Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Basic Ingredient for Self

There seems to be four aspects of human interaction that are the essential for spiritual growth.
These are For, At, To and With.
These four basics essentials are:
Being responsible For someone
Being responsible At someone
Being responsible To someone
Being responsible With someone

These sound similar but in reality are miles if not universes apart in application.
If each of these components is not properly utilized and an appropriate balance maintained between them, then the basic bulwarks of life 101 simply will not work. It follows then that what I offer out into the day-to-day world will always come out twisted somehow, no matter how hard I try, no matter what my intent. What I do with someone, what I do for someone and what I do at or to someone are the basic criteria for my own spiritual growth. Why, because as I do  with, for, at and to  then I am in fact making an offering to myself of similar proportions and intent. If I do this with wounded intent then ... no matter what I do it is off the mark. The trick to the whole thing is, knowing how to bring the four aspects into balance. Most of us have no idea what to do with “WITH”... hence the lack of balance.

It is something like fueling your car. Put in first grade fuel and you generally get first grade performance, but if you pee in the gas tank, you will be lucky to get off the starting grid.

The Last Piece of Advice I got before I was Born




This Path Way Can Be Slippery


The Water Deep

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Alex the Flying Frog

Once upon a time in a tiny town, there lived a family with a pet frog named Alex. The family lived a modest comfortable existence on what they earned working at the Wal-Mart but always dreamed of being rich. "Alex!". They exclaimed one day, "We're going to be rich! We're going to teach you how to fly!" Alex, of course, was terrified at the prospect: "I can't fly, you idiots....I'm a frog, not a canary!" The family, disappointed at the initial reaction, told Alex: "That negative attitude of yours could be a real problem. We're sending you to special classes”. So Alex went to a three day seminar and learned about problem solving, time management, and effective communication...but nothing about flying.

On the first day of "flying lessons", the family could barely control their excitement (and Alex could barely control her bladder). The family explained that their apartment building had 15 floors, and each day Alex would jump out of a window, starting with the first floor and eventually getting to the top floor. After each jump, Alex would analyze how well she flew, isolate on the most effective flying techniques, and implement the improved process for the next flight. By the time they reached the top floor, Alex would surely be able to fly. And, of course, the family would be rich, proud and fulfilled. Alex understood that the fate of the entire family depended on her success.

She pleaded for her life, but it fell on deaf ears. "She just doesn't understand how important this is..." thought the family, "but we won't let nay-sayers get in the way."

So, with that, the family opened the window and threw Alex out (who landed with a thud).

Alex tried many different techniques for dissuading the family and became very proficient at manipulating, cajoling, using humor and persuading but to no avail (she had read somewhere that the light bulb had to want to change?). The family continued and Alex tried her best. But try as she might, she couldn't fly.

By the seventh day, Alex (accepting her fate) no longer begged for mercy...she simply looked at the family and said: "You know you're killing me, don't you?"

The family pointed out that Alex's performance so far had been less than exemplary, failing to meet any of the milestone goals they had set for her. With that, Alex, said quietly: "Shut up and open the window," and she leaped but, taking careful aim on the large jagged rock by the corner of the building. And Alex went to that great lily in the sky.

The family was extremely upset, as their project had failed to meet the single goal they set out to accomplish. Alex had not only failed to learn to fly, she hadn't even learned to steer nor had her productivity improved when told to "Fall smarter, not harder".

The only thing left for the family to do was to analyze the process and try to determine where they had gone wrong. After much thought, the family smiled and said: "Next time.... we're gonna get a smarter frog!" Tiny-town is incapable of change or insight – only expectations for others to make them feel OK.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

As Long As I

It's not difficult to recognize how deep are the ways our mind has been conditioned to deal with unpleasant situations when we examine how we resist those situations.  Throughout our entire lives we have been encouraged to do anything we can to escape "from" rather then to explore and investigate "into" our unpleasantness.  Our society literally consumes tons of aspirin daily.  It is not just the physical pain we try and avoid, but all kinds of unpleasant conditions: boredom, restlessness, self doubt, anger, loneliness, hurt and the list goes on.  In our culture we do all we can to push these experiences aside,  or keep them at a distance.  When you think of "it" this way, we actually choose to be entertained in the fashion that we are. 
No Bus and Late for School


As long as I was pushing away the pain, it had me nailed to the wall.  But then I stopped resisting it.  I sort of let it in.  It was actually a relief.  I felt better in spite of it.  No longer at odds with everything.

adapted from How Can I Help Rass Dass and Paul Gorman

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Necessary Listen

Economics writer Tim Harford studies complex systems -- and finds a surprising link among the successful ones: they were built through trial and error. He suggests us to embrace our randomness and start making better mistakes.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I Got A Note In The Mail This Morning

Neil, for many years I felt I never fitted in ... even before my accident, and being 'popular' didn't really make it better. I use to party hard to be comfortable, of course that didn't make it any better either. Now, being stripped of everything I am forced to face myself...and I found that I'm ok. In fact I'm more than ok. But sometimes that old 'low self esteem, no confidence' ... that old me still shows up...but not for long though. As long as I 'fit in' with myself...that’s most important. I = numero uno!!

If I don't have to try hard with myself why do I have to do it for anyone else?

I should be good enough as I am.

As simple as that my friend.

Love yourself first and the rest will fall into place.

It’s easy and it works. I try to teach that to my kids, but it can get tricky.

I think that its best learnt with life’s lessons, unfortunately the hard way...otherwise the ego gets in the way and it can result in self obsession instead of that balance that is required in putting yourself first. But both son and daughter are good, thank God. We are a nice little uncomplicated trio:-) For now it’s working well.

CJ ...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Why are we afraid?


We’re afraid because there appears to be no truth ... except in the most superficial way.

No one can agree on what “the realities” of any situation are or on just where meaning and importance lie.

One voter sees a truth about a particular politician, yet to another voter the reverse is true. An obvious truth for one city or nation is not true at all for a neighboring city or nation. Within families, merely discussing what is true or important about the smallest of issues can cause deep division. During televised games, not only do fans and commentators disagree about what just happened, but, in addition, each camera angle reveals a different “point of view.” And in a trial, a witness will swear in the name of God that he saw something different than another witness. This apparent absence of truth makes “getting at” the truth a world-wide obsession, despite the fact that we feel a nagging doubt about almost any pronouncement we make or hear someone else make.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

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