Thursday, November 24, 2022

EVERYTHING is Workable

     The only real tragedy in life is clinging to the deadening dogma that life is mechanical & meaningless. 


     We are human beings, endowed with an incredible dignity; but there’s nothing more undignified than forgetting our greatness & clutching at straws.” Peter Kingsley


    “When I allow myself to hope that the world will emerge from its present troubles, and that it will someday learn to give the direction of its affairs not to cruel mountebanks, but to men possessed of wisdom and courage, I see before me a shining vision: a world where none are hungry, where few are ill, where work is pleasant and tolerable, where [kindness and connectedness to others] is common, and where minds released from fear create delight for eye and heart. Do not say this is impossible. It is not impossible.” Bertrand Russell

    “… awakened living involves the boundless embrace of our precious, messy human experience in all its subtlety & complexity – the pain as well as the laughter, the confusion as well as the clarity – without either identifying with it or pushing it away. This unconditional openness is not a practice, it’s our natural state, our inherently awake nature, the timeless presence that welcomes reality just as it is because it is essentially not separate from whatever arises. … embodied awakening is the seamless marriage of form & emptiness, human & transcendent, vulnerable & indestructible, which meet right here & now – as you!” Stephan Bodian


    The body is only an effect, of which Love is the cause. As I realised this I could release myself from the need to validate my being through any body or personality identity. Who or what I had been or am in body is truly an insignificant mirage next to the knowing of myself as Love. Knowing this, and what that love was to do, was the only thing that mattered.
    And that pointed me to one place alone. The past, memories of identity, or the searching of future attainments, are all the ego’s clinging to that which is not real. The place of love was and remains the being I AM, eternally NOW.”
Isira “Buddha on the Dance Floor.” Living Awareness, 2015.


Thursday, November 17, 2022

Approaching the Mystery of Life

            Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.
             Absolutely unmixed attention is prayer.” Simone Weil

    Can I allow myself to be deeply curious?
    Can I reserve time to sit down, be still, silent, and simply observe what spontaneously arises; only to observe - no judging, pushing away, hanging onto, or otherwise getting entangled with the words, images & sensations that arise
interest is not in what arises - not the content, but the source of all this stuff. This is a radical shift from automatically identifying with the content of 'self talk.' 

    So I gently, patiently keep accepting that the focus of attention keeps getting drawn to content, and refocus by silently wondering who is hearing this? Who is seeing this? Who is feeling this? 

    This 'self-inquiry' process is how meditators have, for a very long time, become acquainted, and gradually intimate with authentic self. This is the basis for shifting from our common mistaken identity of a fearful powerless child, abandoned in a hostile meaningless universe, to authentic self: wise, still, silent, peaceful, joyous, kind, nurturing powerful elder. Ramana Maharshi. "How to Practice Self Inquiry." 2014.

    After a lifetime of studying & practicing Buddhism, Sandy Huntington wrote as he was dying of pancreatic cancer: “I am learning the hardest of lessons: to no longer want more than what I am given, and to allow what I have been given to guide me through the purifying flames of love and grief into the brilliant darkness of unknowing.” C.W. Huntington Jr. “What I Don’t Know About Death. Reflections on Buddhism and Mortality.” Wisdom Publications, 2021. Deep & Excellent

    Investigate how everything changes when you shift from fear to love, embodying your authentic self, intimately engaging with & nurturing all you deal with, in each present moment.

not be stingy with my life, with myself,
             is to fully express myself at every moment
             fully express everything that I am.” Nancy Mujo Baker

            "There is but one cause of failure
             and that is man's lack of faith
             in his true Self." William James


Thursday, November 10, 2022

Calling All Wise Elders

    Most of our thoughts are just echos of our conditioning. Remaining identified with the stream 'self-talk' or internal narrative - 'normal' level of thinking - is choosing to continue living a nightmare.
We are here to find that dimension within ourselves that is deeper than thought.” Eckhart Tolle
    We can access, & can integrate, a
far deeper, far more evolved level of consciousness than the ordinary discursive (egoic) thought level that got us into the global mess we're in. We must re-discover, integrate & embody our authentic, mature, evolved Self and become the change we so desperately need right now.

    "The most important question a human being needs to answer according to Einstein: " 'Is the universe a friendly place or not?' ... If we believe that the universe is unfriendly ... peace will be elusive at best." Joan Borysenko. “Fire in the Soul. A New Psychology of Spiritual Optimism.” Warner Books, 1993.

    "A human being is part of the whole, called by us 'universe,' a part limited in time and space.
    We experience ourselves, our thoughts & feelings, as something separate from the rest - a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us.
    Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures & the whole of nature in all of its beauty.
    The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which s/he has attained liberation from the (separate) self....
    We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive." Albert Einstein 

Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our being as humans, and the catastrophe towards which this world is headed - be it ecological, social, demographic or a general breakdown of civilization - will be unavoidable. . . The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and in human responsibility." Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic, in his historic address to the U.S. Congress many years ago

When a system is far from equilibrium, small islands of coherence in a sea of chaos have the capacity to lift the system to a higher order." Illya Prigogine, physical chemist & Nobel laureate 

    "Never cease to stand like curious children before the Great Mystery into which we were born.” Albert Einstein  

      “I would define love very simply: as a potent blend of openness & warmth, which allows us to make real contact, to take delight in and appreciate, and to be at one with – ourselves, others, and life itself.
      ... love is the central force that holds our whole life together & allows it to function." John Welwood. "Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationships. Healing the Wound of the Heart." Trumpeter, 2006. 

     "To be enlightened is to be intimate with all things." Zen Master Dogen 

      "I was born
       when all I once feared
       I could love.” Rabia Basri 

     "Once we are willing to be directly intimate with our life as it arises, joy emerges out of the simplest of life experiences." Roshi Pat Enkyo O'Hara

      During meditation “you are not escaping the world; you are getting ready to fully embrace it.” Christine Skarda  


 We really can do better!

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Wise Hope

    Many today feel hopeless & try not to think about the desperate state our world is in. This is entirely understandable, but like many of our other behaviours, hopeless resignation is recklessly unsustainable.

    We must remember that we are no longer unloved, abandoned, afraid & helpless children. We may appreciate how that feels BUT now realize we are so much more than that! We are the wise, peaceful, spacious source of safety & unconditional love, and are now in the powerful, privileged position to join together to nurture & help ourselves & others flourish in this critical time in human history.

    Messages of wise hope:

    Wise hope includes the aspiration to manifest our full potential, individually and collectively, and the trust that this is possible. Especially in stressful times, this hope gets clouded over by fear. When it is alive, wise hope energizes and guides all spiritual transformation. Three practices help us nurture hope:
    Aspiration for what we love,
    Attending to what we love, and
    Actively serving what we love.”
Tara Brach - please watch her wonderful short video below.

    “The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right inside it, under its roof. What I want is so simple, I almost can’t say it. Elementary kindness.” Barbara Kingsolver, quoted by Tara 


"Notes from My Couch this Morning" by Joan Benner

"Let me hold you said the couch
    As you re-member yourself into loving awareness.
No more than this is needed.
    You, present to this moment is enough.
It has always been this way.
    You just forget,
And allow confusion, delusion, and frustration move you
    Into the false dreams of who you are.
The very presence of loving awareness is so much more than the illusions
    You so often crave.
Sink into this now
As you honor yourself by not getting caught in your thoughts.
Treasure them, then let them fly by,
    Refusing to allow yourself to be dragged or tossed by their fleeting visits.
Welcome the truth that this awesome awareness itself is more than enough.
    Embrace the expansiveness of clear boundless loving awareness.
Rest in the truth of this, my precious love.
    Rest, only rest will lead you to your healing.
The need to shine outward is over.
    Melt yourself back into the timeless space of loving awareness,
And dance in the knowing that you have come home.

Breathe in the comfort of this place,
And when ready, circle back as a wave in the ocean.
Rest here in this new place where the shimmering hologram of life shines though.
Take the hands offered by those who know this seamless mandala of wholeness,
And acknowledge together the beautiful core of loving awareness you all share.
    Nod to your sameness in suffering when you forget who you truly are.
Reach out to all as you bow to the deep equality you share.
    And pray as one that all beings truly awaken
And live fully in the joy that is beyond sorrow.
    The dance of loving awareness is meant for all.
May this be so…

Patten inspiring, energizing
(62min) interview, author of “A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries - A Guide to Inner Work for Holistic Change.” :

    Steve McIntosh (63min) a bit scholarly but excellent interview, author of “The Presence of the Infinite - The Spiritual Experience of Beauty, Truth, and Goodness.” :


“Please may I live from love.” Tara Brach’s prayer


 Tara Brach's WONDERFUL (50min) video : Three Practices for Nurturing Wise Hope