By Their Fruits You Shall Know Them…

Poop in Peace.

The poop is the most objective way to measure a beings health.

The healthiest, the holiest, the most easeful and peaceful the poop.

If you’ve ever done a cleanse of sorts, whether a fast or maybe only liquids or just one type of food for a day or two, or even for a meal, you’ve likely experienced the glory of the most relaxed poop of your life.  It’s effortless!  And complete.

And, as Kimberley Snyder has reminded me in some of her awesome books, more than the way we move our bodies, the foods we put into them affect our digestion more than anything else.

You can run 5 miles or do 108 sun salutations but you are not guaranteed a poop.  You probably will though 🙂  What’s more generally more effective though than lots of physical movement, as wonderful as that is for overall health..for exceptional colon and digestive health, the foods matter the most.  High fiber, lots of water, magnesium, load up the vitamins and minerals.

And what’s the deal with meat and almost all dairy products? No fiber! No wonder animal products cause all kinds of digestive problems.  There’s no fiber to help these bodies digest!

And why is pooping so important?

It’s a metaphor for the entire purifying process of life.

Purify body, purify mind, realize the Perfect Health of Soul at all times.

The more we purify the material dimensions of living, the more our spiritual essence shines forth.  So yes, food can affect the quality of our consciousness and connection with the eternal.  Poops affect this too!  Everything’s connected.

What you put into your mouth affects the quality of your relationship with the Whole.  We are what we eat and we are how we eat.  Food is a sacred gift.  If we take it for granted and abuse it, not only will that same abuse be evident in our poops, but it will also evince itself in our relationships with people and the entire creation.

If we slow down and begin to cherish our food, become conscious of the story of our food and the amazing gift that it is, brought to us with the help of the sun and rain and all humanity working harmoniously together to allow food to nourish us…if we connect with the reality that is the divine gift of food then we will eat it more responsibly, and we will choose the more compassionate foods for our bodies, minds, humanity, all forms of life, and the planet!  The key is to slow down…and dare i say it…think.  Think about the gift.  Think about the reality of food.  No reason to take it for granted.  Cherish it instead, and enjoy it with a grateful heart.

Food digests best when we enjoy it, when we are relaxed, and at ease.  If we doubt the quality of our food or its nutritional value, then that doubt will carry through the digestive process.  We cannot hide anything from ourselves or from the universe. All is revealed.  And especially the body knows! The body always knows.  If ‘we’ doubt, the entire body doubts.  If ‘we’ enjoy, the entire body enjoys…and that joy even carries over into a joyful poop!

 

Hallelujah!

Poop in Peace.  And yes, i write this because i’ve definitely had some challenging poops the past couple days; testimony that i have been taking food for granted, not making the most healthful choices, and so here i am advising everyone else to not do how i’ve been doing 😉  So easy to say one thing and do another.  Maybe some day the hypocrisy will fade away.

Practice, practice, practice!

Love & Gratitude

How do you know you’re doing really good work?

When you forget yourself, that is your small, physical self…that’s when you’re in the zone, and that’s an awesome place to be!

It’s liberating to immerse so fully in rendering service that you forget about the needs of your physical body, and ultimately perhaps what happens is the illusion of needs falls away, and you realize the only need ever is to be here now, to love and serve.  So when you are loving and serving, the illusion of time disappears and there is nothing beyond the moment.  You’re just in the zone!

I remember watching a video on YouTube about Beyonce’s keys to success…something like that.  Maybe it was her personal trainer talking about her work ethic, saying something like, “She works so hard that she forgets to eat and she even forgets to sleep!”  That’s how you know you’ve tapped into a vein of gold: when you forget to eat and sleep.  Because you love what you’re doing so much, and you love the abundant investment you’re making in the future, that you forget about all the short-term nuances like eating and sleeping.

When staffing the Integral Yoga Hatha Level 1 Basic Teacher Training this Fall, there were many meals that i would either skip or eat very lightly.  The service asked of me called me to a higher standard regarding care of the physical body and helped me remember that there are much greater joys to living than simply an abundant meal.  Then again, practicing mindfulness, there really might not be greater joys than a fully conscious meal 😉  Alas, sometimes the work is so fulfilling that fulfillment / reward that sometimes comes via food and sleep no longer appeals, and instead you just want to serve and serve and serve.  So…that’s good 🙂

When was the last time you were so immersed in your work and loving the compelling vision you were creating for the future that you let go of attachments to food and sleep.  When was the last time you let go of the small physical self and elevated your awareness to the wonderful investment in the future, perhaps in eternity?

Investing in Eternity…there’s a good investment!

How can one go about investing in eternity?

For ‘me’…i’d say..

–> Sit in stillness and silence.  Focus on God and Goodness.  Feel It. Enjoy the Divine Simplicity.

–> Practice mindfulness; being fully conscious in the Present Moment, and loving every bit of it, beholding the miracle in the Here and Now; amazed; reverential; awe-inspired.  Or as a friend once said…”I live in the Wow.”

–> Exercise the imagination.  In the mental realm, hold a vision of something or someone who inspires you.  Maybe have a conversation with the Buddha, or with your projected Best Self, 5 years from now.

–>  Walk.  And enjoy it!  Walking is awesome.

–>  Breathe deeply.  You can train yourself to thoroughly enjoy the mere act of breathing, and when you enjoy that, then you’ve realized a source of enjoyment that is with you every moment, from here to the passing of the physical body!

–>  Develop a more loving, grateful, appreciative, open, warm, welcoming, abundant relationship with the Present Moment.  What’s your relationship like with the Present Moment?  It’s the ultimate relationship to invest in…perhaps because it is a relationship with the Ultimate 🙂

–>  Practice seeing the good in everyone and everything, even seeing the Divine in All.

–>  Express gratitude.  For anything and everything!  Build those neuroplastic grooves in the brain of gratitude, and allow your expressions of gratitude to generate wonderful feelings, just like when you breath!

–>  Smile and laugh.  We want to enjoy eternity, right?  Have fun!  Play 🙂  Enter the Kingdom by being like a child!

Well then…here’s to worthy investments 🙂  The above are all essentially meditation techniques of one kind of another…training and focusing the mind on something enduring, and focusing it in a way that expands perspective and helps open to possibility.

Cheers to Infinite Possibility!

Love Om Gratitude Om Om

Praise the Lord 🙂

 

What Would Humanity Be Like Without The Heroes?

Just a thought…

Imagine a world where there is none and has been no Jesus or Buddha or Muhammad or Mahavira or Gandhi or any saints and sages and wise ones.  Imagine a world where there is no ultimate ideal for the highest achievement/realization of the human being.

Imagine what kind of implications that would have for your life, right now.  How would you live differently if you never knew of any of these great saints and sages, prophets and seers, divine avatars, fully realized beings?

Maybe we’d then be the ones going on the 40 day fasts in the desert…

Speaking of which…another fun imaginative / meditative exercise…

Imagine…you been in the desert for 40 days with no food, wearing the same rags every day, barely finding water to sip each day, it’s so hot!!!, and you just walk each day, burning up, praying, seeking the Highest Truth and Highest Good, and then after 40 days of searching, you stumble upon a modern day city.  Imagine!!!

“This is so flippin’ abundant!!!”

Perspective is powerful.  Maybe that’s why the Buddhists sometimes intentionally meditate on experiencing intense suffering…then they open their eyes, come out of it, back to Reality, and they’re like “Wow! My life is so good.  But boy, that meditation was full of pain and suffering. Thank goodness i’m back to Reality :-)”

Speciesism, Sexism, Racism, Nationalism, Classism, Nepotism, myselfism ;)

You might notice a progression…or perhaps a degression…moving along the ways in which distinguish ourselves and the ‘other.’  What’s your go-to ‘other’?

For me, often times the other is meat-eating people.

Sometimes the other is materialistic people and people motivated by material gain.

Sometimes the other is people who doubt Doubt, or who doubt the Goodness of Creation and of Life and of people.

For me, the other has also been people who lift weights in abundance (or maybe i judge it as excessive ;))

The other has also been those who have places to go, people to see, those who are looking for something beyond the present moment.

The other is often times the people who eat quickly, who eat without taking conscious breathes, who eat for short-term taste bud pleasure rather than the long-term fulfillment of a healthy, whole meal.

The other is also the people who allow their space to become cluttered and unorganized.

The other has been people who use drugs as a gateway to higher consciousness, or who encourage people to use drugs as a means to liberate themselves and grow closer to the true nature of reality.

Sometimes, the other is people who glue their eyes to a television screen, enamored by a 2-dimensional projection.  The other is people who watch TV, read the newspaper, or even turn on the radio.

For all these others…it is so easy to see myself in each and every one of them.  There is no other.  Only me 🙂

Hence, all judgments are ultimately self-judgments.

Today i heard someone mention ‘White Privilege’ and immediately felt repelled from the conversation.  I’ve been around a person or two who talked about white privilege a fair bit, and ultimately it just seems like a highly disempowering point of focus.  It’s kind of like dwelling on the past, or trying to change something you cannot change (which i heard is how some people define ‘worry’).  Why think about these things that are beyond our control?

For me, the best way i’ve found, via personal experience, to address overcoming any of the ism’s is to embrace Gandhi’s method and Be the change you want to see in the world.  Being the change is the most any of us can do.  And if you want to move beyond all ism’s, you can do that.  How?   Consider people who have done it before, or who at least have been closer than you and i.  Think of the example of Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Gandhi, St. Paul, Mother Teresa, St. Francis, Parahamsa Yogananda, Mahavira, Thoreau…how did these people do it?  They gave everything away!  They surrendered that which kept them separated from people.  They let go of money and material fortune in exchange for emotional / mental / spiritual abundance and unconditional love for everyone and everything.

In so many ways, stuff separates us.  Money, clothing, food, homes – these things provide us comfort, but at what cost?  They comfort us, and then they lead us to think, “Boy, must be tough for all those people outside tonight, cold and hungry, naked and broke.”:  And then maybe we feel guilty…like who are we to have these luxuries while others do not?

So, for Peace of Mind, a good prescription is to give stuff away.  Simplify your life!  Share more of what you have.  Give, give, give!  And when you find yourself taking, like taking words from a book or taking sound clips from YouTube, contextualize it all in the framework of giving.  “I’m learning so i can give more abundantly.  I’m listening so i can share more valuable knowledge with more people.  This is a short-term investment in the flourishing of this mind/body so that it can better serve the entire universe!”  You can contextualize all of your actions in the light of serving the Highest Good of All, and in that light you always experience Peace and the Goodness which is yours 🙂

Just for reflection say, and to return to the title of this post…

Who do you favor?

Family?  Friends? Colleagues? Men? Women?  The Elderly? The Young?  Black People? White People?  Jewish People?  Christians? Muslims? Hindus?  Dogs? Cats? Birds? Pigs? Chickens? Cows? Vegetarians? Meat-Eaters? Vegans? Meditators? Hatha Yogis?  Readers?  TV Watchers? Movie-goers?  Sports fans? Basketball players? Swimmers? Bikers?  Drinkers?  Athletes? The Clean?  The Well-Dressed? The Financially Abundant?  The Educated? The Human Race?

All these different ways we can divide people..and likely left out millions of ‘other’ distinctions…alas…the point is there.

The more we favor one over the other, the more we paint a picture of reality that divides us.  The more we honor all forms of life equally – animals, insects, humans, and plants oh my! – the more we live in the oneness, and experience the one love and the one peace wherever we are.

The Buddha might have said…Nirvana is seeing all things equally.

Maybe we can all move in that direction.  See the saint in the sinner, the sinner in the saint, and the transcendent goodness and essence beyond all labels.

Cheers to freeing ourselves of all those things – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – all of those things that separate us.  That we experience the Oneness, the Goodness Always!

Hallelujah 🙂

 

 

Inspire Yogihood

What the heaven does that mean…inspire yogihood?

Firstly, it has nothing to do with changing external things in the world.  It does have to do with shifting perception, and really only ‘my’ perception, so that the ‘my’ is the ‘One’ is the ‘All.’  There is no separation between the True I and the Whole.  That is why ‘i’ think being a yogi is about on the highest level.

One of the keys to ‘yogihood’ is the shift in identity.  Instead of identifying with the physical mind/body, you identify with the entire creation, the whole, the Intelligence and the Love behind it all, in it all.

Yoga can translate to mean union, or yoke, so ‘being a yogi’ on the human level is about living as one, yoked together with everything else.

Now let’s discern some tangible qualities of a human body ‘living as a yogi.’

Actually, let’s not. 😉

Because, Truth is one paths are many.

Everything in the world, as we know it, could be an illusion.  Even i could be an illusion!  Yo could be an illusion!  Who can really know for certain?

So if you go around in the world ‘looking for yogis,’ you’ll likely see them everywhere, because you attract into your life whatever you focus on.  Yet you’ll also notice the yogi comes in infinite variety of forms, so everyone is already a yogi in their own way.

So what i really wanted to say when i sat down to write this post…

‘Inspiring Yogihood’ is not about ‘other people.’  It’s more about you, being the Intelligence, inspiring the mind/body you’re most directly responsible for to live in a way that is united, universal, yogic.

So that means, as the governing Intelligence, you direct the mind/body to ideas, people, and environments that are conducive to the yogic lifestyle.  You move the mind/body to sit in meditation, to practice conscious breathing, to chant holy names, to study spiritual scriptures, to eat whole, healthy foods close to Nature, to walk and/or stretch the body to ensure it maintains in good physical health, to purify thoughts, and to serve the entire creation moment-to-moment, living a fully dedicated life to the Highest Good of All 🙂

Once one is established in the ethical precepts of yoga, living with compassion towards all forms of life, honoring the Truth, loving the entire creation, etc. then a lot of the tangible practices are no longer necessary.  As i heard Swami Satchidananda say once, something like…”Once the character is perfected you no longer need to sit in meditation.”  Ultimately, meditation is a way of moving in the world, not necessarily sitting still with a physical body.  It’s a way of living detached from the outcome, in a witnessing state, remembering on some level that you are one with all of it, on some level it’s all for fun, on some level we’re all just playing different roles, so play your part well, and enjoy!

And ultimately, how could one person know whether or not another is completely established in all the principles of yoga (much like the Ten Commandments) anyway?  So all an individual can do is practice for oneself, for the benefit of all.  And really, because yoga is about unity and oneness, if it practically boiled down to one simple way of being, it might be, ‘Serve.’  Serve, serve, serve.  Service is what love looks like.  And yes, service can be sitting in meditation, sending love and light to whoever you think of, or just practicing repetition of a mantra.  It can all be service!  It just depends on your perception.  Is it a dedicated act?  Great!  Then you are serving 🙂

So maybe yogihood is about renouncing the small self and orienting to the entire creation as a whole.  Instead of thinking about the needs of the small physical body, you think, “How can i serve? What can i give to this Present Moment?”  Sometimes the answer will be to give the body food or drink or a place to sit an meditate or exercise…who knows!  Certainly, many times caring for the small physical body is a wonderful way to serve the whole.  And it sets a good example!

Then on some level, you can move past service, and realize that there’s nothing to do.  God’s in control.  It’s kind of like saying the prayer, “Thy Will Be Done.”  We don’t really need to pray for God’s Will to Be Done…it already is being done!  Like our prayers could affect whether or not God’s Will is done 😉  But that prayer does help us remind us, recenter us, and reconnect us with God, the Highest Will, and All That Goodness.  So, might as well offer that prayer!

Once you reach the awareness of the Perfection of Creation, notions of serving don’t really make sense. How do you serve something that’s perfect?  So then it more becomes about enjoying and having fun.  And…the great news is…you realize that to one person might look ing ‘serving’ is also the number one way of having fun! The joy in giving and serving is an awesome Reality, one of the greatest paradoxes of Creation that i think is great testimony to the Goodness of God and All Creation.  We experience the most joy when we are giving, when we are serving…what could be better than that?

Anyway.

Love. Serve. Give. Grow. Expand. Evolve!

More Consciousness! More Awareness!

See The Self in All!  Look for the Good in Everyone!

Know that what you see in ‘others’ is a reflection of what you see in yourself.  And ultimately, there is no ‘other.’ It’s all You!

Cheers to freeing ourselves from judgments of things in the world and turning our gaze inward, so we focus on being the change we want to see in the world and choosing love each and every moment.

Enjoy…Hallelujah 🙂

 

Re-Purpose

The second we think that our purpose here to go and help ‘other people’ and fix ‘other people’ and solve ‘other people’s’ problems…that’s when we’ve got to re-purpose!

As far as any of us can know, the entire world is an illusion – a dream.  Who can know what’s real?

Perhaps that’s why Gandhi embraced, “being the change you want to see in the world.” So many have talked about “turning the gaze inward.”  It’s not about what goes on outside in the world, but what happens internally.

Like Emerson said…something like…external events have no power over us unless we let them!

On the spiritual journey, we are not here to ‘help other people.’  Ultimately, there is no other.  And ultimately, we don’t know!  So, how can we help the other, who might very well be an illusion, when we don’t know anything to begin with?

As soon as we become attached to knowing and to  a sense of being right, that’s when we stop loving and start judging, maybe even criticizing and condemning, possibly striving to change ‘others’ because ‘we know better than they do.’

Re-Purpose!  Turn the gaze within.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Helping yourself is helping everyone, including all the ‘others.’  The best thing you can do for everyone and everything (someone saying this ‘not knowing’ ;)) is to experience Peace, is to unconditionally love everything, is to become enlightened, is to realize your True Nature and abide in the Truth.

And the Truth Shall set us Free!

Free from?  Free from fear, free from judgment, free from worry, anxiety, guilt, shame, anger, pride, lust, even free from desire itself!

And the Truth shall set us Free to?  Free to accept, free to love, free to enjoy, free to laugh, to play, to dance, to sing, to express ourselves fully and creatively, to embrace the fullness of the Present Moment, and to know God and Infinite Goodness.  Free to live in Reality.

What a silly way to live in the world…going around try to change the behavior of people, like one of us knows better than another.

For me, two of the strongest examples i connect with are marijuana and alcohol.  Previously, this body has consumed copious amounts of both.  Under the influence, had some good times and some bad times.  And experienced a lot of pain, physical and mental/emotional.  Also experienced some intense feelings of liberation and deeper understanding.  So…pros and cons to everything.  Personally don’t remember the last time this body consumed alcohol or smoked marijuana, and don’t have any plans to in the near future if ever again…yet i also find it so difficult to discourage anyone from doing either of them.  I thoroughly embrace the place where i am now along this wonderful journey through life, and wouldn’t want to change anything about it (except maybe to digest dinner better ;)).  Alcohol and marijuana have played significant roles for me, and as much as i abstain from them now, who am i to discourage someone from possibly experiencing the same highs and same lows i did that resulted in dramatic shifts in lifestyle and perspective?

It’s like the teaching about the hot coal…you’re holding the hot coal, and you ask your spiritual teacher, “Should i drop it?  Should i drop it?  It really hurts…it’s burning my hand…should i drop it now?”

Your teacher responds, “No, don’t drop it, hold on to it.”

You say, ‘Well, when will i know to drop it?”

Teacher, “When you no longer have to ask the question.”

We learn from experience.  Supposedly we can learn from the experience of ‘others,’ and i guess that makes sense if we’re all one 🙂  Then again, why not have the experience yourself?  There might be pain, sure, but generally after valleys there is a peak, and so we ride the rollercoaster of life.  Pain is a wonderful teacher, and with our personal experience we can then relate so much better to people which can enhance our joy of being in community.

I’m glad i’ve done a lot of ‘stupid’ things that i don’t ever plan to do again.  I’m also glad that i make some decisions on a regular basis that i really enjoy and find them rewarding in the short-term and long-term.  At the same time, who am i to try and force those win/win decisions upon anyone, and what’s to say they would be win/win for someone else?

Ahh…and now i am maybe starting to grasp a teaching from the Sermon on the Mount that generally has eluded me…”Don’t cast your pearls before swine, lest they be trampled underfoot.”  Which reminds me of something my cousin shared with me a while back, “If you make a homeless person meditate, it might be like hell for them.”

Same same, but different.  We’re all on the same journey, in the same place, Here and Now, but for each of us the prescription for happiness, joy, peace – fulfillment – might be completely different.  That’s what i love about the Buddhist teaching of Upaya – skillful means.  To experience peace and success with people, we meet them where they are at.  We climb into their shoes and walk around for a little bit.  We don’t go trying to change, but instead to understand.  Apparently Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, said that if he could pick just one habit as the most significant, he’d pick “Seek first to understand.”

Seek first to understand.  It’s not about changing anyone.  It’s about understanding.

Notice too that seeking first to understand is a habit.  That means it is practiced regularly!  So it’s not like we suddenly reach a point of understanding.  Seeking to understanding is a continuous process, hence we always find ourselves, on some level, in the space of ‘not knowing.’  Because we don’t know, and we’re simply seeking to understand, we free ourselves from inclinations to judge, criticize, condemn, and complain.  Instead we embrace curiosity, and we engage with what is before us, seeking to understand.

Recently, even in this present moment :-), as glorious as it is, this body is experiencing some physical discomfort from an excessive amount of feasting tonight.  From the standpoint of ‘not knowing’ and ‘seeking first to understand,’  i guess i can embrace the discomfort – might as well call it pain – i guess i can embrace the pain as something beyond good/bad – it simply is.  It is in the present moment, offering a message for healing, for growth, for higher consciousness and evolution, as all things do 🙂

What is the message?  It is many!  Even infinite.  Certainly, just while writing this post and previously posting on a forum about things i’m grateful for in 2014, i was not nearly as aware of the pain.  In fact, it might not have even been there!  So one lesson here is the power of where we direct our attention.  Whatever we give our attention to grows.  Where awareness goes, energy flows.  And directing attention to gratitude creates such wonderful sensations that the physical realm stops mattering so much.

Re-Purpose!

What i want to write sounds selfish in some way, but i think ultimately it’s where the journey takes us, and at some point selfishness and selflessness merge, because the True Self is One, so looking out for your Self is looking out for everyone and everything.

Essentially, at least – Upaya! – for this body in the Here and Now – the journey seems to be very much about personal practice of certain disciplines that i find greatly enhance my awareness of the interconnectivity of all things, as well as enhance feelings of gratitude, love, joy, peace, and oneness.  And maybe that’s where the spiritual vocation comes in…instead of thinking about ‘how to serve others’ in the context of teaching or coaching or counselling…i think for me the ‘service’ as well as the ‘growth’ are in the personal practice, and all the goodness flows from there.  Namely, the service and the growth every moment is Presence – at least that’s the ideal 🙂

Which reminds, the most joyful/blissful moments of today, as far as i can remember – occurred when consciously taking deep breaths.  Perhaps the key world there is consciously.

Living consciously.  Being conscious.  Become more conscious.  Moment-to-moment-to-moment.

I heard a yogic doctor say, “The aim of our yoga practice is mindfulness.”

Mindfulness is moment-to-moment-to-moment.  It is living in the Reality of Here and Now.  Listening to sounds.  Feel sensations.  Becoming aware of what is Reality, Here and Now.  To see, to listen, to touch, to taste, to smell.  To notice, observe, witness.  To be in this moment.  What can you hear?  What can you feel?  What’s the body doing?  What shape is it in?  Are there any parts of the body you notice holding tension?  Can you relax them?  If not now, when?

Relax.  You are in the Present Moment 🙂

And with mindfulness, in the Present Moment, we can notice the fleeting nature of our desires, and become aware that we have everything we need to enjoy our Here and Now.  As i heard Bob Proctor say, “All you will ever need for fulfillment in life, is awareness.”

Awareness!  Consciousness!  Awareness!  More conscious!  More aware!

Mindfulness.

Listen.

Breathe.

Smile.

What have you been grateful in the year of 2014?

One of my favorite lines from TV that i remember, from the Brady Bunch, the family is sitting down at the dinner table and the father is leading a prayer…all i remember…

Help us to be ever mindful of our blessings.”  

Amen!  Of course, personally not a big fan of the idea of ‘blessings,’ because that kind of implies the existence of the opposite, ‘curses,’ as well, so i prefer ‘gifts.’  So many gifts!  All divine gifts 🙂

Help us to be ever mindful of this abundance of divine gifts!

Re-Purpose!

Ha!  Speaking of overhearing life wisdom from TV, just remembered that i overheard ‘Re-Purpose’ from some political thing tonight that father eagle was listening to.  Thank goodness for TV sharing divine gifts 🙂

Re-Purpose!

Perhaps the biggest re-purposing for ‘me personally,’ this mind/body, is with food.  And with the re-purposing of food, the rest of life more easily re-purposes.  Food is the foundation in so many ways.  Especially as far as the mind/body can understand, food is the foundation.  Our Higher Self knows that the foundation is more like God / Spirit / Essence / Love, though the mind/body is just like “Food!  Water! Air! Light!  Bathrooms!”  Hehe.

Anyway, the way to re-purpose, as i read from Thich Nhat Hanh…he says there different ways to eat food.  Many of us might tend to eat so that we gain energy!  We eat so that the body becomes energized and then we can go out and serve and love and give in wonderful ways.  Nothing so wrong with that.

What’s the other way?  We can eat to eat.  Just like when washing the dishes, we can simply wash the dishes.  Eating is not the means to anything else.  Eating is the ends!  The Present Moment is not the means, it is the ends!  We are Here and Now in this Cosmic Moment, and it doesn’t have to get any sweeter than this 🙂  With awareness it can be sweeter than maple syrup.

Re-Purpose!

Our experience in the moment…this is it!

Let more of our actions be oriented towards the reality of the action itself, not some future outcome.  Peaceful ends by peaceful means – Peace is every step.  We can eat to eat, clean to clean, think to think, read to read, sleep to sleep.  All the while, there can be an understanding of how such activities are good for the long-term flourishing of the mind/body and perhaps humanity and all the world, yet…let us remember this moment!

Ultimately, who knows how anything might turn out?  In one minute, a bomb could explode this computer, your computer, an entire city…who knows!  Embracing not knowing, and the infinite possibility of Reality, we open up to the freedom we have to love here and now, to enjoy here and now, no strings attached!  Love to love.  Eat to eat.  Let this moment by your moment to fully enjoy and experience the wonderful abundance of creation – steep the heart in gratitude! – and maybe even slip into the bliss and the oneness 🙂

Re-Purpose!

When we think we are just a mind/body, then we eat to energize and nourish the mind/bod.

When we connect with our transcendent self, our true nature, the essence, Spirit – we remember we are eternal.  Or you might say – “Relax, God is in control.”  Either way, any actions the mind/body takes don’t have to be for any particular reason or to achieve any ends.  Every action is the ends when we remember God and Eternity.  The Present Moment is the Eternal Moment, and in every Moment we have the freedom to experience whatever we desire – whether it’s peace and love and joy or hatred and anger or anything in between 🙂  We have the power, tis a gift indeed!  Choose.  Choose. Choose.  Live in the Present Moment- that’s where our power is to choose the quality of our experience.  And in the Present Moment we can slow down…really slow down…slow…slow…slow…we can slow down so much…just to where the mind stops…the body stops…all attention goes to the breath…just noticing the breath…and then gratitude…smile…you’re on the cosmic camera 🙂  Wave to your Eternal Self!

..

Re-Purpose!

Forget the means.

This is the ends!

Time to enjoy 🙂

Experience the Fullness.

Love Unconditionally.

Your Divine Choice!

Hallelujah

Praise the Lord!!!!!!

 

“There are no great acts…only small acts with Great Love.”

What more needs to be said?

It’s not so much what we do, but how we do it.

As Gandhi said, do it with joy or not at all!  Whether it’s cleaning a toilet, cooking lunch, or hugging a stranger.  Do it with love, do it with peace, do it with joy…or not at all!

When we get over our ego, we realize that every moment counts.  Each moment is sacred!

There’s nothing so grand for any of us to do.  The grandness is in this moment. Enjoying the fullness of this moment is as grand as it gets.  Because, God is in this moment.  The entire unfolding of creation is in this moment.  This is as awesome as it’s ever been!

The transcendent, liberating, enlightening experience is available to us all, Here and Now.  And it doesn’t have to be with our eyes closed.  We can experience it in lifting up a pen, in looking at a glass of water, in listening to the breath, in placing one foot in front of the other.

Small acts with great love.  That’s what life is about.

The ego might think…”i’ve got to be great! i’ve got to save the world!  i’ve got to share this great information with everyone! i’ve got to find the best wife ever and raise a beautiful family with her!  i’ve got to write this book and go on a speaking tour!  i’ve got to teach all these people what i know and help them!”

If you’re not doing it with love, or with peace, or with joy, you might as well not do it.

Because it’s not so much what we do, but how we do it.

Do it with joy or not at all.  Do it with love, or not at all.  Do it with peace, or not at all.

None of us need to prove anything to anyone.  We are existing, created!  Being here and now is amazing enough.  Just to be is miraculous!  Compared to the miracle of being alive, making a million dollars is small time stuff.

Small acts, great love.  That’s God’s way.  God always provides an abundance, more than we could possibly need (or maybe it’s just the perfect amount :-)).  So it’s not like we ever really need to do anything. The best thing for us to do is to enjoy, which is really a state of being.  Start with being in the joy, in the peace, in the love, in the bliss – be in the bliss! – and then do what you might.  Stay with your peace, your bliss, and go from there.  Each moment is packed with the potential of great joy.  It doesn’t matter if you’re standing in front of a packed auditorium or in front of a urinal, all the enthusiasm you could ever imagine is available to you.  The moment is sacred.  The moment is holy.  The moment is divine.

Small acts with great love.  Step by step.  Breath by breath.  One smile at a time.  Look for good, see only good, be only good.  All of it, with love.

Love, love, Love 🙂

Om!  Praise the Lord.

Nothing to do, nowhere to go, just being here now is more than enough.

Hallelujah!

Responsibility #1 to each and every moment: Enjoy. Experience Peace. Love.

‘Knowing’ Causes so Much Pain! … “Your Discards Matter”

Reflecting on the previous post, i realize how much anger / frustration / confusion / pain presented itself from being even slightly attached to the possibility of raw food dogma.  Any dogma, no matter how grounded in reason, is still of the dog, and not of the God.  Then again, dogs seem like generally enlightened beings too 🙂

Letting go of the dogma, that’s where the peace is.  Let go of knowing, let go of any sense of you being right and someone else being wrong.  Even, let go of right and wrong behavior.  On some level, everything simply is, and it’s all of the creation, the divine.  So we can embrace the essence behind it all, and then there’s a basic goodness that transcends the polarities of good and bad.  As Shakespeare said, “There is nothing either good or but but thinking makes it so.”

In some ways, raw foods can be seen as healthier for the body and for the planet, but in infinitely other ways you never know!  Infinite Possibility and Infinite Potential is much more the Reality than is any close-minded human-reasoned dogma.  The Ultimate Truth is beyond small-human-brain conception…which might be why St. John of the Cross has his beautiful poem about knowing without knowing.  To quote a part of the poem because it’s just so beautiful

For he who really finds the way,

Unknowing will forever stay

All human knowledge passed away.

Ahhh.  Bliss.  Praise the Lord we are liberated 🙂  The truth sets us free!

And reconnecting with part of the previous post…it is all for fun!  At least, all for fun seems way closer to the truth than abide by rigid raw food dogma.  Ha!  Sure, food plays a role in our healing, evolution, higher consciousness, growth, and expansion, but by no means is it the be all and end all.  Or maybe it is 😉  To remain open to infinite possibilities and detached from all dogma is the quest!

Ha.  And on this wonderful morning the universe would synchronistically provide a funny bridge (card game) metaphor.  Looking on the piece of paper next to this computer, referring to bridge, it says, “Your discards matter, and forgetting them is a real cost to your game.”  Let us remember what we discard from life!  And remember why.  As we grow, we develop new habits, we explore new ways of being, and we let go of some things to make space for some new things.

What have you discarded?  What would you like to discard?

Some of my favorite discards so far, that have provided for a great sense of peace and freedom…

–>  discarded eating meat, cheese, eggs, and cow milk.  The body is just so much happier this way 🙂

–>  discarded attachment to food dogma, and instead embracing food preferences, mere preferences! So this actually contradicts the 1st ‘discard,’ in that i allow for an openness to the abundant offerings of the present moment.  Just recently this body consumed some dairy, and sure it didn’t feel that wonderful later, but it’s still alive Hallelujah!  No dogmatic demands…just preferences…liberation 🙂

–>  discarded a variety of clothing.  Now i keep a few white t-shirts, a pair of sweat pants, long johns, a few pairs of wool socks, a few pairs of boxers, utility pants, two hoodies, rain gear, a winter hat, and some formal white clothing.  Wow, sweet – i think that’s the first time i’ve ever listed the clothing ‘i own.’  It’s so simple!  And why complicate it?  I rather spend time thinking about other things…like God, Goodness, Enlightenment, Love, Peace, Joy, Service to the Highest Good of All, Oneness, the Kingdom of Heaven Within…than clothing 😉

–> discarded using money.  At least, for the most part.  Basically, i’ll use money to buy gifts for people, probiotics and perhaps a magnesium supplement for this body,…and that’s about it.  i’m also okay with spending someone else’s money to buy them things like groceries, but generally i don’t hold onto any money and give it away or spend it on something useful.  Live for this day!  And this frees ‘me’ from thinking about the endless ways to spend money, the opportunity cost, all the possibilities.   Instead, whenever i receive it, i basically put it to use immediately.  I love being able to trade pieces of paper for  goods with intrinsic value that can actually serve people and increase health and happiness 🙂

–> discarded iPod, laptop, wallet, cell phone, and basically any electronic gizmo.  And now, in moments like these when there are thoughts seeking expression, the universe seems to provide a laptop.  Quite convenient 🙂  Like Thoreau’s motto, “Simplify!”  Less is more, less is more, less is more!

–> discarded many, many books.  Seeking / living Truth mostly through direct experience / meditation / mindfulness these days.  A common problem i used to face was reading an abundance of books and exposing the mind to a superabundance of awesome ideas and not implementing them.  So over the past year or so, i’ve drastically cut back on consuming more ideas and instead have worked to integrate the ideas that i’ve supposedly learned.  I read somewhere that what we don’t need is more books…really we could just use one or two books…even just one really good idea…live that idea fully, all the way, every moment, and in that you’ll know God and Truth and Love and All Goodness 🙂  Really, something so simple yet pure and beautiful as “Perfect Love casts out fear,” is possibly more than enough to last anyone an entire lifetime.  But hey, the mind likes its ideas.

–>  discarded desires to write a book, to earn a million dollars, to get married, to read every major religious text, to meditate with 1000 people, and many more desires…see ya!  Some say desire is a good thing, and helpful in motivating us to action…and i agree!  But on some level, when you desire something, it suggests that you don’t have it already.  And especially the tangible desires, there’s an illusion behind them.  As soon as you can imagine it, it’s already real.  So there’s really no need to manifest it on the physical plane.  Either way, it’s all for fun 🙂  Nowadays, my desires are ‘ideally’ elevated to ‘preferences,’ so that there is less attachment to them…and generally the desires are less tangible in the language of to see God in everyone and everything, to unconditionally love all that is, to enjoy the fullness of each moment, to live a fully dedicated life, to serve the Highest Good of All…oh yes…and i just remembered!  This desire came to me in a flash sometime last night, i thought it was kind of funny…Inspire Yogihood…hehe…whatever that means.  Live in Unity and Oneness with All! 

There’s a list of some of my discards.  Now if i can just discard ‘I, My, Me, and Mine,’ maybe i’ll climb up the latter to enlightenment.  Supposedly, one of the last great discards is to discard to the desire for God, or even the desire for desirelessness…you just gotta let it all go, and let the Love pour through, so abundantly!!!

Well then…what more is there to say than…

Praise the Lord!

Hallelujah 🙂

Om

Different Levels of Pleasure. What’s your Motivation? RAW! Oneness

Short-term, medium-term, long-term, eternal.

Mindfulness pleasure is most like a joy in the eternal.  It’s great.

And what’s your motivation?

Depending on what motivates you, you’ll experience more or less energy.  If you’re motivated by the flourishing of your small physical self, then you’ll live one way.  If you’re motivated by the flourishing of all humanity, then that could lead to a different life.  Who are you here to serve?  What are you serving?  What are you dedicating your life to?  Is it just you, or is it You (All…Ya’ll ;))?

Recently this body has been doing lots of cooking.  Which is somewhat strange considering that just weeks ago it had been eating an abundance of raw foods and probably felt healthier and more energized than ever before.  So why change?

Part of the motivation for the cooking has been to provide healthier nourishment for the parents, and to show them some delicious vegan ways of feasting, perhaps hoping that enough yummy cuisine might inspire them to make the switch, or at least try out vegan foods more often.  At the same time, it provides a novel experience for ‘me’ as it’s a lot of cooking and prep that i’ve never done before.

What i’ve come to realize is that, even though there are good intentions regarding nourishing the parents and perhaps inspiring them to a healthier, more compassionate lifestyle, it’s also compromising a lot of the core of what i’d like to stand for (that is, what i have stood for that energizes me far more than just inspiring two people!).

So you can be motivated to help just a few…like your nuclear family…or you can be motivated to help many, like your city, maybe even your entire country.  Maybe you’re motivated to help your entire race!  Or maybe even your entire gender!!!  And then one of the most expansive motivations we can fathom, you can be motivated to help the entire human family, or even every single form of life!

I recently spoke on the phone with a Christian friend of mine.  He’s one of the most devout people i know.  Every Saturday he goes to an abortion mill with his wife and some fellow churchgoers and prays outside the mill for hours.  He said he prays for the people working inside and the people going in.  “They’re killing babies in there.”  And i couldn’t help but think…yes…and if you went to a slaughterhouse you’d find an even greater genocide, as far as the number of lives is concerned.  He is motivated to helping the whole human family, but in that he eats animals, his motivation might stop there and not expand to include all forms of life.  Not to say one motivation is better than the other, they are just different.

So back to the cooking-for-the-parents-shenanigans.  In so much as it’s way fun to cook and prepare healthy vegan dishes for the parents, the act compromises my understanding of what’s ‘best’ for the world, i.e. what’s healthiest for people, compassionate towards all forms of life, and most sustainable for the planet.  This means not just choosing vegan foods…but ultimately raw vegans.  Because the raw foods have live enzymes that allow for greater nutrient absorption and better digestion.  Raw foods also demand less energy from Mother Nature, as they bypass the cooking process.  So they are easier for the body to digest, provide greater nutritional value, and cost less to Mother Nature.  It make sense that our natural bodies eat natural foods, as they occur in nature!

And yes, transitioning to raw vegan from vegan is a challenge for the tongue and the taste buds…you know how they have their preferences ;)…but like almost all good investments…there might be pain the short-term, but in the long-term, big payoff.  Greater health, vitality, and peace of mind in knowing you’re making a universal decision.

Not to say, ‘Never eat cooked foods!’  Once you’re aware of the benefits to the body, all forms of life, the wonderful earth and Mother Nature, conscience might nudge you a little bit every time you eat cooked foods, and maybe the peaceful waters might feel a bit turbulent.

Just tonight, i ‘practiced’ a crepe/pancake recipe to see if i could make it work to hold vegan taco meat (lentils and veggies in abundance!).  The pancakes turned out okay…but as they cooked i couldn’t help but wonder why i was cooking such delicious ingredients when i could just eat them raw.  Sprouted Quinoa, Sprouted Buckwheat, Flax Seed, Miso, ACV…why would i ever cook such abundantly nutritious ingredients?  The process almost made me feel like i was slapping Mother Nature right in the face!  “Here I provide you with these superabundant raw foods, and you want to heat them up and cook away so much of their nutritional abundance, just for vegan tacos?!?”  What silliness!

Alas, thank goodness it’s in the past.  And ultimately i’m not sold either way.  I suppose i began writing this in hopes to ‘convince myself’ that more raw is the way to go.  What i might be holding on to is the element of fun, creativity, and a bit of novelty that seems to make the experience worth it.  Fun at the cost of depleted nutritional content and extra energy consumption / increased pollution to precious Mother Nature?  Sounds kinda funky 😉

Fun and novelty…ah the things we do in the name of fun and novelty.  Who says it’s not okay, though?  Sri Swami Satchidananda used to say, “If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong,” and referring to life in general, “it’s all for fun.”  So the question is, “Are you having fun yet?”  Certainly, whatever ways we shift our behavior and try new ways of being in the world, a lighthearted spirit and carefree attitude sound like a firm foundation.  As it’s been said, “For enlightenment, lighten up!”  Lighten up for enlightenment is all we have to do.  Stop taking things so seriously and enjoy the Golden Present.  It’s all there is anyway 🙂

Are you having fun yet?  You can only give what you have, so if you want to give fun experiences to people, have them yourself 🙂

Oneness…Oneness…Oneness…

Well, at the very least, this post benefit this body, and i’m fairly confident in saying it harmed none, although who could ever know.  There’s definitely an environmental cost to having the laptop on and plugged in, so let’s pray that the benefits outweigh the costs, and that Mother Nature is totally cool with this post that talks about Her and Her Abundance 🙂

And…moving beyond this post…what has been gleaned?

–>  For an individual, raw foods are likely the healthiest way of eating.  Raw foods are also the friendliest to Mother Nature.  So why not embrace Raw?  Taste bud preferences, the fun of cooking, seeking to inspire ‘others’ to switch to vegan in a gentle way?  As far as the inspiration goes…i think the best inspiration is always personal example, and the vitality from raw vegan foods being greater than that of vegan foods, the raw vegan example might be just a bit more inspiring.  And as for the taste buds, pshhh that’s child’s stuff.  Sure these bodies have taste buds, but they also have minds that can learn and grow in reason to make better and better decisions, beyond whatever the short-term demands of the taste buds might be.  Thinking long-term, which is the perhaps the more responsible way of thinking, raw makes some good sense!

–>  Instead of looking to help just one or two people specifically, like for me – the parents, connect with how everything you do is potentially helping many.  On a tangible level, preparing food for two people helps them, but beyond that we are all connected in so many ways, and all the actions ripple out to impact the whole.  Remember you are always connected to that whole!  And the more you live in awareness of your connection to the whole, even your oneness with the whole, then the more pure your action will be, and the more you’ll tune into what matters most.  Love, Peace, Joy, God, Goodness, Truth, Beauty, Here and Now 🙂

–>  Have fun, and care too!  Care for the body, the brain, the human family, all forms of life, for Mother Nature, and the entire creation!  No need to limit your caring just to your small physical self or your small nuclear family.  Expand your circles of compassion to include all living beings and the entire universe.  Embrace the connectivity with it all.  Allow your goldfish bowl to expand to include the whole universe, and observe how you grow too.

Oneness

Love

Gratitude

Hallelujah!

Praise the Lord 🙂

Look for the angel wings on the next person you pass…you can see them.

Om

Less Doing, More Being

We are, after all, human beings, not human doings.

The taoist principle of wu wei can be translated to mean, “In doing nothing, one accomplishes much.”  Or even, “In doing nothing, one accomplishes everything.”

One of the ‘my’ favorite things i learned while being at the ashram was that the hatha yoga practices are by no means an essential to higher consciousness or peace or enlightenment or whatever you want to call it.  Hatha Yoga can help feel more comfortable in the body and opens up some energy channels so you feel a nice flow of prana / chi / qi / life force and you might finish a hatha practice feeling energized, relaxed, calm, clear, invigorated, peaceful, and so much – so yes there are wonderful benefits 🙂 – but none of it is essential for the ultimate goal…which is…whatever you want to call it!

As i heard at the ashram, the hatha yoga is really just a simple, sustainable, healthy practice that harms none and benefits the practitioner.  The definition of a perfect act is just that – one that harms none and benefits at least one person.  In this way, you can consider practicing hatha yoga a perfect action.  So that’s great!  Yet, there are all kinds of perfect actions we can engage in at any moment.  The key is that it harms none.

How often do we find ourselves involved in activities that are harming someone or something, even ourselves?  Sometimes i think watching or reading the news is one of those activities.  By allowing toxic thoughts into our minds, we are harming ourselves.  Hatha yoga is just an activity to fill some of our time, and it feels good!  And hey, better to be practicing some hatha yoga than read the news.

Perfect act…those that harm none and benefit at least one.

No need for us to harm anyone, including ourselves.  We can harm none physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Let us only benefit!

This might mean turning off the TV. Thank goodness God provides an abundance of variety in this delightful universe 🙂

And if you’re looking for a perfect act to do…you can simply stop.  Be. Being is a perfect act.  Deep breathing is a perfect act.  Smiling is a perfect act.  Expressing gratitude is a perfect act.  Prayer is perfect. Meditation is perfect.  Sit.  Breathe. Smile. Be.

Enjoying is perfect 🙂

Praise the Lord!