Archive for November, 2007

Miss Me — But Let Me Go

November 13, 2007

A volunteer friend passed away suddenly last week. May his wife and children embrace peace and hope in this dedication.

Author unknown

When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom-filled room.
Why cry for a soul set free?
Miss me a little — but not too long
And not with your head bowed low.
Remember the love that we once shared,
Miss me — but let me go.
For this is a journey that we all must take
And each must go alone.
It’s all a part of the Master’s plan,
A step on the road to home.
When you are lonely and sick of heart
Go to the friends we know
And bury your sorrows in doing good deeds.
Miss Me — But Let me Go!

Rescuing The Rescuer

November 13, 2007

[From DailyOM]

Some people seem called to help others, often from very early on in their childhoods, responding to the needs of family members, strangers, or animals with a selflessness that is impressive. Often, these people appear to have very few needs of their own, and the focus of  their lives is on rescuing, helping, and healing others. While there are a few people who are truly able to sustain this completely giving lifestyle, the vast majority has needs that lie beneath the surface, unmet and often unseen. In these cases, their motivation to help others may be an extension of a deep desire to heal a wounded part of themselves that is starving for the kind of love and attention they dole out to those around them on a daily basis. For any number of reasons, they are unable to give themselves the love they need and so they give it to others. This does not mean that they are not meant to be helping others, but it does mean that they would do well to turn
some of that helping energy within.

One problem with the rescuer model is that the individual can get stuck in the role, always living in crisis mode at the expense of inner peace and personal growth. Until the person resolves their own inner dramas, they play them out in their relationships with others, drawn to those who need them and often unable to acknowledge their own needs or get them met. In the worst-case scenario, they enable the other person’s dilemma by not knowing when to stop playing the rescuer and allow the person to figure it out on their own. However, if the rescuer finds the strength to turn within and face the needy aspects of their own psyche, he or she can become a model of empowerment and a true source of healing in the world.

Some signs that you or someone you love may need to rescue the rescuer within are inner burnout from overgiving; underlying resentment; an inability to admit to having needs of one’s own; and an unwillingness to be vulnerable. Help comes when we allow ourselves to admit we need it, acknowledging our humanity and our wholeness by acknowledging our pain. The understanding we gain in the process will naturally inform and inspire our ability to help those in need to do the same.

Power of Choice

November 12, 2007

[Fr. Norbert Weber]

The power of choice is real. We can . . .

Choose to love — rather than hate.
Choose to smile — rather than frown.
Choose to build — rather than destroy.
Choose to persevere — rather than quit.
Choose to praise — rather than gossip.
Choose to heal — rather than wound.
Choose to give — rather than grasp.
Choose to act — rather than delay.
Choose to pray — rather than despair.
Choose to forgive — rather than curse.

Each day brings a new opportunity to choose. What kind of choices will you make today?

Unlimited Vision

November 12, 2007

[From DailyOm]

We can only see so much from where we sit in our particular bodies, in the midst of our particular lives, rooted as we are in the continuum of space and time. The divine, on the other hand, is not limited to the constructs of either space or time, and its wisdom and workings often elude us as we try to make sense of what is happening in our lives. This is why things are not always what they seem to be and even the best-laid plans are sometimes overturned. Even when we feel we have been guided by our intuition every step of the way, we may find ourselves facing unexpected loss and disappointment. At times like these, we can find some solace in trusting that no matter how bad or just plain inexplicable things look from our perspective, they are, in fact, in divine order.

Even as we take our places in this earthly realm, a part of us remains completely free of the confines we face here. Regardless of what is happening in our lives, this part of us remains infused with joy and gratitude, connected to the unbroken source from which we come. Our small self, on the other hand, who is caught up in our false identity as a being limited in space and time, regards happiness as the result of things going the way it wants them to go. It is this part of us that suffers the greatest confusion and upset when the logic of events does not compute. And it is to this self that we must extend unconditional love, forgiveness, and compassion. In order to do this, we tap into our inner divinity, holding the space of a tender authority, extending love and light to our ego as a mother extends her love to a troubled child.

There are many ways to access our inner divinity—meditation, prayer, chanting, channeling, and conscious breathing, to name a few. It is helpful to develop a regular practice that provides us access to this all-powerful, healing presence, as it can be difficult to reach once we are in a stressful position, if we have not already established a connection. The more connected we are with this part of ourselves, the more we share its unlimited vision and the secure, knowing that all the things of our life, no matter how they appear, are in a state of divine and perfect order.

Letting Go

November 9, 2007

To Let Go does not mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To Let Go is not to cut myself off,
it is the realization I can’t control another.
To Let Go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To Let Go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To Let Go is not to try to change or blame another,
it is to make the most of myself.
To Let Go is not to care for,
but to care about.
To Let Go is not to fix,
but to be supportive.
To Let Go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To Let Go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their destinies.
To Let Go is not to be protective,
it is to permit another to face reality.
To Let Go is not to deny,
but to accept.
To Let Go is not to nag, scold, or argue,
but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To Let Go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes, and cherish myself in it.
To Let Go is not to criticize and regulate anybody,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To Let Go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
To Let Go is to fear less,
and love more.

Buddhist Psychology by Ven Lama Thubten Yeshe

November 8, 2007

Make Your Mind an Ocean

Aspects of Buddhist Psychology by the late Ven. Lama Thubten Yeshe. “To enter the spiritual path, you must begin to understand your own mental attitude and how your mind perceives things. If you’re all caught up in attachment to tiny atoms, your limited, craving mind will make it impossible for you to enjoy life’s pleasures. External energy is so incredibly limited that if you allow yourself to be bound by it, your mind itself will become just as limited. When your mind is narrow, small things easily agitate you.” In this series of lectures, Lama speaks on the nature of mind and the Buddhist approach to mental health. Of particular interest here is ‘A Buddhist Approach to Mental Illness’, a talk Lama gave to a group of Western mental health practitioners, and which highlights the differences between the two approaches to mental health and perhaps lays the foundation for a greater understanding between the two.

Becoming Your Own Therapist

Lord Buddha’s timeless teachings are as universally relevant today as they were when they were first given, over 2,500 years ago, as Lama explains in these three general talks on the philosophy, psychology and practice of Buddhism. Although called lectures, these talks are not intended to be didactic, but rather for us to use as a mirror for our minds, to allow us to look beyond the words, find ourselves, and become our own psychologist. Each lecture is followed by an informative question and answer session, where Lama expands upon aspects of the talks in further detail.

[some of his books are available online free of charge]

Six Essential Keys to Spiritual Development

November 8, 2007

Adapted from Start Now! a book of soul and spiritual exercises, by Rudolph Steiner (Steiner Books, 2004).

May my soul bloom in love for all existence. —Rudolph Steiner

The great teacher and spiritual leader Rudolph Steiner spent his lifetime searching for keys to living more consciously. He boiled down the wisdom of generations into six clear, powerful, simple guidelines. Here, then are the six essential keys to a more aware and spiritually developed life.

  1. Control of thoughts. We must master our thoughts, particularly our train of thought. Just consider the way thoughts whirl about in our souls, how they flit like will o’-the-wisps; one impression arises here, another there, and each changes our thinking. It is not true that we govern our thoughts; our thoughts govern us completely. We must reach the point where, at a given time in the day, we can become so absorbed in a thought that no other thought can enter and disturb our soul. In this way, we hold the reins of thought life for awhile.
  2. Control of our actions. Here it is necessary, occasionally at least, to act in ways that are not precipitated by anything external. Whatever is initiated by our place in life, our profession, or our situation does not lead more deeply into higher life. Higher life depends upon such intimate matters as one’s resolve to do something that springs completely from one’s own initiative–even if it is something absolutely insignificant. No other actions contribute anything to the higher life.
  3. Equanimity. People fluctuate back and forth between joy and sorrow. Thus we allow ourselves to be rocked on the waves of life. We must reach equanimity and steadiness. One must become steadfast and even-tempered.
  4. Understand every being. Nothing expresses more beautifully what it means to understand every being. Try always to approach what is wonderful in every phenomenon of outer reality. You will see that everything contains an aspect that can be affirmed.
  5. Complete openness. Most people judge new things according to the old things they already know. But we must not confront a new communication immediately with our own opinion. We must instead always remain alert for the possibility of learning something new. We must develop the ability to listen, because it enables us to encounter matters with the greatest possible openness.
  6. Inner harmony. We receive this after we have developed the first five keys. Those who have the other qualities are also inwardly harmonious.

Your Destiny

November 7, 2007

[Author unknown]

Watch your thoughts,
They become your words.
Watch your words,
They become your actions.
Watch your actions
They become your habits.
Watch your habits,
They become your character.
Watch your character,
It becomes your destiny.

Letting Go Of The Little Stuff

November 7, 2007

[From DailyOM]

We experience numerous disappointments each and every day. Our expectations go unmet, our plans are blocked by circumstance, our wishes go unfulfilled, and we discover that our lives are subject to a myriad of forces beyond our conscious control. In some cases, our response is powerful because we must invest ourselves and our resources to overcome genuine hardship. In others, our reactions are far more passionate than our circumstances likely warrant. The tension that permeates our bodies and minds when we are late for an event, interrupted at work, or sitting in traffic is not inappropriate, but it can interfere with our well-being in profound ways. When we stop worrying about relatively unimportant matters, we can be at peace and devote so much more of ourselves to what is truly important.

The small frustrations and irritations wield such power over us because they rob us of the illusion of control. But every problem is a potential teacher—a confusing situation is an opportunity to practice mindfulness, and difficult people provide us with opportunities to display compassion. There is a natural human tendency to invest copious amounts of emotional energy in minor dilemmas and frustrations in order to avoid confronting those more complex issues that are largely outside the realm of our control. The intensity of our response provides us with a temporary sense of personal power that helps us cope with challenges that might otherwise overwhelm us. But it is only when we let the little stuff go that we discover that the big stuff is not really so devastating after all.

In the stress of a singularly tense incident, differentiating between an inconsequential annoyance and a legitimate challenge can seem a monumental task. Ask yourself whether the emotions you are feeling will be as vivid in a year, a day, or even an hour. As focused as you are on this moment in time, your reward for letting go of your emotional investment may be the very happiness and harmony of being whose loss you are lamenting. Needless aggravation is seldom worth the cost it exacts. You cannot distance yourself from life’s inconsistencies, irritations, and upheavals, but you can relinquish your desire for perfect order and gain peace of mind in the process.

Releasing and Welcoming

November 6, 2007

[From DailyOM]

In some of our lives, sweeping has become an activity performed without much thought. In many cases, sweeping is a lost art, replaced by the noisy, efficient vacuum cleaner. But in several cultures and religions, sweeping the front and back porch every morning is regarded as an important cleansing ritual that prepares the ground for new energy on every level—physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. It is often employed to sanctify a space and prepare it for a ceremony. This seemingly simple action has the power to clear away the old and make space for the new. It stirs up the energy in a place, clearing out the astral buildup that is the natural by-product of the presence of humans.

This kind of sweeping is not about cleaning the area of dust. In fact, the broom doesn’t have to actually touch the ground to be effective. You might want to consider having two different brooms, one you use for cleaning dust and dirt, and one you use for energy clearing. If you are so inspired, you could decorate your broom by carving its handle, painting it, decorating it with gemstones and ribbons, or any other creative adornment that appeals to you. You can also make your own broom out of tree branches and twigs, or choose a naturally appearing broom from nature, such as a pine bough.

Sweeping each morning prepares the ground for the new day at the same time as it deepens our awareness of the importance of letting go of the past to welcome the present. As we clear the energy of our space, we clear our own energy systems. In addition, we create a space that feels clean, clear, and open to all who enter. Be sure to think welcoming thoughts as you sweep, manifesting what you need for the day. Making sweeping part of our daily ritual tunes us into the continuing cycle of releasing the old and welcoming the new that is the hallmark of a healthy energy system.

Life

November 6, 2007

Life is a Challenge. Make it.
Life is a Gift. Accept it.
Life is an Adventure. Dare it.
Life is a Sorrow. Overcome it.
Life is a Duty. Perform it.
Life is a Game. Play it.
Life is a Tragedy. Face it.
Life is an Opportunity. Take it.
Life is a Puzzle. Solve it.
Life is a Song. Sing it.
Life is a Journey. Complete it.
Life is a Promise. Fulfill it.
Life is a Love. Enjoy it.
Life is a Beauty. Praise it.
Life is a Struggle. Fight it.
Life is a Mystery. Unhold it.
Life is a Goal. Achieve it.
Life is a Spirit Divine. Realise it.

Sincerity

November 5, 2007

“I wish I were big enough honestly to admit all my shortcomings;
Brilliant enough to accept praise without it making me arrogant;
Tall enough to tower above deceit;
Strong enough to welcome criticism;
Compassionate enough to understand human frailties;
Wise enough to recognize my mistakes;
Humble enough to appreciate greatness;
Staunch enough to stand by my friends;
Human enough to be thoughtful of my neighbor;
And righteous enough to be devoted to the love of God.”

The Wall Street Journal

The Music Of Language

November 5, 2007

[From DailyOM]

When we speak or write, we use the vehicles of words to carry meaning, as well as energy, from ourselves to another person or group of people. We may be speaking to our baby, our boss, or to an audience of 500 people. We may be writing a love letter, a work-related memo, or an entry in our own diary. Whatever the case, each word we speak or write has a life of its own, a vibratory signature that creates waves in the same way that a note of music creates waves. And like musical notes, our words live in communities of other words and change in relation to the words that surround them. When we are conscious of the energy behind our words, we become capable of making beautiful music in the world. If we are unconscious of the power of words, we run the risk of creating a noisy disturbance.

Some of us know this instinctively, while others come to this understanding slowly. Most of us, though, speak without thinking at least some of the time, blurting out our feelings and thoughts without much regard for the words we choose to express them. When we remind ourselves that our words have an impact on the world at the level of energy, we may find within ourselves the desire to be more aware of our use of language.

A fun way to increase our sensitivity to the power of words is to simply make a list of our favorite words and notice the energy they contain. We can write them down and post them where we can see them, or we can speak them aloud, feeling them reverberate in our bodies and in the air around us. This is like learning to consciously play an instrument that we have been playing unconsciously for most of our lives, and the effect can be startling and delightful. As we grow more comfortable and confident playing the instrument of language, we will begin to compose beautiful messages, creating positive energy every time we write or speak.

Afraid To Meditate

November 2, 2007

[From DailyOM]

There are times when we feel the pull to meditate but are swayed from it by the excuses that spring to mind. We may think that we are too busy, have no time to ourselves, or that we do not have the right place to meditate. Our minds can think of dozens of reasons to put off meditation. But those are even stronger reasons to look past the illusion of the hustle and bustle of daily life and to connect to the place within that intersects with the timeless power and limitless potential of the universe. From that place we can experience that potent stillness that exists at all times, and it is only as far as away as our breath.

It might be useful to ask yourself why you would put off something so beneficial to your peace of mind and general well-being. There may be fear that if you were to stop your frantic pace, your world might fall apart, and then you would have to face the undeniable reality of who you really are and the results of the choices you have made. You might be afraid that you will be forced to make huge changes in order to align yourself with the universe and harness your true potential. Sometimes the frustrations of the known world seem less scary than the possibilities of the unknown. But the truth is that when we cooperate with the universe by creating our lives from the truth of our being, life becomes less of a struggle and more of a process of living blissfully on purpose.

Finding yourself alone for a few moments can give you the opportunity to turn within to infuse a sense of calm wisdom to your work. Whenever you can take the time to recenter and refocus, it will remind you how beneficial it is to connect to your source. Then you will make the time for longer sojourns of spirit, because once you are rejuvenated and enlivened by knowing that you are made of energy and light, you can channel the power to create your life in alignment with the highest potential of your soul.

How safe is a padlocked baggage zipper?

November 1, 2007

This video clip shows how the zip can be breached with an ordinary ball-point pen in a second, and resealed without leaving any trace!

However, in order to reseal, one has to move the zipper over the opening thus giving us some possible solutions to detect tampering. (I have no commercial interest in the following products or companies):

  1. use a zip tie to lock the zippers against the baggage handle. In fact, with a zip tie, you can probably do away with the padlock. [friend’s suggestion]
  2. use a Tell-Tag

(more…)