Touch at least one heart with Meet-Up now

If you could go back in time to attend a Meet-Up in Jerusalem with the famous rabbi from Nazareth to share some bread, wine and good conversation, would you sign up and go?

How about traveling back some 2,600 years to give a listen to the Four Noble Truths in northern India by a fellow who some claim had reached enlightenment? Would you agree to meet weekly to discuss life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? Continue reading

‘Love & Rockets’ explode near this veteran

My son, Nicholas, just didn’t seem to understand how much pain I suffered in Sutcliffe Park when I took him to see fireworks on clear and starry night sky on the Fourth of July some years ago.

At first, I enjoyed the rockets zooming into the air. They were a colorful red, white and blue explosions that took your breath away with gasps of wonder and awe.

Soon however, they took on a menacing demeanor, however, as each blast began to remind me of the Vietnam War and the rounds of mortar fire that fell on me and my platoon some 30 years earlier. Continue reading

Some ‘WON’ is in the kitchen with Julie!

Julie traveled all the way from Chicago and came to the Lotus Flower Island with a question about her life’s purpose. By the time she left the privately owned spiritual retreat, there was no doubt whatsoever that she found the answer she was looking for.

She’ll return to this rustic hideaway hidden away off the mainland of South Korea and, remain there, devoting herself to serving others from around the world who are searching for similar answers. Julie’s newfound happiness will be in helping others suffering from too much technology and not enough love. 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

 

 

Chanting can cure what ails your busy mind

“Namuamitabul” is a Korean Buddhist chant that means “The Buddha of infinite light, infinite life, and infinite wisdom.”

This chant is recited numerous times by participants in a WON Buddhist meditation as part of a routine that involves chanting, sitting meditation and walking meditation. Continue reading

Korea calling me to seek answers within

Korea awaits me next week as I travel more than a thousand miles to find myself and discover reasons why I am still here on planet earth.

Yes, I’m joining a group from Philadelphia, New York and Chicago that will fly to Seoul, South Korea, to take part in the centennial celebration of the WON Buddhism founding by its master on April 28th, 1916. 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

How did we choose the journey we’re on?

I would love to write a book about how people came to the current  journey they’re on.

You see, I have this tendency of going up to people and asking them how they came to be where they are; that is, spiritually, if you know what I mean. Continue reading

‘I firmly resolve, with the help of thy grace’

Why is it that I find myself sticking my foot into my mouth everytime something good comes my way? Why do I screw things up so badly? What curse have I created in some past life for me to resolve through some kind of karmic debt that I must repay in this lifetime? Continue reading

What I Believe Makes Me Who I Am

Who am I? What do I believe? And, can I name a few of my beliefs?

Let me name a few things I believe about myself. They’re in no particular order. 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

Gifts from within that we all might share

Ever wonder what you can do to be more like the person you always aspired to be? You know, the one you hoped you would grow up to be, but didn’t get the chance because life seemed to hit you upside your head and throw you off course? Continue reading

Lucid dream opens a new world to explore

I dreamed a lucid dream for the first time in my life last night.

I’ve tried to experience a lucid dream– one where you tell yourself in the dream that you are dreaming — for more than five years after reading about dream interpretations by Carl G. Jung, the eminent psychiatrist who studied with Sigmund Freud. 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

Love is the only gift I can bestow on you!

What gifts can I offer the world today? What insight, wisdom or thought could I bestow on others seeking the healing we need for our mutual pain and suffering?

I am no psychic. I’ve never seen an angel or felt the tingling sensation from a spirit wanting to use me to provide a message or a sign. I’m no medium. 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

State of Our Spiritual Union is Flourishing

The State of Our Spiritual Union is flourishing.

Seeds planted in the 1960s have flowered, and the Age of Aquarius has finally dawned on the world, awakening many of us to a new way of living, a new way of forgiving. The first signs of this new enlightenment began in the 1990s as the Berlin Wall fell, God revealed secrets in the Celestial Prophecy and the mystical Wisdom of Kabbalah was made known to non-Jews and all women, regardless of age or religious backgrounds. Continue reading

What is awakening my senses now-a-days?

I got hit upside the head today.

Next, the sweet fragrance of roses mixed with just a slight tinge of oranges enticed my senses while meditating.

This followed the experience yesterday of missing keys mysteriously reappearing as I puzzled through my new life journey of “unnatural” awareness.

Continue reading

Mystery key opens door to new adventure

A spirit touched me today. Or, rather, the spirit touched the pair of jeans I had worn the day before and left on a chair after removing them before going to sleep. When I awoke and put the jeans back on, I got the surprise of my life. 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

Ithaca Mystical Insights — by Contoveros

An Odyssey begins and ends with a mystical adventure that finally takes you back to the home within. Follow the path to Ithaca for insights!

Continue reading

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

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

Francis of Assisi; awakening him by a novel

I am about to be an author!

Well, a “published” author, that is . . .

I just learned that my book about Francis of Assisi, a historic novel, will be available at Amazon sometime in the next two months, September and October (2014). Writing it was a true labor of love. I mixed in Catholicism with Sufism and lots of Buddhism. I also introduced Francis, aka Giovanni di Bernadone, his real name by the way, to the Wisdom of Kabbalah and a belief in what I call “angel therapy.” 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

The Enlightenment of a Dharma Listener

I’m down to just two more days now . . . Two more days in which to become enlightened through the 21-Day Meditation Experience of Deepak & Oprah. Today is the 20th Day. Tomorrow, I’m afraid, it will end for me and you.

No matter what happens though, I’ve been exposed to what Buddhists called the Dharma. That is, the “teachings” of meditation by Siddhartha Gotama, the person most of us call the “Buddha.”

It reminds me of a story I heard recently. It’s about a frog. Continue reading

Hoping for a lofty goal, I write a lot & often

(Question 2 on Hope)
You may also have experienced this kind of hope, (See https://contoveros.wordpress.com/?p=12505&preview=true) but not thought of it in those terms. Think of a time when you felt sure you were going to attain a lofty goal, even though the path to the goal was not apparent. That is the hope that comes from your being. Describe this feeling of certainty in your journal. – Deepak Chopra 21-Day Meditation Experience (Feeling Hope)

I was a buck private in training as a soldier in Fort Dix, NJ, when I had a vision or what Zen Buddhists call a “satori” or moment of clarity of what I needed to do with my life.

I needed and wanted to write a book. 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

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

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

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

To be or not to be gay and in love again

Deborah loved with a love that was more than a love. Cupid’s arrow struck her just as a choir of angels sang and a special cherub played the most beautiful music in all the land over an ancient lyre, the same instrument that a shepherd boy named David once played to honor the god of the psalms. Continue reading

Divine Mother, spare the Fem-in-’em now

Take ’em. Break ’em. Make ’em.

O Grand Master, it is your females that will save this species. It is through their power, their innate abilities that man will be saved. Compassion and love must rule the day again. And power must be crushed by the mallet of humility before any dare send another child into war that old men dream of winning as if playing games of adolescent ruffians. Continue reading

Writing Tomorrow of Love You Feel Today

Why write of an experience, when you can experience it?

There’ll be time enough for writing when the chapter ends and a new one begins at the stroke of the pen.

 Live now. Live in the present.

Love now. Love in the presence . . .

Write with the love you become tomorrow.

Truly Living May Just Be Worth Dying For

The thought of going to prison never bothered me. I’d survive and flourish behind bars where I’d have more than enough time to reflect and write which I have found is my true love in life.

No, I could kill without worrying about the consequences. It would be my first offense. I am certified as a Vietnam veteran with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I don’t see any judge or jury putting me to death for the crime.

All of this went through my mind when I was waiting at the train platform and a rather tall, white guy walked in front of me. I was standing near the tracks. I was close enough and in line with others stranding on either side of me that I never thought someone could make their way between me and the tracks. But the man did. He walked around me. He stood directly in front of me. No one else stood that close. I recall thinking how totally inappropriate and rude his actions were.

That’s when I planned to kill him. Continue reading

Yearning for you grows with each touch

What is a monk to do when he is lonely? When he is blue?

When you reach that low point where you feel you are the loneliest person in the world, who or what do you turn to for relieve? Continue reading

Saying ‘I Love You’ Twice Blesses Me!

“I Love.”

It’s an affirmation I can live with over and over, day in and day out, from one lifetime to another, without ever getting tired of saying it.

It is in the giving of love that I’m twice blessed. I got so much of it when I come into your presence that I can’t keep it in and I must share or I know that I could die. And so, I tell you that “I Love You,” and hope that you never stop listening to me. Even if you blush and say that I’m only kidding and scold me, saying “Stop that, Michael. Quit playing around.” Continue reading

God needs no out-of-body experience

Too often I hear someone talk about an “out-of-body” experience as if it was the greatest thing since, I don’t know, the invention of peanut butter. Astral projection is another feat persons speak of  in hushed tones as if their trip from one place to another meant everything in the world.

Well, I’m here to tell you there ain’t nothing like the good old fashioned “In-Body” experience to get the blood rushing and the ecstasy flowing. “It’s your body now, stupid.” You don’t have to go chasing some Holy Grail to find the answer “out there.” It’s here and it’s now. Continue reading

Don’t let me believe in all my thoughts

I’m so scared because I don’t know what to do, nor who to turn to. Flashes of insights, intuition and a “knowing” that borders on the psychic has arisen in me and I don’t know if it’s a blessing or a curse. Continue reading

Friar Pope champions single moms, Chastises clergy for shutting ’em out

He’s at it again. This time, the Friar Pope is championing what I call the “untouchable class” of Catholics, the single mother, also known throughout Christianity’s Dark Ages as the “UN – WED  MOTHER.”

(Funny, but those dark ages seem like only yesterday!) Continue reading

Doors are Opening for All Doing Good!

There’s a passage in Mark’s Gospel in which Jesus’ disciples complain that someone — one who is not one of them — is casting out demons in Jesus’ name. It seems that fundamentalists of all ages have held a belief that there was only one way to get to the kingdom; only one way, and that was through Jesus. Continue reading

Happy Mothers’ Day, Poor Little Thérèse

How could I – a mother of two with a 10-year drug problem – be facing a life sentence for something stupid I did at the local Rite Aid store? Continue reading

I wish all compassion found in meditation

On February 5th, 2012, a friend who calls herself, the Frugal Xpatcommented: “I always wanted to meditate . . .

I didn’t respond to the comment until now, but want to share how everyone could enjoy this exercise  the frugal expat spoke of  in Daily Meditation Desperately Needed. As she describes her life’s quest, she is on “An expat’s journey in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.” Continue reading

Let the superfluous go, cruise a freeway

Shifting into cruise control, I let myself glide through many of life’s activities nowadays. I relax, take several deep breaths and seek a place inside where there are no thoughts, no worries, and no frets. Continue reading

Where is the boy I left home for the war?

I knew a boy

Who went to war

And left his home

Behind him.

I knew him well,

That boy was me

And now I cannot

Find him.

— A Vietnam veteran’s tweak of a World War II sailor’s song about war
(Photo of this young World War I “Doughboy” courtesy of greatwar.nl/oldsoldiers/lloydcleme… )

Greet your road with love and compassion

I’ve taken compassion on the road. Literally!

I send affection to motorists cut off by a speeding car that winds in and out of lanes. I feel for the driver who was never told by the operator of a car in front that that operator was going to turn, despite what appears to be working lights that turn on and off when you press the turn signal lever up or down. Continue reading

Abide in the moment you just completed

I am complete.

I am finished.

I’ve done what I have done and everyone can be satisfied with my efforts, including — and most importantly — me. Continue reading

Pinned for a life above & beyond the call

While Neil Armstrong was taking a giant leap for all mankind, I had taken a small step toward adulthood one month after the moon landing, and I had no one to thank for it except my brother, who encouraged me to aim for the stars in becoming an officer and a gentleman in the Army of the United States of America. Continue reading

Grounding & aspirations help us fly higher

I remembered how to fly this morning. The first thing I needed for liftoff, I recalled, was good, solid grounding. Everything must be secured and brought to a complete stand-still before I could ever dream of taking off into the air. Continue reading

Omega opens doors to lost PTSD veterans

I didn’t want to go back to Omega Institute this year. Each time I travelled to this land of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle, I’d get high from the holistic experience. But then I’d change into an Ichabod Crane feeling chased by the Headless Horseman who’d tell true life stories that caused so much pain I couldn’t hold it inside. Continue reading

Mindfully cleaning pot helps cleanse mind

Cleaning a pot can be very meaningful, particularly if you block out all thoughts and concentrate on nothing but you and the instrument that has helped provide you with so much nourishment. Continue reading

Being present for the dying brings all alive

Death entered into my life recently and I have never felt more alive than with — and in — its presence. Continue reading

Need not battle to understand war horrors

When I heard the song  “Still in Saigon” the other day, I could have sworn a Vietnam veteran had written about his flashbacks and a need to process what was unprocessed as a young man.

Little did I know that the writer never set foot in Southeast Asia, let alone serve in the military. That got me wondering about the performing arts and how someone who never experienced war could capture its long-term effects on those who faced combat. Continue reading

Only the Pure in Heart Will See their Goal

Purity. There’s something in it that resonates with me. In my private moments, I try my best to connect with it, but once I start to analyze it, it vanishes. Continue reading

Mammy, can you hear? It’s your little boy

There is a tradition in Eastern philosophies where you’re taught to view each person and other sentient being as if he, she – or it – is your mother. I never knew how nurturing this could be until I allowed the child in me to reciprocate and bask in the most secure and loving place. Continue reading

How many times must we say “I’m sorry”?

Saying you’re sorry can be downright scary. Particularly, if you’re not sure if the other party will accept your mea culpa even though it’s from the bottom of your heart. Continue reading

Enlightening chant charms meditation

After chanting a non-English mantra for some time, I finally learned its definition and discovered a gem of wisdom while contemplating its meaning. Meditating will never be the same, and I want to share with others a little of the enlightenment it’s provided me.

Om Mani Padme Hung. Continue reading

A change in time helps change my reality

Reality shifted on me the other day, and it helped me realize that I have more control than my “preshifted” thoughts allowed me to see. Now, with a “time-control outlook,” I can try to change my world for the better. Continue reading

Let Catholics ‘opt out” in birth control plan

I don’t understand all the fuss that Catholic universities and hospitals are raising over providing health care for woman that includes mandatory birth control provisions. Why not let “practicing Catholics” following the teachings of their church to “opt out” for the coverage, while permitting non-Catholics what doctors and women’s groups say is a health benefit? Continue reading

Daily Meditation Desperately Needed

It’s time for my disappearing act to begin. I close my eyes, wave an imaginary magic wand, and slowly begin to vanish from existence here. All thoughts and fears come to an end as I find protection beneath a cloak of invisibility, safe from the savages outside and the demons within. Continue reading

Like to change history? Try writing it

How’d you like to go back in time and correct mistakes made in the past? No, you couldn’t go back to the moment before you were conceived, or any other time in your far distant past. Go back to more recent moments – say in the past year or two — when you believed you knew so much about life and how to live it without doing harm to others. Continue reading

Resolve to stop anger from feeding on me

Anger. It hits like a poison arrow causing me to drop what I’m doing and focus on the pain it inflicts. Continue reading

Recalling childhood angels with dirty faces

I can think of no worse place to be than in a church, a temple or a synagogue when an unbidden and involuntary giggle would invade my psyche and take control of me. A “giggle,” is too mild a word: uncontrollable laughter would rise to the level of guffaws and downright knee-slappers’ right at the most somber parts of a religious service. Continue reading

Getting High With A Little Help From . . .

I got high again. I didn’t know how much I needed a “fix” until my head slumped on my chest and I “awoke” to a restful, calm and peaceful world I had been away from for what seems a lifetime. I felt refreshed, clean and somehow right despite what others might say. Continue reading

Reaching Higher In Women’s Company

I love women. I’ll take them in all shapes and sizes, the old and the young, the rich and the poor.

If it wasn’t for women, I — and a lot of guys I know — wouldn’t even be here! Continue reading

All I Want For Christmas Is . . . Nothing!

Am I un-American or anti-religious when I tell you something I’ve been trying to say for years, but have been afraid of hurting your feelings?

I want nothing for Christmas! Continue reading

Indulgences for Purgatory from Past Lives

(Caution: Exposure to this post could be hazardous to your health, particularly if you were raised Catholic with a taste of Buddhist and Kabalistic ingredients thrown in the mix.)

Indulgences are some things I never thought I’d think about once I finished with my Catholic upbringing and moved onto Eastern Studies and the spiritual advice from the Kabbalah. But, there I was reading how someone could limit their time in purgatory by performing certain acts and saying prayers. Continue reading

Love & Comfort Your Self on Sick Days

There’s something about getting sick on a day off that allows me to feel sorry for myself free of all guilt. I take pity on myself; I baby myself; I pamper me. Nothing prevents me from going “easy” on myself and refraining from pushing to get something done. Continue reading

Counting to ONE the ‘thought-less’ way

No matter how hard I try, I can never count to 20 before an unbidden thought arises from inside of me. I get to three or four while meditating and images pop up on an internal screen capturing my attention. I dare not try this counting method until my body and mind are both well-settled and I can “let go.” Continue reading

Open my Vessel for ALL Lights to Shine

Thank God for Buddhism. What’s that you say? I can’t have one in, and of, the other?

Are you telling this red-blooded American veteran that I cannot follow the teachings of the Buddha and still believe in the God of Abraham? Continue reading

My life is dependent on the rest of you

I am as dependent on you as you are on me, as we all are on the kindness and labor of others we too often take for granted.

As I look around, I see that my fortune is dependent on the cooperation and contributions of others. Continue reading

Giving Thanks For Feeling So Grateful

I want to give “thanks,” today, but don’t want to offer it the Norman-Rockwell, “fake-it-‘til-you-make-it” way of the holidays. Instead, I want to share how grateful I am for such taken-for-granted “gifts” that I am only beginning to realize most of us have been given. Continue reading

War is never the answer 11-11-11

On this Veterans Day, 11-11-11, what would you tell yourself if you could go back in time and greet that young man recently returned home from the war?

War is never the answer, but only a failure on all sides to reach an answer. Continue reading

A noble banker needs to occupy here

Is there a noble banker in the world? Only someone in the lending business who sees his calling as a “service for the people,” I believe, could correct past abuses and recommend changes for, and in the best interests of, us “99 percenters.” Continue reading

Twice snow uncovers October awakenings

It snowed along the East Coast of the United States today (October 29, 2011) making it the first time in more than 30 years the white stuff appeared this early outside my Conshohocken, PA, window.

I remember the last time because it was so life-changing, and I wonder if today’s gift from above will have the same affect on me and my world. Continue reading

These are true signs of our times

When I read the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators were unfocused and without a coherent message, I took a closer look at them in Philadelphia, and disvovered some were disheveled street persons looking for handouts, and one a graduate school political science major spouting Marxist teachings.

They represented only one percent.

The 99 percent of the other protestors were mostly young, highly educated unemployed or underemployed men and women who got tired of the debt-ceiling fiasco and took to the streets to mobilize against the Tea Party followers. Continue reading

For the signs they are a’changing

(From Part I, These are true signs of our Times/)

The greatest protest of our generation is seeking change in all shapes and sizes. You can see it in the signs the demonstrators carry, writing the letters out really big with magic markers so that passersby need not squint to get the messages.

There is not just one message, but many, which all have one thing in common: a belief that our world can do better for all and not  just the few Continue reading

Bliss arises when I still my self in side

Ah bliss! It’s so wonderful to welcome your visit. You return when I least expect you, embracing me and bringing peace and calm just when I still myself and end needless thoughts.

Are any thoughts actually needed when I go within? I need but seek a quiet moment with no thought save the intent to be free of the past and the future, Continue reading

Choosing Death So Others May Live

Eight Tibetan Buddhist monks set themselves on fire to protest the Chinese occupation of their country. They took  their own lives when soldiers of the army set up quarters in Tibetan monasteries.

How could anyone do such a thing?

They must have been in intense pain. Or, they were offering overwhelming love. Continue reading