Saturday, December 23, 2006
Thursday, December 14, 2006
The most significant thing for a parent to contribute to anyone, is their own Connection and their own stability. An effective parent is a happy parent. An effective parent is a parent who laughs easily and often, and who doesn't take things so seriously.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
We leak energy in any situation in which our anger or fear is controlling our ability to move forward in our lives. Simply notice who or what you are thinking about, worrying about, or obsessing about. Accept yourself for this, then gently shift your focus to your senses: feel the wind on your face, listen to a train in the distance, look at a tree, feel the fabric of your clothing. Coming to your senses frees the mind and stops the gerbil wheel in the head!
Friday, November 24, 2006
This useful technique helps decode the layers of meaning which can be packed into a dream symbol...
Write down your dream. Read your dream aloud. As you read, see each symbol as a part of you. Use the phrase, "The _______ part of me..." While you're reading, brainstorm other words you associate with each symbol in your dream. For example, if the phrase from your dream was "rescuing a baby from a monster", you might say...
"The rescuing part of me--the brave part of me, the strong part of me, the true part of me..."
"The baby part of me--the vulnerable part of me, the helpless part of me, the weak part of me..."
"The monster part of me--the scary part of me, the ugly part of me, the painful part of me, the wounded part of me..."
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The rainbow is a symbol of hope, abundance, and empowerment. In Columbus about a month ago I was lucky enough to see a complete double rainbow!
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
The only way to change your expressions of life is to change your consciousness. For consciousness is the reality that eternally solidifies itself in the things round about you. Man’s world in its every detail is his consciousness out-pictured. You can no more change your environment, or world, by destroying things than you can your reflection by destroying the mirror. Your environment, and all within it, reflects that which you are in consciousness. As long as you continue to be that in consciousness so long will you continue to out-picture it in your world.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Negative emotion exists only when you are miscreating. And so, when you recognize that you are feeling negative emotion -- no matter why, no matter how it got there, no matter what the situation is -- stop doing whatever it is that you are doing and focus your thoughts on something that feels better. (p. 90)
Friday, November 03, 2006
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Compassion is really just the opening our hearts to suffering without allowing our judgments to get in the way. If someone is suffering and we judge them, this closes our hearts and fills our mind with harsh opinions. Compassion does not mean we do not see the mistakes others make; it means we have sympathy and understanding for their difficulties, knowing we are not really different from them. We are all born and live in this human realm in which ignorance and delusion strongly influences our lives.
When I see myself making a mistake, I need to take refuge in the Dharma and do whatever action will result in good rather than more suffering. It is easy to get stuck dwelling on our unenlightened actions of the past. The absurdity of this is that we can easily stay stuck, dwelling on wrong actions while losing awareness of what the right action should be in the present situation. Faith in Buddhism is having faith in the fact that although the stream of karma that has brought us to this present moment has both good and bad within it, all we need to do is what is good in the deepest sense in the present situation. Just doing this is enough, moment by moment, day by day, year by year, life by life, to bring ourselves and all sentient beings to Buddhahood.
Key to attaining this perspective is to see all our wrong actions -- everyone's wrong actions -- as just normal karma that needs help. When someone is making a mess of their life or someone else's life, I can choose to get upset and judgmental or realize that their actions are the result of normal and understandable human karma, and then do whatever I can to help. And Buddhist training is just giving the most help we can within the limits of our situation. I always find that it is much easier to be upset with and judgmental about someone else's mistakes when I only focus on their seemingly wrong behavior. Yet if I gain a deeper understanding of the person, I find that the quick condemnation often dissolves, and sympathy and compassion arises.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
Here is one quote from the interview that I love:
[T]he ego is a necessary formation for the creation of identity, consciousness, intentionality and purpose—all of which are pluses. The ego itself is not a problem. However, when it's in a state of possession by our insecurities, when it's in the grip of our history, it becomes neurotic, so to speak—it gets in the way. So the problem is not the ego; the problem is what happens to the ego. The perfect balance—if we could ever achieve it—would be an open ego state in dialogue with the other parts of the outer and inner world, where we could absorb messages from the culture, but not necessarily be subsumed by them, and we could also dialogue with the unconscious.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
O, Birther of the Cosmos, focus your light within us -- make it useful
Create your reign of unity now
Your one desire then acts with ours,
As in all light,
So in all forms,
Grant us what we need each day in bread and insight:
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
As we release the strands we hold of other's guilt.
Don't let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
The power and the life to do,
The song that beautifies all,
From age to age it renews.
I affirm this with my whole being.
by Saadi Neil Douglas-Klotz of the Sufi Order of the West
Further information on Neil Douglas-Klotz
Saturday, September 02, 2006
We are all of us mulitsensory. The very thought that people think we only have five senses is so preposterous these days that I don’t even bother to stop and comment on it anymore. To me it’s in the same category as someone believing the world is flat. I just can’t even go there anymore.
The difference between someone who is refining their intuitive skills and someone who isn’t is a matter of self-esteem. It’s not a matter of meditation, and certainly it’s not a matter of what you eat. Someone with self-esteem can eat cat food and they’re going to do better than someone who goes to Whole Foods and shops and has low self-esteem. It’s all about trust.
Intuition is not about a skill to protect you from life’s journey. Intuition is about making choices that in the moment follow the guidance that is coming through. It is not about finding a way to make sure that the guidance you pick guarantees you will be protected.
Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
If you are having a dream and you think it's real, it can get very scary. Say you are dreaming you are tightrope walking across Niagara Falls. If you fall off, you plunge to your death. So you are walking very slowly, very carefully. Then suppose you start lucid dreaming, and you realise it's all a dream. What do you do? Become more cautious and careful? No, you start jumping up and down on the tightrope, you do flips, you bounce around, you have a ball - precisely because you know isn't real. When you realise it's a dream you can afford to play.
The same thing happens when you realise that ordinary life is a dream, just a movie, just a play. You don't become more cautious, more timid, more reserved. You start jumping up and down and doing flips, precisely because it's all a dream, it's all pure Emptiness. You don't feel less, you feel more - because you can afford to. You are no longer afraid of dying, and therefore you are not afraid of living. You become radical and wild, intense and vivid, shocking and silly. You let it all come pouring through, because it's all your dream.
Life then assumes its true intensity, its vivid luminosity, its radical effervescence.-- from One Taste
Friday, August 18, 2006
Here is my current understanding of why we are here:
We are here to embrace with love the wounds of our past and the challenges of our present, seeing them as precious gifts which are constantly leading us to evolve into a higher level of consciousness. As we evolve into a higher level of consciousness, we are able to reflect more of who we truly are: spiritual beings who are here to love and be. Our egos, behaviors, emotions, and bodies are some of the tools that can help alert us to this grand truth.
One way to bring more consciousness to our lives is to become aware of the thoughts, memories, incidents, and interactions that trigger us, and then to get curious (without being judgmental) about the responses and reactions we have. The more we do this, the more we will come to realize that we do not have to be consumed and controlled by our egos, behaviors, emotions, and bodies – that we can allow our higher selves to become activated and to inform our human selves.
Monday, August 07, 2006
"Before enlightenment, a man gets up in the morning, works in the field, comes home, sleeps with his wife and falls asleep. After enlightenment, the man gets up in the morning, works in the field, comes home, sleeps with his wife and falls asleep. In other words, ultimately, it does not matter what you experience but how you experience it and what you make of it."
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Shambhala from it.
“Next in the life process is helping a child to wake up. Remember, each of us forgets to some degree why we came, what we intended to do with our lives, so the child must be given the historical circumstances that surround the event of his birth.
What’s important is to give the child a context for life so that he knows what has occurred before he arrived and where he fits in generations…
….All this is immensely important information for a youngster to hear from relatives. It helps younger people chart the course of their own lives by learning from the mistakes and building on the wisdom of those who came before.
…Everyone here is clear that the human world evolves through the succession of generations. One generation establishes a way of life and meets certain challenges, and the next generation comes along and extends that worldview….More frequently what occurs is that parents want children to be just like them, to take the same view of everything. This desire is natural in a way because we all want our children to reinforce the choices we have made.
But often the process becomes antagonistic. The parents criticize the interests of the children, and the children criticize the old-fashioned ways of the parents. To some degree it is part of the process: Children look at the lives of the parents and think, I like most of how they live, but I would have done certain things differently. All children have a sense of what is incomplete in their parents’ way of life. After all, that’s the system: We chose our parents in part to be awakened to what is missing, to what needs to be added to human understanding, and we begin that process by being dissatisfied with what we find in our lives with them.
Yet all this doesn’t have to be antagonistic. Once we know the life process, we can participate consciously. Parents can be open to the criticisms of their children, and be supportive of their dreams. Of course, doing this causes the parents to have to stretch their own ways of thinking and evolve along with their children, which can be difficult.”
Thursday, July 27, 2006
A Course in Miracles says that God does not give us victory in battle; rather, He lifts us above the battlefield. Our greatest spiritual contribution to this moment is to remember, in the words of the Course, that "beyond this world is a world I want." Beyond this three dimensional reality where the horrors of war are raging, there is another field of possibility alive in the Mind of God. Our work as individuals is to claim that world beyond this one, with passion and conviction; it is a world in which Jews and Arabs and Christians -- and everyone else as well -- are united not through the body but through the spirit. Close your eyes and see with your Inner Eye what the newspapers cannot show you. See the light within every Israeli, the light within every Palestinian and Lebanese, the light within every human heart, emerge from the center of their souls and then merge into One. See this, hold onto the vision, pray that it become a reality on the face of the earth, and then surrender it into the hands of God.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Abundant blessings flow to me and through me. I welcome my prosperity. There is a balance attained in giving and receiving that is evident in prosperity. I truly am an instrument of God as I accept and share the abundance of the Creator. I welcome my prosperity by being a clear and receptive channel of blessings. I give with ease because I know God meets my every need. With joy I allow the wisdom, love, and creativity of God to move through me and out to others. Giving expression to divine qualities within me, I don't have to strive to produce prosperous results. I know that I am not only in the flow of God's blessings, I am also a contributor to that flow. I both give and receive blessings.
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Who gets up early to discover the moment life begins?
Who lets a bucket down and brings
up a flowing prophet? Or like Moses goes for fire
and finds what burns inside the sunrise?
Jesus slips into a house to escape enemies,
And opens a door to the other world.
Solomon cuts open a fish, and there's a gold ring.
Omar storms in to kill the prophet
and leaves with blessings.
But don't be satisfied with stories, how things
have gone with others. Unfold
your own myth, without complicated explanation,
so everyone will understand the passage,
We have opened you.
Start walking toward Shams. Your legs will get heavy
and tired. Then comes the moment
of feeling the wings you've grown,
Saturday, July 22, 2006
We will be sending our youngest child to a Waldorf pre-school beginning in August. About Waldorf, Wikipedia states,
Waldorf education (also called Steiner education) is a worldwide movement based on an educational philosophy first formulated by Austrian Rudolf Steiner and which grew out of his spiritual science, Anthroposophy. Waldorf education aims to educate the "whole child" by maintaining a balance between creativity and academic work. Its curriculum focuses on arts, social skills, spiritual values as well as practical and integrated learning.
Waldorf Education makes certain assumptions about young children. Some of these are:
¨ Children love the world and all people in it.
¨ Children are good.
¨ Children need to mature slowly.
¨ Children are usually not conscious of how their actions affect others.
¨ Children are rarely able to describe their feelings.
¨ Children have vivid memories of and contact with the spiritual world.
¨ Children imitate the mood and intention of adults around them.
Remembering these assumptions as I interact with my children has begun to help me respond in more appropriate ways to difficult situations I have found myself in with them.
What I want to do is expand these assumptions to include all people:
¨ We all love the world and all people in it.
¨ We are all good.
¨ We all need to mature slowly.
¨ We are usually not conscious of how our actions affect others.
¨ We are rarely able to describe our feelings.
¨ We all have vivid memories of and contact with the spiritual world.
¨ We all imitate the mood and intention of people around us.
If we entered every relationship (including our relationship with ourselves) with these assumptions, then when we were challenged by a behavior or response (within or outside of ourselves), we could have a greater knowing that we are not our behaviors, our emotions, or our responses and reactions – in short, we are not our egos. We are all something much, much greater.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
In the past three years I think I've listened to the audio version of The Power of Now about 7 times. Here's a favorite quote of mine from Tolle's book:
Be present as the watcher of your mind -- of your thoughts and emotions as well as your reactions in various situations. Be at least as interested in your reactions as in the situation or person that causes you to react. Notice also how often your attention is in the past or future. Don't judge or analyze what you observe. Watch the thought, feel the emotion, observe the reaction. Don't make a personal problem out of them. You will then feel something more powerful than any of those things that you observe: the still, observing presence itself behind the content of your mind, the silent watcher.
Monday, July 17, 2006
I do not have a regular practice of meditation at the moment, and while I haven't done this complete meditation, I was particularly touched by step 2 and have tried to incorporate it into the many opportunities I have to "meditate off the mat."
Here are John's words explaining the practice:
- Feel your own emotional reaction to something familiar, then bring yourself into a meditative calm as much as possible. After a while, feel your emotion (anger, frustration, etc) again, as though it were real. Become intimate with this form of suffering. (For me, the most familiar feeling was anger - being cut off on the highway. Anger and feeling wronged.)
- Say to yourself: "So THIS is what so many others feel! This, precisely this feeling of ____ is what so many others are feeling and suffering from right now." Expand your awareness to others.
- Bring to your heart the wish of compassion: "May they all be free of this suffering. By my experiencing this, may all of us be free of it." Take others' suffering into your heart and visualize the shell of self-clinging around your heart cracking.
- Visualize light radiating through the cracks and going out to all beings - yourself and all others - with the wish of love: "May all beings possess happiness and well-being." Picture all good things coming to everyone as the light from your heart radiates in all directions.
- Take joy in the joy everyone is experiencing.
- Drop concepts, visualizations, sense of self and other and rest in radiant emptiness.
- Dedicate the power of the practice to the liberation of all.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
I also found The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, where you can find MLK's sermons, speeches, and papers.
Could the violence we see and experience outside of ourselves (the kind MLK seems to be speaking about below) be symbolic and reflective of an inner violence that we wage within and against ourselves?
THE WEAKNESS OF VIOLENCE
"The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."
This is a course in miracles. It is a required course. Only the time you take it is voluntary. Free will does not mean that you can establish the curriculum. It means only that you can elect what you want to take at a given time. The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance. The opposite of love is fear, but what is all-encompassing can have no opposite.
This course can therefore be summed up very simply in this way:
Nothing real can be threatened.
Nothing unreal exists.
Herein lies the peace of God.
Friday, July 14, 2006
Two Kinds of Intelligence -- By Rumi
There are two kinds of intelligence: One acquired,
as a child in school memorizes facts and concepts
from books and from what the teacher says,
collecting information from the traditional sciences
as well as from the new sciences.
With such intelligence you rise in the world.
You get ranked ahead or behind others
in regard to your competence in retaining
information. You stroll with this intelligence
in and out of fields of knowledge, getting always more
marks on your preserving tablets.
There is another kind of tablet, one
already completed and preserved inside you.
A spring overflowing its springbox. A freshness
in the center of the chest. This other intelligence
does not turn yellow or stagnate. It's fluid,
and it doesn't move from outside to inside
through the conduits of plumbing-learning.
This second knowing is a fountainhead
from within you, moving out.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
I haven't experienced what this couple has, and yet I have had many experiences that I perceived as extraordinarily painful -- the kinds of life situations that have tested my faith and nudged me to let go of my attachment to the need to have my life "make sense" from a human/logical/3-dimensional perspective.
Dear Steve and Anita,
Rachel finished her work on earth, and left the stage in a manner that leaves those of us left behind with a cry of agony in our hearts, as the fragile thread of our faith is dealt with so violently. Is anyone strong enough to stay conscious through such teaching as you are receiving? Probably very few. And even they would only have a whisper of equanimity and
peace amidst the screaming trumpets of their rage, grief, horror and desolation.
I can't assuage your pain with any words, nor should I. For your pain is Rachel's legacy to you. Not that she or I would inflict such pain by choice, but there it is. And it must burn its purifying way to completion. For something in you dies when you bear the unbearable, and it is only in that dark night of the soul that you are prepared to see as God sees, and to love as God loves.
Now is the time to let your grief find expression. No false strength. Now is the time to sit quietly and speak to Rachel, and thank her for being with you these few years, and encourage her to go on with whatever her work is, knowing that you will grow in compassion and wisdom from this experience. In my heart, I know that you and she will meet again and again, and recognize the many ways in which you have known each other. And when you meet you will know, in a flash, what now it is not given to you to know: Why this had to be the way it was.
Our rational minds can never understand what has happened, but our hearts – if we can keep them open to God – will find their own intuitive way. Rachel came through you to do her work on earth, which includes her manner of death. Now her soul is free, and the love that you can share with her is invulnerable to the winds of changing time and space. In that deep love, include me.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Illusion - if you believe that everything experienced by your 5 senses is real, then God is illusion. If God is real, then everything you experience with your 5 senses is illusion.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
UNCONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE, which is characterized by our actions under the influence of our obsessions, compulsions and attachments. Here we are very much in 'victim consciousness' taking everything personally, blaming others most of the time and our emotions are negative most of the time.
CONSCIOUS INCOMPETENCE, which is characterized by the beginnings of reconnection to Spirit, when we discover that our primary obsession, compulsion, addiction or attachment was not the only problem we had. Here we are beginning to connect to higher aspects of self and discover GOD, but we are still fairly negative and blaming in our patterns of behavior.
CONSCIOUS COMPETENCE, which is characterized by continued and consistent efforts to incorporate Spiritual integration into our daily lives. Here we begin to experience self-responsibility and self acceptance. We begin to work through and transform negative emotions into positive feelings with no blaming. By identifying old negative habitual patterning we can substitute more positive patterns.
UNCONSCIOUS COMPETENCE, which is characterized by our ability to practice integrated spirituality and all its principles without thought or effort. This leads to harmony and empowerment, where although we can see external negativity in life around us, we are unaffected by it. Now we are living in positive emotions all the time - this is self mastery.
Moving through Stages 1 to 3 requires humility, self honesty, dedication and commitment to higher ideals and values, a spiritual way of life through learning the process of co-creation. Moving into Stage 4 and staying there requires weeks, months and years of practice, acting 'as if' and devotion during which time eventually practice and acting as if suddenly becomes being………… Then you are there and you are creating heaven on earth in moment to moment conscious awareness.
Friday, July 07, 2006
I have a friend whom I've known since I was in 8th grade. She owned the ballet studio where I studied for many years in
”Love is expressed to us by others but the source is God, Love, and when it isn’t expressed to us, we still have it, within, and can be patient. No one and nothing outside of us is the cause of how we feel, even though that’s the general opinion of humankind. We CAN think for ourselves. Each of us really is responsible for our feelings, our view of life and work, and even of other people, because we have an infinite source of goodness and wisdom in Infinite Love, Mind, Spirit, which is God, Love, and which is everywhere and the only power and which gives us the true view of others. Finding out more about the particulars of that goodness and power, and how we can grow spiritually, is crucial to our health and happiness and inner strength, and determines how we face everyday challenges. Love can’t be demanded from someone else, of course, or willed, but it can be restored (if something seems to obscure it) in a natural way, by each individual turning to God, seeing others in their true light (it’s easy with our children, most of the time, so they’re a good example of how natural it is to love, and how easy it is to correct past mistakes) and, above all, seeing ourselves as God’s child. You’re working out your own salvation according to Love’s plan and purpose for you, and it’s completely good.”
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
"More than that, I began to see that each one of us humans are soul mates. We are part of the same soul fractaling out in many creative directions, but still the same. Now I look at every human being that I ever see, and I see a soul mate, my soul mate, the one I have always been looking for. Beyond that, the greatest soul mate that you will ever have is yourself. We are each both male and female. We experience this in the womb and we experience this in reincarnation states. If you are looking for that ultimate soul mate outside of yourself, you may never find it; it is not there. Just as God is not "there." God is here. Don't look "out there" for God. Look here for God. Look through your Self. Start having the greatest love affair you ever had ... with your Self. You will love everything out of that."