Posts

POP

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The Jack-in-Box is a jolly old toy. It’s also a simple toy. For some reason - still unknown to me, the picture of a Jack-in-the-Box popped into my thoughts. I pictured the first time experience of a person when "The Jack" pops out of that box with the big bright red dots, a painted on clown face, a bulb nose, a wide smile, and a funny red top hat. Surprise. Joy. Laughter. Either and all of these might be part of that experience; and the unexpected shift that occurs when what’s inside pops out. Mindfulness as a daily practice can also create an unexpected shift; opening us to better balance. Like the proverbial Jack-in-the-Box, waiting inside (our selves) is an opportunity to spring forth. Chances are a picture of The Jack-in-the-Box isn't how most people visualize mindfulness. And yet, the awareness we experience through the daily practice can uncover many things we might not otherwise see. Mindfulness is old and simple. And with daily practice you might be surprised at w

Heart

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“I’ve been on the path for a while.”   I vividly remember my first true spiritual teacher sharing this as I sat in a conference trying to figure out whether connecting with that spiritual community was a good thing,  The fact is, I was terrified that I was crossing some forbidden boundary that I feared being struck down sooner, rather than later.  The spiritual community was so different from what I had known and been taught growing up that I thought I would be breaking a  law, becoming a sinner, heading for down into the darkest depths, never to return to safety.  And that was the issue, the problem, the torment because even though I felt such a sense of upheaval, never in my life had such truth touched my heart. Which is why I knew this too was the path. It’s over a decade and now when I reflect on that meeting, I  smile at the wise, patient, unbiased counsel my spiritual teacher gave.  I smile because I remember thinking,  How can you know all this stuff...we’re practically the same

Youth

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Parents are amazing people! I am absolutely mystified how they do it. There are so many elements, aspects, challenges to being a parent. Incredibly, it's practically a "learn as you go job" from the moment of conception. Oh sure, there are plenty of "how to" blogs, vlogs, podcasts, books, manuals, classes and time-honored resource of your own parents (soon to be grandparents).  Yes, it's true "It takes a village to raise a child" yet ultimately when everyone goes home to their hut, house, apt ..."the" parent is responsible to parent. In pondering the enormity of being a parent, I realized how wonderful it would be if part of that responsibility is to teach mindfulness practice at a young age. The benefits would be bountiful, the most obvious sharing a practice with your child that can help keep them in balance for a lifetime. These days five-year olds know how to download an APP, why not know how to upload mindfulness? Mindfulness is a si

Fix

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The word "fix" can easily be associated with words like repair, regenerate and restore.  However, “a fix” more often than not means a technique that employs masking tape, crazy glue or in TV Land chewing gum for “a fix” in jam.  Consequently, it's understood that “a fix” is not something you want to repeat.  In fact, to repeat “a fix” may cause a permanent break/breakdown. I always want to remember, to understand, to explain that mindfulness is not "a fix" to what ails our thoughts or disrupts our life.  A practice, unlike "a fix" requires sustained, ongoing commitment to benefit.  Mindfulness is a simple technique of quiet, stillness and focused breathing that can help restore your balance through awareness of the here, now present moment. The intent, purpose, direction is forward as we create better balance on the path of progress and peace. If you would one day renovate yourself, do so from day to day.  Confucius

Comic

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Comedians are pretty brave people. They get up in front of bunch strangers, oftentimes in places far from home, and tell jokes that nobody may laugh at, leaving the comedian looking lost and feeling awkward (so I've read). Likewise, I've heard it said that Hecklers make a bad experience even more challenging, especially during those sessions when nobody finds the comedian funny. It's got to be tough, being among strangers with no support. That's why I say comedians are brave and why I sometimes fantasize about being a comedian. It's not the accolades, the applauds or even the nominal fame that some Comedians reach.  Its being brave, being committed and the continued practice on good and bad days. There's a presumption that comedians (like clowns) are unhappy underneath the jokes (the makeup). The assumption is that comedians (clowns) hide behind funny to keep from crying. The perception may be cliche, although there have been several real life tragedies with com

Here

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  Vivid or morbid?  Like so much it depends on how you look at the thing. I was thinking about how I don't watch certain types of movies because I have such a vivid imagination. Then, I thought, maybe vivid is the other side of morbid. This train (trail) of thought actually came about reading a discussion by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hahn on "Appreciating Where We Are" in his book entitled  Fear.  In this section, he asks us to consider being shipwrecked on the moon. No chance of getting back to Mother Earth. What would the astronauts want most? What would you want most? That answer is to be "here"...on Mother Earth.  It would be the precious moment of the astronaut's life...just to be "here" ...now in the moment. The allegory is a powerful one, which is what got me thinking about my imagination. Imagining be lost, shipwrecked on the moon, never to see Mother Earth again, nor family, nor friends, nor an apple. My mind began to dread the thought and I r

Open

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One An open heart liberates you to love. Two Love opens possibilities. Three Loving is being open to infini te possibilities. S ometimes, something happens to cause imbalance.  You are hurt. You withdraw.  You shut down.  You close your heart.  Sometimes it can hurt so bad you just want to close the door to pain.  I know.  You must find a way to be open; because when you close your heart, you block the flow of life, light and love. Dance, bake, build, meditate, sing, sculpt, compose, color, paint, pray, travel, teach,  film, fish,  run a race, walk a labyrinth, write, hug a pet, keep a friend's baby...do what you will, just be open to love.