Monday, October 30, 2006


Well, not long after my six month anniversary of being seizure free (meaning I could drive again for a few days) I had a partial seizure this evening. Oh well, I’m apparently not quite ready to be free of them. Anyway, I wanted to share some other information that I had recently come across that I found quite powerful.

The first is a quote someone passed along by an author named Rosenburg (not an exact quote), “Behind every criticism, judgement, or blame resides an unexpressed or unfulfilled need or want.” This reminds us to be present and aware of how you are feeling as often as possible. I am planning on reading “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life” by Jon Kabat-Zinn to help increase my awareness of the present moment. On a similar note, while trying to incubate a dream on being granted the power of presence, I had some simple advice come to me: Think before you say something and don’t let an unkind word out of your mouth.

Some ideas have come to me, while I’m on the subject, regarding mindfulness and not getting hung up in the future or past events. Everything you’ve done to this point was absolutely necessary to your survival. Look back for guidance but don’t have regrets about it. Everything in the future will turn out just as it’s supposed to, so don’t waste energy with needless worry.

Finally, I have been exposed to the concept of Ho’oponopono (an old form of Hawaiian healing that translates into “to make right” or “to rectify an error”) from several places now and recently missed a local workshop on the subject. However, the a recent article I read in the October issue of Natural Awakenings magazine sums up the concept quite well.

Taking responsibility for all that happens and taking action when trouble spots arise are at the fundamental core of the practice (which brings us back to awareness). I would recommend reading this article if you can, but it is not currently on their website. So, in the meantime I will try to hit the highlights of what’s covered. The article makes comparisons between how we function and how computers function.

“In Ho’opononopono, a physical symptom (pain or disease) or an emotional symptom (judgement or upset) appears to an individual–causing the person to stop and pay attention; this serves as the clue that a cleansing process is needed... When the person agrees to do the cleansing, he or she makes it possible to clear the way for whatever bigger processing is needed to take the next step...”

“How does the Ho’oponopono cleansing process work then? Well, for one thing, each individual is only allowed to work on their own system/computer/internal memory. Whenever a clue shows up on the “screen” of a person’s mind, the “owner” walks it through a 3 step process of repentance (“I’m sorry”), forgiveness (“please forgive me”) and transmutation (“I love you”), which thereby effectively transmutes the stored memory (bad file) back into blank, reusable disk space and opens the same space for positive function...”

“The first two steps of repentance and forgiveness are directed at both the person experiencing the pain and the one who triggered it (and is very likely being blamed for it). ‘I’m sorry...that I accused you, that I have been subservient to this stored replaying memory and keeping myself back/down, that I have taken it out on you and on myself as I now realize we are both innocent victims of bad files...’ So ‘please forgive me for operating from this subconscious/unconscious place and interfering with my own progress as well as making your life uncomfortable/unhappy.’ The third step, also for the benefit of all parties with similar stored memories, adds the missing ingredient/energy/cleansing to all ow the transmutation to be complete: ‘I love you...for you are the same as I am...both subject to the patterns/memories of our pasts from which we have heretofore not known how to free ourselves and now have the choice/knowledge/process to change that and move into the place of oneness and dissolve our differences, remembering and embracing our lack of separateness.’”

I had to read parts of the article a few times to get it, but I feel a bit better about dealing with my life as a result (and not sweating the little things) so I wanted to share it with you as well. Keep me posted on your experiences as well.
Take care,

PS - If you want more info on Ho’oponopono or the magazine I mentioned, see the links below.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Yin and Yang

There is something I have been wanting to share with you. I rediscovered a poster I made almost 10 years ago when I was working on my second master's degree. I was in a counseling type class where we had to bring in a collage that represented us and present it to the class.

I decided to cut out words that I printed off on a computer and taped them to a poster that I had drawn a Yin Yang symbol on (see picture). I didn't have much knowledge of the Yin Yang and just knew that it represented a balance between feminine (yin) and masculine (yang) traits.

The words I chose were based on what I thought to be more masculine qualities I had at the time vs. what I perceived to be more feminine traits. If I had it to do over again, I may have rearranged things a bit or used some different words here and there, but the gist is that I felt out of balance, having very little on my feminine side.

Yang Yin
Truth Kindness
open Minded Nurture
Analyze Feel
Global Equality
Logical Compassion
Imagine Goodwill
Consistence Help
Reason Humble
Reflect Touch
Create Human
Generalize Empathy
Learn Acceptance
Think Tranquility
Introspection Peace
Speculate Care
Vision Gentle
Rationalize Support
Cynicism Harmony
Justice Cultivate
Wisdom Respect
Skeptical Love
Educate Natural

Many years later and some life altering experiences later, I now I feel more connected with my feminine side and even aspiring to tap into more of those traits listed. In fact, based on what I've read so far, if we could all open up to the yin traits I listed and extrapolate them to apply to everyone and everything unconditionally, then we could find true happiness in everything we do and see. Just some added food for thought.

I now have this poster in my bathroom and will post a photo of it to the blog (not sure how clear it will be). Feel free to share any feedback or pass it on. You might even consider a similar project for yourself. Take care and be grateful for what you have.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Suggested Readings

Since my last post I've added a new book to the group of books I'm currently reading "A new earth: awakening to your life's purpose" by Eckhart Tolle (author of "The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment" which I have not read). It delves into what you find when you start paying attention to your thoughts and how they affect your life. I highly recommend this book as well as the others I have mentioned previously (and look forward to reading others recommended to me by friends). I will probably be talking about it more in the future.

I also wanted to mention that the recent issue of What Is Enlightenment magazine (a great magazine by the way) has a two part interview with Brian Swimme (a mathematical cosmologist). Part one is entitled "Awakening to the Universe Story: Comprehensive Compassion" (see link below). Not long after I made the personal compassion between gravity and love, I found out that this idea was not new (not that I thought it was). Swimme says, "gravitational attraction is an early form of compassion or care." He talks a great deal of the importance compassion has played in the evolution of the world. I felt quite encouraged by what I read in his interview as he has a lot of great ideas about the evolutionary track we are on (both past and future) so check it out if you're interested.

That's all for now. I hope all is well with you and yours. Keep me posted on your lives as well. I enjoy getting feedback from others, whether they are through the blog or sent directly to me. Enjoy the changing seasons and make the best of everyday.
Take care,

Thursday, October 12, 2006

A Few Tips on Life

For those of you who are interested in some basic tips on living the life you want to live, I have come up with a basic list from my own experience (and research) that might benefit you.

- Pay attention to your thoughts as often as you can. The mind is always working on something and we are oblivious most of the time. However, what it's doing affects everything we do or say, so start keeping tabs on the thoughts going on in it. This is also referred to as practicing mindfulness and does take practice.

- Break your routine. This includes what you would ordinarily say in response to something as well as your daily activities. This also translates into "think before you speak or act."

- See what thoughts occur as a result of changing your routine. If you are practicing mindfulness and choose to do or say something different (or nothing at all) from what you would ordinarily do or say, interesting thoughts or feelings may arise. Pay attention to those and ponder them.

- Stop to smell the roses. When you are feeling trapped in your routine or stressed out about something, take a moment to stop and clear your mind of the habitual thoughts for a moment. Take a deep breath and look around at the scenery and find something to appreciate. Practicing gratitude is an important thing to do and can make you feel better about things, but it too takes practice.

Some people say that you don't own your thoughts, you just listen to them. They tend to be based on years of training and are not always the types of thoughts that have your own best interest at heart. So, no matter what your interested in doing with your life, being mindful will be a key to making it happen. With practice, you can begin noticing when negative thoughts start to enter your head and intervene before they take you somewhere you don't want to be. Over time, you can maximize the number of positive things that happen in your life and minimize the negative things.

Though I could elaborate on each of these things in great detail, I wanted to just give you some basic tools to use if you so choose. Mindfulness is where it all begins. Hope all is well with you and yours.
Take care,

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Power of Compassion

I wanted to share a story out of The Lost Art of Compassion by Lorne Ladner that you might find inspiring. It is an actual case in point on using compassion to better your world, and it goes something like this:

>>A student of Budhism is at a dinner party with a goup of intelligent and wealthy individuals. They had chatted a bit about Budhism, but then conversation had turned to more daily life type things. One of the guys (John) told this story about how one night he heard a thud outside. He ran to the window to see that his neighbor had just backed into his BMW (parked on the street) and drove away and parked in his garage. John went down and saw that the damage was pretty extensive so he went over to the neighbor's house and began ringing the bell. No answer. He tried knocking for a while and eventually gave up.

His insurance company sued the neighbor and eventually won a $5,000 settlement for the damages. After he got the car repaired, he found one day that it had been deeply scratched all the way down one side. John suspected his neighbor, but didn't witness it so he had it fixed himself. After he got it painted, the same thing happened again. He felt sure his neighbor was to blame so he went over to confront him about it. The guy denied it and threatened to sue him for slander for accusing him of such. He gave up and had it fixed again.

At this point John was constantly peeking out the window in hopes of catching his neighbor in the act and it was driving him crazy. He asked the guests at dinner what they would do. Suggestions ranged from hidden cameras to sensitive alarms (he had to park in the street). The Buddhist student wondered what his teacher would suggest in that situation and instantly knew. He suggested that John should take a gift to his neighbor and apologize for the trouble he has caused him. The people at dinner thought that was crazy and pointed out that the neighbor was a low life.

However, John decided to do just that. He knew his neighbor was a golfer, so he went and bought very expensive golf balls (the type people would not ordinarily buy for themselves). He went to his neighbor's house who was wary to see him. He gave him the gift and apologized for accusing him of scratching his car and wanted to give him a token of apology.

A little while later, the neighbor showed up at John's door. It looked as if he had been crying. He thanked John profusely for the gift and said that no one had ever been so nice to him. The neighbor told him if he ever needed anything, just to let him know. From that point on, he was the best neighbor one could ask for.>>

Just a little food for thought that might benefit you in your lives. It could have saved me problems a few years ago when I was having problems with my neighbors. Maybe it can do the same for you in some way.
Take care,