Blogs

Did I get that?

I am never positively sure if what I mean is what you get or what you mean is what I understand. Lately I've been noticing how often I misunderstand others. I recently realized that the emotional content, and my attention to them, can shut down understanding and comprehension about what someone is attempting to tell... Continue Reading →

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Emptiness and Trusting the experience

I went through a series of days feeling empty and the emptiness lent itself to feelings of being detached. Not in negative way, but one that felt neutral, which I often describe as negative. But I'm starting to have a clearer view. Emptiness is not describing being empty, it's a description of what happens when... Continue Reading →

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Using Time

“Half of life is lost in charming others. The other half is lost in going through anxieties caused by others. Leave this play, you have played enough.” - Rumi I get this, or the intent of the message. But for me, the root of this particular problem is the conditioned reactions that we have been... Continue Reading →

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Helping Others

Helping and taking care of others is a driving force behind many beliefs, religious, and spiritual organizations. Many of us have personal beliefs that are structured around helping others, it's a way to make the world a better place and generate some positive feelings. But it's not an easy task and often we end up... Continue Reading →

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Being

"Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life." - Omar Khayyam This is one of those excruciatingly simple things to read. But to embrace and explore the depths of this phrase takes a lifetime of work. Right now is the only real thing we can experience, everything else is a thought, surfacing in... Continue Reading →

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Anticipation

Lately I have noticed my serious addiction to anticipation. That state of curiosity, anxiety, waiting and wanting, about some some future event. An example of anticipation is the feelings and idea's that are generated when I wait for an order from Amazon, the mail, or one of the independent carriers. I order a book, and... Continue Reading →

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The wisdom of Popeye the Sailor

There’s joy in living from the perspective of engaged presence. “I am what I am” doesn’t require stories, fabrications, pre-conclusions, beliefs, or elaborate belief systems. Our lives are happening in front of us, who we are is exactly what's happening in these moments. Can I embrace that? Do I need to keep trying to improve... Continue Reading →

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The Challenge of Receiving Kindnes

Recently, due to some challenging life events, I have had the opportunity to experience kindness as the recipient. One of my loved members of the Tuesday night study group had made food and her spouse delivered it. I was so grateful. She was well aware that my culinary experience is in boiling water, and although... Continue Reading →

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That tiny action that matters.

Sometimes I get caught up in the "big picture." You know, all the doings and shenanigan's going on outside my direct experience. Sigh. The world needs to be fixed and sometimes I become delusional and think I can do that. (And I wonder why I become sad sometimes?) But lately I've been noticing how it's... Continue Reading →

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Healing the Broken Self

Healing oneself is grounded in Shamanistic traditions and actions. Something that was helpful to me during my studies seems like an obvious concept but is sometimes overlooked. I was asked the question "Who is this self that believes it needs healing?" So before jumping into any healing process I first had to examine who needed... Continue Reading →

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Suffering and Sufferings of Others

Lately I have been seeing this. Ending suffering is a fine concept that may belong in a perfect world but seems useless as a philosophical statement for living our lives. Reducing suffering is always possible. I can see how I'm suffering and finds way to reduce that. In the daily recollection there is a statement... Continue Reading →

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Meanings

"Sometimes it's not enough to know what things mean, sometimes you have to know what things don't mean." - Bob Dylan

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Seeking the Problems

A few nights ago I had a discussion with a few people that focused on issues dealing with the state of humanity and what's going on with all of our struggles. When we signed off I had an insight I found interesting and disturbing. We had spent the entire time problem identifying and offering opinions... Continue Reading →

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Complexity

Lately, I have been noticing how complex and intricate life's continuous movement is and how I am constantly attempting to minimize and simplify. But I also notice that there is a unique freedom that comes with attending to the complexity and accepting it. It redefines how I see myself and others. The major shift for... Continue Reading →

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Being Ready

I came to the conclusion that "Continual Mindfulness" ... Must mean, not a sergeantmajor-like drilling of thoughts, but a continual readiness to accept whatever came. - Marion Milner Well, that's it. Being ready and accepting of those things that rise, happiness, joy, sadness, upset, anger, and sometimes nothing at all. Being ready, for me, is... Continue Reading →

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Life

" "Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards." - Soren Kierkegaard Lately I have been thinking that the past if valuable as a learning field, but all the things that have happened in the past will not repeat themselves exactly as happened. And we don't know the future, all we... Continue Reading →

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Beauty and bittersweet

I experienced the most beautiful day yesterday. All things seemed to drop into place and time slowed down and the utter enmeshment and weave of the universe stoop out in a way I treasure. Yet my experience in Cicada hunting was also profoundly bittersweet. They arrive after a long maturing process, live life in total... Continue Reading →

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In this Moment

Sometimes life becomes very challenging, lately that seems like a good description. And, it's during those hectic out of control times that the practice of attention seems to act as a balance. Not keeping one in a single place but allowing some stability. I still wobble but in tinier circles. Early this morning Spike and... Continue Reading →

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We are the focus of our attention.

"It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace." - Chuck Palahnuik The separate self longs for conflict to remain isolated and self absorbed. It's easy to create conflict, creating peace has no drama, self righteousness, and... Continue Reading →

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Attention to the only experience I know

Recently I was involved in a conversation about desire and lots of folks were debating the effects of desire. They were seeking some sort of resolution about the state of being desirous. I understand the quandary, but have some thoughts about any process that involves "thinking" about feelings as a way to resolve how to... Continue Reading →

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Do Unto Others

"Do unto others as you would have done unto you, and expect nothing in return." To hear others as you would be heard,, and not react to what they say. To see others as you would want to be seen, and not react to their vision. To give to others as you would want them... Continue Reading →

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Peace

"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart." - Francis of Assisi For me, changing a perspective means to embrace it with my heart, where there's a chance of turning the concept of peace into minute by minute actions. The intent to change means... Continue Reading →

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What’s left?

If I step away from what could be, what should be, and what must be, what's left? Lately I've been asking myself this a lot as a contemplation. How would I function minute to minute without all the drama and wasted energy that comes with a separate self, that social and cultural ego construct? The... Continue Reading →

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Giving and receiving

It's time for us to turn to each other, not on each other. - Jesse Jackson I am profoundly struck by the above words especially in light of the worlds current circumstances. We turn to each other and at minimum two things happen. We are acting out of humility and seeking assistance, or we are... Continue Reading →

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Hey! Look me!!

Lately I've been thinking about how much of my life was spent in the attempt to gain attention from my fellow humans. It's a fine line between wanting to express oneself truthfully and that utter yearning that is supported by a separate egoic self in need of attention. That whole thing about being seen and... Continue Reading →

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The First

I was up and out walking at 3:35am this when I heard the first bird song of the morning, at least in this area. Thoughts started to rise about how that must feel. Total silence, and then you sing out. But then I realized we all know that feeling. Being the one. The person who... Continue Reading →

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The Hardened Heart and Tao

I get involved in discussions concerning this planet and how we all treat each other. And, of course, what we can do about it to enable peace and prosperity for all. I always end up in the same container. So much injustice and inequality in our world hinges on what people believe and think is... Continue Reading →

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Balancing in the Eye of the Storm

When life tilts and moves faster than it seems possible I often loose the perspective of returning to balancing. It seems as though ego's goal is to be in perfect balance while in life I can only try to maintain the act of balancing while sledding downhill in life's avalanche. One of those things that... Continue Reading →

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Clinging to life or living life?

It seems that living life requires acceptance that we are always gaining and losing, always saying hello and goodbye to everything. That's easy to understand intellectually. To comprehend it somewhat is a different perspective, to live from that perspective changes everything. I have a tendency to find people, places, and things I like and proceed... Continue Reading →

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Freedom & Peace

"Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom." - Aldous Huxley

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That “Righteous” view and Tao

It's easy for me to get righteous about so many things. I react from conclusions without ever noticing it because of years of conditioning. I started to attend to this after some sittings last year with a sangha I regularly sit with on Sunday mornings. There is the encouragement that people can come early and... Continue Reading →

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The Mystery of Tao

I love words and language. I enjoy finding ways to express myself through words. That being said, all words are only metaphor for what exists. I am so enmeshed with that particular concept. I find it exciting to realize that no matter what I define, depict, or explain, it will never be accurate. Although it's... Continue Reading →

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Meditation Perspectives

There is a new page on the home page menu concerning starting a meditation practice called, "Perspectives on starting a Mediation Practice." I avoid telling anyone how to meditate, each person will develop their own style and insights, the mechanics of meditation are simple and a lot of sites offer that. There is nothing complicated,... Continue Reading →

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Tao of OK!

When you finally accept it's OK not to have answers and it's OK not to be perfect, you realize that feeling confused is a normal part of what it is to be a human being. - Winona Ryder

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Games or Zen?

Conditioned personality perspective reflects the view that the interaction in life’s relationships is a game that we need to win or lose. We must have opinions, judgements, ideas, and then better ideas, take static positions, and in some way measure everything around us. Why? Ego needs a way to keep score to see if “I”... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Struggle

"Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors." - African Proverb Anyone can do well and be the nice person when life is presenting the sweet in life, but the test of who we are at the core is revealed during the bitter times. Can I be a kind, giving, and compassionate person when all seems... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of the “I”

Looking back, my conditioned perspective would often use the language of mindfulness, awareness, and insight, and yet when I look at all of that now there was never any explanation for what any of that means. All the “I” seemed to know is that other people accepted and acted as though they understood what the... Continue Reading →

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The Zen of Appreciation

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. - John F. Kennedy Lately I have noticed that appreciation is not a thought or an attitude. It's an action. Sometimes I get tired of my opinions, ideas, thoughts, and conclusions. Of... Continue Reading →

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Zen and the Happy Moments

Happiness Happens spontaneously, it rises and falls, is present then absent, as a byproduct of living. I can't manufacture it or will it upon myself and others. So, pay attention, and don't miss it by attaching to some other state or feeling. Life is bittersweet, we often miss the sweet because we are so firmly... Continue Reading →

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Direct Tao, the Short Path

Here are the values that I stand for: honesty, equality, kindness, compassion, treating people the way you want to be treated and helping those in need. To me, those are traditional values. - Ellen DeGeneres If we could do this daily it really feels like the world might be a better place. Until then we... Continue Reading →

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Presence/Absence Tao and Zen

Many times life offers the opportunity to really comprehend some of the intellectual and cognitive idea's that float around. I find that understanding the concept of impermanence is easier than the actual comprehension. But I had a life lesson Sunday. A friend died. I won't go into details because I'm not sure who's been notified... Continue Reading →

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Angers Tao

Our anger awakens us out of complacency and into action. ~ DiosRaw "It is wise to direct your anger towards problems--not people; to focus your energies on answers--not excuses." - William Arthur Ward In Zen and Tao the trick is not to HOLD angry, but still experience anger. Why? Because we don't rid ourselves of... Continue Reading →

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Exquisitely ordinary Tao

On my better days I am close to the understanding that there isn't another better moment or alternate universe in this moment of attention. It feels like conditioned personality is constantly pointing to anther different, and much better, place outside the current moments I exist. And sometimes I find myself attempting to create some better... Continue Reading →

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The Way of Giving

"If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands area empty, your heart will always be full." - Frances Hodgson Burnett

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Tao of Learning and Living

"Grief changes us. It sculpts us into someone who understands more deeply." - Unknown Lately I have been experiencing sadness, grief, and the bitter of the bittersweet existence. And I am grateful for that when I stay in attention. All suffering changes that which suffers. The changes are not good, bad, or neutral, nor does... Continue Reading →

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Living with Ghosts

Sometimes I find myself having sleepless nights. I find myself living with ghosts again. Not the kind that are in movies, stories, and media. But the ghosts of past, present, and future events. The ones that seem to rise up mostly when I am depleted at the end of the day. Most of the time... Continue Reading →

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Metta and Tao

I recently attended a ceremony of celebration for a good friend who died. I enjoyed it, a beautiful and emotional experience. It was somewhat of a profound day content wise. One of the things I noticed is that there were several times the idea of Metta, or loving kindness was presented, and a Metta prayer... Continue Reading →

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