Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Thought for Today

 Overcome the angry by non-anger;
 overcome the wicked by goodness;
 overcome the miser by generosity;
 overcome the liar by truth.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Einstein says...

"There are moments when one feels free from one's own identification with human limitations and inadequacies. At such moments one imagines that one stands on some spot of a small planet, gazing in amazement at the cold yet profoundly moving beauty of the eternal, the unfathomable; life and death flow into one, and there is neither evolution nor destiny; only Being."
          - Albert Einstein

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


"When we learn to give thanks, we are learning to
concentrate not on the bad things, but on the good things."
-Amy Vanderbilt

-- I can overcome anything no matter what it is
-- I have the power to put things in the right perspective
-- I live with tremendous peace of mind
-- I accept all that happens to me with grace and calm
-- I am a clear thinker
-- People look to me for guidance and inspiration

Monday, January 15, 2007

What's so good about a bad meditation session?

What's so good about a bad meditation session?

I am now getting a concept. As a novice, practicing meditation, my mind wanders hither and yon... Sometimes I don't even notice until it's way down some path. Then I pull it back gently. Nanoseconds later, it's off again recalling a conversation. Gently I return to my breath. Before I can even finish one inhalation, zoom, it's off on some argument, or anticipating a problem. Gently, I bring attention back to the breath.

I used to think this wasn't a very successful meditation. My ability to keep focus is so tiny. Disappointing. Now, I'm beginning to see it differently. Every time I GENTLY bring myself back to my breathing... each of those experiences IS the practice. Learning to be gentle with myself when I go off course. Learning to bring myself back without criticism, judgment, condemnation. Just coming back. You're ok. It's just fine. Breathe. And doing this again and again, patiently and gently. Like you would guide a toddler who keeps wandering around in the Boston Common... Gently and with kindness.

If I can practice gently redirecting myself 100 times in one sitting, I am learning to guide myself gently. Learning to notice what I'm doing, and adjust, without judgment. And if I can do that 100 times in a sitting, maybe I can learn to do that once or twice in a day.... when I make a mistake, forget something, don't quite meet my objectives, respond harshly. Just notice. And gently redirect, without criticism. Breathe.

So, I'm discovering that the imperfect meditation really is the best training. Because what I'm practicing, and learning, is to be gentle, kind, and observant. To be that way with myself, and hopefully I can be that way with the world.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thought for today...

But if you do not find an intelligent companion, a wise and well-behaved person going the same way as yourself, then go on your way alone, like a king abandoning a conquered kingdom, or like a great elephant in the deep forest.
                                                      - Buddha

Monday, January 08, 2007

... a bushel of brains

"A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of
      -Dutch Proverb

Saturday, January 06, 2007

What's in your Wallet? ... What's in your MIND??!!

We are daily advised to think about "what's in your wallet?" Do you have the right card? With the best benefits? lowest interest? many details to think about, because in our modern society, "what's in your wallet" is really important.

So, recently, my train of thought jumped the track and began to ask "What's in your MIND?" Do we pay any attention to what we cram in there? After listening to the Wicked soundtrack on the way to work, I would be "Dancing Through Life" all day. The music infused my mind, and infused my day. Somedays, I "Couldn't be happier". The melodies saturated me, affected my mood, and my response to the various challenges that came to me.

I began to consciously choose what song would play before I arrived at school. I realized that last song would color my whole day. I made a point of hearing "Defying Gravity", "Dancing Through Life", "Thank Goodness", or "Changed for the Better". I chose the one that seemed to offer the energy I needed. And, "Who can say if I've been changed for the better... but I have been changed for good."

Now, I have (as you loyal readers know) switched over to Bliss. I deliberately "Come Into The Light" before arriving at school. It is grounding, and as the melody plays through my mind during the day, it also washes over the conflicts and tensions that come my way.

But, what's in YOUR mind? I watch our world, and see that so much of what we're immersing ourselves in (as a culture) is lust without respect, violence without compassion, anger expressed through physical and verbal aggression. There are a LOT of contemporary lyrics that are essentially a verbal assault. And, if that's the last thing a kid hears before going into school, it's no wonder the response to tension begins with F...k and proceeds with obscenities and violence.

Yes, I am convinced that we can retrain our minds in phenomenal ways. As I experiment with Buddhist practices, I find that I have learned to respond with compassion to situations that once aroused rage. Not always, but I'm just a beginner. I am also convinced that our music, and media, are constantly training our minds.

My question is "Are you training your mind for the qualities you want?" Are you creating peace and confidence and compassion through your immersion in music and media with that tone? Or, are you creating violence, anger, and aggression by saturating yourself with lyrics and images that lead you that way?

What's in YOUR mind? If it's not giving you the best results, doesn't have the best success, doesn't help you navigate through life's challenges, consider switching to a new channel, a new card with some better benefits for you.

We should all give our minds AT LEAST as much attention as we give to our wallets.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Bliss Edges out Wicked

OK, folks. Here is the big story. Bliss Edges out Wicked! Yes, for several months, the soundtrack from Wicked has provided my daily theme song. "Just for this moment..." and some days "What is this feeling?", several weeks of "Defying Gravity" and "Dancing Through Life". Then, just as "I Couldn't Be Happier", I was saturated with "Loathing. un-a-dul-ter-ated loathing" only to realize that "This weird quirk I've tried To suppress or hide Is a talent that could Help me meet the Wizard"!

Yes, I could go on and on, and at great volume with harmony about the inspiration, and energizing lyrics of Wicked. Sandy and I sing 'Defying Gravity' as a high-volume duet on route 2 west most evenings after I pick her up from school. It is scary how well we sing! Actually, we can do a memorable job with several of the songs!

And, by the way, Wicked does have a point: Elphaba got a bum rap. She was labeled! Can't wait to see the show, as the music, and the book, really twist your mind around the question of what is good? what is wicked? when does one become the other? Many stories have two sides, and Oz is among them...

So, in comes Bliss. Quietly, melodically, taking over share of mind with "Come into the Light", and "Om Shanti", and who can resist "A Hundred Thousand Angels"?

So, Bliss has taken over the auto airwaves, saturating my soul with light, warmth, and the awareness of the hundred thousand angels that do surround me constantly. Penetrating calm (but not sleepiness).

Sorry, but Bliss is not available to everyone. Seems the English have cornered the market for Bliss. Amazon.co.uk can help you out if you want to fill your car with A Hundred Thousand Angels.

Surround yourself with Bliss... Then, you won't feel Wicked... (Still, I do enjoy Defying Gravity when I'm Dancing Through Life, just for this moment).

Monday, January 01, 2007

Our emotions...

It is important to recognize the power of our emotions--and to take responsibility for them by creating a light and positive atmosphere around ourselves. This attitude of joy that we create helps alleviate states of hopelessness, loneliness, and despair. Our relationships with others thus naturally improve, and little by little the whole of society becomes more positive and balanced.
                      - Tarthang Tulku