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
July, 2011

Moment of Silence For Norway, Friday, July 29, 8:26 am

Thursday, July 28th, 2011
Moment of Silence

Moment of Silence

Almost one week ago a human being with a very closed mind, tortured in feelings of isolation from a closed mind, caused tremendous harm to so many.  His actions stole the lives of so many and forever changed the lives of us all.  And here we are, still yelling at each other, ‘thinking’ our way of seeing the world is the correct way.  Well, maybe that’s just the way we’re built, forever struggling with the poisons of greed, fear and our ignorance to our interdependence upon one another.  Yet, for me there’s Big Hope that we can touch a higher ground.  Shortly after 9/11, an eleven year old boy suffering from a fatal disease, captured that higher ground.  Mattie Stepanek wrote the following poem on that day:

For Our World

We need to stop.
Just stop.
Stop for a moment.
Before anybody
Says or does anything
That may hurt anyone else.
We need to be silent.
Just silent.
Silent for a moment.
Before we forever lose
The blessing of songs
That grow in our hearts.
We need to notice.
Just notice.
Notice for a moment.
Before the future slips away
Into ashes and dust of humility.
Stop, be silent, and notice.
In so many ways, we are the same.
Our differences are unique treasures.
We have, we are, a mosaic of gifts
To nurture, to offer, to accept.
We need to be.
Just be.
Be for a moment.
Kind and gentle, innocent and trusting,
Like children and lambs,
Never judging or vengeful
Like the judging and vengeful.
And now, let us pray,
Differently, yet together,
Before there is no earth, no life,
No chance for peace.

September 11, 2001

This is a request for you to consider a pause from your busy mind to touch that higher ground, that ground that stands above greed, fear and our ignorance to one another as brother and sister.  For a moment let us, stop yelling, fighting, and hurting one another.  For a moment, let us open our hearts and minds to one another in the very gift of this next breath.  For a moment, let us meet the suffering of our brothers and sisters in Norway, the land of peace and harmony.  For a moment, let us just listen deeply to one another.


“Let us be still an instant, and forget all things we ever learned, all thoughts we had, and every preconception that we hold of what things mean and what their purpose is.  Let us remember not our own ideas of what the world is for.  We do not know.  Let every image held of everyone be loosened from our minds and swept away.

Be innocent of judgment, unaware of any thought of evil or of good that ever crossed your mind of anyone.  Now do you know him not.  But you are free to learn of him, and learn of him anew, without the past that sentenced him to die, and you with him.  Now is he free to live as you are free, because an ancient learning passed away, and left a place for truth to be reborn.” Course of Miracles,  Chapter 31:1, verses 12-13, p. 648

This is real courage.  This is commitment to Truth, to an open mind, to birthing action from hope and faith, knowing we are forever supported.  It’s knowing that feelings of aloneness and separation have been born from thought, thoughts that can be released.  As we release these thoughts into the eternity of ‘this moment’ we find relief from restlessness, touching the stillness.  We find “a world in which there is no fear, and everything is lit with hope and sparkles with a gentle friendliness.  Nothing but calls to you in soft appeal to be your friend, and let it join with you.” CoM, p. 641.  The cultivation of this stillness is what provides the courage to face impermanence and the sensitivity to touch “the universal Will” that all living things remove obstacles to awareness of Being whole.  In stillness, there is non-duality.  In stillness,  we experience that nothing remains unchanged but the Truth of our One-ness, and our fear to face it.

Living In Joy

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Amazing Grace…Still Here

I know so many friends who are deep in their suffering.  There’s tremendous stress that comes from their restlessness to be somewhere else or to have a different situation.  For some it’s unemployment, giving rise to much space to feed the restless mind.  For others it’s a serious illness that challenges their notions of ‘forever’.  In all cases, it’s the mind wrestling with the Law of Impermanence.  Everything changes, moment by moment.  The quality of my life revolves around my willingness and capacity to embrace what comes, to breath in gratitude for the gift of what’s given, and eventually fill with joy and enthusiasm fed from the opportunity to participate within this next arising moment.

When I was young my parents taught me a prayer that forced me to face the reality that some day, I too, would die.

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

And if I die before I wake

I pray the Lord my soul to take

This simple prayer really, really worked for me.  I woke with joy and enthusiasm for the gift of another day, no matter what.  It gave me the ‘felt’ sense that I am more than my body, that I’m more than this limited time in it.  Today I have to ask my friends, “Is what you’re doing to face your suffering working for you?”  Most of the time they’re not curious about what’s worked for me.  I’m now living sixty years in this body and feel somewhat obligated to share what’s been discovered in truth through 100% working for me.  I don’t mean 90% or 80%.  This is learning that goes to the core of the soul, touching flesh and bones, resonating with every cell within the body.  It’s learning that deepens with every breath, moving in alignment with the belly and the heart.  It’s learning verified through aware doing in full alignment to Being.  So dear friend, “Is what you’re doing working for you?”  If affirmative, I suspect you’ve stopped reading this.  If not, where’s your curious mind?  Here are a few things that always work for me.

  1. If I want to make space for something new to come in my life I have to be filled with acceptance for what ‘is’.  This means filled with acceptance for what I have, do, and experience within this moment. My life is about ‘waking up’.  My awareness to this moment requires work.  There’s a practice that commands focus, precision and obedience.  My mind is continually creating thoughts of ‘not wanting’, of ‘dis-ease’.  I have a choice of trying to avoid this moment or ‘trying to fix’ this moment.  Yet, peace comes when I face and accept this moment as opportunity to participate.  This gratitude work yields a higher vibration, one of joy.  The higher vibration removes obstacles and I can embrace life with energy.  By accepting this moment as it ‘is’ I’m no longer separated and a huge space opens to receive what’s new.  I’m pulled to be around those who accept, are in joy and especially those who are enthusiastic about the next arising moment.
  2. Be amazed for the grace we’ve received.  I’ve had several experiences where my life in this body should have ended.  This brush with an end to my time in this body has made me more aware of life.  I think anyone who’s lived sixty years has seen how precious our time is within these bodies, has seen or faced death, and now realizes our work is to ‘wake up’.  Amazing Grace has become a very special song for me as I fill with joy for waking to the gift of this moment.
  3. Sometimes you may not know what your instrument is.  In my early years I thought I knew what would make me happy.  My desire mind created a craving.  I deeply desired to play guitar and to fly jet planes.  I was gifted the trumpet, harmonica, hang gliding, windsurfing, and kiteboarding.  I didn’t know how much I wanted children and grand children until I had them.  They now feed my joy beyond imagination.  My deepening relationship with my wife, mother and grandmother to these children, has found new territory never expected in my early years.  It’s softer and more tolerant, and much more accepting to the ‘new beginning’ within this second half of life.  Whether it’s family, boardsports, or music, this life is richer because of the joy I find in deepening the rhythm and harmony of our song. Again, it takes focus, precision and obedience to a ‘practice’ that cultivates the bigger sense of belonging.  One of my teachers called this Big Hope.  A famous trumpet teacher said, “When the mind leaves the tone, obstacles appear.”  A Zen teacher said, “Life is about removing obstacles and going deeper.”  I now know that intellect knowledge is very shallow.  The real learning comes from dedicated attention that absorbs into the flesh and bones, touching every atom and cell within the body.  The joy found in this learning is beyond the imagination, limitless, and filled with curiosity/mystery.
  4. In the midst of the restless mind, patience is huge.  I’m finally improving my capacity to pause.  ‘Hot’ emotions have generally followed a restless, reactive mind.  Things always go better when I embrace the ‘feeling’, let go the growing of negative as I witness ‘change’, aim to ‘stillness’, and eventually move to action that at the minimum does not harm.  This requires letting go the need to fix, to be right, to defend, and to change a situation or person.  It’s once again refining the capacity to rest in uncertainty, seeing the delusion of resolution.  It requires returning to the matt for deepening into reception of the ‘rising moment’.  Poof!  Here it is.  Yes!  Thank you!  Joy returned.

Dear Universe (God, Source, Love)

Thank you for this restless mind and the struggles I’ve engaged to settle it down.  From that struggle I’ve come to where I am now.  Thank you for showing me the silliness found in attaching to ‘my story’.  I’m so happy to rest in faith, love, and the felt sense of Big Hope.  Touching the infinite, it’s all dance, letting go the critical mind in joy that I’m better than I was.  Thanks for showing me that judgement is my biggest obstacle to love, to the felt sense of belonging.  This has given me the strength to stand in the presence of another’s suffering, the courage to move into unfamiliar territory.  It’s given me the wisdom to find new space when thoughts arise creating negative emotions.  It’s shown me the power in tasting the future ‘now’.  Why wait when heaven is here, in ‘this’ moment.  The ordinary is no more, nothing taken for granted as all becomes perceived as extraordinary.  Thank you for the joy found in cultivating awareness to your Presence within my Being.  I am not my stuff.  I am not my achievements.  I am not separate.  I am the tone.  I am the breath, the dance, the harmony, the rhythm, the Divine.  I can not be separated and consequently relish this moment free from the fear of eventually surrendering this body.  Thank you for what Carols Castanada calls ‘the active side of infinity’.  Thank you for the taste of peace.

No body— before I had a body and after I let this body go

Some body— I have this body

Some body else— I am aware that I’m connected to more than my body

Take nothing for granted.

You’re entitled to nothing.

Don’t complain.

Cultivate your relationship to this moment with obedience to a diligent practice.

Meditate from the heart or belly.

This work, cultivating depth through deeper living, stewardship and good food, helps slow energy dissipation so you can progress along the way in this body—being/doing to your fullest.

Trees want to grow old and strong and then a beetle comes…or drought.  The chances for slowed entropy increase for the tree who’s paid most attention to stewarding those around him, roots reaching out for mutual support.

Mountains exist because their rock was slower to dissipate.  Yet, erosion happens, but it’s slower with the commitment of a mountain.

Nothing dies.  It just changes.  Nothing disappears.  It just changes.  Nothing stops.  It’s forever in motion.  Change varies according to our vibration.  It’s either fast or slow, high or low.

It’s good to cultivate a higher vibration that smashes our restlessness.  It’s good to cultivate space to strengthen our felt sense of Unity.  It’s good to break our addiction to busyness, our ‘too busy to Be’ mind set.

More on your body.

Your somebody is your body.

Give it your dedicated stewardship.

Never criticize it.  It’s doing everything it can to help you catch up to the beauty of response for the gift of your materialization.

If you have any sense of lack-ness, not enough-ness…Stop it!

This is a ‘dis’ on the grace you’ve been bestowed.  It’s a disgrace.

Rather, cultivate gratitude from the grace received to manifest in this body.

Our work is to be in joy.  Enjoy is tied to pleasure and the consumptive mind.  We’re forever left in the vacuum of desire.  Joy is sustainable, even as we move through the earthquakes of life.  When ‘in joy’ I make my best effort to love all life, to leave a gentle wake with minimal harm.

Quality living is about cultivating first hand information from the Divine.  You can function with second and third hand information, attached to beliefs and dogmas.  I want to taste the direct experience, outside the thought mind, aiming to reduce my felt moments of separation.

I have found ‘to be/do’ my best requires opening to the nonverbal/nonlinguistic experience…beyond thought.  Best performance of an action commands commitment to steer from thought, any thought.  A thought removes us from the power of flow (from coincidence/co-inciding) which is purely nonverbal surrender into the receiving of ‘this’ arising moment in 100% fullness.

For sure, this requires thought, practice, rehearsal, vow, obedience, commitment, etc., before we can surrender in flow, grateful for the unity of action outside of time and space, outside judgment from the critical mind and all its birthed obstacles.