Another Meeting with Lovely Wake Forest Police and More Peace!

Note to self and world: Examining the details of any small, beautiful thing is highly suspicious and might earn you a visit from law enforcement.

Waiting in front of the Wake Forest campus for my friends to pick me up to go serve lunch to homeless people downtown, I thought I might as well spend the time admiring some of Nature’s Beauty.

There were no oranges outside the gates of WFU so I thought I’d be safe from being reported to the police, but apparently admiring the leaves on a hedge or a spiderweb is also intensely suspicious behavior.  Within 10 minute of reveling in the beauty of the hedge and magnificence of various spiderwebs strewn across the leaves, cops showed up next to me.

1.  The first thing the policeman said: “Do I recognize you?”

2.  “You definitely might.  I was banned from campus just the other day.”

3.  “Well you know you’re on campus right now, right?”

4.  “Oh, sorry about that.  I wasn’t sure if the campus property extended beyond the entrance or not.  Well, you can go ahead and arrest me if you want to, but I’m just waiting for my friend to pick me up so we can go serve lunch to homeless people downtown.  He’ll be here in just a minute if you’d like to talk with him.”

5.  He asks to search my bag.  What did he find? Ahh!!! Oh my gosh, this man is carrying books with him.

6.  As he searches my belongings, my friend pulls up.  “Would you like to speak with him or should I just tell him to go on without me?”

7.  “No, you can tell him to wait.  Just give me and my partner a minute.”  One minute later…”Okay. You can go.  Just know that next time you might not be so lucky, and this technically is campus property so you really shouldn’t be here.”

8.  “Thank you so much!  Have a great day.”

9.  Hooray for noble intentions overcoming bureaucracy!

Peace, baby, Peace!

Being banned from campus has allowed me ample time for reflection and thoughts regarding how to bring a greater realization of inner-peace to people and thus greater Peace to the World.  I’ve also been spending a lot more time at the Samaritan Inn Ministries which does tremendous work with helping homeless people find employment and overcome addiction.  In fact, they are actually in the process of fundraising for a new facility, so if you’d like to donate some cash-money to them, please do.  If you’d like learn more about them, you can visit them here:

As far World Peace goes, though, the number one most important thing about it…

It starts with you!  If we want World Peace, we must first find peace within ourselves.  The greater Peace we experience, then the greater Peace we can bring to the world.

One of my absolute favorite parts about pursuing World Peace is that nearly everyone agrees with it to some degree.  As far as the means to World Peace go, that is up for debate, but as MLK said, “We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means.”  Peace is Every Step!

At our core, I believe we all know what Peace is, and we all know some ways that we can bring greater Peace to our lives.  If you’d like some ideas on the matter, Steve Pavlina has a great post about how we can raise our consciousness and thus experience more Peace:

For me, I think one of the simplest steps we can all make to bring about greater Peace in our own lives and in the world is to switch to a vegetarian diet.  Slaughterhouses are a source of great injustice in the world, not just for the animals, but also the people working in them who are paid to kill the animals.  Apparently, killing animals doesn’t align with the conscience of too many people, and many slaughterhouse workers suffer from depression and other mental disorders, possibly from a result of participating in animal genocide on a daily basis. Of course, they do it to pay the bills, and our society is currently structured to reward someone who is willing to kill animals.  However, if we decide to stop participating in the system that pays people to kill animals by not buying dead animals, then we can effectively lower the amount of animals killed, lower the amount of people who have to kill the animals, and save both animal and human life!  Animal by animal and person by person, we absolutely make a difference.

A vegetarian diet is a win / win / win / win / win across all boards.  It is healthier, leads to greater levels of energy, clearer thinking, saves money, and perhaps most importantly, brings more Peace to the world by protecting both human and animal life.  But hey – even if you’re doing it from a selfish standpoint – do it to optimize your energy!  Who wouldn’t want to experience greater energy?  Of course, don’t take my word for it – try it yourself!

Experience is the mother of all wisdom.  We can really only know something through personal experience.  I’ve experienced the benefits of a vegetarian and vegan diet and they are pretty wonderful – but really – you can’t trust me!  However, what you can do yourself a favor, venture outside of your comfort zone just a little bit, and try a vegetarian or vegan diet for just a day, a week, or a month.  30 days is really the way to do it, as Steve Pavlina can also share with you more about.  He is a wise guy, that Steve Pavlina.

Also…if you’d like to read just a bit more on some purely selfish reasons to consider trying a vegetarian or vegan diet, you will most certainly enjoy this read!

And – not to worry – even if you do eat dead animals and don’t feel like you are currently at a place in your life where you are willing to sacrifice your taste buds for greater health and Peace in the world,  there are plenty of other things we can all do to bring about greater Peace.  Visiting or and donating a few clicks daily is a good way to raise awareness for what we can all do on an individual level to combat some of the problems of the world.

Really though, perhaps the best way to bring about greater Peace in your own life and in the world is to simply smile.  So – here’s to smiling!

Meditating is also totally cool and a great joy.  Once again, though, don’t take my word for it. 🙂

And, here’s to you, whoever you are – you are most definitely a beautiful spirit and full of light.



Banned from Wake Forest Campus…Hallelujah!

The Practical Details of a Glorious Day 

1.  Jogged over to WFU Campus, arriving at the Pit around 8:00 to join Houston Clark and some other absurdly cool cats for a Wednesday morning prayer group.  Quite a blessing to start the day with.

2.  After sharing some prayers and love, I continued to sit in the Pit – why would I possibly leave such a beautiful place where people gather together for fellowship and feasting?

3.  Crossed paths with many awesome individuals and had some really good times with a homie named Andrew, some other champions named Sara, Professor Moss, Andy, Mike,  Charlene, Robert, Sharon, Sam, Sinclair, and certainly other gracious souls.

4.  As far as consumption goes:  anti-oxidant tea and oranges for the win!  Complimented with a food justice run to the breakfast bar to scoop all the oatmeal onto two heaping plates before it was discarded in the trash.  Goooo Food Justice!

5.  Around hour 5 of a glorious Pit Sit, after writing a fair amount of poetry, reading about Plato, and reacquainting myself with some long lost friends, an orange caught not only my eye but every essence of my being.

6. I was not really consuming this orange, so much as this orange consumed me.

7.  I was enraptured by this orange.  Like ecstasy.  A natural high higher than anything I’ve ever experienced.

8.  As Dean so eloquently put it as our paths aligned, “Ahh yes!  As though the orange is the experience itself.”

9.  I felt as though there was nothing in the world except me, the orange, and everything else was One.  Bliss, baby, bliss.

10.  Slowly, ever so slowly, I would raise a slice of the orange to my mouth.  By the time the orange was within range of actually eating it, I was usually in such a state of shaking laughter that I placed the orange down, giggling back and forth in my chair, and started over.

11. I looked up to notice some people, including fellow fraternity Brothers like Ben and Andrew sharing looks and laughs with me.  Something, Everything, was just way too funny for words.

12.  I noticed managers of the Pit floating around me, sometimes standing next to me.  This didn’t stop the laughter though.  Pit workers were also looking at me, some of them seemed a bit scared.  Outward expressions of joy for apparently no reason can be somewhat frightening.  Many people probably thought I was on drugs.  And truthfully, I was on drugs.  Antioxidants and Vitamin C will get you higher than any illegal concoction.  Couple those glorious nutrients with some enlightening reading material and writing a list of 100 questions and you will have quite the experience.  Of course, the last thing I want you to do is take my word for it.  Instead, experience it yourself!

13.  Sitting there, laughing, 4 cops joined in on the fun, and so did John Ho!  As John Ho and I talked about Life, Love, and Peace, a policeman came over to the table and asked for my information.  I told him my name and phone number and said I was a recent graduate of the school.  The policeman also asked John Ho for his I.D., to which John Ho responded, “Wait…I’m not in trouble am I?”  “No, son, you’re fine,” assured the policeman.

14.  “I’m out dude. I’m not getting arrested with you,” and so John Ho went to sit somewhere else in the land of abundance commonly referred to as the Pit.  I resumed eating my orange, laughing like a little kid.

15.  The cops moved around the corner, out of direct sight of me and my giddy behavior.  They stood in a circle discussing who knows what.  After a few more minutes of eating the orange, I started to think, “I could probably save these cops a lot of time and trouble if I just go over and talk to them.”  So I hopped up from my chair and approached the beautiful members of our society who work to protect us.

16.  I said, “Hi, is there anything I can do to help you all?”

17.  “Yeah, why are you here?”  Sargent in the building!

18.  I replied, “Well, that’s a very philosophical question, but if I was to try to answer it I would say…to love…people.”

19.  “That’s too vague. You’re going to have to do better than that.”

20.  “Okay then.  That’s about as accurate as I can get, but if you wanted to tell someone what I’m doing you might say I’m here doing ministry and fellowship.”

21.  The cops went onto explain that I was making a few people uncomfortable, to which I said that I’m not necessarily responsible for the way other people feel.  They agreed with me.

22.  They asked me a series of question, including where I was living.  Hooray for not having a permanent place of residence!

23.  After a few other questions, one asked, “Who swiped you in this morning?”  I laughed in response to this question, partially because I didn’t understand how it was relevant.  Of course, heinz site is 20/20, and now I realize that any question asked is most definitely relevant.  Unfortunately, I did not realize this at the time and didn’t initially answer the question.  At this point, the Sargent stepped aside and starting speaking on her radio.

24. The remaining 3 officers and I chatted for 5-10 minutes about Life, the truth behind healthy eating leading to greater enjoyment of life, and just a few of the wonderful reasons to be positive and enjoy the present moment.

25.  Sarge re-enters the Pow-wow with a blunt statement. “Here’s what we’re going to do.  You’re banned from campus, and you can appeal it if you want to.”

26.  “Wow.  I was not expecting that. Really?”

27.  “Yep.  You can appeal it if you want to.”

28. “Okay…I’m pretty offended that this is happening.”

28.  “Well let’s just get your stuff and move you out of here.”

So it goes.

Why Getting Banned Was Totally Awesome, Dare I say Perfect

As the police officers and I continued to talk outside, a good friend of mine crossed my path and joined me on my ceremonial escort off of campus.  We ended up spending a couple hours in a park off of Silas Creek Parkway.  We had a really fantastic conversation, and I could not be more grateful for being blessed with the opportunity to catch up with him.

What I’ve come to realize is that nothing could really happen any other way than how it happens.  In this way, everything is Perfect.  Our experience in life is always sending us exactly the message that we need for our own personal growth towards greater levels of Love, Peace, and Joy in our life.  In any given moment, we are receiving all sorts of messages from this beautiful Creation that allow us to deepen our understanding and connection with ourselves, with people, and with the Universe as a whole.

For a split second, after being told I was banned from campus, I was overcome with anxiety and grief.  Quickly, though, I tuned back in to the Beauty of the Moment and knew that what happened and continued to occur was and is absolutely for the best.  As much as being banned from campus might seem like a roadblock, in so many others way it is a Divine Blessing.

After being banned, I spent the rest of day connecting with friends and family who I haven’t spoken with in a long time – and it couldn’t have happened any other way!  Everything so beautifully flowed together, and continues to flow together as I become less and less resistant and more and more loving and accepting of everything that is.

I’ve spent a lot of time recently moving slowly and appreciating the smallest and most concise of movements with my physical body, and it was this sort of action that caused the commotion in the Pit.  I realize that one of the few things we might very well have control of in this Universe, if anything, is our physical bodies.  As Viktor Frankl claims, we also have control of our attitudes, or our emotional state of being.  So, as much as we can move our bodies and control our emotional state, then we can consciously choose to experience Love, Peace, and Joy in any given Moment.  It doesn’t matter whether we are rich or poor, black or white, or are allowed to walk onto the campus of WFU or not.  Our experience of life is largely if not completely derived from our attitude towards it all.

As one of my favorite books, Handbook to Higher Consciousness illuminates, “A loving person lives in a loving world.  A hostile person lives in a hostile world.”

I choose to live in a loving world and accept everything as good.  There is no point in trying to resist the will of Nature and of 7 billion other people – that’s just silly.  I’ve even found that resisting our own intuition is somewhat of a poor decision.  When we let go and allow our gut to guide us, we grow in greater acceptance of who we are.  As we accept ourselves more, we also accept others more, and accept everything that is, here and now.

All is good so long as we accept it and believe it as true.  However objectively bad something might look or sound, it is actually exactly perfect just the way it is.

Hallelujah! And… 🙂

Thinking About God…Love!


Love, like the idea of Goodness, is something pretty much everyone can agree on.  Do you know anyone who opposes Love?  Sometimes our actions might suggest that we are not loving, but ultimately I think we all would agree that we would rather Love than Not Love, and rather Be Loved than Not Be Loved.

Love and Goodness are pretty much the only two concepts me thinks are universally agreed upon as good.  Well, obviously goodness is good, but grasping goodness is a lifelong pursuit, and really a continuous pursuit throughout history.  Socrates may have been one of the first people to kick off the party with his question, “What is the good?” and since then we’ve all been trying to figure out what is good for our own lives and good for the world.

What is good?  Love is good!  Then, what is Love?  Ahh – tricky.  Love is…Love.  Do like Nike says and Just Do It!  We all know Love when we receive it.  It is a feeling that pervades our reality and not something we can ignore.  Unfortunately, sometimes I think that our culture has created a perception of Love to the point where it’s practically taboo.

Have you ever told a stranger that you love them?  I do from time to time, and it is usually received pretty well, but often times the people I’m with will shun me and tell me that I cannot go around telling people I love them…but why not?  Love is perhaps the purest manifestation of beauty in the universe, so why would we possibly try to hide it away and act like it doesn’t exist?

By our very nature, we all like to Love, or perhaps Love to Love would be the better way to put it. We also Love to receive Love.  So…let’s stop acting like we aren’t allowed to do just that.  Love is ours to give and to receive all the time.  We do not have to wait for some magical moment to Love.  Love is always with us, on the tips of our fingers, on the tip of our tongue – it is there waiting to be given with a hug or a smile or a hello.

A common misconception about Love is that Love is difficult.  But no no – Love is easy.  And, Love is its own reward.  Love does not necessitate that we give our last dollar to a homeless man or offer our unconditional services and hospitality to anyone who crosses our path – although those are certainly loving acts – but actually Love can radiate from the smallest of gestures.  Just thinking about Love is an act of Love.  You can walk past people on the street and simply think, “I love you,” and that alone is Love.  You don’t even have to speak it!

When we focus on Love, think about Love, and Be Love, Love radiates from our core.  It envelops us like a bright light shining for all to see.  When we perceive Love, then our actions, whatever they will be, automatically will radiate greater Love.

Do not be deceived by cultural programming to think that Love is only attainable through self-sacrifice and worship of a green piece of paper.  Love is pretty much the best thing ever, and Love is Here & Now.  You don’t have to do anything to experience Love.  And actually, doing nothing – just being – is a primary way to become more aware of Love that is always with us.

Do yourself a favor and shut yourself down as much as you can, if only for a minute.  Stop functioning like a cultural robot.  Sit down on the floor, breathe, close your eyes, and experience Love.

Looking at a Pile of Dirt: The Quest for Perfection

There is a passage in the Bible from the book of Matthew somewhere in the midst of The Sermon on the Mount.  It reads, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

Hmm…that sounds like a pretty tall order.  Moreover, does anyone actually want to be perfect?  Sounds kind of OCD, right?  In order for such a request as perfection to make any sense to us, we first have to define perfection.

I’m not a dictionary, so I’m not going to define it, but I will share some thoughts on it!  The way I see it – perfection, to each individual, is nothing more than a complete realization of their ideal experience of life.  What is your ideal experience?

If you know your ideal, then you can start moving in the direction of realizing it in your life.  If you don’t know your ideal, then you will be like one of this little kids in the pool who flaps vigorously trying to stay afloat, really wishing he had some floaties.   Knowing our ideal provides support for us in times when we otherwise think we’re drowning.  If we have our ideal firmly established, then we can look at any situation in our lives and derive meaning from it as it relates to us realizing our ideal life.

Thinking about ideals…that’s still a lot to handle.  Most of us would probably agree on a general ideal for all people like Peace or an experience of Unconditional Love and Joy, but that is still pretty abstract and difficult to comprehend or know how to move towards.

In order for us to bring such an ideal to our reality, we have to piece apart our lives so that we can have a clearer understanding of who we really are and where our areas of primary growth may be so that we experience our ideal to a greater extent.

Playing with the Dirt

This morning I went for a walk to throw away some trash.  On the way back, I walked very slowly and paid attention to the minute details of life.  I stopped several times to admire rocks, leaves, and a pile of dirt.  The pile of dirt was miniscule to me but probably looked like a mountain to an ant.  I crouched down to magnify my perception of the dirt.  The mountain seemed sturdy and whole.  An impenetrable gathering of dirt stared at me in the eye, and I was confident that in its ability to withstand the forces of nature on the road. It looked strong. Nonetheless, I moved my finger toward it and soon enough I touched the mountain.  With a little push the mountain suddenly became two mountains, and then it broke down even further into five islands, and then even more into a collection of tiny dirt villas.  The villas collapsed into singular dirt people, and the dirt people even exposed themselves as dirt molecules.

Just as the dirt mountain revealed itself to be nothing more than a collection of individual dirt molecules joining together to present themselves as something strong and resilient, so too do we often present ourselves as mountains.    We are mountains built up by our family and friends.  Our teachers and the books we read fortify our mountain.  Our environment strengthens us, and our daily habits provide us with a greater sense of wholeness.  The words we use carry with them so many of our mountain-esque qualities, and the very air we breathe vitalizes us with the determination to defy the gravity that tries to hold us down.  In so many ways, we are mountains. Just like any other mountain, we can be further understood by looking at our individual parts.

If we look at ourselves as a summation of the people we know, the environment we live in, the books we read, our habits, our language – we will soon come to know ourselves better.  We will cultivate self-knowledge, and with self-knowledge comes an awareness of what we like most about our lives and what we dislike and might want to improve.  In a sense, I think we can say that we have realized our ideal in life when there is nothing we want to improve about it and we accept everything just as it is.  (Note: You can accept everything Here & Now as ideal and completely good if you really want to! It’s just a choice.)

Of course, realizing our ideal or achieving a state of perfection is a lifelong journey, and a beautiful one at that.  We can always be growing in Peace, Love, Joy, and Unity with the world.  And that, to me, is one of the many very beautiful things about this miraculous experiment we are all participating in – each and every day we can grow in harmony and connection with all that is good.

When we choose to grow and to improve upon our current situation in life, we are choosing to enjoy life to the fullest and utilize the amazing gifts bestowed upon us freely at birth.  When we accept responsibility for who we are and where we are in our lives right now, we will then realize the power we have to improve our situation in life and move in the direction of our ideal.

You are a Mountain

See yourself as a mountain.  You are a strong mountain made up of many parts.  Take a look at all the parts that compose you, Master Mountain.  Think about the compartments of your mountain that are the strongest – where you find the most Joy.  Then, also think about the nooks and crannies of our mountain that often go overlooked, yet when they are exposed they might be full of grief or a sense of inferiority.  Like a professional golfer striving to move from good to great, work on each little aspect of your mountain, one part at a time.

Fortifying your mountain and maximizing your Master Mountain capacity for perfection is a lifelong journey, and it’s easily one of the rewarding journeys you will ever go on.  Even if you are already a very strong mountain, don’t you want to be a bit stronger?  Every day, you can grow stronger and stronger.  A bit wiser and wiser with each passing moment – imagine the possibilities!

Feel free to discard shifty rocks from your mountain’s foundation.  Some relationships can cripple your mountain, as can bad habits and even unhealthy foods.  Feed your mountain the good stuff, no matter if we are talking about physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual food.   Build your mountain with rocks that have been tested time and time again and proven effective to solidifying a magnanimous mountain.

If you don’t know what composes the foundation for a strong, resilient, mountain, perhaps look at some biographies of people who you consider truly masterful mountains.  Gandhi is one of my favorites.  He did a lot of meditation, walking, and didn’t eat much, so I do what I can to incorporate those mountain-building behaviors into my life.  Jesus is also a ridiculously strong mountain.  He stored up treasures in Heaven and not on earth, so in the same way I go about nurturing my spiritual nature rather than focusing on the material world.  Another one of my favorite mountains is Steve Pavlina, a man who managed to graduate college in 3 semesters, proving how powerful positive habits can be in increasing our productivity, effectiveness, and enjoyment of life.

There are all kinds of wonderful Master Mountains out there to learn from – and you are one of them!  We are all our own our own mysterious mountain full of beauty and wisdom, and the best part about our individual mountains is that the very core of us all is the same.  The spiritual core is the most treasured aspect of each of us as Master Mountains.  Cherish it.

If you are not currently connected with the Spirit of your mountain, spending some time to find it and be with it might be one of the greatest decisions you ever make.  Nothing is more important than our core.


Go Slowly

About a month or two ago I came across a quote by the legendary Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh.  When he was asked for his advice for living the good life, he replied,

“Smile, Breathe, and Go Slowly.” 

Most of us would probably agree that smiling is good.  Who doesn’t like to smile?  So I’ve been doing more of that, as well as laughing!

How about breathing?  Yep…I’ll agree breathing is good, dare I say fun.  Especially those deep breathes when you really focus on filling yourself up with some precious oxygen, then releasing it all with a hefty, relieving sigh.  Those feel great!

But…Go Slowly?  What does that mean?  And why would I ever want to go slowly when there is so much to do and so little time?!?  Well, you’re right – there is a lot to do.  But, how much of what you think you should do is really that important?  And, to the extent that you feel rushed to do all of your wonderful activities, how much are you missing out on the wonder of the Present Moment?  Going slowly means deepening our appreciation and connection with life and the beautiful gifts bestowed upon us at birth.  It means being aware of your own body.  Feel your movements.  Marvel at the movement of your own hands.  Be like a mime!

According to my highly unscientific understanding of the universe, our bodies are the most complex technology yet discovered.  I really could not tell you how I have even come to be thinking and writing these words – yet alone filling my lungs with oxygen and keeping my eyes open.  Do you know how it all works?  The way we can control our bodies without consciously understanding the miraculous processes we are undertaking at any moment is truly really cool, me thinks too cool to simply take for granted.  Going slowly means taking time to acknowledge the wonders of Creation, and in particular, the wonder of you.

Recently I’ve learned a bit of Qigong and Tai Chi, two practices which have made me brutally aware of how awesome our bodies really are.  Some of the movements in Tai Chi are simple called, “Standing,” or “Raising Hands,” but such postures that sound so simple are actually glorious and not the easiest to do.  Tai Chi brings us intensely into the moment and heightens our awareness as to the amazing nature of our bodies.  I highly recommend it if you want to experience the beauty and bliss of Going Slowly.

Also, here is a link to the zenhabits article that first exposed me to some of Thich Nhat Hanh’s words of wisdom.

Here is another great link to an article from that has a list of fun practices to go slowly, increase concentration, and probably make you laugh a whole lot and experience some of the essential joys of life.  And, don’t worry if you’re not a man – it is really an article for all people blessed with a body.
Cheers!  And…I love you 🙂


What are things you like to do every day?  Or perhaps the better question – what are things you would like to do every day but currently are not doing?

When answering this question for myself, I came to the conclusion that I want to experience more joy in my life.  Joy, as I perceive it, is commonly expressed in smiling and laughter, so I made the conscious decision to bring more laughter and smiling into my life.

How does this relate to my day-to-day living?  Well, it’s sort of like having a to-do list, but this list does not vary day-to-day.  It’s a to-do list of activities for every day!  Included on this list are activities like prayer, meditation, yoga, walking (slowly!), juggling, writing, reading, and singing.  “These are a few of my favorite things” that bring me a lot of joy as well as give me a sense of cultivating the treasures bestowed upon me at birth and  serving the greater good.

Recently added to that fantastic list of daily activities…laughing!  The beautiful thing about having a daily habit of laughing is that the laughing does not have to be prompted by anything other than wanting to do it.   We don’t really need a reason to laugh, although we might think we do.  We can laugh for no reason at all!  And I’ve found that as I begin to laugh for no reason, all kinds of reasons to laugh flood my consciousness and the laughter becomes more and more genuine.  Just this morning I laughed while playing with the chain on a fire hydrant.  Gravity is really cool, and actually pretty darn funny.  Who the heck invented gravity?  And why is it so stubbornly consistent?

This habit of laughter has helped me to awaken to the joys of the world and the miraculous nature of Creation.  Also, as I begin to laugh for no reason, I realize more and more that there are always a million different reasons to laugh at any time.  This universe is pretty cool, equally absurd, and completely hysterical.  What a fun little place we live in.

If there is no Peace of Mind, what is the use of learning so many things?

Perused a bit of the Sai Baba Gita last night and came across this wonderful question.  It was coupled with the question, “What is the use of learning so many things without understanding the one thing that is truly essential?”

We spend a lot of time learning math, science, history, language, trivia…why?  The purpose of education evades the understanding of many people.  Why do we go to school?  Why do we learn?  Perhaps in Pursuit of Truth is an adequate answer.  Aristotle would say that the purpose of education is to elevate our preferences.  What are we elevating them to, then?

The way I see it, the ultimate preference is to have no preference.  To come to a state where there is no resistance and complete acceptance of everything that happens, no matter what, that would be one great way to flow through life.  It seems to me that such a state is equivalent to that coveted state of Peace of Mind that slips through our fingers time and time again.

Peace of Body, Peace of Mind, Peace of Spirit, Peace with all Creation – that is a good aim for education.  Let’s start educating ourselves in the pursuit of Universal Peace!

As I see it, Peace is a state attainable by any being blessed with a presence on this planet, and I’d wager that aliens from other planets can probably experience Peace too.  Being that Peace is something all can achieve, that means that it is something that we are born with.  Is Peace endowed to us as birth?  Children…are they at Peace?  The way they frolic in the grass, splash in puddles, laugh at nothing – looks like Peace to me!

C.S. Lewis once commented on us humans saying, “We are far too easily pleased,” however, according to what I’ve experienced recently, it seems that many of us demand far too much to be pleased.  When was the last time we were pleased with a plant, or an insect, or our own fingertips?  Instead of embracing the simple treasures of life, we look to the media, other people, and even drugs to provide us with our source of entertainment.  Anything to make the time pass!  Right?

Recently I’ve found great joy in moving slowly.  The practices of Qigong and Tai Chi illuminated me to how much control we actually have over our bodies, and so I’ve incorporated some of those practices into the way in which I move through the world.  It is so much fun!

We often take an act like walking for granted. What does it mean to walk?  A cultural norm of walking might be to let our arms hang down to our side, perhaps gently swinging them as we go.  But, why not walk with our arms held high?  Why not walk in zig-zags instead of straight lines?  What is more important – fun or efficiency?  Are we humans or robots?

There are so many simple, free, fantastic ways to enjoy Creation.  We do not have to look to the latest tech-gadget or musical jam to have our fill.  The jukebox of Creation is actually playing 24/7 anyway.  Tune it and listen to the beat!   Peace comes from basking in the glory of the free things in life.

Breathing, Smiling, Walking.  Meditate.  Sit. Stand!  Jump.  Laugh – for no reason!


Fall down.  Stay down!  Smell a flower.

Look at your fingertips.  Look at a leaf.  Are they not eerily similar?  The Mark of Creation is in all things.

Acknowledge the Mark.  See the Mark.  Be the Mark!  It is You.  You are It.

Silver Lining connects.  Unity.



Living without money, some people tend to categorize me as a bum, hobo, or nomad.  Whatever you want to call it, it doesn’t really affect me.  What I am pursuing is Peace and Unity of People.  I believe we are all good and pure at our core, and for one reason another we are also corruptible and enticed by some of the offerings of the physical world.  The best things in life, I believe, are free.  And so I go about my day cultivating the best things – like my body, my mind, and my Spirit.  I cultivate relationships with other people, laughter, and love.  I do what I can to resolve conflicts and brighten people’s days.  By example, I try and let people know that people are genuinely good and that the world is indeed wonderful.  We have nothing to be afraid of, for all is created in Truth and Beauty. Thank you, John Keats. 🙂

If promoting Peace and Unity sounds like the behavior of a bum, so be it.  A word is just a word anyway and I’m not going to let the opinion of someone superficially judging me and jumping to conclusions deter me from my path, which is crafted by my conscience.

One of my chief pursuits is the formation of a Peacehood.  Essentially, it is like a Brotherhood, Knighthood – Humanhood! – geared at cultivating inner-peace and World Peace.  Together, we will cultivate the magnificent treasures endowed to us at birth.  Together, we will serve the greater good.  Together, we will learn and teach.  Most importantly, together we will celebrate! 

Thanks to the amazing people and resources available in the Winston-Salem area, I am completely free to pursue the greater good and the growth of the Peacehood with all of my time.  And yes, I do believe that the greater good is worth all of my time, as it is probably worth of all your time too!  That being said, if you would like to join the Peacehood, either with your physical presence in the Winston-Salem area or be connected through email and online updates, please send an email to expressing your intentions. 

We can all make this world better by being the very best we can be.  We can all be the very best we can be by collaborating with others in a spirit of love, harmony, and goodwill.  Let’s do it – together!!!

Who are We Kidding? Rain, Farmers, Excess, and Responsibility

What a beautiful day!  It may be cloudy and there is probably an 80% chance of rain, but who ever said rain wasn’t beautiful?  Strangely, many people see that it is raining outside and let the rain dictate the quality of their day.  They see rain and think, “Ohh this day just couldn’t get any worse, and now it has to rain on me too.”  It’s a shame that some people perceive rain as such a bad thing, but I guess when you spend an hour doing your hair in the morning it makes some sense to get upset.  However, perhaps we should all keep in mind that rain is fundamental to our day-to-day survival.

Without rain, how would we ever grow any food?  Well, allow me to correct myself, how would farmers ever grow any food?  You and I probably don’t farm because we might think it’s beneath us and is an occupation reserved for people with less education than we have.  All the while, without those farmers, we perish!  Why is it that farmers get paid so much less than people in the rat race of Corporate America?  Without farmers, none of us would be here!  Farmers are much more essential to our survival than any businessman or businesswoman.  Teachers fall in the same boat…where would we be without our kindergarten teacher to instruct us how to be friendly towards one another and all our elementary school teachers for showing us the ways of reading?  We would be helpless without so many of these ‘basic’ professions, all the while they get paid the least.  What am I missing?

Time, not money, is the common resource we all share together.  To value one person’s time more than another’s is somewhat ridiculous.  What is to say that a farmer should only receive 1/10 in earnings of what a Corporate American makes while only the farmer is doing something essential to our survival as a species?  It doesn’t matter how much has been “invested” in your education to acquire you the skills demanded by Corporate America.  The truth is that time is time – we all have limited amounts of time and each of us cherishes our time and would like to make the most of our precious time while we are here in this corporeal body.   Who are we to say that one person’s time is worth more than another’s?  Sounds a bit dehumanizing.

The way I see it, the lowest paying jobs are some of the most essential jobs for our wellbeing.  Anyone who serves or grows food, cleans up our streets, or teaches our children – those jobs are vital to our existence.  And we pay them the least?  No wonder people spit in burgers.  And no wonder some farmers resort to spraying poisonous pesticides on crops.  I’d be bitter too.  You wonder why education needs reform?  Perhaps because there are not enough incentives to attract the high quality teachers that should be in the positions of great responsibility for educating our youth.

Without healthy food, a clean environment, and good education, our whole system will topple to the ground.  I’m fairly certain we can do without I-bankers, E-traders, and Z-scammers.  These people get paid more to make a single phone call than another person does to manage a classroom of 40 students and teach children how to read.  Absurd?  Yes, quite.

Our way of living and our consumerist tendencies have left so many people eating dust.  The disparity between the rich and the poor continues to grow, and no one seems to care.  Pretty soon, I would not be surprised if there is an uprising.  The disparity is great in America, but also around the world.  Supposedly, every 4 seconds someone dies from starvation or malnutrition – how can we let that happen when we own 3 houses, 7 cars, and an iPad?  These luxuries are not necessary.  People actually need food and water to survive, whereas this excess we bathe ourselves in just leads us to greater dissatisfaction and lower quality of life, because we all know at our core how wrong it is.  We can only deny our conscience for so long.

By all means, though, we have every right to continue to do jobs we don’t like and be a slave to the mighty dollar.  Mighty, not Almighty.  Keep in mind what you are worshipping.  And, if you are unsure what you might be worshipping, look at your actions.  Examine yourself from an outside perspective.  What would the Robin sitting on the branch think of you?  Perhaps the Robin wouldn’t see you because you’re hovelled indoors all day missing out on the beauty of nature, but let’s just pretend the Robin has x-ray vision.  Please think about what you are doing and why you are doing it, and also consider the state of the world as a whole.  So many people have next to nothing, yet we insist that we still need more to be satisfied.  Who are we kidding?

We are Global Citizens living in a flat world.  It’s about time we each accept responsibility for the state of the world and change ourselves for the best.  We’re all in this together!

The beautiful thing about making this world a better place: It all starts with you.

What is a Christian? A Buddhist? A Muslim? A Hindu? A Jew?

Gandhi, when asked if he was Hindu, responded, “Yes. I am also a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist, and a Jew.”

For the longest time I never considered what it meant to associate oneself with a particular religion.  Only recently did a better understanding of today’s religions finally click with me.

Rather than being about the specific teachings of a church, temple, mosque, or synagogue, today’s religions boil down to following the teachings of a very particular person.  The person each religion chooses to follow is someone who they consider to be an exemplary model of a human being, so exemplary in fact that many consider the founder of their faith Divine.  For example, Christian’s follow the teachings of Jesus, believing he was wholly human and wholly Divine.  Buddhists follow the teachings of Buddha, Muslim’s the teachings of Muhammad, Hindu’s those of Krishna and Arjuna, and Jews those of Moses, Abraham, and various other figures of the Old Testament.  The religions look to a hero of history as a role model for everyone to follow, so the essence of the religious practice is to emulate the hero who they consider superior to any other human being, not to idly follow the teachings of whatever school of thought followed after.

Considering that nearly all of the religious heroes preached an ascetic lifestyle, or at least one of simplicity, it amazes me how today’s religions have all found reason to erect massive shrines and establish intricate rituals to practice their faith.  If Jesus is all about helping the poor and storing up treasures in Heaven rather than on Earth, would he really want us to spend millions of dollars and man hours building exotic churches to worship in?  They are pretty cool, I will give you that, but they seem a bit excessive for practicing the principles of a man who wandered in the desert for 40 days.

As educated individuals, we have the power to discern the significance of the religious teachings by using our eyes to read, our minds to think, and our conscience to align.  It hardly seems necessary that we have to listen to “experts” to tell us exactly how to practice our faith and worship properly.  As children of the Creator, doesn’t it make sense that God would endow us each individually with the ability to understand the Word?  If we have questions, certainly we can always ask someone, but from my personal experience, at least for the first 18 or 19 years of my life, I found that I never even bothered to look at the text and instead received everything taught to me verbatim without questioning or thinking.  A tragedy, I know.  To not think, to squander the incredible gifts given to us at birth – what a shame!  Alas, I think now, and that is good.

More than even thinking about the texts of the religious heroes of the past, it seems that we can all arrive at similar conclusions just by looking at our own lives.  In this fast-paced western lifestyle, we rarely take the time to slow down and consider what it is we are actually doing, and why we do what we do.  When we ask ourselves questions and analyze our behavior, I believe we will all arrive at vital truths and discover pathways to higher means of living.

Just as an example, food!  In America, food probably suffers more than any other industry from the disease of taken-for-granted-ness.  Nearly all of us take our food for granted.  We fail to question where our food came from, who harvested our food, what processes it has been through, how it landed on our plates today, what is in the food, and is it healthy.  I’m probably leaving out many other questions too.  Perhaps we could also ask, “Is there an injustice being served on account of me eating this bread, or this chicken, or both?”  Well, if we allowed someone else to slaughter an innocent chicken, perhaps causing them emotional and mental distress, then yes – that sounds like an injustice.  If also the people who harvested the wheat survive off of less than $1 a day and are going to sleep hungry tonight, then there is probably something wrong with that too.

Sometimes it is difficult to know the origins of our food, yet it is definitely worth the effort.  As one of my homeboys Steve Pavlina says, Intelligence is Bliss.  When we ignore the factor of justice when it comes to eating food, our conscience still knows we are participating in an injustice.  Slaughtering innocent creatures has never aligned with anyone’s core, because at our core we all cherish life and wish life to keep on living.   If we take the time to inform ourselves about our food and slowly but surely tune our lives away from passively participating in injustice, we will begin to awaken to new frontiers of possibility and enjoyment in living a purer life.

The teachings of Jesus, Muhammad, Moses, Buddha, Arjuna, the Maharishi – my guess is they would all encourage us to think.  Think rather than mindlessly conform.  We are blessed with minds for a reason.  When we use our minds, we enable ourselves to take optimal care of body, control our emotions, and transcend rationalizations to realize our spiritual nature.  Let’s start using our God-given abilities and discover what this world is really about!