Painting

There are many activities where you can meditate with your eyes open. Some people call this a form of Zen Meditation. Painting a wall is near the top of my Zen Meditation activities which I have experienced. There is a repetitive activity where 90% of the wall’s surface can be painted without a great deal of rational thought. A smooth even hand can allow for an easy flow of paint upon the surface. This can be satisfying because you get to see a result and, barring errors, you are often making a positive difference in the world. BUT, is it superficial and shallow as a positive difference you are making? Covering the surface of the wall with another surface can be aesthetically pleasing to many observers. And, surface painting is by definition shallow. It does not get to the very core of many of life’s mysteries…

There has been an Eastern meditative activity which can fit for wall painting summed up in an expression you may have heard. “Chop wood and carry water” has been said to describe the benefit of mundane, routine tasks… “Before enlightenment, chop wood and carry water; after enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. — Zen proverb” (A more complete discussion can be found at: https://medium.com/the-junction/chop-wood-and-carry-water-742765bf4bed Painting in a relatively mindless way, with your thoughts in a neutral state, can lead to being present and maybe some self-reflection. You can allow yourself to get “lost” in a simple task, like painting, and find peace of mind. And, a simple task which allows you to find yourself into a “present” moment and is a humbling activity, for most people.

Wall painting requires preparation. Preparation of the wall’s surface. Preparation of your materials. Preparation of your physical self with proper clothes. And, preparation of the mental/emotional self to most fully participate in and enjoy the process of wall painting. Many people actually really enjoy the activity for their own personal reasons. In the book, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” Mark Twain told a part of the story by having Tom cleverly get help “whitewashing” a fence. Friends wanted to help in the process so badly, Tom was able to get them to pay for the privilege of painting the fence. This is a work of fiction and there is some truth to the attractiveness of the simple task of painting a surface. Obviously, if it is done professionally and is a skill learned over time, it is more like work than the “fun” that Tom Sawyer was selling.

In life, have you ever “whitewashed” over some aspects of your life to create an appearance of change? A superficial change can look different but this may only run “skin deep.” And, even a skin deep change in perspective may turn your life around, under certain circumstances. I am the last one to judge whether your life change is superficial or one deep to your core. The awareness of whether you are taking full responsibility for your activities or responses in this life or working most deeply on tackling the changes needed in your life is really up to you. You know when you are just masking over the real challenges in your life. You are the one learning and growing from these life experiences and whether you are using integrity in dealing with the issues which affect other people.

In truth, from my history of wall painting, I have been told more than once by professional wall painters that I should NOT be a professional wall painter because I do not have the correct temperament for painting. I am a bit too hyperactive. But, for several minutes, I can focus really well and do a great job at wall painting. After that, things get a little rough. When I am moving too fast, I have been known to step in my paint tray and track painted footprints where they should not go… Maybe, someday, I will slow down and be more methodical. Or, maybe, I am not good wall painting material by personality… It should also been said about me that I do not do superficial very well, at least a lot of the time. “Hi. How are you? A lot of weather we are having…” (An example of “small talk” that I am not good at…)

Seeing a freshly painted room is amazing. A fresh start is often a good thing to experience. Now, what will you do with this new created space???… Everyone needs a “fresh start” from time to time. Looking new or fresh can change your personal attitude. Maybe you have more self-confidence. Perhaps your superficial external change is an attention getting device. Changing your exterior can change your mood. I have a story. In college I took an adolescent psychology class. Being a Psychology major this did not seem unusual. We were given an assignment. Since adolescents are transitioning from being children into growing into an adult stage, most new things they attempt are designed to test the waters of being a bit older. So, I decided to take on this project by changing my exterior self. I had always wanted to try “white face” as a clown. I used white face and painted a sad clown face on my face and went to the shopping Mall in town. I walked around wondering what reaction I would get being so unusual for the shoppers. Most people avoided eye contact and looked uncomfortable with this odd presentation. Only two people approached me and they did not care to connect with me or ask why I was looking like a sad clown. What they were curious about is where I had gotten the white face make up. My sad exterior began to sink in and emotionally I began to take on this persona. There is no way I could have expected that this silly makeup would make me feel deeply sad. Do other costumes affect the way people feel? A suit, a tie, high heels, blue jeans, tee shirts, football helmets…

I learned a lot about myself and how my “costume” can create a reaction emotionally and perhaps a “statement” about who I am attempting to be in the world.

You will engage in activities today. Some will be critical and important, so stay focused. Some will be simple or mundane and perhaps turn meditative. What are the “painting activities” of your life? Can you appreciate the simple things as you chop wood and carry water?

The “simple” tasks are important, though seemingly basic. Appreciate the moment. Find your way into being present. And, consider even the most superficial acts as a possible doorway into a state of meditative consciousness which can have value. You are a Miracle. Consider what a miraculous thing it is to paint a wall with ALL that goes into that seemingly simple act… And, if you do not want someone stepping in a paint tray and tracking footprints around, you want to ask someone other than me for assistance with your painting project.

You are NOT superficial. You are perfect. You are a miracle. And, whether you have been told this or not, you are loved. The Divine Spirit burns bright within you.

BTW… If you have read this far, I want you to know that my son and I recently painted every wall in a new home. It was an effort that I did out of love for my son and his family. It made a difference and is an experience which we shared. When you offer an act of service it benefits both sides of the equation. Even a simple task can add value to your relationship in ways that only time will tell. Appreciate every act of service given to you AND everyone you perform. These are Life’s unspoken miracles, much of the time.

You are Amazing!

Nature

“Nature, I Do Not See What People See in It!” Yes, this is a quote from someone I know but who I do not understand. Yes, they were serious when they said this! How can you exist without a passion for the natural world? I was raised in the city. Los Angeles, CA and with parents who were “city folk.” Not much family time in nature, however, I caught a severe case of nature love when I was picking through tide pools or fishing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. When I could drive, I went camping and took up backpacking into those mountains. I love being at or near timberline where elevation makes it difficult for trees to grow. 9,200-9,400 feet of elevation in the central Sierra’s for timberline. The place where trees stop and rock, glaciers, and blue sky begin to take over. “God’s Cathedral,” I once exclaimed at the age 25 in Evolution Meadow at 9300 feet above sea level. It was a Spiritual experience for a very “rational” non-religious, non-spiritual young man. I was overcome!

As an adult, I shared my mountain passion with my sons and took them backpacking. My younger son had his “rites of passage” hike into the Minarets just west of Devil’s Postpile and Mammoth. My heart dances in the red rocks of Sedona, Colorado, Zion, and Bryce. The coast, the islands, the lakes, the rivers, and the mountains of the Pacific Northwest are celebrated and where I choose to live my spiritual evolution these days. But, I still wonder why people do not bask in full appreciation of the natural world. It is in our DNA. And, I do not know a spiritual teacher, who I respect, who does not say that gratitude and meditations in nature are good for the soul. Some of my best messages from my Guidance have come from walks in nature… (Just like this one, triggered by hikes in the Red Rocks of Sedona, AZ.)

How can people detach from nature and let their fear/anxiety of the unknown trigger their ambivalence to our natural heritage? The healing energy of forests in the Northwest give me a needed break from our technology driven culture. Yes, I admit to talking to my friends the Cedar trees and will hug them on many occasions. “Tree Hugger” is NOT a negative in my life… I have taught, with love, my grandson to appreciate and hug the trees we pass. (No eye rolls from my son or his bride, but they do get entertained…)

There are many who believe that worshipping our natural world is an important key to spiritual consciousness and physical healing. I will not argue with this belief though I am not sure that I can demand this action by others. You must find your own way to honor the DNA of your body and its deep rooted connection with our Mother Earth. Walk gently and honor your Mother.

One thing I have not said yet in this Love Nature conversation encourages me to find deep appreciation and gratitude for nature by being most “Present.” Perhaps getting out of your head and into your heart. Letting go the past thoughts and future unknowns. Yes, be fully in this moment and celebrate in wonderment of the miracles under your feet, at arms length, off in the distance… And while you are at it, consider focusing your eyes, when safe to do so, on the horizon, not just down on your feet. Breathe in the delicious colors, smells, and sounds of your natural environment. Lose yourself as a tiny speck of matter and energy in this big Universe and appreciate the perfection and all the inter-connections.

You do not have trek to natural beauty found in guide books. You can find the miracles of nature everywhere. In your backyard, in your city’s streets, in expansive sky above you, everywhere you look with appreciation. There is not a spot on our Earth where amazing beauty of nature can not be found. Example, Viktor Frankl found the incredible beauty of life living in a blade of grass during World War II as a prisoner in Auschwitz and this helped him survive. And yes, you sometimes have to look pretty hard to find the miracles which endlessly surround you…

Connecting with nature, no matter how YOU do it, is a positive, healing event. It opens you up to the Gratitude of the many Miracles our world includes. Appreciation and Gratitude are the first parts of meditations that re-connect you to the “present moment” and the manifestation of the Divine Spirit. In my belief and feelings, people who profess consciousness find it natural to love our natural world. Celebrate Mother earth and share the beauty with whomever you hold dear. And also celebrate, anyone who is breathing even if you do not hold them dear for they are also natural miracles. Because, they are You and Perfect like You. No, you do not have to hug trees but if that inspiration flares up, do not hesitate. It feels great!

You are amazing! As you set aside your human drama for a few moments, go out and dance in love with Nature. It will surely love you back.

There is no place as magical as Yellowstone National Park. Yes this is a bison with birds in a meadow near “Old Faithful” geyser in the early morning. The steam is rising from thermal pools and this day, like your day, is filled with miracles… Celebrate the Miracles you find in every moment and with every step you take. This is easier when you out in the amazing natural world…

Perspective: Revisited

Viewing Life from Higher or Lower Places

On a recent trip to Bryce Canyon and Sedona, I awoke one evening and considered my travels and the perspective which I found most attractive. In reviewing my photographs taken on this trip, I found that my favorites were photos taken from a higher perspective. The ones I considered the most expansive were the photos taken from on top of the cliffs I visited. The openness of the sky and the incredible perspective of viewing a broad range of natural beauty seemed to really speak to me. When I hiked in the canyons, I enjoyed looking up, seeing the rock formations and the effects of the carving by rivers, winds, and glaciers, AND, this perspective was amazing as well. Natural beauty is a Divine gift to appreciate and to experience. The “overlooks” were the ones I found I wanted to photograph and to share the most.

What does this say about my perspective? Is taking a broader view more appealing to me for a reason or just an unconscious aesthetic attraction? Expansive views of bright blue skies and red rock cliffs were very seductive to for me on these travels. My appreciation is not unique. There were plenty of other travelers enjoying these overlooks and views. An appreciation also now considers that the roads to these overviews were created by people driven to share these amazing sights. These builders put so much effort into building these roads and trails which lead the way to this higher perspective of the natural beauties in our world. What drove these engineers and builders to work so hard in these challenging physical environments for the sake of pilgrims on the road?

Overlooking the Earth’s treasures from higher perspective adds so much to an appreciation for our lives which often seemed so locked into lower perspectives. We often find ourselves looking at and living within the valleys of our lives and looking up. There is great beauty to be seen AND we sometimes seem required to gain the higher perspective and to experience the broader perspective possible…

A “Higher Perspective” is also a metaphor which applies to the way we think and feel. “Taking the High Road” is an expression which suggests that one does not get caught in a lower perspective which may include anger, fear, anxiety and is often more narrow or even self-centered in focus. Is “Higher” always better? This may depend upon the challenge and learning in life that is being experienced. I have learned more from my mistakes and the hard times in my life than when things seemed easy and rolling along in a seemingly positive successful way. In this perspective, I could say that the low times and the valleys of my life offered important lessons and experiences which allowed me to better appreciate the “happier” times. We all need diverse perspectives in our lives.

An example from a hike near Sedona, AZ to the top of Doe Mesa.

View from the top of Doe Mesa

Your perspective changes as you move along your path through life. Early on, your perspective includes “Wonderment” for everything is new and special in your young expanding consciousness. In adolescence, you fight to be in control of your life, even if you are not quite ready to take on this responsibility. Later, as an adult, you may overlook the miracles which present themselves because you are so busy doing seemingly “important” things and you have “done stuff” so you may be jaded. But, often you will come around again to the perspective of Wonderment, where life again is filled with amazing and unique experiences. If you are not consciously developing consciousness then as you approach the end of your current incarnation you live in fear and anxiety or maybe “find religion” so you can satisfy your need for unknowable answers which are lacking when you are consciously unconscious. Wow, perspective at this time allows for very different worldly lessons and experiences. Again, looking up from life’s canyons versus looking out from a “higher perspective.”

Your life is full of choices. Your number one choice is to take responsibility for your life. You can live from the perspective of being a victim. These lessons are interesting and may be of service to the other people you interact with however, you can more freely steer your own ship if you understand, appreciate and move forward as the responsible leader of your life’s experiences. Learn from the darker times and share your learned wisdoms. ALWAYS look to serve. Coming from the perspective of looking to serve, without “strings attached,” is a huge step toward living in a state of higher consciousness. A Higher Perspective for sure…

And, living in darkness, under a rock, as a victim, or controlled by addictions to the dramas of your life is a spectacular way to test your learned or remembered wisdoms. Your interactions will feed off the human dramas we have come into the human life to experience. You may have agreed to assist other souls with their lessons. You may be testing to refine your own past life transgressions or possibly the issues of your ancestors. There is no past or future, but the human mind may understand things in a linear way with its limitations of the three dimensional perspective, so, past ancestors’ issues may seem to exist for you to attempt to “clean up.” Lots to consider and very far afield in this posting.

Whatever you choose to use as your perspective in life, it is PERFECT! You are where you are supposed to be… And, at some point, at any point, you can choose to view life, and live life, from a different perspective…
And, whether you know it or not, YOU are a Miracle! Thank you for being you…

Peace!

Peace for Everyone! Is this possible? Sure it is, AND… Our language fails us again. We can get painted into a corner by using words which mean so many things to so many people. I have used the statement, “for every truth, the opposite is equally true,” to describe that whatever you believe to be true from a different perspective almost anything can be “felt,” if not “proven,” to be “true.” Yes, even the seemingly opposite of your “truth.” Words like Love, Death, Heaven, Hell, Integrity, Truthfulness, Honesty, and now, Peace can mean different things to different people. We may want to feel that important words which convey important things are absolute and not caught in a game of semantics but they are. And, getting back to the point of this posting, Peace for Everyone is possible. In fact, if we shed the wrappings of fear, anxiety, dogmatism, and mistrust, we can all feel the deepest sense of Divine Peace.

Divine Peace is within each of us. We do not have to look externally for this. In fact, if we do attempt to find Peace externally, we may find confusion which may be, by some people’s definition, the opposite of peace. My definition of “Peace,” which will NOT do it justice, is the experience of our perfect souls/spirits fully connected to the Divine Consciousness. It is the part of us which is a hologram of the Divine. It is our internal God force. It is our true essence. And, it is beyond full human understanding because it’s full comprehension is far beyond our 3 dimensional human thinking. Divine Love and Consciousness can not be fully, adequately, defined in words or completely felt by human senses (except perhaps in brief flashes of awakening and enlightenment.) As an example, I once experienced Divine Unconditional Love for an instant. I will never forget how great this felt for that instant. This experience is burned deeply into my consciousness and yet, I can not recall the full depth of this Unconditional Divine Love. My mind is not capable of “knowing” the full scope of what this is due to the limitations of being a 3 dimensional human. And, I know that when I am not in my human incarnation, I will be free to live in this unconditional Love.

However, most people define Peace differently. A lack of conflict between people or nations or religions (or beliefs or politics or philosophies) is how most people might seem to view human peacefulness. Perhaps, it is defined as a moment in time without distraction or troubling thought. Perhaps, it is a measurable physical lack of movement or disruption. Perhaps, it is a deeper level of Meditation which seems to step away from normal life activities (and this might be the closest sense of the Divine.) I agree that many of these human definitions of peace fit within my language better than the concept of Divine Peace. We can be limited by language. For example, how does language describe the fragrance of a flower or baking bread. A great deal is lost when using language to define emotions or feelings. In English, we compare and contrast to attempt to box in an idea or a feeling in to a manageable concept. We can use sentences telling our communication partner what a thing is Not. Peace is often described as Not War or conflict. But, deep Peace is something more…

Everyone can find Divine Peace within. It is a “stretch” and many of us are not geared to look inside for the Peace which is possible. “Peace on Earth” is possible by my definition but may not be a 24/7 sustainable concept because human life and distractions can get in the way. It is something to strive for. For me, the concept of “Enlightenment” may be a step toward living in a more abundant state of Peace. And, if we as humanity were more fully engaged in the search for consciousness and Enlightenment, we would have, by my definition, be a much more Peaceful World.

In my opinion, we can move toward deeper personal peace by: being fully “present,” quieting our minds, breathing slowly and consciously, and pursuing a meditative awareness which allows a release of fear and embraces a Divine state of consciousness. All easier said than done. Intention and practice can assist you in bringing this into your life. I focus on the concept of Divine Love. I slowly breathe this Love in and then send this Love from my heart out to the Universe as a positive focusing tool which can lead me to a greater sense of Peace. This has taken me time and effort to be able to achieve especially in the quieting of my active mind. There might be reasons to struggle with finding deep Divine Peace and this is a personal struggle which is a part of why we came into our incarnations. A “test” in developing the Divine Wisdom we have come into our incarnations to experience, to “Remember,” and to expand.

For me, there is also the knowing/feeling that we are all perfect as souls of the Divine. As we take on our lives and the “roles” in the drama of life we play, our minds and ego may lose touch with deeper perfection of who we really are. When we re-discover or “remember” who we are and where we have come from, we are closer to knowing and remembering the Divine Peace which we have within. Consider how you might turn this light back on as a human test (challenge) while living in your human body in your human drama filled life. This is what we came here to experience so try not to consider this state of drama to be “bad” or evil. It is just what is and a part of our learning. YOU are a Blessing and celebrated for coming into the “testing ground” for higher consciousness on the field of human drama!

In my belief and understanding, peace is possible for everyone. Striving to find and know Peace is an act which moves us toward Enlightenment and spiritual wisdom. This “heaven on Earth” can be approached and achieved by most of us but the desire and the intent is often obscure or lacking. Waking up to this possibility is a message which can be shared and supported when we find people pursuing this focused direction. Where possible, hang out with individuals who are on this path not as a political, religious, or purely mental exercise but as an honest individual pilgrimage toward higher consciousness.

No matter what your beliefs are regarding these words and concepts, YOU are Perfect! You are a Miracle! You are an important piece of the Divine Consciousness. Thank you for being YOU!

Releasing My Connection

There comes a time when when you might become aware that you are not needing to be as connected to your human life as you have been earlier in your current incarnation. I am not talking about “giving up” on life. I am speaking about not being so tightly bound to living in your current human body.

I have been told that the Dalai Lama has a daily practice which he does 7 times per day. It is a meditation practice of being most aware as he transitions out of his current life. Being most fully aware at death seems to be a goal for high level Buddhists and something that they strive to achieve. I am not sure why or have any details, but the source of this information is someone I trust. Before you can prepare fully for high level awareness at death, you first have to: eliminate your fear of dying, be present, and be prepared to let go of your human life to be able to freely rejoin the Divine Spirit. (These are my thoughts.)

Many people have some consciousness regarding their approaching life transition. Some people go into fear or denial. Some people might look forward to this experience with an openness that seems highly conscious, to me. It is an inevitable transition and being conscious and perhaps better prepared seems like a good idea. Anyhow, it dawned on me the other day that my recent lack of “grounding” may be a kind of preparation for an end of life transition. Since I am over 70 years of age and I do not look to be an overly old, older person, this may be a bit of a wake up call. I am not sure I want to rehearse my conscious dying 7 times a day like de Dalai Lama but I may want to consider my mortality in an expanded light. Some people set longevity as a goal and want to live past 100 years. I am not one of these longevity goal setters. There is some longevity running in my family. My Father was 85 and my mother was almost 94 when they transitioned. Both these ages seem long enough, perhaps, even longer than I have in my mind for myself.

No matter what your thoughts are on this topic, I challenge you to live your passion and leave your current life without any regrets about the “could of’s” and “should of’s” in your life. Life is short so do not wait too long to do what you really want to do. A great life, to me, would have “No Regrets” when considering all of what your life has included and all that has been possible. And, take responsibility. You have choices and YOU make these decisions regarding how you live your life. When you came to your crossroads, you made your choice to follow the path which you headed down. Enjoy your life and find Joy everyday. Laugh out loud and love without limits or expectations. Find a way to serve your fellow travelers. And, keep your heart open to guidance and the Divine Spirit. When your time comes… go towards the light and the Unconditional Love of the Universal Divine. If you do not feel clear about what this is, consider reading several, if not many, accounts of NDE’s (Near Death Survivors.) Determine what “Feels” right for you in these various accounts. (Not your head (thoughts) but your Heart (Feelings.)) Live in the Wonderment of the amazing life you came here to experience.

You can also read another July, 2021 blog posting “When I Die” you can get a bit more background information. Perspective on Living and Legacy.

For your consideration, be aware of your personal expectations. I am not a fan of expectations and living with expectations laid on you externally or from your need to please someone else seems, to me, to be a dangerous minefield. For me, connecting with your inner guidance for what feels best for you seems a better choice. Then, take responsibility for whatever choice you have made.

Also I add, when someone seems too young to leave their lives, it may seem unfair or wrong in some way. Consider this possible perspective… These short-lived individuals may be “Old Souls” who came into this incarnation with the “agreement” to only be here, in their incarnation, for a relatively short amount of human time. But, Why? Possibly to assist in creating a learning opportunity for other humans who are helped on their path by experiencing the loss/death of this young individual. The brutal emotional lesson can jar those people involved in the lesson of human mortality, appreciating life, and even finding the Joy in a difficult, dark human experience. Personally, my life has been jarred and learning has happened when the lives of people I know seem to been “cut short.” Life is short. Live fully and find Joy…

Thank you for your time and consideration. You are Amazing. YOU are a Miracle! And, You are Blessed! You share the Light of Unconditional Love with All souls and You are an important piece of whole Divine Consciousness.

Clearing Drama!

As human beings, we travel through our lives interacting with other incarnated souls. As we bump into other humans, we find ourselves engaged in human situations and often there is “drama” involved. Why do we create Drama? Why do we not lead with equanimity and acceptance? Well, that is why we came into our human lives for the adventures of living in the limitations of our human, 3 dimensional consciousness. We tend to not see the the “big picture” of Divine Consciousness. Some advanced and conscious souls might say that this is the “fun” of being human. Which brings me to the point of this blog posting… When we are most fully conscious and closer to the Divine Enlightenment, we are more fully “Present.” “Present” in terms of being fully in the moment and NOT living in the “Past” or anxious of the unknown “Future.”

Easier said than done… When we carry around our “Past” with its errors and trauma, our human defense mechanisms create drama when we compare the present situations to ones experienced from our past, when we were less prepared. With our “history,” we view events through the filters of possible past imperfections and get caught up in the possible fear of imperfections in the present. (Notice the “Judgement” of judging our imperfections.) We often forget that no matter what occurs, life is a miracle and perfect, even within its imperfections. We set ourselves up to walk through the emotional minefield of fear and self-doubt. We may forget to live in Joy and with the excitement of the “Beginner’s Mind” of Wonderment.

Or, we get caught in the “what ifs” anxiety regarding what might happen in the future which is not fully a known quantity, because it has not happened yet. Fear of the unknown is huge for humans caught in their 3 dimensional mindsets. In a most fully conscious place of awareness, whatever happens in the “future” moments, beyond the present moments, which have NOT happened, is not the best way to enjoy the amazing interactions of the “Present.” The neurobiology suggests that our upper left hemisphere of the brain is processing life experience, making judgements, and living in a survival mode where fear and anxiety lead the way in conscious thoughts or emotions. For more information regarding this consider reading Jill Bolte Taylor, Ph.D. book: “Whole Brain Living, the Anatomy of Choice and the Four Characters That Drive Out Lives.” Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard trained and published Neuroanatomist whose best selling book “My Stroke of Insight” and her Ted Talk demonstrate her first hand experience with human brain functioning. Amazing description of the science of human conscious thought in these two resources.

So, if we drop the historical traumas from the Past and eliminate living in the unknown anxiety of the Future, we can control the human drama we are often caught up within. Again, easier said than done but this awareness is a great place to start. In Spiritual Enlightenment, we may tend to look for living in the Present moment. We may live that moment in a state of Wonderment. Not judging but Accepting. Not riding a human emotional roller coaster but feeling equanimity as much as possible. Sure we will have the “Oh Wow!” experiences which express the Joy of new miracle witnessed. These steps are a huge part of living in Mindfulness. The way to be happier in “Clearing Drama” is to be aware of living in the Present in a state of Mindfulness. We do not need to erase past drama. We may benefit from not being caught in its web of past experience or fear/anxiety of the unknown future. Once again, easier said than done. This awareness is more than half the battle.

Perhaps you have witnessed a most fully conscious being who appears calm and neutral, not out of a lack of caring, but out of an appreciation that living fully in the present moment is perfect and a miracle to most fully enJoy!

We, as humans, define ourselves by feeling separate and unique with our own human history. We tell our stories to ourselves and anyone who we can get to listen. We look for acknowledgement in our uniqueness and our survival of our lives. Sometimes we play the “victim card” to get attention. Perhaps, as we become more conscious, we can become aware that we are all connected. We are all perfect. We are all amazing Miracles. And, that every soul we bump into on our road through life is there for some, perhaps obscure, reason for our spiritual learning (and to experience and appreciate within the present moment.)

“Clearing Drama” is not erasing past experiences and learnings. It involves treating EVERY moment as the Miracle it is and searching for the lesson which can be learned in an attempt to move our consciousness further along the path. Oh, by the way, every interaction is also a perfect opportunity to be of service to share your wisdom with the people/souls you bump into along your way. We are all here to serve in this way, whether we are conscious of this or not… If nothing else, please take responsibility for the emotional drama you spew around the world as you travel through your life. This will make it more rewarding and fun especially if you do NOT take yourself or life too seriously. We are all but actors in the the play called “Life.”

You are a Miracle! Consider living in the present moment with a sense of wonderment rather than in the fear of judgment… (Or, at least move in this possible direction…)

Forgiveness Sets Us Free

Why be a “Victim?” Forget Blaming and appreciate the experiences which life can bring to you! Then, consider whether you could take this awareness one step further. Challenging events happen in your life. “It” happened for a reason. Can you appreciate the learning created by the event and then Forgive the “difficult” scenario you have survived? You do not have to be a victim to your personal opinion of taking a life event as an emotional personal attack. You found YOUR way into the situation, so take some responsibility and find the best learning from a painful experience. Look for the wisdom to be gained. Share your found wisdom. And, live in a state of forgiveness if you have “enjoyed” carrying around a grudge.

Besides, it takes a huge amount of energy to hold a grudge and to live as a victim. Sure you get attention from sympathetic souls, right up until you project the secondary benefit of living as a victim and your witness decides to bail out on your drama. The emotional capital of demonstrating victimhood can only go so far and is not really sustainable for healthy relationships. (It sounds like I have NO sympathy for the hard times people experience. I do have sympathy AND there is another way to look at the difficult challenges we find ourselves within.) Our lives are filled with Joy if you choose to live in the perspective of finding the miracles from even the hardest of times. That is what we are here, in this life, to experience and to learn from. Yes, test your Divine Innate Wisdom by finding the Joy and the “Best.” When life serves you Lemons, make Lemonade…

From my personal experiences, I KNOW that this is easier said than done. But, when the Sh’t has hit the fan for me, it is very expensive in time, energy, and emotional response to continue to dwell in the anger, anxiety, and the possible negativity. In my life, I have lost sources of love to death and human transitions. The void which was created felt like an impossible hole to dig myself out of AND, with perspective, there has always been a huge lesson to test my innate wisdom. Life often comes full circle and my wisdom can be tested yet again or my new found wisdom can be shared as a service to someone in a similar situation. Example, after my wife of 28 years died from cancer, I was guided to mentor another wonderful man through the death/loss of his bride. Boy, I learned a lot from the new perspective and we both benefited from the mutual support of these difficult life experiences. (BTW: I never “blamed God” for my wife’s transition. I “knew” at some level that this was a time for “brutal” learning.) Of this loss in my life I have often said that I would NOT wish this on anyone else but I would not trade this experience away, there was so much to learn from this difficult test…

The act of Forgiveness is not easy. It requires consciousness and an open, Loving Heart which can accept the situations which to the mind/ego seem most unacceptable. You do not have to leap into painful relationships just to test this concept because your life will stumble into these relationships if you are “supposed” to have them. (You do Not deserve these difficult relationships.) You do not have a “debt to pay.” You simply have another opportunity to test your innate or learned wisdoms. Mindfulness suggests that “Equanimity” is a goal. This does not mean that you can not feel the pain but perhaps find a balance and possibly reduce an overreaction. FEEL it and find a way to know that there is a reason (not always a rational reason) why your life found its way into an awkward situation.

Perhaps, one day, you will not doubt that every rock you turn over in your incarnation was meant to be turned over even if the “darkness” and the “test” seemed most difficult. AND the result of this experience was a “positive” experience to encounter. Take responsibility for each life experience. Then, find forgiveness (and acceptance) if your knee jerk reaction tested you emotionally and spiritually. YOU are a Miracle! You are a Blessing! YOU are Loved!

Consider your life’s lessons (experiences) and possibly find forgiveness within your heart as you feel your way into the Light. AND, look for Joy in each moment you are blessed to know. (Again, easier said than done, for me, and perhaps you…) Feeling Gratitude, even for difficult situations, is an act of Spiritual and Emotional maturity. It is easier said than done. And, finding a heartfelt thank you for the learning which comes your way is important for your growth. And, then share your learned wisdom. Serve others by offering your honest perspective, hopefully, without drama… You are a Master of your Journey with much to offer… Thank You!

PS: In life, I have come across relationships and experiences that I did not fully understand and which felt, to me, that I was betrayed. On these occasions, I do not understand and felt like I did NOT Deserve this kind of treatment. Yet, after my upset, I find the “value” of this experience, even if this is labelled “What Not to Do Ever Again.” A broken heart, hurt feelings, and an emotional beat down are very unpleasant and yet, with perspective, great to learn from… I do not wish these to befall you. Often these seem unavoidable. And, it is said, “What does not kill you, makes you stronger!” At least, wiser. Yes, at the top of my gratitude and forgiveness list are some people who have confused or hurt me with their behaviors toward me and this has been a difficult “work around” when my emotional self was beaten up… YOU are Loved by the Divine Spirit and the perfect souls who show up to support you. Make every attempt to live in their love and light! Life is a Miracle even when times are difficult tests. The light of living in Forgiveness is easier said than done AND this positive attitude leads you toward a higher consciousness which is good for our Universe (and beyond.)

Walking Meditation

On my walk today guidance seemed to suggest that I create a blog posting regarding the Art of the Walking Meditation. As I considered this suggestion, I was flooded with guidance’s suggestion on what to include in this posting. Since I have learned to “Just Say Yes” to my guidance, I am complying. And, walking is a great way to meditate, to become more “present,” to take positive time for yourself, and to exercise. Consider these reminders of wisdom you are already familiar with. (This wisdom is built into your DNA and your Soul.)

Eyes open meditation can fall into the philosophy of Zen meditation which tends to encourage being a part of the world rather than closing your eyes to purely focus within. ZaZen walking meditation has been described to me as eyes open, slow moving, conscious of the world, as a meditation. Breathe slowly. Walk slower than your normal pace. Feel your heel land in front of you and then roll forward on to your toes. And, repeat. If you can do so safely, “soft focus” your eyes. Enjoy each slow breath and each relaxed step. Focus upon the footsteps and your breath. In the beginning, just try 50 steps in this conscious way. Doing this in the safety of nature with less traffic and distractions from manmade chaos can help with this meditation. However, even trying this as you walk back from your lunch to work or school or home activities can make your day move more comfortably with less internal distractions. You may want to remember to turn off your phone calls, texting and social media signals.

Walking consciously out in a natural setting is meditative. In the trees, by water, on trails vs pavement, in the sunshine or in a gentle rain are all positive additions. Avoiding traffic, human dramas, loud construction projects, airplanes, warfare, and screaming politicians or rock music may also seem obvious and will enhance a more meditative state of mind. (Though bears, some dogs, venomous snakes, large crashing waves, cougars and falling trees might also pose a distraction to avoid in nature. Just saying the obvious.) You get the point. Mellow in nature is better. Walking a bit more slowly, breathing, and gently gazing at the miracles which our world can provide can make this a great “forest bathing” experience. Allowing for time and possibly fewer pressing appointments on either side of this nature walk would be a helpful consideration if possible. AND, remember to breathe… Slowly and fully.

Additions might include, feeling the warmth of the sun, listening to the stream/river/waves, feeling the gentle breezes, and even smelling the fragrance of the salt air or grasses or flowers or the trees. I like to imagine that I can breathe in the warm sunlight or soak up the warm breezes to better help heal and to recharge me as I slowly drift down (or up) the path. There are times and places when walking with someone else for safety or guidance can be good. And, there are times when walking alone without extra conversation can be most relaxing. The bottom line is to be as “present” in the moment as you gently move through this nature loving walk. You may want to pick up an interesting rock to hold and possibly to help “ground” you as you connect most peacefully with nature. (Sometimes I even hug a tree to ground myself out. Are you laughing? Well consider trying this weird 1960’s consciousness. YOU may like it.)

Sure, most of you have done this and know how to walk in meditation in nature BUT do you schedule the time in your busy, drama filled lives to participate in these meditative walks??? Well, Just Do It!

Be open to surprises and the gifts the Divine Spirit will provide for you. If you walk with the “Beginner’s Mind” the beauty will unfold just for your heart to dance in the light of spectacular marvels and amazing revelations. If you ask respectfully for these, they will show up. Maybe in the clouds. Maybe the leaves dancing in the breezes. Perhaps the songs of the birds or the chatter of the squirrels. Perhaps the appearance of the butterfly or the hummingbird will symbolize guidance reaching out to embrace you. Be open and the delights of natures will present themselves for you and fan the flames of the brightening light of your consciousness. As you are a small part of this large Universe, you might even consider the amazing things which have occurred to create this beautiful blue planet and all the life forms which share it with you.

And. Walking in wonder with Beginners Mind, even in the city, can show you amazing miracles to appreciate and to show gratitude for. Every miracle you acknowledge is another important, and beautiful, lesson for you.

There is Joy to found in every moment and in every step you take. Please consider the search for the Joy and the miracles which surround us.

You are Amazing!

On My Own Terms

Almost everyone would like some control or a lot of control over their lives. We have choices regarding many things which can come forward in our human incarnations. Sometimes things seem to happen that we could not control but chances are we had some role in choosing part or all of the circumstances we may have seemed to stumble into. If we take responsibility for our lives and our choices, we have a better chance of learning or experiencing what we came “here,” into this incarnation, to experience. This will include how we choose to transition out of this incarnation. Boy, did I just piss some people off… This is an emotional issue on many levels.

Leaving this life on my own “fully conscious” terms is a possibility and would be powerful to consider. One example, in our state, if you have a terminal diagnosis and two doctors will sign off on the situation, stating that you have less than 6 months to live, you can get medication so you have a choice to end your own life on your own terms. In my mind this is NOT an act of a coward but of courage. We are all going to pass-on and transition out of our current lives. Dying most consciously in a controlled environment, at a selected time, seems like a good option for some people. Other people have other opinions which are different from mine and they are entitled to their opinions but choices and options are good to consider and can add value to how YOU choose to live, and die.

Most people consider what the “end of life” experience will be like…??? Many people have fear regarding the “unknown” circumstances of transitioning. It is one of the most important experiences we have and full consideration is an important part of the process of living most consciously. What do YOU want to have happen? Do YOU want some measure of control or, at least, consider that you have some control? AND, if you want something to work with as a possible transition, consider reading stories or speaking with people who have had NDE’s (Near Death Experiences, like in “Life After Life” by Raymond Moody or Ken Ring’s work on research with NDE folks. There are many published stories, YouTube videos and recorded audios with people who have had NDE’s.)

More fully, not only consider how you choose to leave this life but are YOU living most fully on your terms? And, if not, why not? It is YOUR Life! These questions and considerations are more important and more difficult than how you want your morning expresso to be made. Yes, I know how important your morning coffee beverage is but these other considerations seem bigger with longer lasting effects. Living and then dying on your own terms is worthy of your time and energy. Look at all your options AND do not always take the most convenient path, the conventional thinking, or what other people want you to do. Your life is YOUR life and YOU are responsible. You must live with your choices and decisions. I have been told that the Dalia Lama is rigorous in practicing being fully conscious at death by using a 7 times daily practice of an exercise to be Present and alert as he transitions from this life. My understanding is that it is a Buddhist’s goal to be conscious and to learn the most possible in end-of-life transitioning. (Also, when interviewed about whether he would like to return again to a human incarnation, his answer was that he hopes he can come back again to continue to be of “service” which is unlike many enlightenment seekers who want to never return to incarnations and spend eternity at some “higher level”…??? Whatever that looks like…)

Most Importantly, LIVE every moment. Find the Joy and the Miracles in every moment you possibly can because you and your life are amazing and full of miraculous experiences. Every moment is precious. If you are working on being most conscious, you can celebrate the learnings which are happening in every second of your current life. This is the “Testing Grounds” for the wisdom you are learning and the Divine Wisdom (and Guidance) you are remembering and bringing into this incarnation. Your Life and Your Living is a Beacon of inspiration for the people you touch in this life. You can be a positive influence just by role-modeling being fully present and your searching for the wisdom and joy which can be found in every life experience. Yes, even in the most difficult of your life’s challenges…

Some people need to be reminded that death is not going a vacation. Though the higher realms are attractive and Divine unconditional love is wonderful to experience, however, the travels of your path through life is the real goal. This is the experience of testing out found wisdom and learning important lessons from life with the limitations of human 3 dimensional existence. The end goal of the final transition is not really what your life is about or your true goal in your current incarnation. (And, you have free will to argue with me about this, if you have read this far.) Your true purpose is to learn, to grow, and serve fellow travelers by sharing love and joy.

YOU are a Blessing. You may have more of a choice than you realize so living in vigilance and less as a victim of circumstance is a great attitude to spend time within. AND, Thank You for Being You!

Life is a Miracle! Seek the Joy in every moment you have…

Your Purpose is to Love

Startling new insight came to me today! (Thank you, Amari Magdalena, for offering this information for me to ponder.)

Yes, You found your way into this incarnation to share Love in your unique way as a test of the wisdom you have gathered…
How you choose to love is your unique lesson

What you do in this life and how it will demonstrate your love through your service is what your life’s path is all about.
Do you warmly hold and caress the individuals you connect with or do you prickle and irritate people so they can learn from this abrasiveness in your relationships?
Either way, you Love and You can serve.

Are you open and giving?
Or
Are you closed and self-centered in appearance?

Are you conservative and straight-laced?
Or
Are you wild and possibly a raging substance abuser who demonstrates the “Dark side” lifestyle for others to bump up against?
Either way, there are experiences and learning to be had… (An Example: “The Afterlife of Billy Fingers,” by Annie Kagan, look it up (Amazon link) and know that this is one of my favorite stories.)

Since we are all connected as spirits, we love in our unique ways and this will provide experience for the souls we bump into in this life. Each soul has their unique path and is challenged by our specific learning requirements. And, when we interact, we provide a part of the lesson/experience. So, what lessons have you come here (to this incarnation) to have or to teach?

Divine Love is the glue that holds the Universe, and beyond, together. This concept and practice is more than the human mind can fully comprehend. (You can try, in fact, you should try to more fully understand the limitless power of the Divine and unconditional Divine Love.) The 3 dimensional world and the thinking ego’s limitations allows our incarnations to be on the “Adventure Travel” we have come into this life to have. Struggling with our limitations and attempting to get more fully conscious regarding our soul’s life and “remembering” where we have come from is the ultimate goal. Sharing your idiomatic Love with every soul and with the Universal Divine Spirit is happening even if you lack full awareness. You and your love are unique and essential to the Divine Spirit. Being most fully conscious is optional and yet the goal of our human experience.

And, if you can find your way into the “present,” feeling the wonderment of the miracles you are surrounded by, and no matter what’s happening you feel the “Joy” of the Divine burning brightly in each person and object you encounter, then you are getting closer to the “enlightenment” seekers have come seeking! (Wow, what a long sentence…)

No matter where you are in your developing consciousness, YOU are a Miracle! Your soul is a bright beacon to light the way along the path to remembering and full consciousness. Your presence is an act of service. Your service to our world is an act of Love.

Be Love – Feel Joy – Light the World!