And if 2 isn’t enough, double down

hand-sand-earth

And here’s links to 3 more excerpts from Sam Harris’ new book that hit nerve endings:

  • Our needs and desires seem to multiply by the hour.” Connect here.
  • Our feelings of accomplishment remain vivid and intoxicating for an hour, or perhaps a day, but then they subside. And the search goes on.” Connect here.
  • Just keep your foot on the gas until you run out of road.” Connect here.

Photograph Source: YourEyesBlazeOut via Taffynikte

 

 

Lurching. Lurching. Lurching.

sam_harris

This Believer of Convenience warily tiptoed into Sam Harris’ new book titled Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion. I’m a 1/3 of the way in. He’s managed to settle under my skin, burrowing into my consciousness.  I’m deeply ambivalent about the message. The polarity of my emotions is stark – it’s as if I’m split in two. I drift in and out of darkness and I find myself empty in my quiet moments of contemplation. I’m certain that this wasn’t Sam’s objective with his Guide.  Yet I find it impossible to disagree with certain messages, such as yesterday’s post titled Carpe Momento. And another this morning which I’m sharing below.  I’m leaning heavily on F. Scott Fitzgerald to function: “The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function” – – as I need to function, I need to function. Here’s Sam Harris with another one of his “pow, right in the kisser” messages to me:
[Read more...]

Monday Mantra: Carpe Momento

black and white,gratitude

Our minds are all we have. They are all we have ever had. And they are all we can offer others. This might not be obvious, especially when there are aspects of your life that seem in need of improvement— when your goals are unrealized, or you are struggling to find a career, or you have relationships that need repairing. But it’s the truth. Every experience you have ever had has been shaped by your mind. Every relationship is as good or as bad as it is because of the minds involved. If you are perpetually angry, depressed, confused, and unloving, or your attention is elsewhere, it won’t matter how successful you become or who is in your life— you won’t enjoy any of it.

Most of us could easily compile a list of goals we want to achieve or personal problems that need to be solved. But what is the real significance of every item on such a list? Everything we want to accomplish— to paint the house, learn a new language, find a better job— is something that promises that, if done, it would allow us to finally relax and enjoy our lives in the present. Generally speaking, this is a false hope. I’m not denying the importance of achieving one’s goals, maintaining one’s health, or keeping one’s children clothed and fed— but most of us spend our time seeking happiness and security without acknowledging the underlying purpose of our search. Each of us is looking for a path back to the present: We are trying to find good enough reasons to be satisfied now.

Acknowledging that this is the structure of the game we are playing allows us to play it differently. How we pay attention to the present moment largely determines the character of our experience and, therefore, the quality of our lives.

~ Sam Harris. Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion (Simon & Schuster. 2014)


Photographer: Sasha Onyshchenko via Thisiseverything. Blog post title is twist on Carpe Diem (Seize the Day to Seize the Moment)

Look for those small openings

natalie goldberg

We have this life. We live it day by day. It passes quickly. Sometimes not quickly enough- we get despondent, sullen, downcast. Those are good words. In those slow moments something might appear- a chance to fall through our blistering fast-paced lives to the other side, where we can turn around and view ourselves, take a curious interest. Underneath everything we long to know ourselves. We wouldn’t know it though by the way we act- chugging down another whiskey, not listening to our daughter at breakfast, going sixty in a twenty zone. Reaching to get away; longing to come home. In writing, in sitting, in slow walking, a flash, a moment appears when we fall through and what we are fighting, running from, struggling with becomes open, luminous- or, even better, not a problem, just what it is. Look for those small openings.

~ Natalie Goldberg


Natalie Goldberg, 65, is an American popular New Age author, speaker, teacher and painter. She is best known for a series of books which explore and practice writing as Zen practice. Her 1986 book Writing Down the Bones sold over a million copies and is considered an influential work on the craft of writing. Her 2013 book, The True Secret of Writing, is a follow-up to that work.  Goldberg has studied Zen Buddhism for more than thirty years. She has been teaching seminars in writing as a practice for the last thirty years. People from around the world attend her life-changing workshops and she has earned a reputation as a great teacher. The Oprah Winfrey Show sent a film crew to spend the day with Natalie for a segment on Spirituality that covered her writing, teaching, painting, and walking meditation. (Sources: Wiki & NatalieGoldberg.com)


Credits: Quote – Thank you makebelieveboutique.com.  Photograph: kripalu.org

Running. Like a Hippo.

drip gif

6 am. I’m off.  No slackin’ today.
32F. Feels like 27F according to Weather Channel.
Spring?  Laughable.

Snarky Man is on the move.
Black wind breaker. Blue sweat pants. Red shoes. Black Chargers Tuk.
(How do you spell C-L-A-S-H?)

Reach for draw string to synch up sweats. Only find one end. The other end is buried in hole about an inch back. Are you kidding me?  Paused for 1 second – – no chance I’m going back to change.  Veer way wide of the Man today. He going gangster.  Let his sweatpants hang off his a**.

THE MOOD.

It all started yesterday.  3 am.

Morning ritual of stepping on the scale.  Followed by Morning Delusion. LED flashing. Flashing. Flashing. (Think 10 pm on Christmas Eve as a Child .)

And then BAM.

Followed by SHOCK.

The scale reports a new 5-year high.

“Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are, and courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” — Augustine of Hippo

I don’t know who Mr. Augustine is.  But I’m looking like a Hippo. I have one daughter and not two.  And her name is Anger.

I get off the scale.  Inhale.  Exhale.

Technology!  Has to be that I jumped on the scale too quickly.  It didn’t find its equilibrium.  It needs to set itself.

I gently step back on. (Like, if I treat it more kindly, I might get a better outcome.)

Flashing. Flashing. Flashing. Flashing. Flashing.

DAMN IT!

Enough.  We enter Day 1 of my new weight reduction program.

And as I reach Post Road on my run this morning, I recall my first day…

[Read more...]

Running. In Confessional.

blue, photography,sun,light

I’m off.  35F. Feeling good.
It’s the day after Good Friday.
The title of LaDona’s post banging around in my head like a 50 Cent Rap song – – the tricked up Chevy heaving up and down to the beat:

This Place Was Made By God.
This Place Was Made By God.
This Place Was Made By God.

I look around.  Trees reflecting on the still waters of the Long Island Sound.  Sun’s up in its full magnificence.  Sky is a brilliant blue.  Who else could have made this?

She goes on.  This place was made by God, a priceless sacrament; it is without reproach.
(She’s so d*mn sure.)

And on.  The most sacred day in the Christian calendar, and indeed, in Christianity itself. Inspiration for stunning, poignant music across the centuries. Even if you don’t believe, or if you do and God seems far away, the music speaks. And touches. And heals.
(I’m right there with you Sister on the far away part.  And right there with you that the music speaks, touches and heals)

Then the mind, faster than a switchback on a BC mountain highway, turns to a conversation with a colleague on Thursday: [Read more...]

No God? Or All God?

photography,sunset,clouds,Colorado River, Toroweap

“The familiar stark divide between people of religion and without religion is too crude. Many millions of people who count themselves atheists have convictions and experiences very like and just as profound as those that believers count as religious. They say that though they do not believe in a “personal” god, they nevertheless believe in a “force” in the universe “greater than we are.” They feel an inescapable responsibility to live their lives well, with due respect for the lives of others; they take pride in a life they think well lived and suffer sometimes inconsolable regret at a life they think, in retrospect, wasted. They find the Grand Canyon not just arresting but breathtakingly and eerily wonderful. They are not simply interested in the latest discoveries about the vast universe but enthralled by them. These are not, for them, just a matter of immediate sensuous and otherwise inexplicable response. They express a conviction that the force and wonder they sense are real, just as real as planets or pain, that moral truth and natural wonder do not simply evoke awe but call for it.”

~ Ronald Dworkin


Ron Dworkin died on February 14, 2013.  He was an American Philosopher and scholar of Constitutional Law.  Before he died, he sent The New York Review of Books the text of his new Book, Religion Without God, which will be published later this year.  Dworkin was born in 1931 in Providence, Rhode Island.  He studied at Harvard University and at Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar .


Source: The New York Review of Books. Image Source: Katy

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May your gravity be lightened by grace

dancer in wind gif

For Equilibrium, a Blessing:

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.”

― John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us: A Book of Blessings


John O’Donohue (1 January 1956 – 4 January 2008) was an Irish poet, author, priest, and Hegelian philosopher. He was a native Irish speaker, and as an author is best known for popularizing Celtic spirituality.  O’Donohue said: “Part of understanding the notion of Justice is to recognize the disproportions among which we live…it takes an awful lot of living with the powerless to really understand what it is like to be powerless, to have your voice, thoughts, ideas and concerns count for very little. We, who have been given much, whose voices can be heard, have a great duty and responsibility to make our voices heard with absolute integrity for those who are powerless.


Sources: Image – Thank you Anake Goodall. O’Donohue Blessing: Good Reads. O’Donohue Bio: Wiki.

Related O’Donohue Post:

Synchrodestiny. I am the way.

Carl Jung, Faith, believe, belief, God, religion, spirituality

I’ve read hundreds of books.  And I remember what?  Snippets.  Particles.  Fragments. Crumbs. Smidgens. Specks. Morsels. Bits.  Traces.  A messy mosaic of something. Adding up to a little more than nothing. A cacophony of deafening alarm bells ringing out to me. Wake up!  Slow down!  Listen!  All banging around.  But coincidences.  And synchrodestiny.  Are crumbs that resurface with frequency. The culprit?  A Deepak Chopra book picked up while browsing at a Barnes & Nobles bookstore on a bitterly cold day over ten years ago. [Read more...]

You never feel happy, until you try.

Saturday mornings are normally reserved for work-out inspirations (for me). I’m finding it difficult to wind up this theme this morning and to shake “sad” so we are going to mix it up a bit. Here’s “Happy.” A three to four minute clip to take you away from dark to joy, dance, song, spirituality, humanity and LIFE.  “You never feel happy, until you try.”  Enjoy.

Grounded.

illustration, sketch, black and white, simple figure, woman figure

It’s Monday, October 29th.  The day that Hurricane Sandy hit the Tri-State Region.

I’m scrolling down the new WordPress posts for bloggers I follow.  My fingers sliding clumsily on the touch pad. Scrolling. Scrolling. (Cursing because I haven’t figured out this d*mn touch pad. I miss the eraser thing in the middle of keyboard.  Getting old.  Hating change.  Big clumsy fingers. I slide fingers in wrong direction and I’m taken to another website.  I lose my place.  Need to start back at the top.  Grrrrrrr. Can this be so difficult pal? )

My eyes flitting from post to post.  Scanning images and topics of interest.

My eyes land on the image on the left.  I freeze.  (What is it about this image?  I can feel its soothing effects.  The ‘Work’ clutch now slipping from OVERDRIVE to neutral.)

A few lines.  Black lines.  White background.  A simple image. A simple, beautiful human image.  (Let’s not get too carried away.  It’s certainly not that simple.  And nothing I could ever draw.)

I found it to be startling.

[Read more...]

Let there be an opening into the quiet…

Meditation, zen, peace, calm, relax, buddhism

Let there be
an opening
into the quiet
that lies beneath
the chaos,
where you find
the peace
you did not think
possible
and see what shimmers
within the storm.

Jan Richardson (excerpted from “Blessing in the Chaos”)


Jan Richardson is a writer, artist, United Methodist minister, workshop leader, conference speaker and director of a company called The Wellspring Studio, LLC, which serves as an umbrella for all the writer/artist/minister activities.  Jan and her husband live in central Florida.  Her site can be found at janrichardson.com.


Photograph was taken by Raymond Depardon via goodmemory.  Poem Source: Thank you Jan Richardson

To Be

“Ours is a time of continual movement which often leads to restlessness, with the risk of ‘doing for the sake of doing.’ We must resist this temptation by trying ‘to be’ before trying ‘to do.’”

~ Pope John Paul II, Novo Millennio Inuente


Sources: Image –  goodmemory. Quote: crashinglybeautiful

Sunday Morning: Holi. Festival of Colors.

“If you notice the instances under which people gather in large groups, in coliseums, in stadiums – it usually has to do with contention, competition, rivalry, partisanship.  The Festival of Colors stands out from those events because there is none of that competition or rivalry or sectarianism.  People are gathered together just about celebrating our own spirituality and creator from whom we come…He’s present within his name.  Whenever you are chanting any bona fide name of God, God is dancing on the tip of your tongue.  Life becomes simple.  Life becomes streamlined and pared down – – to love of God and love of one’s fellow living beings…We’re all basically the same. There’s unity in diversity.  Underneath all that, there is a natural outpouring of love.”


Holi. Festival of Colors. 2012 from Good Line on Vimeo.


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