Saturday, November 7, 2009

ImagineThisTV - The "Other" Reality TV




I heard about ImagineThisTV - "the best TV Show not yet on the air - " from my good friend Dwabha (Dr. Prabhavati) who, with our and many other people's help, has been nurturing Ramana's Garden in India for over a decade. Ramana's Garden is a magical place full of beautiful flowers: the children Dwabha rescues out of horrendous situation into a new life of love, play, and self reliance through an education program that takes the children through elementary and middle school and then, when many other organizations at this point abandon their charges, through high school or vocational training until they cannot only survive on their own as young adults, but become the teachers, doctors, electricians and business owners who inspire the succeeding age groups.


Ramana's Garden grows its own food and has several small businesses like a bakery and humane angora bunny rescue farm. Creativity and innovation are all part of this magical world. In co-operation with people and organizations in the West, many groups visit and work at Ramana's Garden throughout the year, be that eco-tourists through AFC, Gurumuk's Yoga students looking for service opportunities, or Western Youths who are sent through LeapNow to restore their spirits damaged by our Western ways.


Ramana's Garden depends on its visitors for survival. Without visitors who bring money and muscle soon this beautiful garden would not receive enough nourishment and the children's futures would be uncertain. In return each visitor is nurtured by the joyful hearts and ways of the children.


The present crisis facing Ramana's Garden is pollution of the water from the Gangha they have depended on for over a decade. 


Here is our dream - I imagine for Ramana's Garden to be able to operate out of the old Beatle's Ashram in Rishikesh. It is a much needed change as the children and their visitors are outgrowing their present surrounding in addition to the serious water situation. A beautiful and simple, yet large enough place, presently sitting empty and unused by the river Gangha, this old facility, with a little clean-up and re-energizing, would be perfect . The magic of the Beatels, which was Love, Love, Love...would continue to flourish in this most practical way of providing a place to grow and expand this haven for the children as well as provide a historic place for the caring annual visitors and volunteers, and hopefully attract many more.


And what a great TV episode this would be - to "restore" the old Beatles Ashram and open it to the joyful children claiming it.


You can support this dream by visiting here on ImagineThisTV and commenting on the suggested Episode "Saving The Lives Of Destitute Children In India".


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Our Beautiful Ocean

When wondering what to do...let's just start somewhere. Let's laugh more, drive less, dance more, eat less, be more playful, creative, and intelligent in solving the problem.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Andy McKee Guitar Drifting

It's about time for a little music, again, in this blog. Here an amazing guitar player...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Almost Christmas...

Christmas is around the corner and sales of Here You Are are picking up nicely, especially on Amazon,  even though I have stopped all advertising for the time being. We may have hit the Tipping Point of Word Of Mouth Magic. Thank you all out there for your continued and increasing support and interest in Here You Are. The best thing this year was winning the Mom's Choice Award - such an honor and such a help for a new author. Thank You Jet Blue Airlines (for noticing Here You Are and inviting me to apply), and Thank You Mom's Choice Award Judges!

A new book is forming in my heart and mind and hopefully it will be out for next Christmas Season. Until then - keep Here You Are in mind for your loved ones, young and old alike. It never fails to warm the heart and put a smile on people's faces. Don't forget to write reviews on Amazon as well, or send me your thoughts. Stories of children's comments are the best, and I will continue to add them to the BoathouseBook Website.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Baby On Fire

A baby's brain - and legs - on fire...



And good old Mr Rogers, moving the heart of a senator, talking about Children's Television programming to the point of 20 million dollars...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Narco Test Your Soap - Make Sure It's Positive!

Here some news about my favorite soap - Do some narco testing on your soaps!

Dr. Bronner's soap - which is one of the few real soaps around (rather than detergents) - you can use to shampoo your hair, wash your body, face, laundry, baby, dog, house, and even brush your teeth with.

Makes life simple, and the water supply on our planet happy. Dr. Bronner's story is long and interesting, too. Just follow the links on the above website after you watch the video(s).






Tuesday, September 22, 2009

An Apple A Day

My mother used to sit down at night after we all had had our baths, and would start peeling apples for us to snack on while we watched our evening TV show. In those days there were two public channels in Germany.

Shows and movies, of which there were very few, were NEVER interrupted by commercials.
When I learned that that is the way TV works in America I was shocked and amazed at such mental torture. Our commercials ran for 30 minutes IN A ROW - and we watched them - before shows, or before the news. The commercials were "interrupted" or separated by Smurf skits - which kept us there, and was fun. Orson Wells told us to drink Asbach Uralt Brandy, the Palmolive Lady told us to buy the right dish washing detergent, and the Kellogg's Tiger growled at us, to our delight.

The News was somber - like church - since mostly it was about some war, or accident, or people disagreeing about how to run the world. Some politicians back then even looked like wise men, which later changed and they all started looking like playboys.

Apples back then were already sprayed with chemicals which is why my mother insisted on peeling them in spite of my grandmother arguing that many of the vitamins were in the peel. Sometimes we compromised with good washing and then eating the peel anyway. Today there is the new problem of radiating produce. If apples rot from the inside out - as most of them do unless you buy them at Whole Foods or the Farmer's Market - they have been irradiated. A perfectly fresh looking apple is disappointingly rotten at the core when you cut it open. Since the core is discarded anyway, many people think nothing of it. If you still have any healthy intuition left in your gut and bones though, this "rotten at the core" apple you hold in your hand instantly sets off all your internal biological alarm bells. Something - is very, very wrong.

It's not just apples that are rotten at the core...too many people and institutions fit the same description...so if you want to "heal the world"...start by eating non-irradiated, non-rotten apples...an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and may just keep YOU from rotting at the core with some new disease irradiation is creating in our biological Circle Of Life.


http://www.farmersalmanac.com/natural_cures/a/more-great-reasons-to-eat-an-apple-a-day

More Great Reasons to Eat An Apple a Day

appleWhile counting an apple as part of the recommended 2 to 4 fruit servings a day, you may also want to keep the following in mind:

  • Apples are rich in iron and phosphorus, two minerals that are good for the brain, liver, and bowels.
  • One of the most beneficial parts of an apple is its acid content, both the malic and tartaric acids. These acids not only make the fruit itself digestible, but also assist in the digestion of other foods. Apples help regulate the digestive system and can aid in the cure and prevention of constipation. They also help neutralize the effects of rich, fatty foods.
  • For constipation, try eating a ripe, juicy, preferably sour apple before bedtime every night.
  • When peeled and grated, the apple relieves flatulence and diarrhea.
  • The apple is also good for the teeth. The juice is cleansing, and the flesh is hard enough to help rid the teeth of plaque.
  • It is believed that unsweetened apple cider can be used as a preventative against gout and rheumatism.
  • Apples are thought to help with memory loss. Eating an apple a day, with one teaspoon of honey and one cup of milk, is recommended in the treatment for loss of memory and mental irritability.
Other Useful Tips For Apple Usage: An apple in a sack of potatoes will prevent the potatoes from sprouting. • An apple placed in a container with brown sugar will help keep the sugar moist. • An apple in the cookie jar will keep cookies moist. • Add lemon juice to an apple recipe if the apples lack tartness.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Stuff

Moving throws you into the material world as you try to put your new home together. There is so much Stuff to deal with and you feel sillier and sillier as you attend to it all. It is easy to forget how much stuff there is when things just sit peacefully in their cupboards.

Donations are the key to success and thank goodness for Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Interestingly you cannot give any child-related items away anymore, like toys or even car seats, because of the new lead laws.

Every single item that ends up in children's hands now has to be guaranteed to be lead-free. This is good, of course. But - like all good things - it has its disadvantages. All those things in my household that are highly unlikely to be a lead problem could not go to places that distribute things to those who need it. Well - with the help of a friend I found takers myself. But - it was an interesting challenge.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spaghetti Dog Secret

Well - in order to get this amazing dinner, which your kids are sure to blog about - you stick the uncooked noodles through an uncooked hotdog and then boil them together. But - you figured that out already, didn't you?

Spaghetti Dog

This is what can happen when fathers cook for their kids. My daughter-in-law's cousin - no doubt a genius - came up with this dinner. How did he get the spaghetti through the hot dog? This may be a patented idea. But I'll tell you in my next post.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mondays's MeditationMom Moment - Ugly And Lovable

Q: What can I do about being a more lovable person?

MM: Be more lovable. There is nothing to do, just be more lovable.

Q: But I feel that I am fat and ugly and that on first impression already people decide I am unlovable.

MM: There are "fat and ugly" people who are very lovable and people are instantly drawn to them. Socrates was one of them. It is all a question of what occupies your thoughts. It is only thoughts that are fat and ugly. You get rid of fat (repetitive) and ugly (negative) thoughts against yourself and others and you will be free. Freedom is very attractive to everyone. Serenity, peace, compassion... all show up even on an ugly face. They are irresistible. Become irresistible.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Utah Our New Home

Here We Are



On The Way To Utah

Rain in Nevada driving to Utah





Moving To Utah

Our first week in Utah, I am pleasantly surprised by how nice people are here. It is a noticeable difference to California. People seem more relaxed, happy and genuinely friendly here. So many Moms with three to four children in tow in all the big grocery or department stores - the children all happily bouncing along and yet, well behaved. And the Moms - are SMILING!

We have had encounters with dozens of people this week - store clerks, government clerks, handymen, and many others - and all have this down to earth, relaxed, friendly and generous manner. I never imagined people could be happier than Californians.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

As Salamu Alaykum

I am getting the "White House Vegetable Garden Feeling" again today, as in: "You mean the White House didn't have a Vegetable garden?"

The same incredulous feeling is suddenly surprising me regarding today's world news about President Obama greeting the Islamic World in his opening remarks in Cairo, with a heartfelt "Salaam Alaykum" from the American People - which was followed by appreciative applause.

You mean we've been trying to help bring about peace in the Middle East without regularly greeting our Arab friends with: "Peace be upon you" - to the point that this is news? Please say it isn't so.

It seems that President Obama may be getting to the root of the problem, then.

Salaam Alaykum! May Peace Be With You - and all of us. We can work on our inner peace first - something President Obama seems to have accomplished quite nicely already. Maybe world peace is just around the corner. I dare to hope...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Whale Wars

If your life has been boring and glum since Jack Bauer went into a coma, fear no more. You can get the same tension and stiff neck you treasure from watching 24, from watching "Whale Wars" on Animal Planet. The difference is that you can watch "Whale Wars" with your ten-year-old. It will make for spirited discussions, and might turn him into an Eco-Terrorist, so be forewarned.

As we were watching the first and second episode, and I was trying to explain the wisdom of doing things the legal way, the democratic way, and the way of least resistance - more like Greenpeace, - or Jesus and Buddha for that matter - the response I got was: "Legal or not, Mom, the other guys are KILLING innocent whales!"

It didn't help that Paul Watson had just explained that if you see someone kicking a puppy in the face, you don't just take pictures, report and wait for lawyers to deal with things, you save the puppy and deal with the attacker." Jack Bauer would be proud. But what would Jesus, and what would Obama do? As the Imam on 24 said to calm Jack: "We live in complicated times."

What Paul Watson and his team do is not - at least in episode one and two - life threatening to the whalers, and far from Jack Bauer's methods. They throw stink bombs the way we did in Middle School, jam the whaling ships' props, and do anything else annoying - and expensive to the whaling boats they can think of - to interfere with the bloody killing of the whales. It is often life threatening to his own crew, as they fight their lonely - and arguably - legal battles in the Southern Ocean - the toughest place for sailing on earth. It is almost always life saving (or at least buying a few more hours on earth) for the whales, though.

This makes for easy math for a ten-year-old.

Is Paul Watson a brave and compassionate hero, is he stupid, counter-productive, self-righteous, helping, or hurting the cause, or all of the above? That's for people who are over ten to decide.

The rest of us...are cheering for the whales.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Susan Boyle

I have not been blogging much lately. I am moving, and busy with work in the three dimensional world. So I am taking the easy way out and posting - oh, well - linking you to - a YouTube Video today - of Susan Boyle - who else? - her first appearance and then her semi-final performance of Memories. Maybe old news, but enjoyable to listen to any day, or if you missed this.

Such an amazing phenomenon - our world village where a little old lady from Scotland can be heard all over the world thanks to a TV show and the Internet, humbling everyone and their prejudice at the same time. So fast even, that nobody could figure out in time how to make money from the 250 million clicks on YouTube.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Veiled Truth

Q: What exactly is this truth you mentioned that Jesus speaks about when he says: "You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free"?

MM: It doesn't matter. Don't concern yourself at all about what it might be, or might be like. Just know - deep down, and with your complete trust and all the love in your heart - that you will indeed know it. Accept that this is a 100% reliable source making this promise to you. Then you become ready to receive it. That is all that matters, that you become receptive. Don't concern yourself with this truth in any other way. You will not need your intellect, your understanding, or any past experience to recognize this truth to be The Truth. It will be self evident and beyond doubt. It will not be a thought, an idea, an image, a feeling, or anything else you are used to or could possibly imagine. That all has to get out of the way.

That is what meditation is - just practicing getting all thoughts, ideas, opinions, feelings, images...out of the way, so that the veil can get lifted from your eyes.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A New Drug

Now that people have dropped the idea of original sin, and feeling guilty about anything is just so yesterday, people have been afflicted with a new condition - for which there now is a drug to take care of things - Thank Goodness!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Monday's MeditationMom Moment - Karma

Q: The more I think about the idea of karma, the more I get confused. Isn't cultivating good karma for oneself in itself selfishly motivated?


MM: Forget cultivating good karma. Instead cultivate a calm mind. The calmer the mind, the more you will become who you truly are and go beyond dual concepts like selfishness and unselfishness, good karma and bad karma, etc. Once one is truly oneself one can neither be called selfish nor compassionate. Just like the sun which causes both skin cancer and makes our food grow - we become who we are and move beyond worry. To become oneself does not mean the Western idea of "do whatever you want". It means peacefulness, serenity and full presence in which all things get done that need to get done - no more, no less.

Strangely enough, Buddhism which teaches about Karma, the cause and effect of good and bad deeds over lifetimes - also teaches about non-dualistic thinking. When non-dualistic thinking is fully attained there is no karma. At that level time and space also disappear. Therefore, without time and space, whatever is happening now, is happening all throughout time.

One way to reach to non-dualistic thinking is through contemplating the idea of karma. The idea of karma, if followed logically, eventually turns into a koan and can free the mind.

Until then - think of karma as "you shall harvest as you sow". Tend your garden with awareness.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Atheist And The Bear

An atheist was walking through the woods.
'What majestic trees'!
'What powerful rivers'!
'What beautiful animals'!
He said to himself.

As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. He turned to look. He saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charge towards him.

He ran as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder & saw that the bear was closing in on him.

He looked over his shoulder again, & the bear was even closer. He tripped & fell on the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up but saw that the bear was right on top of him, reaching for him with his left paw & raising his right paw to strike him.


At that instant the Atheist cried out, 'Oh my God!'

Time Stopped.
The bear froze.
The forest was silent.

As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky. 'You deny my existence for all these years, teach others I don't exist and even credit creation to cosmic accident.' 'Do you expect me to help you out of this predicament? Am I to count you as a believer'?
The atheist looked directly into the light, 'It would be hypocritical of me to suddenly ask you to treat me as a Christian now, but perhaps you could make the BEAR a Christian'?

'Very Well,' said the voice.

The light went out. The sounds of the forest resumed. And the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed his head & spoke:

'Lord bless this food, which I am about to receive from thy bounty through Christ our Lord, Amen.'


Monday, May 4, 2009

Monday's MeditationMom Moment - Katrina's Flowergirl

Q: I saw a lot of horror during Hurricane Katrina. Horror of what human beings do to other human beings, because I worked in a flower store that supplied funeral homes. I can't get over it. I disdain human beings now and have lost all desire to marry and have children even though that was my dream, always. I feel like it is wrong to have such disdain for people, but I can't help it.

MM: Your mind is feeding this disdain by bringing up the memories. Why? It is because you want to see something about yourself you don't see. You are a very spiritual person. The thing your being wants you to see about yourself is your own cruelty.

We usually don't think of young girls in flower stores as cruel people. But, think about it. All those beautiful flowers. They, too have been killed in their prime, to be bundled and sold for temporary pleasure, or carelessly trampled on if they fall on the ground in the flower store. Once you see this fully, your humility will return and the world will once again look like it is filled with flowers, instead of just florists and customers.

Like I said - you are a very spiritual person to want to realize such a subtle thing about yourself. It takes an extreme situation like Katrina to point out something this hidden. Go home and grow some flowers and nurture them.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

James Taylor's Wisdom

As James Taylor sings - love is the only road.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TlAD-b7yew

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time
Any fool can do it
There ain't nothing to it
Nobody knows how we got to
The top of the hill
But since we're on our way down
We might as well enjoy the ride

The secret of love is in opening up your heart
It's okay to feel afraid
But don't let that stand in your way
'Cause anyone knows that love is the only road
And since we're only here for a while
Might as well show some style
Give us a smile

Isn't it a lovely ride
Sliding down
Gliding down
Try not to try too hard
It's just a lovely ride

Now the thing about time is that time
Isn't really real
It's just your point of view
How does it feel for you
Einstein said he could never understand it all
Planets spinning through space
The smile upon your face
Welcome to the human race

Some kind of lovely ride
I'll be sliding down
I'll be gliding down
Try not to try too hard
It's just a lovely ride

Isn't it a lovely ride
Sliding down
Gliding down
Try not to try too hard
It's just a lovely ride

Now the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday's MeditationMom Moment - Truth, Religion And Music


Q: MeditationMom - are you a Muslim?

MM: No, except that if someone were to ask me to deny the statement "there is no God, but God" I would have to willingly go to my death instead. Like Galileo I would have to die for that truth. It is not just a religious truth but also a scientific one. I am not sure Muslims think of this statement as I do, but to me this is one of the most profound religious, even scientific, statements ever made.

All the religions are like flowers to me - beautiful. How can you chose? The truth on the other hand is like the earth to me, out of which all the different flowers grow. Few are interested in the earth rather than the beautiful flowers.

All the guardians of the flowers - the priests and imams are in competition with each other, forgetting the shared source of their flowers. This shared source is what the original teachings are all about. One earth - one truth - infinite varieties of flowers and religions. All beautiful and yet - incomplete - destined to return to the earth. Both beautiful and ugly flowers rot and return to the earth to make fertile soil. Which flower tells the whole truth about the earth? None. They are a distraction - and a secret message.

Q: You're an atheist then.

MM: No, Atheists hate all the religions. I love all the religions - although, not all of the churches and religious organizations that are run by corrupt and power-hungry humans.

Religions and religious ideas are beautiful to me - like music - even though my true love is silence, and truth. Religions, even though, as atheists point out, bring out the worst in human beings - also have brought out the very best, not just in the arts, but also in insight and human potential.

Religions can be extremely helpful, or a great hindrance to truth - just like music to silence, or passion to love, or knowledge to science. Music can create a sort of peace, harmony and serenity out of chaotic noise, and it is a good first step towards silence.

Just like music, religions are a good first step towards truth, but need to be left behind eventually. Like Jesus or Mohammad - one needs some quiet time in the desert or in a cave away from the churches and mosques in order to meditate and discover truth.

Atheists deny the existence of God with such conviction, as if they knew. This is just another form of belief, not knowledge. I do not deny the existence of God - although I will point out that there is no God as far as most people's idea of God is concerned. There is nothing that is not God. Therefore any discussions whether God exists or not - how do we go about it? It is such a challenge.

Q: Not to mention all the horrible music that is out there parading as music.

MM: Yes, there is that - and horrible teachings parading as religion. We need to develop that in us that can discern the true from the false. Utmost awareness and sensitivity is needed.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Ask Yourself...

Ask Yourself - is your bank account and stock portfolio half-full or half-empty? It will tell you how well you will survive the financial crisis!

White House Vegetable Garden


I can't get the White House vegetable garden out of my mind. It makes me too happy to think about. You mean the White House NEVER ACTUALLY HAD a vegetable garden?

It feels as if the fundamental thing that may be wrong with our society has just been discovered.

No question, these will be very expensive vegetables, but no different from the expensive Christmas tree. Although to many a sweet religious symbol, it also very much symbolizes wealth and heartless consumption. To me it always comes with the images of freezing little hands lighting last matches while peeking through frozen glass into homes with cooked geese on the table and velveted children receiving their colorful dolls and trains.

A vegetable garden on the other hand, and a first lady and her children digging in the dirt, is a symbol of gratitude, humility, and appreciation for where all of our wealth and happiness ultimately comes from - the food from the ground and the work it takes to grow it.

When the food runs out - or a few steps further down the line, when the money runs out, as it has and still is - thanks to all the thieves and charlatans out there - it is time to turn the soil, fertilize and replant, and not to sell rotten vegetables or even stones for food, as some of our bailout plans seem to do. I hope the First Gardener knows this and can get rid of the slugs.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Monday's MeditationMom Moment - Son Of God Or Prophet

Q: Christians believe that Jesus was the son of God, while Muslims believe he was a prophet like Mohammad. What do you think of this idea that he is the son of God - even the only son of God?

MM: Jesus himself said that we are all the children of God - just like him. Begotten means "by seed". It makes no sense to take this literally, unless you believe in aliens.

Spiritually understood, this "seed", "God's seed" is waiting to sprout within all of us. It is our longing for re-union. The longing that drives everything - all of material, physical life, and spiritual life alike. "Father" means our origin, our source which could just as easily be called "Mother", or the Infinite and Eternal. The trouble always arises when the material mind interprets spiritual teachings. That is why so many spiritual teachings used to be kept secret.


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Overheard In New York

Funniest Blog - Overheard In New York

Reminds me of a restaurant sign in Seattle:

"Unattended Children will be given a double cappuccino and a free puppy."

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Monday's MeditationMom Moment - 2012

Q: What is your opinion of all the recent talk about aliens, UFOs, and even the idea that our religions may be based on contact with aliens of higher intelligence?

MM: It is a mystery for now. All that is needed is getting in touch with our own higher intelligence. It seems to be more and more urgent. People claim to be after the truth, but if they looked deeply inside they would discover that they are driven by a subtle form of greed and fear. There is always greed and fear involved in not knowing about something.

What is the difference between the ideas of angels and demons, or benevolent aliens and reptilians whispering into our ears - or "taking over" or "coming to our rescue"? It is still all about the freedom to exercise our own conscience and wisdom, while among all the noise and mayhem in each situation we find ourselves in.

Q: But what about governments possibly covering up the truth - all the data that seems to exist?

MM: Have you ever kept information from your children or parents? Either to protect yourself, or to protect them from knowing something? The timing for all truths to be revealed depends on the maturity of the receiver of information, in this case large populations of all kinds of cultural backgrounds, and the wisdom of the giver of information, in this case all kinds of governments, both benevolent and violent. Therein lies the problem - mature mobs and wise governments. Both are hard to come by. It has always been the problem - for all truths - scientific, or religious - to come to light. Once maturity appears, wisdom appears, and truth comes to light. Mobs and governments are made of the same people and have an interdependent relationship.

Q: What do you think about the predictions that the world will come to an end in 2012?


MM: It is based on an interpretation of the Mayan Calendar. Interpretation is not exact.

We are living on a tiny speck of dust flying though space at mind boggling speed, spinning around a gigantic fireball of nuclear explosions while working hard on our own capabilities to throw nuclear weapons at each other here on Earth. Meteors have hit the Earth numerous times and most likely will again in the future. The dinosaurs didn't make it, and the Mayans vanished without a trace from the planet - which should give us pause, and it has. All physical life is fragile at all times. Doomed in fact.

Every new day is a miracle! A thousand more new days, more than anyone could ask. A billion more years ... that idea may just be too boring for people.

Everybody's world comes to an end after only 80 years or so, give or take a few years or decades. No reason to stop living, or worry too much about dying while we are here. What does it mean to be alive for these precious few moments within this vast eternity? As we speak , thousands are dying NOW, today, and even more are born to see a new day.

Q: Well - what DOES it mean?

MM: It has no meaning. It is pure joy. Don't ruin it with worries about "the end". The end will always come - in the end - not necessarily in 2012. Every end is a beginning in disguise. The seed dies and a giant oak tree appears. People try to protect themselves from what they fear in the future and miss life and even start killing each other, as well as the planet their life depends on. Life is happening only here at this moment. In this very moment, life is eternal. Abide in it - always - and all will be well. Be kind to each other! Be peaceful, and simply enjoy quietly. This is the way to eternal life. Forget immortality - it does not exist.

I Can't Believe ----- It's Not Butter



Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Home - What Does It Mean To You?

Here is a little gem - a song written and sung by a German woman, who wrote this song as a teenager after spending a year in the US in tenth grade upon returning home to her parents in Germany. The songs asks - "Home - What does it mean to you?"



Not everyone is lucky enough to grow up in a home that would inspire such a song, which makes life seem quite unfair. Material life is indeed unfair. The strong prey on the weak, and the violent overcome the innocent. The rich and the poor live in fear of each other. Many children in the world, by no fault of their own or their parents, wander about homeless and hungry for food , love, and warmth.

Only in the spiritual realm do we enjoy fairness, equality and abundance where everyone has the same home, the same love, the same wealth and the same life - eternal life. Fear does not exist, only love. This is our true home, available to all of us at all time. All we need is to remember. It is not something created by fantasy - an imaginary bandaid to troubled lives. It is something remembered like a shoe on your foot - something already there. It is true and accessible, and if you are ever lucky enough to meet those who know this, just looking into their eyes, they can take you there until you can find your own way.

It reminds me of a Carly Simon concert I went to in the nineties when a friend of ours was playing in her band and invited us to "hang out" with them after the show. She started the concert out with a solo A Capella song called "Home"after walking to the front to the stage, belting it out calmly and strong. It was instantly recognizable as a song to our common spiritual home and her communion with "that" as she sang it. It was very powerful, beautiful and true. And, it seemed to be instantly forgotten by everyone as the band started to play all the familiar favorites, right after her sacred and almost private moment of communion.

In that Home - we are all one. After the concert when we physically met, Carly Simon was convinced she knew me well, and tried hard to remember where and when we had previously met. Finally she decided it had have to have been in another life time and we left it at that. We all meet in that home every day, but we forget.

Her other song "to God" if you will, is "I haven't got time for the pain" - "not since I've known you" which many mistake for a song about a new lover, instead. If you ever want to feel free - that is a great song to listen to. Important though to think of something more lasting and grand than a new lover - or that feeling of freedom will not amount to much. Only if the divine becomes our lover, as it did for Carly and Rumi - will we find the full level of freedom and joy that is available.

I don't think Carly Simon's song Home has ever been recorded, as neither Google nor YouTube seem to be able to find it anywhere. Then again, maybe I have to check all our old CDs. I hope I find it - but until then, I have this sweet Home song with a German accent full of gratitude for her parents' home - her safe haven from a wild, wild world. We are lucky when our parents give us a good idea of what home should feel like, but even if we are not that fortunate - our heart knows and will eventually find its way there. It is our birthright.


I Haven't Got Time For The Pain


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYOL4vClXis

All those crazy nights when I cried myself to sleep
Now melodrama never makes me weep anymore
'Cause I haven't got time for the pain
I haven't got room for the pain
I haven't the need for the pain
Not since I've known you

You showed me how, how to leave myself behind
How to turn down the noise in my mind
Now I haven't got time for the pain
I haven't got room for the pain
I haven't the need for the pain
Not since I've known you

Suffering was the only thing that made me feel I was alive
Though that's just how much it cost to survive in this world
'Til you showed me how, how to fill my heart with love
How to open up and drink in all that white love
Pouring down from the heaven
I haven't got time for the pain
I haven't got room for the pain
I haven't the need for the pain
Not since I've known you

Monday, March 30, 2009

Monday's MeditationMom Moment - Your Work And God's Work

Q: How does one express God, or do God's work in the world?

MM: God's work? God knows nothing of work. The idea of "work" is a very human idea. As far as God is concerned there is only effortlessness, and all gets done. It is more of a question of how do we stop destroying "God's work" - the earth, the oceans, and all of it's creatures.

Ask yourself instead - how do I express myself in the world, and how do I do my work - without doing harm? Attempt to know yourself. What drives you, what motivates you, what seems good and what seem bad to you, etc. Really look closely and learn. Meditate, and get in touch with your innermost self. Learn to separate what you are conditioned to believe from what you yourself know to be true from your core.

The better you know yourself and the more you are guided by that - you will find there is no difference between "your work" and what people call God's work. The truth is that God has no work - but you do. You need to get the laundry done and the kids fed. Your work - and what people call "God's work"- is always what is directly before your eyes - be that the dishes that need to be washed, or jumping in front of a moving train to pull someone off the tracks. At some point what has been thought of as hard work, becomes effortless and natural.

Q: But aren't there choices - like - do I do the laundry, answer emails, or do I read a book to my child?

MM: Is the child standing in front of you asking you to read, or are you doing the laundry wondering about this? What is before your eyes?

As a general rule, when in doubt - always make it a priority to attend to a child.

A child always demands your presence in the present. That's why the above is good advice - not just for the benefit of the child, but also for you. (Use Here You Are to help you - that's what it was written for - to help adults meet with their children in the present).

If you take a moment - you will always know what is needed right now, without thinking, and right action will follow.

Q: What if I get 25 letters a day "before my eyes" - asking me to donate money to good causes ? Or people, or my child, making unreasonable requests?

MM: Don't open them! If you do, make sure you stay in the present. In the present - you cannot make a mistake. The same is true with unreasonable people or children. As soon as "unreasonableness" is before your eyes - respond accordingly.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Waves - From The Inside - Clark Little Photography

Unless you are a surfer, and a good one at that - one who can surf and at the same time take pictures from inside the wave - you will not yet have experienced these breathtakingly beautiful "landscapes" and "waterscapes".

What a gift to us non-surfers! Thank You, Clark Little!


http://www.clarklittlephotography.com/gallery

Monday, March 23, 2009

Monday's MeditationMom Moment - Closer Than Your Own Breath

Q: So - MeditationMom - to follow up on your last post - have you then discovered God? If so, what would you say about that discovery? What then about believing or not believing in that discovery - for yourself or for others who are trying to "learn" from you? Doesn't that just bring us back to belief or non-belief?

MM: I would say first - Be careful. You cannot learn from me. I can only help you to un-learn some of your notions and beliefs, so you are free to meditate and look for yourself. Some people feel nervous about that because they feel it will weaken their beliefs. But they need to remember that Jesus, Mohammad, Buddha, etc - all did this and recommended to do this. Meditation, sitting in silence, personal or wordless prayer, whatever you want to call it - is the way home.

Then I would say "There is no God" - "but God" - meaning there is nothing that is not God. When people talk about God, in general, they think of God as something or someone "additional" and "outside of" and "separate" from existence and themselves. In my experience God is existence itself and neither part of it, nor not part of it. In other words - the end of "parts", and ideas of separation, altogether. Or, as Jesus put it, "me and my father are one". How can you separate yourself from God? It is impossible.

As far as "having discovered God", and then either believing or not believing in what has been discovered - think of it this way: it is like a fish who has been looking for the ocean while all other fish are arguing whether one should or should not believe in the ocean, and in what kind of ocean! On his search he some day is separated from the ocean through unforeseeable circumstances - he jumps out of the water by mistake maybe while being chased by a bigger fish, is caught on a fishing line, or some other situation.

Now you could say he "discovered", or become aware of the ocean, even though there was nothing to discover. It was always closer to him than even his own breath. Now it is no more a question of belief or non-belief, it is just what it is - truth. He also now knows that it is only a question of time before he will be completely dissolved back into the ocean.

It is the same with God. God is closer to you than your own breath - much closer! Hiding in plain "view". For this view you have to close your eyes and be still. As Jesus said - be still and know. You cannot be still - and believe or not believe in anything at the same time. Being still means to go beyond belief and all thoughts. This is why I have equal love and compassion for believers and atheists alike. It is not a question of believing or not-believing. It is a question of meditation and calming one's mind altogether.

Beyond belief, is where the truth is to be found.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Laughing Baba Nature Video

Here is a very nice nature video with helpful advice. Let go - let the grass grow - and understand the way of the clouds.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Paddy's Day!


Happy Saint Paddy's Day! A day in the US on which we celebrate good luck, friends - and spring. Everyone wears green, and even though this originally was a religious holiday, today it is just a day to be cheerful and a little silly. Little did the poor kid who got kidnapped into slavery know how his life would influence mankind still so many centuries later.

Here is a documentary on this US holiday from the History Channel.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Monday's MeditationMom Moment - Do You Believe In God?

Q: MeditationMom - do you - or do you not - believe in God? Some of your writing seems atheist, and sometimes it seems that you do mention God a lot.

MM: Neither, and both. You'll have to practice your Buddhist non-dualistic thinking to be happy with this answer. My writings are confusing because I respond differently to individual people . All the people who write to me are truth seekers - the religious and atheists alike. The truth everyone is intuitively looking for is "beyond belief" - literally - and already belongs to everyone. As Jesus said: "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free." This freedom is all that matters.

Maybe I should ask you which God you are asking me about?



A joke on the subject: A tourist in an Irish bar asks his neighbor: "Are you a Catholic or a Protestant?" "Neither!" answers the Irish patron with some annoyance, and adds: "I am an Atheist."
After a pause the tourist asks: "Well, are you a Catholic Atheist or a Protestant Atheist?" to which the Irish man replies with a little more enthusiasm: "Actually, I am a Buddhist atheist."

God - to most people - believers and atheists alike - is an idea. Many different ideas actually, we
fight wars over. Everyone has a different idea about God - even the kind of God people don't believe in is fought over.

To others, God is a suspicion - as in "there must be something or someone greater than little old me "out there" running or overseeing things". Atheists are more mature, and brave enough to live in a chaotic and random universe. To them, God is simply a stupid, if not a dangerous and destructive idea. Most atheists just want people to stop killing each other in the name of God. Atheists though are blind too, for example, about how many people have been maimed and killed because of what they believe in - which is science.

To the devout God is a feeling - a very profound one, and anyone telling them "there is no God" is saying "you don't have that feeling". When, especially people who tell others to get in touch with their feelings, their emotions, their sexuality, as well as their "dark side", then tell those people that "their feeling" of God - their "being in touch" with the divine or the sacred in life - is not real - all hell breaks lose between these two groups.

Those who actually discover God, discover something far beyond thought or feeling, and beyond anything anyone could say anything about, and certainly something beyond belief. They usually stay silent on the subject. If they say anything they risk being misunderstood, getting crucified or stoned to death, and also risk starting yet another religion for humanity to fight over. In other words - when it comes to God or the divine - you cannot learn about it from anyone or any book, even though this can certainly be inspiring and give valuable guidance in the best of cases.

Ultimately - the whole subject of God is best avoided as it is a fight among the blind over something they are all speculating about. Believing is OK, and not believing is OK . Both can help, or be a hindrance, on the way to truth and freedom.

What is meant by God is equivalent to absolute, infinite and eternal truth, absolute, infinite and eternal freedom, love, compassion, wisdom, kindness, perfection, principle, all-one-ness that includes all opposites of good and evil, and all that is beyond all ideas. There is only one way to discover this, and that is with the deepest trust during meditation. This trust needs to be greater than the fear of death. The reason for that is that only with that, can one go beyond thought or feeling - beyond oneself - completely. "Oneself" is the blindness that prevents discovery.

When the Dalai Lama was asked what his religion is, he answered that his religion is Kindness. This is a highly scientific answer and demonstrates the insignificance of individual, personal, belief or non-belief in God, or any religious dogma.

Ramana Maharshi said it well: "No one doubts that he exists, though you may doubt the existence of God. If you find out the truth about yourself and discover your own source, this is all that is required."

In other words - God is a discovery - and unlike anything that anyone has ever believed, or not believed in.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rain Forest

Time to take a break from all that computer work! Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and enjoy a few moments of peace, and the soothing sounds of harmoniously pulsating life in the rain forest...

With Music ...



Or with only the sounds of nature (my preference)...

Circles Of Love

Think of a person you love closely. Look at the following pairs of circles, and pick the pair that represents the overlap between who you are, and who that person is.



Psychologists have shown that the longer a couple have been together, and the closer they are, the more overlapping the circles they tend to pick (Aron, Aron & Smollan, 1992). They refer to this as “inclusion of self in the other.” As people grow together, the other becomes a part of who we are, like a tree growing to partly swallow a bolt that has been placed through it. This is part of why breakups of long relationships hurt so much - even if all parties agree that splitting is for the best and that they are better off apart, each is losing a piece of them selves. That’s not something one can cure with a few happy thoughts. It usually takes time to restore oneself back to being completely whole, and there aren’t a whole lot of shortcuts around this. Such is the price that must sometimes be paid. Few great things are completely free.

I found the above on an on-line magazine called In-Mind Magazine. The article reminded me of Shel Silverstein's book The Missing Piece, and The Missing Piece meets the Big O.

Then there is the advice of Khalil Gebran...

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

(From his book The Prophet)

Here is what he says about children...

Gibran on Children...

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, "Speak to us of Children."
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Sound familiar?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

No Values

Have you ever tried to live with yourself?
If so, you will begin to see that yourself is not a static state.
It is a fresh and living thing.
And to live with a living thing your mind must also be alive.
And it cannot be alive if it is caught in opinions, judgements, and values.

Yes - Krishnamurti even includes values. Without opinions, judgements and values one is free to be in the present and respond, rather than react according to one's conditioning. It is how children are naturally. And they are naturally good.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Consciousness - A Video Summary

Sweet Stacey's Car Load



This sweet lady - as well as her friends and Mom, who took these pictures - will distribute all these boxes full of Here You Are books to 22 US children's hospitals that specialize in burn victims and children with bone deformities. My heart, and now - thanks to Stacey - even my book, goes out to these children and families. No doubt, it will ease some suffering for a few special moments.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday's MeditationMom Moment - The Most Subtle

Q: What do you mean "by the most subtle"?

MM: God!
That of which we are made, from which we have come, and to which we will return. You can believe in God; you can not believe in God; you can call it something else - the eternal, the infinite, the Tao, the Force, anything you like; or, you can learn to pay attention so deeply that you will simply come to know. This knowing is different from our normal knowing of something. This knowing does not belong to you. It has not been earned or acquired. It is what remains after all of one's knowing and believing is dissolved.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday's MeditationMom Moment - Losing My Religion

Q: How can you be religious or spiritual without following a certain religion, teaching or moral code?

MM: By being yourself. And by trusting deeply.

Even if you are still driven by wrong motives - by being yourself and by paying very close attention you will learn and discover the truth. It is not a question of being moral or immoral, religious or non-religious, or anti-religion. It is a question of becoming more and more aware. More and more sensitive. At the highest level of sensitivity the final jump into oneness can happen.

There are many alternatives to religion in order to go beyond fear and desire . Fear and desire are at the root of all so-called evil that religions try to fight. The root of all fears and desires , in turn, is the idea that there is an "I". Realizing the illusion of this "I" simply takes great sensitivity and power of observation which can be gained through meditation, or as I said earlier - paying attention. Fundamentally meditation means paying utmost attention to the most subtle.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday's MeditationMom Moment - Don't Have A Reason

Q: If one believes in the Buddhist idea of karma, isn't trying to be compassionate in order to create good karma fundamentally selfish after all?

MM: The more one practices to cultivate a calm mind, the more one becomes oneself and the more one goes beyond dual concepts like selfishness and unselfishness, good karma and bad karma, etc. Once one is truly oneself one can neither be called selfish nor compassionate. Just like the sun which causes both skin cancer and makes our food grow - we become who we are and move beyond worry and dual concepts.

Q: That sounds like people just need to put up with us - both our negative and our positive sides.

MM: Whichever way you are, Hitler or Buddha, people either put up with you, or they don't. They do have the freedom to choose. Whether you are all negative, half negative/half positive, or all positive - people decide for their own reasons whether to put up with you or not.

Even if we were all positive (which we may or not may not achieve in a lifetime) - but lets imagine we were to rise to the level of Buddha or Jesus - as close to "all positive" as we can imagine - this still will hurt people. Men abandoned their wives and children to follow these teachers, religions sprung up that caused millions of deaths, etc, etc. So there is no reason to try to become "all positive" out of compassion for others. Just like there is no reason to try to become "all positive" for oneself if it requires a ton of self denial and sacrifice.

To become "all positive", and infinitely compassionate, is a simple byproduct of total relaxation. Total relaxation means relaxing all fears and all desires, not just in meditation, but in everyday life.

Q: Doesn't that say one shouldn't bother to try as it requires a lot of self sacrifice. That is a selfish attitude. Don't we need to take a stand, instead of choosing an easy life?

MM: The only way to stand up to injustice and all kinds of things in the world that are wrong, and to do so effectively, is in a totally relaxed and fearless way, and without any personal desires. Jesus is a good example.

I did not say to "not bother" so one can enjoy "an easy life". I said - don't have a reason. Reasons will betray you. Wars always have reasons, peace doesn't need a reason.

( The full conversation lives at Boards.ie)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

My Valentine


Well - my Valentine of over 35 years wished for us to make more tracks together, in a Valentine's card showing parallel tracks in a vast expanse of deep, white, powder snow, high up in the sunny mountains. It felt like getting proposed to, all over again.

My silent "Yes", far less naive than the "Yes" of my youth.

It counts double.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Mom's Choice Award For "Here You Are"!


Here You Are won the 2009 Mom's Choice Award - as Silver Recipient in the Motivational/Inspirational category for Children's Picture Books, age 0-9. This is quite an honor.

The Mom's Choice Awards® is known for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products, and services. This annual competition recognizes authors, inventors, companies, parents and others for their efforts in creating quality family-friendly media products and services. Parents, educators, retailers and the media trust the Mom's Choice Awards® for product reviews and evaluations. http://www.momschoiceawards.com

The Mom's Choice Awards® has a panel of distinguished judges who evaluate all submissions, which are judged on their own merit. The list of judges for this year’s competition include such notables as:

Dr. Twila C. Liggett, ten-time Emmy winner, professor and founder of PBS’s Reading Rainbow;

Julie Aigner-Clark, creator of Baby Einstein;

LeAnn Thieman, co-author of seven Chicken Soup for the Soul Books;

Tara Paterson, ACPI CCPI, certified Parent Coach and founder of the Mom's Choice Awards® and the online web resource www.justformom.com; and,

Dr. Letitia S. Wright, D.C., author, movie producer and host of WrightPlace TV as well as being ranked in the top 50 of the Most Influential Women in Social Media.

Evaluation Criteria: The MCA judges are "especially interested in entries that support the growth of families emotionally, physically, and spiritually, and are morally sound and promote good will.’ They also look for entries that are “inspirational and uplifting.” Parents, educators, retailers, and the media rely on the MCA’s reviews and evaluations as a trusted resource for children and families.

Here is the official announcement. If you go to this page and scroll down to ,or click on Children's Picture Books, you'll discover Here You Are on the list. Thank You!!! MCA and Thank You!!! Jet Blue Airline for inviting me to participate.