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


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!


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.