January Thoughts for the Day

January 31. 2018

Thought for the Day

The Lojong teachings
are a mind training practice
based on a set of aphorisms
that were formulated in Tibet
in the 12th century
by Chekawa Yeshe Dorje.

The practice involves
refining and purifying
one's motivations in this life
as well as his attitudes.

The second of the Lojong slogans says:

"Regard all dharmas as dreams."

In light of this,
another practice is offered you today
in which you are being given
the opportunity
through direct experience
to realize the meaning of this slogan.

Practice often and sincerely.

Leave the results
up to the universe.

Everything you experience
whether inner or outer
is your dharma for this day.

This is a matter of destiny.

And it is something we each must,
not only come to terms with,
but also attain a level of deep
and unqualified acceptance.

The instructions are thus:

In every encounter, whether it is
with a particular thought,
feeling, person or experience,
feel yourself engage fully
as would a mother
with her only child.

Connect deeply.

Be very very present.

Breathe slowly.

Open that beautiful heart
of yours.

The next part is where
it gets tricky.

There is a mysterious place
that lies perfectly between
being fully engaged with an open
and tender heart, and that of
compassionate detachment.

You will recognize it
if you encounter it,
for it is a sort of still point,
a place of absolute balance,
where you understand the meaning
of Jesus's instruction
to be in the world but not of it,
for you are embodying it perfectly.

See if you can find this place today.

If you do, is it repeatable?

Can you sustain it?

When you find this place,
do you see your world differently?

Do people react differently
toward you?

Please know that this state
is always present.

It is a matter of deeply tapping into
what is already and always now here.

And if you feel up to it,
please share
what happens for you
throughout your day.

***

Prayer for the Day

Grace show me the way.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 30. 2018

Thought for the Day

TRUTH is omnipresent.

Always has no direction
and thus it neither conflicts with
nor opposes anything,
there clearly being nothing else
with which it could compete.

For so long as the ideas
of conflict and oppostion
hold value in you mind, for so long
will you travel a road, thinking
you are accomplishing much,
while all the while you accomplish
nothing, heading ever
on a journey that obscures truth
rather than revealing it.

The hallmark of one
who has turned around
and become serious, perhaps
for the first time in their lives?

They are highly recognizable.

They have given up
the notions of conflict and opposition
irrevocably, leaving no footprint
upon this earth other than
the delicate tracings of one
who follows on the path of peace.

***

Listen, dear heart friends!

Truth is utterly indivisible
and therefore has no opposition.

It is yours this day to recognize that
truth fully abides within you
and you fully within it.

Thus, in each moment
it is given you to recognize that
there is but one power in the universe
and, consciously joined wholly with it,
you are the light of the world.

***

Prayer for the Day

Where does darkness go
when the LIGHT has been turned on?

Was it ever really there
other than as a belief
once cherished
by the mind?

And now that the mind awakens
to the realization of the LIGHT within,
God is suddenly everywhere I now look---
for it is the Eye of God which is
living in, living though,
living as,
me.

Humbly and gratefully
I bow before the awesome majesty of life.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 29. 2018

Thought for the Day

Imagine, if you will,
a state of being
which is so conflict-free and clear.
so steady and grounded,
and so deeply and completely
connected with all there is
that you felt no need
to protect yourself
from anyone or anything
ever again?

There are many
within the nondual community
that will try to tell you that
this is impossible and unnecessary---
that it has nothing to do
with realization.

Do you know why
they tell you this?

It is because
they have not realized it themselves---
their own work not yet complete,
and therefore, if this is not
their abiding state, it does not exist.

And so they try to sell you
on a bologna sandwhich
rather than a seat
at the banquet table
for which you came
into this precious human life.

But hear this:

When once your lips have quaffed
from this cup,
this IS precisely what
the realization
of truth will do for you.

Wearing the mask
and mistaking it for you,
this state will remain forever
just beyond your hopeful grasp,
regardless how sincere
or how hard you try.

Nor do you have to figure out
how to remove the mask
permanently
to experience truth
in such an abiding state.

You simply have to
be able to clearly see the mask
for what it is---- recognizing
that it is not you, and to stop
reacting to life from the misguided
perspective that it is,
to create within you a place
where truth in all its glory
may be made welcome.

***

Prayer for the Day

Make of me
a living invitation
ever open
to the truth,
and nothing but
the truth.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 28. 2018

Thought for the Day

Sunday is practice day.

Your practice for the day
is a continuation
of yesterday's practice.

A mantra is given you
with which to work.

"There is no hurry,
Be here NOW."

You spend your entire lives
thinking you are here (X marks the spot)
trying to get over there-------->;
when you are actually there-------------------->
(in your mind)
and you need to get back to here,
in the place where you now stand.

You have great need of learning
how to actually inhabit your life
or, as it is said in Zen, take the one seat.

So notice today
when you are doing it to yourself again---
the mind is preoccupied with things
not happening, rather than
truly being right here in the life
which is yours to fully and deeply live
in the here and now.

A couple decades ago
when I had a healing center,
a young drug addict new to recovery
asked to come inside and sit on the sofa,
to rest and cool off
on a hot summer July day.

Her very old car had broken down
on the freeway and passersby
would not stop to help her
push it out of the way, but rather,
seemed content to lay on the horn,
scream at her out their windows on the fly
and flip her the bird as the sped by.

She was hot, sweaty and dehydrated.

I gave her a bottle of cold water
from our fridge and asked her
how we was staying so calm.

What she said was a game changer
for me at the time and I have thought
of it so many many times since
and shared her beautiful message.

She said to me, "Stress. Stress.
I kept saying to myself, 'I am so
stressed out,' and it occurred to me:
Stress. S-T-R-E-S-S.
Stop.
Take it real easy. Sit still."

What can I say?

Out of the mouth of babes.....

***

Prayer for the Day

I want to know what it means
to truly live, to see,
to be here NOW.

Show me the way.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 27. 2018

Thought for the Day

Another practice
is offered you today.

This one is quite simple.

Notice when the mind and the body
are moving through life way too fast
and imagine a big red stop sign.

You know----
octagonal, red, white border
with the word, STOP in large white caps.
When you have it clearly in mind, stop.

Stop everything you are doing
and become very very still.

Recognize that you do this to yourself,
you know what I mean...
when you are in
faster than a speeding bullet mode....
you do this in order to avoid
facing the fear that
if you were to truly slow down
then you might have
a real problem on your hands.

What if you were to freak out?

Do something really stupid?

Behave in a way
that everyone caught on to you
and saw just how nuts you actually are
and then they might not like you,
be appalled by your outrageousness,
perhaps even actively dislike
or even be repulsed by you?

And worst of all,
what if you saw something
so disgusting that you could no longer
tolerate you, when you can
barely stand yourself in the first place?

And so you exhaust yourself
going ninety-to-nothing
and feel so alone....so alone.

Let's take a peek
at just what's behind that curtain,
shall we?

What do you discover when you stop,
look, listen and feel?

What happens when you
become deeply aware of your breath
and authentically connect
with everyone and everything
around you, including yourself?

Try to build these moments
frequently into your day,
and do report back
on what you find.

***

Prayer for the Day

Above all else
I want to see.

I want to feel alive
and unafraid.

I want to feel a part of life
and it a part of me.

Teach me how to live and love
and simply be.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 26. 2018

Thought for the Day

Here is the simplest of truths,
though most often overlooked.

When you feel afraid about
any particular outcome,
what is being revealed to you
is the degree to which
you believe that your happiness
depends upon what you wish to happen;
and thus that what is happening
stands in opposition to your happiness
or peace of mind.

Both the belief and the subsequent
feelings, are symptoms
of an even more deeply held
and cherished belief:

You believe that the impostor
who poses as you, or the mask,
is who or what you are.

You are now faced
with three possible alternatives.

(1)

Continue wearing the mask,
mistaking it for you,
and suffer persistently from
the constant and inevitable gesticulations
of victim consciousness.

(2)

Fight the situation
and struggle with the mask;
try to make it a better mask, a sturdier mask,
one that is less frightened
of its own shadow---
and this is nothing more than
rearranging the deck chairs
on the Titanic....or as Shakespeare said:

"To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind
to suffer The slings and arrows 
of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?"

(3)

Recognize that this is only a mask.
It is not the truth,
and in that recognition,
humbly lay it down.

Remember,
when faced with difficulty
and uncertainty, you can
either see the mask,
or be the mask.

But you create an impossible
situation for yourself
when you see it, yet still
try to be it; and then try your damnedest
to make yourself a better version of it.

Know this: The mask is the penultimate
attack launched against
your invulnerability.

Stand only as the truth,
and bear witness to your FREEDOM,
knowing nothing of the body,
nor of the mind, or of this world
is capable of providing safety,
comfort or happiness----
nor of taking it away from you,
for it is only the mask
which believes thusly.

***

Prayer for the Day

I will not fight the mask today,
nor ever again, but choose rather
to recognize it, and in the seeing,
use it as an opportunity
to do some heart work.

Dear mask:

Thank you for serving me
as best you could in this life
when I knew of no other way of being.

You did your job with great devotion,
and tried to serve us
admirably.

Your work is over
and you have earned your rest.

Thank you for all your hard work,
but from here on out,
I got this.

For I no longer fear the truth,
but give it welcome.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 25. 2018

Thought for the Day

I know loads of people
who report that they have been
on the spiritual path for many years,
perhaps even decades,
and profess a certain frustration
that what they say they want to happen,
what they have been searching for
for most of their lives,
still has not happened.

Why is this? Do you know?

I do.

For while they may think
that they have done a lot of work spiritually,
I know that they have not even taken
the very first step.

How do I know this?

Is that not rather presumptuous,
smug even?

No, it is not.

I can say this unequivocally
because I know that there is no such thing
as a true spiritual path
that does not make you come
face to face with yourself.

And those who run here and there,
reading this and listening to that,
Learning this...then this...and this...
always busy with something,
do so only in order to try to avoid
facing themselves.

Question:

How do you liberate yourself
from yourself
when you have never been
brave enough to face
what lies inside?

***

Prayer for the Day

Full stop.

I take the high dive inside,
even though terror is overwhelming.

Grace, lead the way.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 24. 2018

Thought for the Day

What is it that makes one day
an exquisite day, a beautiful day,
and another seem
so damn crappy---a struggle
to plow our way through
until we can go home,
grab a bite and maybe a highball
or perhaps a fine glass of Chardonnay,
until we fall into bed
like a dead person, our last thought
being but a furtive hope
that toomorrow will be a better day?

The mask of i, me, my & mine
works so very hard each & every day
to mastermind and craft for itself
all that it feels a good day
should possess when so few
ever really measure up.

Occasionally things do go right
and have a certain flow to them,
so it wonders, what was different?

Why was this day so much more
than just okay, with lovely moments
in what is usually an inescapable
series of serial adventures
undertaken within a heinous
and seriously disappointing
sea of madness over which he
has little control at best?

And so he lowers the bar
of his expectations and learns to settle---
clinging to those moments when,
for the briefest of times,
life seemed to go his way.

What is it, then, that
distinguishes his days
one from another?

There is only one thing,
and it is through this one thing
one either takes back their power
or they give it away.

The answer is simple.

What distinguishes any day
is simply how you choose
to perceive it.

What's going to happen
is going to happen,
no matter what.

And what happens is neutral,
as in virginal or untouched, until you,
the perceiver, place
your sight upon it.

And until you real eyes
that it is you and you alone
that shape each day
through your perception,
you live out the moments of your days
in a state of perpetual
victim consciousness.

And recognize this:

The fictional character
of i, me, my & mine
is always going to have crazy days,
always in search of more
or better or different, judging itself
for how it did this, or why
it did not do that----
being uncertain at most times
of what it actually wants.

But the loving and immaculate eyes
of awareness itself
behold a gentle world, a kind world,
a world of interbeingness
upon which is left the silent,
invisible and indelible
handprint of God.

***

Prayer for the Day

Show me a better way.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 23. 2018

Thought for the Day

Today we move a step closer
to understanding why a palpable sense
of unsatisfactoriness and oft times misery
follow you much of your day,
and the inner experience of life
is one with so many highs and lows
that it feels much like
the most intimidating roller coaster ride.

We begin by observing
when things are hard.

They are never difficult
because of what is happening,
they are difficult because you have a thought
which says, "this is hard,"
and you believe it.

Or let us take a simpler
and more familiar example
of where we are going
with all of this.

You disagree with something
someone posts on FB
or they disagree with you.

Is the upset you feel
caused by what is happening,
or is it caused because
you have a thought which says,
"they are wrong,"
or "they think I'm wrong"
and you believe it?

The point is that all conflict,
and I am referring to 100% of it,
is self-induced and arises simply
from believing thoughts.

And peace, my lovelies,
is knowing this is how conflict arises
and no longer biting the hook.

What is the natural, unaddorned
inner experience of life
when you no longer believe
that any thought is capable of
revealing what is true?

Let's take another example.

I feel __________.

It can be angry, frustrated, tired,
anxious, afraid, proud,
happy, hurt or anything
in-between.

Is what is happening
the cause of your feelings,
or is there a thought
which says, "I feel angry, or frustrated,
I'm tired, anxious, afraid, proud,
I am happy or hurt, I dread this
or am excited about that----
is not every feeling simply the product
of a thought believed?

Hard or easy, good or bad,
pleasant or unpleasant---
these are just symptoms of
a judgment made and thought believed.

It's all a game
you play with yourself.

And could it be that
even sickness is an experience
which arises
as a thought believed?

And what of death?

What are the stories we tell ourselves
around that and believe,
hook-line-and-sinker?

Watch yourself closely today
with rigorous honesty
and do get back with us
about what you discover.

For here lies the key
that opens the jail cell
and sets the captive free---
when it is clearly seen that
you are the only one
who has done this to you
and you are no longer willing
to play the game.

And see if you can observe 
something else:

It takes the belief 
in the existence of a personal 'i'
to believe any thought or feeling.

***

Prayer for the Day

Got it.

No longer willing to play the game.

'I' folds.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 22. 2018

Thought for the Day

Today we will be working again
with yesterday's practice,
taking it a step deeper
in the direction of healing.

It is very difficult to let go of
the deeply wounded parts of the psyche,
for they are what tends to resurface
whenever something
pushes up against an ancient hurt
we have not yet seen or one
that has not been truly resolved,
regardless how hard we may have tried
to do so thus far.

Most people on this planet
go through the motions of their life
with a sense of unworthiness,
of being unloveable
and of being, ultimately,
all on their own.

These are the three most prominant
core wounds that crop up for us;
and for most, far more often
than we would like.

So today, in the moments of downtime
when you are trying to find the heart
and breathe in and out from it,
slowly, quietly & silently
repeat to yourself:

"Words cannot begin to describe
the beauty I am."

And then see if you can feel your way
into a place, perhaps
no bigger than a crack,
where you can be open enough
to your own precious heart
to let some of that beauty
make itself known.

And in every encounter today,
you are asked to slowly and mindfully
breathe in and out of the heart
for each person you meet
or with whom you have cause
to interact.

Spirit never sleeps in anyone
or anything, ever.

That one can be asleep to the spirit
within them is evident----
so it is your honor and priviledge
to connect with their spirit
and be an insturment
in the healing process for them
and at the same time
for our world.

Spirit is one. Touch the spirit
within anyone or anything
in a deeply and powerful way
and you have touched the universe
in its entirety.

Next, repeat silently and slowly to them:

"Words cannot begin to describe
the beauty you are, but I see it,
you have been seen
and loved by me."

This is all, but what a mighty ripple
of healing will spread across
the face of this world, if you will
embrace today's practice
and give it your all.

Let the healing begin!

***

Prayer for the Day

This little heart of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine, let it shine,
all the time.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 21. 2018

Thought for the Day

Sunday is practice day.

Your practice today is very simple
and does not require
a lot of instruction.

You are simply asked
to try to spend your entire day
living from the heart center,
located midway between
your two breasts.

You do so simply by
placing your attention
gently in this location
with loving and mindful intention.

See if you can feel as though
the breath is originating and moving
from deep within the heart;
rather than entering and exiting
through the nose or the mouth.

In the second chapter
of the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna
introduces two Sanskrit words,
Abhyasa and Vairagya,
which are usually translated as,
practice and centeredness.

But I prefer to think of them
as point and not-point.

If one's aim to to remain on-point,
what do you do
when you find yourself
off-point?

Return to point!

That's simple enough,
is it not?

This is the practice for the day.

May you feel the blessings of the universe
raining down upon you,
supporting your desire
to practice today with devotion
and loving intent.

***

Prayer for the Day

This little heart of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine, let it shine,
all the time.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 20. 2018

Thought for the Day

"Whenever catching sight of others,
look upon them with an open, loving heart."

Shantideva


Another practice is offered today.

The practice centers around
the four immeasurables
which are lovingkindness, compassion,
sympathetic joy, and equanimity.

Although they are taught
as practices which we direct
toward others,
today we allow them to be directed
toward ourselves.

Can you take the back seat,
can you open up enough,
to allow them to flow
immeasurably toward you,
bringing comfort and healing
in their wake?

Can you allow yourself
to get out of your own way.
to create a space within you
which is large enough
for you to be ministered to
on the deepest of levels?

Nothing else is required.

You will find that these four virtures
flow effortlessly and immeasurably
through you toward your world
when you have allowed them
to sweep through your being,
unhindered and unbound.

May angels, both seen and unseen,
minister deeply unto you this day.

***

Prayer for the Day

LOVE live me.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 19 2018

Thought for the Day

Yesterday a FB friend
by the name of JD Hirani posted an Osho quote
that blew this mind to smithereens.

It said simply. "Remember one thing:
except for silence, everything else
is your imagination."

I love it!

My point is this:

People have allowed themselves
to become numb to the meaning
of the following statement:

"Truth is true and only truth is true."

Today I ask you to try to
wrap your noggin around
what this statement is actually
pointing to.

As long as you believe
that it is possible
for you to attend to anything
other than truth, to that degree
you have allowed the idea of conflict
to enter into your mind.

And the degree to which
you have allowed conflict
to enter your mind, to that same degree
you will live a conflicted life.

And with a conflicted life there is.....
drum roll please....
dukkha, deep deep dukkha,
or suffering.

It is unavoidable.

The mischievous and seriously disturbed
sense of self that is referred to as ego
is nothing more than
the highly miscreative mask
we have fashioned from the modeling clay
of the sum total of our confusion,
delusion and error----that which we have
erroneously believed to be real
under the seriously misguided assumption
that it is possible to entertain
anything other than
truth, when nothing else exists.

What in the h-e-double-toothpicks
do you think
omnipresent actually means?

So when I say things such as
there are not two powers but one,
or that the only way out of an illusion
is to recognize that you were
never in it in the first place,
I am asking you to confront
your belief that it is possible
to attend to anything other than truth.

Be vigilent.

Be vigilent until
you no longer have to be.

And work with this little exercise
several times today.

Try it anytime that you have
a minute or two free.

But more importantly,
try it when the ego is seriously
giving you a hard time.

Those on a spiritual path in the west
are well schooled in what it means
to be kind, compassionate,
and loving to others.

But they are very poor
at directing that same tenderness
to themselves.

Thus the exercise you are asked
to practice today
involves self-compassion.

Sometimes I liken the ego
to a four year old
whom we have given a butcher knife 
with which to play.

Someone is always going to get a raw deal
and come out bleeding and torn.

Will it turn the knife on its world,
or it will turn it on you.?

Now it is not possible
for there to be such a thing as ego
in truth, but because the creative power
within you is the stuff of big bangs,
anything you believe is real
takes on a reality to you
which must be healed
or it ain't going anywhere.

So in those moments of practice,
I want you to invite this crazed,
controlling and wounded
part of the psyche
to come sit in your lap
in the luminous presence
of the kingdom of Heaven.

I seriously don't care what
you call it: nirvana, the kingdom.
silence or stillness,
the point is that whatever
you consider the ultimate to be,
sit in the company of That
with this self-seeking and self-cherishing
aspect of mind.

Because here's the deal:

The way to be in the kingdom
is to simply place
the focus of your attention on it
one-pointedly.

Not more than a minute or two
at a time is needed
for a great healing process
to begin.

Mind is One.

You do this not just for yourself,
but for the sake of the whole.

***

Prayer for the Day

We are all sitting in the same boat.

Make me an instrument of healing
for the sake of the whole.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “


January 18. 2018

Thought for the Day

This week I received a lovely response to a daily lesson from a student which included the following:

"So, the first thing I notice after reading this lesson is the immediate, almost frantic reaction by ego. It warns me that things are being asked of me that will undoubtably change my life in a bad/negative way. Change in itself is “bad” after all, right?

How will this affect the family? How will you relate to your loved ones (aka: special relationships)? How will you make it in this world...surely NOT by dreamily following this inner voice telling you to jump off the cliff (ego is soooo dramatic). 

This is my first reaction. Honestly.

This would have, before now, instilled enough doubt/fear that I would have just shut it down. 

“You’re right, my comfortable companion (ego) of many years”...”my nay-sayer”....

I do not connect with that type of reaction presently. I can recognize the familiar bate and switch of the little self. Like a glimmer of light shining through the closet door in a darkened room. My focus is on the light. Even though my person is standing in the darkness, my sight is elsewhere. I find it much easier to trust now."

Beautiful, right?

This is why the fulcrum of what I share centers around your willingness to pull the mask away from your face just a bit so you can actually see it. For when this happens for anyone, they clearly get that they are not the mask, but the awareness or presence that sees it. Here they stand as the changeless unseen witness of the play.

It is much like the familiar poem by Portia Nelson:

“I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes me a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in. It's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.”

Portia Nelson, There's a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery

Unless we begin to see, and do so clearly, that the ego is a painful and exhausting affliction, a malady from which we all suffer, you will never question the belief which whispers incessantly in your ear, "I am your reality and you must protect me with your life. If you lose me, you will lose all that you hold dear."

While you have spent your whole life trying to make it bigger, stronger, more successful, smarter, more attractive, working with all your might to try and ensure its meteoric rise to its idea of what constitutes a successful life, a happy life, you have failed to see how tired you are....how exhausted and empty you actually feel and how plagued with uncertainty and self-doubt.

All these efforts you make toward achievement of something wonderful and permanent are not only unsustainable, but entirely unfulfilling, for you never ever feel as though you achieve whatever it was that you thought you were aiming for.

But the ego is never innocent. It claims to always have your best interests at heart, protecting all that you hold dear, all the while it sabotages you left and right.

It endlessly pursues attention and power, yet always running in the background is a deeper, subversive plethora of thoughts, feelings and behaviors which leave you with egg all over your face: humiliated, beaten, and never enough.

You are not powerless in this life.

You, and only you, have the power to choose to either see it, or be it.

And if you can see it, you can choose to stop identifying with it.

And if you can do this, you live at the causal point of your existence, rather than at the effect of ego and the legion of schemes it employs in an effort to mastermind a good life.

Here, I want you to envision a cross. Believe me when I say that I am not trying to get religious with you.

But a cross has an east-west axis and a north-south axis.

When you identify with the mask, you chase after things on the horizontal axis, you are controlled by the conditioned mind, running feverishly in time.

But when you have pulled the mask out just a bit, you connect with True North, and anchor deeply on the vertical axis. Here there is clarity, peace, freedom and a vastness that is beyond human comprehension.

Make a study of watching your inner world today.

Take note of how the ego will try to convince you to say, do or believe something because it is in the best interests of your life and of those whom you love.

And then take note of a deeper agenda that is setting you up for another up-set, and pick a different street.

Real eyes that all its efforts to create a successful life for you are in place only to ensure its continued survival and you duped into believing that it is your life you are struggling to hold onto, that it is your life you are defending; yet all of its crazy antics having absolutely nothing to do with either your happiness or success.

If you can begin to see just this much, you will be able to loosen your grip on it and its grip on you.

And then waking up is welcomed rather than feared. For to truly see the ego for what it is, is to want to be free of it--- no longer under its fierce and unloving dominion.

It has served itself and you have served it, but has it ever really SERVED you?

Has it provided you with that which you have yearned so deeply in this life?

If it has not, then isn't it high time to drop the mask like a hot potato?

***

Prayer for the Day

Burn me to ashes.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 17. 2018

Thought for the Day

Let LOVE in.

With all the earnestness at our command,
we implore you to let Her in.

She will save you from
your misery.

She will heal your broken heart.

She will devour the pain
of feeling like you are the one
who has been left standing outside
looking in, while others
are moving forward,
celebrating without you.

She is not only
the Great Healer,
She is the only healer.

You who believe you have taken
two steps back, hear this:

You march in place while placing
too much stock in what the mind
says to you.

It is not your friend.

You are always on the path.

You are always
exactly where you are supposed to be.

You are not one tittle behind
the point of perfection,
nor are you or nor could you ever be
moving toward it.

You are my beloved child
in whom I am well pleased.

***

Prayer for the Day

So humbled.

So humble and so eager
to open this heart
and SEE.

I surrender all.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 16. 2018

Thought for the Day

Sunday, I and a group of ten
other volunteers
prepared a lovely meal
at one of our local homeless shelters.

It was a profound evening
of giving, loving serving, sharing
and joining in the celebration
of life, the celebration of love.

But I bring this up because
I want to share a bit
about a common experience
which affected several of us
in a variety of ways.

You see, any time in which you feel
that you understand an idea,
but your understanding
remains conceptual only,
you really don't understand at all.

This is because true understanding
requires a direct,
and rather visceral experience.

When this occurs,
you have, in effect, become one
with the idea or lesson; it has become
a living part of you.

All of this is a rather lengthy introduction 
to the message for today, but unless
the frame is properly set,
you will not see the picture
that is inside of it.

Most of the members of our group
are longtime vegetarians,
some vegan, some vegan and gluten-free,
five or six carnivorous.

I am vegan and gluten free---
have been for a very...very...long...time.

And please do not mstiake
where I am going with all this
to mean that I believe one should
or should not be a vegetarian.

If anything is believed at all,
it is simply that everyone
should follow the wisdom
of their sacred hearts.

For that I hold sacrosanct.

Our Sunday at the shelter
is now also the day
that the local famers market
donates everything they were unable
to sell to the shelter.

A great and generous thing, right?

The difficulty that we have faced
when we have arrived at the shelter
for the last two months, is that
there has been several hundred pounds
of fresh vegetables piled on every working surface,
including the floor in front of those surfaces
for us to help deal with before
we have room to begin to work---and they only give us
two hours to prepare a meal before we
are expected to start serving dinner.

Also this month,
the donation included a lot of raw meat
and prepared food.

Our volunteers had to dip up ice cream
for sundaes on the same table
on which there was a five gallon
clear container filled with raw beef tips.

I and another lady
were having a very strong
negative reaction to this scene
which we found to be very challenging
to our beliefs and the value
that we place on life...all of life.

Another woman kept repeating
to us, "it is a neutral event."

But if you do not begin to see
that everything exists in your mind,
you will never begin to see
a neutral world. And that, my dear,
is a prescription for hell.

The meaning behind the zen koan,
"if a tree falls in the forest
and there is no one there to hear it,
does it make a sound?" is that
if there is no one there to hear it,
then there is no forest,
no tree, no sound.

It is the presence of the observer
combined with the observed
and the meaning the observer provides
the observed that creates
the experience.

And that, my lovelies,
is a process occurring entirely
within you.

Otherwise there would be
nothing there at all,
don't you see?

I have no neutral thoughts
because there has to be an awareness
of the thought in which
a mistaken sense of me-ness arises.

It then becomes "my thought;"
someone is observing the thought 
and thereby identifying with it--- providing it with
all the meaning that it has for that
felt sense of me-ness.

And that meaning will contain
a rather specific emotional charge to it.

If the sense of me-ness
comes from the imagined self,
I will like it or not like it,
approve or disapprove,
be intrigued or curious,
or dismiss it in judgment.

I may harbor a grudge,
forgive or not forgive,
but what I will not do
is be altogether neutral toward it,
this the imagined self
can not do.

You have to begin to see
that if I see the most beautiful sunset
I have ever seen,
and tears of awe stream down my cheeks,
the beauty which I have beheld
is the beauty within me.

Likewise, I often have the thought,
"If you could only see yourself
for one teeny tiny infinitesimal instant
through these eyes,
this mind and this heart,
your life would never be the same again."

And yet again I real eyes
that this beauty I see when I look
at you is the beauty I find
in this brave and boundless,
beautiful heart.

Every instant
you live in a world
of your own making.

Creation, sustenance
and destruction
are going on unceasingly
in the space between your ears,
in the depths of your beating heart,
in the openness or closedness
of who and what
you experience as "you."

What will be the world
you bear witness to
and thus experience
this day?

***

Prayer for the Day

Let me never forget
that the world I behold
is merely myself
as I experience 'me.'

Sobering, is it not?

And a revelation to be sure.

I want to know
the beauty and sacredness
that I am, that the world
I see would be a reflection
of all I cherish and hold dear.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 15. 2018

Thought for the Day

I beg you....please make the word,
"allow" the most poignant and precious
of all words in your vocabulary.

You have spent a lifetime
pinning your hopes
on literally everything out there...
the next job, the next relationship,
a better car, a nicer house,
losing weight, getting in shape,
having a child, having the same child
grow up and leave home, retirement...
..and you recognize that
with the attainment of each new goal,
you have been left feeling
even more empty
and barren than before.

In more recent years
it has been this new teacher,
that new book, an auspicious connection,
the right class, the next retreat, and still
you feel dead inside.

You've been running on empty
and sucking on fumes
for so long that
you know no other way.

Face it.

You know it and I know it.

There is something deep inside you,
your awareness of which
has been gaining ground...
growing to a fever's pitch.

It is longing
for you to set it free.

This is what
you have been looking for.

Haven't you sensed its presence
there all along?

Waiting....waiting....waiting...
for you to allow it to surface...
to come up for air and finally be free?

***

Prayer for the Day

If there were only words
that could speak of this despair,
but there are not.

I will not mourn the loss or change
of anything in this life.

For I know...I know...
nothing short of the Absolute
can fill this aching heart.

Take all of me.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 14. 2018

Thought for the Day

Sunday is practice day.

Today's practice is called,
"Mystery or mask."

The instruction is simple.

With complete impartiality,
be a surreptitious observer
of yourself.

Who is running the show?

Is it the mask of the imagined self,
or is it the Mystery
living itself through you?

Yes, my dear, miss bossy pants
is the mask.

And that look you give?

You know the one.

Your kids hush in an instant
and everyone else in the world
can see that you have your partner
pussy-whipped.

Well...that one is the mask too.

The control freak?

You know it, also the mask.

The one with all the shoulds,
ought toos & musts?

Also the imposter.

The one who isolates?

None other than
your old amigo, the ego.

The worker bee, the doer,
who goes into remote control
and loves accomplishing stuff?

You got it. Mask.

The impatient one?

Mask.

Those sweet and tender instances
that seem to come from nowhere
that take the breath away?

The Mystery is unfolding
before your waiting eyes and heart.

The most important thing to remember
is that we are not censoring
your reactions to life, nor are we
judging ourselves for them.

For the one who would do that
is also the mask.

We are simply seeing
how many different forms
of the mask we can observe 
and do so with complete neutrality.

The process is one of discovery
and it is presence which witnesses.

See if you can observe
the relationship between
wearing the mask
and mistaking it for you
and the experience of suffering.

Do you notice the relationship
between the character
who wears the mask
and the perception of a world
with so much you find
unsatisfactory?

When the Mystery is unfolding,
what is the felt sense of self
and how does the world appear?

What are your conclusions?

Wear this day
like a loose garment.

Your mission is one of discovery
and meant to be
both kind and illuminating.

We would like to hear back
from you today
regarding your findings.

And may the force be with you,
for indeed it always is.

***

Prayer for the Day

Ones and zeros.

Ones and zeros.

Help me observe
that which I call "my life"
with that much neutrality----
neutrality, clarity and compassion.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 13. 2018

Thought for the Day

Today we will look at three areas of difficulty
that affect nearly every human
on the planet.

They are addiction, distraction
and judgment.

Many books have been written
on each of these,
but we can distill their cause
down to a single idea
and when you can pinpoint the cause,
you have also identified
the solution.

People engage in any number
of behaviors and activities addictively
in order to try to medicate
and thus avoid
their inner experience of life.

This can be anything----
from unnecessary eating,
to alcohol, drugs, sex,
spending, gambling, cleaning,
organizing, exercising
and channel surfing
are but a few.

When we speak of inner experience
we are referring specifically
to thoughts and feelings.

But you cannot run away
from your mind
no matter how hard you try.

For wherever you go,
there you are.

And the few moments of respite
that extremely dysfunctional, damaging
and neurotic behavior provides
is not worth the mortification
one feels afterward.

The best thing you can do then
is make peace with it.

You are not your thoughts
and feelings, you are the one
who is aware of them.

Turn your attention to awareness itself
and discover the infinite availablity
of the truth of you.

And what of judgment?

Judgment is simply
the activity with which the mind engages
when it seeks to conceal
the pain and discomfort,
disappointment and displeasure
it feels toward itself.

And self-judgment
is when you turn this destructive weapon
upon the self you think you are---
not even caring to cover up
the contempt and self-loathing
felt for the imagined self.

All this is said to simply
get you take a brief but honest
and objective look
at the imagined self
and its world.

We leave you
with one simple question
to consider today:

Is this all there is to you,
is this all you have to look forward to
until the end of your days?

***

Prayer for the Day

I have a new definition
for the imagined self
and its world: hell.

God, it sucks.

But I see it.

And seeing it
is the first step out of it.

Whatever neurosis
compelled me to create such a life
for myself is done.

White flag definitely waving.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 12. 2018

Thought for the Day

When every word has been erased
which you have circumscribed
upon yourself, you will then behold
the boundless face of God.

Oneness is not a variable quality.

When you are guilt-free,
you cannot suffer
and peace is an unshakable state.

When you are conflict-free,
you are omnipotent.

And when LOVE has been reborn
within the tabernacle of the heart,
you become the healing presence
which sets the world ablaze---
abolishing the darkness of ignorance,
pain and suffering, simply through
your very beingness; restoring
the awareness of LIGHT
where it had been forgotten...misplaced.

***

Prayer for the Day

Lead me from ignorance to TRUTH,
from darkness to LIGHT
and from death
to IMMORTALITY.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 11. 2018

Thought for the Day

All that anyone is capable of truly sharing
is what their direct experience
has revealed to them thus far.

How does anyone
have the audacity to argue
with another about their direct experience
and suggest that they are wrong?

Years and years ago
I heard a beautiful definition
about the difference between
religion and spirituality
and have hung onto it
for perhaps 35 years or so.

Religion is for those
who are afraid of going to hell
while spirituality
is for those who have
already been there.

But I was actually quite inspired
by a definition I was given
yesterday.

Spirituality is about freedom
and religion is about
crowd control.

The point of all this being that
the only thing you need to use
the faculty of discrimination for
is to determine whether someone
is speaking from a positionality
of religious or cultural bias, i. e.,belief,
or that of direct experience.

And if they as speaking from
the perspective of their experience,
there is absolutely nothing
that you can say.

But if they are speaking
from programming
there is nothing for you to say
because if you step into it
with them, argue and debate with them,
you are merely demonstrating
your own ignorance as well.

These days there are a lot
of teachers out there arguing
with one another about what is truth,
especially within the nondual scene.

They are speaking from
what they have realized
through direct experience
with what another has realized
through their direct experience.

Be very very careful
not to let yourself be sucked into
their conflict and drama
or you too will feel conflicted.

How is this any different than
Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un
arguing about who has the bigger
nuclear button on their desk?

There are many many teachers
out there who argue that
you are both the manifest Self,
the I Am, Atman, and also the Witness,
the Absolute, Parabrahman.

But you know what?

Come over here just an instant
taking in the Vista
from the atom point and see
that the reason why absolute
and unequivocal forgiveness
is so easy is because how difficult
can it be to forgive nothing?

There is One Singular Reality.

And if you stay open enough
long enough
you will realize it.

The meaningless thoughts
of i, me. my and mine
create the illusion we call maya;
or the seeming appearance or existence
of what is fundamentally not there.

But maya disappears, poof,
when it is realized that
i, me, my and mine
have no inherent existence
whatsoever.

It is not a case of both/and,
it is a case of either/or.

A room is dark, or it is light,
it cannot be both.

Simple enough to comprehend.

And you were not meant
to find a way to make peace with suffering,
you were meant to abolish it.

And I will never never never accept
that suffering, sickness, nuclear war,
ideas of less and more, the haves
and the have nots, and all this world's
seeming abuses are real
because I will never never never
accept that anything is happening here
other than a massive hallucination
that we were meant to overcome
through the power of love
not the love of power----
that we might bear witness to that
Changeless Infinite Light
which alone IS;
forever omnipresent
forever omnipotent
forever omniscient.

Why?

Because this is this witness's
 direct experience.

***

Prayer for the Day

Only LOVE.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 10. 2018

Thought for the Day

Today we ask for your assistance
in testing a theory we posit.

From the very start,
let us make perfectly clear
that you do not have to believe
that it is either true or even may be true.

Your opinions and beliefs
will not interfere in any way whatsoever
with the results.

You are simply asked
to work with it several times
throughout your day.

The results you obtain will either validate
or discredit their efficacy.

Ready?

What if....and I know this sounds
off the wall crazy...but what if
you were to discover
that you were not the you
that you have taken yourself to be
your entire life?

What if that sense of identity
was simply an impostor
who has been posing as you all along?

What would be the implications
of a startling proposal
such as this?

What would then be
of all its thoughts and feelings,
its personal storyline,
its burdens and beliefs,
its biases and judgments,
its successes and failures,
every label it had ever accumulated
along the way with which
it further defined or enhanced its identity,
its checkered past, its ups and downs,
its loves and hates, its tragedies
and its endless list of resentments
and grievances?

What if all of that were to become
suspect to you?

What if....and I'm just sayin'...
what if...who you are and what you are
were something else, but that you could not
experience that something else directly
unless you were to find a way
in which you could lay it down,
even if it were for no longer
than a few moments at a time?

Would it not be a whole lot easier
to disregard its constant
editorializing of your life?

See if you cannot experience
numerous instances today
in which you find that you can
pull its mask away a bit
and see the mask for what it is,
and more importantly for what it isn't,
allowing yourself a few moments
of blissful respite.

Be brave.

What have you got to lose
other than a sense of self
which has brought you so much
chaos and suffering
in this life?

If you take this opportunity
seriously, it will become self-evident
that you are not the 'me' character,
that there is no real 'me' character.

Just a steady stream of meaningless
thoughts and random feelings
owned by no one.

Why make a 'me' out of it
and assume liability
and responsibility for it?

What does the experience
feel like in those moments
when you can successfully pull the mask
away from the face,
even for an instant?

What are your findings?

Who is doing this?

What is there?

***

Prayer for the Day

I offer my little willingness
today to sincerely try.

Grace bless my efforts
to practice well,
releasing every attachment
to either effort or results.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 9. 2018

Thought for the Day

Today we will offer a distinction,
perhaps yet unclear to you.

You do not experience
the world as it is,
you experience it as you are.

What you experience
through the five sense horses
is but the out-picturing of yourself
as you perceive yourself to be
on the deepest of levels
in your heart of hearts.

The world, your world, is but a display
of you as you feel about yourself---
be it a vision of glory
or one you rebuke--- seeing not yourself
but a world you would condemn
for its repulsiveness and debauchery.

Not a revelation for the world
per say as much as one to which you are blind
to your own projections
and what they would reveal to you
about how you see yourself.

Oh.....it is so much easier to hate
the thing you think apart from you
and unlike yourself
rather than to behold with honesty
you as you secretly see yourself.

And so we request a willingness
on your part to peek behind the curtain
and look honestly at the world,
reporting back on the nature of what you see
precisely as you experience it.

Is it a loving world
where the Everlasting
is unceasingly revealing Itself
from glory to glory,
a world with which you feel
inseparably one?

Or is it a world you are
constantly at odds with?

Is it a tired world, a broken world,
a sad world, where problems exist
without solutions and people wander,
bereft of hope and rest,
lost and damned by their pitiable search
for more, better, different
which never ever really pans out,
but where you stand cleverly perched
in your ivory tower as judge, jury
and executioner, bitching
and complaining ad nauseum?

This is why the question, "Who am I?"
remains the only question
worth your pursuit in this life.

For the world was given unto you
for no other reason than that
here you would either find your Self
or become more deeply lost
to its blinding realization.

***

Prayer for the Day

Well, I might as well fess up,
as it has only been myself
that I have been fooling.

How does one stop
un-enlightening themselves
unless they begin to clearly see
what they have been doing,
even if they do not like
what they see and would much rather
go on denying it, pretending
that it is not there?

Kind of reminds me
of when I tried to teach my baby brother
how to play hide and seek
when he was only three.

I said, "I will cover my eyes
and count to 100 and you run and hide
and I will come find you."

When I got to 100 and opened my eyes,
there he was, standing two feet in front of me
with his hands over his eyes.

You see, he believed
that if he could not see,
that I could not see him.

Yet who can attack
what the Divine created
and hate whom the Divine loves
and still maintain they want the truth
and believe they have hope
of ever finding it?

I am my only problem,
to be sure.

Open these eyes, Lord.

Open these eyes
and this heart.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 8. 2018

Thought for the Day

There is something very important
which you probably have not recognized
thus far and it is this:
YOUR MIND IS INCAPABLE
OF GRASPING
THE PRESENT MOMENT.

If you allow yourself to remain
pointlessly preoccupied
with the contents of your mind,
for so long will
present moment awareness
evade you.

You mistakenly believe that
present moment awarness
is something which may be calibrated
on a graph we humans refer to as 'time,'
which extends from past to future
and has this little place in the middle
called the here and now.

And thus it is this middle ground
for which we yearn and search
because it is believed that
it is here both suffering and striving ends.

But the present moment
stands not in time
but in eternity, and you cannot
transcend the mind with the mind.

Thus, you have to real eyes
the mind's limitations and be open to
another way of seeing.

In this light, another assignment
is given you today.

I will share with you an excercise
I used because it was helpful
for this particular 'me' character.

It is urged that you find
some version of it that works for you.

I could never ever seem
to separate myself
from an absurdly neurotic preoccupation
with thoughts and thinking.

After some time of watching
this preoccupation
it became clear to me
that I could not break the habit
because there was an underlying core belief
that something important
was going on between the ears
and I needed to listen to it,
formulate opinions and judgments
about it and actually act on it,
when in truth, the mind was actually
blank----as in nothing there.

Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zed.
The big goose egg. Diddly squat.

You get the picture.

The reason that nothing is happening
in the mind is because
if it is not love,
there is nothing really there at all.

This, the thinking mind
is unwilling to consider,
even for an instant.

It's much like negative numbers.

They may mean something valuable
to humans in theory, but in actuality,
there is no such thing.

There are no variations or varieties
in what is fundamentally empty,
or not there.

So the practice goes like this:

I live approximately
one mile from a freeway called
North Central Expressway.

Several times a day
I would send the thinking mind,
aka ego, to the freeway to go count cars.

During this time away
from the chattering monkey mind,
I was vaguely aware of distant noise;
nothing as distinct as words,
more like a buzzing sound.

Here there was boundless effortless peace
and the clear seeing of freedom
from a lifetime of preoccupation
with nothing.

After I had had my fill
of this healing place,
I would tell the thinking mind
it could return
and we would go about our day.

But you do not have to have
more than a few successes
under your belt to clearly recognize
that you are not the mind
and therefore, there is no logical rationale
for taking it so damn seriously ever again.

***

Prayer for the Day

And so it is.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 7. 2018

Thought for the Day

Sunday is practice day.

You have to admit, the ego
is both petty and opinionated.

Guided by biases and preferences,
it believes it knows
how others should be, how
life should be, how it
should be, and it preoccupies itself
pointlessly trying to make
everyone and everything
conform to its wishes.

Your practice is thus to sincerely attempt
a complete suspension of judgment.

When you feel yourself
as you are about to step into
the quagmire of judgment
and act on it, take a step back
followed by a long and slow
deep breath.

Then remind yourself that
everything happens the way it happens
because this actually is
the way it is supposed to happen.

Perhaps you will be called upon
to help, perhaps you will not,
so the quiet offering
of compassionate tenderness
and love is all that is called for.

And give an invisible hug
to everyone you meet today,
including yourself,
as often as you can.

For this being human thing
is not for the faint of heart.

***

Prayer for the Day

Radical
life-altering
acceptance
is the practice today.

Grace show me the way.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 6. 2018

Thought for the Day

Today we will approach
our ongoing discussion and exploration
of the imagined self somewhat differently
in order to address the subject
of interpersonal communication.

Here are three great reminders
which are peace builders.

(1)

Learn to distinguish the difference
between a teachable moment,
and one that is not.

If it isn't about a teachable moment,
be silent. There is nothing
you can add to the situation
that will be helpful.

A battle between egos is helpful
to no one.

(2)

No matter what
you happen to say or do,
no one on this planet
is capable of meeting you
in a place of depth or openness,
courage or love which is greater
than they have been willing
to encounter themselves.

Release your expectations
and let everyone off the hook,
including you.

This is kindness
in action.

(3)

This being said, the light in one mind
is fully capable of igniting the light
in any other mind---
simply by holding the
intention and space for them.

And to this there are
no exceptions.

No words are necessary.

This is a matter of one heart
reaching toward and joining another
in recognition of itself.

***

Prayer for the Day

Make me an instrument...

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 5. 2018

Thought for the Day

I know that it is extremely difficult
for you to believe that
the presence of painful or upsetting
thoughts attached to emotions
such as fear, judgment, anger,
recrimination & loathing
are neutral, but they are.

They really and truly are.

A thought or feeling is meaningless
until you provide it with
what you want it to mean to you.

It is just a cluster of sensations
and words which you
build a story around in order to keep
the imagined sense
of i, me, my & mine going.

And thus it is the interpretation
and meaning which
you provide that upsets you,
not the presence of thoughts,
feelings or experiences themselves.

Ego, or the imagined self
is nothing more than
a meaning-making machine.

There is no such thing as an ego
except as you imagine & remember it
through interpretation of memories
and incessant identification with
thoughts, feelings & experiences.

I challenge you:
You LOOK for it. Try to locate it.

Without memory or identification
with thoughts, feelings & experiences,
where the heck is it?

There is only LIFE living itself.

Try this idea today on for size:

In the present, there is only LOVE.

Therefore, regardless the thoughts
or feelings that arise,
if it isn't love, you are witnessing
artifacts from previous conditioning
which you have retained.

These rise to the surface
when something about
your current life experience
has pushed a familiar button---a button
with a particular retained negative charge
laced with meaning
which you gave it.

This is a pivotal moment.

Do you want to be right,
or do you want to be happy?

You do not get both!

Is this going to be a problem for you,
or is it an opportunity?

Will you reinforce the storyline
of i, me, my & mine
so that you may continue to believe
that you are the imagined self,
or is it freedom which you seek?

That, my dear, is entirely up to
no one other than you.

Reinforce or heal?

Well, what do you want?

The same old same old
day after day until you die,
or is it the call of freedom
which you hear?

To heal, then, you become
the parent, the friend or the lover
for which you have always longed
but never had.

Now it is your turn
to turn to the precious being
which you forever are and love them
as only you can do.

For it is the Christ within you
who dissolves the imagined self
by loving it back to LIFE.

***

Prayer for the Day

I hear the call of FREEDOM
and I say, YES!

Let the loving begin.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 4. 2018

Thought for the Day

Why all the discussion about
the thought-based sense of i, me, my & mine
or the imagined self this week?

What are we really trying
to communicate?

Bottom line:

An improved, more likable,
more successful, as well as
more functional ego
(i.e., less neurotic ego)
is still just an ego.

And the point is, you are not that.

The point was to transcend it,
not to identify with it
and then preoccupy yourself
with trying to fix the thing.

***

Prayer for the Day

Beyond these thoughts, these feelings
and these experiences,
beyond the mind's neurotic interpretation
of everything, who am I, what am I?

This is the prayer
I cast out into space.

Truth, open these eyes.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 3. 2018

Thought for the Day

Yesterday I read a very beautiful thought
which essentially said that
it is only the ego which makes
New Year's resolutions,
which is true enough.

It went on to suggest that
if you are sick and tired
of suffering because you never ever
really live up to them or achieve them,
then stop listening
to the voice of self-judgment.

As beautiful as this thought is,
I find it misleading.

Approximately 2,600 years ago
the Buddha said that
a felled tree will still produce shoots
if the root system is left intact.

It is not enough
to address anything on the level
of effect. We must search
for the cause if we want to be free
of the perceived problem
once and for all.

Thus, to quit making resolutions
or to quit listening to thoughts of self-hatred
is simply not enough.

Anytime you address anything
or try to remedy it on the level of effect,
you are like the little boy
who stuck his finger in the dike.

Eventually, and usually much sooner
than we are prepared for,
a new problem springs up
somewhere else
because we never truly addressed
the actual cause of the problem.

This is a major flaw
in the medical model here in America
which treats symptoms
without truly exploring and remedying
the cause of those symptoms.

It is like rearranging the deck chairs
on the Titanic--- hoping
that the new configuration
will prevent the Titanic from sinking.

The problem is the 'i,'
the imagined self.

Here is the root which must be pulled.

When you pull this root,
you do not have to trouble yourself
with its effects because the effects disappear
entirely by themselves
when there is no longer a root present
to miscreate them.

***

Prayer for the Day

Thank you for clear seeing.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 2. 2018

Thought for the Day

Listen.

What I am going to try to share
is very difficult to wrap words around
and even more difficult
to try to wrap the mind around.

Yesterday I received much input
around what folks believed to be
the cause of the experience of suffering,
and there was a complete disconnect
in terms of being able to register
that it is the 'i' which is the culprit
behind ALL suffering.

This 'i' takes itself as the subject
and everything it perceives
is thus an object
that it either approves of
or does not approve of.

If it likes what it perceives, great.

If it does not like what it perceives,
there is suffering.

And even if it happens to like what is,
how long will it last?

Thus, the buddha referred to this
as "changing suffering."

Ice cream is great,
but eat a gallon in one sitting
and you will probably be sick for days.

I was not saying in yesterday's thought
that you do not exist, only that
you do not exist as an object, a thing,
something that could be located
by geographical coordinates,
with boundaries within space and time.

You are no-thing.

You are the eternal
always and everywhere.

All I can say is that for what seemed
a very very long time
there was an experience of 'i'
that seemed to be the center
of it's universe, and the clearer
it was able to grasp it's presence
and see it's workings, the greater
the awareness became of its suffering
until suffering was all it ever felt
in every instant of life.

When it looked around,
all it saw were other beings
who suffered tragically, though many
felt they did not suffer much
and some believed not at all.

This 'i' suffered so much
that it no longer wanted to live.

There is a certain tenderness that is felt
toward those who commit suicide.

For this 'i' knew what it was like
to clearly see how much it suffered---
so much that it would be willing
to do just about anything
to put itself out of its misery
and cast itself into eternal oblivion.

Oblivion for it meant freedom.

But one day, when the suffering
could not be born an instant longer,
there was an explosion
of some sort.

It was as if there was this infinite
piece of fabric and the 'i' was somehow
bunched up and bound
within that fabric; the felt experience
was one of barbwire and rubber bands
that had wound themselves around
this bunched up area so tightly
that it was oozing from the pressure.

And when it looked about,
there were bunched up areas like itself
all about in numbers legion,
some more tightly bound than itself
while other seemed to be unwinding.

And then there was the explosion.

All that had formerly bound it
into the belief that it was an 'i'
disappeared. Vanished. 
Gone without a trace.

And yet what had been bunched up
was now able to relax and breathe again,
unfettered and unbound.

And when it opened its eyes, it saw
that it was everywhere,
it was all.

It still existed, it was Existence itself;
though not at all
what it had supposed for so long.

And the gig was up.

Blessed, blissful, rapturous relief.

What did it real eyes?

What was the realization?

No 'i', no problem.

***

Prayer for the Day

There is only God.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “

January 1. 2018

Thought for the Day

In innocence,
you have been waiting,
sometimes patiently,
sometimes... not so much.

Waiting for what,
you ask?

You have been waiting
for the ending of the mind and body's
tendency to react in ways
you neither like or approve of
because they are not spiritual
by your estimation.

Because they are not spiritual
by your judgment, you believe they
are the cause of your misery.

Here is what
you do not understand.

What you wait for may never happen
in this lifetime.

But you can stop imputing an 'i'
onto those experiences.

You can and you must
if it is freedom
for which you yearn.

For it is not the experiences
themselves which produce suffering,
it is the 'i' who believes itself
to be truly existent that is the cause----
the 'i' who erroneously believes itself
the unfortunate victim of both experience
and circumstance.

Can you not see that anytime
you believe that any experience
is happening to 'you.'
you are playing the role of victim?

Life does not happen to you,
nor does it happen for you,
because there is no you
for it to be happening too.

I know. To the belief which says
I am this ego or personal self
this is a tough pill to swallow.

But what you are is the unseen witness
of what is happening.

And what is happening is always
a neutral event when seen
from this vantage point.

Listen. There is so much talk
these days about what one should do,
what should or should not happen,
who one can safely listen to
and whom you should not.

But nothing that happens
and nothing which is done
either adds or subtracts
from that which you are.

THERE IS ONE CHANGELESS REALITY.

Do you think the ocean
worries itself about
what any particular wave
or group of waves happen to be doing?

Heavens, no.

But one wave or a group of waves
most surely can become
deeply invested in what another wave
or group of waves is either doing
or not doing and in the process,
get their bowels all up in an uproar over it,
losing entirely the perspective
that all waves are simply ocean in motion
and inseparable from it.

And get this:
Ocean is perfect as it is.

Come up here
where the air is clear
and the View is spectacular.

Isn't it simpler and sweeter
to ride high in the saddle
and loosen that grip
you have on those reins?

***

Prayer for the Day

I rest in God.

Amen

***
(¸.·´(¸.•´ .•
*¨`*•´ • °¸.•* ¨` * ¸.•*¨`*•¸¸.·¨ ~ .¨¯` ~ •*¨*•.¸¸ ¸¸.•*¨*• “


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