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.
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…):
– 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!
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.