Monday, September 26, 2005

On Being Complete

It is said that when the Buddha transitioned that many people cried except for a few followers. They did not equate his death with separation- it did not occur to them that they had lost their beloved, so why should they cry with the rest?

I am in a "why?" mood tonight... and it's good to ask why- makes us aware that we really don't know a damn thing. When it's all said and done- who really knows jack? I mean...really, really knows anything for sure. Do you know what I mean by know?

What do you know? What do you deep in your gut, beyond a shadow of a doubt, no need for discussion, sustains you when everything else fails....know for sure? What is the one thing that when you close your eyes at night and try and drift off to sleep with the rattling going on in your mind, with the drunken monkeys swinging to and fro in the tree that's your mind- what's the one thing that lulls you to sleep and grounds your feet and brain and keeps you from going insane?

A kid died today- his name was Brent- BJ for short. I didn't know him...only knew of him. If you care you can read about his life and death here. Right now a lot of people that loved him, knew of him are asking... "why?" His parents aren't asking why though. His sister isn't asking, his church isn't asking, those who really knew BJ aren't asking why he went where he did, did what he did, and had to die because of it. They know....they know the why...and there is a peace beyond words holding, cradling them right now.

Why are you here- why are you even reading this?

In Memory of Brent Higgins who is now everywhere, in all things.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Losing Everything

How to handle losing everything? No words will suffice. Yet Buddhist wisdom reminds us here again about impermanence and evanescence, and the benefits of being able to let go, patiently forbear and accept. One of the prime virtues of adversity is to take this naked moment to reflect upon what really matters and is most important in life, and learn to balance our grief, fear, anger, and loss with appreciation for the fact that we are alive at all. Let's realize that the most important thing, ultimately, cannot be lost; and that it is incumbent upon each of us to find and cleave to that, however we may conceive of it, beyond life and death.
Lama Surya Das

Friday, September 23, 2005

Friday Thoughts

My thoughts are with those in need of comfort and peace.

"God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my willful path violently and recklessly, all things which upset my subjective views, plans and intentions and change the course of my life for better or worse."
C.G. Jung

Pray for BJ
Thanks to Amy at The Amy Sessions
for the link to BJ's webpage.

Please stop by and leave a prayer for BJ, a young man fighting for his life after coming down with a mysterious infection in Peru while on a mission with his church youth group.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Time To Read

Well I've done it again. Yesterday, I resisted the urge at Barnes and Noble bookstore to purchase several books I thought I couldn't live without only to end up at the library where I did check out two books I really felt compelled to read. Every now and again I find myself reading three or four books at one time along with my usual array of magazines. Usually this isn't a problem but sometimes I go into overload where my brain feels fried and I can't pick up a book for days. It's always interesting to see what others are reading. I discover new glimpses inside the personalities of my friends both here in digital world and in the real world when I happen upon what they are reading. Here's what's on my plate right now.

The Simple Feeling of Being: Embracing Your True Nature
by Ken Wilber

This was given to me by Trevor Harden and I can't tell you how much I am enjoying this introduction to an astonishing teacher, Ken Wilber. This is a digest of Ken's writings spanning his numerous books and although the read is, at times somewhat difficult to digest I am finding my second reading easier to absorb.

"As you look deeply into your own awareness, and relax the self-contraction, and dissolve into the empty ground of your own primordial experience, the simple feeling of Being- right now, right here- is it not obvious all at once? Were you not present from the start? Did you not have a hand to play in all that was to follow? Did not the dream itself begin when you got bored with being God? Was it not fun to get lost in the productions of your own wondrous imagination, and pretend it all was other? Did you not write this book, and countless others like it, simply to remind yourself of who you are?"

Wilber's obvious devotion to the teachings and writings of Ramana Maharshi, Meister Eckhart, Lao Tzu, and Emerson come together in a beautiful unfolding with emphasis on trusting in the Witness for our being. It is as the Witness that we are led to the revelation of "One Taste" and the obvious- "I am that, too!" Thanks again Trev!

Hope In Hell: Inside the World of Doctors Without Borders by Dan Bortolotti

This book caught my eye immediately as I have always regarded Doctors Without Borders to be one of the most dedicated group of professionals in the humanitarian field. This is a first hand account of the marvelous and highly dangerous work performed in the field by doctors, nurses and the numerous support staff needed to bring medical care to those caught up in the absolute hellish conditions of war, conflict, and hopelessness. The author conducted almost a hundred interviews with doctors, nurses and support staff and spent time with teams in Angola, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

"Our volunteers and staff live and work among people whose dignity is violated ever day. These volunteers choose freely to use their liberty to make the world a more bearable place. Despite grand debates on world order, the act of humanitarianism comes down to one thing: individual human beings reaching out to their counterparts who find themselves in the most difficult of circumstances. One bandage at a time, one suture at a time, one vaccination at a time. And, uniquely for Medecins Sans Frontierres (Doctors Without Borders as it is known in the western world), working in around 80 countries, over 20 of which are in conflict, telling the world what they have see. All this in hopes that the cycles of violence and destruction will not continue endlessly."
From Dr. James Orbinski's Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech awarded Doctors Without Borders in 1999

Reading this book breaks my heart at man's inhumanity to man and raises my spirits with the power of individual action and call to account.

The Dance of 17 Lives: The Incredible True Story of Tibet's 17th Karmapa
by Mick Brown

The blissful cover caught my eye first. A beautiful young Tibetan gazes compassionately at me with almond shaped eyes and is wrapped in golden robes and wearing the ceremonial Gampopa hat. This is the story of the exiled 17th Karmapa, the present day 19-year-old spiritual leader of the Karma Kagya school of Tibetan Buddhism. The 17th Karmapa represents an unbroken line of succession reaching back 12 centuries. The great wisdom teachers of Tibetan Buddhism, the Karmapas were the first lamas to establish the practice of identifiable reincarnation- some 400 years before the advent of the Dalai Lamas and were the spiritual teachers to the khans of Mongolia and the emperors of China.

The author met and interviewed His Holiness the 17th Gyalwa Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje and found himself spellbound by the story of the Karmapas, the tales of miracles, and the 900 mile journey of escape from Tibet across the Himalayas of the Ogyen Trinley Dorje (who was only 14 years old at the time) from the repression of the Chinese Government.

"Even before his birth, Trinley Dorje was considered special. For his parents had yearned for a son, but without success. And then his mother, Loga, became pregnant. During the pregnancy, Loga experienced a series of unusual indications that the child she carried was in some way extraordinary. She dreamed of three white cranes offering her a bowl of yogurt. Resting on the bowl was a brilliant golden letter, indicating that she was expecting a boy. The cranes told her that they had been sent by Guru Rinpoche, the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, and that the boy would be a great reincarnation, but that she should keep this a secret until the right moment was revealed to her."

I have always been captivated by anything Tibetan and this book is no different. The story of the linage of the Karmapas, the escape across the Himalayas, the welcome by the Dalai Lama, and the simple ordinariness of a 14 year old boy caught up in such worldly complexities is riveting. It is the tale of the enduring spirit of Tibetan Buddhism in the face of all adversity.

Monday, September 12, 2005

What Is and What Appears To Be

" Om"
It is such a rush- a creative exhilaration that takes over and transforms my way of thinking from ordinary observation to seeing through the eyes of my camera. The whole world instantly changes and I begin to see things in a new reality. Suddenly, lines, shadows, colors, and light speak to me in a language that is silent and ethereal. Everywhere I direct my eyes there are endless possibilities waiting to be witnessed and captured. I am drawn to a corner where brick meets weathered wood. Shadows, light and color undulate ,dancing a once in lifetime performance. I find myself lost in a dimension that becomes intoxicating and it takes me a while to regain my ordinary way of seeing things (if that was ever the case to begin with.)

It isn’t often that I truly capture what my eye sees in its original vision. Out of 20 shots perhaps two or three will result in the reality I want to convey. Sometimes I surprise myself and discover something entirely different in an image than what I had originally envisioned.

What is it that we see day in and day out that becomes plain and ordinary, so much so that we begin to take it for granted? Is it a view out a window, the building across the street, our reflection in the mirror or the face of a loved one? How is it possible that we cannot see the sacred dance going on about us all the time? Is it possible our part in the dance is taken for granted? Do we not even know our very breath and heartbeat is in keeping with a holy tempo?

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Each of these special friends I have quoted below have inspired me beyond words. I have learned so much by reading from their sites. I am blessed that our paths crossed. Thank you for simply being you and sharing your journey with me and others.

"All that takes place on the journey is 100% spirit. When will we come to know this in all fullness?"
from Trevor: The Sound of Diesel Musing

Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय

"I am learning not to worry about clear mind: it is always there. When cloudy thinking comes, behind it is clear mind. When cloudy thinking goes, there is my clear mind. Thinking comes and goes, comes and goes. I am becoming less attached to the coming or the going. It happens."

from Meredith: Graceful Presence

Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय

"This food is the gift of the whole universe-the Earth, the sky and much hard work. May we live in a way that makes us worthy to receive it. May we transform our unskillful states of mind, especially our greed. May we take only foods that nourish us and prevent illness. We accept this food so that we may realize the path of practice. Many beings are struggling for food today. I pray that they all may have enough to eat."

a blessing by James: The Buddhist Blogger

Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय

I want to return to innocence.
Everyday onward,

I want to return
to my Original innocence
with which I came to this world .
Let me reach my innocence inch by inch,

Before I reach the day
when I leave my body
and journey to the One and Only
Pure Soul,
Let me live in my original innocence.

Let me unite with my Origin,
the Supreme Soul
in a state of worthyness.

Let my longing for it be blessed.
The purity which was my birth right,

Let me regain that as my life right.
a poem by Sadiq: Inspirations and Creative Thoughts

Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय

"I just don't understand how because I label myself a God fearing individual, that means I must be republican. I'm sorry but that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. That's all."
from Amy: The Amy Sessions

Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय

Lava Lamp

I feel mySelf.

not my skin,
but my true self,
my life
within me.

like a jet in a jacuzzi,
or the gel in a lava lamp,
life rises, and falls.

Thoughts bubble and vanish.
And energy risesand falls.

And night comes,
and goes,

As day comes,
and goes.

and the body peaks,
and passes.

What remains?
What was before Time itself.

Not nothing,
not something.

I am This,
I am.

I am That
I am.
from Jon: The Wild Things of God

Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय

"Personally, I don't have the guts to follow Jesus, so I often settle for being a Christian."
from Rick: A New Life Emerging

Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णमह् षिवयह्
Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय


Bobbing and twisting,
In a current to big to know.
We float.
Near, caressing, touching.
Then away.

To private places
where knowledge cannot be shared.
Sculpted and ravaged by,

To be tossed, finally,
to solid ground.
To lie in the coarse, soft sand.
That covers us in time.
from Buford: Lost In Real Life

Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय

"The bad news... it is very hard to be aware. It is very hard to actually realize that eternity is now. But... it is possible. That's the good news."
from Mark : Eternal Awareness

Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय Oम् णमह् षिवय, Oम् णनह् षिवय

"I don't think God gives a damn about whether we go to church or not, as long as we're faithful to Her image within us."
from Darrell: Blog of The Greatful Bear

Monday, September 05, 2005

Learning & Unlearning

I am beginning to know that our awakening to greater Self is not something we control; it is in fact a matter which is entirely out of our hands, an evolution already finalized and made present to the degree which we are capable of realizing the ending of what is only begun. The fact that we must continue with struggle, with suffering and confusion, with all matters opposite that which we desire is simply a safeguard in place (some would say self-placed as Jung conjectured when he said; “religion protects a person from a direct experience of God”) guiding us along our predetermined pathway and allowing us only the amount of freedom we are ready to integrate into our existence.

One is not enabled for total Freedom, total integration into Self by just thinking or believing one is, and yet there are no missing elements to our being- we are as enlightened and complete now as we will ever be. One must experience the road leading into this realization; one must trust the road and all that takes place on the journey, accepting that this is the only direction possible- the only way there can be (otherwise there would be another way, another road- and one would be upon that path). Once one accepts the individual path prepared and totally Self- created and then embraces all the experiences along the way, acknowledging and trusting the compass direction emanating from the heart- center, one is free to travel any path, any road… as all roads merge into one, becoming the same. There was never any real difference between this path or that path to begin with, all paths originate from Self and lead back to Self. The beginning was the ending after all- and what does this matter if we have all of eternity outside of time to journey the path!

Our thoughts regarding the path are as they are- only this and nothing more. They stand outside our inclusion in Spirit, but spring from Spirit.

A couple of nights ago I dreamed I was walking along a mountain pathway mesmerized at the red clay soil of the trail, the rocks mingling with the soil, and the crystal blue sky with the mountains off in the distance. I felt an exhilaration settle upon me as I began a conversation with my- Self. I told myself that I was only dreaming-this was only a dream, but all about me- everything I saw was speaking to me saying I should be still as the Witness for the remainder of my journey. I continued for some length up the mountain trail ever aware that I was dreaming yet continuing on until I reached the summit. When I finally did reached the summit, I simply dissolved into all-ness.

I have never been on the pathway-
I have always been on the pathway.
I was only dreaming-
I was never dreaming.
I do not exist-
I Am- is all that exists.
I am aware of writing this sentence-
You are writing this sentence.
All I understand emanates from Spirit, from who I Am, too-
all that I do not understand emanates from Spirit- from who I Am, too.

I know all things- I know nothing.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Everywhere we see ordinary people doing whatever they can to help those in need recover from the effects of hurricane Katrina. It is a beautiful, inspiring time to witness the best in humanity coming together. Churches, businesses, civic groups, Boys & Girls Scouts; black, white, rich and poor-all joining in with the desire to do something. Many millions have given to organizations such as the Red Cross and America's Second Harvest assisting in the effort.

I was deeply touched when my brother and sister in-law generously offered to open up their home to a family in need. It is such a selfless act of empathy and courage to say "Here, here is my home and what I have...and it is open to you."

My brother-in-law, James, doesn't exactly believe the same as I do at times with regards to spiritual matters; he sees Spirit in his own unique and beautiful way which I respect him for immensely, but what he has done by offering of himself is align with the Intention that is the inspiration of the universe, the creating force that is all. It doesn't matter the name of this Intention...It is present in his heart, his family's hearts, and in every heart that opens up to give. Both he and his wife realize the truth that we all seek in our searching for a 'heavenly home'. Heaven is right here, right now- and he's creating the Garden with his very actions.

Hello All Of our Friends

Attached is a link to MoveOn - a nonprofit political action committee offering assistance to Hurricane Katrina Victims. You can visit this website at or My husband and I have posted an offer to open our home to a family in need of shelter. I thought I would pass this link on in the case any of you are in the position to offer assistance to other families without shelter. If you take a look at this site you will find that people from Florida to Ohio and beyond have opened their homes for victims. If by chance you know someone who lives in the area who needs a place today, please direct them to this website.

If you have any other information please contact me directly at work , home or by email. Judging from the response to the hurricane, I believe for a lot of victims the only assistance they will get is from people like us. Thanks!

All our love and hope,
James, Danielle, and Jeb

Much love, James, Danielle and Jeb; how much richer you are now! I love you all very much and think what you are doing is a beautiful act of kindness.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Om Namah Shivaya

Who can make sense of what has happened over the course of the past several days in the wake of hurricane Katrina and the devastation that has taken place?

OM Namah Shivaya,
OM Namah Shivaya,
OM Namah Shivaya,
Shivaya, OM Namah.

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