Sunday, December 27, 2015

Cultivating the Higher Self

One of most amazing insights is how can I love all of life so intensely while not fully embracing parts of my own self? Cultivating self love in time will evolve into greater reverence for the interconnection of all things because of self actualization. Paying attention to my deeper spirit requires tenderly listening to my own heart beat and accepting my divine self.  Nature constantly reminds me to explore all facets of my inner world.  When I show how I care for all things then I see how linked in I am with the great web of life. The delicate balance for me is how I relate to all things.  My greatest challenge has to see how I can expand my love and forgive myself at times when I fall short. When I realize my universal love is like a tear drop then I unite into the cosmic sea of compassion.

My suffering is lessened when I realize that the “I” is really a “we.”  In my difficult times I search for some harmonic alignment no matter how horrific things are.  This is a birthing process bringing 
us a luminous gift of greater awareness.  This enlightens my shadows filled with deluded wants and brings forth my higher needs.  There is no greater treasure than expanding my higher well being. 

I find my true purpose when I deal with my adversity in a proficient and peaceful manner.   Also I lead by example.  When I can face my own anxiety a greater peace of mind results.  Going and accepting within is the best way if I can prosper.  If I be fearless to confront my most difficult issues then dealing with the world outside becomes much easier. Again when I get still, silent and profoundly listen to my heart I find the courage to benefit. 

A rich life comes down to these skillful interpersonal skills.  How I treat all things, most importantly accepting my profound self opens up new possibility and opportunity.  Expanding my lightness of being is linked to my higher relationships: with my self; people; things; and places.  These are extensions of my larger self. My highest love is inter-linked with all things.  By developing a kind positive feedback loop a ripple effect extends my compassion in all directions. Greater awareness that all things are not separate, I become united by this awe and wonder.  Trusting my mysterious journey is about what comes up not my destination.  Accepting my higher self I arrive at my refuge filled with light and love.   

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Time to Ray Cycle

First say to yourself what you would be: then do what you have to do. ~Epictetus

There is no better gift to myself then to cultivate my higher potential. I now challenge myself to refine a character I past created. I had a vision of inventing a Super being who championed having fun while saving things called Ray Cycle.  Besides sharing the trademark of this comic hero with the State of Connecticut, this creation allowed me to accomplish alot of amazing things. On April 1st 1986, I proclaimed", Your not dealing with a full deck with you throw the joker out,"running for an American Precedent on the U.S. Capitol steps dressed as a court jester.

For years I have dreamed how I can reincarnate this recycled being.  I believe that all of our relationships are interconnected. This common strand both binds us and offers me unlimited possibility. Now can I re-create a identity so to once again celebrate my profound gratitude for all things.  

Since I am a living love poem sharing my love, empathy and hope. This heightens my deepest well being.Treating all things with respect, kindness and consideration I celebrate my greater self and inner wealth.

All around the world people of all walks share in this similar sacred acts.  Using less, and living in a wholesome way we reap many benefits.  Furthermore when I show my boundless compassion for this planet, its people and resources I tap into my higher and greater potential. 

Better use of resources such as reducing waste and preventing pollution or any of the other ways that I rever my world gives me joy.  Also now my inner game is to kindly be of greater service giving me a tremendous peace of mind.

Honoring many virtues I integrate together my inner and outer world. When I lessen my load I pass on a mightier gift that keeps on giving while helping me find my higher potential.

Leading by example, sharing, joy and loving friendlessness are a wonderful ways to gracefully live. Using localized materials, celebrating ingenious resource use and bringing community together with acts of kindness plant seeds for out future

Such care giving results in greater inner heartfull care. It matters not if this is done outside or in.  How I best relate to my world is what truly matters. I challenge you to prove me wrong.  So much of life we becomel distracted by doubt, depression, and other self- destructive mind-sets. When I focus on my higher potential I transform my fearful walls re-creating now a drawbridge.  Ray has been Cycled.  Thus used again to benefit me and my beloved home, Earth. All great things flow in a circle and so may my higher potential expand outward while I celebrate my inner light. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Inside Job

Right now is a great time to show kind thanks for my inner being.  While death is inevitable choosing to exercise grace, awe and wonder is optional.  Neither avoiding nor holding on too tight may I embrace my present experience as the journey.  May I be fearless, joyful and peaceful.  Fully enthusiastic may my heart be happy, free and well!

Since I will never know when my last breath will be why not then celebrate every moment as my last.  Not to be morbid yet fully fearless, awake, and accepting to whatever comes my way. Otherwise my anxiety may escalate into greater fear and negative states of being.

Facing my limited time here, and embracing to leave this dimension with an intention of enthusiasm and appreciation, may I remember that in any given moment I can be alive in each breath. 

I can be filled with joy, presence and possibility or I can be sad, fearful and stuck in my anxiety.  Breaking from past conditioning I can reframe these patterns into the gifts to be fully heartfelt

How can I best cultivate a kind, peaceful and free way of being?  Show the greatest form of self love where I embody grace, wise response allowing moment to moment awareness to be my guide.

What has heart and meaning comes when I listen to my inner truth.  Observing and discerning my shadows I can learn by waking up instead of my old habit of  judging .  Embracing my defects I find that home is right where my heart is.  All things are sacred if only I can remember to arrive back here and now.

It is time for me to let go of old ancestral messages that I am not enough.  For me to fully foster a mindset of grace I enjoy what is fully present.  This in turn moves me in greater peace, love, and courage further expanding my luminous and empathetic abilities. 

I am not tentative, I no longer doubt, I embrace my shortcomings.  Patiently I wait so I may find that harmonious relations will respond in kind. 

Since all things are connected I can best show reverence to life’s sacred hoop being well. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Grateful for Thanksgiving

Every day I try to celebrate with Thanksgiving.   It is always a wonderful time to count my blessings. Appreciation constantly gives me the gift to cherish I am alive.  Generosity and kindness are the virtuous acts that I get from my appreciation.  Such gratitude may open new doors of possibility for me.  Also I tap a higher relationship with all things.

The idea of Thanksgiving gives me a sense of peace and grace. I live in a critical time where generosity greatly matters. By giving, I both awaken and liberate myself with the ulitimate gift of altruisim. When I hold on to things too long this causes me a painful disconnection. By becoming more mindful of how I take things, I can better return things and thus benefit from what I call, "Happy Returns." This outcome arises from being humble and observing my ultimate interconnection with my beloved world.

It's incredible that 67 million years ago trees, flowers, birds, bees and other things came into being.  Just 6 million years ago the first American migrated here. When whites came here at Jamestown, Virginia, Arthur Barlow remarked of the Poona's: "A more kind and loving people cannot be found in the world."

My ancestry dates back to the first born off the Mayflower. And this is doubtless why I believe thanksgiving is every day. We all ought to constantly count our blessings. The Iroquois celebrate their appreciation of this earth for days at a time, showing gratitude for all aspects of nature. Today we can share these wise earth teachings if we pay our respects to what we are so fortunate to have.

Each one of us can widen our collective circle of connection and love.  Now we have an opportunity to magnify our thanks by showing our boundless possibilities of compassion. If only we make this intention and take the time to show our gratitude then an upward spiral happens.

Let's celebrate our Thanksgiving with plentiful kind and generous acts. Giving appreciation is the greatest blessing we can give ourselves, thanking our surroundings and feeling good about our life.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


The best and most beautiful things in this world cannot be seen or even heart, but must be felt with the heart- Helen Keller

I am inspired how all things somehow inter-relate.  To constantly remember my oneness fills me with profound joy.  I term this rejoy where I touch a miraculous heart and meaning experience.  These mystical inter-relationships recharge me with greater luminosity.
Since all things are transient and so is my greater self.  We all are tied to collective connection of materials created by the earth, air, water, energy and other sources.  These elements both allow me to enjoy the sacredness of all things and to live.

I find liberation in our finite oneness. Here I find an unlimited treasure of joy and grace. When I look up to star filled night sky this experience unites me beyond what words may describe.

Beyond my personal issues I lessen my sense of separation. For example when I get distracted about selfish silly wants I disconnect from hub or source of oneness. Less joy then results. Remembering to just simply reconnect, I awaken to the collective unification by observing nature.  This expanded consciousness acts like a new birth.  Such possibilities fosters greater happiness.

When I let go of my self-consuming concepts I touch a place without causes or conditions.  This pure consciousness illuminates me with greater loving- friendliness and grace.  I benefit from this selfless rejoy experience.

Expanding my heart takes courage since such new exploration at first can be frightening.   However, a compassionate trust alters my mental conditioning and habits that once trap me with much fear, and despair.  The very word enlightenment is all about merging into the one.  This dissolves my miserable issues like a cloud in the sky freeing me of limitations.

All things in this cosmos intersect in one divine point.  All things exist dependent upon other entities. I am no different. Numerous conditions and causes results in nothing being independent since the environment shapes organisms by interchanging webs of food, nutrients and other forms interconnection.  Networks of ecosystems exchange birth, death, decay as energy material is constantly being recycled. 

Once I allow my contracted self to let go I elevate my well-being.  All things become unified by this mystical togetherness.  This oneness is beyond, words, thoughts, beliefs, concepts.  A state of oneness is beyond an idea.  Here unity, peace, and the mystery of wholeness exist. Separateness ceases and any sense of concepts are lost.  The sum of the parts unites me together in a luminous whole.  Profoundly aware I find this unified mind-set best happens for me in a pristine natural setting.

Such awakened oneness is not about one belief versus another belief.  This divine spirit is about a deep trust of the greater self.  Exploring my divine nature, I deeply listen and become one through my transformative direct experience I call rejoy.

Inspired by “With One Voice”

May I give my thanks to all life's gifts, and further count my blessings.
May I pay my respect to how all things are interconnected.
May I give thanks to the air and my lungs that I breathe.
My I give thanks to the sun and my heart that provides energy.
May I give thanks to my body and water that provides life.
May I give thanks to my spirit and the land that sustains me. 
Thanks to all my ancestors and future beings. 
Thanks to all the things on the earth that make life happen.
Thanks to our amazing web that unites all together

Monday, October 19, 2015

Exploring Grace

A higher power can be an interior dimension of psyche, transcendent it's beyond what ego can muster or master. The transcendent is the more that cannot be grasped by intelligence, only by experience. It can be felt truly, but not fully understood intellectually.  It is like the love of favor, like the awe felt in nature.p. xv *

Recently my father gracefully passed away. Grace touches us when we allow our higher self to surrender from our ego-centric ways. It alters us taking us out of the ordinary and allowing us to behold the extra-ordinary.  It unites the opposites or moderates the extremes by its very example. Grace evolves us by its wise and seamless quality that bands together- separate parts become unified as one.

Grace is about being not about becoming: beholding rather than holding; responding not reacting; and being light not dense.  Rather than human doings, we are human beings.  It brings out the profound possibility within each of our souls.  A sense of liberation comes upon us as we accept the mystery with equanimity.  

Beyond description, grace is a phenomenon that happens beyond the ordinary.  A blessing outside our individual selves.  This amazing form of virtue fosters awe, wonder and flow. However, grace is like art in that it defies simple language and words. Such things as poetry and direct experience best conveys this graceful spirit of possibility. 

This mystical quality brings a spaciousness as if you looking at the milky way or Northern lights. Cultivated through good will, appreciation, mindfulness and other illuminating things, grace is resilient, sincere and heart felt.  Complimented by coincidence, grace stimulates a freshness.  It entertains something new in each moment resulting in a form of divine higher presence. 

This phenomena inspires others and benefits us by its nature. This divine power that magically flows. It awakens, and transforms. Grace happens in special conditions.  When there is compassion, calmness, kindness, generosity, respect, and other virtuous states grace tends to be close by.

Grace allows us to tap the larger spiritual possibilities.  It transmutes us from the ordinary ego self to a higher place of unconditional and unlimited opportunities filled with positive transformation. 

Imperfection and inadequacy no longer are curses yet are transformed into a sense of loving kindness.  It frees our inner chains that we have imprison ourselves with.  Short-comings become reversed into strengths.  Grace is synthesis of the positive with negative. It is like the rainbow that happens after a intense storm.  It combines the sum of the parts into an integrated whole.   Grace provides a peak experience to celebrate there is heaven right now on earth.

It is conceivable that by intense effort a person may catch a fleeting glimpse of his own wholeness accompanied by the feeling of grace, which characterizes this experience. - Carl Jung

* The Power of Grace- David Richo, Shamabhala Press,  2014


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Earth is Our Best Friend

Move H from Heart, place at the end
It spells earth, your best friend
Listen to the birth high above
Dolphins singing of deep love

Rock, air, fire and rain connect
We are all related one divine effect
Illuminated play with rays cycling
All souls unite, a great recycling

Optimize kindness first letters, OK
Meanness and fear bring us dismay
If your mood begins to decline
Recharge yourself and fully align

Stand with your back to a tree
Its pure energy will set you free 
Embody this grace and be still 
Engage yourself with this skill

Quiet your thinking, hear your breath
Allow your spirit go beyond death
There is no beginning or an end
All things unite in a timeless band

Darkness your foe and light a buddy
Kiss the soil even if it’s muddy
Laugh and love we are one
A cosmic dance and have fun

Circle around the healing medicine wheel
Feel the star-shine and its cosmic appeal
Add up the beneficial ways that respect
Subtract your suffering, do not expect

It’s a inside game of showing gratitude
Expanding yourself with a higher attitude
Increase acceptance, lessen any resistance
Expand your awe of graceful existence 

Move H from Heart, place at the end
It spells earth, your best friend
Listen to the birth high above
Dolphins singing of deep love

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Well Yes!

Taking certain risks is the how I will lessen my suffering.  Sometimes I allow things that substract not add to my well being.  My greatest challenge is how I come to terms with many of my unhealthy habits.  For example I may eat too fast hoping to calm myself. There are numerous other behaviors that do not help me. I understand that I am only human. There is no excuse for my lack of discipline that unkindly hinders me.  Also on a mental level I may know this is happening while I may be still emotionally fearful to change.

How can I take the risk to free myself from certain patterns that stunt my growth?  To fully appreciate my greater potential I must risk if I wish to advance.  I call this "Well Yes."  This well being or "Well Yes" stimulates me to become more conscious of deeds resulting in grace, and awe. "Well Yes," happens when I behold the wonder of this great mystery by showing a profound kindness in all my relationships.  "Well Yes," provides me with greater wisdom when I take the risk to try more skillful alternatives to find peace, love and joy! 

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk being called sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feeling is to risk showing your true self.

To place your ideas and dreams before 
the crowd is to risk being called naive.

To love is to risk not being loved in return. 
To live is to risk dying. 
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.

But risks must be taken.
Because the greatest risk in life is to risk nothing.
The people who risk nothing do nothing,
have nothing, are nothing, and become nothing.

They may avoid suffering and sorrow. 
But they simply cannot learn to feel,
and change, and grow, and love, and live. 

Chained by their servitude, they are slaves; 
They have forfeited their freedom.
Only the people who risk are truly free.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Hokusai says

Hokusai says look carefully.

He says pay attention, notice.
He says keep looking, stay curious.
He says there is no end to seeing

He says look forward to getting old.
He says keep changing,
you just get more who you really are.
He says get stuck, accept it, repeat
yourself as long as it is interesting.

He says keep doing what you love.

He says keep praying.

He says every one of us is a child,
every one of us is ancient
every one of us has a body.
He says every one of us is frightened.
He says every one of us has to find
a way to live with fear.

He says everything is alive --
shells, buildings, people, fish,
mountains, trees, wood is alive.
Water is alive.

Everything has its own life.

Everything lives inside us.

He says live with the world inside you.

He says it doesn't matter ifyou draw,
or write books. It doesn't matter
ifyou saw wood, or catch fish.
It doesn't matter if you sit at home
and stare at the ants on your veranda
or the shadows of the trees
and grasses in your garden.
It matters that you care.

It matters that you feel.

It matters that you notice.

It matters that life lives through you.

Contentment is life living through you.
Joy is life living through you.
Satisfaction and strength
is life living through you.

He says don't be afraid.
Don't be afraid.

Love, feel, let life take you by the hand.

Let life live through you.
- Roger Keyes

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Creating Future Meaning

In Victor Frankl's Man's Search for Meaning he observed how to make the best of a truly bad situation. His experience of being in a Nazis concentration camp provides profound insights pertinent to our challenge now to find the light at the end of the tunnel.  Victor saw many of his fellow prisoners who only saw opportunities in the past tense instead of the present or future.   He wrote about turning his life into a inner triumph by making a victory of challenging experiences.

A key point in this book is looking forward, making inner goals to create faith in the future.  Without such a belief mental and physical decay quickly results. Opportunity only comes when one looks at the way he bears his burden.  Examining such larger issues like death and suffering  unveils a greater task of being with or getting through these unpleasant situations. By accepting not denying our suffering one acts responsibly so to fully live instead of filled with despair.  With such an attitude of encouragement and hope we then can make the best of lives. 

Frankl developed Logotherapy were one realizes their responsibilities.  It is up to the person to awaken to his obligation to himself and his community.  Depression happens because we lack content in our life.  Critical is what specific meaning one gives his life in the here and now.  For example what is your best next move in a chess game gets you engaged to fully be.  It is not what meaning life offers but rather what meaning you give to it.

"The more one  forgets himself- by giving of himself to a cause or to serve or another person to love- the more human he is and the more he actualizes himself"  pg. 115

According to logotherapy,  we can discover the meaning of life in three different ways: 1) In creating  a work or by doing a deed 2) by experiencing something or encountering someone, and; 3) by the attitude we take about unavoidable suffering.  pg.115

For what then matters is to bear witness to the uniquely human potential at its best, which is to transform a personal tragedy into a triumph, to turn one's predicament into human achievement. pg. 116

It is one of the basic tenets in logotherapy the man's main concern is not to gain pleasure or avoid pain but rather see meaning in his life. That is why man is even ready to suffer, on the condition he , to be sure, that his suffering has meaning.  pg. 117 

That which does not kill me, makes me stronger- Nietzsche

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Optimizing Kindness is OK

Optimizing Kindness (OK) expands my heart and calms my mind. Everything becomes OK when I optimize being kind. Investing in kindness is the best way for me to increase my well being. Being kind is one of life's precious gifts. It is critical to start by being gentle with myself. Each day I face many challenges and dark forces.  Easily my old shadows can overcome me.  When I remember to be gentle with myself this elevates me and others with many benefits.

May I awaken to exercise this invaluable skill cultivating many sacred and kind rituals.  For example emulating the example of Dali Lama or a little girl just sharing her toys inspires me. Just the simple act of caring has a tremendous ripple effect.

As a guests here on earth I can either respect or disregard for our delicate world. Kindness is about me making the intention to honor and be at peace with what is happening. Can I have the courage and accept so I can best go forth with compassion every day? The more I am able to open my eyes, the more I can see that we are all lovers.  I wish show my gratitude and a winning grin.  Such friendliness opens doors that before were walls.

How I relate to my world is determines whether I make it a blessing or a curse. Exercising kindness I foster more harmonic surroundings.  Exercising greater selflessness extends the possibility of increasing friends, community and goodness. OK is a radical act of self care.  My prosperity is directly related to whether I continue with more kind acts rather than mean ones. This attitude of friendliness and gentleness elevates instead of depresses.  OK shifts me from indifference to a loving friendly disposition overcoming my existential despair. Being kind to myself, others, and the world excels me to enjoy greater happiness and freedom.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” - Desmond Tutu

Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.” - Henry James

“Goodness is the only investment that never fails.” – Henry David Thoreau

Links of interest

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Renew With Aloha

Yesterday evening I was kayaking on the Shenandoah River not far from where I live.  First going East since the sun was behind me.  Half way on this winding river I was going West blinded by the sun. Then I realized I could go backwards as a easy as forwards. As I stop to turn around I saw a  three foot turtle. This brought to mind there is no beginning, and no end- just the circle going around.

There have been many transitions in my life. Good friends have passed and as well as other things. I have recently moved my Dad near my home.  As one door closes another opens since all of life is filled in three parts:  a start; middle; and an end. Just as there is a past, present, and future how I relate to such passages fosters profound insights. Life is a constant reminder that all things come and go. 

I have met a friend in a men’s group and we are both in transition from this group. Over two years I attended this group at first every week, and then every several weeks and now probably every few months. For me this transition reminds me of a powerful word, Aloha. It means both hello and goodbye. It covers all circumstances from a simple welcome to grieving the loss of a dear love. 

For me grace comes from understanding equanimity of Aloha. Acknowledging my transitory existence is a constant reminder to how things work. When I renew it is as if I was born new again. Since everything changes with Aloha when I remember and exercise renewed awareness. With this widening circle of consciousness I reclaim greater prosperity in my life by honoring this hello and goodbye concept.  

Changing the way I reference all life is a transition this enhances my entire well-being. Aloha shifts my mind so to open in fresh new possibilities.

Renewing with Aloha allows me to discard much of my emotional baggage such as worry, anxiety and other fear based feelings.  Seeing how hello and goodbye helps me better balance the positive with the negative. 

Aloha is like a mantra that helps me recognize I have a choice to reawaken. This lens is the honor the constant rites of passage I experience. My old story can appear as I am looking through a dirty window.  When I open to new experience then I activate my well-being.   

Years ago I shared with a therapist my feelings of anxious energy and how I felt like a buzzing fluorescent light bulb.  It has taken me many years to Renew with Aloha stimulating my life force or chi energy. 

Renew with Aloha is how I choose to perceive and look at my current circumstances.  Either it is filled with Velcro for the bad and Teflon for the good or vice versa?  Such an open and flexible attitude can rejuvenate my outlook just as I can take the remote and change life's T.V. channel.

When I Renew with Aloha I enjoy its liberating effect. There is no beginning and no end just the cosmic circle rotating. This is because all things are impermanent. I accept such change as a given. With this awakening, I can better experience life's amazing mystery. Everything is a blessing, and/or a curse and so as all things it constantly arises and falls.  When I Renew with Aloha may I enjoy its awe. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Eco Trillion Revolution

Time to act is quickly ticking away.  If we are going to secure our future it is going to be the rich to champion it.   No longer can we wait since the fate of our prosperity is in the balance. Today we have nearly 800 billionaires and some are trail blazers for conservation.  One example, Bill Gates, is funding fossil free energy sources shifting from vaccines to greater global environmental issues.

Richard Branson, Michael Dell, Michael Bloomberg, Ted Turner, George Soros, Sergey Brin, Larry Page and others see the wisdom in green philanthropy.  These leaders are investing into alternative energy technologies, biodiversity, green buildings, and numerous other ventures to promote our future prosperity.

Branson, Dell, Turner and others are running their corporate operations by minimizing their footprint with everything from planting trees to green fuels and even educating children with Captain Planet. Bloomberg wishes on making building 80 percent more energy efficient.  Brin and Page are promoting smart cars and plug in vehicles.

Critical is that our weathly leaders develop a blueprint or coordinate efforts since financial impacts of global warming are accelerating. 

Change can only be stimulated by those who can afford to take the risk for greater gain.  For the last few decades major environmental economic advancements have been hampered by the idea that conservation hinders economic growth.  Madison Avenue has promoted an impoverished attitude advocating conspicuous consumption.  This "ending is better than mending" mentality now must be discarded.  Are we affluent or effluent Americans, waste makers or risk takers?

Hopefully new innovative eco-developments will spurn hundreds of other billionaires to a green economic revolution. Our environmental economics are still in the infancy since we still take for granted our free air, water and land resources.  No longer can we allow the philosophy of , "if it is not broke, we do not need to fix it," since it has been broken for years. The yearly cost of dumping on our earth with these externalities is in the trillions affecting the health and safety of billions of living things. 

This crisis requires an ingenious international green social security fund providing this planet with long term financial assurance monies invested for the future generations.  Such initiative would also minimize eco-terrorism and create future micro economic stimulus to fund such green infra-structure developments.

Without some coordinated world financial efforts investing in resources for the future human quality of life on this planet will be seriously diminished.  Such an assumption is not rocket science to figure this out.  Just add up more people, more consumption, less clean land, air and water and what is your conclusion?  Pope Francis, and host of other religious leaders have come up with the same conclusion. We can not allow for the many deniers and climate doubters to prevent such a green eco-revolution.  

Years ago I co-wrote an article with two other experts on landfill financing called,  Dump Now, Pay Latter."  Recycling, and conservation does not happen unless you create incentives or economics to support it.  There is not a credible economist today how has not advocated a carbon tax, including the Exxon Corporation.  Years ago I worked with the American Petroleum Institute who promoted consumer used motor oil recycling by placing tax on each quart of motor oil.  Such measures are most successful in insuring product stewardship. If we do not make it easy and simple to conserve people will not participate.  For example more people recycle in the U.S. then vote.

I challenge you to do the numbers.  Just follow how the Fortune 500 world has profited from pollution prevention and waste reduction.  Output over input equals productivity. Efficiency is about saving time, human and resource capital. Again do the numbers and figure what the long term bottom line is all out.  Finally if you do not believe me just research what the economic and insurance experts reveal.  If the human species does not have a green eco-awakening we may longer enjoy this blue green planet. Without a green one percent revolution our future looks very disheartening.

Read more:


Friday, July 3, 2015

David's Brooks, Road to Character

In “The Road to Character,”  David Brooks makes a moral examination of those who champion virtue. He features diverse men and women shaped by adversity and who humbly overcome many obstacles to be of greater service.  Brooks looks at ethical conduct or moral ecology of these individuals who develop a special discipline in tackling their weakness and vulnerabilities by showing insightful humility.

Brooks makes his people selection based on their selfless qualities. These self actualized individuals are not so worried about their ego or as Brook's terms, Adam 1, resume, however their Adam 2, eulogy or higher calling.  Humility allows us to awakened from our weakness so it may be transformed into strength.

Brooks writes about Frances Perkins, who witnessed the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire.  She latter asks the most important questions about not what is inside by outside her self. First, she questions what she wants of life and then importantly asks what life wants of her.  Overcoming criticism and loss, Frances becomes a leader of the New Deal.

Another person who looked at is Saint Augustine.  He started off with the Roman life of partying, sex and drink.  Brook writes on page 212 on how he changed;

"Augustine sank down in posture of openness and surrender,  Then after the retreat, he was open enough to receive grace, to face gratitude, and rise upward.  This is life with an advance-retreat-advance share; life, death, and resurrection,  moving down to dependence to gain immeasurable height."

Brooks makes spiritual judgements of Frances Perkins or Saint Augustine. “The Road to Character” is about spiritual journeys.  For example, he talks about vocation is a calling or even indignation.  It is not about wants or desires or pursuit of happiness. Instead becoming an instrument for the performance.  There is joy. It is not about serving the community or the destination.  It is about the perfection in each task, satisfaction with craftsmanship.  It is the art where their values are in deep harmony with their behavior

Brooks writes on page 207,

The ultimate conquest of self, is not won by self-discipline, or an awful battle within self.  It is won by going outside the self, however by establishing communion with God and by doing things that feel natural in order to return God's love.

Finally Brooks writes about the The Humility Code pg 261;

Each society creates its own moral ecology.  A moral ecology is a set of norms, assumptions, beliefs, and habits of behaviour and an institutionalized set of moral demands that emerge organically.  Our moral ecology encourages us to be a certain sort of person...But each moral climate is a collective response to the problems of the moment and it shapes the people who live within it.

Below is my summary;

1) Seek life with purpose, meaning, excelling the soul, nourish moral joy, cultivate virtue
and ideals.

2) As flawed beings, virtue vs. vice  Overcome short term desires toward spiritual needs.

3) Inner struggle about overcoming, growing stronger, sacrificing worldly success for inner victory.

4) Humility help assess my true nature, underdog in a struggle against own weakness,  not center of universe however serve a larger order.

5) Pride results in vice. It blinds, deludes and cripples.

6) Struggle with insecurity. Key is to engage with the struggle.

7) Character comes from inner confrontation; dealing with weakness.  Develop discipline, considerate and loving self-control. Do not become slave to passions.

8) Lust, fear, greed, and other flaws lead in a downward struggle.

9) Can not do this alone; you need help and support- God, family, friends etc.

10) We are saved by grace. Struggle with own weaknesses is U shaped.  I am accepted. gratitude fills soul and the desire to serve.

11) Defeating weakness requires quieting the self.  A mute ego opens the external sources of the strength that are needed.  Capacity for admiration and reverence are key sources of virtue.

12) Wisdom starts with modesty.  We are not able to see complex cause and effect. Experience defines wisdom that emerges out of a collection of virtues

13)  Vocation is key to good life.  Find intrinsic work that is compelling and focus on being excellent at that.  serve both self and community.  A vocation is not found by looking within
but looking outside to see what life is asking of us.  What problem is addressed by an activity you intrinsically enjoy?

14) Lead by working with the grain of things, find balance between competing interests, values and goals. Be trimmer, shift weight one way or another.  Be steward of effort

15) Maturity - unity of purpose, purpose of centeredness and calm: find equanimity.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Oneness- Profound Listening

Greater listening and being still deepens my life experiences.  Exploring the difference between my pain and suffering allows me greater possibility.  When I examine what makes me unhappy then I may lessen this mind state.  Remembering that I do not have to suffer, I can rewire such unskillful patterns.

Exploring these unwholesome mind states is the critical.  How may I accept whatever comes my way?  Unpleasant or aversive situations are great learning experiences to embrace those.  Whatever shadows that may haunt me can be transformed into new teachings how better to deal with my fears.

Can I forgive myself?  Kindly listening to what has heart and meaning I may discover my greater gift.   I and we are all connected somehow and someway.  Only when I/we move out of our smaller illusion of self to touch our greater being then we may celebrate the benefits of being related to all things.

As humans we have a greater understanding of dying and the beyond.  Also now we have an awareness that we may be in all likelihood here as a species for a limited time.  Such awareness is reason why we may explore areas of higher consciousness and levels of being.

Ways we can expand of understanding and experience of oneness is in our well being.  No greater way can we invest our energies then in finding this spiritual link to the great inter and inner web of both life and beyond.

Opening ourselves to this tremendous mystery of the unknown requires us to become more vulnerable and fearless.  Such heartfelt examination takes faith and a radical commitment to explore diverse non ordinary pathways.  If I deeply venture into the soul and source of my interconnection.   May I blaze a new trail into a unified existence that allows me to better treasure our limited time here.  May I share my discovery with others in a loving kind manner so I fully reap the benefits of this spiritual adventure of oneness.

In the house of lovers, the music never
stops, the walls are made of songs, the
floor dances...
I am not this hair, I am not this skin, I am the
soul that lives within.- Rumi

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Insights and Quotes from the book, The Eleven Rings

When you do things from your soul,  You feel like a river moving in you, a joy.  Rumi

Below are some of my insights and quotes from the Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success - Phil Jackson, and Hugh Delehanty, Penguin Books, 2013

There a tremendous new adventure awaiting all of us.  It is about deeply listening to our soul.   Being outdoors in a quiet and still place can help amplify this inner connection.  The human spirit has unlimited potential if only a diamond-like motivation is uncovered.

Allowing our small self to experience a larger and higher plane can awaken new possibility. Simply our ego can stand for the acronym, Edging the Greater OutSuch trust and dedication is what all spiritual tradition teach.   Whatever your connection with your higher power it can easily be lowered by selfish acts.  If we cultivate our greater actualization then a ripple effect of illumination will happen. What is your experience to finding greater well being? 

We can touch heaven or hell depending on our perspective.  Easily we can feel like victims or as benefactors depending on our fundamental attitude of how right now things are. Key is how we identify or relate to our thoughts.  Not become so identified with our mind can liberate us from much negativity. When meditating you don't stop your thinking. You watch it from a reference of following your breath, allowing it to rise and fall like clouds in the sky; dwelling in the present moment, gracefully arriving here to trust what comes and goes now. Discerning what has virtue from what has vice can do much to lessen our suffering. 

Below are quotes from the book;

Everything the Power of the World does is done in a circle.  The sky is round and I have heard the earth is round like a ball, and so are the stars...The sun comes forth and goes down again in a circle, the moon does the same and both are round.  Een the season form a great circle in their changing and always come back again to where they were.  The life of a man is a circle from childhood- childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.  Black Elk

He drew the circle that shut me out-
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But live and I had the wit to win:
We drew the circle that took me in!  Edwin Markham

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secret is always hidden in the most unlikely places.  Those who do not believe in magic will never find it.   Roald Dahl

Invisible threats are the strongest ties- Nietzsche

Human beings are born not once and for all on the day  their mothers give birth to them, obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves- Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Forget mistakes, forget failures, forget everything, except what you going to do now and do it.  Today is your lucky day- Will Durant

if the spirit of many in body but one in mind pervails among the people they will achieve all their goals, whereas if one in body but different in mind, they achieve nothing remarkable- Nichiten

Do not try to see the objective world
You which is given an object is quite different from you yourself
I am going my own way and I meet myself which includes everything I meet.
I am not something I can see (as an object)
When you understand self which includes everything, 

You have you true way. - Tozan Ryokai

Friday, June 19, 2015

Greater Selflessness

When I become fearless I give up control, trust each moment, and live with compassion. When I take greater care of myself I enhance my experience of the world so I can be of greater service. 

Such courage comes only when we realize our full being. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs places self-actualization; the full use of exploitation of one's talents, capacities and potentialities on the top of this pyramid.  Self actualizers are spontaneous, naturalness, accepting of themselves and others, high levels of creativity and an effective problem-solver.  

To become self-actualized, you first need to satisfy basic needs building upon the other to form Maslow's pyramid. The bottom is where hunger, sex, sleep are primary; next up is safety, love, self-esteem and then the top, self-actualized. People fail to become self-actualized because they get stuck on behaviors lower on the pyramid.  

However self-actualized is really "higher" self-actualized.  Much of Eastern philosophy incorporates the concept of self as separate is an illusion or on a deeper level we are all a part of an interconnected whole

In Buddhist philosophy, the key to inner peace is trusting interconnectedness of all things. The path of transformation is seeing oneself beyond the confines of then small ego rather someone that interweaves all things together.

The basic of Mindfulness is based on no-self, dealing with what is unsatisfactory and all things are impermanent.  To lessen our suffering Buddha taught observing selflessness in the Fourth Noble truth to follow the Eight Fold Path:

1)      Right View- Is about unity, interrelationships, and one organic whole.
2)      Right Thinking- Is being with what's happening, quieting the mind and listening to the heart.
3)      Right Speech-Is saying what is of benefit and true.
4)      Right Action- Is being part of the flow.
5)      Right Livelihood- Is respecting what you do for work and being of service.
6)      Right Effort- grace, Is finding effortless effort.
7)      Right Mindfulness- Is remembering to show up, here and now.
8)      Right Concentration-Is focusing on each and every moment.

Actualizing the greater self is what that the Eight Fold Path is all about. Greater selflessness is about finding happiness and overcoming the hindrances of the smaller self (those behaviors lower on Maslow's hierarchy of needs).  With courage, our greater self unifies not divides our very well being. 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Our Greater Self

Since there humans we have experienced a conscience awareness of something greater then ourselves or oneness.  This sense of a greater source gives us a sense of peace and harmony wherever it may be; whether is found in nature or in a group of like minded people.  Exploring the divine from the heart is another way of describing this which mind state is hard to describe or explain to our very interrelatedness.

A unifying truth may come from stillness or silence. Redirecting our thinking to just being allowed to open to a greater connection is something all religions share.  All great wisdom speaks of this cosmic linkage in that is like a spider web.

This greater sense of the unifying universe creates an inner transformation outside the carbon based self.   For example looking up at the night sky full of stars gives this sense of oneness and how light touches us all.  

This being fully apart and not separate beyond concepts such as birth and death, we are all things, the sum not the individual parts.  A calm, peace or eternal mystery where wholeness and unity is experienced, where communion of ultimate transcendence.  This outside the physical, yet awakening in a non-conceptual, expansive and luminous place.  There is no ego and emergence outside the me, I and my just oneness.

This inner state of awareness can happen for a second to a the extreme of timelessness. Such vast space and awareness is a mystical presence to listen in profound silence.  Some poet’s have begin to describe this difficult to describe experience.

Fantastic natural events can bring this experience of oneness.  A beautiful sunset or snowfall, standing near a waterfall, looking out on top of a mountain all may give a unifying sensation.  Seeing a bear or eagle can bring about this sense of wonder.  There are countless ways we can touch our higher self.   Meditating in a group of people, sharing one’s vulnerabilities among friends, or just holding the hand of a lover.  Touching ones heart in a loving kind manner can bring this unity.

When human consciousness touches upon our common interconnectiveness then this form of inner peace defines a highest form of love.  This is a process of seeing what is already here and now.  Yet this is a deep exploration into all things is not separate yet interlinked. There is no absence, or lack or disconnect since everything is tied together in a mysterious manner.  Oneness is a universal quality of mind that all people experience in some shape or form.  Whether it is recognized or not humans, animals, plants, and all things on this earth share all the same chemicals, and life forces. 

Deep within the depths of the human heart there is an interdependent wisdom, an integral whole where there is no division.  What is heartfelt is how we see thorns become roses, a loving understanding that we share an infinite space of possibility.  This unified field of awareness produces greater compassion, a golden thread that unites us all. All converge with one, a light transcending and bringing together our divine commonness. Each spiritual tradition acknowledges this oneness even though they have their individual unique. Yes there is one denominator everybody and all living things share water.   We are different and separate; however, we are all made of carbon, oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and other shared substances.

While they truly brilliant know that they do not know there is a one ultimate connection.  Somehow and somewhere it is both a journey and realization of the unknown.  Ironically only individual experience can begin to educate us our collective self.   Only within can you see this truth.   A regular or daily concentration upon our unity can reveal it. Being still in one place over time you will be able to access our universal link. Observing our heart we can find these invisible threads that connect us.

A common divine interconnectedness, to see we are not separate yet united together by air, energy, water and earth.   When one ’s self or physical beings feels not separate this may be termed as “enlightened” or “awakened.” Such perception of unity can result between nature and such specific things as plants, animals or a localized setting, even inanimate objects.  This experience of interrelationships can be happen between the self and various external things.  Such interconnectedness can result with a loss of perceivable boundaries even with a person’s identity, body, group of people, and surroundings.

This oneness can also show the illusory nature of self leading to a feeling of egolessness or interwoven to one’s environment.  Another similar concept is nondualism where there is no difference between the self and the external surroundings.

It is like learning to play an instrument. However this one is both here and now and requires just paying attention.  The key is our choice to focus in to see.  This honest examination is a training to look from our own anxiety and stress to beyond.  The only path is self examination to find this greater self.

From birth we are in a spiritual journey, to realize what unifies all us.  To allow our heart to find this connection, a communion, a belonging, a freedom, is united not divided.  Through direct experience we fully realize our common bonds.  Once we are able to see the interconnected threads, a silent open awareness of everything.  Such unification produces the virtues of peace, kindness, compassion and other gifts of being and inter-being being both held and beholding everything.