For The Homeless ~ Blessing Bags, Created by YOU!

BLESSING-BAGS

Have you ever heard of a Blessing Bag? Read below and make a few. Keep them in your car and when you see someone on the street corner, give them one. I know there are lot people who panhandle for a living but there are also those who are really down on their luck and could use a few necessities and a huge Blessing. Give it a try…….you will love the feeling it gives you just knowing you made someone very happy.

 

STUFFING YOUR BLESSING BAGS

Gallon Size Ziploc Bag – This is key for several reasons:

Helps to keep everything together & in one place so they can easily access the supplies in their bags/backpacks
Keeps the items from spilling/leaking onto their personal items in their bags
The bags can later be used for other storage options within their bags – storing toiletries, snacks, etc

Hand-Warmers – we put a couple packs in, especially during the winter, but even for those chilly evenings in the spring/summer/fall these would be very welcome. We buy a pack of 40 at Costco for around $15 ($.38/pk) & then we have these on hand for blessing bags as well as camping, winter sports, etc.

Bag of Quarters – These are nice to include for washing clothes at the laundromat (we just put them in a snack-size Ziploc bag to keep them contained in a smaller area

Bottle of Water – Mini water bottles work great so they don’t take up too much space or if you can fit a regular size water bottle

Band-Aids – these are something that may often be needed but may not be something they would be able to spend money on or think about having.

Baby Wipes – a small pack of baby wipes would be a great one to include to help with feeling clean & fresh

Hand Sanitizer – another great option to help them feel cleaner

Wash Cloth – buy an inexpensive wash cloth to include

Toiletries:
*If you have a lot of items to include in your bags, travel-size toiletries work great

Toothbrush
Toothpaste (travel size if you have a lot of items to put into your bag)
Floss
Soap (we bring home soaps from hotels if we don’t end up using all of them)
Deodorant
Shampoo/conditioner (these are also great products to save from hotels if you don’t use them as they’re the perfect size for these bags)
Comb
Personal hygiene items if you’re making a kit for a woman (tampons, pantiliners, pads, etc)
Sunscreen (depending on time of year)
Chapstick
Personal Items:
New Socks
New Underwear
Inexpensive gloves
Non-Perishable Foods:
Granola Bars
Energy Bars
Tuna/cracker packs
Trail mix
Raisins
Peanuts
Fruit cup/ applesauce cup (& include a spoon)
Gum/hard candy
Hot Cocoa/Spiced Cider Mixes or on-the-go coffee mixes
Courtesy http://www.thriftynorthwestmom.com/blessing-bags-assemble-…/

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Two Little Pieces of Chocolate | KarmaTube

CHOCOLATES
Francine Christophe was born in 1933, the same year that Adolph Hitler took power in Germany. When she was eight years old, she and her mother were deported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. In this interview for “Human,” a film project directed by photographer, Yann Arthus-Bertrand, she recounts an extraordinary tale of generosity at a time of great privation.

Source: Two Little Pieces of Chocolate | KarmaTube

Germany Becomes The First Nation To Ban ‘Chick Shredding’

Newly developed technology will determine the sex of each fertilized egg before the chick inside develops – enabling the removal of all male-identified eggs from the hatchery. This will eliminate the industry’s need to heartlessly grind male chicks once hatched.

Source: Germany Becomes The First Nation To Ban ‘Chick Shredding’

Seeds for Meditation

sac_geo_TOL

There is compassion that feeds the ego
and there is compassion that humbles it.

Compassion that feeds the ego
is a sense of pity for those who stand beneath you.

Compassion that humbles
is born of a deeper understanding of the order of things:

When you understand that your fellow man is suffering
in order that you may be privileged to help him
—then you are truly humbled.

JUST FOR TODAY … A Lesson in Empathy

empathyOur lives intersect with others all day, everyday. Sometimes we know these other lives well; frequently, though, the points of connection are brief and transient. Who are these people? How might they tell their own stories? What thoughts preoccupy their minds? What joys and troubles are coursing through their feelings?

“Could a greater miracle take place than for us to look through each other’s eyes for an instant?”  ~ Henry David Thoreau

If we could catch a glimpse of others’ stories … If you could stand in someone else’s shoes … hear what they hear … see what they see … feel what they feel … would YOU treat them differently?

All Are One … Live in Peace and Aloha

 

 

Health ~ What Really Causes Depression?

BlondeGirlWithAdrenalFatigue-850x400Depression often has multiple causes, and these causes are generally intertwined — which means there is not just one way of dealing with it.

From what I’ve seen during 46 years of working with clients who are suffering from depression, medication has been the least effective treatment. In fact, many of my clients come to me because the medication isn’t working and is causing multiple detrimental side effects.

So what does cause depression, and what’s the best way to treat it? These are the five major causes of depression that I’ve discovered.

1. Emotional self-abandonment

The most common cause of depression is self-abandonment, both emotional and physical.

You are emotionally abandoning yourself when you stay focused up in your head — ignoring your feelings — rather than being present in your body, attending to your feelings.

You emotionally abandon yourself when you judge yourself, allowing your programmed ego mind to be in charge, rather than your present, loving self.

When you turn to addictions to avoid and numb your feelings, you are emotionally abandoning yourself, and you may be physically abandoning yourself — depending on the addiction.

When you blame others for your feelings and try to make another responsible for your happiness, safety and self-worth, you are emotionally abandoning yourself.

If you treated an actual child this way, he or she would likely be depressed. The same thing happens on the inner level with your inner child.

2. Physical self-abandonment

You abandon yourself physically when you:

Regularly eat sugar and processed foods

Overconsumption of sugar likely contributes to depression, and most processed foods turn to sugar in the body. You are physically abandoning yourself when you don’t eat fresh, clean organic food.

Don’t get enough sleep

It’s also well known that a lack of sleep causes depression. When you aren’t disciplined enough to get adequate sleep — or you’re putting too much caffeine or other stimulants in your body, preventing sleep — you are physically abandoning yourself.

Don’t get adequate exercise

Studies indicate that exercise itself is often enough to decrease depression. When you are not disciplined enough to get regular and adequate exercise, you are physically abandoning yourself.

Don’t drink enough water

A lack of adequate hydration can cause both anxiety and depression. You are physically abandoning yourself when you don’t drink enough water. Try to drink a half ounce of water per pound of body weight per day.

Expose yourself to toxins

Consistently exposing yourself to toxins, such as chlorinated drinking water, GMO products, pesticides, food additives, asbestos or household mold, is physically self-abandoning and can cause or add to depression.

3. Unhealed trauma

Severe depression can result from unhealed trauma from childhood abuse and neglect, or from unhealed traumatic events that occurred as an adult. You’re abandoning yourself when you don’t do all you can to get the help you need to heal trauma.

There are many excellent trauma therapies currently available to support you in healing trauma. When you allow fear or self-judgment to get in the way of healing trauma, depression may result.

4. Lack of connection with others

Loneliness is often a major cause of depression. Keeping yourself isolated from others, or not doing all you can to meet like-minded people, is unloving to yourself. We are social beings and sharing with others is vital to our well-being.

Being in a disconnected relationship can be as lonely as being alone — and sometimes even lonelier. If you are often lonely in your relationship, then you need to find a way to get the help you need to either improve your connection with your partner or leave the relationship.

5. Over-reactive microglia

Microglia are cells in our brain that are part of our immune system. In his book, Total Recovery, Dr. Gary Kaplan says all trauma to the body — whether it’s from self-abandonment, abuse, illness, surgery, junk food, chemical exposure or environmental toxins — has a cumulative effect on the microglia.

When trauma has accumulated in the microglia, a single triggering incident, such as a minor surgery, can cause the microglia to become over-reactive, which then causes depression and chronic pain. All of the causes listed above can be contributing factors in causing the microglia to up-regulate. In order to down-regulate the microglia, you need to focus on healing each of the above issues.

Instead of avoiding these issues with medication, why not learn how to heal them? The results might amaze you!

 

Just For Today … Be A Tech Mentor To Someone Older

mentoringIf you feel comfortable with technology, ask an elder in your life if there is a technology you can help them learn. If you do not feel comfortable with technology, reach out to a loved one and give them an opportunity to share some of their knowledge with you.

Seniors who feel like today’s technology has left them in the dust are hitching a ride with a philanthropic gaggle of students who, in their spare time, are helping older generations return to the fast lane with their iPods, iPads, smart phones and computers. A group of teenagers who never knew a world before computers launched Wired for Connections/Mentor Up … designed to help senior citizens understand the basics of modern-day devices.” Incredible stories are surfacing from these interactions. For example, the teens helped a 93-year-old man contact a Jewish friend he used to protect from bullying just before World War II and enabled a 69-year-old artist to find photographs of Monet’s garden in Paris which she has dreamed of seeing all her life. Sean Butler, the 16-year-old who initiated this program, insists: “I’ve learned more during these sessions than I’ve taught…for me, just talking with them and learning their stories is what draws me back every time.”

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.

~ Henry Ford

Perfect Pairing: Young People Teaching Seniors About Technology

–by DENNIS TAYLOR, syndicated from truthatlas.com, Oct 02, 2014

Featured photo: Sean Butler, 16-year-old sophomore at Carmel (Calif) High School, mentors Judy Dudley on how to use her smart phone. Photo by Dennis Taylor

CARMEL, CALIFORNIA – Seniors who feel like today’s technology has left them in the dust are hitching a ride with a philanthropic gaggle of students who, in their spare time, are helping older generations return to the fast lane with their iPods, iPads, smart phones and computers.

A group of teenagers who never knew a world before computers launched Wired for Connections/Mentor Up, a club at Carmel High School in California, designed to help senior citizens understand the basics of modern-day devices and bridge part of what they perceive as the intergenerational divide.

Sean Butler, a 16-year-old sophomore, initiated the program two years ago, offering to share his tech knowledge in 45-minute, one-on-one mentoring sessions with members of the nearby Carmel Foundation, a membership organization for people 55 and older dedicated to facilitating successful aging by providing a broad spectrum of interactive activities and services. The sessions are provided free to member of the Foundation, which was founded in 1950 and now has more than 3,000 members.

Carly Rudiger, 17, a junior at Carmel High in California, teaches Jenifer Bovey, 69, how to use her iPad. Photo by Dennis Taylor

Carly Rudiger, a 17-year-old junior, joined Butler at the beginning of this school year and took his concept to another level, creating a full-fledged club at Carmel High. The pair oversees a group of about 15 classmates who, in exchange for community service credits, volunteer regularly to share what they know with any member who signs up. The waiting list has close to 50 names.

“I was probably 5 years old the first time I sat down at a computer,” Butler said. “It didn’t take me long to start figuring things out because I wasn’t afraid to play. It’s easier to learn technology if you’re not afraid of it and what holds a lot of older people back is that they’re afraid they’re going to mess something up if they play around and experiment. They don’t realize that most of the time you can just undo what you just did and get back to the place that you want to be.”

Seniors register for the classes (usually held on Saturdays), bring their device, an iPhone, Android, iPad, laptop or virtually anything else they’d like to learn more about, and receive hands-on instruction from their young mentors.

“I don’t come with my own agenda,” Rudiger said. “They ask me questions how to do this or that and I try to help them understand as many of those things as possible during our 45-minute session. I try not to overwhelm them with too much information because they can come back for as many sessions as they want.”

Before entering the mentoring program, the Carmel High contingent goes through “sensitivity training,” which, among other things, includes activities designed to help them better understand their aging pupils.

“One thing we did, for example, was smear a pair of glasses with Vaseline, so we could get an idea of what it might be like to have the kind of vision problems that some older adults live with every day,” Rudiger said. “We also taped fingers together and put tape over fingertips to try to replicate problems they might have with their hands. It can be frustrating to watch how slowly some of them are when they try to type, but the sensitivity training taught us that typing can be very difficult if your fingertips are numb.”

The graying “students” say they tend to learn much more during one-on-one instruction than they do in group classes they have tried. The fresh-faced “mentors” engage with a generation of people they barely knew before.

“I mentored a 93-year-old guy one day who started telling me about a Jewish kid he knew back in high school, right before World War II,” Butler recounted. “I guess the kid got bullied a lot and this man used to protect him.”

“I helped him find an article about his old friend online, and his reaction was really cool. It was pretty amazing for him to discover what his old friend became, and that made it exciting for me. We even found an email address so he could reconnect with his friend after all these years, which made him very happy.”

Carole Bestor, a 69-year-old hairdresser from Pacific Grove, received an iPad from her husband as a gift, but never used it until she sat down with Rudiger for a pair of 45-minute sessions. Her eyes widened and sparkled as her mentor helped her discover the possibilities of the device.

“It was really exciting to learn how to use email. I’ve always been a person who sends a letter or a card through the mail, but now I can email my daughter and also my girlfriend, who I went to high school with,” she said. “But I think the most exciting thing I learned about was Pandora, a place on the Internet where I can listen to music by anybody I like. I listened to Adele and Jennifer Lopez today.”

Rudiger helped Bestor discover that her tablet has a camera and showed her how to use it. Together, they took a selfie. Bestor, an artist, then learned how to surf the Internet to find hundreds of photos of Monet’s garden in Paris, something she has longed to see all her life.

Judy Dudley, who declined to give her age, used part of her 45-minute session with Parker to get acquainted with “Siri,” the Apple Corporation’s “intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator” that uses a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform other tasks by delegating requests to a set of Internet services. “Siri” (a Norwegian name meaning “beautiful woman who leads you to victory”) answers commands from a smart phone in a female voice.

“It’s amazing,” Dudley said. “I just got this (application), and my granddaughter showed me a little bit about it, but she told me I was going to need a lot of help. I took a class at the Apple Store, but it was very confusing. Then I found out I could come here. These kids who are mentoring us are much smarter than we are about this stuff. None of this is natural to me, but Sean grew up knowing it, and he’s taking me step-by-step, telling me exactly what to do, making it all very easy.”

Carmel resident Ellyn Gelson, 69, and her 79-year-old friend, Bill Roulette of Woodland Hills, brought a higher level of tech savvy into the same session (she has owned a computer since 1997 and once had a Palm Pilot; he still uses the first-generation iPad), but got a worthwhile education from Butler and 17-year-old Carmel High senior Caroline Lahti.

“I learned a lot of things today that I didn’t know before,” Roulette said. “I discovered how to access the app store, and how to maneuver around the different applications. I found out how to get rid of stuff I don’t want anymore. And these kids taught me how to use my iPad to email photos and also to Skype. I never realized I could do those things.”

The teenage mentors are two-time recipients of a $1,000 grant from the American Association of Retired Persons, which this year included an all-expense-paid trip for Butler and Rudiger to AARP headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“I can honestly say that I feel like I’ve learned more during these sessions than I’ve taught,” Rudiger said. “I mean, obviously they’re taking in all this information and hopefully applying it every day but, for me, just talking with them and learning their stories is what draws me back every time. I love having those conversations.”

 

Save The World With A Smile

elephant dog friends
No matter how much of a free thinker you are, it is impossible to escape the structures placed upon you through which you have come to know about the world.  The way in which society expects us to live is strongly influential and it powerfully impacts our idea of what constitutes as a “good” life. Cultural norms run deep, affecting our perceptions and choices in ways which we are often unaware.

Feeling the pressure of today’s society

Our societal milieu is outcomes and performance based. There is a constant pressure to be the best, to outdo your neighbor and to win at all costs. We are told that if we do not maintain this competitive edge we will fail at life. Therefore we strive to be the cleverest, the thinnest and the fastest. Consequently, we have become a society of manipulative and conniving beings. This way of being borders on the sociopath, as the only bottom line we look out for is ourselves, while treating everyone else as collateral damage.

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. affecting around 40 million adults. In 2012, an estimated 16 million adults had at least one major depressive episode within the year. Clearly we are not coping with the pressure and not only are we harming others in our quest to the best, we are also harming ourselves. Moreover, we are destroying the planet and all the natural resources we depend upon for survival. It isn’t difficult to see that this mind set is not serving us well. It doesn’t take a genius to look around and to see that that our “win at all costs” attitude is actively helping us to fail. So why do we continue to cling so tightly to it?

At the core of our nature, we are social creatures. Human beings have a deep need for acceptance and belonging, which is very difficult to overcome. Those who speak out against the evils of the world tend to be ostracized. This is one of the deepest human fears – rejection. So while we try to sculpt our lives to match our individuality as best we can, we still ultimately march to the beat of society’s drum, however faint.

So what’s the answer?

Awareness is always a good place to start. Take note the next time your hand feels forced or you feel ‘there is no other way’. What societal expectation is in play? You may not be able to change anything, but at least you are no longer an automaton or a sheep blindly following the flock. You are aware and as soon as you become aware, you start becoming more responsible. Maybe next time you’re faced with an impossible choice, you will identify room for compromise. Perhaps avenues you hadn’t considered will start to appear.

The truth, the real truth, worth repeating over and over again, is that all our decisions come down to a choice between love and fear. We fear being excluded so maybe the answer is to begin to include others. We fear rejection, so maybe we should focus instead on acceptance. We fear the fear itself, so maybe we should begin to practice compassion. This may not solve all our problems, but it reminds us that change happens one small step at a time. Never underestimate the power of a single smile or a small act of kindness. It is the only place to start.

 

Aloha Spirit ~ Love Is The Medicine

REIKI babyHealers, therapists, friends, and lovers!

When you sit with a friend in pain,
when their world no longer makes sense;
when confusion rages
and no rest is to be found.

Just for a moment,
will you resist the temptation
to make things better,
to reassure them,
to provide answers,
even to heal them?

Will you offer your stillness, your listening,
your presence, and the warmth
of your immediacy?

Will you hold them in your heart
with the same tenderness
of a mother holding her little one?

Will you embrace them where they are,
without needing them to change or transform
according to your own needs and schedule?

Will you stay close,
holding your own impatience and discomfort near?

Will you look into their eyes
and see yourself?

Will you stay in the inferno of healing with them,
trusting in disintegration,
knowing that you are only witnessing
the falling away of an old dream?

Sometimes in doing nothing
everything is undone,

and love is revealed to be
the only true medicine.

Paradigm Shift ~ Living For The Weekend

tragedy living dead
i hope i never start living for the weekend
only to see it turn into a monday morning
i hope i never compete with my neighbors
to buy things i cannot really afford
i hope if i ever get married
i won’t refer to my spouse as a ball and chain
i hope my life never revolves around
so-called entertainment like monday night football
because i don’t want to be that family

i hope i never start living for the weekend
and calling in sick so i don’t have to go to work
i hope i don’t ever assume that others think just like me
and get caught up in my own idealism
i hope watching the dog chase the neighbors cat
doesn’t become the highlight of my day
i hope my evenings don’t revolve around tittie bars
and hot wings to keep me out of the house
because i don’t want to be that guy

i hope i never start living for the weekend
and forget how to relax
i hope i don’t get stuck in a job i hate
and do nothing about the situation but complain
i hope if things don’t work out
i can handle the situation
i hope i don’t end up like all those people
who let their lives pass them by
because i don’t want to live for the weekend

— Derek del Barrio
derek.delbarrio@gmail.com

 

POWER MEDITATION ~ PART ONE

blooming rose love

COMPASSION

Compassion is called “non-violence” (Ahimsa) in the Eastern tradition and is sometimes relegated to speaking only of “non-injury” or “non-agitation.”  But compassion is much more than any of these.  Compassion is a basic approach to life that is unconditionally accepting, forgiving and loving.

Compassion is a goal and becoming compassionate is a process.  We seek progress as we become more and more compassionate.  We do not seek eternal and immediate perfection.  We seek progress.  We work each day at becoming more and more compassionate in every way.  Thus we make progress.

COMPASSION MEANS:

1.    Do no harm to yourself
2.    Do no harm to another
3.    Do no harm to animals
4.    Do no harm to plants
5.    Do no harm to the planet

Compassion means to do no harm to anything, anybody, anytime, anywhere.  Compassion is a state of being where we totally accept everything and everybody exactly as they are.  It’s a state where we forgive everybody and everything for all the harm caused to us or perceived to have been caused to us.  It’s a state of unconditional love for all things and all people.

Compassion is an ideal to which we aspire to the best of our ability each and every day.  When we attain this ideal, we become established in God Consciousness.  To become established in anything means that becomes our normal state.  Most of us are established in selfishness, greed, envy and self-importance.  As we practice compassion day by day these things fall away from us and we become established in higher and higher states, more accepting, forgiving and loving states.  We make progress.

COMPASSION OPERATES ON MANY LEVELS:

On the physical level we practice to cause no harm to ourselves and others.  When we observe ourselves causing intentional harm, we stop and we evaluate the cause behind this behavior.   When we observe ourselves causing unintentional harm. we stop and we evaluate the cause behind this behavior.  We evaluate this in a state of contemplation and meditation.  We root out the cause and we change our behavior.  As we do this, we become more compassionate.  That’s Physical Compassion.

On the intentional level of our being we desire to be compassionate in all things and with all people.  We daily affirm to ourselves that we are becoming more compassionate, more accepting, more forgiving and more loving of all people and all things.  This includes ourselves and the Divine.  As we do this, we become more and more compassionate.  That’s Intentional Compassion.

On the verbal level we practice speaking accepting, forgiving, loving and compassionate things.  We avoid speaking accusing, resentful, cutting, hurtful and insulting words.  We avoid speaking any words hatefully and with cruelty.  When we cannot do this, we avoid speaking or we change the subject and move on to something else.  As we do this, we become more and more compassionate.  That’s Verbal Compassion.

On the emotional level whenever we feel anger welling up within us, we transmute it into peace and calm.  Whenever we feel fear or anxiety, we transmute it into inner strength.  Whenever we feel sorrow or sadness, we transmute it into happiness.  As we do this, we become more and more compassionate with ourselves and others.  That’s Emotional Compassion.

On the psychological level, we resolve to play no games with ourselves or others.  We resolve to stop deceiving ourselves and others.  We drop our false images of ourselves and we become more and more real, more and more who we truly are.  We stop playing games and appearing to be something other than what we really are.  As we do this, we become more and more compassionate.  That’s Psychological Compassion.

On the mental level, we make a considerable effort to accept, forgive and love.  We make a conscious decision to accept, forgive and love more today than we did yesterday.  In every situation we face,  we intentionally and consciously decide to accept more and more, forgive more and more and love more and more.  As we do this, we become more and more compassionate.  That’s Mental Compassion.

On the spiritual level, we meditate and pray for others.  We meditate that they may obtain more compassion in their lives.  We pray they will find it in their hearts to be more compassionate with the people, plants and animals in their lives.  As we do this, we become more and more compassionate.  That’s Spiritual Compassion.

This the OM (or AUM) symbol used to end each lesson.  It’s a three-letter glyph of the Sanskrit voiced or unvoiced sounds for Ah – Oh – Mm.  The symbol approximates the sound of the Divine Creation we hear in deep meditation.  The more we meditate the sound of OM comes closer and closer to this reality.  Eventually we become washed in this sound most of the time.  That’s a sign of Enlightenment or Self-Realization.  In time we become “established in this sound.”  That means we hear the “Divine Voice” all the time and we become “God Realized.”

Within this sound of OM, the Divine speaks to us in many voices: parent, child, son, daughter, father, mother, friend and lover.  We can also enter this sound to travel wherever we want within the creation and do wondrous things.  So, this symbol is a reminder to listen to the “Voice of the Divine” within you.

These skills alone, if used on a daily basis for fifteen to twenty minutes two or three times a day, will eventually lead to deeper and deeper states of meditation.  This will be evidenced by the acquisition of the sound of OM more quickly during your meditation and the ability to hear OM during times when you are not meditating.  This process may take several lifetimes.

 

JUST FOR TODAY ….

EVENING MEDITATION (30 mins.) ~ Just for Today … If we are a global village, everything you do affects others. This week notice how your dreams and actions affect other people. You can bring light if you choose to.

Stories about the human colonization of other worlds were popular in the 1950s, with a promise of material abundance, and much of the population of the Western world excited about the possibilities offered by new technologies and a beneficial, authoritative science. That humans could extend their reach to other worlds seemed inevitable progress. Today, the popular faith in science and technology has drained away, to be replaced by a widespread, if often unspoken, fear. We have opened the box and seen where our ambition leads, and though we might quickly close it again and look away, it is too late in the day for any kind of innocence. We must move past the delusions of society.

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.”  ~ The Buddha

Life Lesson ~ “This is the True Ride,” by Jennifer Welwood

sunset crescent moonMy friends, let’s grow up.
Let’s stop pretending we don’t know the deal here.
Or if we truly haven’t noticed, let’s wake up and notice.

Look:  Everything that can be lost, will be lost.
It’s simple — how could we have missed it for so long?

Let’s grieve our losses fully, like ripe human beings,
But please, let’s not be so shocked by them.

Let’s not act so betrayed,
As though life had broken her secret promise to us.

Impermanence is life’s only promise to us,
And she keeps it with ruthless impeccability.

To a child she seems cruel, but she is only wild,
And her compassion exquisitely precise:
Brilliantly penetrating, luminous with truth,
She strips away the unreal to show us the real.

This is the true ride — let’s give ourselves to it!
Let’s stop making deals for a safe passage:
There isn’t one anyway, and the cost is too high.

We are not children anymore.
The true human adult gives everything for what cannot be lost.
Let’s dance the wild dance of no hope!

======

Reflections:

What does the notion of  “grieving our losses fully, without being betrayed by them” mean to you?

Can you share a personal experience involving life’s exquisitely precise compassion?

How do we develop the strength to stop making deals for a safe passage?

 

Lana Broadcasting on Achieve Radio with Ann Marie O’Dell

Photo on 2014-05-21 at 11.55

Catch me on Ann Marie O’Dell‘s Tarot Joy Radio Show TODAY, July 2nd, at 3pm PST/6pm EST on AchieveRadio.com … We’ll be taking calls, doing some readings and discussing the Journey as it relates to Aging and I’ll be sharing one of my meditations about our Powers of Choice. Join us … or if you miss us live, you can still catch the show here:   http://achieveradio.com/ann-marie

The Dalai Lama: “On Why I Laugh”

laughing dalai lama

Anger and hatred are the real enemies that we must confront and defeat, not the “enemies” who appear from time to time in our lives. ~ The Dalai Lama

Those who have had the chance to be in his presence, know him — in part — by his infectious laugh. “I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious.”

I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious. When people ask me how I find the strength to laugh now, I reply that I am a professional laugher. […]

The life of exile is an unfortunate life, but I have always tried to cultivate a happy state of mind, appreciating the opportunities this existence without a settled home, far from all protocol, has offered me. This way I have been able to preserve my inner peace.

If we are content just to think that compassion, rationality, and patience are good, that is not actually enough to develop these qualities. Difficulties provide the occasion to put them into practice. Who can make such occasions arise? Certainly not our friends, but rather our enemies, for they are the ones who pose the most problems. So that we truly want to progress on the path, we must regard our enemies as our best teachers.

For whoever holds love and compassion in high esteem, the practice of tolerance is essential, and it requires an enemy. We must be grateful to our enemies, then, because they help us best engender a serene mind! Anger and hatred are the real enemies that we must confront and defeat, not the “enemies” who appear from time to time in our lives.

Of course it is natural and right that we all want to have friends. I often say jokingly that a truly selfish person must be altruistic! You have to take care of others, of their well-being, by helping them and serving them, to have even more friends and make more smiles blossom. The result? When you yourself need help, you will find all you need! On the other hand, if you neglect others’ happiness, you will be the loser in the long run. Is friendship born of arguments, anger, jealousy, and unbridled competition? I don’t think so. Only affection produces authentic friends. […]

As for me, I always want more friends. I love smiles, and my wish is to see more smiles, real smiles, for there are many kinds—sarcastic, artificial, or diplomatic. Some smiles don’t arouse any satisfaction, and some even engender suspicion or fear. An authentic smile, though, arouses an authentic feeling of freshness, and I think the smile belongs only to human beings. If we want those smiles, we must create the reasons that make them appear.

— The Dalai Lama, in an excerpt from his book “My Spiritual Journey”.

For Tibet and the World

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I pray for all of us, oppressor and friend,
that together we may succeed in building a better world
through human understanding and love,
and that in doing so we may reduce
the pain and suffering of all sentient beings.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.

~ Dalai Lama

 

 

 

In The Name Of Animal Equality

In The Name Of Animal Equality

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We keep watching this Wheeler Center conference video featuring Phillip Wollen and we cry for our brother and sister animals with every viewing … please take the time to watch this short video that can only be viewed on FaceBook.  Phillip Wollen is an Aussie who was formerly a CitiBank Vice President and Citicorp General Manager.  Today, he is retired and now a most adamant animal rights activist.

And so, dear friends, it comes down to this:  the battle ground for the Light is being waged right now on our palettes. Vegetarians are outnumbered 12 to 1 … better odds than the Spartans faced. Those of you who eat meat and have animals for pets … don’t you see and hear what they hear and see? Are you prepared to feed your dogs a vegetarian diet? Are you prepared to release your cats to allow them to hunt for their own food? The original Aramaic version of the Commandment is “Thou shall not kill any living being” … it doesn’t end with simply “thou shall not kill”. How can anyone spout about world peace, compassion and kindness over a roasted chicken, a holiday ham or a prime rib dinner?? What does that say about how we judge one another? The Dalai Lama says that to love is to be absent from judgment. Let’s end this hypocrisy here and now, in our lifetime, once and for all and be At-one-ment with each other and this planet, our Home.

Aloha In Action

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What can you do when your blessings feel so abundant you don’t know how they are all going to fit into your heart? Go into the world, provide comfort, live for people.

Who can you help today? Who can you smile at at the farmer’s markets, or be extra kind to at the bank? For the people you know and don’t know … do something special to let them know there is goodness in the world today, because there is goodness out there (and if you have forgotten that, then just by reminding others, you will remember.)

MANA’O ~ Understanding The Aloha Spirit

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Ha’awina ‘Ekahi – Lesson One
 
Alo-Ha ~ I present to you the “Breath of God”
ha –  I Greet You with the Breath of God,
alo – I present my Self to you (like Namaste’, but not exactly)
 
 
Mahalo ~ Gratitude, Appreciation
Ma Ha – Magnifying the “Breath of God”
halo – spreading the “Breath of God”, Thank You, Gratefulness,
lo – magnifying the “Ha”.
 
 
‘Ohana ~Family
Also, Circle of the “Breath of Life”, of the “Breath of God”, True Spiritual Family
 
 
Hawai’i ~ the 9 Hawaiian Islands
Ha – the “Breath of Life of God”,
awai – across the “Living Waters”, connected by the
’i – bridging Heaven & Earth
 
 
 
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Ha’awina ‘Elua – Lesson Two
 
‘Aia i ka ‘olelo no ke ‘ola … ‘aia i ka ‘olelo no ka make
Words are either life-nurturing or death-dealing.
 
You speak while you exhale, which is immediately followed by taking a breath.  Therefore, if you don’t want to eat, that is, take into yourself negative thoughts/words, don’t utter them!
 


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Ha’awina ‘Ekolu – Lesson Three
 
The Aloha Spirit is unconditional caring.  Compassion.  Hospitality.  It is our thoughts, empowered by a coherent (Aloha) Heart, that are thousands of times more powerful than thoughts energized by an incoherent heart.  It’s not about marching in the streets, writing lots of books, or making lots of money to influence the world.
 
Energize your thoughts with a coherent Heart and your perceptions brighten with Light.

Temper your intellect with compassion, develop your Mind from your Heart and you change your world and everything around you for the better.
 
 
 
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Ha’awina ‘Eha – Lesson Four
 
Living Aloha means we always consider the other person and try to put ourselves in their shoes and understand life from their perspective, whether things go our way, or not.  This core idea of interpersonal communication defines the Hawaiian concept of LOKAHI (unity), where Lokahi is vital in the daily formula of harmonious community living … that ideal state called PONO.  We teach the Hawaiian way of maintaining harmony through coherent daily living.  Thus, Ho’oponopono is the ancient ritual essential to healing unbalanced relations with Aloha Spirit — through Acceptance, we achieve Unity as One.