, or a spiritual one?

Pride or Spirit's Wisdom

Am I feeling "pride"?  Pride is of the ego.  It is when the "little me" steps in to claim ( or openly disclaim) ownership of something that isn't its to own that pride becomes the culprit.  Little me puffs up as it looks around and more or less says, "Look at what I did better than you."  Not nice.

It is spiritually wise, on the other hand, to step back and realize that we, in this minute form, did not do this thing we may feel good about... this thing was just done through us, that's all.  I suppose it is okay to feel good about it then, especially if it inspires, helps, heals, guides or brightens up the life of someone else. It is not pride then if we simply realize, that through the accomplishment of this thing, we are going in the right direction...toward what is real and important.


It isn't Mine
I constantly go back and forth  between pride or ego's need to redeem itself  and to  just feeling good that I am opening up to something so much bigger than "little me". 

I have learned, long ago, that my poetry is not mine to own (or reject) ...it just comes through me.  It really does.  I would, however, find myself puffing up like a peacock when others published my other work or commented on its merit.  "Look at me!  Look at me!" I would shout out to others and that was pride.  I wanted others to see beyond my less desirable parts to something I was doing right or better than them. I took ownership of whatever came out on the page but I now realize that even my non fiction is not mine...it is just  something that comes through me. 

Inspiration, in whatever form it comes in, like inspired air, is just breathed through us.  We are not the breather.  We are the breathed.

When I teach a  class and I am "present"...something comes through me that benefits the students.  Ego, if it were active at those times, would just get in the way. It is not "little me" that teaches the best classes though sometimes ego wants me to believe it is. 

When I figure things out in regards say, to what is going on in my body when others outwardly deny that it  is, and when they are finally forced to see through the evidence that I was right all along...there is no need to puff up and say, "Look at how smart I am! I was right!  I was right!  And you were wrong!".  It was not 'me' that figured it out.   That intellectual knowledge did not come from my little mind.  Something much bigger than  me, much bigger than their educated opinions,  was showing me what I needed to know.  Hmmm!

Yeah pride and self righteous redemption wants to step in at those times but I don't want to go there.  I have to really be aware of my tendency to want to and remind myself that what came through me  isn't mine. Pride ( or shame) will  not serve me or others. 

In-spirit/Inspired

If we want to progress on our spiritual journeys we need to be aware of our tendency toward pride. We need to put it down and give the credit to spirit.  We are inspired and "in-spirit" when these things come through us.

Stay open. Step back and let spirit do its wonderful thing through you.  It will.  Feel good about that!

All is well.


Eckhart Tolle (November, 2019) Is it prideful to own our accomplishments? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkzYqmmGoU4

Monday, November 4, 2019

Fleeting

Every-thing is fleeting on the backdrop of eternity.
-me

We have all heard the expression, This too shall pass, and likely erroneously believed it was straight from the bible.  Yet this passage actually was uttered my Persian sages long before the bible was written.  Its wisdom goes beyond religious ownership.

Eckhart Tolle refers to the going ons of our world as the "dance of phenomenon". This "continuous dance of form" is happening around us all the time...both internally with our thoughts and feelings;  and externally with events, places, people and the circumstances of our lives.

No matter how great the phenomena is or how awful, no matter how much it seems to add or take from our experience...it...in its temporary form...will not last.  No'thing' lasts.
This too shall pass.

There is no problem with the arising and dissolving of form as long as we can sit back and watch, occasionally play our part in it without getting "lost" in it, without seeing the phenomena as all important.  What is important are not the roles, the actors/dancers, the things or events but the back drop on which they take place. 

Who is watching? The true Self is watching.

How is the Self watching? In stillness, in presence, in alive alertness. It is watching without "thought".  

When is It watching? In the only time there is.... the now.

Hmmm!  How hard it is for so many of us to truly get that.

All is well!

Eckhart Tolle. (March 2016) Omega 8. Namaste Publishing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FEft2FIcJE&feature=share

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Stillness is the language God speaks.  Everything else is a bad translation.
-Thomas Keating

 
Simply put.  We need to do what Eckhart Tolle teaches...we need to get into that space between perception and interpretation more often.  We need to catch those beautiful pauses between words, thoughts and breath. We need to stop doing, striving, fixing and clinging for just a moment ...to sense what it is like to be.  We need to cease the narrating, explaining, labelling and analyzing what is before us and just experience it for a while.  
 
Hmmm!
 
Why is it so hard for so many of us to do that?  Why can't we all be more like our dogs? :)
 
All is well.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

Nourishing the Tree

The tree that is beside the  running water is fresher and gives more fruit.
-Saint Teresa of Avila (https://www.brainyquote.com/quote_of_the_day)

I love these words coming from a 16th century Carmelite nun who believed in the power to transcend thought and worldly demands for the rapture of understanding God. She believed this happened in four stages. 
  1. In the first stage "Devotion of the Heart", one begins to take their attention away from the outside world and immerses themselves in prayer and meditation.
  2. In the second stage, "Devotion of Peace", where one surrenders "will" to God...exchanging "my will" for "Thy will be done."  At this point the memory, reason and imaginative  mind is still easily distracted by the demands of the external world but one is committed to the spiritual pursuit.
  3. In the third stage, "Devotion of Union", one becomes "absorbed " in God...meaning that all reason, all "little me" defense is given up even if memory and imagination are free to ramble away from the union experience.
  4. In the final stage, "Devotion of Ecstasy", all awareness of being in the body disappears...one transcends bodily sensations for the rapture of union. Levitation may occur at this point.  (Of course, it was later argued that Saint Teresa may have actually just been experiencing Grand Mal seizures at this point).
-Wikipedia ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Teresa_of_%C3%81vila)


 


Anyway...what I see the lovely words above to mean...is the more we are connected to that which nourishes Life...creates Life...the more alive we will be and the more we will have to give.

If we want to serve...we must tap in there first...even if we do not do it in the above way.

All is well in my world

Friday, November 1, 2019

No Religion

God has no religion.
-Mahatma Gandhi


I broke one of the biggest rules of social etiquette yesterday, didn't I?  I spoke about religion. Well that is okay, I suppose. Social etiquette doesn't mean much to me these days.  I just do not want to hurt or offend with my expressions. 

I can assure you that I am not propagating for one religion over the other...not judging or diminishing, even if I sometimes compare.  My goal of comparison is not to further differentiate but to actually unify and show the connecting principals of belief.

Too many wars, too much heartache and retaliation has taken place in our world over the "differences" in religion which often just equates to the differences we apply to words and concepts.  I just suggest that we see beyond the word to the "meaning", that's all.

I was raised Christian, Catholic, to be exact. It will always be a part of me.  I just do not define myself as a Christian.  Nor do I define myself as a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Jew or a Muslim.  I am not beating up on Christianity , nor am I beating up on any other religious system.  I just want to be open to all philosophy that lies at the heart of each religion.  In order to do that I have to be open in my approach.  I sincerely believe , at the core of each doctrine or dogma, is a unifying belief system we all share.  I simply try to get to the root of it.

I am much more a philosopher than I ever will be even remotely theologian like. I am not a threat lol. And besides I truly know so little about anything.  So don't take what I say to heart unless it triggers something in you...then explore it further from inside you.

I believe we all need to put away our judgments and biases...our sense of self-righteous differentiation which leads too often to alienation. We need to search for what connects us, not what makes us different and separate. Often that involves not being so attached to constructs based on  the "literal" meaning of things.  Words are just pointers, right? The truth they point to is in each of us.

Anyway, that is what I believe.  But, once again, what do I know?

All is well in my world.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Not What People Here Adore

What cannot be thought with the mind, but that whereby the mind can think,
Know that to be Brahman, the spirit, and not what people here adore.
Kena Upanishads (from Sacred Scriptures of the World's Religions)

What the heck does that mean, crazy lady?

Having a hard time with other scripture?

People, who are not followers of Hinduism, may read that and see the yogic and Hindu philosophy, the reference to God as "Brahman" and the word "spirit" and immediately pull back  as if stung by a poisonous snake. I know...I have heard it all before. 

Many devote followers of monotheistic  religions  believe it is blasphemous to refer to "false Gods", to speak of spirit out of context of the trinity and most importantly to have someone  insinuate that they may be too attached to the superficial  while they focus their pursuit of "knowledge" and happiness ' in the wrong direction. This line ( all lines) from these Upanishads may ruffle more than a few feathers.

Truth beyond the resistance

Putting aside our fear of the different, our conditioning, the enforced sense of right and wrong our religious upbringings may have left us with, what do these words mean? How can we understand them in a way that will help us grow as human beings, regardless of what religion we adhere to?

Kena Upanishads

The Kena Upanishads,  among many ancient Sanskrit texts, also known as the vedantas,  possibly written in the first millennium BCE are indeed the foundations on which Hinduism was built.  Yet, their deepest literal meanings imply more to the yogic search for truth in Self and therefore offer , I believe, teachings that  can transcend religious barriers.  I particularly find a certain resonance with the above words.

In this translation, which may be lacking a bit of the poetry that I have read  in other translations, the teaching refers to our need to get beyond our thoughts to what is actually doing the thinking.

Huh?

Brahman is the eternal, creative force that lies in the basis of  all things. It is the ultimate reality,  the ultimate truth.  Hmmm!  Does that sound familiar?  The spirit referred to here is translated from the word Atman which basically means the inner Self or what many of us know of  as the "soul". So, beyond the names and the words,  we have the Supreme Creative Force, the Source of all things and the soul within. How far from your own religious beliefs is that?

What it means

Anyway...these lines are saying that it is not what the mind thinks but that which makes the mind think that is God, that is the soul within us.  It is not what is going on in the mind or outside us in the physical world that we mistakenly adore, that is important but what has always been there on the  inside  of us.  The truth is not out there...the truth is within.

Here we are lost in all the mind is telling us, lost in the materialism of this world...much too identified with it, much too attached to it , that we fail to tap into that which lies beneath it all, that  from which it all sprang and was created, that which is truly important.

Whether you use "Brahman" or "God", "Atman or soul...the teaching is universal, is it not?

Turn your direction inward, away from what was created to What creates it all.  We do not need to be one of those people who adore the superficial and the false. We can be people who see and experience the truth.

Well that is how I see it...but... what do I know?

All is well.



Price, Joan. (2010) Sacred Scriptures of the World's Religions. London: Continuum Books

Yes...I am citing Wikipedia...because it had the most comprehensive information I could find.  Koodles to that site!:
Upanishads . Wikipedia.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upanishads

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

That whereby the mind can think


What cannot be spoken with words, but that thereby words are spoken:
know that alone to be Brahman, the spirit, and not what people here adore.
What can not be thought with the mind, but that whereby the mind can think:
know that alone to be Brahman, the spirit, and not what people here adore.
-Kena Upanishads (excerpt from Sacred Scriptures of the world's religions, Joan A. Price, 2010)


How do I serve?  How do I give what is left of "my life" ( Life) away? What is my Life? Who am I?

I  am praying on that  and I am meditating on that  and ...the answer I keep coming up with is I just don't know!

I used to be so terrified of those words, "I don't know."  I thought they diminished "me"...made me smaller and less adequate. I would ceaselessly attempt to find the answer to every question brought to me. Now I see how absolutely freeing and powerful those words are.

There is beauty in "I don't know." There is freedom, peace and "relief".  Not just because it is an easy way to answer all questions and dilemmas that come our way.  Not because it is an escape and a cop out...but because it is actually a key that takes us further into stillness, presence and truth. It takes us to Self.


We do not need to know everything with the mind.  We do not have to understand it all with thinking.  Beneath all that thought and that mental schemata, what Patanjali referred to as "mental modifications",  is something that cannot be known.  It is that something we wish to tap into.  It is the "I don't know" that teaches, not words or explanations.

When we remove all the pseudo understanding from our experience as we do something so simple as look out upon a tree, we  are   going to slip into something a little deeper than a mental construct.  When we remove the "Oh that is an O ak and those are its branches.  Those seeds are acorns that the Blue Jays like to eat," and instead just sit there looking at it with an, "I really don't know this," something amazing happens.  We get out of our limited   heads  and sink into a true experience of alertness, stiness,    appreciation and awe. We stop thinking, narrating, describing and we just are with the tree.

We can do the same when we look inward and ask that age old question, "who am I?"  And by that we are not asking what is going on in my psyche; we are not necessarily trying to analyze out r thinking.  We are taking it farther than words or any idea we have of self.  We see that we truly cannot understand who we are with the mind.


"Man, know thyself!" should really be, "Man, be okay with not knowing Self."  Self realization is all about realizing how little we do know, how much of our being, our experience here is so miraculous and mysterious we could never understand fully with these limited minds we are given.  And the thing is...we don't have to.  We do not have to reduce all that beauty, all that mystery into words and concepts that we bound together under the term "knowledge."

We can simply be in awe as we don't know.  Mind cannot go into that ultimate stillness within where "not knowing" takes us.  No words, concepts or ideas will ever be able to describe it.  So we do not limit its magnitude with thinking...we simply experience the truth that is there.

How cool is that?

All is well in my world.


Eckhart Tolle ( March, 2016) Omega 3. Namaste Publishing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld2YRg23vkY







Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Serving

Helping others is not limited to providing food, shelter, and so forth but includes relieving the basic causes of suffering and providing the basic causes of happiness.
Dalai Lama (Desktop calendar; Andrews McMeel, 2018)

Hmmm!  I am so blown away over the synchronized way these quotes show up as the day's quotes just when I am pondering the very same thing. 

Ego's View on Service

Anyway, I went to bed wondering what to do with the rest of my life.  I am ready to give it away, to truly serve.  (Well, at least  I think I am until ego chimes in.) 

I awoke this morning to hear ego chattering away in the mess that is my head.  :):   Are you crazy lady?  You are absolutely exhausted from offering four yoga classes a week...what are you going to physically be able to do? You can't even clean your house.  Besides you blew away your real chance to serve as a nurse...now that is a devoted service...what can you possibly give the world now that trumps that? Besides you have been hiding from the world.  You really want to go back out there and "do' something? You don't even have the "oompf" to deal with the problems your own family brings to you.  Get real!

Sigh...ego is a nasty dude, isn't he ( I picture ego as a "he" for some reason and I don't know why)? But it does make us think. I do have some physical limitations...my body cries out when I step over that very delicate line between "just enough" and "too much". Right now my finances are very, very limited. I give what I can but it is not enough. I have a soap opera of drama and events right in my immediate surroundings.  Emotionally and mentally I feel overwhelmed processing through my own petty issues. How do I help others?

Sigh!

Giving Our Limited  Life Away

How can I give my life away, knowing that it has these limitations? Would it be like feeding the hungry with a bag of potatoes that are half rotten?  Seeking to help build shelter when I have no tools? Listening to those who need to talk when I have no ears?  I don't know?

What can I "do"?  As much as I prefer "be" to "do"...there is a time for doing when it comes to service to the world.  How can I serve the world? I want to serve...I truly, truly do.

What would we  do if we had no perception of limitation ( because that is all it is...a perception, right?) We could go out and take care of sick and dying bodies in areas where there was not enough people doing such.  We could bring food to the hungry.  We could help build houses for those without homes, dig wells for those with no running water.  We could sit with the lonely and those afraid.  We could teach those who needed basic education. We could offer our non-judgmental presence to those who have been judged or condemned. There is a lot we can do!

Hmmm!

Though I am no longer a nurse...I can still volunteer some service to those bodies that need it, can't I? That skill set and knowledge is a part of me now. I can still teach...I have that skill set too. Though it would not be a lot...I still have some of these things in me to give away, don't I?

 But the thing is,  it doesn't have to be elaborate, does it?  If I had the energy I would do anything.  Can I help to bring food to the hungry?  I am sure there is a way. Can I help build homes? After the sloppy  DIY's I did around here I am sure that others would want that  that help to be very minimal lol. but maybe I could do something. There are things I can do.

 I want to do something that benefits others. I want to help relieve the basic cause of suffering and provide the basic source of happiness for those in need.  I am so, so aware now...that this living thing is not all about me anymore. My problems are so petty.

I will find my way...we all will eventually serve humanity in a beneficial way.

But I do need to listen to ego just a bit...there is some truth there.  I do have bodily , financial and circumstantial limitations right now.  I must allow them...and then   find my way around those and through those. 

And it is true... I have been hiding out from the world instead of interacting in it.  It felt so heavy to me for so long I wanted to get away from it. I have also  allowed my fear of getting further hurt to prevent me from truly serving others.  Now I want to step back out there and serve in some way.

Help

"Help" is a tricky concept to deal with.  I must be careful how I use it. Before I begin any "action" I do need to further establish this sense of being.  I will give far more from practicing stillness perception than I ever would from jumping down into other's misery and drowning with them.

And I can begin my serving here...in my home ...with my loved ones.  When they come to me with their suffering, I can meet them in non reactive spaciousness.  I don't have to have the answers or the physical ability to help...I just need to offer my presence without slipping into their story and getting lost in it. Hmmm!

There is a way to help and to serve...and I will! That is my mission now.  Besides opening up to the peace of mind that is within me, I want to serve from there. I am going to pray and meditate on that.  :)

All is well.

Eckhart Tolle ( March 2016) Omega 3. Namaste Publishing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ld2YRg23vkY

hmmm!

Monday, October 28, 2019

Through the Cracks



 Through the Cracks


The artillery has ceased its firing

and the smoke is thinning out.

The  eyes, squeezed shut so tightly,

I open, and quietly look about.

 

I force myself to face this devastation

but it takes all my remaining will

to look out upon the  battlefield around me

where things are suddenly  deathly still

 
 I find my heart grieving loudly  

as I see the bodies of fallen brothers.

I feel the boiling heat of vengeance

and I spit my wrath  upon the others.

 

 I can't tell who won or lost here.

I suppose, it doesn't really matter.

Amongst the debris on either side

all sense of victory is shattered.
 

  I feel the stinging pain within my chest

and look down to see that I ‘ve been hit.

I have taken on more than one bullet from life

but this time it might be it.

 

There is a crack in my protective armour now

a large, pathetic,  gaping hole

I bow my head ... a shameful victim,

Not worthy of my role.

 

 My heavy  personalized sense of self

that protected me for so long,

has failed to keep me going;

it has failed to keep me strong.


 
Broken, shattered, open...

I wait for  remaining  life to trickle through

I  take a breath and close my eyes.

What else can a dying soldier do?



Then I feel the warmth of  something,

Emerging through the armour’s crack

It isn’t blood, it isn’t life

It isn’t loss, or grief or lack.

 

In this trickling warmth there is a peace

That shines from deep inside.

I watch as it comes pouring through

Until there is nothing left to hide.

 

Then above us all, the sun shines down

From a sky that was so grey.

And brothers and enemies together awaken

From the bloody fields on which they lay.

 


It is from these tiny cracks in the world's falsehoods

That Grace will so eloquently  flow through

Offering her gracious, healing power

From the depth of what is true.

 

It is in this truth that she brings with her

That we will finally be free

Of the heavy chains of self defense

And the demands of “little me”.

 
Peace is in her offering

Her special gift to all.

So let go of your defenses,

Just let your armour fall

 

Let go to what Life offers you,

With Grace your gentle guide.

Instead of  leaving cracks for her to pour through

We can simply   open wide.


Dale-Lyn 2019


Man...I wasn't going to put that here.  Yesterday it started to come out here.  I took it off the blog page into a word doc so I could finish it.  Different day...different flow. 

It started out rhyming...not that I ever, ever intend it to...it just does.  Maybe if I  go with the flow when it is ready to come out , as it is ready to come out, that may not be a problem...but when I  go back after...rhyme scheme gets in the way.  You know the story lol.

Ego tells me not to publish it but something else tells me to put it down where it started.  :) Oh the mind of someone who writes poetry is a strange and twisted thing lol.

All is well

Added note: This is so uncanny.  I wrote this the day before yesterday and was not sure why the image of battlefields kept coming in to my mind...when I was simply wanting to write about cracks for Grace to come through. Well it came out in the poem. After I published this yesterday, I read the quote of the day from my desktop calendar:

People who fight with other human beings out of anger, hatred, and strong emotion, even if they gain victory over their enemies in battle, are not in reality true heroes. ....The true hero is the one who gains victory over hatred and anger.
Dalai Lama
 
How cool is that?

Sunday, October 27, 2019

Grace comes in through the cracks.

Grace comes in through the cracks. When the personal self looses its density, presence begins to emerge.
Eckhart Tolle






How beautiful is that?

I was working on a poem in response to that teaching and learning(well I was opening up and letting one come through)...but had to give it up for yoga class. I will plop it down when I finish it...if it still wants to come through.

All is well



Saturday, October 26, 2019

The Social Consequences of Seeking Self

As social animals we need friends.  But real friends are not attracted by fear but by warm heartedness and compassion.  By using our intelligence, we have the ability to develop concern for limitless sentient beings.
-Dalai Lama (Desktop calendar; Andrews McMeel; 2018)

My yoga studio is okay! That is wonderful news and I am glad...but at the same time I know I was in a place that would have accepted the other alternative as well. It is all good. I see my Self a little better because of this experience...I am a little closer to achieving the "know thyself"goal put out there by Socrates so many years ago.

Know Thy Self 

I love this journey of getting to know my Self. Every real life practice with circumstance and relationships helps me go farther or in this case "deeper" into this journey. It is quite amazing to witness the different dimensions of one's being.

Of course, there are times when I question if I am being self centered in my solitary search for Self.  I have with drawn  from many of the interactions most of us take for granted.  Though I still interact with my family, those who come to my studio and others I might bump into out there when I do go out in public...I am far from a social butterfly. My fear is that I may not be "giving" enough in my semi-reclusive state. 

As I become more and more evolved, as slow and tedious as that process is for me, I think less and less of "little me".   My thoughts and prayers are not so much for this little me but for others and my ability to serve in a way that does the most good.  Yet, how am I going to know what specific needs people have  if I am not out there chit chatting away or checking my Facebook page to see what is going on in anyone's lives? How am I going to " be there" for them in a way they feel would serve them best? 

Not About Ego Anymore

That is just it isn't it?  I don't want to be there in that context any more...a context that was dictated by social conditioning, based on "little me's"  fear of "not fitting in" and a superficial desire to meet the ego needs of others or myself. I am attempting to step away from the need for other's to like me, from opinion, judgment and assumption...both mine and theirs.  I want to see clearly so I can truly serve and I can only do that if I go beyond this "fear" that ego places between me and them, until I heal more from past injury and wrongful thinking, until  I can develop true "warmheartedness and compassion."

For now it seems fitting to step back and away.  Oh ego still protests on both sides of this equation.  I assume others are feeling like I am a "stuck up, selfish b*&^%", who thinks she "is too good for them".  (If only they knew just how untrue those statements actually are.)   I , in my remaining "little me" identity still fears offending and alienating; hurting  and not giving enough.  But, at the same time, I don't want this to be about ego anymore.  I want this to be about something deeper and more meaningful.

So I will let them have their opinions. I won't explain or defend my choices...I won't try to repair the damage done to the image they once had of me.  It was just an image.  I won't step away from my own healing, to give them what their egos are telling them they need.  I will be there in a real way, when I am ready...a way that benefits us all.

Hmmm! It is all so very good.

Friday, October 25, 2019

That Which Brings Happiness

           Mindfulness brings happiness.
                    - Thich Nhat Hanh
 







 

Mindfulness is....

Mindfulness is...

Mindfulness is...
the energy that makes us fully present,
fully alive in the here and the now. (page 6)

Mindfulness is...
what brings us back in touch with
what's happening in the present moment
in the body,
in our feelings,
in our thinking,
and also in our environment. ( page 6)

Mindfulness is...
attention...
the capacity to recognize
what's happening in each moment. ( page 13)

Mindfulness is....
the capacity to shine the light of awareness
onto what's going on here and now. ( page 20)

Mindfulness [is...
that which] helps us live deeply every moment
 of our daily life. ( page 20)

Mindfulness is....
the energy that can recognize
whatever is occurring,
including your own negative habit energies
coming up ( page 25)

Mindfulness [is]...
recognition-
[that which] helps us drop that habit
of continually reliving the past. (page 65)

Mindfulness is...
not for sale. (page 74-75)

Mindfulness is...
the most precious asset we can have;
it makes love, happiness,
and so many other gifts
to ourselves and to others possible. (page 75)

Mindfulness [is...
that which] helps us to recognize-
more and more clearly the longer we practice-
which things we really need and want in our life,
and which things we can do very well without. (page 75)

Mindfulness is...
insight...
and with it,
we can pierce the veil of ignorance,
see clearly the true nature of reality,
and be liberated from the anxiety,
fear, anger and despair in us.(page 80)

Mindfulness is....
(together with concentration and insight),
the very essence of meditation.  (page 80)

Mindfulness [is...
that which] brings us happiness. (page 100)
- Thich Nhat Hanh

Direct definitions of mindfulness from:
 Thich Nhat Hanh (2011). peace is every breath. New York; Harper One

Thursday, October 24, 2019

When Things Go "Wrong"

You don't do Life.  Life does you.
- Me...from all I learned so far :)

The Questions

"Why did this have to happen?" " Why do things like this always seem to happen to me?" " Why me?"

Have you ever asked yourself these questions?  I do all the time...and yesterday afternoon, I was asking them with a great intensity.

When Things Go "wrong"

My yoga studio flooded because of a plumbing malfunction.  Something seemed to go tragically "wrong". And as I stood there ankle deep in water looking about my beautiful little studio I looked up and asked, almost expecting an answer. "Why??"

Something, "some One"  has to explain why my circumstances are so freaking crazy, don't they? Isn't a basement flood,  after everything one had, in terms of finances,  was put into the renovation of it( and when one doesn't have insurance),  enough to rattle anyone? And this, on top of everything else that I got "slapped around" with over the last few years, the last few months??? Come on!!! Really?

The studio was my  hope, my reprieve, my way to pull myself back up...my way to get myself healthy and to serve others as it gave me an opportunity, once again, to teach in some capacity. Sigh!

It takes a lot to break me...it does.  But as I stood there looking around at the mess, it was like my hope was being sucked up into the shop vacs with the water, being dried up with all the industrial fans that were blowing my dreams away. I felt so  very broken.

 I felt so "punished"too without knowing what I did that was so terrible to deserve one slap across the face after the other.  That is why I cried out "why?" If this is karma, what have I done in this life or another to deserve such retaliation?

Choosing where the mind will go

My mind went there, it did...and for a moment I was broken.  My thoughts were numerous  and very negative.  My thinking was irrational. My heart was so, so heavy. I was snappy and sharp with the people I love.  I was not healthy.  I was allowing mind to carry me away into a reaction that did not serve me or others, even if it was deemed a normal reaction to such a stressor. I watched myself choosing this reaction.

Then, as I was fruitlessly wringing  towel after towel into a bucket, I decided to choose differently. I decided to perceive it all differently.  I decided to respond with peace rather than what was considered "normal" .  I took a deep breath and went back to my learning.

Going Back to the Learning

"It is just a room! And what I thought it could bring me was just a concept, an idea. I was too attached to outcome.  It can not make me, it cannot break me.   What a wonderful learning opportunity Life has presented me, at the same time I have been teaching and writing about the need to "let go", to turn the other cheek to Life, to accept and allow rather than resist.  I won't break under the pressure of resisting what is happening.  It is happening. I accept it, I allow it to happen. "

As soon as I said that, I felt this tremendous relief....the kind of relief that comes from letting go.  The heaviness fell off me as I continued to do what needed to be done to rectify the situation and prevent further damage.  My thinking was clearer.  My actions were smoother.  I was much, much easier on the people around me who were helping.  Rather than looking for someone or something to blame, I was appreciating how everyone was coming together.  I literally found myself smiling and cracking jokes at some point.

 I also had to accept how the crisis physically drained me.  My body was exhausted!! Later that evening my mind responded to the exhausted body with a certain foggy heaviness that can be a bit of a downer for me and the others around me. I allowed that too.

Detaching from Outcome

The "outcome" is yet to be determined.  I am not yet sure about the extent of damage.  My carpenter will let me know later today.  I do know that it is out of my control.  Whatever will be will be.

It is almost like I am perched on some ledge looking into my little life from a distance and waiting to see what will happen next.  "What will Life  do through  me next, I wonder?"   I am detached from outcome.

So I literally can wait peacefully for that news and I know I will accept whatever news I get.  It will not break me; it will not make me. Of that I am certain.

All is well.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Shared Humanity

Regardless of race, creed, ideology, political bloc, or economic region, the most important and basic aspect of all people is their shared humanity, the fact that each person-old, young, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, male or female- is a human.  This shared humanness, and thus the shared aspiration of gaining happiness and avoiding suffering, and the basic right to bring these about, is of prime importance.
-Dalai Lama (the desk top calendar, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2018)

I love those words for today.  They arrive synchronistically on the tail of a national election in my country.  I liked to think this was a common thought amongst Canadians because , for me, it is the essence of everything that is most important.  Though I won't share if I voted in  that direction  or not, I think our elected leader gets that.  For that reason, I am happy with the outcome.

All is well!

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Being Home

I have arrived
I am home
In the here
and the now.
I am solid;
I am free.
In the ultimate,
I dwell.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Walking meditation; peace is every breath.(page 30)
 
We all want to go home whether we know it or not.  We want to stop running, hiding, attacking, defending, searching, striving, wanting, thinking  and doing...for at least a moment, don't we? We want to go home to the place where there is nothing but peace so we can at least get a breather? We want to return to the ultimate  Source of unconditional love and presence (what I refer to as God) if only for an instant?
 
The thing is...an instant is all there is.  Go home now...Be home now.
 
You do not have to do anything to get there.  You literally do not have to move a muscle. :) Just put down your resistance to Life, and simply allow home to open up in you. Resistance is all about doing. Non resistance is all about allowing.
 
Allow! Know you have already arrived; you are home in the here and the now; solid and free, dwelling in the ultimate.
 
You don't "do" Life.  Life does you.
 
All is well!
 
Thich Nhat Hanh (2011) peace is every breath. New York: HarperOne.
 
Eckhart Tolle. (March 2016) Omega 6. Namaste Publishing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zcurl7QUCw