What did i Learn this holiday season?

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

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

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

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

….

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

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

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

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

Have a goal.

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

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

Books rock!

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

Then again, learning is so fun!!!

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

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

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

Enjoy the mind.

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

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

– Meditate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love inspires.

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

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

The point is, give.  Actions, not words.

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

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

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

So grateful!

Hallelujah 🙂

What Motivates You?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you!

🙂

Embrace Hypocrisy

We are all hypocrites!

Thinking back on everything i like to write about, i only write from experience of having failed to apply whatever principles or ideas i’m writing about.  Without having failed and inevitably being a hypocrite at one point or another, there’d be no writing!

An affirmation Brother has been working with recently, from the book The 4 Agreements, is, “I am impeccable with my word!”

Nonetheless, who is actually impeccable with their word?

Who has ever stood on a pedestal proclaiming ideas they’ve never contradicted?

Like Jesus said, “Let the person who is without sin cast the first stone.”

Being home with the family, I’ve had the fortune of witnessing moments of personal righteousness, and i’ve noticed that these moments come only after previously trespassing against values/principles that i generally advocate for.  For example, i’ve noticed myself get heated, loud, and angry at people for eating animals or even talking about it.  Meanwhile, these personal uprisings have only occurred after consuming an excessive amount of chocolate and candy containing dairy.  Generally, i practice veganism, but of course the days when i’ve had lots of holiday treats around the house, that’s when i’d get outrageous and start judging and condemning people like some sort of righteous person.  And, to be completely open about why it has happened this way, i attribute part of it to the impact dairy and processed sugar have on the mind/body.  I also think it’s partially an ego defense mechanism, that is the ego defends the little ‘righteousness’ it still has in ‘not eating animals’ by attacking all those do.  Meanwhile, on days up until i’ve had only vegan foods, i’ve noticed a calmness and acceptance of people and whatever behavior is occurring.  Only when the hypocritical behavior starts coming out does the ego move to create even more separation and a greater than / less than hierarchy of morality.

Hence, if you think of whomever you consider the ‘most morally perfect’ of your friends or family, my guess is they practice acceptance rather than judgment.  Anyone who is morally superior accepts people rather than judging, because they operate from a higher level, understanding that we’re all just doing the best we can, and we all function with a unique degree of ignorance given our experiences in life.  Only the omniscient can accurately judge, and only the hypocritical thinks it is ‘in the know’ and has the power to adequately judge.  The morally superior understands that it is incapable of judgment.

Ahh, the holidays!

What an amazing time to ride an emotional roller coaster.

As much as there is a certain uniqueness to family gathering together once or twice a year, i think there’s also something to be said for lots of processed sugar and gluten to be a perfect combination for stirring up a pot of trouble.

Alas – so grateful for healing!

By the way, generally antidote for increasing the quality of your life…

increase the quality of the foods you eat!  That means more raw foods, more organic foods, more fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds!

A paradigm shift that can greatly enhance the quality of life for people, and the longevity of people and the planet…start spending money on healthy foods and supplements instead of things!  Who needs more things?  What’d we all like is more vigor!  More energy, more strength, more flexibility and clarity!  Purify the mind and body from the inside out.  Food matters.

Meanwhile, this is the moment!  Enjoy 🙂

What’s the Problem? Stop ‘Should’-ing on Yourself and People!

The Problem is…

We do things that we think we shouldn’t be doing.

Notice the language.

Think and shouldn’t.

Let’s use donuts, classic example.

We see free donuts at our place of our work.  Every bit of our education and what we know tells us that we’re better off not eating donuts.  Essentially, we see donuts, and on some level we have the thought, “I shouldn’t eat that.”  The word ‘should’ implies knowing, and knowing is basically omniscience.  In this way, no one is ever really in a situation to truthfully use the word should.  When we say that anyone should do anything, we’re placing ourselves on a pedestal of complete knowledge, suggesting that we know absolutely what is best.

Meanwhile, 2 minutes after we should on ourselves, we go and eat the donut. So now what kind of signal are we sending to the mind/body? Basically, our actions suggests, “I’m eating this, even though i think it’s not good for me.”  Maybe we even think, “I’m eating this, even though i know it’s not good for me.”  Whether we think that we think it’s not good for us or we think that we know it’s not good for us, either way there’s a lack of congruence between our actions and our thoughts and knowledge.  This lack of congruence might causes frustration, anxiety, anger, feelings of shame, guilt, fear, unworthiness, or any other relatively negative emotions.

What’s the antidote to this?  Thankfully, there might be more than one!

For starters, humility.  Humbling ourselves can mean admitting that ultimately, we do not know.  Joyfully proclaim, “I don’t know!” or even, “I know nothing!”  This liberates you from your pseudo-knowledge and incomplete/fallacious dogma.  The word maybe is powerfully.  Truthfully, you can entertain the thought, Maybe this donut is beneficial to me. Who knows?”  Or at least, i can easily entertain that thought, especially after all the alcohol, marijuana, and donuts this body has consumed, and it’s still alive!  Not only is it alive, but i like where it is.  So do i regret consuming all the drugs and donuts?  Absolutely not! It’s all part of the path.  We’re on a never-ending journey, and i think one of the greatest lessons we’re taught over and over again is that we know very little, or even that we know nothing.  And anytime we are thinking or speaking with the language of should we are getting ourselves into trouble.

Secondly, wu wei.  In doing nothing, one accomplishes much.  Think about how many problems are caused by people doing things in the world.  Wouldn’t the world be a lot more peaceful if we all did less?  For example, what if we all slept more, walked more, read more, and ate more slowly?  Simple acts are less harmful on the environment and connect us more with the peace that is within.  Wu wei, as it applies to donuts, means..let it be!  There is action in inaction.  Choose inaction.  Do nothing.  Which means, don’t eat the donut!  Let it be.  Wu wei.  Ultimately, when considering our purpose as human beings, we can imagine our purpose is for the long-term.  Our purpose is for the eternal, the Divine!  What happens in the material world is ever-changing and more or less the Divine Comedy playing around.  Our purpose is greater than the material world.  Our purpose rests in the unseen, the invincible.  Whether or not you eat the donut is of little significance in the cosmic game, yet it is a cosmic event.   So, if you choose to eat the donut, eat it with all the grandeur in the entire cosmos.  Everyone is watching!  And it all adds up to this moment.  Do it with gratitude, do it with joy.  Or, perhaps, better yet, don’t do it with gratitude, and don’t do it with joy.  Give thanks for the abundance, and give thanks for your power to walk in the opposite direction.  Give thanks for your ability to smile at the donut, to admire it, and let it be still, as it is, on the plate.

I read earlier today that sin is estrangement from God.  What is estrangement from God?  It’s forgetting that we’re alive.  It’s forgetting about the awesomeness of life.  It’s unconsciousness.  When does this happen?  When we take life for granted.  Gratitude is a sure way to reconnect with God and the awesomeness of life.  The more we are grateful, the more connected we are, the more automatically our thoughts and actions will move towards greater purity, wholeness, and unity.

Stay connected with your aliveness.  In the Present Moment resides Infinite Possibility and Potential.  There is nothing set in stone.  You can play as grandly as you can imagine.  Bring consciousness to your activities. Bring gratitude.  Bring love.  Bring appreciation. Bring smiles.  Bring an inclination and desire to laugh and generate laughter.  Consciousness.  Act deliberately, with intention.  And let the intention be connected with the long-term, the eternal.  Know that life isn’t so much about the material world as the attitude we carry with us each moment.  More than our external circumstances, what matters are our internal conditions.  Connect with and cherish the Kingdom Within.  Realize the Great Teacher in everyone.  Maybe see the Divine Light radiating through all creation.

With a single footstep, you can feel all the power you can handle pulsing through the body.  With full awareness in the foot as it touches the ground, feel it fully alive, invigorated with the energy of the entire creation.

There is nothing stopping you but yourself.

If you can dream it, you can do it.

Believe and achieve.

Plan accordingly.  Prepare for the Best!

Gratitude keeps you conscious.  Stay conscious 🙂

How to stop destructive behavior and self-sabotage

You don’t!

Just keeping doing it…

Until,

One Day,

Like holding a hot coal,

you have to drop it!

Because it’s just

too hot.

Associate enough pain with something and you’ll do whatever you can to move in the opposite direction of it.

Likewise, associate enough pleasure with something, and you’ll do whatever you can to move towards it.

We are moved by pleasure and pain.

We move away from what brings us pain.  We move towards what brings us pleasure.

I’ve experienced enough pain associated with drinking alcohol and eating meat so that those behavioral decisions are a part of my conscious processing.  When asked if i’d like either of those things, the answer is an effortless no.  No amount of pressure moves me to say yes to either of those choices, just because – for me – the pain is too great.

Similarly, I thoroughly enjoy giving things away, and simplifying material possessions as much as possible, as well as organizing and bringing order to the physical world.  Why?  I experience great pleasure with all of these activities!  I understand these behavioral choices as universally good, and feel that i’m setting a worthy example for everyone when engaged in the sorts of ways.

Above anything else, realize you are powerful.  You are powerful!

You can choose to live whatever type of life you desire.

You can always choose to hang up the phone.  Listen to what you want.  Hang up on the phone on anything that fails to serve you.

Preaching…

The multi-vitamin!

The probiotic!

The magnesium supplement!

The fluoride-free water!

The blender!

The green smoothie!

The foam roller!

Raw foods!

Eating in silence!

Being grateful!

Laughing for 5 minutes daily!

Walking!

Dancing!

Chanting and singing!

Entering the flow state!

Studying spiritual texts!

Role modeling!

Setting goals!

Growth-orientation and service-orientation!

Asking and receiving!

Training the mind!

Meditating!

Stretching!

Journaling and reflecting!

Smiling at people!

Playing with animals and babies!

Hugging trees!

Hugging people!

Huggin yourself!

Breathing!

Standing on the head or being upside!

Twisting!

Hanging from a bar and/or brachiating!

Listen!

Relax!

Practice mindful eating!

Practice mindful walking!

Practice mindful writing!

Think about Heaven!

Good things to do on a daily basis 🙂

“To get what you want, really want.”

so grateful!