Love Beads cover my wicked cool protest

“Wicked cool” is what I thought I’d be when I was 17 and was about to attend a Greek Orthodox wedding for one of my cousins in Queens, NY. I refused to wear a tie to go along with my suit. Instead, I put on “love beads.” You know, the ones that hippies were wearing in 1960s. I was a hippie wannabe. I wanted to protest the institutional requirement to look one way when I wanted to express myself another way. That is, to be in love with everyone  and to share that love with all for whom I was going to come into contact with. Continue reading

Giggling at somber times can enlighten you

Alexander giggled like a schoolboy as 40 of us met in a service Sunday and quietly tried to meditate for some 30 minutes.

Wait a minute. He is a school boy. Alexander was all of 14 years old yesterday while attending the Tibetan Buddhist Center of Philadelphia along with his mother. I was sitting next to the youth and about halfway through the gathering, a sound erupted from the other side of the room. It sound like someone adjusting a metal chair on the wooden floor, but to a young mind like that of Alexander, it also sounded like someone farting. Continue reading

Meditation starts as you travel through life

I learned to meditate while riding on a train.

I had tried sitting mediation alone and with others, but was successful only once, and I really don’t know what I was doing. I was following a guru – a 15-year-old teacher from India — before I had turned 30 and I mingled with aspirants in an ashram in Philadelphia. I never touched Nirvana or reached the level that others seemed to rise to. Continue reading

Accepting the ‘As Is’ with Gratitude & Joy

There is a message I receive every time I travel to the IKEA store and visit the “As Is” department. I get a feeling that the Universe is telling me to open myself to the message the Swedish furniture store wants to share with the rest of the world.

Accept life “As Is,” it softly calls out to me. Continue reading

’12 Angry Men’ helps presume innocence

Twelve Angry Men” influenced my decision to practice law more than any movie I can remember while growing up in a working class neighborhood of Philadelphia and being the first in my family to go to college. The movie has done more for understanding the workings of our criminal justice system than any books or school classes could possibly provide. Continue reading

LSD truthfulness speaks to past love lost

“I didn’t mean to hurt you. I just thought you needed to know, that’s all.”

Peaches said nothing as we sat on the floor of her vestibule. I saw her eyes water up a little and I wanted to cry myself.

“I still love her” I continued without looking at the young girl I had shared such an intimate moment with at the young age of  19.

“I guess I never stopped loving her, if you want to know the truth.”

“You were her best friend in high school and you knew her as much as anybody did” I said, asserting a belief that neither one of us could deny. “I would break up with her, but we’d always got back together every time. You knew that when we first dated.”

“I should have been honest with you. But I liked you, I still like you. And wouldn’t hurt you for anything. But I don’t love you. I love Peggy, and I guess I always will.” Continue reading

Newspapering requires typing correct obit

“The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.”

I typed this over and over again, hoping that I’d learn the fine skill of typing as I sat in a class with all girls. Young women, I should say. I was the only male in the Delaware County Community College course of study and I never once felt out of place or unusual.

I wanted to be a journalist, you see. So, I figured I had to learn the fine art of typing in order to file my stories. Continue reading

Emergency hits home; order soon restored

My second wife stopped breathing shortly after they placed her in the emergency vehicle en route to a hospital some eight years ago. The day was six-months to date of her first bout with an emergency wagon when she fell in our Conshohocken, PA, home suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).

She remained in a coma for more than five days then. This time, however, they were more certain that she would not recover from her latest, unplanned date with Miss Fate. A nurse or a social worker at the Hospital suggested I contact a priest to say the last rites for Wendy. Continue reading

‘Brewerytown Way’ Brought Back to Life

I see my life through the eyes of a kid who grew up in Brewerytown, swashbuckling my way through fights on the streets and later the jungles of Vietnam before finding my true calling as a spiritual clarion who wants all North Philadelphia children to return to their God-given Nature of Love. Continue reading

Trusting the Universe when ‘lost & found’

I lost the damn wallet again.

It was the second time in about a week it turned up missing. The first time was in Korea and I never detected it’s loss. The Reverend Lee, the WON Buddhist minister leading a pilgrimage in Korea last week, had approached me with a black object in her hand. She looked worried and I couldn’t figure out what caused her distress. Continue reading

‘I don’t know’ — first step for my true path

“I don’t know” is soon to become my life-long mantra.

It has helped me immensely in calming the “monkey mind” after a wonderful Korean woman introduced it to me  and it took a full day for me to understand its profound ramifications.

For me, saying “I don’t know” is a way of humbling myself and admitting that I know very little about the world I live in and what really matters in the scheme of life. No matter how hard I try to “get it right” through searching and throwing myself into one spiritual path after another, the end result brings me no closer to any definite answer and it’s okay to let it go and simply say “I don’t know.” to the world

I don’t know how electricity works, but I know that it exists and provides for so many of our heating and transportation needs, not to mention that hair dryer that vain men (some women, perhaps) depend on for their appearance. I don’t know how God (or some other Source by a different name) created us, or how many days it took for Him to create the world, but I know that it manifested from the same substance that you and I are made of and will one day return to.

garfield.jpg

First Phase of Evolution:               “I Don’t Know!”

Yes, I believe in a force that is higher than myself, a divine spiritual “something” that ties us all together like the atoms that we share and the oneness we truly are. It is this small kernel of faith I have been fortunate enough to cultivate that allows me to now say with a firm conviction: “I don’t know.”

————–

 

The woman that shared this phenomenal truth was a WON Buddhist minister who served as mentor for the minister of the WON Buddhist Temple of Philadelphia. She appears angelic although there are a few silver strands in her dark hair that’s pulled straight back and tied up in a professional-looking bun in the back of her head. Wearing glasses, nothing seems to separate the love that shines from her eyes for other beings like me who are lucky enough to have come into contact with her.

Like all female ministers, she wears a black gown or dress (or whatever you call the lower part of clothing covering a woman’s torso). The top is covered by a pure white blouse with a big white bow tie. At first glance, it reminded me of the outfit worn by the Catholic nuns of a by-gone era, but without the heavy starch and the tough, drill sergeant demeanor and firmness that could scare a kid with eternal damnation for speaking out of turn in second grade.

—————

“I don’t know” is also a state of mind. It is similar to the “beginners’ mind” that Zen Buddhist monks recommend practitioners assume when studying the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, also known as  Siddhartha Gautama.

But “I don’t know” surpasses that in WON Buddhism, in my opinion. Once you truly admit this, you’re better able to tame the mind. To rid it of unnecessary thoughts that plagued you day and night.

Once that occurs, you can move into the next level, which is “no mind.” It is the “emptiness” that you hear talk of by holy men and women – the sages of all walks of life and forms of religion – who experience life without any judgement whatsoever. You become void and see things through the eyes of equanimity.

I have a long way to go, and I may not reach that high mountain top of a enlightenment, but I’ve learned to take the first step, thanks to those I’ve met during the 100th anniversary this week for WON Buddhism.

It’s a baby step, one I am proud of announcing to the world when I assert that “I don’t know!”

—————–
“I am the wisest man alive for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.”— Socrates
“I know nothing.” — Sgt. Schultz, of Television’s Hogan’s Heroes

 

 

Equanimity for anticipation & expectations

Carly Simon sang it . . .

The Heinz ketchup bottle illustrated what it could look like . . .

And I have fallen victim to it whenever I try something new and start to visualize what could possibly go wrong. Continue reading

Nothing found when seeking Love within!

I went within and felt nothing this morning. I knew this day would come, but I thought I would put it off until the day I’d die. Yes, I thought I’d have enough juice within to tell my story until I took that last breath.

But Life fooled me. It hit me upside the head, showing me you can’t take anything for granted. All things are subject to change. All phenomena is transitory, all is impermanent. The only permanence that exists is the Love I believe that energizes us and the world we all live in. Continue reading

Name three things that inspire a better you

Day 7 – Total Balance Is Natural Balance

Question 1 of 4

Describe three sources of inspiration in your life that keep you aiming to be a better you.

— Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra’s Free  21-day Meditation
———-
My calling in life is to help others come closer to the Light. I firmly belief that we all came from the Light, and that we all want to return to it. I want to share my experiences with the Divine so that others can see how Love’s energy can raise from life’s difficulties a simple schmuck like me.

Continue reading

Create a life of magical renewal with Love

If I had a magic wand I would wave it and remove all of the hate in our land. It would take away the hurt all felt throughout the ages of man from the beginning of time when Cain killed his brother and when a stupid Esau sold his birthrate to his brother Jacob for a lousy bowl of soup. Continue reading

Message from lower world: lighten burden

My host in Freiburg, Germany, escorted me and her husband on a shamanic journey as we laid on the carpeted floor in their guest room and she guided us to the “lower world.” She drummed for a good 15 minutes, never letting up the beat as she walked around us covered by blankets with eyes closed and our hearts open. Continue reading

PTSD undergoes a Shamanistic treatment

The shaman applied pressure with his fingers and thumbs to the side, back and front of my skull. He told me to let him know if he caused me any pain.

I felt some discomfort, but it wasn’t intolerable and so I said nothing and let him continue the process as I sat in a chair in front of more than a hundred people attending the symposium on “What is Healing? – Archaic Traditions Meet Ways of Experiencing Modern Consciousness Exploration and Psychotherapy.” He was the principal speaker, having taught the participants to dance and sing in two large circles in the room where we had met. Continue reading

The back of the heart offers ‘Will to Love’

We’ve all experienced love in one form or another. Most remember the romantic love that may have flourished when we were young and felt the longing to receive the touch of love from another person.

Love also appeared in our lives as infants as our loving mother held us, cradling our small bodies with her hand behind the back of our necks. She held the spot where the brain and skull come into contact with the spinal cord, the neck area.

Jaya Herbst, a lecturer certified by the European Association  for Transpersonal psychotherapy – Eurotas, said there can be healing in the touch of one person upon another. But first there must be an intent, a “will” to love to help with the touch, be it to smooth the crying of a child or to hug a grown up who needs the physical contact to know all will be just right in that moment. Continue reading

Calm the wandering mind & feel happiness

A wandering mind is an unhappy mind.

Don’t take my word for it. Scientific research has discovered that the active conditions of anxiety and agitation causes unhappiness. Becoming quiet and stilling the mind lowers blood pressure and relieves the stress that’s produced in our busy lives. Continue reading

Journey into self opens possibilities for me

I manifested as an African American riding a horse as a cowboy in the old American West.

Next, I felt the chains on my legs as I rowed in a galley ship as a Greek slave in a land governed by the Romans in some year BC.

Sand. Lots of sand with its rich mixture of roughness and tan properties became my next existence.

That was followed by my essence being made up as a piece of glass. A clear glass with a tint of green like the old-fashioned Coca Cola bottles.

Finally I envisioned myself turning into a Soldier of Love with healing powers I never knew existed. Continue reading

The Shadow helps in Spiritual Maturation

What is healing?

Those words in German jumped off the page from a brochure I couldn’t read, but by the end of a presentation in Freiburg, Germany, I got a better handle on who does the healing.

I do! And you do! Continue reading

Obstacles to German retreat removed now

I feel like the character in a comic strip who has had a cloud over his head with nothing but calamities and obstacles blocking his every move. No matter what he did, he’d be thrown off stride, be it from a torrential rainfall or an avalanche along a sunshine-filled pathway. Continue reading

Fun times await all who can be a kid again

I’m having fun.

I’m enjoying life and and feel a peace and calm I didn’t know I’d ever experience again. It’s like falling in love for the very first time. I look forward to each new day filled with hope and a smile for whatever life presents to me. Continue reading

Universe conspiring to guide us all

When will I ever learn to trust the Universe?

When will I develop enough faith to believe things happen for my well-being? And when can I truly trust my instincts and live more peacefully in tune with what the Cosmos is manifesting just for me ? Continue reading

Feeling 17 again, despite the aging process

I don’t feel my age. I know I’m getting older and will soon meet my Maker. But I just can’t see myself as a senior citizen, let alone someone who will one day praise the glory of Medicare and the free rides on public transportation in Philadelphia.

To tell you the truth, I feel like I’m seventeen years old again. My body would disagree, but my heart and my mind often see things from that period of time . . . It was a time when I had just graduated high school and the world was my oyster, so to speak. Continue reading

Mourning Allison’s Sister with Joyful Love

I didn’t know how much joy there could be in grief until sorrow encompassed me and a warm flow of unconditional love spread throughout my entire being. Someone I knew experienced a death in her family and it hit me like a proverbial ton of bricks when I learned of her demise . . . Continue reading

Owning the mental illness amongst us

Mental illness scares the shit out of me. The very term conjures up images of some crazed guy with wild, straggly hair and a demon-like smile of malevolence. Steven King kind of comes to mind when I think of someone who might be a little touched in the head. A Stephen King character, that is. Not Stephen King. Continue reading

On my knees being grateful every day

I fall to my knees everyday and give thanks for at least three things that I am totally grateful for. I usually include my son and at least one of our cats, but also acknowledge the advent of a new day as well as a nice new warm bed and the person who invented the heater to keep all of us warm. The cats included! Continue reading

Taps by my Emotional Freedom Technique

“Unclean” is what my second wife said about an aspect of my spiritual journey that I shared with her. I must have scared the hell out of her because she looked shocked and confused. I didn’t mean to hurt her or make her upset.

But the words she used went straight to my head before I dealt with it in my heart. Continue reading

Opening myself through group awareness

I grew when meeting four people Monday who helped me expand my consciousness in ways I had never knew existed before. Someone introduced me to the Fifth Dimension, while another invited me to a New Age exhibition in Bucks County where light-workers of all shapes and sizes would introduce newbies like me to new and exciting pathways to Nirvana. Continue reading

Death unfrightening once wisdom grows

Death doesn’t seem to scare me as much as it used to. I mean, I see it as a transition, and not an ending. In some ways, it will be a welcome “new adventure” if you think about it in spiritual terms.

No, I’m not talking about heaven and hell like the Catholic nuns and priests preached to me as a kid at St. Ludwig’s Roman Catholic Church where I served as an altar boy and wanted to be a priest until I discovered girls. I’m talking about a transition to a “way station,” a place where your spirit — or soul — ascends to meet with higher spirits or what some might call Ascended Masters. Continue reading

Recalling love in a 30-yr-old 1-night stand

You wanted more and I couldn’t give it to you. I was seeking love, romance, and someone I could be committed to. You simply saw me as a “one-night stand.” Someone you enjoyed being with for an hour, a night, or just one day in the life of two ships like us meeting briefly on a night at sea. Continue reading

A rant against disrespect, hurt & the war

Much of what I know about war was what I learned while playing as a kid. You know, using a stick or a broken branch from a tree, I’d pretend it was a rifle to shoot the bad guys who were out to get me and the rest of the good guys in my old neighborhood. Continue reading

The ‘Wisdom I was Born With” is in you

When I write, I try to tap into the child within. I try to “feel” something that I can share with another, be it humorous, educational or shocking. I have stories to tell from my past that brought me to this point, and I think they may help another to feel what I feel and to take action even if that action is simply to refrain from acting or even thinking.

Continue reading

All senses call out to me when meditating

Meditate mind

Closing my eyes, I open all my senses to group meditation!

The smell of lavender and a hint of myrrh greet me as I walk into the meditation room. I had not expected my sense of smell to be the first one to experience such a warm and inviting welcome. I should not have been surprised. The olfactory system is the first sensory organ I usually use, and I’m not too proud to state I am usually lead by the nose. Continue reading

Calling all ‘Spiritual Soldiers of Fortune’

I believe that I have become a “spiritual soldier of fortune” and would travel anywhere my heart beckons me to learn, to pray and to find answers about the universe.

I got an inkling of this calling when I was a teenager. It came about when I was 18, just out of high school and experimenting with grass and LSD. Timothy Leary enticed me with his message in the 1960s, advising all to “turn on, tune in and drop out.” I turned on and tuned into the message, but couldn’t afford to drop out because I was from a working class family that saw work as a way out of poverty and into the middle class. Continue reading

Science Supports the Law of Attraction

If you didn’t know it by now, science supports the claims made by Abraham about the Law of Attraction and how it could help revitalize your life from this moment on.

That’s the word I got attending a workshop when a physicist met with Esther Hicks and explained how aligning with the Source, rather than resisting it, is based on the law of physics. “We knew that,” Abraham said speaking through Esther Hicks. Undaunted, the young man of science said that he realized it only after studying what the Law prescribes for all mankind. Align yourself with what you truly want in life and keep positive thoughts on achieving your heart’s desire. If you can imagine that happiness your achievement will provide, start with feeling that happiness now. Don’t wait for a result. Feel it in your gut, yor marrow, your very soul. Continue reading

Meditation helps the Law of Attraction

“You don’t need to work when you are meditating,” Abraham told a young woman who was called to the stage to question the spirits about issues she was facing Saturday. She was among some 15 persons who shared the “hotseat” at the Renassaince Hotel near Philadelphia’s International Airport for a workshop.

The message resonated with me and I hope everyone of the more than 500 in attendance took it in and will try the 15-minute exercise once a day to see how easier it can be to get in touch with the Source energy within. Continue reading

Abraham Calls Me to the Law of Attraction

I met Abraham up close and personal yesterday and I learned the universe had called me to study the Law of Attraction as voiced by Esther Hicks, the one who channeled for the spirits guiding us back to the Source within. Continue reading

I’ll be One when I finally let myself ‘let go’

Is “letting go” a feminine trait?

Is it in the same category as “surrender” or “submit” — actions deemed by some son of a bitch to be “unmanly”? Continue reading

I am All the Love I Aspire to Be Right Now!

I close my eyes and I enter a world where nothing but love exists within. It is a state of mind I visit more often now that I meditate early in the morning. You see, I roll over in my bed and wrap my arms around me, feeling the warmth slowly develop and then spread throughout my body. I “sense” a flow of energy — liquid energy — like a lukewarm form of lava flowing from the upper arms to my neck and back and then down through the arms, the torso and then onto other parts of my body. Continue reading

Please take me back my love; I need you so!

I miss you. My God, how I have missed you!

It feels like forever since we’ve been together.

I’m sorry. Please forgive me. I know that it’s my fault. I walked out on you believing I could get along without you, without your guidance without your help. Without your love . . . Continue reading

Who had the biggest impact on your life?

The person who had the biggest impact on my life was my second wife. She had a 157 IQ, but never once acted as if she was better than me. She easily got angry at injustices, and would on occasion lash out against the hypocrisy of politicians, while helping the underprivileged and the rights of women in a male-dominated society. Continue reading

It was me an enemy sniper was trying to kill

A Viet Cong sniper was trying to kill me. Some motherfucker hiding in the trees, the bushes, the triple-canopy jungle had just shot at my platoon. I thought he was shooting randomly, despite the debris from the ground, grassland and other tiny bits of rock that struck me from a bullet’s ricochets.

No. he was aiming at no one but me! It’s taken me more than forty years to figure that out. Continue reading

Healing others starts first with healing self

The guru then made the following announcement, quoting the feminine deity: Moor Jani:

We all have the capacity to heal ourselves as well as facilitate the healing of others. When we get in touch with that infinite place within us where we are Whole, then illness can’t remain in the body. And because we’re all connected, there’s no reason why one person’s state of wellness can’t touch others. Elevating them and triggering their recovery. And when we heal others, we also heal ourselves and our planet.

 There is no separation except in our own minds.

Continue reading

At least, no one is shooting at me this time

(See Part One, “Cancer strikes . . .)

The train ride from home to the hospital was one of the longest trips of my life. I just knew I was going to die. I figured that the surgeon could not remove all the cancer during my operation 10 days earlier, and it finally struck me: I am a cancer victim!

The doctor never called me with the results from the operation in the Veterans Hospital of Philadelphia. I spent five days and four nights there, mostly recuperating from the surgery. When I left, I had hoped to hear from the physician, but  she didn’t call. I believed she was afraid to give me the bad news over the phone. Continue reading

Francis released on amazon.com

Well, I told you my first book would soon appear. And it did.

Just as I went on a cruise in a boat up to the new frontier of Alaska.

Francis of Assisi is on sale. It has one error which I found today. It has to do with Esther of the Bible and her relationship with a fellow who was her uncle but was identified by me as as her father. Not bad for a 266-page book, if I do say so myself.

Check it out. It’s called: “Francis of Assisi, A Novel Awakening to Lady Poverty”

Oh yeah. My name doesn’t appear anywhere on the cover. You see, I “discovered” the manuscript which was actually written by the  13th century monk and I arranged for it to be published after it was hidden in an old castle on an island of Greece. It is novel of an historic book. I think you’ll like it!

Michael j Contoveros

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For a look at the book, click on Francis of Assisi

Contentment: Learning to be Content OK

Good enough is the lazy man’s way to enlightenment . . . There’s nothing more to do . . .  Your job is good enough . . . Your spouse is good enough . . .Your life  is good enough . . . Your meditation practice is good enough. . . You don’t need anything more, and what you now have is good enough. — This is all according to a young monk, – Ajahn Khemavaro, who spoke on Impermanence, in a 2008 presentation, “Everything Will Be alright.Continue reading

Ups & downs of life provide me lessons

When you’re down and feel like nothing, God is usually up to something just for you.

That’s a saying on a church sign outside of Philadelphia hat I edited and slightly changed and can safely say is now mine. Continue reading

Growing up with Catholic Sisters (Nuns)!

While growing up in a Catholic School, I met all kinds of nuns. Some I liked more than others. I was kind of like the class clown, or a class-clown wannabe, and got called out by many of the good teachers wearing the black coverings with the bullet-proof white vests covering their chests. I went to Saint Ludwig’s, a church school in what was then a predominantly German neighborhood of North Philadelphia called “Brewerytown.” Continue reading

Ithaca Insights serve up peace & calm

How may I serve you?

 That’s the key to a happy life, you know. Learning to serve others selflessly with no expectation of a reward other than the knowledge you are doing unto others something you’d want them to do . . . unto everyone else.

Continue reading

Meditate first and foremost each day!

What a surprise!

I expected to try to get through the day today without my morning cup of meditation-offering from Deepak & Oprah. I figured the 21-day journey had ended yesterday, August 31st. Yet today, the American holiday called “Labor Day,” they gave us a gift — an extra day. And boy, did I need it. Continue reading

‘Do’s’ and ‘Don’t’s’ of Radiating Wisdom

 Today’s meditation showed us that we all have a profound and innate wisdom. How have you experienced this in your life? Write about a time that you spontaneously said the right thing at the right time to someone. What did that communication feel like for you? — Deepak & Oprah 21-day Meditation Experience.

As I struggle to come up with a satisfactory answer for this question, let me focus instead on what Deepak had quoted William Blake as saying in reference to wisdom. Wisdom is “organized innocence.” What a concept! In order to have or to cultivate wisdom, I know that I must be in awe of something; I must see that thing with wonder, with the eyes of an innocent child. Continue reading

Journey Propels Me to the Lower World

I couldn’t wait for the instructor to finish her directions for my latest journey to the lower world. As soon as I closed my eyes, I felt a presence come into my awareness. I could hear my Reiki teacher, Angie, talking in her special “guide”s” voice, and I knew that my good friend Melanie was as attentive as I was the first time this Shamanic guide talked me into seeing a new reality, a new world.

Melanie sat on the couch to my right. We had already shared our brief journeys into the Middle World, the one that exists now on this plane. We were joyous to discover we both pictured the bright, bold red Cardinal as our favorite animal. Continue reading

Getting a good last laugh is so laudable

Despite always having a smile on my lips and a laugh at my tongue, I found it hard to think of anything to write about for the latest meditation round for Oprah and Deepak. That is, until I picked up my son at work this evening and we joked and laughed until I almost did you know what in my pants. It hurt so much that I started crying, that’s how good it was and how great it felt to just let it all come out in front of one of his 22-year-old buddies and our 25-year-old female traveling companion.

Here was the latest question:
What are the surefire ways to get you laughing? Comedies, jokes, YouTube videos? Write down all the situations that encourage you to laugh, and then make a point of doing one of those every day to get you laughing.

The joke I shared was a “guy” thing having to do with Planned Parenthood building in which I asked if they sold condoms there. Not just any size of the birth control device, but the extra-large super-size ones. My son said they wouldn’t fit him. He needed a trash bag-size to fit his uh, well; we didn’t go there . . . frankly . . . because we couldn’t talk anymore through the raucous laughter we caused to erupt throughout the car drive to his friend’s house  . . .

Continue reading

Peace found inside middle of Vietnam War

(Part 1 of 2)
Recall a time when you felt calm and peaceful, even though the circumstances were not peaceful. Write down a description of that event, and describe how you were able to be calm in that situation. What was the source of this peacefulness if it didn’t come from outside? — Deepak Chopra 21-Day Meditation Experience (Day 3 — “Feeling Peace”)

I had led my platoon in Vietnam for several months. We had encountered several fire-fights, but no one was killed or injured, thank God. But, you never knew what the next day would bring and so we were on edge, on the ready so to speak for anything that might have endangered us. Continue reading

NaNoWriMo done in 30 days, thank God

Just finished 73,000 words about Francesco, the young man from Assisi who overcame post traumatic stress from battles as well as a year-long imprisonment before being ransomed by his rich mercantile father. Continue reading

Love notes discovered from a distant past

Him: God, I miss being in love. I guess I could say I miss you.
You helped me to tap into the feelings I usually only got with Shekinah, what the Kabbalah says is the feminine side of the divine. She’ll always be with me, and I see now you simply took her place for a little while here on Earth. Love is still there but only redirected now.
Thanks. Continue reading

Don’t eat all the hummus, Michael J

To      Michael J
From Melanie K
I had such a nice night. My favorite part was sitting outside talking on the bench. Who knew we would be together in such a situation?
    • the lovely garden beside a Thai Buddhist Temple 
    • the freshness of post-meditation
    • the purity of post-meditation
    • the high of talking dharma with a new friend Luke 
    • surrounded by Bonsai trees Continue reading

A Call of Love to the Goddess Shekinah

I’ve been away from you less than 4 hours and I can’t stand it. I miss you.

What has come over me? I get so lonely when I’m not with you, and feel such a shallow emptiness. You are so filling, that I don’t really take notice of your presence until the presence is gone. My tank runs out of gas, it voids itself of all energy, and the only thing I have left to get me through is the memory of the two of us together and how we will re-unite tomorrow.

Continue reading

Angels appear when disbelief is suspended

A friend of mine is “into” angels. “Suspend your disbelief,” he told me, explaining how belief in angels re-materialized into his life recently. I knew at that moment that resistance he had spoken of was puffing out its chest and stepping between me and the computer screen where his words appeared.

(Written by Melanie Kriebel)

Continue reading

Spiritual love flows on, says the Maiden

(Continued from What’s next for love’s mysterious ways?)

The Maiden of Athena to the Foolish Knight:

Is this not, yet another spiritual practice for you?

 For me too.

 I think it is very possible, even natural, to go from one form of love to another. And back again, and forward again.
 You are resisting the flow of things, that is for sure. I think, my very good friend, you must go to your countrymen for answers. The Greeks. The Greeks!
 I never considered the different faces of love before hearing of Eros, Philia, Agape, and Storge. I never made the connection between “platonic love” and Plato. My goodness, I didn’t know any of these distinctions, and they are so nice.
 Why?
 Because they are freeing. 
Love can have many forms. There is no right form. These are the distinctions the Greeks made. For me, just the fact that love is formless is enough to set me free from its potential traps. We don’t have to cling to definitions the Greek put forth, although they are quite nice!
 
Why does love die?
Because we have an image of it. We trap it. We trap it in the form in which we think it belongs. We do not let it transform itself. We annihilate it. 
When it rains and the it stops raining, do we become sad and doubtful that we will never see rain in its purest form again? Where is it? It has filled the lakes and oceans of the Earth. The process of condensation begins, and the water becomes vapor and it becomes one with the atmosphere again. We don’t necessarily perceive this process. And then it rains again. Water has so many forms. Because it has changed form, has it died? Isn’t that THE question. The BIG question. The form has changed, the thing has transmuted, it has taken a different shape, and it will become something else, but it has not died. When a single raindrop hits the surface of the ocean, has it died? Such is the rain, such is the soul.
 
Didn’t someone say that upon observing the lotus flower, you can become wise? So it is with all the natural processes. 
Love, too. 
We don’t have to discipline ourselves because there is discipline in the world. 
Love is so concentrated when it’s passionate. It has an earthly form, the form of the person who we direct it towards. Is this sustainable? No. Is anything? No. Forms change. 
Don’t resist the flow. Your love will be a spiritual love yet again.
See below for the question the wise maiden answers here:

What’s next for love’s mysterious ways?

You’ve been Called; now Choose up Sides

Am I among the “Chosen?” Will I be one of those who make the “cutoff” at the end when the proverbial bill finally gets to be paid?

I don’t know. If you would have asked me some five years ago, I’d tell you to hit the road. Jack. I’m not into any of that doomsday stuff. The so-called “Chosen People” were the Jews, Right? Look what happened to them. And don’t the Jehovah Witness folks believe that a couple hundred thousand of them will disappear from the earth at the time of the Rapture? And what about some old-fashioned Presbyterians? Didn’t Calvin or one of their leaders claim to be among the chosen few? Continue reading

Universal Love grants me the touch of love

I wanted so much to write about your soft, careful touch on my arms and my hands. How you slide your fingers ever so meticulously over the outer parts of me, teasing a sensation to come forth, to grow from the inside out, knowing all along your touch is the touch of love. Continue reading

I find my true nature when not looking

When you touch that part of me that has never been touched, a dormant thing erupts.

I am observing this thing for the first time.

Did it exist inside of me or did you put it there when I wasn’t looking?

When I noticed it, it hid behind my ear. I tried to find it, put a name to it, and store it in a folder where everything is orderly and safe. It wouldn’t go.

It was quick like a fox, creeping down my left arm while I examined my right, hiding under my knee when I thought I felt it brush the side of my face.

I am barren without it, yet all the happier to have seen it, if only for such a brief time not long enough even to know what to call it.

— Melanie Kriebel 2013

Four Truths to Enoble the Strongest Mind

Sometimes the only way for me to understand something is to try to put it into my own words. Particularly, if I want to memorize or “imprint” something so that I can keep it near and dear to me like an inspirational poem or saying I still remember from my earliest days.

And so, thanks to the kindness of WordPress, I will use my meager intellect to place into words something my heart has tried to understand and permit to grow from one lifetime to another. It is the four truths that can enable those noble among us to overcome what is wrong in our lives and how we could set things right. Continue reading

Sweat Lodge reveals many Creative Spirits

It took several hours for the effects of the Sweat Lodge ceremony to kick in, but when it did I realized the control I always thought I needed was not in my hands, but in what the Greeks called the Fates; the Christians, God; and the Buddhists, Karma.
A Divine source, refered by some as the “Force,” the Divine Feminine,” the Creator, has dealt a hand to play with our own free will. We get to choose which cards to keep and the ones to discard. By standing pat or by seeking new ones to “change our luck” or to improve our hand, we cast our lot to the future. None of us expect to lose or to face tragedy or a financial crisis. We hope for improvement, to enrich ourselves through our card-playing skill and years of studying the game of life. Continue reading

Living ‘mind-less-ly’ in the present moment

I am a shape-shifter. I’ve developed the ability over the past five years to shift from one form to another by simply manipulating my mind to do the bidding of my higher self. Continue reading