URGENT: your attention needed

postsfromthepathHi People,

For you quick acting folks, don’t even bother reading this, just click HERE and fill out the form.  

For the rest of you ( like me )  who need details, here goes:

Change in life is inevitable– a fact, the only thing certain is that things change.

Today, Posts from the path is changing and I want to make sure you have a chance to come along….

If these daily posts are not your cup of tea and you blow past them, AWESOME.  Then it’s likely you’re not even reading this.     If these daily posts have ignited you in any way ( good or bad, that’s never been the point ) then, I sincerely hope you’ll take this next step.

In the last year, the “small” conversation I wanted to start has grown into way more than I could have imagined.  I’m humbled.

Today, more than 10,000 people engage here everyday in a meaningful exchange that provokes, infuriates and hopefully adds a little more love in the world.

As a result of the explosion, we’ve built a community and online space that can accommodate and support way more than what this simple original WordPress blog can provide.  We’ve been working literally around the clock for months and we’re going live tomorrow.

It’s really beautiful, I’m proud and I think you’ll appreciate it.  🙂

From this new platform, I know our conversation can expand and reach people who have more to share, more to give and the result’s can become immeasurable.

So here’s the deal:

If you received this in your email today,  DO NOTHING.  We’ve already got you!

For those of you who receive this via a feed from WordPress or from a search engine or social media site of any kind, PLEASE take 3 seconds and click HERE so that we can be certain to keep reaching you.

MOVED, MINDFULLY EXCITED and ready for more.  COME ALONG!  

….and the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  – Anais Nin

Whatever God you believe in, we all come from the same one.

im different

I’ve traveled around the world some.

A constant observer of culture and diversity, I want to understand my world and our people, to expand my thinking and understanding of things in any way I can.

I want my judgments to be destroyed, no matter what it takes.  I can plainly see they are killing me (and our world) and clearly my greatest ailment…  a universal commonality I suspect.

In my travels, I’ve witnessed life in countries with significant religious clarity.  The certainty of a belief can bring amazing grace, conviction and united focus to the people.

When an entire region is unified behind a set of beliefs and principles everything is very different.    The Religion takes on the governing work, becomes the fabric of the community, dictates the rhythms of a day and the fundamentals of the economy.

This clearly has some benefits…  feeling unified and in cooperation with one another can be a powerful force.

This clearly has some detriments—the belief in right versus wrong, hate versus love, good versus bad…  it get’s really ugly and is an equally powerful force.

Everywhere I go I try to merge into the vibe.

I’ve done the call to prayer in numerous mosques, I’ve chanted in Hindu and Buddhist Temples and honestly, not much is better than a Baptist church revival in the French Quarter of New Orleans on a Sunday morning.

I’ve talked with Atheists at length and love more than a few agnostics of this world, the folks still trying to figure things out.

Mostly, the intentions are similar and basic.

Add more love.

Be Kind.

Help one another.

Be Noble and compassionate.

Obviously, believing HOW these principles came about is wildly different, but the resulting desire for behavior and action seems the same to me.

As I explore the world and it’s people, the beauty and hate we exchange with each other, I am left with pondering our insanity and us.

If we sincerely believe in the source of our existence—God, Evolution, whatever… then obviously we believe we all came from that same source. (I’ve not yet had someone make the argument that I came from one God and you came from another….)

If, as Macklemore’s song says, Whatever God you believe in, we all come from the same one….. then shouldn’t we treat every single one as a product our creator, what/whoever that is?

Do we?

A line in the song says, “no law is gonna change us, we have to change us”…

I’m going to start.

Time to pause.

thinkingA pause has profound power.

You might be blown out by the perspective shift.

Try it sometime.

want more?

essential communication; observing how lovers love and haters hate…

hearts-togetherI once knew an old wise man who helped more people than I could ever add up.

His life was simple, he preferred it that way.   He wanted no baggage to slow him down in his pursuit of helping others.  He’d long ago made a commitment to be in service and add more peace in this world and he allowed nothing to get in the way.

During his life, he developed certain rhythms that his day revolved around— he walked the same way to work, stopped at the same coffee shop, sat on the same bench in the park.

He occasionally ventured into new surrounding but he was quite content with his usual patterns…. the repetition was a form of mindfulness and spiritual practice, teaching him how to look further into a moment and a scene.

His work was talking to people— helping them to navigate thru this life and find effective ways to live and love and achieve happiness.

To master his craft, he used his park bench to observe how humans interact.

He became obsessed with noticing what happiness, sadness, anger and joy really look like, how people express it.

Over time, he developed a keen awareness to the range of emotions people experience.  He watched intently what worked and what didn’t…. he watched how lovers love and haters hate.

People from all over came to see him, his park bench wisdom grew a reputation among the struggling.

As the years added up, he couldn’t keep up the pace—his days got shorter while the line got longer.

I showed up at his door one day wanting to know what the old man’s secret was, why were so many people touched by his wisdom…  I’d felt it too and wanted to help spread the word.

I asked a thousand questions.

I often struggled to let him answer.  He talked so slow and deliberate and I was worried time was running out.

We sat in the same booth at the same little Diner every Tuesday morning and over two years time and a lot of scrambled eggs he shared with me wisdom from 80+ years of an incredible life.

One day near the end, I asked him to summarize his Park bench experiences and the core lesson he taught people: 

“I sat many days on that park bench.  I watched intently as people interacted with one another and I observed a pattern.  Lovers were always close to one another—as if their hearts somehow touched, held hands.  They would communicate but often with something far more intimate than words—it’s as if the heart connection between them allowed everything else to flow smoothly.”

“People in disagreement, fighting and screaming and debating each other had their hearts far apart—they would try so hard to get the other person to hear them, to agree, to acknowledge their point of view but it never worked.  Eventually they would give up and go silent.  In the silence, the walls would come down and I would observe their hearts re-aligning, forming a union again and once that happened, they were able to peacefully and deliberately work everything out. 

“I realized that all conflict in the world could be resolved by us first aligning our hearts… coming together and remembering the humanity and commonality within each of us..  the sacred bond that we all have, the fact that we are all dependent on the same breath, the same food, the same basic needs for survival and the same overwhelming feeling of being loved.   Once we have that awareness, anything else is possible…. 

“For all these years, all these people who come see me, all I do is help them re-align their hearts with one another and then leave them alone to work everything else out. 

Love’s always the solution….”

like, then you might like these:

Universal wisdom

Jesus-BuddhaI notice far too often we get caught up by who said what; depending on our sense of reason and belief, we use the author to weigh the validity of the wisdom.

I have a friend who won’t consider any wisdom if it’s not from Jesus.

I have another friend who won’t consider if it is.

I say, take what you need and leave the rest:

Jesus:  “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God” 

Buddha:  “Let us live most happily, possessing nothing, let us feed on joy, like the radiant Gods”

Jesus: “If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven”

Buddha:  “The Avaricious do not go to heaven, the foolish do not extol charity.  The wise one, however, rejoicing in charity, becomes thereby happy in the beyond.” 

 

Ready for more?

Throw me in your jail, I’ll still love you…

 

forge aheadSometimes I forget what I’m really here for.

I try to measure myself against the world, the mainstream culture.

Sometimes, I think I’m irrelevant.

Sometimes I despise being so different.  It’s hard.

Sometimes I love being so different, it’s a blessing.

Waking up committed to seeing the good, doing the good and loving all know matter what is radical, noble.

“To our most bitter opponents we say: ‘throw us in your jail and we will still love you.  Bomb our houses and threaten our children and we will still love you.  Beat us and leave us half dead and we will still love you.  But be assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer.  One day we shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory”

Today I forge ahead, in search of the double victory.

 

read more:

you cannot be improved.

masterpiece

 

Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece.  You cannot be improved.  You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it.  ~ Osho

Bow to the wisdom, not the wise..

 

bow

A monk once told me:  trust the teaching, not the teacher.  

This has allowed me to love people so much more and be disappointed so much less.

I told the monk, as a result I’ll bow to the wisdom, not the wise.

bow1

Back on the wagon: the perils of spiritual recovery….

light  

In times of desperation, I’ve climbed the steps to temples and churches, into therapist’s offices and 12 step groups and wisdom circles seeking peace from the struggles and the happiness I thought was promised.

I show up hungry for stillness, for peace.. seeking refuge from life’s torrents.

With pain as fuel, I keep coming back, again and again like drinking from a life saving well until finally my thirst is quenched.

The spiritual lessons I gained within the confines of these holy spaces give me the courage to go back out into the world.

I walk slowly at first—peak around the corners and tread lightly.  As my confidence gains, I take varying roads back into real life.  Sometimes proud of my past and evangelical about my path.    Others times just practicing what I’ve learned and see how it goes…

The impact is measurable.

People feel the peace within me quickly…. they see the new view I have, the stillness inside.

It’s attractive.  They ask what happened and I share, as I’m able.

For a while I keep going back to the wisdom and holy spaces… I zealously show up to my favorite meditation cushion or church pew.   It feels so good.

I’m proud of my accomplishments.

I always imagined having a deep spiritual life, and I now I’ve got it.

I’ve found my home, the way.

The peace I feel in these sacred spaces is deep and significant— the fact that I’m able to take it into the real world is a gift and I’m a grateful recipient.

Over time, I can see how much this has changed my life; I can see the positive impact in nearly all my affairs.

Eventually, I’ve got it.  I own it.  I feel the peace and strength of my practice.  In a way, I’m one with it now.  Life is working.  I’m finally happy, finally at peace.

I begin to show up a few less times.  I’ve got this now, I don’t need to keep going all the time, right?

In fact, it seems as though the moment I see and feel the impact of this new light within me, I stop embracing what helped me find it.

Over the course of the next while, I show up less and less.

I tell myself those rooms and pews and cushions are for those who still suffer.  Good for them for still going, obviously they still need it…….

More time passes.

I think about the wisdom, the practice and the spiritual tools and I pull them out now and again, when I happen to think of it.

Inevitably, the peace begins to elude me.

The incredible stillness and wisdom I had brought back into the world seems to not work.  My inner light, that light that seemed to heal me and change so much about my life seems to dim.

The stress and suffering begins to knock on my door.

I spend some time struggling, grasping for my newfound vibe.

Why isn’t it working?

It must not actually work, did it ever really work?

Where’s the light, why isn’t it in me anymore?

The wind picks up… my life and the craziness from long ago are back.  This time the storms seem even stronger, the hurt bigger, the suffering unmanageable.

I wait till the pain and suffering is almost unbearable, then I crawl back up those stairs—humbled and bleeding, praying I’ll be invited back in.

Of course I’m welcomed—the pews are still warm, the cushions ready… the community and love is overwhelming and I greet my old friends with a mutual awareness that we’ve been “back out there” and it didn’t work so well.

I begin the cycle again, finding the light, igniting my insides and reclaiming my spiritual connection that makes everything so much better.

I repeat the cycle again and again.

Sometimes as I keep coming back I find the same people, other times they some seem to go out never to return…. A painful reminder of how precarious it all is.

It’s as if the light within me, the strong and vibrant spirit that lifts me up is also the same light that eventually blinds me…. Once I find it and allow it to guide me, it seems to guide me away from the source.

The cycle is so painful.

Thankfully I finally recognized I couldn’t live like this any longer.

The risk of going back out and not getting back up those steps one last time became too great.

The light inside me becomes so necessary, so vital to my survival that I became willing to do literally ANYTHING to keep it ignited.

I tear down every wall I can find; I tackle every obstacle that emerges.

I became willing to let go of anything, do anything, smash any container to let the light out—to stay on the path and deepen this spirit within me.

The peace and happiness and sacred connection becomes my one thing—without it, nothing else matters.

Masahide said, “Barn’s burnt down, now I can see the moon”….  That’s what finally achieving inner peace and happiness takes.. it takes relentless focus and an intense, rigorous spiritual practice.. it takes constant skill building and commitment to cultivating wisdom and developing an inner life and then it takes practicing these principles in ALL my affairs.

Again.

And again.

And again.

It takes willing to burn down everything so the nothing gets in the way of light.

ready for more? check out:

Free at last.

martin-luther-king

On my front steps I had installed three words, one for each step.  We Shall Overcome.

In a way, I’ve always felt like the minority, like I had to overcome things..– my thinking, my approach, my view.. it’s not exactly conforming.

Perhaps that’s why this is my favorite Martin Luther King quote of all time:

Almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.

I’ve leaned on these words many times– using them as a crutch to keep me moving forward, helping me bring thought and change and ideas out into the light.

I know for a fact that when we stand up for what we believe, when we own who we are and what we stand for, when we’re clear about what we want and how we see the world and when we define what nobility is and live it to the fullest, we are achieving what I believe  was Martin Luther King’s intent behind the “dream”.

In fact, to me, this is the real definition of “free at last”.

 

 

Also check out: