Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Ecstasy of Surrender

Are you willing to surrender who you are for what you can become?


Are you longing for your life to be easier and more fun? Would you like to stop pushing, micromanaging, and forcing things so you can relax? What if you could enjoy what you have instead of always lusting for “more”? What if you could live in “the zone,” propelled by powerful currents toward the right people and opportunities? What if you could stop worrying about money and live with more emotional ease in the moment? If you answer “yes” to all these questions and desire lasting positive change, then prepare to experience the ecstasy of surrender.

The art of letting go, Dr. Judith Orloff explains, is the secret key to manifesting power and success in all areas of life, including work, relationships, sexuality, radiant aging, and health and healing. In our superconnected world where emails and text messages constantly interrupt us, it’s easier to let go than you think. Once embraced, surrendering removes roadblocks and the exhaustion that comes from “trying too hard”—and it helps you achieve goals more effortlessly and brings ongoing happiness. 
With her stunning gift for storytelling coupled with her unique, results-oriented approach to physical, emotional, and spiritual health—marrying neuroscience, psychiatry, intuitive medicine, energy techniques, and more—Judith provides a powerful, practical, and accessible map for anyone who is longing to be happier but who feels stuck, burned-out, tense, worried, or afraid to let go.
“Each of us becomes ready to surrender for different reasons and the accompanying change is sometimes painful. Just as a seed starts in the darkness and then splits apart to become something larger and more alive, surrender impels our consciousness to grow.”




Monday, September 28, 2015

A New Love Declaration

A great convergence is under way today: the convergence of reason and emotion, observation and intuition, science and spirituality. We are not discovering deeper truths; we are re-discovering them.
The great re-discovery is that underlying the welter of things and processes in the world there is an order that confers unity and oneness on all things. The happy news is that this applies also to us, human beings. We are not separate, self-centered lonely beings but organic parts of the human family and of the web of life on Earth. Our natural state is a state of oneness—the state of unity of all the cells and organs of our body, and of all the systems and communities in which we participate.
Separateness and isolation is a flaw and an illusion; our natural condition is a state of oneness. It is a state of all-embracing love. With the “re-cognition” and “re-feeling” of this state we can regain the coherence and meaning we had lost in the modern world. We can participate in the vast awakening that is now re-bonding young people to each other and to nature.
This Declaration describes the roots, the culture and the consciousness of all-embracing love. These hallmark the thinking and the acting we need to create a world of thrival and peace. We need not go from crisis to catastrophe. All-embracing love can be, and will be, our salvation. – Ervin Laszlo



Ervin Laszlo is an integral philosopher, system theorist, founder of the Club of Budapest, who brings a holistic perspective on the individual, society and the world. In this talk Ervin stresses the importance of Love for the world at large and ends with how important it is to empower women.

Namaste :)





Friday, September 25, 2015

One Great Love

Yesterday, I spent the day in bed with a man I love very much.
I was caring for him after his hand surgery to repair a broken thumb. I’ve told him over and over for the last fifteen years that one day his aggressive basketball pick up games would end in disaster. He didn’t listen to me. He didn’t care, he was in love.
Every Wednesday night he meets his passion on a shiny wood floor. And every Wednesday night, he walks off the court, bruised, scraped and sprained. The injuries are insignificant to him, because he knows the freedom in that moment—when he catches the ball, sprints down the court, levitates and launches the ball into the home of the net, his feet meet floor and his whole being is coated in peace. He’s rewarded for the hard work, effort and faith he dedicates to the game. He knows the falls, pains and breaks are a part of the practice, of playing and exposing himself to the elements of the game. He learns something from every game, how to be a better player.
This hopeful, passionate determined man is my ex-husband. He’s part of my work, practice and preparation on the court of life. He prepared me for the dunk of my basketball into the hoop of great love.
Yesterday he recovered in his bed—me on my computer and he, induced in a percocet dream land, serenaded by the basketball game on television. We laughed, we cried, we hugged, we talked, we reminisced about our beautiful life, still friends, still loving each other, sharing in the joys of our two precious little girls.
Glazed in the eyes but clear in the heart, he looked at me and said, “If we had remained in our marriage, you would have died. I would have died. We were finished preparing each other. It was time for us to move forward and accept the love we have and the life we created. The thing is, I will love you forever.”
With tears trickling down my cheeks, I could only whisper, “I know, you were my preparation. You helped me answer my questions so I could learn who I am and now I know my truth.”
There are two types of romantic relationships—the ones that prepare you for your one great love, and the other is your one great love. How do you know which is which?

The ones who prepare you, make you question everything, especially yourself.
The great one does not question you and you don’t either.

How do I know?

I’ve met someone who doesn’t question himself, me or us. Why? Because the work has been done. We’re both prepared. We’re settled. We did our falling, bruising and breaking. We have both missed shot after shot but this time, the ball swished through the net, our feet have landed, and we’re both grounded and complete in who we are and what we want of life.
Every relationship leading up to the unquestionable one is our work. It’s our self work, analysis and discovery. Every person stands before us as our mirror. With each relationship comes more understanding, depth, authenticity and honesty. 

Each time we have issues in our relationships whether in the beginning or when they end (after we have missed the shot), we’re challenged to look inward and ask:

Why?

Where should I have positioned myself when I took the shot?

What do I need to work on to have better aim, a stronger arm and sharper focus?
Once the questions are answered we move to the next question, the next relationship. The purpose in the journey of romance and love is not to find another who will complete us or fill us to full, it’s to discover our selves. The missed shot is never about the ball or the hoop, it is about the player throwing the ball. The more practiced, educated, matured, skilled the player is, the greater the shot, the greater the love.


We fall in love with the ones who prepare us, in hopes we’ll learn to love ourselves in the process. Through the practice of connection, we help each other become the purest form of ourselves. We need others to stand before us, next to us, crash into us, and fall to the ground with us to help us answer our questions: Who am I? What’s my purpose? What do I need to uncover to see myself clearly?
Each relationship bounces us closer to our truth, to our net at the end of the court.
Every relationship will remain in our way, until the question mark begins to float from our hearts to our actions and there’s nothing left to do but answer it. With the answer comes the end.
When relationships end, we tend to beat ourselves up with guilt and doubt. Why didn’t it work? What could I have done differently? Nothing. You did exactly what you were supposed to. Instead, ask the questions:
What have I learned about myself?
How have I grown from this experience?
What will remain with me and what will I let go of?

There’s always work to do, it’s never done. We’re always growing, transforming, shedding our fears and weaknesses. Yet if we devote our hearts to discovering what we’re here to do and we find the answer, we can rest within ourselves knowing we’re our own companion, our own best friend, our own true love.

Once we marry ourselves and another being marries themselves, then the one great love will be revealed. We will stand side by side, not attached or dependent on the other, no jealousy, no doubt, no guilt, no judgment—just being. There’s no question because the questions that matter have been answered.


Relationships come in all forms, from one night trysts to a decade (or five decades) of marriage.

I see marriages very differently than I did before the end of my own. I used to believe, once a person declared his or her love in front of great aunts, uncles and champagne colored chair covers, it was done—the person standing before them is their one great love. Maybe this is true for an extraordinary few who have done their work, but for most, no.

This person is another lesson, another run down the court. Most marriages are a public declaration of a commitment to answering a question above all others. Marriage is founded on hope, hope that all the questions will be answered and each person will be able to maintain their connection to one another throughout an entire lifetime. Out of comfort, most ignore the questions completely. They will not learn the lesson and either end their relationship in hate, asking the same questions again in another relationship, or they’ll live together for fear of what exists outside their words of wonder. There are some who have honored the hard work of self study and have made a commitment to understand, acknowledge and love themselves so deeply they dwell within themselves, nested in the home of their spirit.

Is it tragic that I don’t sit at weddings and join in the oohs and ahs of the white knuckled hope of the bride and groom? Maybe, but if there’s something I was born to intrinsically comprehend, it’s human nature. I understand how unfinished, incomplete and tortured we are.

Our minds are cushioned with the protective aura of hope so we’ll continue to question, to fall in love and try tossing the ball into the hoop—because hope nudges us forward to keep practicing and learning from our ball game. Through the practice we refine, we discern, we hone in on the truth and then we exist in it. We exist in ourselves.

When a relationship fractures or dies, we do the same thing—we break, we think our hearts breaks.
The heart can not break, it is unbreakable. Heartbreak is the awakening of the heart and the rising of the spirit. We begin to feel viscerally, we think we will implode, yet what is happening is the explosion of love.
Keith, my ex-husband may have broken his finger, but it did not break his heart. His passion and love for basketball will never fade. It is his. The break of his thumb only strengthened the love he has for his beloved game and his devotion to becoming the best player he can be. Is he sad? Does he yearn for the squeak of his shoes on the polished floor and the feel of the textured hide under his fingertips? Absolutely, but he relishes in the exhilaration of running down the court even if he misses the shot. He has hope he will step onto the court again, play the greatest game of his life and freedom will slam dunk.
One day, if we’ve been devoted to our self work and endure the bruises, breaks, doubts and guilt, we find ourselves wide open.
The ball is thrown directly into our hands, there’s no defense, we dribble straight to the end of the court, leap in the air, let go of the ball and we know—without question this time—there will be nothing but net.
As the leather caresses the ropes of the hoop, we touch the ground with our feet and right next to us is another who has just landed too.  The only thing left to do is reach out, hold hands and begin to walk forward together, scars and all.
We recognize the love that has always been in our hearts, in our blood, in our eyes, in our hands, in our footsteps, in our breath. There’s no falling in love because the falling already happened, this time we land with grace and see the love that has been dwelling in our great one all along, they’re as wide open as we are and ready to receive us.

By Rebecca Lammersen

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Mindfulness

The Buddha said that we should completely subdue our minds. Whatever we do, for good or ill, it is our mind that is the true agent. In the very depths of our being, we all desire one thing: we want to be happy. We don't want to suffer. But because of this - this wanting - the three defilements of craving, aversion, and ignorance arise, and suffering is what we get. It is because of these defilements that we accumulate actions that prevent us from escaping from Samsara.

So it is important right from the start to see the difference between a good motivation and an evil one. Our own mindfulness should be our teacher. We must examine what is positive and what is negative with mindfulness. If positive thoughts arise, we should go along with them. If nonvirtuous thoughts arise, we should put a stop to them. A virtuous mind is the source of happiness. An unvirtuous mind is the source of pain.
Dudjom Rinpoche, Counsels from My Heart



Without understanding how your inner nature evolves, how can you possibly discover eternal happiness? Where is eternal happiness? It's not in the sky or in the jungle; you won't find it in the air or under the ground. Everlasting happiness is within you, within your psyche, your consciousness, your mind. That's why it's important that you investigate the nature of your own mind.
Lama Thubten Yeshe

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Be in the Present Moment

“Looking at beauty in the world, is the first step of purifying the mind.”
― Amit RayMeditation: Insights and Inspirations



One day the Buddha held up a flower in front of an audience of 1,250 monks and nuns. He did not say anything for quite a long time. The audience was perfectly silent. Everyone seemed to be thinking hard, trying to see the meaning behind the Buddha's gesture. Then, suddenly, the Buddha smiled. He smiled because someone in the audience smiled at him and at the flower.... To me the meaning is quite simple. When someone holds up a flower and shows it to you, he wants you to see it. If you keep thinking, you miss the flower. The person who was not thinking, who was just himself, was able to encounter the flower in depth, and he smiled.
That is the problem of life. If we are not fully ourselves, truly in the present moment, we miss everything.
Peace Is Every Step




Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Light

Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you.  ~Maori Proverb


Suffering is our best teacher because it hangs onto us and keeps us in its grip until we have learnt that particular lesson. Only then does suffering let go. If we haven’t learnt our lesson, we can be quite sure that the same lesson is going to come again, because life is nothing but an adult education class, If we don’t pass in any of the subjects, we just have to sit the examination again. Whatever lesson we have missed, we will get it again. That is why we find ourselves reacting to similar situations in similar ways many times. - Ayya Khema, from Being Nobody, Going Nowhere


"Beauty might bring happiness, but happiness always brings beauty."

Monday, September 21, 2015

Care and Compassion

“The one thing we can never get enough of is love. And the one thing we never give enough of is love.” ― Henry Miller

There is a Buddhist practice in which one imagines giving joy and the source of all joy to other people, thereby removing all their suffering. Though of course we cannot change their situation, I do feel that in some cases, through a genuine sense of caring and compassion, through our sharing in their plight, our attitude can help alleviate their suffering, if only mentally. However, the main point of this practice is to increase our inner strength and courage.
I have chosen a few lines that I feel would be acceptable to people of all faiths, and even to those with no spiritual belief. When reading these lines, if you are a religious practitioner, you can reflect upon the divine form that you worship. Then, while reciting these verses, make the commitment to enhance your spiritual values. If you are not religious, you can reflect upon the fact that, fundamentally, all beings are equal to you in their wish for happiness and their desire to overcome suffering. Recognizing this, you make a pledge to develop a good heart. It is most important that we have a warm heart. As long as we are part of human society, it is very important to be a kind, warm-hearted person.

May the poor find wealth,
Those weak with sorrow find joy.
May the forlorn find new hope,
Constant happiness and prosperity.
May the frightened cease to be afraid,
And those bound be free.
May the weak find power,
And may their hearts join in friendship.
from An Open Heart: Practicing Compassion in Everyday Life

Friday, September 18, 2015

Our LOVE ♥

 "It as if we are trying to fly in the sky with one wing.  A few people have the wing of love and a few people have the wing of freedom, but both are incapable of flying.  Both the wings are needed.” - Osho



How strange it seems that love, which should be the most free and voluntary of all human relationships, so often becomes a means of security and a source of obligation. Why does love so easily degenerate into patterns, habits, rights, duties, responsibilities, obligations, burdens, demands, & possessiveness?

Perhaps love turns into clinging dependence when we are insecure within ourselves —lonely, inadequate, needy, deficient at our deepest levels of being.
Maybe we become possessive when we cannot stand alone.

Ideally, our love should be a completely free choice from both sides, a voluntary commitment, renewable as often as we please. Romance obscures choice by talking of "falling in love", as if love "just happens" to us without our will or consent —Cupid's arrows let loose at random.
But if we have outgrown such romantic fantasies, we accept responsibility for creating the relationship between us.

Perhaps we notice prior hopes and sexual attraction, but we regard emotional needs and sex-appeal as poor bases for love. Rather, our love grows out of the persons we choose to be, emerges from the sharing of our Authentic projects-of-being—what we are fundamentally trying to do with our lives. 

Our love is a unique creation of the two of us. If we are becoming more Authentic, love does not arise from biological urges overwhelming us nor from cultural traditions possessing us nor from supernatural powers using us as their playthings.
Both of us are free persons, continually re-inventing ourselves.
And in this phase of our lives, we are writing our stories together.
Each morning we must reaffirm our projects-of-being.
Our projects cannot re-start themselves.
We must bring them back to life—or let they die away with yesterday.

Our relationship allows each of us to be whole and independent.
We are happy to be alone when one of us chooses to be alone.
We create times of meaningful sharing when we both want to be together.
We are not just extensions of each other, not two incomplete parts of a larger whole.
We are both complete within our skins—two self-creating persons.
And yet, without needing anything, we freely choose to love each other!

Loving in freedom, we create our relationship one day at a time.
We do not project our love into the future as a permanent relationship.
We might know and love each other for the rest of our lives,
but ours will never be a fixed, unchangeable relationship.
If we are free persons, continually growing and changing, no single relationship between us will last a life-time, but we might have a series of different relationships with each other, which, looking back, might have embraced many years of our lives. 

“Love is never a relationship; love is relating. It is always a river, flowing, unending. Love knows no full stop; the honeymoon begins but never ends. It is not like a novel that starts at a certain point and ends at a certain point. It is an ongoing phenomenon. Lovers end, love continues– it is a continuum. It is a verb, not a noun.” - Osho 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Trust your Heart

How many times has your heart known something, but you didn’t listen and then paid dearly for it later? One hundred times? A thousand times? In a life full of choices about work, love, and home, too often we find ourselves making decisions—or non-decisions!—without a lifeline to our inner voice.

“Come from that wonderful, caring spot of your heart. Stay centered and love who you are and know that you really are a Divine, Magnificent Expression of Life. No matter what is going on out there, you are centered.
“You have a right to your feelings. You have a right to your opinions. You just are. You work on loving yourself.
“You work on opening your heart. You work on doing what is right for you and getting in touch with your inner voice.
“Your inner wisdom knows the answers for you. Sometimes it’s scary to do that, because the answer you get inside may be quite different than what your friends want you to do. Yet you know inwardly what is right for you.
“And if you follow this inner wisdom, you are at peace with your own being. Support yourself in making the right choices for yourself. When you are in doubt, ask yourself: ‘Am I coming from the loving space of the heart? Is this a decision that is loving for me? Is this right for me now?’
“The decision you make at some later point, a day, a week, or a month later, may no longer be the right choice, and then you can change it.
“Ask in every moment: ‘Is this right for me?’ And say: ‘I love myself and I am making the right choices.’
~Louise L. Hay


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Gentle Men

“Usually, when we think of power, we think of external power. And we think of powerful people as those who have made it in the world. A powerful woman isn’t necessarily someone who has money, but we think of her as someone with a boldness or a spark that makes her manifest in a dramatic way. When we think of a powerful man, we think of his ability to manifest abundance, usually money, in the world.
Most people say that a powerful woman does best with a powerful man, that she needs someone who understands the bigness of her situation, a man who can meet her at the same or even greater level of power in the world.
Now this is true, if power is defined as material abundance. A woman often faces cultural prejudice when she makes more money than a man, as does he. A woman who defines power by worldly standards can rarely feel totally relaxed in the arms of a man who doesn’t have it.
If power is seen as an internal matter, then the situation changes drastically. Internal power has less to do with money and worldly position, and more to do than with emotional expansiveness, spirituality and conscious living…
I used to think I needed a powerful man, someone who could protect me from the harshness and evils of the world. What I have come to realize is that…the powerful man I was looking for would be foremost, someone who supported me in keeping myself on track spiritually, and in so maintaining clarity within myself, that life would present fewer problems. When it did get rough, he would help me forgive.
I no longer wanted somebody who would say to me, “Don’t worry honey, if they’re mean to you I’ll beat them up or buy them out.” Instead, I want someone who prays and meditates with me regularly so that fewer monsters from the outer world disturb me, and who when they do, helps me look within my own consciousness for answers, instead of looking to false power to combat false power.
There’s a big difference between a gentle man and a weak man. Weak men make us nervous. Gentle men make us calm.”  ― Marianne Williamson