In the few days before and during a woman’s bleeding time, she is in her most gentle state. She feels the web of everyone. She feels those closest to her… including herself. It is an important time of truth. It is a time when we cannot look away… because we aren’t supposed to. In a few days, our cycle will turn outwards again and we will be able to ignore the things we were shown… to a point. But then we must look at them again in 28 days… with a little more sadness and despair that it will not change. In this time, we must listen and trust that what we feel is not only true, that it is important. It is not a time to make decisions because we are deep in the emotion of life. It is a time to recognize a truth and stand in [...]
Sitting in a Sea of PeopleI was sitting at Union Station in Toronto in the midst of the commuter rush. The majority of people were dressed identically in blue/black suits (men and women). Black coats, black bags, hurrying off to work. As I sat on the train to get there, I listened to the people on their phone discussing moving assets here and there, rescheduling this meeting, making sure a certain person was considered, solving problems of all kinds.The interesting thing was that it all sounded the same. Not only did all the conversations sound alike, I realized that they (we) have some version of these conversations every single day for years and years. These people have been commuting on this train every day perhaps for decades having similar conversations, solving similar challenges.Even if they changed jobs and were interacting with different people, it all really seemed the same. (Btw, I [...]
I found myself sitting in a walk-in clinic in Toronto and wondering if the cute doctor was working. A few years ago, I was anemic and had been visiting the clinic regularly for blood tests and there was one particular doctor who was just a lovely human (and pretty cute). And as I sat there, memories from back then came flooding back. I remember becoming a little obsessed with him. I looked for him on Facebook. I remember wondering if he was single. When I figured out that he had a girlfriend, I creeped her photos. As I think of this today, I can’t believe I did it. But then I thought about how I felt back then. Where was I emotionally? Why would I do that? Because I was so lonely. And with this loneliness comes the fear that there is no one out there for us. We [...]
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 [...]