Great Movie: The Big Blue

Ahh, so liberating.

Without spoiling it, I’ll say that i watched it a few days ago.

Shortly after, maybe a day later, the phrase, “To Thee, O Lord, I devote my life,” came across my path.

And, let’s just say, the two go hand in hand.

We can live for the temporary, or we can live for the eternal.  It is our choice.

Every 5 minutes, as this magical watch buzzes, i mentally repeat, “To Thee, O Lord, I devote my life,” and amazingly, I find myself being able to engage in a wide variety of activity while feeling harmonized with that powerful thought.

Serving God doesn’t mean renouncing certain activities.  It may mean renouncing certain attitudes.

As Eckhart Tolle mentions, what matters is not so much what we do, but how we do.

As Gandhi said, “Do it with joy or not at all!”

And recently, I’m discovering that there might be higher experiences than joy.  Sometimes, to grow more in God, we might even be asked to surrender our joy.  We can ultimately surrender it all to God, trusting completely.

Ahh, so grateful.

Om Om Om Om

Hallelujah :-)

Praise the Lord!

How to Evolve

Live more and more as you imagine Ideal God would live in human form.  After all, maybe this Ideal God is in you – who knows!

How would Ideal God live?

Kind to All.  Compassionate and Caring to All.  Serving all equally.  Radiating Love.  Accepting everyone and everything.  Enjoying the Present Moment.  Appreciating the wonders of Creation.

Living Eternally.  Taking nothing for granted.

It’s not about doing.  It’s about Being. Just Being.

Giving ourselves rules to operate by can help, but ultimately the rules of men are just rules; there is greater Law that cannot be broken, and ultimately it’s best that we abide by Law :-)

Instead of  concerning yourself with the rules of whatever organization you see yourself a part of, concern yourself with the Law of your heart.  Listen to the Heart.

The Law is Peace, and if something seems out of harmony, your peace may disappear.  In which case, return to it immediately!  Give yourself the gift of Peace as a foundation.  Operate from a center of Peace.

“Peace is every step.”  “Peaceful ends by peaceful means.”

“Hatred does not cease by hatred.  Hatred ceases only by Love.”

Start with Peace and Love and go from there!

Another way to evolve…

Increasingly surrender everything to God.  Offer it all up, dedicate all of it!  Each moment, dedicate and surrender.

Surrender the good times, surrender the bad times.  Know it is Divine Will.

Ask for Help and Guidance.  You will receive.  Invoke the Holy Spirit!

God Transcedent and God Immanent are One.  Connect.  Ask and you shall receive.

Read Spiritual Texts!

Bhagavad Gita, Sermon on the Mount, Upanishads, Vedas, New Testament…go for it!

Beautify the Mind.

Love Love Love!

Om Om Om OM :-)

Hallelujah!  Praise the Lord.

How to deal with annoying people

First of all, realize there is no such thing as an annoying person!  The reality is that a person demonstrates certain behavior which may annoy you, and that same behavior may not annoy someone else.  So then, the real ‘problem,’ if you call it a problem, has to do with your perspective on the person and the behavior.  As the saying goes, “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change!”

Recently, i’ve found myself annoyed, if only for a split second, at various people and their behavior.  Like, seeing someone walking with headphones annoyed me.  And sure enough, i focused on it so only a few minutes later ‘i manifested’ another person walking with headphones.  Go figure :-)

My personal remedy for feeling annoyed by the behavior of certain people – for today – has been to imagine a big stamp on their forehead that says, “GURU.”  Label the person who annoys you a Guru, and surely they are.  Everyone and everything can be a Guru.  A Guru is a teacher that literally removes us from the darkness of our ignorance and shines the light of awareness.  When we find ourselves annoyed,  that’s the Guru offering us a valuable opportunity to learn about ourselves, discover our emotional hot buttons, and resolve any inner-conflict/incongruency so that we can experience greater peace the next time around.

The Guru annoys!

Your attitude towards your entire experience of Reality can be that of a student in a great classroom.  Everything that catches your attention is offering you a message, and everything wants the very best for you, even those things that annoy you and cause pain.  The annoyance and pain offers you a perfect opportunity for growth, expanded awareness and higher consciousness!

When you find yourself annoyed, take note.  Examine it.  Slow down and consider what actually annoys you.  Accept responsibility for the feeling and know there is a lesson to learn and apply to your day-to-day living to allow for great peace and happiness in your life.

Also, back to the headphones example – i felt annoyed because i projected my own values on another person, and judged that person for engaging in behavior that i felt was less than my personal best.  As you can see, there are a lot of problems with the perspective that resulted in the annoyance.  If i remembered the frailty of the human condition and our inherent ignorance, including my own ignorance, no judgment would have occurred.  One of my favorite affirmations is, “I know nothing!” which has brought me great joy and freed me many times from the burdens of judgment and condemning.  Really, as humans, we know much closer to nothing than to everything – so let’s embrace knowing nothing and stop squandering valuable time painting others in a negative light.  I’d rather enjoy creation and learn from experience :-)

And, when you find yourself, be grateful!  Annoyance helps us become more aware and offers us a golden opportunity to reprogram our subconscious mind with a more empowering, loving, gentle perspective on Reality.

Why judge someone walking with headphones in? Why not assume the best and think they are listening to a Bible podcast?  Or remember that you, too, used to live that way?  “Just like me,” “Who knows,” and “I know nothing,” are all helpful personal statements whenever we find ourselves judging.

Perhaps judgment is the source of much annoyance?  Who knows!

If i know one thing….

Gloria in Excelsus Deo!

Why Are You Here?

Spending time to consider the answer to, “Why are you here?” can help reconnect you with your values, goals, and what matters most, to you!

Recently returning to the ashram life, i found myself struck with not knowing exactly why i was here.  What did i return for?

Then i spent time reflecting on all the benefits of this community and some of the great opportunities.  For one, it has a totally amazing library with spiritual books that i don’t know where else i could possibly find them.  There are also an abundance of swamis here who have been on the path for many years and willingly entertain any and all questions.  There’s also offered an abundance of free time in which in can do whatever i’d like: whether it’s practice meditation, hatha, walk, study, write, practice mindfulness, etc. It’s abundant!

Remember the benefits of where you are.  Remember your values.  Center your life around what matters most to you!

Remember why you are here.

Infinite Love :-)

so grateful!

How to Eat Less and Feel Better

The key is nutritional satisfaction.

Imagine there is an intelligence that operates within your mind/body that knows things that you don’t.  This intelligence, for example, knows how much of each vitamin and mineral it needs to optimally operate, and it knows this better than the nutritional statistics say on the back of cereal boxes or vitamin bottles.

When we eat food, we’re putting in nutrients into the mind/body.  These nutrients help the mind/body function and feel better.  Once the mind/body intelligence is aware of receiving enough nutrients to feel great and flourish, it communicates to the more conscious part of you, “Stop eating. We’ve had enough and are energized for thriving!”  At this point, you feel satiated and stop eating.  Ideally, at least.

What can happen is the more conscious part of ourselves might choose to eat foods for their taste, rather than their nutritional benefits.  Eating for health and the long-term goodness can be considered a more enlightened way of eating, compared to eating for short-term pleasure and long-term disease.  Who wants disease? Not me!

When we eat only for the short-term, we forget about the nutritional benefit of food for the body, and when we eat this way sometimes we don’t reach that level of Nutritional Satisfaction that triggers a signal to tell us to stop eating.  So what do we do?  We keep eating!

If we’re not giving the mind/body what it needs to feel nutritionally satisfied, what are we to do?

For one, eat the healthier foods that provide the vital minerals and nutrients that will then trigger a healthy response to stop eating, because you are nutritionally satisfied!

For two, and perhaps more feasibly in this wonderful world we live in, supplement!  That is, enjoy the abundance of goodness that can be found in so many multivitamins :-)

My favorite multivitamin is called The Source of Life, pretty inspiring name for a multivitamin if you ask me.  Perhaps a bit blasphemous too, but perhaps not ;-)

And, just so you know, i’d say almost any multivitamin is well worth the cost.  Since I began taking the full amount suggested of the Source of Life daily multivitamin, i find myself eating so much less.  The vitamin, taken in its full dose, costs about one dollar per day, and because of it i’d say i’m eating around $5-$10 less food per day…still feeling great!  Because it provides an abundance of nutrients that trigger the nutritional satisfaction response, I rarely feel hungry.  The mind/body knows it has what it needs.

Also….something to consider…

The vitamin and mineral percentages on food items and pill bottles are more like daily minimums than they are daily maximums.  So if you see something that says it fulfills 100% of your daily vitamin C needs, that’s great, and at the same time – feel free to have more vitamin C!  More than getting more carbs or proteins or fats, what we’d all surely benefit from is more vitamins!  And, note that the foods with the highest natural occuring vitamins and minerals are fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.  Animal products have virtually no vitamins in them.  Animal products do have minerals in them like calcium, but that can also be found in an abundance of fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.

To reduce cravings and eat healthier, to lighten up and feel better, take a multivitamin first thing in the morning!  It will immediately begin to trigger a signal that says “I am nutritionally satisfied.  Maybe just giving me a few carbs and some fiber and we are ready to thrive!”  AKA, with enjoying an abundant multi-vitamin in the morning, you’ll maybe just desires some fruits and vegetables, but really you might not be hungry at all.  And you’ll feel great!  It’s awesome.

One more thing, regarding methods of eating healthier…

Beginning the day with a multivitamin is awesome.  Beginning the day with a probiotic and a big glass of water is also awesome.

Another great supplement to start the day with…Apple Cider Vinegar!

Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar is one of the best real world examples of short-term pain and long-term gain.  It’s difficult to find a person who actually enjoys the taste of Apple Cider Vinegar, and it’s also difficult to find someone who doesn’t enjoy the effects of it!  Apple Cider Vinegar is great for digestion and also contributes a boost of energy.  It makes you feel alive!  It’s really intense to drink by itself, but it’s totally worth it.  And perhaps the best part about drinking it in the morning is your behavior communicates a message to your entire self that says, “When i put liquids or foods into this body, it’s more for health and long-term goodness than it is short-term pleasure.”  Drinking ACV is a  great way orient yourself to the long-term, and to then continue to make decisions based on the long-term throughout the rest of your day.

To re-cap…

Enjoy an abundant multi-vitamin!  This will save you money in so many ways, and it will save you time, and it will add to the quality of your life and longevity!  I’ve read that the only proven method for consistently increasing lifespan is systematic under-eating, and with a multivitamin it is so much easier to ‘undereat,’  because you are still nutritionally satisfied!  It’s a total win/win/win/win/win.  And, perhaps most significantly, you are worthy of it!  Believe you are worthy, and you are.

Probiotics are also a great investment in health.  They will almost certainly pay for themselves in saving you visits to the doctor.

Apple Cider Vinegar is a great way to start the day.  Orient yourself to the long-term and watch how beautiful every moment becomes.  Brian Tracy might call this decision, “Eat that frog!”  The idea, do something in the morning that maybe unsettles you in the short-term, but you know it’s sooooo good for you in the long-term.  And this is how champions are born :-)

Another great example of eating the frog in the morning is meditation, until of course meditation becomes incredibly enjoyable, and then it’s no frog at all!

Above all…know that the greatest healing comes from the Mind, and comes with awareness.  More than any foods can heal us, whatever we give our attention to and where we direct awareness has incredible potential to heal us, energize us, and help us feel amazing.  As a simple example, if you notice pain anywhere on your body, just begin thinking about people you love dearly, or some of your favorite teachers in life, perhaps your favorite books, think of so many wonderful experiences you’ve had and all the people you are grateful for!  You’ve probably forgotten about the pain already :-)

Either way…

Infinite Love, Infinite Compassion, Infinite Gratitude

p.s. If you’re ever nervous or anxious about something, you can say, think, and feel, “I dedicate this all to you Lord, God – so whatever happens – it’s on you!”  Offer it up to God and you are free from concerning yourself with what happens next :-)

(And, if you find yourself having trouble dedicating something to God or to Goodness, then that’s a good sign that you’re not fully aligned with the decision and maybe it’s better to not go through with it.  Start with your Peace, align with your Conscience, so that feel comfortable dedicating it all to the Highest, then go for it!)

Hallelujah!

What did i Learn this holiday season?

Holiday…Holy Day.  A weekly Holy Day, like a sabbath.   It’s a great way to live.  No work…maybe even no electricity.  Just be with God in a simple, universal, profound way.

Food!  Wow.  More than ever, i experienced how powerfully food can affect the quality of my consciousness.  Several times this holiday season, i expressed pretty intense emotion towards family, usually in the format of condemning them for some behavior like eating meat, or being attached to material possessions….and these outbursts only happened ‘under the influence of dairy.’  Far from like my normal sober self, i felt rather intoxicated by the sugary sweets, so much so that i almost want to look at those types of foods as an enemy.  Meanwhile, i know that the issue was not only a matter of consuming processed sugar or dairy, but it was also in excess.  One or two of anything is fine and actually i think can be very beneficial for freeing oneself from dogmatic attachments to ‘how things should be.’  When you start having 10, 15, 20, pieces of candy…that’s when you have ‘problems.’  Hehe, silly sweet tooth.  Thank goodness at the ashram there is a limited supply of sweets, an abundance of healthy food!

Just remembered…on the first day or second day that i arrived home this holiday season,  Mother Eagle read to me a passage from the Bible by Paul, talking about how he has learned how to live well in the land of abundance and also in conditions of poverty.  Mother Eagle attributed me with the same skills, yet after this holiday season, i think it’s safe to say it’s still a work in progress!  I used to have a shirt that said, ‘Under Construction,’ and i realize that as a very true statement.  Sri Swami Satchidananda said one of the first steps along the spiritual journey is taming the tongue, both with what and how we speak and what and how we eat.  So, cheers to returning to a mindfulness practice and eating 80/20 raw, vegan, foods :-)  Salad in abundance!!!

Enjoying health is a wonderfully simple, universal way of being in the world.

….

Bow.  Bowing to people is wonderful.  It’s humbling and fun too.  Bowing is a great reason to smile.  Bowing is a way we communicate something far greater than words can convey.

The human mind/body is like a machine.  How do you want your machine to run? What you put into the machine is the fuel you run on and it certainly affects your experiences.  Thoughts are fuel, people are fuel, foods are fuel.  The more we upgrade the fuel we put into the human mind/body, the more we upgrade our moment-to-moment experience.

Sangha!  The power of people around you.  Who do you let influence you?  It’s been said, we are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with.  Hence, living in Cincinnati and living at the ashram, i find there are 2 different Brad Buechners.  And really, there are an abundance of them!  Furthermore, the 2 Brads are so different that one of them even goes by Siva (ashram Brad :-)).

If you want to improve the quality of your life, improve the quality of the people you spend time around.  Surround yourself with people who you love and admire.  And if this is challenging to do physically, for one – embrace the challenge! – and two, you can do it with books.  Read books and watch YouTube videos of people you admire and respect.  For me, these are people like Thich Nhat Hanh, Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, Teilhard de Chardin,  Scott Peck, Steve Pavlina, Leo Babuata, Eckhart Tolle, David Hawkins, and beyond!  The internet is amazing…it’s so cool that we can experience so much of a person through a screen.  The world is so small!

Have a goal.

The mind is awesome, and super powerful, and it flourishes when we give it a direction to go in.  The more clearly we know what we want, the easier it is for us to receive it.

KFC: Know what you want, Find out what you’re getting, Change what you’re doing until you get what you want.

Books rock!

I’ve found social interactions to be more easeful on days when i read.  Words flow easier, and the mind brims with good ideas that it wants to share.  At the same time, i just read last night about how literacy largely ended the oral tradition of primal religions.  Yet, people of primal religions are phenomenal storytellers and have amazing memories (so do blind people, apparently).  Having a great memory and being able to tell awesome stories are two qualities that i’d love to realize more fully, so after this hefty holiday season of reading and writing, i might take a break for a while and embrace the oral tradition!

Then again, learning is so fun!!!

Books are more than just books.  You might call them spell books.  Depending on what books we read, they help shape our perspective on reality.  Reading Eckhart Tolle books, i find myself so much more present (lol…as i look in front of me i just noticed a big beautiful red flower…thanks Eckhart :-)).  When i read Steve Pavlina and Deepak Chopra, i notice more synchronicities and dreamlike qualities of reality.  Reading Sermon on the Mount every morning, i found many people talking to me about ‘Ask and Receive’ and various teachings of the sermon.

So, our thoughts create reality.  Or, at least they strongly affect our reality.  Books are filled with thoughts, so choose wisely.

There is great freedom in giving.  If you simple seek to give, you’ll find abundant support.   In giving, we receive.  Similarly, giving is its own reward.  It feels great to give!

Enjoy the mind.

the mind is amazing.  It’s way cooler than any television show.

Jack Canfields ‘5 things to do every day’ (more like 8 or so…):

– Meditate

– Aerobic exercise in the morning.  Good for the brain and waking up!

– Learn something new.  Read something inspirational or something in your field every day.  Grow every day.

–  Express gratitude.  As he calls it, you can go on a rampage of appreciation.  Express gratitude for everything around you!

–  Reflect on the day.  Have a theme for each month, and each evening reflect on the day.  Remember moments when you act out of alignment with the theme, and replay the experience in alignment, so that mentally you have an image and understand how you can act more successfully.  An example of a theme is detachment, or purpose.  So you’d ask, “When did i not act with detachment today?”  And then replay that moment as if you did act with detachment.  Learn from daily experiences :-)

–  Write down 5 action steps every day to move you towards accomplishing your breakthrough goal.  A breakthrough is something will quantum leap you to a whole new level of being.  For me, a breakthrough goal is to earn E RYT-500, which would then allow to run yoga teacher trainings and elevate me to a whole new level!  For Jack Canfield to turn Chicken Soup for the Soul into a bestseller, it took him 14 months of performing 5 actions steps a day.  Persistence works!  How badly do you want it?

This might sound silly, but it was a big realization for me –>  Just because people are eating, you can sit quietly, not eating!  Especially if you’re feeling anxious or upset, it’s better to not eat and rather seek to enjoy the company and be the peace.  No need to conform to the act of eating if you’re uncomfortable.  Perhaps the #1 priority for healthy eating is that you feel relaxed, at ease, and peaceful.  If you compliment that with real hunger, you’re golden.

..

More fun health ideas…with cooked foods, have a digestive enzyme.  Cooked foods lose their digestive enzymes that help you digest and process the food, extracting the minerals and nutrients…so it’s very helpful to supplement with a digestive enzyme that provides the extra support.

Also, magnesium supplements are great, as are probiotics, and multivitamins!

Walking is also a wonderful activity.  So is laughing and chanting…but i guess i already knew these things ;-)

There is great peace that comes with simply being the change you want to see in the world, and not trying to change the behavior of everyone, or even thinking that you know what the best behavior is.

If you want more peace in the world, experience greater peace yourself.  There’s no need to condemn or judge anyone.  We’re all just doing the best we can.  We are all awakening!

Love inspires.

If you want to inspire a particular behavioral change, do it with love.  Speak a love language, like physical touch, gifts, acts of service, words of affirmation, or quality time.

For a while, i’ve wanted the parents to eat vegetarian or vegan foods, but i never even thought about preparing them delicious and healthy foods.  In preparing the foods, i was able to give them the gift of the food, render the act of service of preparing the food, and invest the quality time in the preparation.  In this way, you can see how food is a huge gift, full of love.  And it also requires physical touch to make it, and while you’re making it you might even tell the food how much you love it an how beautiful it is, so there you have all 5 love languages!

The point is, give.  Actions, not words.

When we use words, we’re almost certainly being hypocrites.   Actions speak louder, and are more truthful.

Give thanks in all circumstances.  Dedicate it all to God.

We all benefit from accountability.  And…possibly…the more we become aware that every moment is of cosmic significance, the more we realize universal accountability and responsibility, and the greater our lives become.

So grateful!

Hallelujah :-)

What Motivates You?

The more I find my purpose for doing any particular connected with a value, for example Peace, the easier that action becomes, and the more fulfilled I feel.

In contrast, the least fulfilling moments are when the purpose generally isn’t clear, however if I was conscious enough to state the purpose it’d probably be something like, “Short-term pleasure, enjoyment, and novelty.”  I find that curiosity and novelty are pretty good excuses to do almost anything, but maybe that’s another story ;-)

Who is inspired by short-term purposes?  What we really love is the clear long-term benefit!

How inspiring is it to know that your actions are benefiting all of humanity, setting a worthy example for all to follow, and are contributing to greater health, happiness, and holiness of mankind?  Exceptional actions fall into this category, and in some ways they are the easiest to perform because the motivation is so pure…for the good of all!

Whenever we can slow down enough to bring enough consciousness to our activity to ask, “What is my purpose?” i think we’ll generally find our behavior elevated.  Even if the answer is “short-term pleasure and enjoyment,” the ego can only tolerate that answer so long before it lifts itself up to higher motivations and long-term vision.

Now I’m asking, “What is my purpose for writing this?”  And what comes to mind is sharing something valuable that can help wake people up to a more enjoyable experience of life and to greater contribution to humanity.

That being said, I think some of the most significant activities we do each day are ones that we currently consider beneficial for everyone, and we think everyone would benefit from engaging in them every day.  Not to say we think we’re dogmatically correct about anything.  Living in a way that we believe is universal brings Peace.  For me, one example is walking 10,000 steps a day, around 4 or 5 miles.  This is an activity that i think every human being is worthy of and i think it benefits anyone who does it.  10,000 steps for happiness!  Does this mean I necessarily walk 10,000 steps every day? No…but it’s something i like to do and want to do it more and more :-)

In many ways, this is the day.  This day is all we know for certain.  So embracing John Wooden’s wisdom, “Make each day your masterpiece,” can take us a long way.  I think one of the purest motivations and easiest ways of living is striving to set a good example, worthy of emulation.  Therefore, make the day your masterpiece!  For me, currently, a masterpiece of a day looks like meditation for 30 minutes, hatha yoga for 60 minutes,  laughing for at least 5 minutes, reading for 30 minutes, writing/flow state for 30 minutes or more, listening, practicing mindful, healthy raw vegan foods, walking 10,00 steps, reflecting on the day, expressing an abundance of gratitude, hugging a tree, and appreciating nature.  If i do all those things in a day, that’s an awesome day!  And in between all those activities, service-orientation.  That is, thinking and answering, “How can i serve this present moment?  What’s the most i can do?”  When we decide to give of ourselves, we are free.  Only when we try to take do we encounter resist.

For liberation, give!  And live an exemplary life as best you can.  Step by step.  Moment to moment.  Go slowly.  This is the Moment.

Thank you!

:-)