Blogs

Joy in Being

Being joyful about my life sustains me better than trying to attain the state of being perfect.  Many cultures are built on stories about “perfect” people, usually termed hero’s, and heroines. We identify them as such in the hopes the examples will encourage us to be “better” and seek to be the absolute best above... Continue Reading →

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Clearer Seeing

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. – Mahatma Gandhi  Keep going, always keep going. Good people always win out in the long run, this has been proven in history over and over. No matter what the odds... Continue Reading →

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Silence

Sometimes I find myself becoming unsure of where I stand when I become still and quiet. Suddenly, I can feel somewhat diminished when I am silent and touching that humility that appears when in a state of being. At times I have sat with people I love and “Don’t know what to say”, only because... Continue Reading →

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That Tao of brief interaction

Back from a retreat. I love the mountains of Kentucky. It's breathtaking views and lots of different creatures I don't usually get to see or interact with in Detroit. Yet I was reminded of something the third night after hiking up Grandfather Mt and contemplating that day during the evening. This is what came up.... Continue Reading →

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Tao: Life is not a metaphor

Lately I've been looking at my use of language and the reality of sharing myself through words. When I listen in conversation I interpret what you say into my own reference point and attempt to "know" what you meant. At that point I think I "know" what you meant, but in reality, its an interpretation... Continue Reading →

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Seeing the Complexity

Lately I have been thinking that although I understand the concept of "complex," I seem to be under estimating how hard it is to see anything clearly and stake an absolute position. The best I can do is get the best information available, contemplate that information, and then respond from what I learned. Plus keeping... Continue Reading →

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Peace

Be selective in your battles. Sometimes peace is better than being right. - Unknown I see this as making sure that the battles I fight are about doing the right thing and not about my ego. I find I can get that mixed up if I don't pay attention. Particularly with those issues that have... Continue Reading →

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Why am I talking?

A friend asked me to elaborate a little on this subject. The rule of thumb is keeping attention on the acronym W.A.I.T or Why am I Talking? Once I learned this little editing process it has become more of my nature to listen more and talk less. Honestly I don't mind talking less. I am... Continue Reading →

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To See Things as the Are

The hardest thing to learn is something you think you already know. - J. Krishnamurti In my Zen and Taoist training this was a constant teaching. And in the Shamanistic traditions it also holds gravity. So what does it mean? Finding that clearer view is challenging. I guess that' s the point of practice and... Continue Reading →

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Zen and Meaning

Everything has meaning. Whether we apply meaning or not, existence has worth and value, if we start there everything will have meaning. There is an ecology to the concept of “meaning”, it’s connected if we are open to seeing the connection. Nothing is meaningless, including nothing. Lately I have noticed that those times I suffer... Continue Reading →

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Peace

If I have been of service, if I have glimpsed more of the nature and essence of ultimate good, if I am inspired to reach wider horizons of thought and action, if I am at peace with myself, it has been a successful day. - Alex Noble

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Tao of Disappointment

I met with a study group the other day and the topic of conversation gravitated towards how disappointed and unhappy people were about the Covid-19 situation. Most of the conversation was drifting around how they needed to adjust and couldn't do what they wanted to do anymore because of social limitations and curfews. I understand... Continue Reading →

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Tao and Simplicity

Lately I have been noticing that if I pay attention to exactly what I'm doing while I'm doing it, my world seems very simple and eminently do-able. It doesn't appear to matter very much what I happen to be doing, whether it's a new to me or just routine. If I stick to attending to... Continue Reading →

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A View of a Gift

Over the past weekend I was involved in a conversation about how I manage to have friends with so many different beliefs and paths. I was trying to explain my feelings that we are all struggling to be human, no matter what belief or systems we may follow. We are all on the same boat... Continue Reading →

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Wanting thing to be Different

One of the mainstays of Buddhism is the idea that all mental suffering stems from the clinging of wanting things to be different than they are in the moment. (I am not a Buddhist but, like so many belief systems, I find great value in many of the principles and statements.) Lately I have been... Continue Reading →

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Who?

If not now, then when? If not you, then who? If we are able to answer these fundamental questions, then perhaps we can wipe away the blot of human slavery. - Kailash Satyarthi (Nobel Peace Prize 2014) These are the questions we can ask ourselves daily. We can apply these questions to anything we are... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Adjusting

Lately I noticed that my life is a series of adjustments. That's actually what my life experience happens to be. Life happens and I adjust. I plan, life happens, and I adjust. I am considering that the reason I experience suffering is when I don't feel like I want or need to adjust. I ask... Continue Reading →

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“Asking for what I need”

Lately I have noticed how ridiculously needy I am. I just noticed how hard that is for a "Mature" (old) male to make that statement. I was socially conditioned to be "independent" whatever that means. Independent always reminds me of the western "Gunslinger" who rides into town, assesses the problem, wipes out the adversaries, gets... Continue Reading →

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Falling into the Future

In Zen training there is a concept that has truly helped me in understanding how I can become so frustrated when "plans" fail to come true. I was conditioned at a young age to believe that if I "make a plan," and never gave up, it would become a reality. This regulated my position to... Continue Reading →

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A Fragile Tao

Lately I have been noticing that life is fragile. I think this line of thoughts is a natural evolution occurring because of the recent pandemic and a new view of how rapidly things can change. How the world as I know and experience it can simply vanish depending on circumstances. Stability is contingent and very... Continue Reading →

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Peace

If you are living in fear and anxiety about the future because of what happened in your past, you'll end up losing what you have in the present. - Anonymous When I find myself caught up and living in the past, I refocus my attention on what''s right in front of me. What I notice... Continue Reading →

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The Rest of the Story.

We have so much information and input in general that our interactions are starting to reduce themselves to  simple memes and soundbites. Cognitive bias has become the conditioned mechanism for filtering and containing information. It seems we are attracted to, and remember, only those things that support our conclusions and avoid that which disagrees. It... Continue Reading →

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Peace

"There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live." - Dali Lama No matter what view we take of our world, now is the only time we can actually... Continue Reading →

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Zen and Tao of Accepting

Much of our ability to experience everything with an open and new view relies on the idea of acceptance. Can I accept that life keeps changing? Can I live in the acceptance that both I and events are never the same from moment to moment? Can I accept the absolute beauty of the moment in which... Continue Reading →

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Peace from the Center

If we ourselves remain angry and then sing world peace, it has little meaning. First, our individual self must learn peace. This we can practice. Then we can teach the rest of the world. - 14th Dali Lama I am always practicing coming back to the first person perspective. When I notice something happening "Out... Continue Reading →

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Just People Tao

I have this belief system that says, if I pay attention, anyone I meet will have something to offer, a gift, information, feelings, and perhaps a different reference frame on life. I have a friend, a Dharma sister named Jacqui, who gave me this view. We all meet other people who appear to be doing... Continue Reading →

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Tao of “Knowing”

Sometimes there’s a worry, that if we are not keeping up with every extracted soundbite, meme, and newest buzzwords from our latest belief system, that we will somehow be existing out of touch with life. It as if we have become so desperate to both know and appear to know that we have let go... Continue Reading →

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Stopping and Seeing

It's so easy to get caught up in living via my ideas about life instead of being present where life is actually in movement. Perhaps the most difficult action is the act of stopping right where you are, bring attention to the breath and body, and see what's directly in front of you clearly. Doing... Continue Reading →

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Tao of “Memory”

Ego “remembers” what supports ego and “forgets” that which doesn’t. Lately I have been noticing that most of my "remembered" events revolve entirely around Conditioned personality as the center player. I have realized that this is a matter of processing my reference frame but that it also lends itself to providing memories that are not... Continue Reading →

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Living Life Engaged

Living an engaged Life is not a question of spending time on what we do, as much as how we experience the time while we are doing it. Am I here? Am I thinking of what was, what else could be, or what may be next? Am I attending to the experience, or am I... Continue Reading →

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Attending to “Stuck.”

It's easy for me to "Not like" doing the things that I label "I" don't like this!" I find that label seems to apply to anything I "Don't want to do" so the content is changing, although the process of "I don't like this" is always the exact same process. I know my ego doesn't... Continue Reading →

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Wanting to Be in my Life

It may seem a little odd for a blog that is basically about the flow of life and acceptance according to Zen and Tao. But recently, I have been noticing how I am increasingly embracing life exactly as it arises. And, an ever growing desire to experience being here in presence. A simple thing indeed.... Continue Reading →

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Peace

"One little person, giving all her time to peace, makes news. Many people, giving some of their time, can make history." - Peace Pilgrim

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Tao of Peace

"You cannot find peace by avoiding life" - Virginia Woolf As challenging as it might seem there is nowhere to go or escape from what is happening right now. I may not like, approve, want, or desire what is happening. I don't have to like it. But, living inside my head in fantasies of what... Continue Reading →

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The Quiet Speaks

Sometimes I find myself becoming unsure of where I stand when I become still and quiet. Suddenly, I can feel somewhat diminished. At times I have sat with people I love and “Don’t know what to say” only because I feel I “Have to say something.” I am conditioned to believe that words and language... Continue Reading →

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Zen and Reality

There are a few major statements I have had the pleasure to read in my life that brought great rewards to my experience. I wanted to share this one for further contemplation. "Reality is that which doesn’t go away once you stop believing in it." - Philip K. Dick

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Presence

A Dharma brother of mine and I had a chat over the weekend and he said something that I have heard before but really sunk home this time. He reflected that most of us don't practice being in presence because our conditioning says "This reality isn't good enough, I prefer to live in the alternate... Continue Reading →

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Hello/Goodbye!

There exists an area of me that’s aware the portal to being in presence means to embrace falling and take a position that says, “I am constantly greeting and saying farewell to everything.” In all traditions and paths there is a direct knowledge that everything comes and goes continuously. I find that stepping outside of... Continue Reading →

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On Being Kind

Recently I presented a talk on kindness. It was very interesting how people view their ability to show kindness and to be kind. The most telling point was that almost everyone in the class agreed that they needed to be kinder. There was lots of ideas about what kindness is, what it looks like, things... 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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“I see You” Zen

I live in Michigan but a couple times a year I go down south to Kentucky and North Carolina to hike and climb in the Smokey Mt's. I am so drawn to the mountains. But that's not what I want to express here. What I have noticed is the ongoing process that exists in the... Continue Reading →

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Filling that Empty Place

I FIND THAT NO ONE TAKES SOMETHING OUT OF THEIR LIVES OR LOSES SOMETHING THAT ISN’T REPLACED. A VACUUM IS SOON FILLED. IT’S IMPORTANT TO CHOOSE WHAT FILLS THAT EMPTY SPOT WITH ATTENTION AND CARE. IF NOT, CONDITIONED EGO WILL FILL IT WITH SOMETHING THAT INSURES ITS SURVIVAL.

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