Archive for December, 2008

Birds fly in a V

December 25, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

As they swoop, drift, and glide, inscribing magnificent patterns across the sky, birds are serene displays of grace and beauty. Long a source of inspiration, birds can be messengers from the spirit realm, or a symbol of the human soul, as they cast off their earthly mooring and soar heavenward. An upturned wing, a graceful flutter, all so effortless and free…  More magnificent still is the inspiring sight of birds migrating, progressing steadily across the horizon in a solid V formation that is a singular pattern too unique to be mere chance.   

Pushing steadily forward, this aerodynamic V reduces air resistance for the whole flock. With wings moving in harmony, the feathered group continues its course across the sky, covering more ground together in community than as individuals. When the bird at the front gets tired, she will move to the rear of the formation where the wind drag is lowest, and a more rested bird can take her place.

By learning from the example of our winged guides, all of us can feel empowered to take on daring challenges as we chart adventurous courses. Feel the strength of others moving alongside you, as their presence lends power to your wings during this journey across the sky of life. When buffeted by unexpected gusts, we can choose to find refuge in the loving shelter of friends and family. We may even marvel as an otherwise difficult day passes by like a swift wind, as a kindred spirit charts a way for us through the clouds and rain ahead. If your wings begin to ache on your journey, look around for somebody else to fly at the front for a while. All of us move faster when we move together. Let your ego drop earthwards as we all soar ever higher.

The Music of This World

December 25, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

The tool most commonly used to focus our minds in meditation is the breath. When we sit down to meditate, drawing our attention inward counteracts our habitual tendency to be scattered. Meditation on the breath helps us gather our energy into our bodies, centering and grounding us in the present moment. Almost as readily available as our breath are the sounds of the natural world. From rain to wind to the ocean and birds, meditating on these aural manifestations brings us not only a sense of peace, but also an experience of connection to the physical world.

It is easy to get stuck inside our own heads and our individual lives. We get caught up in our goals and plans and almost forget that we live in a world that is always there, humming away in the background. There is an internal shift that occurs when we tune into that background and really give it our attention. It’s as if we are discovering a more expansive world, because we are. We are also experiencing ourselves in relation to something larger. This discovery makes us feel rejuvenated and more expansive.

The vast and ceaselessly churning ocean is an ideal place for meditating on the sounds of nature. Sit quietly and surrender to the sounds of the thundering, crashing waves. Let go of your ambitions and listen. Rivers and lakes also sing their own songs. Even if you live in the middle of a city, the wind howls and whistles and the rain taps out a variety of sounds depending on where it falls—on the sidewalk, a tin roof, a car window, or a muddy slope. Tune into these sounds next time you hear them instead of letting them fade into the background. Stop and listen as if you are hearing a sublime piece of music. Let the music of this world take you on a journey of natural sounds.

The World in a Bright Light

December 24, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

Everyday is a blessing, and in each moment there are many things that we can be grateful for. The world opens up to us when we live in a space of gratitude. In essence, gratitude has a snowball effect. When we are appreciative and express that gratitude, the universe glows a bit brighter and showers us with even more blessings.

There is always something to be grateful for, even when life seems hard. When times are tough, whether we are having a bad day or stuck in what may feel like an endless rut, it can be difficult to take the time to feel grateful. Yet, that is when gratitude can be most important. If we can look at our lives, during periods of challenge, and find something to be grateful for, then we can transform our realities in an instant. There are blessings to be found everywhere. When we are focusing on what is negative, our abundance can be easy to miss. Instead, choosing to find what already exists in our lives that we can appreciate can change what we see in our world. We start to notice one blessing, and then another.

When we constantly choose to be grateful, we notice that every breath is a miracle and each smile becomes a gift. We begin to understand that difficulties are also invaluable lessons. The sun is always shining for us when we are grateful, even if it is hidden behind clouds on a rainy day.  A simple sandwich becomes a feast, and a trinket is transformed into a treasure. Living in a state of gratitude allows us to spread our abundance because that is the energy that we emanate from our beings.  Because the world reflects back to us what we embody, the additional blessings that inevitably flow our way give us even more to be grateful for. The universe wants to shower us with blessings. The more we appreciate life, the more life appreciates and bestows us with more goodness.

Quality Vs. Quantity

December 24, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

We live in an age of quantity. The media shapes us with the notion that larger, faster, and more are often synonymous with better. We are told that we need to find more time, more possessions, and more love to be truly happy.   A smaller quantity of anything that is high in quality will almost always be more satisfying. A single piece of our favorite chocolate or a thin spread of freshly made preserves can satisfy us more than a full bucket of a product that we aren’t very fond of. Similarly, one fulfilling experience can eclipse many empty moments strung together.  It is not the quantity of time that matters, but the quality that you experience during each moment. Every minute is an opportunity to love yourself and others, develop confidence and self-respect, and exhibit courage.

Ultimately, quality can make life sweeter. When you focus on quality, all your life experiences can be meaningful. A modest portion of good, healthy food can nourish and satisfy you on multiple levels and, when organically grown, nourish the earth as well. Likewise, a few hours of deep, restful slumber will leave you feeling more refreshed than a night’s worth of frequently interrupted sleep. A few minutes spent with a loved one catching up on the important details about family, work, or community can carry more meaning than two hours spent watching television together.

Often, in the pursuit of quantity we cheat ourselves of quality. Then again, quantity also plays a significant role in our lives. Certain elements, such as hugs, kisses, abundance, and love, are best had in copious amounts that are high in quality. But faced with the choice between a single, heartfelt grin and a lifetime of empty smiles, most would, no doubt, choose the former. Ultimately, it is not how much you live or have or do but what you make of each moment that counts.

The Great Transformer

December 24, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

Hatred can be irrational, and it has a greater impact on the individual who hates than the person or object being hated. Yet overcoming hatred is difficult because hatred reinforces itself and causes greater enmity to come into being. The most powerful tool one can use to combat hatred is love. Deciding to love what you hate, whether this is a person, situation, or a part of yourself, can create a profound change in your feelings and your experience. There is little room for anger, dislike, bitterness, or resentment when you are busy loving what you hate.  The practice of loving what you hate can transform and shift your emotions from hatred to love, because there is no room for hatred in a space occupied by love.

Granted, it is difficult to forgo judging someone, love your enemy, and seek the good in situations that seem orchestrated to cause you pain or anger. But in deciding to love what you hate, you become one less person adding negativity to the universe. On a simple level, loving what you hate can help you enjoy your life more. On a more complex level, loving what you hate sets you free because you disengage yourself from the hatred that can weigh down the soul. Responding with love to people radiating hatred transmutes their negative energy.  You also empower yourself by not letting their negativity enter your personal space. Rather than lowering yourself to the level of their hatred, you give the other person an opportunity to rise above their feelings and meet you on the field of love.

Gandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Loving what you hate sends a positive, beautiful energy to people while spreading peace and harmony throughout the planet. Instead of reinforcing hatred, you become an advocate for love. Hatred responds to hate by causing anguish. But hatred responds to love by transforming into blissful peace.

Reactions To Life Events

December 24, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

Our experiences color everything. The events of the past can have a profound effect on how we see our lives now and what we choose to believe about our world. Our past experiences can also influence our emotional reactions and responses to present events. Each of us reacts to stimulus based on what we have learned in life. There is no right or wrong to it; it is simply the result of past experience. Later, when our strong feelings have passed, we may be surprised at our reactions. Yet when we face a similar situation, again our reactions may be the same. When we understand those experiences, we can come that much closer to understanding our reactions and consciously change them.

Between stimulus and reaction exists a fleeting moment of thought. Often, that thought is based on something that has happened to you in the past. When presented with a similar situation later on, your natural impulse is to unconsciously regard it in a similar light. For example, if you survived a traumatic automobile accident as a youngster, the first thing you might feel upon witnessing even a minor collision between vehicles may be intense panic. If you harbor unpleasant associations with death from a past experience, you may find yourself unable to think about death as a gentle release or the next step toward a new kind of existence. You can, however, minimize the intensity of your reactions by identifying the momentary thought that inspires your reaction. Then, next time, replace that thought with a more positive one.

Modifying your reaction by modifying your thoughts is difficult, but it can help you to see and experience formerly unpleasant situations in a whole new light. It allows you to stop reacting unconsciously. Learning the reason of your reactions may also help you put aside a negative reaction long enough to respond in more positive and empowered ways. Your reactions and responses then become about what’s happening in the present moment rather than about the past. As time passes, your negative thoughts may lose strength, leaving only your positive thoughts to inform your healthy reactions.

Fully Committed to Now

December 12, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

Sometimes, we may find ourselves wishing we knew what our lives are going to look like or what gifts and challenges are going to be presented to us in the coming months or years. We may want to know if the relationship we’re in now will go the distance or if our goals will be realized. Perhaps we feel like we need help making a decision and we want to know which choice will work out best. We may consult psychics, tarot cards, our dreams, and many other sources in the hopes of finding out what the future holds. Usually, at most, we may catch glimpses. And even though we think we would like to know the whole story in all its details, the truth is that we would probably be overwhelmed and exhausted if we knew everything that is going to happen to us.

Just think of your life as you’ve lived it up to this point. If you are like most of us, you have probably done more and faced more than you could have ever imagined. If someone had told you as a child of all the jobs and relationships you would experience, along with each one’s inherent ups and downs, you would have become overwhelmed. With your head full of information about the future, you would have had a very hard time experiencing your life in the present moment, which is where everything actually happens.

In many ways, not knowing what the future has in store brings out in us the qualities we need to grow. For example, it would have been difficult to commit yourself to certain people or projects if you knew they wouldn’t ultimately work out. Yet, it was through your commitment to see them through that you experienced the lessons you needed to grow. Looking back on your life, you would likely be hard pressed to say that anything in your past should not have happened. In fact, your most challenging experiences with their inevitable lessons may have ultimately brought you the greatest rewards. Not knowing the future keeps us just where we need to be—fully committed and in the present moment.

We Are All Mirrors for Each Other

December 11, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

When we look at other people, we see many of their qualities in innumerable and seemingly random combinations. However, the qualities that we see in the people around us are directly related to the traits that exist in us. “Like attracts like” is one of the spiritual laws of the universe. We attract individuals into our lives that mirror who we are. Those you feel drawn to reflect your inner self back at you, and you act as a mirror for them. Simply put, when you look at others, you will likely see what exists in you. When you see beauty, divinity, sweetness, or light in the soul of another, you are seeing the goodness that resides in your soul. When you see traits in others that evoke feelings of anger, annoyance, or hatred, you may be seeing reflected back at you those parts of yourself that you have disowned or do not like.

Because we are all mirrors for each other, looking at the people in your life can tell you a lot about yourself. Who you are can be laid bare to you through what you see in others. It is easy to see the traits you do not like in others. It is much more difficult to realize that you possess those same traits. Often, the habits, attitudes, and behaviors of others are closely linked to our unconscious and unresolved issues.

When you come into contact with someone you admire, search your soul for similarly admirable traits. Likewise, when you meet someone exhibiting traits that you dislike, accept that you are looking at your reflection. Looking at yourself through your perception of others can be a humbling and eye-opening experience. You can also cultivate in you the traits and behaviors that you do like. Be loving and respectful to all people, and you will attract individuals that will love and respect you back. Nurture compassion and empathy and let the goodness you see in others be your mirror.

Let It Flow

December 10, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

How wonderful it feels to give in and let tears flow when we are overwhelmed with emotions, whether we are happy or sad. Tears come from the soul, from our well of feelings rising from deep down. When we give in to the prickling behind our eyes and the lump in our throat to let teardrops fall from our eyes, we allow our feelings to surface so they can be set free. 

Proud parents shed tears of pride in a child’s accomplishments, a baby’s first step, birthdays, and graduations. Long lost friends fall into each other’s arms, tears rolling down their cheeks when they reunite after years of separation. Tears may flow from us when we are witness to a commitment being made at a wedding or even while we are watching a love story. Tears of relief may spring forth from our eyes when we hear that a loved one has survived an ordeal, and tears may fall when we bow our head in sorrow over a loss or death. Tears born from heartache can flow like they’ll never cease, whether our tears are for a love that is over, a friendship lost, or an opportunity missed. We shed tears because of disappointment in ourselves, tragedy in the world, pain, and illness. Tears of anger can burn with emotion as they fall down our faces. Tears offer us a physical release of our feelings.

Shedding tears can sometimes make us feel better, although it can feel like the tears will never end once the floodgates are open. There is no shame in letting tears flow freely and frequently. Tears are as natural to us as is breathing. There is beauty in allowing yourself to be vulnerable enough to shed tears. Open up, release your tears, and let your feelings flow.

An Illustration of Sustainable Development

December 9, 2008

A presentation by Cultural Survival.

If you can’t read the words, go here to download the Powerpoint slide or view it in full screen. I bet you’ll find it worthwhile.

小學生造句

December 9, 2008

 

很有趣的造句!隨著年齡增長,愈發羨慕小朋友能夠如此天真無邪的用語….當然,也 很羨慕這位老師如此幽默的評語,這工作真是享受…

1。題目:一邊….一邊….

小朋友寫:他一邊脫衣服,一邊穿褲子。

老師批語:他到底是要脫還是要穿啊?


2。題目:其中

小朋友寫:我的其中一只左腳受傷了。

老師批語:你是蜈蚣嗎?


3。題目:陸陸續續

小朋友寫:下班了,爸爸陸陸續續的回家了。

老師批語:你到底有幾個爸爸呀?


4。題目:難過

小朋友寫:我家門前有條水溝很難過。

老師批語:老師更難過。


5。題目:又….又…..

小朋友寫:我的媽媽又矮又高又胖又瘦。

老師批語;你的媽媽是變形金鋼嗎?


6。題目:你看

小朋友寫:你看什麼看!沒看過啊?

老師批語:沒看過。


7。題目:欣欣向榮

小朋友寫:欣欣向榮榮告白。

老師批語:連續劇不要看太多了!


8。題目:好吃

小朋友寫:好吃個屁。

老師批語:有些東西是不能吃的。


9。題目:天真

小朋友寫:今天真熱。

老師批語:你真天真。


10。題目:果然

小朋友寫:昨天我吃水果,然後喝涼水。

老師批語:是詞組,不能分開的。


11。題目:先….再….,例題:先吃飯,再冼澡。

小朋友寫:先生,再見!

老師批語:想像力超過了地球人的智慧。


12。題目:況且

小朋友寫:一列火車經過,況且況且況且況且況且況。( 請唸出來)

老師批語:我死了算了。

Gut Response

December 9, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

So often, emotions that we long to express get stored in our bodies instead. The space where this most often happens is in our bellies. Rather than telling people, our even ourselves, the way we truly feel, we may stuff our true feelings deep inside of us, where they take up space until we are ready to let them go. Stuffing our feelings in our bellies may feel like the “safe” response, since we then don’t really have to deal with our emotions. Yet, doing so can actually be detrimental to our emotional well-being and physical health.

One way to connect with and release your emotions is to do a focused exercise with your stomach area. Take a moment to center yourself with some deep breathing and quiet meditation, relaxing your body fully and turning off the chatter in your brain. With your right hand on your stomach, tell yourself three times: “Please reveal to me my true emotions.” Listen for the answers. Repeat the exercise as many times as you would like, allowing yourself to drop deeper into your body each time.  Notice any physical response in the stomach area, whether you have a warm, relaxed feeling in the middle of your body or if you feel tight knots in response to any emotions that do come up. You may even want to write down any answers that come to you. Remember that the body doesn’t lie.

Releasing our pent up feelings from our bellies can prevent disease and allow us to live more authentic and expressive lives. Sometimes, if too much emotional energy builds up inside of us, a blowout can result that can cause discomfort. You can help to alleviate this compression by doing the same exercise and adding sound to your emotional release. The more guttural the sounds released through your mouth, the more emotions you are likely letting go. Releasing your emotions from your belly doesn’t have to be painful and hard; rather, it can be organic and effortless. It’s important not to judge whatever comes up for you. We tend to stuff our feelings in our bellies when we are ashamed of them or not ready to express them. There is nothing wrong with having feelings, whatever they may be. You can’t help your feelings; if anything, you can help yourself by acknowledging the truth of your emotions so you can set yourself free.

Everything is Relative

December 9, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

Every day we hear stories of personal suffering and loss that far exceed our own. When we compare our situations to those of people living in war-torn countries or those who have lost their homes and livelihoods to natural disasters, it is tempting to minimize our own experiences of suffering. We may feel that we don’t have a right to be upset about the breakup of a relationship, for example, because at least we have food to eat and a roof over our heads.

While awareness of the pain of others in the world can be a valuable way to keep our own struggles in perspective, it is not a legitimate reason to disregard our own pain. Disparaging your feelings as being less important than other people’s emotions leads to denial and repression. Over time, an unwillingness to experience your own feelings leads to numbness. It is as if our internal systems become clogged with our unexpressed emotions. This in no way helps other people who are suffering in the world. In fact, it may do just the opposite because when we devalue our own sorrow, we become impervious to the sorrow in others.

Fully experiencing our own hurt is the gateway to compassion toward other human beings. Feelings of loss, abandonment, loneliness, and fear are universal, and, in that sense, all feelings are created equal. Regardless of what leads us to feel the way we do, our comprehension of what it means to be human is deepened by our own experiences. Our personal lives provide us with the material we need to become fully conscious. If we reject our emotions because we think our experiences are not dramatic or important enough, we are missing out on our own humanity. We honor and value the human condition when we fully inhabit our bodies so we can experience and feel life fully. Accepting our emotions and allowing ourselves to feel them connects us to all human beings. Then, when we hear the stories of other people’s suffering, our hearts can resonate with understanding and compassion—for all of us.

Initiations For Growth

December 9, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

Life is about growth, which is wonderful, though not always easy. Indeed, many of life’s lessons can be painful or difficult. Yet, such challenges are often the ones that present the most opportunity for spiritual growth. Initiations for growth come in many forms. In fact, we can view every challenge in life as an opportunity to learn and grow. While these disruptions in life are not easy, they are necessary.

The challenges the universe sends us can seem unbearable at times: a job we don’t want to spend another day at, a broken heart that feels as if it will never heal, or a long and painful illness. And then, there are the challenges that can be just as scary because we are being called to step up to the plate in ways that we may think we are not yet ready for: overcoming our fears in order to realize a lifelong dream, leaving behind a situation or people in our life that we may have outgrown, or moving across the world for our dream job or life partner.

At such times, it can feel as if the world is testing us and that life is asking more of us than we think we can give. We may feel uncomfortable, frightened, and unsure of what to do. However, life isn’t so much going against us as it is encouraging us to grow. During these periods, we can grow stronger by putting one foot in front of the other, as we work through our challenges. We may be asked to let go of old safety measures, shift old patterns of behavior, or step into the abyss of the unknown. When we do rise to the occasion, we end up better off for having made that journey. Not only do we end up learning and growing, but we inevitably become more compassionate to the challenges of others and wiser in the ways of the world. Our faith in the universe also grows because, ultimately, we can’t help but realize how much we are supported and taken care of at all times. When we are in the midst of a growing period, it is not easy to see our reward, but it is there, waiting for us to grow big enough to reach it.

Creative Cuts

December 9, 2008

[ From DailyOM ]

Our lives can be compared to an ongoing movie script over which we have complete creative control. Within us lies the power to examine what works or isn’t working in our lives and make “edits” to our life’s script, accordingly. Choosing to actively edit your life can be incredibly empowering. As you evolve, you have the choice to accept the script you’ve written thus far or edit it so you can create a life that fulfills you. You can cut out from your life’s script what is no longer working for you. Acknowledging that you are responsible for the experience you create gives you the ability to create the life you’ve always longed for.

Granted, editing your real life isn’t always as easy as erasing a line of text. If you’ve carried emotional baggage or held on to an unhealthy relationship for a long time, these may be difficult to edit out. But when you do cut out what isn’t working from your life, you’ll feel lighter and more alive. Editing out activities that you find stressful, disassociating yourself from people that drain your energy, and letting go of your emotional baggage are all beneficial cuts you can make. In the empty spaces that are left behind, you can add in anything you like. Just as you have the power to edit out negative situations or beliefs that you no longer wish to have as part of your life, you can now include the kinds of positive experiences, people, and beliefs that you would like to fill your life with. The manifestation of these thoughts and images as realities in your life will inevitably follow. As you make changes to your life, you can also add in the bits where you choose more intimate, healthier relationships, seek out adventure over tedium, and are no longer negatively impacted by old experiences.

To begin editing your life, simply think about your positive and negative experiences. When you determine what parts of your life are no longer serving you, make the commitment to remove them – though, it is important to remember that there is no proper timing or way to do this, and patience and compassion for yourself are always important during this process. Then, ask yourself what has brought you profound bliss and consider how you can make those experiences and beliefs part of your life now. With a little editing, you’ll be able to clear out what is no longer serving you and make room in your life for more happiness, love, and wisdom.