The Wisdom of Children

‘My’ mom, Mother Eagle as i like to call her, once asked my two sisters, “What was the hardest part of being a baby?”  She asked them each this question when they were about 4 or 5, so this was many years ago!, and she found their answers so special that she wrote them down and retells the stories often.

When Mother Eagle asked Leslie this question,

“What was the hardest part about being a baby?”

Leslie’s answer, “Not knowing why i was crying.”

And there you have it!  Emotions happen.  Sometimes for reasons well beyond our understanding.  So what’s the lesson?  Who knows!  Just let it be.

Perhaps the lesson is…don’t get sad over looking sad.  Just because someone looks one way and like they are experiencing a particular emotions, like sadness through crying, doesn’t mean they are actually sad. So, we can always give people the benefit of the doubt!  Even if someone is crying, perhaps they are really joyful, or perhaps the body just really wanted to experience the tears while the mind and spirit are just fine.  We can ever know what is going on on the inside.  So why not assume the best? That’s probably more realistic anyway :-)

And now!  For Sister Julie’s response, which i initially took to be the more profound wisdom, and perhaps the greatest lesson for humanity.

“What was the hardest part of being a baby?”

Her response, when she was 5 or 6, maybe 8, who knows…”Not being able to tell anyone what you wanted, so you rarely got it.”

Boom!

Roasted!

Did you read that?

The hardest part of being a baby, “Not being able to tell people what you want, so you rarely got it.”

How can we ever expect to get what we want if we don’t tell people about it???

Are we expecting people to read our minds and know our desires without us verbally communicating it to them?

Even more, at least a baby has clear wants, sometimes in our grown-up version we really don’t know what we want.  What do you want?

Whatever you want…communicate it!  Broadcast your desires!  This is so key.  And ultimately, the great peace comes when you are so aligned with your desires that you will fearlessly share them with anyone.  You own your desires so much that you’ll fearlessly post them on Facebook, on a blog, on twitter, text them to all your friends – whatever!  No shame, no guilt, no anger, no pride, no fear, just love and peace and joy and goodness and a peace with your desires and a sense of goodness in their fulfillment!  Let us strive for these desires that we can and do fearlessly share with all the world!  Then surely, all the world will ever so gently maneuver its way to bring us exactly what we desire.

When our desires are fulfilled, we experience greater happiness, joy, peace, goodness, whatever you want to call it.  And each one of us, deep down inside if not on the very surface as well, want everyone to experience all the goodness.  We’re all in this together, and we all want what’s best for everyone, even if we won’t admit it ;)

The way we show that we want what’s best for everyone is wanting and working for the fulfillment of everyone’s purest, highest, noblest, truest desires – those desires that we’ll fearlessly broadcast to all our friends, relatives, networks, and beyond!

So then…without further ado…the present moment – here and now! – seems like a perfect opportunity to broadcast some desires!

- I desire to become E-RYT 500 certified and from there to lead yoga teacher trainings…that would be totally awesome!

- I desire to lead street retreats as a means to freeing people from material realizing, discovering the basic goodness of all people and life, and overcoming fears of poverty or lack…to more fully realize the abundance and unconditional support of this wonderful creation :-)

- I desire to live in a world where all life is perceived as friendly, loving, wonderful, beautiful, and divine, and where we treat all life as sacred, cherishing it fully, treating it with gentleness, kindness, and compassion.  This largely means desiring an end to slaughterhouses and the meat and dairy industry…perhaps replaced with more abundant industries growing fruits and vegetables, nuts and grains!  I also desire a world in which everyone feels physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually terrific!  Healthy, happy, holy, and flourishing!

- I desire to perceive the perfection of Creation more and more, and to realize Heaven on Earth in the Here and Now!  I desire to enjoy the fullness of this present, wonderful moment, while at the same time progressively realizing a worthy idea, working and playing and loving and giving for the good of everyone and everything, serving the Highest Good of All!

- I desire to be able to carry everything that i own. :-)  Divine Simplicity

- I desire to live universally, an exemplary life, worthy of emulation – a holy, happy, healthy life – easeful, peaceful, useful.  Always giving, growing, serving, loving, expanding, evolving!

- Evolve! Evolve! Evolve!

- I desire to enjoy food as an ends in and of itself, not for greater enjoy but just for the joy of the experience, of it being what is happening in the Here and Now, when it is :-)  To mindfully enjoy meals, filled with gratitude and deep appreciation for the collaboration of the entire universe and the history of all creation to make the meal, the feast!, a Reality, when it is :-)

- I desire to become more and more growth and service-oriented; to forget the small self in service to the Higher Self, in service to the Greater Good!  To the glory of God, in the service to all humanity, all life, All That Is :-)

- I desire that we all open our minds and cultivate an understanding for all the world’s major religions, and that this understanding is a pathway for universal peace, harmony, friendship, and brother/sisterhood.  Unity!!!

- I desire to see God in all things, to behold the Beloved everywhere!

- I desire to perceive reality accurately.  To live in and serve in the light of Truth :-)

- i desire to inspire Yogihood, and compassionate, simple, spiritual living.

- I desire to play, to have fun, and enjoy!  Smiling, laughing, singing, dancing…in abundance!!!

- I desire to know and share an abundance of enlightening stories, tales, parables, quotes, poetry…and to listen to these stories being shared as well :-)  To grow in wisdom, knowledge, understanding.

-  I desire to unconditionally love everyone and everything.

- I desire to live in a constant state of feeling so grateful and appreciative for the abundance all around, of the wonderful world, the amazing Creation, all life and All That Is!

- I desire to live a fully realized, dedicated, surrendered life to God, to Infinite Goodness and Glory, to the Ineffable :-)

-  Maybe the last desire…for now…I desire desirelessness!  Just to be in the Here and Now, in the perfection, in the bliss, in the infinity and beyond!

p.s. broadcasting desire feels really good :-)

Infinite Love, Compassion, and Gratitude

One of the Best Benefits to Choosing Vegetarian / Vegan Healthstyle

For anyone who sees the beauty in the philosophy, “Be the change you want to see in the world,” choosing to vegetarian and vegan foods seems like a fairly obvious decision, that is, if the change you want to see in the world has anything to do with wanting to see less violence and more compassion, less pollution and more environmental sustainability, or less disease and greater health.  Because yes, amazingly, the vegetarian/vegan choice is way more compassionate and more compassionate (less violent) than other food choices involving harming or killing animals, it is more friendly (less harmful/destructive) to the environment(as generally producing animal products require 5x as many resources, along with many other environmental reasons, like the lost energy by ‘feeding our food,’ etc.), and it is way healthier for human bodies, assuming you’ve educated yourself on how to properly care for the body and mind (aka…a multi-vitamin can help, iron from leafy greens, protein and omega 3 fatty acids from hemp seeds, chia seeds, flax, etc.)

There you have it!  Whether you’re wanting to be the change you want to see in the world via living more compassionately, more sustainably, or more healthily, the choice presents itself clearly.  The tricky part is enduring the short-term pain of weening the taste buds off animal products.  That requires patience – a virtue indeed!  Which is no wonder why Sri Swami Satchidananda said that one of the first steps along the spiritual journey is taming the tongue.  We’ve got to tame the tongue, so we control it and it doesn’t control us.

Anyway…what is this great benefit i mentioned in the title of the post?

For one, choosing vegetarianism / veganism is an ethical grand slam, and it certainly will enhance your peace of mind.  And, at some point you may battle with self-forgiveness, wondering how you could have lived all those years eating harmless animals.  At that point, just…forgive!  We’re all ignorant anyway, so the only choice we ever have is to forgive, and ultimately to realize that there’s nothing to forgive…because we’re ignorant! :-)

And now here’s the real benefit: you realize you’ve made the fundamental shift in your behavior that results in you no longer living off the lives and deaths of other beings.  If there is one thing we seem to value as people, it’s life and death.  By choosing vegetarianism / veganism, you grow in reverence for life and death, and become aware that you don’t have to live by the death of others.  You can choose otherwise.  You are free to live from the abundance of fruits and plants.  No dead animals necessary!  So this realization brings immense peace and liberation.

This decision, i’m convinced, is one of the ultimate life decisions for a person to make – one that strongly distinguishes people.  Think about it – we enjoy food sometimes several times a day – so if every time you go to the table you bring your consciousness with you and ethically decide to eat one way over another, boom – that’s consciousness!  And consciousness is awesome.  And this awareness comes to you every time you consider putting food into the body.  Deciding to live this way impacts you every single day, possibly many times throughout the day, which is why it’s such a powerful choice.

Because it’s such a powerful choice that ripples out vastly, you may come to the awareness that there isn’t much else for you to do.  You may free yourself from thinking you’re obligated to do the 9 to 5 grind or endure doing work you despise.  You begin to realize your own power to choose and create the life you want, regardless of what ‘others’ think.  Come into your power!  Even if you’ve had habits for decades, you realize you can upgrade them to more energizing habits and ways of being. The choice is always yours, and you are responsible!

So long as you keep being the change you want to see in the world – you’re golden.  And you are responsible!  No longer required to deal with other people’s stuff.  You rise to levels of greater consciousness and compassion for all living beings, for the environment, and for the flourishing of the body and mind.  Isn’t that just awesome!??!?!  I’m stoked!!!

Breathe.

Empower yourself!  Liberate yourself!  You choose.  Experience the abundance of benefits yourself.

p.s. The way i began eating vegetarian and then later vegan were both by 30 day challenges, that is committing to try it as a way for 30 days to see if i enjoyed the benefits.  After experiencing greater vitality, connection, and peace, the choice to continue was easy.

Love and Gratitude :-)

p.p.s.  Don’t put up with anyone’s shit!  You are responsible.

Hallelujah!

What is your Best?

Notice, the phrase is often, “Give your best,” and not, “Take your best.”  Giving is our best.

But hey – that’s not really what this post is about? Or is it? Who knows!  It’s 11:11!

Me giving of my best…

is about fully telling the story, as openly as possible, so that as many people can learn from my experience as possible, and so that perhaps they will not ‘have to’ make all the ‘mistakes’ i made to learn all of the wonderful lessons.

So let’s go through the journey of awakening and coming to embrace a simple, sustainable, healthy, happy, lifestyle.  Note: it was not easy!  And there were lots of peaks and valleys along the way…many many valleys…all for the good in the long-run though :-)

Starting from the more youthful days…

5th Grade: This was the year i was introduced to Continuum, a computer game i literally spent over 3000 hours playing up through senior year of high school, and pornography, which i probably didn’t spend quite 3000 hours watching up through senior year of high school ;-)  Nevertheless, i was introduced to both of these semi-addictive mediums of entertainment on the same day!  Quite the day.  And both of these activities, a computer game called Continuum and watching pornography, shaped much of my life until i arrived at college.  Thankfully, at college, the laptop issued by the school wasn’t quite compatible with Continuum, and there wasn’t so much privacy that watching pornography all the time was such an option…so Hallelujah!  Nothing like an environmental change to shake us away from destructive habits.

–>  What did I learn from about 8 years committed to steadily playing a video game and watching pornography

Starting with the video…as you can imagine, i got really good at this game. So good that i achieved the #1 ranking by some standards.  This video game was played over the internet, and i was literally competing with and teaming up with people from all over the world, so that was pretty frakkin’ awesome.  Even just thinking about it now kind of makes me want to play!  There is a TEDTalk on video games and their benefits for us.  Among other things, one of the benefits to us, and one of the reasons why they can become addictive, is because they give us a sense of grand purpose.  For Continuum, it’s a life or death spaceship battle!  It’s way fun.  The motto for it was something like, “Meet people from all over the world…and kill them.”  Video games also can give us a sense of prestige.  For me, achieving such a high global ranking, i felt like the man!  Even though i was maybe a freshman in high school, kind of chubby and pale, i felt like a champion on this video game.  And really, because i had such high self-esteem regarding the video game, i think this mitigated my desire for achieving social success or even academic success at school.  After all, i was ranked #1 in the world!  What could i possibly achieve in school that would equal that accomplishment?  Long-run, i’m not that opposed to returning to the video game – especially logging on and posting a link to this blog is kind of fun – and it’s amazing the quality of relationships you can develop with people just online.  Really, being on the same team with people – ‘squads,’ as they are called – is a lot like playing a sport, except online it is life or death!  You strategize and harmonize and fly together and watch each other’s back.  Like almost everything…video games such as Continuum seem to be good in moderation, which i did not really practice while playing it.  Then again, if i had practiced moderation, i wouldn’t have achieved such a high degree of skill and who knows how that would have shaped life differently.  Either way – so grateful for it :-)  And for all the wonderful people i met on it.  20-30 minutes a day would actually be pretty healing, and probably help deter other forms of destructive behavior.  A video game, in moderation, can be relatively constructive.

Pornography!  Great – let’s talk about lessons learned from watching tons of porn!  Well, initially, i think access to porn caused several problems.  For one, it probably led to be more sexual thoughts about everyone in school that i would otherwise have, and maybe i could attribute all the random middle school boners to too much porn, or maybe that’s just hormones.  I also think all the porn probably made me more shy around women and ultimately decreased self-confidence.  Porn isn’t something you watch in the open or tell everyone about…why is that?  Because it’s somewhat shameful, at least if you think it is.  And if you think it’s shameful, and you do it anyway, then you’ll feel shameful!  And shame decreases self-confidence.  So, generally, a great way to boost self-confidence is stop watching porn.  Additionally, i think porn hit my self-confidence levels lower because of the relatively huge penises every guy has in porn compared to mine.  Watching porn, i think it’s safe to say the average penis size is above the actual male average.  At the same, i wasn’t aware of this, so basically just thought i had the smallest penis ever, without realizing that many of the guys in the porn i watched probably went into it in the first place because they had big penises.  Alas, the idea that i had a small penis shattered my confidence with women for many years.  So really…you can see the many harmful effects of porn.  The one benefit, i will say, is that when i first did have sex, i think i was ‘pretty good at it.’  I say this because i remember the girl saying, “Is this really your first time?”  Haha, anyway :-)  Significantly, one of the major keys for me to overcome the fear of having an inadequately sized penis was to educate myself.  Literally reading books about sex helped so much to boost my confidence and self-esteem regarding the matter.  One of the books that changed my life was a little pink book my brother had sitting on the floor of his room, titled something about sex.  I read it in about a day, and with that i was armed with all the knowledge i needed to be ‘skilled in the sack.’

Interestingly, nowadays i’m more towards the celibate side, partially because i’m focusing on training the mind and developing my meditation practice, as well as developing a totally awesome lifestyle, but also because i’ve found what i’d call greater, more sustainable joys.  Sex is pretty short, and comes at a bit of cost. Enjoying the Present Moment, on the other hand, is free, and all it requires is awareness :-)

Also, after reading the Bhagavad Gita and the Celestine Prophecy,  i’m somewhat hooked on the idea that having only one child make a lot of sense, if you have any.  The purpose of sex is to create children, not have fun.  Besides, you can have fun doing anything!  No need to have sex to have fun.  And, it’s also very liberating to be free from the desire to have sex.  It makes life simpler and easier.  And, if the perfect partner happens to come around, then so be it.  I’m also open to celibacy life.  Attached to nothing!  Free to enjoy everything :-)

Well then, since that somewhat adequately documents my days of being a champion on an online video game called Continuum, being addicted to porn, and overcoming small penis problems, i think that’s probably enough for now.

Ha!  Abundance :-)

Hallelujah!

so grateful

p.s.  In future episodes of “What is your Best?” you can look forward to lessons learned from drug dealing and joining a fraternity.  Also, God Willing, lessons from abstaining from alcohol, meat, dairy, and wearing the same clothes every day!  So many wonderful lessons :-)

Before i Die, a Few Thoughts..

Could be today, ya never know ;-)

On Vegetarianism / Veganism

Primarily, please continue to behave in a way that you know helps keep the body ideal.  More than keeping it alive, though, let it flourish! Thrive!

- Educating yourself regarding health optimization is a good investment of time and energy.  Because, as education ideally results in behavioral changes, these types of behavioral changes will lead to even greater health and energy and feelings of vigor, strength, vitality, and goodness! It’s a win/win/win for everybody and everything :-)

- We live today in an interconnected world where we no longer have to eat animals to survive.  And really, instead of eating for mere survival, we have the opportunity to eat for thriving and flourishing, as some like to call it – surthrival.  Or, as i’ve read, “I’m eating for health.” So, we no longer have to eat animals to survive; we can eat fresh fruits and vegetables from Peru if we want!  It’s amazing.  Bananas from Guatemala sitting in the kitchen right now. Miracles abound!

- Nonetheless, if you still want to eat meat and perhaps don’t feel called to realizing greater levels of health, energy, vitality, as well as greater compassion and connection with all living beings, please continue to eat other living beings and dairy products.  Better to have you alive than not :-)  Besides…someday…who knows…maybe you’ll make the switch.  It took me about 21 years to wake up enough to experiment with vegetarianism.  All by grace :-)

- Insisting on not eating other living beings is kind of like living in the illusion of eternal life on earth.  Bodies – whether human, animal, insect – all die.  Not eating someone or something isn’t going to keep it alive forever.  If one thing is immortal, it’s immortal being the body it’s contained in here.  So, i think we’re better off embracing the Reality of death, meanwhile by no means actively promoting it, but if it’s what you want…and it brings you peace…then maybe go for it!  At the same time, i will say it’s still been difficult for me to sit peacefully in the company of dead animal flesh being consumed by human bodies.  i’m much more at peace running by a dead rabbit on the sidewalk than at a dinner table with dead chicken.

-  All the while, remember that every dollar you spend – even every penny! – is casting a vote.  Money votes.  That’s how economies work.  Supply and demand.  We vote every time we spend money.  The more we spend money on, the more of that is produced.  Every cent counts.  What are you voting for?

On Pooping 

- For me, pooping can be one of the most enjoyable or painful experiences of the day.  The key to the blissful poops…simple meals.  If you eat a meal with only one or two ingredients…like say cucumbers and tomatoes, maybe sprinkled with cinnamon…you’ll likely have an amazing poop.  Just saying.  Or like for the 7 days when i hate only dried apricots and hemp seeds…amazing poops!  Like effortless.  Or the 4.5 days of eating only bananas, so easy.

- So for easeful, effortless poops, move more and more in the direction of a mono diet. One food per meal.  Also, supplement magnesium, a probiotic, and digestive enzyme totally help.  The Source of Life multi-vitamin is also amazing.  Alas…earthly things ;-)

On Longevity

- If you want to live a really long life, less is more. That is, less calories leads longer life.  Calorie restriction is the only known consistently proven method of elongating lifespan.  That means, eat less food.

- Think about it – the digestive process the body undergoes is the most energy-intensive process that it does.  You put in a green smoothie on one end, and 12-36 hours later…it comes out as brown logs.  It’s magic!  Imagine how much work your body does to complete that transformation.  If you want to see miracles, look no further than in your toilet bowl.  Literally, you can say, “That shit is amazing!”

- Give the body a rest.  Lighter, less dense foods like fruits and vegetables are easier to digest.  Especially if you blend them up, that’s like doing an abundance of the digestion that the body would normally have to undergo in the blender.  Then again, i think there is something to be said for eating foods as they occur in Nature…which is…eat them :-)  Blending is cool, too.  Just, if you can, try and enjoy the smoothie mindfully.  You can see the sun in all of your food!  And in people too, and basically everything.  Everything grows and lives with the help of the sun.

On Religion (its awesome)

- Study it.  Beliefs are powerful.  And so are people who willingly die for a cause.

- You can choose your beliefs.  Choose them wisely.  Choose beliefs that empower you and grow you in love.  One of my favorite blog posts of all time that i’ve probably read over 100 times is Steve Pavlina’s Empowering Beliefs.  For a 30 day challenge, i read all of his empowering beliefs aloud every morning.  It was awesome!  Still is.

-  Allow leaders from all religious traditions to inspire you.  No need to pick just one.  They are all wonderful examples, and all many paths leading to the same Ultimate Truth.

-  Understanding different religious traditions helps us understand and appreciate people and culture.  It also helps us love more abundantly and perceive the unity of all things.  It also helps move towards that truth of “not knowing.”  Meanwhile, don’t get swamped up in library, overwhelmed by looking at all the books, thinking, “I must read all of these!” No no – the truth is in the experience.  Meanwhile, read for Peace, in Peace.  Studying is pretty much always a good thing.  And ultimately, know, you are that!  You are that!  You are that! Om Tat Sat.

On Walking

- Do it. Enjoy it.  Smile and walk.  Breathe and walk in harmony.  10,000 steps a day is a common prescription for happiness.  Make each day your masterpiece and walk!

On Laughing (attitude, beware of fun police)

- Laugh abundantly! And if someone tells you whatever you’re laughing at isn’t a laughing matter, feel free to laugh even more.  Or, you can stop.  Either way.  Beware of the fun police. Ultimately, i think one of the highest perspectives is to realize that everything’s funny and the Divine Comedy is always playing out.  God is the Cosmic Comedian!  Tune in and you’ll find abundant humor all around you.  Smile at it, laugh at it, play!  Delight in Creation and enjoy the flourishing life all around you.

-  Laughing is healthy.  And Liberating.  One of the most liberating experiences of my life was attending a Laughter Yoga class.  Additionally, a 30 day challenge where i intentionally laughed for at least 15 consecutive minutes at a time proved super liberating and expansive.  Really helped tune into the Divine Comedy…

- Also, regarding tuning into the Divine Comedy, laughter coincides with beauty.  During the 30 day laughter challenge, a lot of the moments when i found myself laughing was while admiring the beauty of a rock, a leaf, or mindfully listening to the sound of a chain dangling on a fire hydrant.  Present Moment Awareness is so powerful!  Joy is in the Present Moment.

On Relationships

- People are in abundance!  No need to approach any one relationship with any one single person as something rare, coveted, or scarce.  It’s abundant!  And the real relationship is always with the Present Moment in it’s infinite variety of forms.  You might also say it’s the relationship with God, the Eternal Relationship!  Cultivate the eternal relationship and all relationships with individual people naturally take care of themselves.  The key is…Love your Moment!  And appreciate it for being so awesome :-)

“Think About One Thing Only”

-  I said this to Mother Eagle last night.  Her response was, “What?”  Like asking, “What is the one thing you want me to think about it?”

- I told her it wasn’t for me to decide!  It is your choice.  You decide what the one thing it is to think about.  Is it Jesus? Buddha?  Salvation? Enlightenment? Nirvana? Truth? Freedom? Peace? Love? Goodness? Om?  You decide!

- Focus is so powerful.  Whatever you focus on, consistently, you will realize more fully in your life.  Every thought counts!  10 thoughts of “Peace” are better than 9, if Peace is what you’re looking for.  And, amazingly, enough thoughts of Peace assuredly do bring Peace.

On Responsibility

- “I want to accept more responsibility for everything I experience.”  This is a quote i read the other day on Steve Pavlina’s blog, and it totally inspired me.  It’s so powerful!  Did you say? Say it!

- We all benefit when we accept responsibility and stop playing the blame game.  It’s easy to paint our selves as victims, but it’s far more rewarding to accept responsibility for everything we experience, and to fully embrace being the change we want to see in the world.  If we have a problem with the world, we can fix it!  Or, we can change our perspective and watch the problem dissolve :-)

- The affirmation “I am responsible” in many ways is the first step to awakening.  I learned of this affirmation originally from Brian Tracy, then found it on a YouTube series about Awakening as the first step of twelve or so to Awakening.  The series was also big on self-education.  Nevertheless,  you are responsible!  This empowers you.  You are free and responsible to create anything and everything you desire, as well as perhaps realize that blissful state beyond desires, where you’re just basking in the perfection and glory of it all :-)

On Hugging Trees

- Do it.  It’s healing.

- When you hug a person, a tree, anything – realize how thought somewhat cease.  Yet, if you hold the hug long enough, perhaps they come back.  And maybe they wander to what you’ll be having for dinner, but wait!  That’s so rude, isn’t it?  To think about dinner while you’re engaged in this wonderful loving expression of a hug with another being?

-  Imagine you’re embraced in an Eternal hug with the Present Moment.  You’re always hugging something, even if it’s just air.  So, keep those thoughts focused, sending love and kindness, peace and joy to whatever it is you’re hugging.  When you’re sharing love through a hug, it only makes sense to give of your very best, which means focusing your thoughts on the highest good, whatever that is to you :-)

- Also, recently when i’ve been hugging trees – the thought struck me, “I could do this forever.”  Or, “I could do this until i die.” There is immense freedom in loving gestures.  Whether it’s hugging someone or something, writing letters, greeting people with warmth and affection, smiling at people…all of these acts are supported by all humanity.  Humanity loves love!  So if you love, you’ll always be provided for.  Or, even if you’re not – there’s nothing to fear! Because you’re loving – which in any moment is the best any of us can do – so be free :-)  Free to Love!

& Gratitude!

The Quickest Way to Get Rich and Manifest Financial Abundance

Give it all away!

That’s right, the quickest way to get the perfect amount of money for you is to first give away all the money you already have.

Essentially, in giving your money away, you’re acting as if you are already financially abundant, and sure enough – you are.

Give, give, give, give, give, and you shall receive abundantly!

Part of me is speaking from experience, and then also, just this morning – my suspicions were confirmed.

Brian Tome, pastor of Crossroads Church, a church that began with only 12 members  15 years ago and today hosts more than 12,000 people- that’s huge! – he runs his church by spending all the money they receive, pretty much immediately.  At a recent talk he gave, he shared that the church saves enough money to keep it open for three weeks.  Other than that, it spends all of it!

And think about it – how inspiring is it to hear that someone is willing to receive your money and save it up for a rainy down?  No one wants to hear that!

People want to hear that their money will be well spent and put to use immediately.  The rainy day we are saving for is today!

The very best is upon us, today.  There is no need to wait to pull out the finest china, and fancy glasses and embroidered placemats.  Today is the day!  Today is a day worthy of all the best we have to offer.

And today is the perfect day to give, give, give, give!  Invest in the future.  Investing is active; saving is passive.  No one is inspired by saving!  People are inspired by investing in a more abundant and wonderful future, and people will give to people fearlessly give themselves.

From what i understand, Gandhi essentially lived without money.  And, from what i understand, he gave away more money than probably 99% of the world’s population today.  Because he demonstrated detachment from money and had no desire to keep for himself, people wanted to give him money by the truckload! And he would ride around trains in India just throwing money out the window.  That’s how abundant he was.

Especially operating from the perspective of Oneness, and embracing the idea that we are interconnected, interdependent, and interbeing – giving is the best thing you can do for the whole.  And, giving to anyone is giving to yourself.  So there’s never any loss.  Giving is simply an abundant behavior, and the more you give the more receive, whether physically or metaphysically.  The gifts always come back around!   In serving, we are served.  In giving, we receive.

Imagine someone giving you money who you know has little to no money.  Like, you walk on the street and a poor person offers you five dollars.  For one, you’d be stunned.  For two, you might not accept the money.  And three, you’d probably be then inclined to give him money!  He’s showing you how financially abundant he is – demonstrating that he has more than enough – and because he shows you how he abundant he is, his abundance moves you to want to demonstrate your own financial abundance as well.  And, even if you don’t end up offering him any money, at least you would walk away from the experience questioning your relationship with money and why someone who apparently has very little money would offer you what little he has.

It’s like the story from the Bible of the woman who gave 99% of her fortune, which was maybe only a dollar, or a few pennies, in contrast to the man who gave 10% of his fortune, which was maybe $10,000.  But the one who receives the greater reward is the woman who gave only the pennies, because she theoretically gave more of herself.  The more we give, the more receive.

Giving is abundance.  If we want abundance, we’ve got to feel and act abundant.  And that means giving.  That means not desiring but instead appreciating what we already have, and realizing how much we have to give and to share.

Here’s my plan for manifesting financial abundance this Christmas.

What little money i do have, i’m giving it to people.

And i know that they’re going to be somewhat shocked that i have any money to give them in the first place.

And then they’ll probably think, ‘Well golly, this guy who has practically no money just gave me an abundance.  And here I am, who thought i was the one financially prosperous, and i barely gave him anything…what’s that about it?  I guess I can give him more, certainly at least i can give him more than he gave me!”

And even if that isn’t the receiver’s stream of thought, and even i don’t receive any financial abundance in return, i’m totally at peace with that, because either way i am financially abundant.  The beautiful thing is abundance is all a matter of perspective.  And, like the wonderful song goes, “Tis a gift to be simple.”  When you live simply and have very few desires, you can experience financial abundance right now.  In fact, right now we are all already financially abundant, and we are also totally scarce and lacking.  See, it’s all perspective, and it can even change moment to moment.  Giving is a definite way to affirm the abundance of Creation that is our birthright, whereas hoarding/saving is a way to live more in the realm of scarcity and lack.

For abundance, give!

God provides.  No matter how much you have, your body isn’t going to live forever anyway.  Besides, the experience beyond the human one is probably totally awesome anyway, just like this one :-)

The key to abundance is to realize you already are abundant. And embrace your abundance!  Consider, how would an abundant person act?

They would give, give, give, give, give!

Brian Tome runs Crossroads, a totally abundant megachurch that hosts thousands of people weekly, and he only saves up enough money to keep the church running for 3 weeks at a time.  Other than that, all he does with the money is give, give, give, give, give!

Giving is inspiring.  Giving inspires more giving.  Your example of giving will inspire more people to give more abundantly too, and slowly but surely we will always realize more abundantly our own abundance :-)

Love and Gratitude!

p.s.  so grateful for this abundance!!!

p.p.s.  The number one relationship to work in your life is your relationship with the Eternal, the Permanent.  And your relationship with the Eternal might not be that much different from your relationship with the Present Moment.  Basically, more and more, love your Present Moment, love the Eternal.  If…if…you want to experience love and abundance :-)

A Reflection on Seven Days of Silence

One of my favorite Tony Robbin affirmations…”Now I am the Voice!”

Wow.  Where to begin. Silence is different!

Let me just try to bullet point, because trying to organize it all mentally is kind of exhausting :-)

1.  The voice is powerful.  A lot of conversation takes place that doesn’t have to.  The old saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” is totally profound.  Imagine everyone living the fullness of that idea.  There might be a lot of silence, but also we’d only have good things to think about :-)  How much news media and common conversation is littered with negativity that we’d all be better for without?

2.  You can communicate with the breathe.  And the meaning is more powerful than words. We’re all familiar with the sound of a long sigh of relief, as well as a deeper sigh of disappointment.  Human beings have vast communicative possibilities, and probably the more profound communication is beyond words.

3.  Our physical presence communicates an affirmation of whatever we are around, wherever we are.  When we leave, that communicates that “we’re moving on,” or “we have other things to do,” or possibly something else.  The point is, just being somewhere affirms it, so you don’t necessarily have to tell everyone how much you like them – they can pick up on it just being aware that you are there.  And of course, when you leave, they know that you’re done with them ;-)

4.  One line that really began to resonate with me over the couple days…”You are taking part in the greatest!”   I think that was first said by Rilke.  And William James said something similar, “Believe that life is worth living and soon it will reveal itself to be.”  Life is awesome!  Just being is amazing!  Nothing needs to happen externally for us to be filled with awe and wonder.  Everything is a miracle.  No one can explain the totality of existence…there’s just too much of it!  In any given moment, and in every moment, we can embrace the vastness and infinite nature of Creation.  It’s way cool.  And essentially, this means that we always have the perfect reason to have the biggest smile we can muster on our faces – We are taking part in the greatest!  We exist!!!

5.  To prepare to have a good conversation with someone, write down questions that you’re interested in hearing their answer.  It’s not about what you want to say – but it’s more about tuning into the unique experiences that have been a part of your friends life and you are curious about how their experiences shape their worldview.  A few nights ago, in the midst of the week of silence, two nuns were set to come over to dinner, and i was planning to remain silent.  I was completely at peace with it, though, because i spent some time thinking and preparing an abundance of questions that i thought they’d enjoy answering and i’d enjoy listening to.  Questions shape conversation, and if you spend time before a gathering to brainstorm really good questions, you’ll have a really good time :-)  Instead of just asking simpler questions like “How’s the family?” maybe you’ll connect more deeply by asking “What miracles do you want to occur in your life?” or “What matters most to you?”  Questions like these are such a gift, to everyone!, because they advance all of consciousness in a direction that is thoughtful, meaningful, and considerate of the long-term and infinite possibility of creation.

6.  Even though i’ve officially broken the silence with a few chants and Oms, i still feel no inclination to speak to people, perhaps because i see conversation as largely unnecessary and excessive.  Who needs small talk?  Let’s be real!  We can express our love in a variety of other ways, for example with a big smile, a hug, maybe a shoulder rub.  Or, we can write a letter, which ensures a higher quality of communication than an impromptu conversation because significant thought and planning goes into the creation of a letter.  Just like preparing for a conversation with questions, everything is better with preparation!  Although, spontaneity has it’s place too.  Like…Now :-)  Abundance!

7.  Living without speaking was enjoyable.  It was fun!  One of the greatest perks about it was how easy i found it to keep a positive attitude and open, loving vibration towards people as they spoke.  Even if they were nagging me about being in silence – Papa Bear loves to do this ;-) – no matter how harsh the words might have been, sending love and goodness still remained rather easy.  The heart naturally felt open regardless of whatever words were being spoken to me.

8.  I seemed to eat an abundant amount of food…you might even say excessive!  I’ve reasoned this is a bit as a psychological trick.  Basically, the idea is that the energy center of the mouth produces a certain amount of total input/output daily.  Because i stopped speaking, the output went to basically zero.  Thus, i think i felt inclined to eat more just to ‘give the mouth the attention’ that it normally getting with actions of speaking.  It would also make sense to think i’d be eating a lot less since i was speaking less…but i suppose i still kept that mouth pretty active.  It’d be very interesting to a day a fast with silence and just give the mouth a complete rest for a few days…I wonder how that would turn out!

9.  On a physical level, i had something pretty intense happen the first or second day of silence, and it continued up until yesterday.  Basically, i’d occasionally feel a very sharp pain in the heart area, lasting for maybe less than a second.  Sharp and brief and it would go away.  This continued for several days.  After some googling, the most reasonable explanation was that it was a sign of gas.  Normally, with speaking, we do a far amount of exhaling out the mouth, which is kind of like burping – a way to relieve pressure in the system and put out some gas!  So, without the speaking, naturally there was more buildup of gas in the system.  Additionally, with eating more, there was even more gas without a way to get out.  So…i think that pretty much explains it.  And, thankfully, after a few days of eating less food and practicing more hatha yoga and doing pranayama (breathing practices, including kapabalati – rapid abdominal breathing while exhaling through the nostrils) the sharp heart pain has ceased.  Hallelujah :-)

–>  Before i determined that the pain was a result of gas, it totally connected me more with death, thinking that i might die at any second!  And either way, it is true :-)  Hard to connect with the Reality of death in the present moment, but it is always a possibility!  So this sharp heart pain was really a gift because it reminded me of the inevitable death of this body and helped me connect more with what matters most, which is why blog production was pretty high over the past week…i felt like i better share something in case the body kicks the bucket! :-)

10.  On December 1, i began what i thought was a 30-Day Challenge to have this watch vibrate every 5 minutes while awake, reminding me to express gratitude, take a deep breath, and maybe laugh and do a little dance.  It’s fun.  Alas, after only about a week of having the watch turned on, i found myself in the silence, and having the vibrating function turned off. Interestingly, last time i did a 30-Day Challenge with the watch was a year ago last December, and for that challenge i had it audibly beeping every 7 minutes.  At the end of that challenge, about 25 days into it, i found myself at the Abbey of Gethsemane, a place where monks live and everyone who visits practices silence.  So, the first time, being reminded every 7 minutes, i find myself in silence after about 25 days.  The 2nd time around, a year later, being reminded me every 5 minutes, i’m in silence after only a week!  I wonder how quickly i’d go into the silence if it was set for every 3 minutes…

–>  What’s the significance of this observation?  For starters, i think it attests to the power of that which is beyond words and that which is beyond our habitual way of doing things – that which is spontaneous and forever in the Present Moment.  The watch reminders are a way to stop and reconnect with what matters most, even if that just means taking a deep breathe, smiling, and expressing gratitude.  Being reminded often enough of this can move us to new experiences and open doors of possibility, hence i found myself with perfect opportunities to go to Gethsemane and practice silence at home with the parents.

11.  Not much else to say for now ;-)  In case you’re wondering, the watch is back on!  So maybe i’ll re-enter the silence soon, although i guess i’m still technically in it aside from a few chants.  Mother Eagle is home now, and i’m not all too inclined to speak, nor do i think she’s aware that the week is officially over.  It’s kind of difficult imagining breaking the silence.  Is it immensely significant whatever the first spoken words are?  Perhaps this is one of the reasons why i’m inclined to remain in the silence :-)

12.  Ah yes, “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you Free.”  The seven days of silence began after a bit of a feud with Mother Eagle, where she basically told me to stop talking, at which point i wrote down on a post-it, “Tuesday 10:10 AM: I am practicing silence for the next week.”  And then, BAM!  So it is written.  The first couple days, i encountered lots of resistance from the parents, especially Papa Bear.  He was not down with the silence.  But, it is much easier to persist in the face of adversity when you are committed to honoring your word, honoring your personal truth.  And in honoring your personal truth you are set free!  Regardless of whatever happens externally, including people getting really angry at you for being silent, you are free to abide in your truth.  Ultimately, if i was speaking and explained that i want to honor my word above all else, i think virtually every human being would respect that decision.  Our word is bond!  And the more we honor our word, the more we realize our creative power, and realize that we are the Truth!  Each one of us :-)

Love and Gratitude in Superabundance!

Thank you, thank you, thank you

Namaste (Bowing is a great way to communicate beyond words) :-)

Food! And Why It’s Not Such a Big Deal

Granted, what we eat and how we eat and how much we eat can have a pretty strong impact on the quality of our consciousness and moment-to-moment experience…but you’ll notice that in any spiritual text, food does not play a central role.  As much as it does play a central role in our lives, we probably engage with it at least two times a day, if not twenty ;), yet the spiritual texts seem to place it as an afterthought.  Why is that?

There are greater things to concern ourselves with than human life on this earth.  There is the entire splendor of the cosmos for us to consider.

Yet, while given life in the human form, it’s incredibly valuable to keep it going.  The older we become, the more experience and ideally wisdom we’ve cultivated that can add immense value to society.  And, who knows, we might have a lightbulb moment, too.  Ding!

The older a mind/body grows, you can imagine it increases in value.  Experiences are relatively priceless, so people with more experience are even more priceless than people with less!  (All priceless, though :-)).

Because human life is so valuable and is packed with all kinds of potential to create and realize awesomeness in the world, we want to keep it going at all costs.  There is, essentially, no price too high to continue to sustain life that is highly functional.  Just the whole amount of energy invested in carrying the baby in the womb for 9 months alone…that’s huge!

So we want to keep life going.

Of course :-)

This might sound a bit specie-ist, and it almost certainly is, but…let’s pretend a human life carries with it more value than a dog’s life.  The human mind/body can create more experiences in the world than a dog, although a dog is so outrageously good at unconditionally loving…so there’s a bit of a snaffoo.  But just for the sake of this article, pretend human life is more valuable than any other form of life, mainly because of the mind’s ability to think and reason and understand and create abundance.

Switching gears…at a certain point along the spiritual journey, one inevitably confronts death, and possibly overcomes the fear of death.  Another possibility is that an individual seriously considers ending their own life, just to discover the mystery a bit more quickly.  For anyone whose ever done any philosophical thing, suicide almost certainly sneaks a peak into the window of consciousness, if only for a split second.

So what keeps the individual from suicide if that would solve the mystery and unveil the next step?  One thing..enjoyment of the human experience!  Sure, as Sartre said, “Hell is other people,” and Scott Peck is all about, “Life is difficult,” so there are certainly challenges we face and obstacles to overcome and sometimes we think it’s too much, but there are a few foundations of the human experience that can keep us here for a long time.

One of these temptations that keeps us embodied and we enjoy almost every single day is…food!!!  Food is so enjoyable, right?  Why suicide when you have delicious food to enjoy?

Because “life is difficult,” life also wants to provide us with rewards to alleviate our situation.  Food is one of the great gifts from Mother Nature, almost always enjoyable.

The Buddhist tradition is fairly big into the vegetarian decision, based on demonstrating compassion towards all living beings. Yet, it is also one of the few traditions where you’ll find ‘holy men’ practicing self-immolation, generally as some form of protest.  Buddhists have burned themselves alive to make some sort of point.  So, here we have a tradition espousing compassion towards all living beings, yet a practitioner meanwhile lights himself on fire…that doesn’t sound too compassionate.  What’s the deal?

Looking at the Christian tradition, there is a teaching of unconditional live, yet this rarely shows up in the form of showing compassion to all living beings, non-violence, and non-harm/non-eating of animals.  I do know of a few Catholic sects of priests who practice vegetarianism, like the Franciscans and Cistercians / Trappists, but they seem to be an exception to the rule.  So, interestingly, Christians, whose central point of their tradition is belief in Jesus as the Son of God, and then something like unconditional love perhaps comes second to that…Christians eat animals, so perhaps there’s some harm and violence being done, yet there are no accounts of Christians self-immolating, as far as i’m aware.  There are, however, a good amount of Christian martyrs, who could have saved their lives if they detached from some of their words / beliefs, so who knows…

Miracles!

The main point i guess i wanted to make…

–> If you take away people’s enjoyment of food, like start telling regular McDonald’s goers that they’re better off eating way more fruits and vegetables and no processed foods…they might possibly lose incentive to live.  People get way  excited about food! And it’s not like any human beings want other human beings to not starve…we’d all prefer that we have food over not having food, even if that food might be an animal, because we realize the immense value and potential that a human mind/body carries with it.  So, whatever food an individual is putting, thank goodness!  Eating demonstrates interest in continuing to live in a human body and have a human experience.  It’s easy to become so disenchanted with the human experience that we stop eating altogether, so thank goodness people are eating something :-)

–>  Eat food! And enjoy it.  Benefit people with the energy you consume.  Keep on growing in knowledge and experience and enhancing your ability to contribute and understand this wonderful world!

My guess is the Buddha and Jesus didn’t talk so much about food because they wanted people to keep living, no matter what.  Sometimes, if you talk about the ethics behind vegetarianism / veganism, it can disgust a meat-eater so much that they don’t know what to do, and maybe they start feeling guilty and depressed and this and that and who wants that?  That helps no one!  So it’s best to focus on the Higher Principles and Teachings behind our earthly, humanly way of living.

Buddha’s teachings often start with, “What we are is what we have thought,” and for Jesus one might start with, “Love thy neighbor as thyself.”  So yes, both are aware that generally humans eat food every day, and this helps keep the body alive, without having it for a few weeks it would no longer live…yet what is more significant than the foods you eat is what you’re directing the energy towards.  Jesus guides us to direct it towards loving our neighbors.  Buddha’s light leads us to realize how powerful our thoughts are, and to focus the mind on pure and noble ideas.

As you might have guessed, i just ate.  It was delicious.  And as far as i’m aware, no animals were harmed in the producing of any of the tasty ingredients that comprised the meal.  Yet, even if they were, i think many people would willingly trade the lives of even 100 chickens, perhaps 1000, or a million!, to keep a human being alive.  There is something sacred about the human life, and also something sacred about the chicken’s life.  Perhaps this sounds like speciesism again, and maybe it is!, but alas.  Every form of life dies anyway, and we do want to promote the flourishing of all forms of life as best we can.  But let’s not pretend like these bodies or any animal or insect bodies live forever!  Death of bodies is part of Reality, and there’s nothing to say it’s a bad thing.  After all, no one knows for certain what happens once the body dies or how the experience of consciousness changes…for all anyone knows the animals that die in meat/dairy production could go on to experiencing something way more abundant than life one earth.  Who knows!

Well, God-Willing, at least one person benefited from this post, and no one was harmed!  Therein rests all the ingredients for a perfect yogic action.  Benefit at least one, harm none.  Hallelujah!

Love & Gratitude