Friday, April 30, 2010

Quaker (RIP) ... A Very Good Friend


Quaker passed to day ... actually about an hour ago ... He is Lynne's Dog ... but my friend ... He was John D's very good friend too ... Quaker was glued to Lynne for all the time that I have known her and him ... The two of them were nearly in separatable ... He stuck it out with her when life was deep and dark. There were times that she needed to be else where and I know that the two of them pined for each other ... deeply.

He died peacefully this morning ... in his bed beside ours ...



He loved traveling in the Car ... He loved ice cream and particularily he loved kittens ... to be able to play with them ... in his own little way ... He could fart like there was no tomorrow and he was always the best company. He could speak with his eyes.



He was named because on the day that the question of what should he be called arose there was a mild earth quake at that very moment and thus Quaker ...

His health was alway in question, apparently the runt of the litter. The vet warned Lynne long before I was on the scene that his days were numbered... Well the Vet did not know that Quaker could count or for that matter so high. So instead of a year or two he lived to the ripe old age of 15 years ...

I smile at this but he used to be able to sing tunes ... happy birthday to be exact ... ask Lynne ... then he lost his voice for a period of time and towards the end when he lost his mobility he found his voice again to let us know what he needed and right now ... :-)

I for one will really miss him ... I know that Lynne does and John D does too ... and if I seriously looked into the list of who loved him and who will miss him it is very length ... Janice, and Dixie and and and ...

Bye my Buddy


Neil

Thursday, April 29, 2010

As Codependents We :



Hide our pain from ourselves and from others, especially significant others.

We Try to Hide us from us.

Being denied our basic childhood dependency needs:

• We dwell in shame, plagued with dependency problems.

• Normal needs and urges become attempts to fill the empty self.

• The need for fun and excitement becomes addiction to intensity.

• The need for attention becomes acting out, acting in, or transfer and projection onto others. We say they are the ones with the problem or are needy, when it is really about us.

• The need for self-esteem becomes arrogance.

• The need for nourishment becomes our eating disorders.

• The need for understanding becomes compulsive demanding.

• The need for security becomes obsessive worrying and misery.

• The need for self-care becomes isolated narcissism.

• The need for relationship becomes desperation.

• The need for intimacy becomes enmeshment.
Sexual needs become shame, compulsion, fear, confusion and jealousy.

• The need for identity becomes an over-identification with the responses to our childhood hurts.

• We over-identify with the labels of pathology, of appearing to know what causes us to do what we do, when it is really us talking about us when we talk about them, ie. the pathologies.

• These pathologies are merely windows to lost childhood.

• Addiction(s) is a window to the hurting child.

• Self-destructiveness is a window to lost childhood pain.

• Hopelessness is a window to the loss of self or to the underdeveloped self.

Terry Kellogg was asked to define codependency in ten words or less. His reply was amazingly to the point; “it is the child's reaction to a low functioning family”. He later clarified his statement by saying, “it is just short of chronic mental illness”.


NDT: the above passage was extracted from Experience Has Taught Us --- Searching for the Willingness to Change ... Bright Star Press ... available on amazon.comTerry Kellogg and his wife are at the forefront of the work and treatment of Co dependency ... Writer Terry Kellogg observes, “Codependency is not about a relationship with an addict, it is the absence of relationship with self” (Broken Toys Broken Dreams, BRAT Publishing, 1990). with the book Broke Toys Broken Dream I usually wear 2 or 3 a year ... so

Knowing Your Default Settings





Like many of us, I was born into a normal family. In my case, I was the oldest of six children with one brother and four sisters. The idea of “Default Settings” came to me many years after entering a 12 Step Program.

I am not a trained Therapist or Psychologist, but this book provides a venue for me to share my experience, strength and hope with others. If you are reading this book, like me, you are searching for answers or you might be struggling with a life-challenging experience. What I have learned is that “if it is life-challenging, then it has the possibility to be life changing”. Ultimately it is up to you.

My Introduction to the 12 Steps; I entered my first 12 Step meeting in July of 1992. A few days earlier, I had learned that my wife, who I was separated from, had entered into a new relationship. I came by this knowledge quite innocently. My two sons, who were 6 and 8 years old at the time, recanted a story of spending the night at there Mother’s new boyfriend’s home. I immediately felt a rush of nausea sweep through my entire body and I became physically debilitated. I couldn’t eat; all I wanted to do was sleep.

Six months previous, just after New Years Eve 1991 and 3 days of not talking to my wife, I announced in dramatic style that I was leaving. I packed some clothes and went to stay at a friend’s home. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was using one of my oldest, tested, tried and true manipulative tactics to control my wife, except this time it backfired on me. She actually learned that she was happier without me (at least it seemed) and I sank into a deep depression. For some time I had tried to re-unite with my wife and my broken family, but she resisted. I had already put her through many years of drinking and partying, while I enjoyed a career in the nightclub business.

She had finally had enough.

So with this as a backdrop, I entered into the room of my first 12 Step Program. I recall that I could hardly sit in the meeting without becoming emotionally distraught with grief. I struggled to fight back my tears because this public display of emotions was very out of character for me. Nonetheless, there I was sniffling and wiping the tears from my cheeks. What I experienced was that in the presence of these strangers, I did not feel ashamed or embarrassed. Week after week I sat in that room mainly listening to others, who were braver than me; share their truth, while I continued to seek a salve for my broken heart.

Like the beginning of a rain shower, the gifts from attending the meetings week after week began to fall; first I felt one drop and then another until finally the raindrops falling onto me began a cleansing and recovery process that continues today.

Step 1: One of the first such raindrops occurred one weekend while I was out walking along the beach. It was early in my process and I was struggling with the way my ex-wife was raising our sons. Generally, I disapproved of her behavior and parenting style with our sons and because I was no longer living with them, I couldn’t influence or control what was going on. My belief system needed me to be in control of what was happening before, in my opinion, she did something that was going to deeply scar both children emotionally. As I struggled with this dilemma I recited the first line of the “Serenity Prayer” to myself repeatedly, “God grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change…”.

I remember thinking “how in the heck am I supposed to get serene about the stuff my ex-wife is doing”.

As I struggled intellectually with the things that I thought I knew, and my frustration over the reality that I could not control what was happening especially when I wasn’t there, I slowly began to get some awareness. I cannot control the action or behavior of another person. If I allow myself to be SERENE, then I could learn to ACCEPT that there are many things that happen day to day that I have absolutely no control over. I can get angry, I can threaten, I can cry, I can attempt to use any manipulative tactic that I have been taught, but ultimately, I am POWERLESS over others. The more I resisted this principle, the more the level of peace and serenity was disrupted in my life. This awareness brought me to my initial understanding of STEP One.

JR Vancouver, Oct 2003


NDT: JR and I have been friends for nearly two decades now ... Extracted from Experience Has Taught Us --- Searching for the Willingness to Change ... Bright Star Press ... on Amazon.com

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hi, My Name Is Neil And I Am ...


I was a single child born into a post WWII home in a small town. My mom and dad worked for the local Utilities Company. That’s where they met. After I arrived on the scene my mom stayed home with me for about five years. My mom went back to work when I was five, but only after some discussion with my father, because after all, no wife of his was going to work. But she did, and life went on.

Baby-sitters were the order of the day, especially during the summer months. We lived in a two-bedroom house on a street full of two and three bedroom homes, all built posthaste at the end of the war. Our town had a Saturday market. There were no large supermarkets to speak of until the A&P Store opened on what was once a park and then all the other major stores followed and the town was transformed from sleepy rural to quiet backwater.

The focus of the townspeople’s lives centered around what happened on the railways, the town’s major employer. There were seven different railways as I recall. Who was being bumped on which seniority list or who was or was not on which spare board were all current topics of discussion over coffee or over clotheslines on Mondays.

Monday was always wash day.

That was just the way things were.

The local newspaper measured big events, ‘who’ was who and ‘how’ they were doing was reported weekly in the Hatched, Matched and Dispatched column on Saturday. You could always find out who was visiting whom and who was away on holiday and where they could afford to go. It must have been a burglar’s fondest dream.

As a child and well into my teen years, I was a loner who seemed to move between groups or cliques and never felt that I really belonged.

I actually prided myself on this ability to float between groups without belonging. In my early adult years, I put this learned skill to practical use and entered the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMPolice). I was recruited for the Security Service and worked in the semi cloak and dagger world of counter espionage and counter terrorism.

I really just knew one set of grandparents, my mom’s folks; my dad’s folks had divorced in the 1930’s and had lived apart. My maternal grandfather owned the local watering hole in a small village about 50 Km away. He had the unwanted (or wanted . . . never could really tell) attention of every ne’er-do-well in the surrounding three counties. Because, as his friend, they had an indirect access to his supply of booze, and this came in especially handy on Sundays and other statutory holidays when the liquor store was closed or when they were broke (note the hotel sold 100,000 gallons of beer a month by bottle). Oh yes, those three counties that bordered on to his ends of our county were all dry. It was not uncommon to come to the hotel, and later after the hotel changed hands, to the house for a visit on a Sunday and find the Labatt’s courtesy car, the Carling’s courtesy van, the Seagram rep’s vehicle and the town constable’s car parked in the lane. All would be in the house in some form of intoxication.

I have come to learn that there was a secret to how they could consume so much so often and now I’ll share that secret with you. There was only enough ‘drink’ in each bottle for one drink each for those who were present. They only drank quarts of rye (26 oz.). Thus if there were only two present then only two drinks would be poured and the bottle of booze would be emptied. They had large glasses as I recall. Actually as I recall it now the glasses were gifts from one of the distillers, oddly enough.

There was not a day that went by when I was in either of my grandparents’ presence that I did not see them consume alcohol. There is sadness and a truth that goes with the thought that alcohol played such a pervasive part of their lives. Another thought oddly enough is I still thought they could walk on water. I loved my grandparents dearly. They were my first experience with god-like creatures, where I truly knew they, especially my grandfather, could make the earth part if he so wanted it to be. I knew in my heart of hearts that all I had to do was ask and he would and could make it happen. It was really as simple as that. Everything from new bicycles from Peter’s bicycle shop next door to the hotel, to Oh Henry chocolate bars and pop from the dry bar, anytime I wanted them, was possible from him.

From this child’s perspective that was all powerful.

I can remember accompanying him on his rounds, visits to various farms or villages in the area. People sought him out for his blessing and approvals on darned near everything that happened at that end of the county. I learned years later that he was a pushover with cash and damned near everyone owed him and no one was in a position to pay him back. I know that he was respected because he helped without any thought of payback. I know that he supported various lost members of the family through odd and varied circumstances, who supported others who had been abandoned by life and life’s crappy circumstances and were still too young or unable to fend for themselves. He was a good man. He drank too much. Oh, by the way, that’s not bad that he drank too much. You may come to understand this idea as you work your own life out.

Now on my father’s side, his parents had divorced back in the 1930s and that is an oddity in and of itself. Divorced in the 1930s and Catholic to boot. Well actually it was a marriage of the Orange and the Green for those of you who understand Irish history.

My grandfather, Sid, was Welsh (Orange) and lived in the same small town as we did. He died of a brain tumor when I was young.

Sid’s ex-wife, my grandmother Sarah (Green and one of 17 siblings, 16 girls and a boy, Uncle Jimmy. We don’t speak much about him, you know.) and her daughter, my aunt, lived in another small town several hours drive from our place.

I never got to meet them until I was about 10. Boy, could my aunt drink. I’d go to school and brag. I mean she could drink, really drink. She really put them under the table. She quit one weekend cold turkey and she turned her life over to the pursuit of spirituality via religious cause. She became a nun, and a darned good one. I was proud of her.

Grandma Sarah passed on.

My aunt did all this becoming a nun stuff, and quitting drinking right after her mother passed on.

I was never really close to my grandmother and never got to know her. I was about 13 or so when she died. I remember some of the funeral processes and the nuns who came to the funeral home. Order of St Joseph’s, standing there in the viewing area like tall statues of black and white. I knew nothing about being Catholic. They came to pray, to pray my newly departed grandmother right into heaven, and I had no idea what was about to happen. My dad did and he got the hell out of the room before things got off the ground, but I didn’t know. They must have gone round the rosary 10 times or 10 times more than normal. I actually had a bruise on my knee from kneeling so long but I hung in there.

I faked it until they made it.

I got to meet some of the aunts and assorted others from my dad’s side of the family, but the only one I could remember is Aunt Gurt, and she was a sight. She was also at the funeral. She lived in the same small town as my grandmother. Aunt Gurt had a knack for wearing make-up in such a fashion that her age was perfectly disguised by her outward appearance of a not-so-nearly-retired-madam, 70 or not. My dad was a little more direct in his description of her.

At the funeral I got to hear some of the stories that had threads leading directly back to County Cork in Ireland, that wove their way through ‘establishment’ families of Upper Canada (Ontario) of today.

People showed up at the funeral, and those who were someone, came in all in their finery, and their mink stoles, etc. just to be seen, even though the weather was hot. Family names of establishment Upper Canada were well represented. In all honesty, they were people who had hard beginnings and fought their way out of their assigned lot in life.

They all drank too much.

Some varied the theme with worked too much, and that was praised because then they could consume too much. Others were just a little weird (remember Uncle Jimmy, the one we don’t talk about) and we didn’t talk about them because they were never ‘right’ in the first place.

No great traumas here right? Wrong!

Here is an interesting aside that I learned doing this recovery stuff. Trauma does not have to be noisy. It is something or a combination of somethings that you were never allowed to express your feelings about. Drama is what happened and trauma is never being able to express yourself about what happened.

Caution:
Don’t Confuse Trauma with Drama.
They are definitely different.
Most people do make the mistake of confusing them.


I believe now that the appropriate way to describe my life is to say that, if one never ventured past the surface then one might conclude that there was no great apparent trauma. (I was becoming skilled at living a lie). The key word here is apparent, because something was there and it turned into the thing that lurked in my life until I was well into my 30s. I never really knew what it was, but I knew something was there. I knew for a fact that it was having a major impact on my life. I could not control it. It was just happening to me. It drove me to drink, it drove me to overwork, to rage, and the list goes on and on and on. When I had had enough, it drove me to meetings and the 12-Step process.

I’ve spent considerable time at this process, actually since May 12, 1979. I attended my first AA meeting in Wardsville Ontario, behind the Wagon Wheel Restaurant, a place notorious for its strawberry rhubarb pie.

I was in the Program.
I was out of the Program.
I was back into the Program.


Those who know often call this doing research, and it is a polite way of saying that I was using my best-worst defense(s) against a world that scared the hell out of me. I was drinking, or I was working or I was raging as a way to deal with something I could not deal with. Did I mention smoking or control or blame or perfectionism? All basically the same thing except the government does not get tax from the last few. Literally the list goes on and on and on. What in fact I was really doing was depending on me and my vast lack of resources to search out what could not be searched out with the tools that I had. Something like attempting to find a bacterium using a pop bottle end as a microscope.

I basically had no tools, but was too scared, proud and ashamed to admit to myself or to the world, let alone ask for help from someone that I already knew I could not trust. It also needs to be understood that this person I knew I could not trust was unnamed. That was everybody, but I could not show that to anyone.

I had read someplace or other that if you had something to learn then go teach it. I had lots to do and believe me much more to learn, especially about myself, so I said to myself “Self, time to go teach.” But who would want to hire a newly retired spy-catcher as a teacher?

That’s when I bumped into George Bullied and Twin Valleys School. Twin Valleys School [a.k.a. TVS or The Valley] was an alternative to the penal system for young offenders. George said something to the effect that if you’re not doing anything, and I wasn’t, then come to The Valley.

I did.

That got me to Wardsville, Ontario and that got me to my first AA meeting in May of 1979.

The roller coaster had started for me officially several years prior to that in 1976, but I think it was 1979 when I surfaced for the first time. It goes something like this, and I am sure most of you have experienced this one. Life is something you dive blindly into. Sometimes when you do dive in - which is the only requirement my life seemed to demand, the diving in that is - it is so thick and cold and distasteful and deep, it seems to take forever to be able to surface. That time frame from 1976 to 1979 was the longest time I ever had to hold my breath, both spiritually and psychologically.

That was an eternity.

I thought I had found help upon arriving at the Valley and I was more than happy to let them do it for me, but shortly into this process I discovered they were more lost than I.

Now the tale of ‘who’ I am and how I got to be here gets just a little twisted here. If you pick up the thread of my story at about the place of understanding that all the supposed ‘niceness’ of life, wasn’t. I was living a lie and had become well practiced at it. Then I can jump start back through time and pick it up at: I had a job with the Federal Government in the RCMPolice Security Services and I was working my way up. (I just jumped from spring 1979 back to about early winter 1970.) I got early promotions and the like. Earlier on before my transfer into the Security Service, I had met and married a young lady from Regina - while in training actually - and we had a child together. And she and I, we drank just a little too much, a little too often and we thought we enjoyed it. Then I began to notice that she drank far too much, but I never really put it together that this observation may have applied to me also. Odd isn’t it, what we can see in others and can’t see in ourselves.

That observation took several years to notice and a decade or so to be understood and then to be accepted. That business of noticing and understanding came after an incident that could only be described as ‘something that should never happen to your worst enemy’ happened. The front door to Hell kicked open and out came the unholy horse guard and all the crap and misery they could muster.

My wife’s up bringing did not seem at all like mine. She had a drunken stepfather, an absentee mom who worked to support everyone, including the damnedest mixture of ne’er-do-wells you could imagine. Remember the ne’er-do-wells at my grandfather’s place? Well I didn’t remember them and more importantly I didn’t understand the significance of them either. The odd thing was that I fit right in and felt totally and completely at home. I didn’t like it, but it fit like a glove.

That whole experience eventually led to what I was to think, for the longest time, was the true trauma of my life. In truth it was a travesty, and it was dramatic and I would not wish it on anyone. The trauma was in the smoke and mirrors that came with the drama, and as I was to discover much later, the trauma had been there waiting for me all along. I had just never noticed or knew that I could notice.
My wife eventually committed suicide and left me a widower with a small child. I was devastated. Could this be happening to me? Where do I look and what do I look for? What I found was I was spending most of my time with the ‘why’s’ of this life. It took me a long time to come to terms with asking ‘what’ rather than ‘why’.

Now this brings me back to arriving at Twin Valleys School (The Valley) in 1979 and the beginnings of me searching for me through me. I knew I needed to do something, but I was not sure what that was. What I came to quickly learn at the Valley was that they didn’t know either, but almost everyone was at least honest enough to admit to their ‘lostness’.

Nice to be lost together!

And our community drew members from other communities to us and us to them. There was a network of lost people being lost together, which for awhile during the 70’s was what I called ‘hippy dippy dum’. We at the Valley were the last bastions of ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ was.


NDT: Extracted from A Step Four and Five Guide Published by Bright Star Press ... Available on the net at Amazon.com

On Appreciating Deeper Processes ... Past Made Present



EXPERIENCE has taught us that most of us are reliving things secretly that are no longer present in our lives. We are protecting ourselves from demons that are no longer there.

Psychic shadow boxing again it appears.

It is true that life is a place filled with the weird, the wonderful, and the colourful, and we do have to consider using caution with some things. But we can do it from an adult perspective and see things as they are, not as they used to be.

The demons were real once; that much is true. It just may not be true now.

Being Open To The Fact
That The Past Is Not The Present
Allows Room For The Soul
To Come Out Of Hiding
And To Grow And Mature.


NDT: Extracted from Experience Has Taught Us --- 175 Missing Pieces Bright Star Press ...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Art of Procrastination



I am often on the path of Procrastination

It’s the same path

You just don’t get any where

There I am admiring the Flowers and the Fauna

And Suddenly I realize

That’s the Same Fucking Tree I saw Yesterday




NDT: thanks Haven ... I still smile over this one ...

The Essence of Life is;

The essence of life is change.





Elect life, and you naturally elect change ... the prospect of fear or death ... having to face your worst fear. If a person has decided that because of some incident(s) in their life that for the duration of their life they are going to avoid that situation ... experience or feeling, then life becomes very narrow. In fact to do so is to sacrifice life itself.

In the very effort of avoiding that experience, presumably the one that hurt so soulfully, one has to avoid both growth and change.

To elect a life of sameness, free from the new, the spontaneous, the unpredictable, the unexpected, is to try and live life without challenge or risk. Scott Peck points out that what lies at the heart of all mental and emotional disease is “our” attempt to avoid “our” legitimate suffering. Age or social status or gender does not matter, because “the very effort to avoid what must be faced is at the root of all neurosis”.

It seems that “the trick” to the whole thing is to develop a working relationship with the fear or IT. Let IT sit on your left shoulder so to speak, and be of “wise counsel”.

If I can have the facility of truly appreciating my mortality; knowing that my life is limited, then maybe my need to procrastinate may step aside and I can get on with living my life to the fullest each and every day, but if I think I can pretend that my life is fine or eternal, and I think I can pretend that I can put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today, then that turns into a moment of dying for the soul, and oddly enough, is one of the very things I have been trying to avoid by my procrastination.

No one said that having this IT “sitting on my shoulder” was not scary, it is, but at least then I know, and I can motivate me to get on with the rest of my life. So having this thing sit on my shoulder is really me acknowledging that all life represents risk. Odd thing is that the more loving I become with myself and life the more risks I will naturally take.

Here is the biggest risk anyone can take; is the stepping or leaping blindly from childhood into adulthood.

STATEMENT OF FACT: Know this; the vast majority of people who appear to be in adult bodies are in fact those who have not, nor do they intend to, make the jump to adulthood because of fear. They do not know how to muster the power to make the emotional and psychological break from their parents and the power that their parents had over them.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Solitude of Mystic Lake




Know This

You came to this world singularly and unclothed.

That is your path.

The others that you encounter are here on the path with you and are on the same journey but they can only serve as guideposts for you, and they can only provide you the opportunity to find your own blind spots, that's all.

There is a vast world of difference between solitude and loneliness and that is your discovery to make.



NDT: extracted from Zen and the Art of Walking Lightly

Friday, April 23, 2010

Zen and the Art of Lost and Found

For Suffering is a State of Mind, Not a Condition of Existence.




I had the idea that there was supposed to be a rhyme or reason or rhythm to this thing called RR#3 the Milky Way. The place where I lived … not by choice mind you … just the place where I was dropped off for a period of time … and over time I came to suspect that I was supposed to do something with the experience of my existence.

But what?

A friend of mine lent me some audio tapes a number of years ago … it was Ram Dass at Helena Montana … talking to a crowd of dedicated groupies about his then new book “How Can I Help ” … I have since learned that it has gone out of print … which is really a pity …

My wife and I were driving from Regina to Calgary and we decided that we could actually listen to these tapes and hear them and discuss what we heard … We had 10 hours on our hands, and for anyone who has not driven across the Canadian prairies from Regina to Calgary … let me tell you it is stark … you can count the number of trees that you will see on the fingers on one hand … it is beautiful … and it can be monotonous …

So, we set ourselves into listening to the tapes (actually it was two tapes … about an hour and 50 minutes each). It was here on this trip that I heard A Truth … one that I had never ever considered as a possibility before in my life … I heard one of the great secrets of life be revealed.

What I heard was this: That life had a curriculum, and that I, like Ram Dass and many others had never ever considered the curriculum to be what it was. I had always considered it to be my curse. Something to be overcome, something to be improved upon … something to be repaired and something to be ashamed of …

The Curriculum is the Personality.

Then I heard a second great truth … this curriculum of life was not for the personality because the personality was the curriculum … It Was A Curriculum For The Soul …

When I coupled this new information … eventually being the keyword here … with the thought that my own best thinking was standing in my way … my predetermined understanding and strategy of using two polar opposites …special or non special … as being the defining forces of life … all of that thinking and predetermining polarization of life and all it contained … all the polar opposites had to be tossed out the window.

What became apparent very quickly was these two opposing forces were simply a creation of my mind … were devices for my own resistance to life’s curriculum … one that had been laid out for me … not designed by me …and as I was to discover that … not designed by me … was an important aspect in the composition of the curriculum … It was just laid out for me … to follow … If and When I Choose.

This insight … sort of … came down and filtered over me … like a very slow cool shower that touched me one drop of water at a time … in ultra ultra slow motion … I responded as quickly as I could to its touch, but it seemed to take forever for me to make anything that even closely or remotely resembled a move in response to this understanding or … its touch … I was going as fast as I could … but …

That just maybe I was my own worst enemy at times … that my mind working in conjunction with my Ego … that this combined process set into motion within me things and thoughts that were not necessarily in my own best interests … the mind and the ego … in fact … held me prisoner to (and by) my own thought processes.

Made A Discovery: I was both prisoner and keeper of the keys … my own keys. Now that was interesting …

I had found a starting point.

Not the one that I expected by the way … but a starting point nonetheless.

NDT:Extracted from Zen and the Art of Lost and Found ... Bright Star Press ... available on Amazon.com

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Small Events, Cumulative Events and Effects




Small events happen, i.e. the blood/chemistry level shifts in the body because of the ingestion of some form of sugar, this process begins a process of cause and effect that has an impact on the individual and the individual’s environment. But small events can interact with other small events and create what I call cumulative events that have cumulative effects. It is often the cumulative event/effects that gets noticed by the conscious mind as a happening in real time. If I were to extrapolate from the sugar ingestion mentioned about, as that shifts thru the system eventually a mood shift will happen and the person begins to interact with other people in a way that is different then it was a moment ago, which the shift and mood swing can set into motion other small events that collect into cumulative events/effects and as they collect, one on top of the others so to speak, then their quantitative result begins the process of us defining how it is that we think we are feeling, good or bad, happy or sad, angry etc., and sets into motion our responses too what it is that we think at an unconscious level is happening to us.

These smaller events when taken together with the cumulative nature of the events-sequences and their effects are the basis of the shaping tools of how we perceive things.

All of this happens outside our control. There is not much we can do about, our looks, our temperament, or our constitution and we do not have any input into how tall we will grow, or how smart we will be or who our parents will be or the time of our birth and it is not in your power or mine to decide whether there will be a war or an economic depres-sion. This list goes on and on and on.

There are many who argue these points from a metaphysical point of view; that we do have all those controls and that we are just not aware of it or them in the here and now. So the problem seems to be; how can you argue with what cannot be argued about with any certainty.

When we arrived on the face of this planet we got a space suit to survive in. It is called a body and the instructions for its operation lay in the genetic structure of the suit not necessarily in the conscious aspect of the device. So it is predetermine how tall, hair colour, our predisposition to disease and this list is lengthening every day with more research being done.

Secondary to the genetic factor are forces that are at work in our lives such as the pull of gravity, the pollen in the air, the historical period into which we are born, and innumerable other conditions, socially, physically, emotionally and spiritually that will determine how it is that we see and what it is that we believe we see, and how it is that we should feel about what it is that we think we feel and see. Probability, more importantly, how and what it is that we might just do based on what it is that think we feel and see.

To look closer on the particular event at any given point in time one has to be able to begin to look into and see the event sequencing and the interplay of the outcomes of the various sequences.

A course example of event sequencing from history is the minor story of King Henry the 8th of England; he was riding horse back one day, fell and lost consciousness for several moments. From that point on in his life he pursed a frantic search for the perfect mate, and all that entailed.

What if he never fell, or what if he did and never hit his head, what would history say about him?

Would there be a Church of England?

This list can extrapolate all through history, and this is just one tangent.

My point is that what I do with something today even though it appears to be the same as the same thing yesterday, its not. It could be but the likely hood is that it is not because at the more subtle levels there very likely is a different event sequencing occurring and for the most part we and not necessarily privy to that daily ins and outs event sequencing because it is not part of what we perceive to be normal waking consciousness.

If it could be monitored in some fashion then it could be used as a shaping instrument for causing more desirable outcomes to occur via experiences that can be safely had and made optimal.


NDT: These concepts stem out of the work done on Flow by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi.

Flow is the mental state of operation in which the person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.

According to Csíkszentmihályi, flow is completely focused motivation.

Happiness and Perception --- the Premise



How we see the world and what really happens in the world are often two different things.

Our perceptions about what and how we think we see and how and what we believe we experience are actually formed by a multitude of happens that most of us are totally unaware of:

(a) Our perception and interpretation of those perceptions seems to be result of or the outcome(s) of many minuscule forces interacting with each other and on each other in a myriad number of ways that can lead into forming what I call events-sequences. These event-sequences themselves act interact with each other to form perceptive imagery and eventually opinion and opinion can stack up and move us into action or a series of actions.

(b) There seems to be a hierarchy to this entire process and the sequencing aspects seems to be most important.

(c) It also seems to be a quadratic process and not (necessarily) a linear process although it can be in simple interchanges.

The vast majority of events happen at levels of awareness that William James’ work would suggest as other then normal waking consciousness perceptions or in the unconscious mind.


NDT ...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

This is Vivian Nukuzola Dlabantu



This is Vivian Nukuzola Dlabantu

She is 47 years of age, She is a mother of two daughters … 22 and 7 years respectively … She is a qualified pre-school teacher and she is furthering her education by studying on Saturdays for her Level 4 at Cape Town College … she is in her final year of study… she operates on the thinnest of budgets a preschool, day care some times orphanage for the babys of Jo Slovo ... and she has been doing this for over 25 years ... What she needs is some help with what she does ... the best help is some money. everything that she needs to operate is available in South Africa she just has to be able to buy it, thus money to augment her costs ... not a great deal ... just some ... I have raised money for her from here ... there are some highschool kids here in Victoria taking this on as a project ...and now I appeal here on this blog to some help ...for Vivian and her kids

The Crèche: it here that she holds her preschool … what I was able to determine is that she has approximately 105 children that range in age from 0 to 6 … split into two groups … about 35 children (0-2) at her home and 65 to 70 (2-6) children at The Crèche



She is the founder and head of the Masikululeke Pre-School and Nursery School, Joe Slovo Park … Joe Slovo is an unincorporated community … that is: a squatters encampment within the area surrounding Cape Town… near Milnerton.

The people who come here are from the country side and some are from countries north of ZA as they attempt to escape the war and troubles in their home land.

She originally founded her entire operation in 1990 in an old shipping container. She did it with her own money; she was later assisted by Chuku Town, she now has a pre-school registered on small, modest premises… she applied for assistance through Ikamva Labantu… this organization supplied some money and is her only source of income presently.

The Lions Club of Tableview now assists her in her efforts … Gisela Weitz President of the Table View Lions Club and the Lions Club is a supporter of Vivian and her 105/110 children...



Here is the Lions Club in November 2008 doing what they call Kilometer of toys ... they spend a Saturday and Sunday in mid November to collect toys for Xmas gifts for kids who would other wise get nothing ...

Vivian also makes the school premise available as a collection point and shelter during fires or other disasters. One of the most major concerns in the community is fire because of the flimsy nature of the house construction … the lack of running water etc … once a fire gets started it can run a much through the community and destroy what little they in moments …




The Crèche is a 6 meter sq building that serves as office, staff, class (2)and store room.

She has a Nursery that operates in a tiny, poorly equipped house. Her home …



The two schools are open from 7 to 16h00, run by a staff of 3 plus Vivian. She and her crew also cook breakfasts and lunches for 105 children daily. they also often supplies food for dinner to the parents who themselves have absolutely nothing. Some of the children have homes and when necessary she hires transport to fetch the children from home to school.












She has virtually adopted most the children … for all intents and purposes …

Vivian is now the local authority on matters of day care and child and family care and she advises 18 other pre-schools in Milnerton and Blaauwberg area. She affectively acts as an outreach person for the Ikamva Labantu program … she operates educational programs, bookkeeping, food hygiene, the handling of social, funding and admin problems for the locals…

She empowers women.

She teaches the community responsible committee work & how to implement projects/processes.

She is the founder and leader of the Pinkster Group… A boys and girls drumming group for 7-11 year olds.

She is the founder and leader of Amajika A girls dance group for 7-11 year olds which already performed on TV and at a municipal events.

She is an advisor on Joe Slovo Park Advisory Committee, and a Member of Joe Slovo Park Disaster Committee … Communal and Pre-school Vegetable Garden Projects (also involving the school’s children)

What she is planning to do: Parent Coaching: She is a firm believer that good values start at home; Vivian plans to start classes on parenting skills and healthy nutrition, and classes for youths on teen pregnancies, HIV/AIDS, rape, abuse and domestic violence, drugs and alcohol abuse.

I met her and what I found in the midst of all these kids … she is a bubbly, cheerful, loving personality, Vivian runs the schools competently on a minimum budget and that is an understatement … with an admirable balance between good discipline and fun. She is the sort of person for whom nothing is ever too much, and she has a natural talent to create instant enthusiasm for her vast social engagement, commitments and vision.

We talked about the kids. She took me on a tour of Jo Slovo and what became apparent was that she is encamped at what we could easily call the front door of Hell. What she does every day is rush in every day and rescue little kids from some of the ugliest realities then she feeds and hugs these little people. These children would not otherwise stand a chance…

She has children billeted out through the community simply because there are no parents ... they are dead.

She educates them because she knows that education is the only route out for all these kids …

She told me stories of what some of these kids have gone through and by the end of our first visit she was in tears and so was I … and all we could do was hug each other …

I had a wriggle in my schedule later in the week … and my host Gisela Weitz, President of the Tableview Lions Club, wanted to know what I wanted to do on the Thursday afternoon … I wanted to go back and spend more time with Vivian … so we did but before we went back on a second unannounced visit … we stopped and picked up food staples for Vivian and the Kids … it was an amazing afternoon … more tears and more hugs … and a promise that would carry her story home with me and see if support and sponsors could be found …


Neil Tubb
Bright Star Canada
349 Vancouver Street
Victoria BC V8V 3T3
(250) 385 3181
neiltubb@shaw.ca
www.neiltubb.com
Hendrickse Foundation
Project Hope South Africa

Dignity Of Daring



Only to the extent that man exposes himself over and over again to annihilation, can that which is indestructible arise within him.

In this lies the Dignity of Daring…

Only if we venture repeatedly through zones of annihilation can our contact with the Divine Being, which is beyond annihilation, become firm and stable.

The more a man learns to confront wholeheartedly the world which threatens him, the more the depths of the Groundwork of Being Human are revealed to him and the possibilities of new life open for him.


The Only Way Out Is Through
Simple,
Just Hard To Do

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sarcasm, Wit and Wisdom Often Go Hand in Hand


TRIBAL WISDOM AND GOVERNMENT POLICY

Dakota tribal wisdom says that when you discover you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

However, in government they often try other strategies with dead horses, including the following;



1. Buying a bigger whip.

2. Changing riders.

3. Saying things like "This is the way we always have ridden this horse."

4. Appointing a committee to study the horse.

5. Arranging to visit other sites to see how they ride dead horses.

6. Increasing the standards to ride dead horses.

7. Appointing a tiger team to revive the dead horse.

8. Creating a training session to increase our riding ability.

9. Pass legislation declaring that "This horse is not dead."

10. Blaming the horse's parents.

11 Harnessing several dead horses together for increased speed.

12. Declaring that "No horse is too dead to beat."

13. Providing additional funding to increase the horse's performance.

14. Do a Cost Analysis Study to see if contractors can ride it cheaper.

15. Declare the horse is "better, faster and cheaper" dead.

16. Form a quality committee to find uses for dead horses.

17. Revisit the performance requirements for horses.

18. Say this horse was procured with cost as an independent variable.

19. Blame the horse farm on which it was born.

20. Promote the dead horse to a supervisory position.

NDT: this made me smile until I realized just how true the underlying message was and then I really laughed

Friday, April 16, 2010

EXPERIENCE has taught us


EXPERIENCE has taught us that the process of accepting “life is not working the way we thought it should” often leaves us deeply shaken.

To heal ourselves and grow, each of us has to do what everyone else on the face of this planet has to do to come to spiritual completion. We have to surrender to the Greater Way of Things and experience that original pain that can only be discovered from our childhood, the pain we have kept bottled up inside for so long and avoided like the plague.

Opening the second eye is a more profound event. It requires something pro-active to happen. It requires an exchange between the seeker and the universe. The exchange happens on the path (and only on the path) as the seeker surrenders into the greater unknown. This always equates to surrender into the fear. It probably isn’t but that is what it equates to.

Fear is defined in the Course in Miracles as the absence of Love and it is a given in this business that it is far easier to hang on to what I know then it is to face the demons that hold me fast and frozen in my place.

As Scott Peck points out, we have to go through the pain, to embrace it, to process it, to reduce it and transform it; that is the only way out.

Dignity Of Daring

Only to the extent that man exposes himself over and over again to annihilation, can that which is indestructible arise within him.

In this lies the Dignity of Daring…

Only if we venture repeatedly through zones of annihilation can our contact with the Divine Being, which is beyond annihilation, become firm and stable.

The more a man learns to confront wholeheartedly the world which threatens him, the more the depths of the Groundwork of Being Human are revealed to him and the possibilities of new life open for him.




The Only Way Out Is Through
Simple,
Just Hard To Do

Crazy Horse Was More A Mystic


Crazy Horse was more a mystic then he was a warrior and if you take the time to note his accomplishments and capabilities on the battlefield then you can begin to appreciate his depth as a mystic.

He is often cited with one of the great miss-quotes in history: “It is a good day to die” but that is not the whole quote and it can only be appreciated for its true meaning in its entirety and if the truth were known probably only in its original tongue. Uttered in this form it seems to venerate bravery and bravado but the quote itself has nothing to do with bravery or warrior-ship or prowess in battle.

It has everything to do with spiritual completion and soulfulness, readiness and acceptance.

To understand this more fully, one just has to look back at the standard North American/European culture and notice that we look at life as though we were on a time line as if it were something that should be considered as being in a straight line.

If this were true, then it follows that the longer the line, the more we imagine (and imagined is the key word here) that we have lived this life to the fullest, and from that thought it naturally extrapolates that the length of the line defines the depth of the understanding and appreciation of life.

Most of us who have been lulled into our dream-like life styles and can now safely assume we are more complete in all facets of our beingness then those of us who have had shorter experiences then us.

This is all based on the concept that length of time in the trenches breeds wisdom.

Not necessarily so.

We mark our mortality or immortality by sneaking up on it, noticing it only when others pass off the face of this planet. It is only then that we can come and face our fears of the unknown, at their funerals, and then it is ever so briefly. And as we do so, attend the funerals and help perform the rites of passage into the next world and almost as an aside, and then only if we are paying close attention to all the asides, do we notice that we can get a glimpse of ourselves and our life’s experiences as it really is and not necessarily in the linear form we imagine it to be.

For instance, the death of the child is seen as tragic. True enough, but in some cultures they have an approach to death tragedy from a different Point Of View, one that is not nearly so linear but rather circular in prospective. To see this more clearly we have to notice the rites of passage ceremonies that Tribal societies all over this planet have. They have ceremonies that mark the rights of passage deliberately. They are initiation rites of completion and the interesting things is they seem nearly universal and that puberty is the event that is seen as that time when they have finally come full circle and moved into a place of completion, thus the celebration of the rites of passage, from incomplete to complete.

It is said that once past this threshold is passed over, the individual’s observation of life is forever changed, life now becomes an experience that is complete in and of itself and will always be complete and growth can now only be the expansion of that circle outwards out into life.

Something like the concentric rings in a millpond after the stone has dropped.

In Native North American society once the circle or hoop is formed, once the ring is complete, then anytime after that is a good time to die because the person will pass in wholeness, in completeness.

So the message that Crazy Horse spoke was not the message the untrained ear heard often credits him with saying. What he was telling his people was not about being brave or to be full of bravado and courage but to be calm and know that all is as it is supposed to be, life is complete in and of itself and whatever transpires next is not in the hands of the individual but it is all in the hands of The Creator.
Thus they went into the battle with the American 7th Calvary trusting in a power far greater then themselves knowing that what ever the outcome it would be right, and those that would pass on that day did so in completeness and those that stayed to live another day did so at the discretion of The Creator. They simply did what was next to be done.

Crazy Horse’s actual quote translates into English follows: “To day is a good day to die for all the things of my life are present."

The key to the quote comes in understanding that from the native prospective, wisdom and wholeness are not seen as a result of the passage of time necessarily; you don’t have to be old to be wise. But rather it is measure by how one lives each moment, in and to the fullness, by how they enter into each moment, with a sense of completeness by walking lightly.

Elders are respected for many reason but from this prospective it is because they not only are the complete in and of themselves but the have allowed their completeness, their hoop to expand and grow and touch others over their time on the face of this planet, they have walked lightly with fullness and are the carriers of the traditions and the history of their people.

So who is prepared to die?

Only he or she who has lived life fully and walked lightly into each of the next moments they have and will experience, because in doing so, they have accepted their completeness as a spiritual being, I am one with all that is, all that was and all that ever will be.

NDT: when I was researching Zen and the Art of Walking Lightly I came across the concept of Crazy Horse being a mystic ...

Statement of Truth ... One of Life's Little Secrets


Statement of Truth

A Truth Once Gained Is The Loss Of Innocence.


Self-inflicted denial and delusion are like old, warm, woolly sweaters that we wear to protect us from the cold, harsh, hostile world we live in. When truth is revealed, those old familiar sweaters can never properly fit over our souls as they once did.

The innocence of our childlike ignorance is lost the moment we come to understand that we do not rule the universe or any of its inhabitants, no matter how hard we might try.

Much of the human condition of suffering hangs on seeing or not seeing this simple truth; for suffering is a state of mind, not a condition of existence.

To begin a soul-searching journey is to begin to take our rightful place in this universe. There are requirements though, one of which is that we must come to terms with this simple truth or forever be bonded to a hell of our own making.

Freedom from the bonds of our past is freedom from the bonds of our own way of thinking. Thus, freedom from the prison of our own mind is freedom from the process of resistance, from a demon called against.

The walls of the prison of our own mind, and all the processes contained therein, are always made up of us against something.

Our very survival seems to be at stake.


But
Experience Has Taught Me
As I Give Over My Need to be Against, My Need to Hide, Then I Will Naturally Merge with All That Is…
The Way Of Things…



NDT: Extracted from Experience Has Taught Us --- 175 Missing Pieces ... Bright Star Press ... available on Amazon.com

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Message from Chief Arvol Looking Horse



Since he is a very honourable man and a true Holy Person, it's certainly worth everyone's time to read his words and consider them.

Mitakuye (my relatives),

I, Chief Arvol Looking Horse of the Lakota, Dakota and Nakota Nation, would like to ask for this time for you to understand an Indigenous perspective in reflection of what has happened in America, what we call "Turtle Island".

For the past six years, my work has concentrated on an effort on uniting the Global community, through a message from our sacred ceremonies in recognizing a day of World Peace and Prayer on June 21st as a time to unite spiritually, each in our own ways of beliefs in the Creator. We have been warned from the messages, passed down from Ancient Prophecies of these times we live in today, but also a very important message of a solution to turn these terrible times around.

To assist you in understanding the depth of this message involves the recognition in the importance of Sacred Sites. It is important that you realize the whole interconnectedness of what is happening today, in reflection of the continued massacres that are occurring on other lands and our own Americas. I have been learning about these important issues of Sacred Sites since the age of 12, upon receiving the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe Bundle and it's teachings.

Our people have strived to protect Sacred Sites from the beginning of time. There needs to be an understanding in the concern of the protection of Sacred Sites that goes deeper than just the issue of Shrines built by humans. Our people have built similar objects and Shrines to identify and to remind the significance in the power of the Sacred Site. We have also witnessed them being destroyed for many decades, but we also realize it is what is underneath them that is important. These places have been violated for centuries and have brought us to this predicament that we are in concerning the unstable Global Level thus far. Look around you, our Mother Earth is very ill from these violations and we are at a brink of destroying a healthy and nurturing survival for generations to come, our children's children.

Our ancestors have been trying to protect our Sacred Site from the continued violations called the Sacred Black Hills in SD, "Heart of Everything that is". Our ancestors never seen this site from a Satellite view, but now that those pictures are available with modern technology, we see that it is in the shape of a heart and when fast forwarded it looks like a heart pumping.

The Dine have been protecting Big Mountain, calling it the liver and now that the coal is depleting, we are suffering and going to suffer more from the extraction of the coal and poison processes used in doing so.

The Aborigines has warned of the contaminating effects on the Corral Reefs from Global Warming, which they see as Mother Earth's blood purifier, our sacred water is being polluted.

The Indigenous people of the Rain Forest relay that the Rain Forest are the lungs and need protection and now we see the Brazilian Government approved the depletion of 50% of this Sacred Site.

The Gwich'in Nation has an issue of oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge coastal plain, also known to the Gwich'in as "Where the life begins!"

The coastal plain is also the birthplace of many other life forms of Animal Nations. The death of these Animal Nations will destroy Indigenous Nations in this territory.

As these destructive developments continue all over the world, we will witness many more extinct Animal, Plant and Human Nations, because of the misuse of power that mankind has made and their lack of understanding the "balance of life". The Indigenous people warn that these destructive developments will cause havoc globally. There are many, many more Indigenous awareness's and knowledge of Mother Earth's Sacred Sites, connections (Mother Earth's Charkas) to our spirit that will surely affect our future generations. These people are still suffering from this contamination and their livelihood is being destroyed as I write this to you. There needs to be a fast move toward other forms of energy that are safe for all Nations upon Mother Earth. We need to understand the whole picture in the type of minds that are continuing to destroy the spirit of our whole Global Community. Unless we do this, the powers of destruction will overwhelm us.

Our Ancestors foretold that water would someday be for sale. Back then this was hard to believe, since the water was so plentiful, so pure, and so full of energy, nutrition and spirit. Today we have to buy pure water, and even then the nutritional minerals have been taken out; it's just empty liquid. Someday water will be like gold, too expensive to afford. Not everyone will have the right to drink safe water. We fail to appreciate and honour our Sacred Sites, ripping out the minerals and gifts that lay underneath them, as if Mother Earth were simply a resource, instead of the Source of Life itself.

Attacking Nations and having to utilize more resources to carry out the destruction in the name of Peace and elimination is not the answer! We need to understand how all these decisions affects the Global Nation, we will not be immune to it's repercussions. To allow continual contamination of our food and land, is now affecting the way we think. A "disease of the mind" has set in World Leaders and many members of our Global Community, with their understanding that a solution of retaliation and destruction of peoples will bring Peace. In our Prophecies it is told that we are now at the Crossroads, either unite Spiritually as a Global Nation, or be faced with chaos, disasters, diseases and tears from our relatives eyes.

In times of disasters it is sad to say that it is the only time that we unite spiritually, but we must not taint it with anger and retaliation. We are the only species that is destroying the Source of life, meaning Mother Earth, in the name of power, mineral resources and ownership of land, using methods of chemicals and warfare that is becoming irreversible, as Mother Earth is becoming tired and can not sustain any more impacts of war. I ask you to join me on this endeavour. Our vision is for the Peoples of all continents, regardless of their beliefs in the Creator, to come together as one at their Sacred Sites at that sacred moment of what is known as the Summer Solstice of June 21st, to pray and meditate and commune with one another, thus promoting an energy shift to heal our Mother Earth and achieve a universal consciousness toward attaining Peace. As each day passes bringing us to this day of concentration together, I ask the Global Nations to begin a Global effort, in knowing that each and every one of us are making a daily effort in waking to a gratitude of another day, that is gifted to us and begin to remember to give thanks for the Sacred Food that has been also gifted to us by our Mother Earth, so the nutritional energy of medicine can be guided to heal our minds and spirits.

This new millennium will usher in an age of harmony or it will bring the end of life as we know it. Starvation, war and toxic waste have been the hallmark of the Great Myth of Progress and Development that ruled the last millennium. To us, as caretakers of the heart of Mother Earth, falls the responsibility of turning back the powers of destruction. We have come to a time and place of great urgency. The fate of future generations rests in our hands. We must understand the two ways we are free to follow, as we choose the positive way or the negative way -- the spiritual way or the material way. It's our own choice -- each of ours and all of ours. You yourself are the one who must decide. You alone -- and only you -- can make this crucial choice. Whatever you decide is what you'll be, to walk in honour or to dishonour your relatives. You can't escape the consequences of your own decision. On your decision depends the fate of the entire World. You must decide. You can't avoid it. Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind.

Did you think the Creator would create unnecessary people in a time of such terrible danger? Know that you yourself are essential to this World. Believe that!

Understand both the blessing and the burden of that. You yourself are desperately needed to save the soul of this World. Did you think you were put here for something less?

In a Sacred Hoop of Life, where there is no beginning and no ending!


Mitakuye Oyasin,

Chief Arvol Looking Horse
19th Generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe


NDT: this arrived on my desk on Earth Day

It was Easy to Keep Clean .... Considered with the Passage of Time


It is written someplace or other that time reveals all to all who have the patience to wait for its passage. But sometimes the pain is too great, sometimes the need to find out Why is so strong that one has to push at life and find the answers more quickly. Some of us are content to wait, and some of us are not.

During the mid 1930's, MAHATMA GANDHI was travelling through India, campaigning for the freedom of INDIA from the British Raj. He had been jailed a decade before by the British, and when he came out of prison in 1933, he brought with him a single broken spoon and bowl. He ate, washed, and basically did everything out of this one set of utensils. Someone in his following noticed that he was doing so and felt that there was great meaning behind what he was doing, and so they began to do so also. This cult grew and grew, and the philosophy of the "ONE BOWLNESS OF LIFE "developed. Now the key here was that no-one had asked Gandhi why he did so. No-one had taken the time to come to the understanding of the Why's and the Where to For’s of his practice. One day, it was reported, one brave soul finally asked why Gandhi was living so to speak from one bowl. Now you have to understand that the group had grown over a period of six or so months to encompass several thousand persons. Gandhi replied to the young student that "It was Easy to Keep Clean".

Nothing great, nothing deep, just a very simple practice that made life easier and straight forward; we tend to over complicate our lives just for the sake of the *supposed* understanding of it. It just muddles and muddies the waters even more, the more we think about, and it has been found that if you set your mind hard enough to work on a problem it will always get an answer, "not necessarily" the appropriate one, but an answer none-the-less, just as that small group in India did when they tried to understand what Gandhi was doing when all they had to do was ask.

It supposedly allows the so called secrets of life to percolate to the surface, to be examined and adapted into the day to "terrible dailyness" of life and its' passage.


NDT: from unpublished work from 1998 ...

An Old Man and His Heart



One day a young man was standing in the middle of the town proclaiming that he had the most beautiful heart in the whole valley.

A large crowd gathered and they all admired his heart for it was perfect. There was not a mark or a flaw in it. Yes, they all agreed it truly was the most beautiful heart they had ever seen. The young man was very proud and boasted more loudly about his beautiful heart.

Suddenly, an old man appeared at the front of the crowd and said, "Why, your heart is not nearly as beautiful as mine."

The crowd and the young man looked at the old man's heart. It was beating strongly, but full of scars, it had places where pieces had been removed and other pieces put in, but they didn't fit quite right and there were several jagged edges. In fact, in some places there were deep gouges where whole pieces were missing. The people stared. How can he say his heart is more beautiful? They thought.

The young man looked at the old man's heart and saw its state and laughed. "You must be joking," he said. "Compare your heart with mine, mine is perfect and yours is a mess of scars and tears." Yes," said the old man, "Yours is perfect looking but I would never trade with you. You see, every scar represents a person to whom I have given my love - I tear out a piece of my heart and give it to them, and often they give me a piece of their heart which fits into the empty place in my heart, but because the pieces aren't exact, I have some rough edges, which I cherish, because they remind me of the love we shared. Sometimes I have given pieces of my heart away, and the other person hasn't returned a piece of his heart to me. These are the empty gouges - giving love is taking a chance. Although these gouges are painful, they stay open, reminding me of the love I have for these people too, and I hope someday they may return and fill the space I have waiting. So now do you see what true beauty is?"

The young man stood silently with tears running down his cheeks. He walked up to the old man, reached into his perfect young and beautiful heart, and ripped a piece out. He offered it to the old man with trembling hands.

The old man took his offering, placed it in his heart and then took a piece from his old scarred heart and placed it in the wound in the young man's heart. It fit, but not perfectly, as there were some jagged edges.

The young man looked at his heart, not perfect anymore but more beautiful than ever, since love from the old man's heart flowed into his.

They embraced and walked away side by side.

Author Unknown


NDT: I stumbled over this years ago and it spoke to me ...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

On the Art of Letting Go ... Sky Diving Can Be Fun


12 On Appreciating Deeper Processes - On the Art of Letting Go

EXPERIENCE has taught us
that the art of letting go requires us to:

• Identify and name the specific upset, problem, or conflict.

• Reflect upon it from our powerful inner lives.

• Talk about it with safe people (note—begin with: “This reminds me of . . .”). Ask those safe people for feedback.

• Name the core issues, talk about them some more, and ask for more feedback.

• Select, if necessary, an appropriate experiential technique. Use the technique to work on specific conflicts and feelings at a deeper level (regression, confrontation, etc.). Talk and write more about it.

• Meditate and pray on the subject (give God a chance to participate).

• Seriously consider, “how might I benefit from this entire experience of facing my demons?”

• If you still feel incomplete, repeat any or all of the above.

• Then, when you feel ready - let go! Skydiving can be fun.


Skydiving Can Be Fun
The emphasis is on
“Can”



NDT: extracted from Experience Has Taught Us -- 175 Missing Pieces ... Bright Star Press ... available on Amazon.com ...

Macaroni and Cheese .....Safe Life Styles


I had some people in my office the other day and I had to wonder if the Road Less Travelled is Less Travelled for a lot of good reasons.

There are times when people are trying to, at the best of their ability, to put a relationship together and at the same time, not get hurt like they did the last time they attempted to have a relationship ... Oh how the Ghost of Xmas Past Haunts even the strongest of wills.

I for one have no idea how you do that ... that is have a relationship and stay safe ... that simply can not happen ... it doesn't work that way ... Life and love is about risk taking ... so it follows that if I am not going to put my effort into taking the risk rather I put all my effort and energy into trying to stay safe ... then the futility of the interaction will over take me and consume me ... and that seems to be the Ways of Things

I do believe that the finer tastes and flavours of life are lost on the macaroni and cheese life style I choose to live ... just to stay safe.

It seems that people who do this macaroni and cheese safe thing are consigned to their fate of repeating the old ... and living the humdrum ... with no idea that it is them that set it up ... it is them that is the root cause and they actually have the power to do something about it ... if they would wake up to the fact that this life they are having is theirs and it is theirs to do something with ...

It is not some miss fortune that is happening ... Its Life ... try having it ...


171 On Creation and Spiritual Awakening and Acumen
*********************************************************
EXPERIENCE has taught us that having faith that something we could not conceive of would actually help, if only we asked for help. Something we could not even imagine would help us if we asked, and then us seriously considering working with It.

Having faith in something other than just us.

Fascinating concept when we stop and think about it.


Other Than Just Me!


172 On Creation and Spiritual Awakening and Acumen
**********************************************************
EXPERIENCE has taught us that to grow we have to break out of the mould we built to save us from a world we thought would destroy us. We have to come back out into the place we considered so dangerous that it terrorized us.

No longer that lost soul hiding inside trying to grasp at straws and pieces of life’s experience as they drifted by the entrance to our cave.

No longer trying to force the world and what it represents to us into the cubby holes of our minds for safe storage and for our own personal consumption later on, whenever that is.


No Longer At Odds With Everything


NDT notes to myself after a difficult session and extracts from Experience Has Taught Us-175 Missing Pieces published by Bright Star Press and available on Amazon.com

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Here I am ... alone ... once again


Here I am ... alone ... once again ... there is a pattern.

I’ve been here dozens and dozens of times in my life. When I get to this place my problem seems to be; I follow my own advice. I do things my way. It simply doesn’t work and I know it; but I do it anyway. I feel like a failure when this happens.

There are times when I feel so desperate lost and alone. There are times when everything seems to overwhelm me. I don’t think I can go on for another moment.

I notice someone walking on this path; he is up ahead of me. This person “seems to know” his way around on the path. I watch ... It’s obvious that he has walked his walk before.

I approach him. We talk. He asks if I need company on my journey. I say “yes.”

There is one thing that I know for sure, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. When I say “yes” it is a relief, a weight is lifted off my shoulders.

We sit down together and talk some more. I tell him just how desperate lost and alone I feel. He suggests to me that we could quiet our minds if we closed our eyes and turned our thoughts inward. He told me just to let my feelings be what they are; feelings. Don’t analyze. Just notice. Just sensory input about the world I seemed to be lost in. He said “ride them like a magic carpet.” They don’t define you; they simply define the path you will need to follow to get through all this stuff called your life.

It was then that I noticed there were parts of me that I have never ever connected with. Instantly I knew that they had always been there; I just had no idea what they were for or for that matter what I could do with them ... if I did.

As I sat there quietly reflecting I sensed a deeper part of me and as I was to come to know, it was this part of me that remembers the truth of who I am.

My friend told me that we all have that place deep inside. He also said we have a journey we need to make together ... and if I were ready, we need to go.

A simple ok seemed to work and we were up and off on my journey. Then it struck me that we were up and off on my journey ... this person was With me. He told me that With is an important thing ... that we would be practicing it along the journey ... With! I had no idea what he was talking about but ...

As I walked with my new found friend I could feel the various missing pieces of me beginning to come home from their hiding places, and taking their rightful place within me. Those missing parts are beginning to fall into place, as if some giant hand is now beginning to put me, me ... the jigsaw puzzle, back together again.

This felt very good.

NDT: GROUP HANDOUT

January 2004... Feedback from a Client



January 2004

After considerable deliberation and several attempts at putting into words what is most important about what I have experienced with Neil’s guidance, the results are as follows.

Because, even though I am aware of it, I have not let go of all areas of my control and organization issues, I have categorized the “Most Important(s).”

The Most Important Moments

The Most Important Lessons

The Most Important Knowledge Gained

# 1 overall Most Important



Most Important Moments

What I remember as the first remarkable moment of importance was when, after a particularly challenging session with Neil, the fog of fear and clouds of confusion shifted and I had a glimpse of endless blue sky, felt the warmth of radiant sunshine and experienced a moment of incredible peace. Even 10 seconds in this state, made all the painful, emotional work, the struggling to see with closed eyes, the fearful moments of recollection - worthwhile. Even when the next step into a downpour of cold, stinging, wet conditions reminded me that there is so much more intense work to do, I could clearly recall those seconds of sweet blissful serenity and I knew I could, and would experience it again.

Most Important Moments

There was a time in my recovery {only one he asks?} that I thought I could handle something that is strongly suggested to avoid at that particular place in one’s healing. I had let myself be part of a relationship and in typical fashion; I let myself think I could run, when in fact I was barely crawling. Therefore, when it was halted very suddenly, I was devastated. I was sitting at the dining room table crying hysterically, my entire body vibrating as though in seizure, unable to draw a breath of air. At this point the person with whom I had been involved, stood up, turned out the light and walk away from me quietly leaving by the front door. This, of course, doubled the already impossible amount of devastation I was feeling. A mille-second before the point of passing out, due to the inability to draw air into my lungs, I became still and very much aware of a sensation like a hand touching my head ever so gently. In that instant, calmness replaced the hysteria and I knew I was not alone.

An interesting note:

I am presently working once again, on the “With” part of my healing and encountering a resistance. I have not recalled the moment of which I just spoke for about five years. I was pondering the subject of “Most Important” then set it aside to return my attention to the challenging subject of “With” . In the split second between the two bodies of work, the memory of that feeling of being touched by the Hand of God presented it’s self like an oasis in the middle of a dessert. As Neil would say Imagine That!

Most Important Lessons

Without a doubt, one of the most valued lessons I learned from my sessions with Neil, is how to clear the storage shelves in that “old back shed” of my mind. There was stuff there that I had been saving as long as 40 years. And by the time I learned how to deal with this stuff the selves were just about collapsing. The process of going back and remembering, then looking at and feeling the item, followed by seeing the affects it’s had on my life was monumental. But when the light of understanding switches on and I can track how the path of the issue influenced and directed my path, the ability to discard the burden and alter the power I permitted it to hold over me is liberating.

The same applies to things told to me by the people I listened to as a child. Some of those teachings do not apply to me today {and in some cases did not or should not have applied to me back then}. By tracing the origin and observing its affect, I can re-assess its value and decide whether or not it is healthy for me now. This process facilitates change. And change is good!

The Most Important Knowledge Gained

• Guilt, Regret, Deceit and hate {fear}cause “dis-ease"
• We cannot change the past.
• Our lives are just as they are meant to be.
• Surrendering to our Higher Power is Liberating.


The #1 overall Most Important is…….

I accept that every aspect and event of my life occurs as a necessary part of a bigger plan about which I do not, cannot and do not need to know or understand.
It is not good or bad, right or wrong.

It simply is!~

C
January 2004
Victoria

There's more............



There's more..............

Neil,
After writing, re-writing, reading, re-reading, printing and re-printing and another reading I have a few truths to tell you.

1 - I wrote this in the manner I did because I think I’m good at writing, I like to put it out there and hopefully someone will critique it.

2 - I am trying to please you.

3 - I’m not entirely sure I know what is most important to me, but these things have made a remarkable difference in my life.

Love,

C


NDT: this came via email . in January of 2004 ...