just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness
October, 2009

Breathe This Moment

Friday, October 30th, 2009

Breathing into this moment because there is no cure to uncertainty.

Interviews on ‘Being’

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

Please spend a few moments exploring a deeper understanding of ‘being’ with us. Here, Patrice Papke and I use each other’s curiosity to climb the ladder of understanding.

“Guarding knowledge is not a good way to understand. Understanding means to throw away your knowledge. You have to be able to transcend your knowledge the way people climb a ladder. If you are on the fifth step of a ladder and think you are very high, there is no hope for you to climb to the sixth. Always let go of views and knowledge in order to transcend. This is the most important teaching. That is why I use the image of water to talk about understanding. Knowledge is solid; it blocks the way of understanding. Water ca flow, can penetrate.” Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace, p. 43

Harmful, blocking words: “I know that”.
Penetrating words: “Let’s go deeper”.

Just Be it….Interview 1
Just Be it….Interview 2
Just Be it….Interview 3

Heart ‘Doing’ and ‘Non-Doing’

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

From where does my action or seeming inaction come from?  If I perceive threat from another desiring me to conform to their desire, what’s the shape of my resistance or allowance?  How can I cause the least harm to them as me or me as them?  In all instance, when my wisdom to act arises from the heart there’s a strong chance for positive result.  Contrarily, when I react from fear, or when my non-doing is fear based, the result is more likely to have an unpleasant result.

Are there any guarantees?  Absolutely not.  Yet, when we commit to the process of love and awakened ‘doing’ outside the realm of duality, we find that compassion and deeper listening are keys to diffusing potential threat.  This dedication to our interdependence upon one another sponsors our courage to show up, pay attention in awakened doing, responsibly do our best, and most importantly, to be easy on ourselves when things don’t turn out as we expected.

This is learning to live a life of love without grasping.  It’s knowing the elements support us…the ground, air, water, and fire.  It’s knowing there’s someone else inside of us that carries the wisdom of loving action, in harmony and rhythm to the flow of life.  The residence for this wisdom is in the heart, not the head or stomach.  Some have called this nonviolent mindfulness.  It’s a space of compassion,  where when I look in your eyes I experience me.  It’s a space of forgiveness, where I’m open to the completeness of the arising moment, no matter what comes up.  It’s a space of gratitude, where I’m forever aware that this form I carry is gift and all moments are surprise and gifts arising.

Happy Birth Moment

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

September 15, 2009

So what’s up?  What’s ‘the action’?  What’s the story?  Moving down the river of life, the journey of discovery and deepening takes many turns.  The challenge seems to be found in my dedication to cultivate awareness to the birthing of each moment’s arising.  In a universe filled with distraction, with attempts from others to draw us from our heart’s authority, with the challenges of our restlessness…this is not easy.

It now seems more clear that the quality of my life, the story I bring, sources from ‘feeling’.  The feeling births thought.  The thought births emotion, the blend of feeling and thought.  This is what fuels my action.  The action seems to build my story and character, which contributes to soul’s destiny, once again bringing me full circle to the ‘feeling’.  A healthy practice would revolve around dedication to feeling of well-being.  A sense of interconnection, or core being, births feelings of joy, compassion and gratitude.  This seems healthy food for combating the arising of negative feelings from our struggles with impermanence and uncertainty.  I lose my grounding when caught in my notions of ‘belief’, thinking I’m right.  Negative feelings feed a need for action to change what is to what I think ‘should’ be.  Moving from fear and insecurity I’m at risk to injure others in my attempts to persuade and ‘fix’.  Moving from positive feelings of compassion, I just ‘am’.

Silence is integral to this practice.  My head is continually filled with thought.  Thought corrupts genuine feeling, racing here and there.  Undisciplined thought has gotten me into much trouble, many times resulting in action I wish I hadn’t taken.  Yet, when the gap between thought is cultivated to the deeper sense of connection with everything, my needs to persuade, defend, fight, and judge dissipate.  This silence gives me strength to stand solid in the experience of uncertainty.  Strong in this space of silence, I’m now ready to listen.  The listening is to my heart, to the deeper message from others, and to mindfully observe thought’s arising in preparation to skillful action.

In this dedication to awareness within the silent moment, I’m ready to step outside that with which I identify.  Purpose and meaning remain.  Attachment to what I’ve done and what’s accumulated dissipates.  The real work is found in dedicating to a practice aimed to deepen awareness in gratitude for the opportunity to participate.

Today I’m fifty-nine years old.  In one year I may have lived long enough to carry the wisdom of a baby elder.  At this stage, I know my life’s easier the less I say.  My work is to hold joy.  My aim is to hold true to my heart’s authority in the face of those who exert force to get me to violate it, to deepen my practice in meeting the magic of the moment, to touch the surprise of the familiar, and to forever drill deeper as I journey the river of life in honor and respect to everyone’s varied journey.

Action From the Heart

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

When our doing is grounded in Being, it comes from the heart.  So much of authentic living is our attempt to move from ego’s draw to thought and doing from the head.  When our doing is from the heart, it’s from positive feeling and our deep listening to the moment’s call.  Listening to the mind, thoughts are caught within time and space, drawing us to actions associated with belief systems, achievement, accomplishment, recognition from others and the material.  We’re further drawn to what we identify with at the risk of missing the heart’s draw.  So where is your ‘doing’ coming from?  When it’s from the heart, no harm is done.  When it’s from the head we risk a disconnection from heart’s ‘knowing

A Bigger Belonging

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Life’s spiritual journey seems to tie to our capacity and willingness to join larger circles of belonging.  When I stop in my sense of righteousness, I’ve stunted my depth.  When I open in my willing curiosity, to both the light and the dark as one, the journey deepens.  The strength I have, the dedication made, to embracing this present moment, no matter what, directly relates to the quality of this life experience.

The other night I witnessed a woman stand up and start dancing in front of an amazing live band.  No one else was dancing and few were even moving.  Yet, she had the courage to engage with movement.  I commended her on her courage later on.  Expecting the typical surface interchange, she looked me in the eye and said she was soon to be seventy years old.  I found her attractive, even though her face wore the evidence of years of living.  She then said something that was hard not to react to.  She said she wish she would have died when she was fifty.  I chuckled, thinking a joke punch line was coming and she focused on me and  said, “No, seriously, I really wish I had died when I was fifty.”  My mind filled with judgment.  At that moment I wanted to slap her and say, “How dare you?”   I didn’t, and politely listened to her rant about her miserable life.  Here was a mobile, attractive woman, out dancing on a beautiful evening in June, and the first thing she could say to a complete stranger was, “I wish I were dead.  I’ve been wishing this for twenty years.”  I now wish I would have given her a hug and invited her back to this precious present moment.  I’m filled with mercy for her.  Her pain is mine and somehow the invitation to our bigger belonging hurts, yet fills me with a stronger, larger YES to this gift of big belonging.