Blogs

Peace

To be at peace doesn't mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble, or hard work. It means to cultivate the ability to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.

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Hello Goodbye Zen

Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. - W. Somerset Maugham A short but highly accurate appraisal of human perspective. If I am busy living in the past and future I... Continue Reading →

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Simple Tao

Simplicity is always the secret. to a profound truth, to doing things, to writing, to painting. Life is profound in it's simplicity. - Charles Bukowski

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Skillful Tao

It's not the load that weighs you down, it's how you carry it." - C.S. Lewis I love this concept. I think of load as just about anything that is cognitive, physical, or emotional. I have this statement posted in my workspace. It reminds me that I have a choice to act skillfully and adjust... Continue Reading →

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The Zen of How I am

How I am directly engaging in life will always mean more than any story I tell myself about what happens to me or others. This came out of a class I attended the other night. A lot of the topic seemed to drift around the recent events in Washington. Discussion around the feelings of anxiety,... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of embracing life

You must live your life from start to finish, no one can do it for you. - Hopi proverb I am deeply in love with the Hopi Indian philosophies. This is one of my favorites that I try to remember when I'm experiencing one of those "crashes" that we all experience. It speaks to the... Continue Reading →

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The Zen of Should

Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be? - Charles Bukowski Dennis, the artist who has done all my tats, looked at me one day and said, seriously, "Have you read a guy named Charles Bukowski? I started reading him and the above was one of the first... Continue Reading →

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Zen and Tao of Stories

I was asked to give a talk on why I am so fond of Zen and Tao. (Notice that Zen is not the same thing as Zen Buddhist. I stay neutral concerning belief systems. I love all belief systems that encourage kindness, compassion, for others and self.) Here is the main ideas I embrace. I... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of Walking on

"Close some doors today. Not because of pride, incapacity or arrogance, but simply because they lead you nowhere." Paulo Clelho Lately I've noticed the old adage "Timing is everything" continues to speak truthfully. There is a time for everything, but also times when we need to walk away and on with life. I believe that... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of Temporary

I live in a museum and there is nothing here that I can consider mine or that I own. I choose to admire and play with everything I can and remain careful about what I want around me. At this point, I understand everything I used to think was “mine” is only on temporary loan.... Continue Reading →

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Being the Tao

Make a concept actionable as you understand it and then find your unique way to doing it. I had a professor in a class that was designed to open up ways to explore creativity say something similar to the above and it stuck with me. The reason I don't remember the exact statement is because... Continue Reading →

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Tao of relationship with life

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” – E.E. Cummings A person I love recently read some E.E. Cummings to me and it really influenced my... Continue Reading →

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You and Constructive Zen

Learn to say no to demands, requests, invitations, and activities that leave you with no time for yourself. Until I learned to say no, and mean it, I was always overloaded by stress. You may feel guilty and selfish at first for guarding your down- time, but you’ll soon find that you are a much... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of Doing it Anyway!

People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered. Love them anyway. - Mother Teresa I love this quote from Mother Teresa. A very realistic person who spoke from experiences instead of just belief. I so appreciate that position. In the above statement I find it helpful to remember I am one of those "People" the quote is... Continue Reading →

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Clearer Relationship and Tao

"Assumptions are the termites of relationships." - Henry Winkler If that isn't truthful! I find it's so easy to assume I know something about others. Many times I will build a static view of another person that is, in part, built on a number of assumptions. But you know what? People are constantly evolving and... Continue Reading →

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Zen and Learning

"My experience is that the teachers we need most are the people we're living with right now." - Byron Katie The reason I like this statement from Katie is others are a mirror in which we constantly see bits and pieces of ourselves. For me, seeing what I like in you is also what I... Continue Reading →

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Giving of Tao

In many parts of the world this is a season of giving. If you wanted to give someone something I think one of the finest gifts is attention. To pay total attention to the person you are with. There is a feeling generated when you do this, it will be backed by almost total absence... Continue Reading →

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Keep Going as Zen’s advice.

A friend had asked me to explain what I mean when I offer the encouragement to "Keep going." I believe that I have little control over the bittersweet experience of reality. All sorts of unexpected things are always rising and then falling. I often tell myself that, regardless of what happens, accept it, don't waste... Continue Reading →

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The Work of Tao

"Even when you have doubts, take that step. Take chances. Mistakes are never a failure - they can be turned into wisdom." - Cat Cora I love this. It's different than the sayings that intimate that there are no mistakes or that everything is "perfect" just as it is, which is a little hard to... Continue Reading →

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Zen of Human, Being

Being Human is difficult. Becoming human is a lifelong process. To be truly human is a gift. - Abraham Heschel I am often reminded that I get so caught up in doing that I can easily forget that Being is also valuable and quite the art. Lately I have noticed that due to the current... Continue Reading →

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Tao of want’s and needs

I have this friend who has inherited a very difficult situation from his family dynamics. I love this guy. He is brilliant, witty, has amazing attention, wise, and sees the irony in things. He is also hilariously sarcastic, a common thread we share. He says what he means, most of the time. He has been... Continue Reading →

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Zen of Clearer seeing

I was talking with a small group of long term friends the other day and the idea of seeing clearly came up. Relative to a lot of belief systems I don't think I ever "see clearly." Sometimes I do see things a little clearer. One of the things I have noticed from fellow bloggers and... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of a Single Act

A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. - Amelia Earhart It's amazing isn't it? How that one kind word or smile, or perhaps those few moments of listening and letting someone know "I am here and you are too," sends out roots... Continue Reading →

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The Zen Life

"Life is not about how fast you run or how high you can climb, but how well you bounce." - Vivian Komori So much in so few words. Living in a Bittersweet universe means that resilience to what happens adds much to one's life. Keep bouncing, Bryan Wagner

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Expressing Self and Tao

A friend of mine in Kenya was talking about being compressed and needed to express, but she somehow feared taking what was in her heart and exposing it. My encouragement was self expression isn't about anyone but the expression. In some ways it's not even about the person expressing. What self expression does is release... Continue Reading →

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Tao of of Doing Your Best

M.Ruiz Jr wrote the Four Agreements, and for a "Shamanistic" based book I found it very truthful. One of the agreements is to always do your best. Doing your best means to use whatever you have in the moment to engage with what's in front of you. That "best" will be radically different from moment... Continue Reading →

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Moments and Tao

"Life isn't a matter of milestones, but of moments." - Rose Kennedy I truly love this thought. When I think back on things of significance, those things that had impact and carried emotions, it is always the smaller moments that seem to rise. Not the big dramatic stuff but only singular moments in attention. Playing... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of Social Conditioning

"It’s as though I am in a story and I am unhappy because I’m convinced the story sucks. I decide that the story sucks because the characters suck. So I find new characters, hand out the same scripts from the same story, and later wonder why the “new” story still sucks." - From the book... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Those “Special Days”

Lately I have been thinking. Perhaps instead of having those special unique days to celebrate states of being, like a day to give thanks, we might just line up every special day and start repeating them. That way we could be reminded more often of the skillful ways to treat each other. Once a year... Continue Reading →

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Life’s Movement in Zen

"There is more to life than increasing it's speed." - Mahatma Gandhi Doing things quickly is not the problem, doing things so quickly that we are not present creates resistance to what we are attempting to do. Attention can be extremely focused at high speeds. Ask any athlete. But I think what Gandhi is pointing... Continue Reading →

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Tao and Choice

If I find myself attempting to choose  between right and wrong it’s because I’m already heavily attracted to the action of wrong. If I weren’t attracted to it why would I be struggling with the question? Of course knowing that doesn't mean making the choice will be any easier, but it is an interesting perspective... Continue Reading →

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Being Happy

"In order to be happy oneself, it is necessary to make at least one other person happy." - Theodor Reik Well that pretty much says it all, doesn't it? I used to chase after "Being Happy" constantly. I read a lot of books, read articles, attended workshops, and discussed happiness with a lot of "Teachers."... Continue Reading →

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Intention

Doing is not as easy as having an intention to do. I think it's important to contemplate this process, because if we are not aware we end up suffering because we did not follow through on an intention. It's good to notice that thoughts are the easy part, intention is a thought until I act.... Continue Reading →

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The Wisdom of the Bittersweet

"You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you." - Mary Tyler Moore It's so easy to forget that no experience is useless or wasted if I am willing to learn and keep walking. Yes, I experienced many things that enabled deep suffering and in turn caused others to suffer. But... Continue Reading →

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Giving and Joy

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give. - Eleanor Roosevelt

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Self Inquiry

“Am I evolving and expanding or am I redecorating my interpretation of experiences and beliefs so it only feels that way to my social ego?” It's one of those looking in the mirror questions that comes up every so often when we seek expansion. I think it's a crucial question to ask oneself on occasion.... Continue Reading →

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Tao of Belief

All sure beliefs become past beliefs when viewed from new sure beliefs. Sometimes it s good to look at our past selves from an early age and realize how many things we held as true, adopted as belief, and then let go when we arrived at new beliefs. I think doing so helps places a... Continue Reading →

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The Last One

A perspective: Reasons to celebrate you. You are the only you that will ever exit. You have your perspective and reference frame that is totally unique to your bio/psycho/social self. There are no other copies. You are a one of a kind event in the entire universe. So, in light of that, you are the... Continue Reading →

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The Tao of Deep Listening

"Deep listening is miraculous for both the listener and speaker. When someone receives us with open-hearted, non-judgmental, intensely interested listening, our spirits expand" - Sue Patton Soele My training involved the practice of attention. It's probably the only practice I have truly embraced because if I don't start by paying attention to what's in front... Continue Reading →

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The Truthful Process of Tao

Love the process (have appreciation and gratitude) of the experience not the event or something you believe  experiences the event. If you love the process loving the event appears automatically. “Teachers” will often point to “Loving yourself” but that’s not the point, loving the experience of being alive is the point.

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When I am Stuck in Life

Wait in silence, attention, and gratitude, then see what appears. Everything has meaning in presence and attention. Sometimes, in my experience, the only way to see the next step is to allow it to appear. I simply cannot "think" my way to the next action. What works for me is to slow down and wait.... Continue Reading →

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Seeing and Hearing

"People generally see what they look for, and hear what they listen for." - Harper Lee In my view, a very precise statement about social conditioning. It's one I keep in the background constantly. My first seeing usually ends up being a projection of what I think I'm seeing. Knowing that, the second view can... Continue Reading →

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Tao and Water

Lately I've been thinking. The upcoming election has been creating rifts right and left, friends lost, families broken, and tons of anger. Years from now the priorities will change but the loss and feelings may remain. To adapt as water in the living Tao is to adapt to a vision of reality as truthfulness. In... Continue Reading →

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Peace

"It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences." - Audre Lorde

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Key to a Happy Moment

"Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life. - Omar Khayyam I have great gratitude for a guide who pointed to the word "for" and declared that this is the lynchpin for gratitude. We are not happy because of what happens all the time, but we can be happy to be here to... Continue Reading →

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