Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mind Games

The wind, it is blowing
from where? I don't know.
It's bringing a change,
who knows where to go?
Do we fight to keep our ways?
Do we fight to make them change?
How do we know what's for real,
and what's just in our brains?

Is there a god?
A big man with a plan?
Or is it all up to us,
to do what we can?

I've never met a person,
who knew anything at all.
We pretend to have answers
so we don't feel so small.

The birds in the sky
and the mice in the shed,
have much more to offer
than the stuff in our head.

-Brian Sweeny

Meditation installment plan

When I first practiced meditation long ago, it was highly recommended that we practice two times daily - twenty minutes each time for a total of forty minutes a day. These days most college students find it almost impossible to carve out two twenty minute blocks without creating more stress in the rest of their lives. For these people, I recommend a "meditation installment plan". 

For example, attempt eight minute meditations, five times a day. It's an installment program! One could try eight minutes in (1) early morning, (2) late morning, (3) early afternoon, (4) sunset time, and (5) in the evening. 
Don't be dogmatic - be flexible. Find forty minutes total on a given day. Could be two, three or four somewhat longer installments.

Invite a friend in person, via text, or on the phone to meditate. A designated time keeper helps. Simply contact them, set up a time together, do the meditation, and do a follow up check-in. 

There you have it, a meditation installment program for our busy times!  

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Concentric Circles

“You will walk differently alone, dear, through a thicker atmosphere, forcing your way through the shadows of chairs, through the dripping smoke of the funnels. You will feel your own reflection sliding along the eyes of those who look at you. You are no longer insulated; but I suppose you must touch life in order to spring from it.”

-F. Scott Fitzgerald from his novel Tender is the Night

Monday, January 28, 2013

Drew Dellinger: Hieroglyphic Stairway

A long term perspective based on responsibility to our great great grandchildren. A stunning recitation by a powerful poet.

Text 'Messages'

"It's acceptance; complete surrender.
I fully believe that God is in control and that I am powerless.
It's a relief in some ways to not be responsible.
Not that I'm good at this.
I struggle every day. Every moment of every day to not give up.
But really throwing a fit and saying I can't do this anymore isn't productive.
I really have no other alternative. I HAVE to go on.
And surrendering to God makes it possible.
I also try to remember not to fight against "it" but fight for what I find the most challenging.
Like peace, sanity, acceptance.
I cannot do this life on my own.
I have to turn it over to God.

Do the action and your heart will follow."

-Laura Manzani in a text message protaining to life's stuggles

Gandhi's Embark

'What you are seeing is a large statue of Gandhi by the Embarcadero in San Francisco. The people there are poets. I love the feeling of Gandhi walking into the distance.'



Janice Haugan's Photography

Go backwards in time

"A long time ago I discovered it’s best to go backwards in time. As years mounted up, I became more playful, more flexible. It seems that's the best way toward a good long life. It now appears that I'm getting younger while you're getting older!" - Merlyn Aya

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Let the Good News be Told

Before the sun rises, let the good news
be told. Today is a better day. Today
I'm feeling well again. Today love rings
the Earth with wisdom and power.

Sitting, standing, breathing, eating, day
dreaming, flying in my memory from spot to
spot in the ocean of past scenes –
now a youth, now a lover, now a student,
now a father, now an older man. Pain and
joy flickering like stars in vast
velvet spaces.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Phoenix

 From the ashes I will rise
 Finding the fire deep inside
 Using it to be my guide.
 Beautiful
 when I burst into flames

 Discarding an old life
 Destroying names
 Ultimate
 Return
 From which I came.

Who

Who am I today? Who was I yesterday? Who will I be tomorrow?

This little self, always changing. A bundle of feelings, thoughts, perceptions constantly looping back on itself.

There must be something “more”. It cannot be named without turning it into a something. It’s not something. It’s a nothing, a no-thing, that is infinite.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Proverb

If there is light in the soul,
there will be beauty in the person.
If there is a beauty in the person,
there will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.

Big “Self” and little “self"


It’s often said, “Be true to yourself.” Easy to say. But, what is the “self”. It’s not an object. And, there are different notions of “self” floating around. Often you’ll see a distinction between the little “self” and the big “Self”. If I go back to India and the Vadas, I find that the word Atman corresponds to the big self, the Self with the capital “S”. This Atman is related to the Brahman (what may be called the Oversoul, or field of infinite potential actualizing as all that is). 

But, for us, the self is the ego – that sense of being separate from those around us. That sense of separation, the self as ego, is most useful for survival in the worlds of society and nature. Yet, it can cause isolation and puzzlement about the meaning of our lives. The self-ego knows that it's existence is tentative and always at risk. This is hard. Hence, our need for transcendence beyond the little self to the Big self. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

You-niverse


Each moment, each moment, each moment.
Each moment is new,
is yours.
This is all-
for you.

There is no room for regret without a past.
There is no room for worry with no future.

       so what's here?
You-niverse.
       what will I do?
Be.
       how do I be?

Perhaps this is the end of seeking.

    where will I go?
Anywhere.
    what will I do?
Anything.

Perhaps this is the end of believing.

    what will I have?
Me.
    what will I be?
Free



Monday, January 21, 2013

Waiting Line Enlightenment

Every long waiting line provides opportunities to be either impatient or patient. Sooner or later impatience drops away into surrender to waiting without expectation. Gradually you become free. You may even laugh. Waiting lines - pathways to enlightenment.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Whispers

“There's no vocabulary
For love within a family, love that's lived in 
But not looked at, love within the light of which 
All else is seen, the love within which 
All other love finds speech. 
This love is silent.”

T.S. Eliot

Give it away

"Love can only stay love,
if we give it away."
     -Unknown Source

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Teaching meditation is impossible

Teaching meditation is impossible. It's the "no-teaching" that opens students to meditation. The teacher sets up a situation, a space for meditation. Beyond that, the teacher can inspire and guide students into meditation with a few words and personal example. Teaching meditation is like repeatedly making invitations to a party. Students do what they do - each in a different way. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Preface

"The artist appeals to that part of our being which is not dependent on [traditional] wisdom; to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition—and, therefore, more permanently enduring. He speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder, to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives; to our sense of pity, and beauty, and pain; to the latent feeling of fellowship with all creation."

Joseph Conrad

Our Most Important Task

Who we know, who we love - these reflect who we are. Our most important task is to learn and know the truth - it frees us from illusion. Everyday, every life has infinite un-realized opportunities. Uncertainty is everywhere in a life. We can't control the future. "Live more and more in the Present which is ever beautiful and stretches away beyond the limits of the past and the future." --Meher Baba

Monday, January 14, 2013

Be Here Now

"What keeps you from that place that gives you that total feeling and experiencing and knowing of fulfillment is all of this posturing, all of your thoughts, all your way of organizing your world, all your plans, all your games you're exploring."

-Ram Dass

In Our Heads

Our minds are trainable. But we must also discipline our bodies with gentle breathing and movements to get out of our heads. Academic people - students and teachers alike - suffer from being too much in their heads. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Choose

I want to be
the very best I can be
it is a choice
and it is up to me

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Sonnet

Putting all your love into something leaves you empty; expecting love to be returned so as to fill the void which has been created. 
Love everything to the fullest extent.
Just don't forget to direct that love inward too. 
You can't give what you don't have.
Love yourself.
This is how you can love others.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Treasure Hunt

I remember it. 
That feeling of being whole. Nothing needed to fulfill me besides me. No one needed to love me besides me. The ability to feel sadness and anger without the fear of pain. The feeling of joy as time ticked away transforming every moment into a new experience. Smelling December. Seeing the electric lines as I drove by. Hearing the rumbling sound of an airplane as it flew across the sky.
These memories are the road map to my beginning.