Saturday, December 20, 2008

Resolve and Intention for 2009

Every year I celebrate the New Year with the intention of testing how far I can extend my heart. Exercising greater compassion is a present I give my self for the next year. By quieting my mind and allowing my heart to extend I celebrate greater mystery and wonder. Anxiety and despair can easily overtake me with negative critical and cynical mind-sets. This time of tremendous stress can alienate me unless I reconnect more actively with my natural world. Mental and material attitudes can rob me of greater spiritual experiences.

Lao Tzu named this experience of unable to describe things as the Tao, “I do not know what to call it.” All things or the source is both shapeless and silent. Chang Tzu described as, “It is not a thing itself.”

Allowing my heart to explore the space between nothing and everything I find an ocean deep of compassion. This space of emptiness can allow me to accept life and death as all things arise and fall. Simply nothing is separated and everything is interconnected.

This transformation transcends me to a higher self. Lao Tzu described this, “to embrace all is to be selfless.” So when I remember my being and shift out of becoming I better see my universe. This shows me life is filled with endless circles defining time and space where there is no beginning or end. Serenity comes to me when I from observe this harmonic process. When I surrender this natural chaotic order everything falls into place in the present. The future and past are just clouds in the mind. Flowing with this immediate attention to what is happening at this moment a doorway of freedom opens. Now liberated I am transformed by this magic of acceptance.

So I pray to the four directions to behold me with:

1. Self love
2. spiritual protection
3. gratitude
4. divine guidance

May I celebrate that I;

- Listen deeper
- Forgive more
- Find what is true
- Embrace my shadow
- Stimulate self kindness
- Venture being vulnerable
- Risk personal heartbreak
- Profound caring for others
- Freely experience experience

May we find greater loving friendly insights Allowing the emergence of heaven and earth forces to interconnect I can expand my love affair with this universe. May all things be free and benefit from selfless compassion. May you find greater self kindness, harmony, peace and happiness for 2009!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Devotion to the Truth

I must face my future challenges with a passion for the truth. However, this process tests my personal comfort level. My own search to find out what is going on has made me feel vulnerable and raw. Awakening to what is happening now in this country requires much courage. Denial is a subtle form of violence in America. Ignorance, greed and other habitual forces are undermining our collective need to preserve our future. Our societal love of the “status quo” and aversion to change is a hidden form of emotional terrorism. Our greatest threat today is our honest relationship with ourselves and our world.

It is time for me to address my crisis so to be honest with myself. This also pertains to acknowledging our collective heart. Somehow if I allow fear, doubt and other negative thoughts take over then I lose my way. I have attempted to push my limits including extensive exploration of my consciousness

To be fully present with today’s turmoil, I intend to act from a sense of inspiration instead of desperation. Fostering many wise teachings I must transform my life style even further to show greater respect for all places, people and things. Moreover, I now must redefine both my relationship with myself. Also when I remember to serve our fragile planet I help myself since we are not separate. May I show devotion to this awakening and seek what is true. I wish to be free and live in better way!


Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Embracing Our Light

Our deepest fear is that we not inadequate. Our deepest fear is we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. - Marrianne Williamson.

We are experiencing a mysterious spiritual celebration. We are blessed by an opportunity to shine to our fullest potential. This wonderful party is about savoring, enjoying and connecting to life by coming out of the darkness of denial with a new fearlessness for what is true. Otherwise humanity’s selfish greed may delude us into a collective suicide ignoring very life itself.

Our web of interrelationships is awareness of our sacred soul or all things; microorganisms, animals, plants, rocks, soil, air, water and all other non-living and living forms. What touches the core of being is a when we feel the grace of being one with our sacred soul. There are so many beautiful ways to develop reverence for our magical time here on earth with each breath of remembrance. May the light shine on all.

How can we find this harmonious alignment with our universe? This comes from the awareness that the universe is kind not brutal. It is an act of dying and becoming reborn by letting go our separated self to see that we’re all a part of a greater self. Just reflecting about the light coming from all the stars above transforms our lonely isolated self into one cosmic connection. As we reflect by the light of the heavens, we are earth stars dancing in this celestial mist where all things come and go. May we be guided in the spirit of love, joy, and peace so to find a deep inner quiet of our oneness.

A Buddhist " Shambhala Prophecy" predicts that we must become warriors engaged by compassion. Also insight emerges that both tempers our passion and provides clarity by recognizing that all things are interdependent. We only can celebrate our world by lessening the "mind-made" dangers threatening our Earth. Realizing each of us is this Gaia we find that cherishing our world and selves is one and the same. Let’s inspired to give all our soul to something much greater than just ourselves. Let's no fear lighting our own light!

I don’t know what your destiny, will be but one thing I know: the only ones among you will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. - Albert Schweitzer

Returning to Our Earth

We all come from the earth and some day we will all return to it. Yet, how often many of us forget and neglect the most important thing: how we live. We are at a critical time in the history of our earth. Can we foresee and change our lifestyle? May we emulate and respect nature and not destroy ourselves. Indigenous people have always believed that they belong to the land not that the land belongs to them. Our neglect of the earth is now making this planet unlivable for many beings. What action must we take to ensure the survival of all of earth's creatures? Our ancestors left us a legacy of 60,000 years of wisdom and instructions on how to care for the earth. Shamans remind us that interdependence is essential for survival. Now we can celebrate by art, music, dance, singing and other rituals to how best to show our gratitude for our world.

Teach your children. What we have taught our children- that the earth is our mother.
Whatever befalls the earth. Befalls the sons and daughters of the earth
If men spit upon the ground, They spit upon themselves.
This we know. The earth does not belong to us. We belong to the earth. This we know.
All things are connected Like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.
Whatever befalls the earth, Befalls the sons and daughters of the earth.
We did not weave the web of life, We are merely a stand in it. Whatever we do to the stand in it.
Whatever we do to the web, We do to ourselves. - Chief Seattle

We need to honor our ancestors’ great teachings and, by doing so, plant seeds of hope for future generations. Exploring the archetypes of the Grateful Warrior, the Compassionate Healer, the Balanced Visionary, and the Wise Teacher leads to a four-fold path*. Each archetype offers wisdom to help us make choices that can benefit our world.

* The Grateful Warrior’s way is to know the right use of power -- to show up!
* The Compassionate Healer’s way is to extend love -- to pay attention to what has heart and meaning!
* The Balanced Visionary expresses creativity -- to give voice to what we see!
* The Wise Teacher’s way is to practice wisdom -- to become open to all possibilities and unattached to outcome!

Let’s preserve our Earth and respect it now! We have the opportunity to shift our consciousness and life with nature. As we becoming more mindful we see all things as sacred. Such reverence increases our connection to land and we celebrate greater well being. We all return back to earth so may we celebrate our relationship with all things with precious reverence. Get native now!

I have come to terms with the future. From this day onward I will walk easy on the Earth. Plant trees. Kill no living things. Live in Harmony with all creatures. I will restore the earth where I am. Use no more of its resources than I need. And listen, listen to what it is telling me. - MJ Slim Hooey


Thursday, May 15, 2008

Free to Respond

They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death is but Crossing the World, as Friends do the Seas; they live in one another still.” - William Penn

Every moment we are alive on this planet we have a choice to react or respond. For me, to react comes out of desperation contrasted by responding coming from a place of inspiration. We can create heaven or hell depending upon our choices. We can be self absorbed or engage with our community. Can we realize from understanding our ego the importance to behold something greater then the individual self? It is time we respond and plant new seeds of awakening within each of us.

The American spirit has been both kind and selfish. It is time we culitivate greater kindness so to inspire greater well being. We must not arrogantly act interested only in ourselves. We are in a critical human evolutionary period of consciousness. We are not children and must mature so to be fully responsible. Our actions must show reflect greater awareness towards how we affect our interconnection with all things. Can we unmask our unconscious fears, to truly be the greatest of our potential?

Self delusion, greed, hatred, envy, anger and host of other ills terrorize this possibility. Let’s clear away the debris of these selfish emotions and allow new light to shine. We are on the threshold of tremendous fury caused by want, despair and anger. We have to find the calm in this storm by showing compassion and insight. Being able to realize how to make this transition is why we must seek to better respond not react.

How can we balance both thought and feeling that allows us to act free? Yes, we can touch grace if we can see both sides of the coin. We can have the opportunity to see both life’s blessings and its curse then we can find a great harmony in intricate web of life. To be responsible is our path to liberate us from the ghosts that haunt us from our past blunders. If we practice forgiveness we gain stimulate increased happiness.

Tough love is about developing healthy boundaries with all our relationships. Understanding how to do what will benefit is what our freedom requires. So to best respect all our religions we have to be tolerant to worship side by side. May we vow to pray together and not prey on each other. We must work for greater justice so to promote widespread peace and harmony.

Our natural world cooperates and works together, and so must we to survive. Our collective human heart must find many guiding lights. Especially since much darkness shrouds us. Many have become blinded by their self-interest holding our progress forward. Again, we must seek a higher level of relating to endure these times.

By cultivating new friendships we achieve what we need - community. The health of human race depends on how we treat everything around us - people, places and things. Developing tough love to preserve and protect all things is required if humans wish to prosper. Without some reverence for such simple relationships we may not continue to be. Empowering ourselves and others to see our present danger can help us overcome our many self-destruction patterns.

Awakening and being personally responsible is the first step to liberating our world. When we react we separate and disconnect ourselves from life. Making a simple choice to respond instead of reacting we realize our inter-connection to the divine.

Free yourself from reacting to those shadows that imprison you. Act and benefit by becoming more responsible. Consciously responding to our daily challenges we both liberate and increase the quality of our lives.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Cherishing My Spirit

Whenever I pay attention deeply to my soul I feel a profound sense of beauty. Nothing is more priceless when I pay attention to my heart at its deepest beat. Beyond the sound of this pulsating I hear faint things. When I change my focus and hear my intuition speaking then I welcome my spirit.

What an invaluable thing our soul is. Also how easily we ignore it, become preoccupied or too busy to cultivate another level of our existence. My life becomes better aligned when I listen to my spirit.

This process introduces me not to just my spirit but to the great spirits within and without this world. This last statement can challenge the comfort zone of you the reader to say what? Many people lack to courage to be vulnerable so to tune themselves to the non-ordinary and venture in this unknown.

Is not your life a mystery? If you think let’s be rational then you are missing the whole point. The spiritual world is just that the world of spirits. Such instructions, signs, messages, teaching or whatever form spirit communicates is goes back to very beginning.

From our rich past we have developed an understanding ancestral traditions from earth-based societies. Venturing and experiencing some of these rituals can help us reconnect to earth in an intimate and healing way.

Another rich spiritual exercise is when I become more aware of my words. Before the white man natives on this land spoke in a manner that their words had greater meaning. Besides their greater sense of the interconnectiveness of things, indigenous people’ word had a greater sense of value. A friend of mine calls this credibility when the word was honored as something sacred. For me this skill creates a powerful and transformative shift in my world. For me this act is a soul awakening.

No word exists in the hundreds of Native American languages that come close to our definition of art. There is no separation between art and life. Art. Beauty and spirituality are firmly intertwined in life since there are no words to separate them.

What this calls for me is a profound listening to what the soul sincerely needs, the sacred connection of what is true. Just as indigenous people understood we must taking off the societal mask and unveil what false identity we have created. Once we discover our authentic being we find the courage to get out of our habitual roles and the comfort of the familiar. Beyond what our cultural and family conditions are a new freedom may be found.

When we shift this identity we welcome the “we” from the ego self from seeking acceptance and approval to a greater understanding of what we were pretending or hiding from at some unconscious level. Great determination is required to make such a transition since in my own experience I become very vulnerable. Like-minded supportive friends are required for such a transformative journey to this higher self so to enable this spiritual exploration.

Remembering to have courage and trust is critical for me in this loving-friendly adventure. Yes, taking this risk has bountiful rewards. Cherishing my soul is one my precious gifts to fill my life with light.

If you desire the self, get out of the self.
Leave the shallow stream behind and flow into the river deep and wide.
Do not be the ox pulling the wheel of the plow,

Turn with the stars that wheel about you- Rumi

Awakening to Our Full Potential

Today we live in times of economic worry, environmental destruction and many natural disasters. However, as Gary Zukav writes in “Soul to Soul,” on page 179 under the heading, WHY STRIVE FOR SPIRITUAL GROWTH IF THE WORLD IS COMING TO AN END?

No one’s destiny has been written. You are born with potential, not a limited destiny. Whether or not you reach the fullest potential that is available to you is a matter of choices that you make.

I challenge you to the question of your potential choices. I ask myself the same question. How can I best achieve my full potential? This journey begins for me by quieting my mind and listening to my heart.

For me giving my best to the world is a gift that is return in what I call “Happy Returns.” I have been involved with all aspects of recycling so naturally I refer to the three R’s for guidance.

1) Reduce my suffering by giving my best to the world so to reap its rewards.
2) Reuse my many positive qualities I possess such as joy, love and enthusiasm.
3) Recycle things as sacred instead of abuse these same things by being mindless.

Happy Returns is about creating an attitude of gratitude. Also it aids me to explore more creative ways to cherish people, energy and resources. To reach my full potential I must cultivate my virtue, time and or my talents. I intend get more than just the return on my investment but the return of my life investment.

As a life long tennis player and teacher I focus on giving “happy returns” both on and off the courts. There are many similarities to playing tennis and serving our beloved earth. One is keeping things in play. Another is to learn how to better serve. The ultimate game in my life now is living to my full potential or giving my best in all aspects of my life.

I invite you to give back to life and celebrate your many Happy Returns! Nurture your full potential. Reduce your suffering; reuse your love and joy; and recycle so to best use not abuse things as sacred. Let's develop our full potential by serving and benefiting life now.

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. - Albert Schweitzer

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

United Nation's Sabbath Prayer

We join with the earth and with each other

To bring new life to the land
To restore the waters
To refresh the air

We join with the earth and with each other

To renew the forests
To care for the plants
To protect the creatures

We join with the earth and with each other

To celebrate the seas
To rejoice in the sunlight
To sing the songs of the stars

We join with the earth and with each other

To recreate the human community
To promote justice and peace
To remember our children

We join with the earth and with each other

We join together as many and diverse expressions
of one loving memory: for the healing of the earth
and the renewal of all life."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Training Our Heart to Quiet Our Mind

The earth today is filled with increased stress and constant pressure. Our fast-paced world has heightened mental illness since there is less normal balance. Simply we can suffer from greater, illness, injury and tension. However, we can find the eye or I of the hurricane in response to the little everyday problems, noise and increased demands. Our stress is self inflicted and caused by our emotional reactions to events. The key is to change our relationship to these events with a new attitude of “its no big deal or no worries.”

Quieting my mind and listening to my heart is how I have been reframing my stress. Awakening to my heartbeat I can learn how to manage it and reverse the damage stress and worry can cause. I believe the Buddha found found Nirvana this way. Can you picture a world filled with beautiful, peaceful, compassionate, loving people? If I can step into the consciousness of the heart the more time I can to run the deep with inner peace.

Wise teachers from the beginning of time taught about this power of emotional regulation. Simply focusing on positive feelings such as appreciation, care, or compassion, I can create dramatic changes in my heart rhythms. This process allows me to alter a series of neural, hormonal, and biochemical events. This lessens my stress and anger and leads to my greater well-being. There is a chain of biological changes including lessening blood pressure and stress hormone levels. I can increase my immune system activity, and anti-aging hormones by simply focusing on my heart energy. If I engage with my heart more I align my emotion, body, and mind into balance. Quieting my mind and listening to my heart brings focused clarity, optimal health, and high performance.

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Happiness Sharing Fun Raising Plan

If you desire the self, get out of the self.
Leave the shallow stream behind and flow into the river deep and wide.
Do not be the ox pulling the wheel of the plow,
Turn with the stars that wheel about you
- Rumi

How can I best create an inspirational path to give my best to the world? Only thing I do know from my life experience, that I so deeply care. Now the wall dividing my material and spiritual world is coming down to become a bridge to transform the ordinary into the sacred. Tapping the web of all things, I wish to discover many connected relationships and harness the emotional power of expressing my artistic potential.

I pray that I can give the best of my creative potential so to help benefit all beings on this earth with greater reverence and gratitude. I hope to further nurture community, family, and weave a dynamic synergy of people with a similar consciousness. By finding some special way to promote an “attitude of gratitude” so invite more people to enjoy the benefits of conserving and preserving. This is about experimenting with various mediums to best make a social statement that a more mindful management of our natural resources is a celebration for our future beings.

My intention is to develop new forms artistic expression since it will liberate me to higher spiritual life. From this meditative practice will merge the parts into one whole while losing the sense of the separate self. Explore a variety of skills building and explore possible mentors or people who have transformed this passion into action. Albert Einstein said, “ Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

What touches my heart with such grace is my gratitude for my world. This takes constant remembering that there many beautiful ways to belong or kneel down and kiss the earth. Awakening from my moments of fear I become blessed when I open myself to my love for all things in this universe. I guess my real delight is challenging myself to explore all the possible ways I can savor my time here and now. Developing reverence for the moment I shift into a magical sense of being held by the earth. This shift from trying to control my outside world now allows me to hear what my soul longs.

Engaging myself to find grace with my world has become my deepest passions. My evolving practice or what I like soften and call play has two basic elements- intention and attention. My intention is to attempt to as many times as I can each day to recite this loving kindness phrase, "May I be of benefit to all being.”

I am a child exploring what are the hidden gifts of life. This requires developing courage to open my heart further with the knowledge that may heart may also become broken. I wish to constantly build my trust in my universe.

My hope is that my art will better uncover my heart that my mind knows little about. Such an inspired act brings my sense of integrity to serve and humility that I am giving voice from something much greater than just myself.

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I know: the only ones among you will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve. - Albert Schweitzer

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Be the change you wish to see in the world- Gandhi

When I quiet my mind and listen to my heart I tap into greater peace and harmony. Getting out of my head into a more passionate areas provides me a sense of possibilities. Also, I become more grateful increasing my sense of grace and wonder. By seeing both the mystery and sacredness of all things I see past any despair so to find insight of the divine.

If I remember to focus on my heart I can overcome my past unhealthy patterns. My losses, humiliations and other defects just fall away. Becoming more heartfilled I can alter many of my unhelpful habits through practicing positive such feedback rituals as:

*greater awareness * meditative pauses * increased nature time * becoming still

It take tremendous personal effort to overcome my self judgment, shame, guilt. Awakening myself from my self destructive thinking by not identifying myself with these ill thoughts is transformative. Such derisive thinking harms me and my ego becomes further deluded.
My compassion lessens when I think too much. Many times such critical self analysis only sees what is wrong instead of what is right.

When if I cultivate my virtue I shift to finding greater truth. This is when I take inventory of my generous acts and how this brings happiness to others and myself. Such reflection provides me to further make a greater difference. Also this has a ripple effect in spreading compassion to more things. Just the simple act of sending my love out to all things is an amazing exercise and changes my energy field.

When I increase my loving kindness I transform my world. By paying attention to what is of benefit remembering this intention connects instead of separating me.

Cultivating compassion or heartfullness goes back thousands of years practiced by many wise spiritual teachers. For example the Buddha, taught various skillful ways to practice loving kindness. Skillful actions are about both virtue and discernment. The Buddha taught not just the ‘don’ts’ but the “do’s” of such positive standards as sympathy, reliability and genuine helpfulness.

Budhhist skillfullness is not just about avoiding bad consequences but about actively cultivating the good. The practice of brahma-vihara of good will requires close attention to the intentions of ones actions. The development of skillful mental states and purification of intention act to foster good kamma. Such cultivation brings about less remorse and anxiety. Also more virtue results in great joy as the results of increased generosity and acts of kindness. This in turn creates a healthier and more stable mind.

There are many ways we can be more mindfull by becoming more heartfull. This path is essential for us today if we wish to increase peace and joy in our life. Well being is tied to this art of compassion. Heartfullness is a vital treasure that nourishes our soul.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Focusing with Our Body

In order for us to survive in the world we have to concentrate. This skill of being aware in every moment is essential. Simple things like riding a bicycle or driving a car are examples as to why it is important we are mindful at the moment. As we expand our awareness we will discover a new level of happiness. If we do not pay attention to what we are doing we may harm or destroy ourselves or others. Bringing a focus to our physical experience with keen awareness on how our body feels in the moment is how any great performer excels. If you ever climb up a ladder you understand why it is important to be aware of each step.

Developing a sense of feeling what is going on in the body is not the same thing as just feeling one’s emotions. Cultivating this body feeling one can observe, not judge, experience. This is the key step for us to discover ourselves from a deeper perspective. Examination of this body/feeling takes us beyond our emotional stories and the concepts that can imprison our minds.

Concentrating is about listening to oneself at a core level. By becoming more open to feeling our body we gain a greater understanding of what is happening within us and we are freed from our mind chatter. Such a simple practice of checking into our body can provide us the opportunity to quiet our mind and just hear every beat of our heart.

Concentration requires us to train our mind to pay close attention to what is present in one’s experience at any given second. Such practice can liberate us from, not only negative thoughts, but the mind noise that prevents us from truly seeing what this moment is about.

Experiment on concentrating by first getting yourself in a comfortable sitting posture. Next place your attention to come into the body. Watch how your lungs fill up with air and then how you exhale. How does the air touch your nose or mouth? Feel how your bottom connects with your chair, your feet with the floor. Explore by taking a quick body-scan. Feel the heat or tingling of your skin. Notice how you can relax your muscles, mind and bones when you are more sensitive to bodily sensations. Observe what happens when you pay attention to your physical senses how they arise and fall away.

As you focus to this bodily quality become curious about it, yet limit thought to a specific texture, temperature, and the quality of this body feeling (e.g. tired, restless, energetic, nervous, pulsating). What is happening now in your body? Now wait several minutes and see if what is happening is still happening in the same way. Does it change much or just shift slightly? Is there a kind of easing or opening, a sense of being truly recognized—like being lost?

The power of concentrating comes when you shift from your head to your body. With caring and interested attention do you notice what is now going on with your body? Get out of your head and reframe things with what is going on inside your physical self beyond emotions. Invite yourself to become playful and fully explore all aspects of your body. You can bring a creative quality to this exercise. Do you see the mystery of not knowing? Can you observe your body like a changing weather system? Do you hear your stomach making noises; have you changed your breathing. or do you feel some discomfort with you legs? As you feel these changes see what other things come along with this. If you are tempted to judge, then you are falling back into thinking.

Now can you find that being kind and gentle with yourself is key to this process? Do you feel a tightness around any of your muscles? What happens if you let this dissolve? Can you become friendlier in what comes up? Can you let go and relax, just letting it be there as fully as it can. You may ask why am I so tight? Reflect if your thinking about something is causing this anxiety. Learning more about our inner voice and the nature of our mind is the path to our freedom.

Are you resisting something and not letting go? What feels better-- holding your stomach and chest up or allowing your belly to feel soft? Can you feel tension in other parts of yourself such as your feet, ankles, calves, hamstrings, shoulders, etc? Can you listen inside and find what is calling? Explore inside and see what you are noticing. This exercise trains us to really be present; not in regard to our feelings, judgments, and memories—but to bring our attention back to our body.

Taking time to notice things in a bodily way allows us to create a new space of awareness. This brings us both a fresh and new understanding and a shift in how we perceive life, allowing us greater grace to engage our lives, our relationships, our surroundings, and work. Examining what arises in our consciousness in the now offers us an opportunity to embark on the rich journey of how our mind works. This exploration liberates us to see beyond our thoughts and emotions to consciously notice what is occurring. It takes skillful practice to examine the big picture regarding our sensations and perceptions. This lessens our ignorance and delusions of the world around us.

This practice of concentrating the mind is about not separating what is important. Life is about interconnection, interactions and interrelationships. The whole is greater then the parts. We are together, not separate from our environment.

Concentrating is about a process for growth and transformation. We can go forth with specific focus and directed attention. When we best concentrate then we perform more skillful action and that benefits our world and ourselves.

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