Archive for Happiness

Caribbean Dream

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(a description of my most recent epiphany while on a St. Martins vacation)

Caribbean teal lapped luxuriously over my eyelids and around my nostrils while seeping slowly between my lips. My limp limbs lolled rhythmically back and forth, back and forth … back … and forth.

Pictures splattered across my mind’s eye like subway posters on the walls outside a speeding train and I, the lone traveler, gazed out the window to gauge their meaning. The soundtrack for this inward sojourn are Jan’s insistent words, on loop,

“Why are you taking it so personally? Don’t you know? There is nothing that anybody does that is about you. Nothing is about you, it is about them. Nothing is personal to you, it’s simply each person processing their own shit. Even if they reject you, or leave you, or have an affair, or whatever … it’s not about you.”

Something clicked, and shifted … my muscles clenched for something to hold on to as I gasped in surprise.

That’s it.

It was as if the words NEEDED to be on loop, in order for me to actually get it … deep down … below the superficiality of intellectual banter and philosophical musings.

It’s not about me … nothing is about me … it’s all about them.

Relief washed over my spirit, more refreshing than even the crystalline beauty of the waters I floated in. My eyes drank in blue. My descending toes burrowed joyfully into the white sand below as a salty smile splayed widely into my reddened cheeks.

Even if my worst fears and suspicions were true … even if they thought my contributions weren’t as meaningful as theirs, or they didn’t respect me as much as the others, or thought I was not someone worth listening to … it doesn’t matter.

It’s not about me … it’s about them.

Most likely none of those fears or suspicions are true … and that doesn’t matter either. Finding or revealing “The Truth” doesn’t matter … there is no truth. There is just a world full of people each processing their own past, present and future programming.

Anyone’s actions are simply a reflection of what is inside of them … and they have nothing to do personally with me. It’s their inner workings; assumptions, presumptions, calculations, emotions and programming that are either holding them back or forwarding their future. Why worry about what anyone thinks when it is simply a reflection of their personal history … which none of us can ever know?

It might sound simple, or obvious … but as this realization truly hit home for me … the weight of the world lifted. All the fears, and paranoid scanning, all the years of worriedly wondering where the next attack would come from … and shifting, changing, adapting, melting and molding myself into whatever, whoever, could avoid the next attack.

The years I spent thinking, believing, that if anyone ever truly knew me they would reject me. If I ever opened myself enough for them to see my authenticity … the charade would be over and I would just be that bullied, violated and abused child with nowhere to hide … and no mask to hide behind.

There is no masquerade ball … it’s just been me with my many masks in a house of mirrors, and fear, and a volcanic rage to defend against anyone who happened to somehow slip past my defenses.

It was never about me at all. Every single fact I’ve been building my case with … has all been about them.

How freeing that is.

Wow.

I turned, and walked back to the beach … and the rest of my life to unfold.

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

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The Poverty of the West

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My words for meditation today:

“He awoke each morning with the desire to do right, to be a good and meaningful person, to be, as simple as it sounded and as impossible as it actually was, happy. And during the course of each day his heart would descend from his chest into his stomach. By early afternoon he was overcome by the feeling that nothing was right, or nothing was right for him, and by the desire to be alone. By evening he was fulfilled: alone in the magnitude of his grief, alone in his aimless guilt, alone even in his loneliness. I am not sad, he would repeat to himself over and over, I am not sad. As if he might one day convince himself. Or fool himself. Or convince others–the only thing worse than being sad is for others to know that you are sad. I am not sad. I am not sad.”

– Jonathan Safran Foer (Everything Is Illuminated)

~~~

“The greatest disease in the West today is not TB or leprosy; it is being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for. We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more dying for a little love. The poverty in the West is a different kind of poverty — it is not only a poverty of loneliness but also of spirituality. There’s a hunger for love, as there is a hunger for God.”

– Mother Theresa

~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California,Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

The Tortured Self – A Vision

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I had a vision today. These visions have happened to/for me since I was 20 … I never know when they are going to happen and I cannot make them happen at will. I can however put myself into a state where I am more open to seeing them … this often happens for me through meditation.

Today, however, I was not meditating. I was on a teleconference with a dozen or so other people, discussing topics around self awareness, personal development and duality.

– Flash back a couple of weeks ago –

I had a vision while focusing on my first chakra in a prolonged meditation session. I was exploring a cavern and I had recently discovered a new room. In coming out of this room I had the awareness that to my right was darkness … just darkness. I kept trying to look to my right, and it was as if I couldn’t even turn my head to the right to see. I continued with this intention for at least 15 minutes … waiting for the time to come where this cleared and I would be able to see into this place. It never happened, I was blind there.

– Now back to the teleconference –

One person was talking about the need to accept ones self. The leader interrupted and what she said sparked off this vision for me … while she was talking I felt energy pulsate from her through my heart chakra, which tightened and tingled all at the same time … it was as if I was experiencing the vision and listening to her at the same time:

“It is not enough to simply accept oneself.” she said, “It is much deeper than that. We are trained to view ourselves through our accomplishments … through our results.”

I am back in that underground chamber now … walking toward the place that has been blackened out from my mind’s eye.

“So if you tell anyone that they need to accept themself, they will immediately refer back to what they know … what their results are: how much money they have, what their relationships are, their power, their charm, etc. These are the things they have always used to feel accepted.”

I am rounding the corner and look to where the blackness was … and still is.

“What really needs to happen, what I had to take on for myself, is that we have to accept that we are spiritual beings in a human form. We have both a soulful essence, a spirit, and a human nature. That spirit is ALREADY whole and complete … right now! There is NOTHING that needs to be done to improve on it. YOU are already whole and complete … and you have a human nature that will always be there as well … and that human nature is flawed. You can’t focus on the human nature and exclude the true nature, the spirit … but that is what we do when we base our sense of worth on our results and our accomplishments.”

The blackness disappears and I see an emaciated man shackled to a wall … bleeding as if he had been tortured. I ran to him and broke the shackles out of the wall. I picked up his form, which felt light as a feather, and carried him into the new chamber I had just discovered a couple of weeks ago. There now was a pool glowing with light in the center of that room, and I gently lowered that poor, tortured man into the waters … his head propped on a rock and light glowing all around him, as if it was a psychadelic bathtub.

“That is the nature of Duality,” the speaker continued, “we always have the perfect soulful essence laying down right beside this flawed human nature. It is together that they are beautiful. You can’t try to make the human nature wrong for not being perfect, and you can’t remove the soulful essence from who you truly are … they’re not seperate, you are both simultaneously. That is the edge we must walk.”

As the man begins to heal … I see that he is me. I SEE that I have been torturing the human part of myself by constantly measuring my self worth by accomplishments. EVERY TIME I don’t get the results I want I was whipping him bloody. I feel a hollow feeling in my chest … horror. I go to him, and hug him, and ask him to forgive me. I try to merge with him and make him one with me … but it won’t take. I have been the torturer for far too long … it will take time for him to trust me enough … so that we can be equal, and whole, and complete, and beautiful … together.

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

pic from Pinterest.

The Happiness Habit

My words for meditation:

~~~~~~~

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

~~~~~~~

“But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a person and life they lead.”

– Albert Camus

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“Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast.”

– Norman Vincent Peale

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pic from Viva Institute

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

 

Leave the world a better place for your having been here.

My words to meditate upon today:

” To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children … to leave the world a better place … to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.  This is to have succeeded.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

~~~~~~~

“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

– Mother Theresa

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” We have the choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place … or not to bother.”

– Jane Goodall

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach

Spiritual Retreat

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I’ve been incommunicado for a couple of days, due to a road trip and a wonderful spiritual retreat at the Trout Lake Abbey in Southern Washington … a BEAUTIFUL, fully functioning organic farm and retreat center run by a Buddhist monk and a Druid priest … but open to all faiths. In talking with the wonderfully jolly and open monk over a meal, I found myself hearing from him the same things that I feel and believe … that there are “Awakened” people in all walks of life, and all different types of religion … or non-religion. I HIGHLY recommend this wonderful retreat for anyone who finds themselves in Washington state, or Oregon as it is near Portland.

Getting back into the swing of things … here is a quote reflecting what I have been meditating on for the past few days:

“Happiness is like a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp, but, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”

– Nathaniel Hawthorne

~~~~~~~

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California,Mission Viejo, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Marin, San Jose,San Juan Capistrano, Santa Ana, Palm Springs, Long Beach

Helen Keller on Happiness

My words to meditate upon today … if this noble woman can find happiness, with all that happened in her life, then I think it is there for all of us :-).

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

– Helen Keller

– AND –

“Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”

– Helen Keller

——-

Picture from the Helen Keller Foundation

——-

Religion4All is an idea: that every human being (no matter their race, religion, sexuality, social status, lifestyle, or any other possible factor) is LOVED by God; just … as … they are.

We all are loved by God, and NO religion or person has a monopoly on it. Every single person on this planet is loved equally by God … SO many are cut off from God because they are told they don’t belong. God loves everyone … we ALL are beautiful creations … we don’t need to cringe when we hear the words “God”, or “religion”, or their judgments … God LOVES us all!

There is no requirement to change in order to be LOVED by God, or to LOVE God. God is LOVE, and LOVE is God … period. There is no one who God loves more than anyone else … there are only those who choose to LOVE more … to love God more, and consequently then to love each other more. In doing so, we grow closer to God … and know God.

By opening our hearts, and minds to God (free of boundaries like religion, or social trends); by LOVING God … we are exactly where we are meant to be. If we maintain that openness, never allowing any person or event to make us close our hearts, we will be guided by God to be who we are meant to be.

In that space of openness we can then live a life of LOVE, and be guided to where we are meant to be … forever in LOVE.

Southern California, Northern California, Mission ViejoIrvineLos AngelesSan FranciscoMarinSan JoseSan Juan CapistranoSanta AnaPalm SpringsLong Beach