Sometimes there are things that we just simply need to say “No” to, yet we choose to do it anyway. In the heat of the moment, we decide that the thrill is worth whatever the consequences are (of course, we aren’t thinking about the consequences at all in that moment). Afterwards we wonder why we did it again… especially since we actually knew the consequences before we started… Why do we repeatedly do things that go against our internal wisdom? Hmmm… A few weekends ago, I went to a Buddhist meditation retreat. On the first night, our teacher explained what they called “The Guardians of the World - Hiri (fear) and Ottappa (remorse)” and how they protect us on our spiritual journey. (There are many interpretations of these guardians… but I will just share this monk’s interpretation… because it really affected me and I like it.) Healthy [...]
I would like to share a poem with you that came to me while in Cuba last week. I describe the experience in the video below of hearing this poem while walking in a rainstorm along the beach... asking God the question, "Have I taken a wrong turn somewhere?"... We often talk about "being on a journey"... which is true. But this leads us to wonder if we might have taken a wrong turn somewhere, especially when life seems to not be what we want it to be in the present moment. I hope you enjoy my video. You are more than welcome to save the picture of the poem below to print out and keep in sight so that we don't forget... that this moment is our whole life.
This morning, I picked up some acorns on my walk this morning - seeds of new life. I am re-reading a series of books that I feel are becoming relevant again called "The Life and Teaching of the Masters of the Far East" by Baird T. Spalding. Here is what they say about eternal youth: "Behold the leaves and the buds at the tips of the oldest banyan - how young they are - young as the seed from which the giant sprang into life. The life reactions of plant and man being alike, man can certainly profit by the experience of the plant. As the leaves and buds at the tips of the branches of the oldest banyan are as young as the seed whence it sprang, even so the group cells in man forming his body, need not gradually lose their vitality and die, but may [...]
This morning, as I sat in the café that my daughter works in, I listened to my mind as I sat watching the people walk by. Her café is right downtown and so there are all kinds of "characters", drug-addicts and homeless people. As kind and gentle as I think I am, I was amazed to listen to the constant "assessments" of each person that I was thinking. Hmm... Pink pants and bright green shirt. He's not wearing a shirt and he has his hair in a bun on top of his head. Oh, he's in a wheelchair, poor guy. Well she's not wearing very much. Look at all his muscles... He must be very vain. Oh cute dog. That guy is out of his mind on drugs... Don't look at him. That's a homeless guy. That woman has crazy high heels on. None of my thoughts were particular evil. [...]
So, let's say you have 20 minutes with your favourite spiritual teacher, guru or God. What would you ask them? We often think that we are supposed to ask some great philosophical question that will change the course of our lives. But this isn't true. There are stories about people travelling to the remotest places to find the wise man who can help them find their answers. When they arrive, they ask some grand philosophical question and of course the answer is just as grand, and simple, and not at all the answer that they were looking for. Because they are asking the wrong questions. Your Question Must Come from Your Present Reality This present moment is an eternal moment. Whatever we are dealing with in our lives in this moment is just as profound a challenge as the greatest philosophical problem you can describe. The [...]
As I watched the building being demolished, it reminded me of what it feels like when we need to let go of old "constructs" that are no longer serving us, that we've grown from, or that simply were a part of a past. I share my ponderings as we watch the old being demolished.. making way for something new!
Mark Twain once said, "I've been through some terrible things in my life.. and some of them actually happened." We have incredible minds and imaginations capable of creating amazing things.. But sometimes our imagination works against us. Over our lives, "things" happen... difficult childhoods, trauma, death, illness, loss, abuse, disappointments... And in order to survive, we escape into our minds.. It is an incredible human coping mechanism. It's how we survive things that we cannot digest, explain or fix, and still get on with our lives without falling apart. But what does this inner landscape look like by the time we are adults? Sure, there might be sunshiney spots, but many of us struggle with long-lasting depression, anxiety, phobias, panic, loneliness, grief, etc... Why are these such a struggle today? Why can't we escape? We are locked in our own prison I just watched a documentary, "The Sound [...]
My son sent me this beautiful video of Jackie Evancho singing this beautiful song (with the voice of an angel)... Matthew Evancho's "To Believe"... I can so relate to the feelings in this song.. the desire to help others who have less, who don't have enough food, who don't have safety or a home.. But as I listened to this song, I started hearing her sing it to me personally... I would like YOU to find peace. I would like YOU to be fed. I would like YOU to feel love... Most of us are not obviously starving or lacking love or home... But what if we are? What if what we see all around us truly is asking us to look deeper inside as well?... This is one of the funny places where science and religion agree. Scientific thought says that there [...]
What if you had to live the same day over and over again forever… or at least until something inside you changed... If you've never seen Bill Murray in the movie "Groundhog Day", you must go see it immediately!! It is one of the most profound movies you will ever see about how changing your consciousness changes your whole experience of life!! Many of us feel stuck in a rut… Or at least stuck in a routine that never seems to change. We wake up, we get the kids ready, we make lunches, we go to work, we talk to the same people, take the same route home, eat supper, etc, etc, etc… We smile and try to make the best of it… But the bottom line is that most of our society struggles with depression, anxiety, and all kinds of issues... In the movie, Bill gets caught literally [...]
Your Dreams Never Give Up On You You know those dreams and hopes that just don't go away? Well, they aren't going anywhere. They will stay with you until… well.. until they happen. :) Sometimes it's easy to lose hope that our lives will ever turn out the way we want. We know what we want. Or we know how we want to feel. But the world of responsibilities and "life" seemed to take over somewhere along the way and we feel like actually creating a life of freedom, happiness and ease is just not going to happen for us. But here's the good news!! Our inner spirit never gives up!! Why? Because this is the energy that makes us ALIVE! This is the creative force inside of us that is dying to experience this amazing world. And no matter how many jobs and dishes and obligations we put in front [...]