Archive for Inspiration

A lesson in ripples …

6b458d6530da8a8a43085061860516da

A student came to his teacher very perplexed. Life had become unbearable and the only person he knew who could help him was his teacher.

His teacher received him warmly and listened as her pupil poured his heart out, tears just behind his words but not yet managing to fall.

When his words could no longer adequately describe his anguish, and the room was silent, the teacher rose and motioned for her student to follow.

They walked outside where raindrops were lightly sprinkling all around and the teacher sat on a bench near a pool. The student sat next to her and watched as she simply stared at the pool. He grew restless.

Finally his teacher said, “Do you see the droplets of water falling on the surface of the pool?”

“Sure, of course I do.” the student answered quickly.

“Good,” his teacher said, “now see if you can guess where you think the next droplet of water will fall.”

The student studied the pool for a few seconds and said impatiently, “I cannot.”

“Okay. Now I want you to focus with ALL your might, use the techniques I have taught you, and try to stop the droplets from hitting the water.”

The student was stunned at this daunting request, but did not want to disappoint his teacher so he did as he was instructed. He went through all of the techniques his teacher had taught him and when he was ready he focused his will with every ounce of concentration he could must. He created a sphere of energy and moved it over the pool to prevent the droplets from landing.

Still the water droplets landed on the surface of the pool.

The student’s shoulders slumped, “I cannot do it.” he said softly. His failure only adding to his woes.

“That is correct.” his teacher acknowledged, “No matter how hard you try you cannot stop the water from falling into this pool. Such are the events that take place in this world. Just as you cannot predict where the next droplet will fall, so too can you not predict the next event that will occur in your life.”

The student was relieved that he had not failed this test, but still seemed perplexed.

“You are looking at life as if you can predict what will happen and control it … but you cannot. To try and do so takes a tremendous amount of energy and concentration … and you will never be successful.”

His teacher paused and looked out over the pond again, “Now try and look at the surface and appreciate the beauty that each droplet of water creates.”

The student did so and after a few minutes a sigh escaped his lips. The ripples of each droplet intersected with each other over and over creating a hypnotically beautiful piece of evolving art.

“The difference between how you perceive the droplets of water hitting the pool before and now is all a matter of perspective. So it is with life … change your perspective on how you view the events unfolding around you and they will no longer trouble you. If you can surrender to the flow of Life without fighting or trying to impose your will on it, then you will be on the path to contentment and happiness and even possibly … enlightenment.”

~~~~~~~

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

Advertisements

Caribbean Dream

10940417_10153015677599719_765936365286617121_n

(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

The Poverty of the West

MotherTeresaBanner

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

a8c7b6671ec1e202fc6cbd293f772220

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.

A Perfect Paradox

paradox

“I am already perfect … I need do nothing to become perfect … it is only my actions that are imperfect.”

That is a very different mantra than what I grew up with!  For those who do not know, I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian missionary family.  There were good sides and bad sides to this, as there is to all things … Dualiity.  The wonderful side is that this upbringing is what introduced me to the concept of having a literal relationship with God … it doesn’t get any better than that!  One of the many down sides is that I was imprinted with certain mindsets which I have now come to see are false … not only are they false, but they are harmful.

The specific mindset I am referencing here is the mindset that “We all are born sinners!” … horrible, awful sinners who must bemoan their woeful state and flagellate themselves constantly with the lashes of shame and penitence.

This is false.

We all truly are beautiful creations … at our core we are the unique, sparkling beauty of a soul that God created us to be.  We have LEARNED to do evil things … but we are not evil at our core.  We have taken upon ourselves the structures of the world around us: how we were raised, who we find to love, where we go for acceptance and validation, what we choose to believe, who we choose to follow, and the list goes on.  These all are the structures we have built upon the fabric and foundation of our souls … and we will do ANYTHING to maintain the solidity and surety of those structures … even if it means doing things that are harmful to others.

It is in letting these structures dissolve we find the freedom to become the perfect and beautiful creatures that we were created to be.  The more we adhere to these structures, the more we keep that perfect creation buried deep, SO DEEP, within the sealed up wells of our inner psyche.  We do this thinking that we are protecting ourselves … if that True Self gets hurt it can be devastating.  So we submerge it, and hide it, we bury it, and bind it … so that we won’t be hurt in such a way again.

In doing so, however, we are denying the perfection that already IS.  We already ARE perfection … the perfection that God created us to be.  It is only our ACTIONS that are imperfect … and those actions are based on what we have learned, taken on, or been brainwashed to believe.

Will my actions ever be perfect? No, probably not. That still doesn’t mean that I am a horrible, awful person at my core … and neither are you.

When you were born and those innocent newborn eyes looked out into the world … do you really believe you were evil??  No … you were perfect … and you still are perfect … your actions simply do not reflect that perfection.  You have lost touch with the perfection that IS the LOVE of God. Love that is there for all of us, and LIVES in all of us already.  All we can do is strive to reflect that Perfection into the world around us … strive to embrace the fact that we are all beings with Duality and to embody the perfect Love that is already there at our core.

Doing this means LETTING GO of the structures that are learned or imposed … not clinging to them more desperately.

THAT is a HUGE difference … at least for me.

You are perfect … JUST AS YOU ARE.  God loves you … JUST AS YOU ARE.

Peace and Love.

~~~~~~~

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

 

Fully Born When We Die

istockphoto_3537940-dandelion-clock-dispersing-seed-with-blue-sky-in-the-background PAID FOR

My words for meditation today:

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

– Mark Twain

~~~~~~~

“The whole life of the individual is nothing but the process of giving birth to himself; indeed, we should be fully born when we die.”

– Eric Fromm

~~~~~~~

“It is taught, we too can be enlightened, every one of us. We can be completely freed from the bonds of limitation and conditioned confusion through our own endeavor, inspiration, effort and development. There is a path, and we can traverse it.”

– Sharon Salzberg

~~~~~~~

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

Variegated Mindfield

Day One of a solo road trip from Southern California to Washington state … LOTS of meditative time :-).  Today I will be meditating on these concepts:

“The sorcery and charm of imagination, and the power it gives to the individual to transform his world into a new world of order and delight, makes it one of the most treasured of all human capacities.”

Frank Barron

~~~~~~~

“You create your own universe as you go along. The stronger your imagination, the more variegated your universe. When you leave off dreaming, the universe ceases to exist.”

– Winston Churchill

~~~~~~~

“What feeling, knowledge or will man has depends in the last resort upon what imagination he has.”

–  Søren Kierkegaard

~ AND finally~

“Do not quench you inspiration and your imagination; do not become the slave of your model.”

– Vincent Van Gogh

~~~~~~~

Pic from Getty Images

~~~~~~~

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