The world is waiting...

By Vichara

The world is expecting an answer from you today. Wait, you didn’t hear the question? Of course you should have, it was early this morning and has been repeated over and over again. You were asked when your eyes first cracked open. You were asked when that first sip of coffee / tea slid down your throat. You were asked when that cool breeze touched your face. You were asked when you laughed out loud so hard with a friend. You were asked when that sad moment reflected back at you again. You were asked when your furry friend was happy when you walked in the door and you will be asked once again when sleep takes you in it’s arms. The question is direct and to the point – Are you happy to be alive? Before you react, whine, piss and moan, think about this for a moment. If you have the ability to react this way, you have the ability to change. It is up to you. Now answer the question.

Time...

By Vichara

I was talking to Time earlier today and he said he needed a break. He shook his head and said “no offence and I’m not trying to be difficult but I’m completely stressed out”. He complained that everybody was rushing him too much and he felt he was always late for something. Time turned to me with this exhausted look on his face, threw his arms up and said “that’s it, I’m tired, people need to make some changes in their lives and stop blaming me for things”. Time said people are always whining and saying, “I just don’t have the time” or “time just got away from me”. He snapped – “there is always time and I didn’t run away from anybody”. He stood up, put on his Panama hat and said that they worked it out a long time ago. They set up 24 hours in one day with of course 60 minutes in an hour. There is plenty of time to get things done but people are thinking way too much about stuff that has already happened or are dreaming about having more time in the future. By doing that they miss out what is going on right then. He pulled the hat down and as he turned he said “figure it out people, I got all the time in the world”.

Being present...

By Vichara

We tend to not notice “it” unless “it” doesn’t work. A simple and na├»ve statement but it still holds weight. In this case the “it” is time we have been given, life. I was listening to a doctor discussing the many patients he deals with that have Alzheimer’s disease. With each hour, day and week for these people they lose parts of memory and recognition. For those of us who remember analog tape it is like having complete or parts of songs erased for good…never to be returned or remembered. That engagement of love given to you by your husband / wife / friend be present with it now. That sense of joy of a new discovery, be present with it now. That song that connected with your heart, be present with it now. Be present now because this moment will not be there later.

Make it count...

By Vichara

All our daily actions are tempered by knowledge and guidance given to us by others who have helped or hindered us and of course what we have read and have seen. All of our senses ingesting and digesting the best and the worst of humanity on a daily basis. If one were given only violence, one would only know violence. If one were only given compassion, one would only know compassion. Unfortunately and fortunately the world does not work that way. It is a collection of competing contrasts that present themselves to us and ask us to judge and act accordingly. How we act will be how the world sees us. How do we want to be seen and remembered? Our personal legacies may not be perceived as large as people like Rosa Parks, Gandhi, Einstein and others but they are no less important. Each step, word and deed counts and will be counted so make an effort to make each step, word and deed count.

A reason we are here...

By Vichara

One of the reasons we are ‘here” is not necessarily to solve things but to discover things that illicit more discussion, more discovery and more interaction. From this interaction we discover the seed of communion that unites us all and keeps us from creating divisions. The more union of thought, the more there is an opportunity to see beyond the Maya that is set up as a stumbling block. From here it will lead we can lead one another to a clearer path. This is sometimes not so easily obtained with the diversions that are set up but we can take a collective step back, blow away the smoke and turn the mirrors away. Here the vista is much more defined and from here the path is clear.

The "root"...

By Vichara

So much time and energy is focused on the symptoms and the side effects but there is sometimes a failure to look at the “root” of the situations. Is there an inability to understand the importance, an emotional disconnect, a physical challenge, a reluctance that would expose the inefficiencies of particular systems? We all dance around the causes in an effort not to be drawn into turmoil but it is in the middle of the turmoil where the strong impetus will lay to initiate the change, the cure, the answers. If we do not address the “root(s)” of situations it will ultimately create more challenges that will compound on existing ones and like a flock of sheep run away on you. Round up these sheep and shear them of these situational causes and effects to get to the root.

Drink up!...

By Vichara

Let’s crank up the blender of life and make us a cocktail. There are some people that believe that they only need one item in the ol’ blender, some ice and churn things up to have a good, happy and successful life. Well if that is what you think we need to send you back to the Life Bartender School. This hopefully long cool drink that is given to us needs several ingredients in order to make a tasty blend. In the beginning we may only have a couple of ingredients to start with but with an open heart, mind and spirit we’ll receive other ingredients to toss into the blender. Of course the essentials are needed like love, compassion, laughter, empathy and equanimity. But as years go by you will get things like disappointment, silliness, death, revelations, sadness, absurdity, music, arts, literature, resourcefulness, jealousy, happiness and many more. One by one toss them in and mix them up. By taste you will learn the right amount to balance and make your life full. One ingredient makes for a boring cocktail while many create a fiesta in which life should be. Drink up!

Casting a shadow...

By Vichara

We can either cast a giant shadow on a day or we can provide a window to receive and create a clearer vision not only for ourselves but for others as well. The shadow will only create darkness and confusion. It might be felt that the shadow is needed to make a point to create a statement of authority but it only creates more darkness & doubt. By creating a window of communication and a sense of transparency the corner once filled with doubt is now illuminated with knowledge and cohesiveness. Your choice - darkness and misunderstanding or light and a clearer vision.

New heroes...

By Vichara

I may run against the acceptance of most but we need new heroes for this generation. The athletes, singers and actors are flawed for the most part. Yes I know they are human and the elevation of their status through manipulation of the media makes their fall even more dramatic. I think t-shirts, web sites and hoopla should be created for those that actually contribute to the human condition, not chip it away with unhealthy indulgences and indiscretions. I don’t believe just because you can put an object in a net or hole or spray expletives in a gratuitous manner should give you solely the spotlight to influence others. We need to give the spotlight and attentions to those that create hope that will inspire others. There are of course the classics of Gandhi, King, Dalai Lama, Marie Curie and Desmond Tutu but there are others like Aung San Suu Kyi, John Pilger, Mary Robinson, Noam Chomsky and Bill Oddie. There is even someone that might live in your neighborhood that helps out in a small way. These are the true heroes. Let’s give them the spotlight to inspire the new generations.

By Vichara

The wheels have already started rolling even before you opened your eyes. Which “cart” will you attach and which direction will you travel? If you listen very carefully you will hear what those around you are pulling. It will be subtle with some but within the subtext and mannerisms it will be revealed. For others it will blatant and obvious and you know which ones let pas by and which ones to invite in. Which brings us back to you. While seemingly untethered when you awake you may still retain the fragments of yesterday’s “carts”. Perhaps before you pull out of the station today you do an inventory of the “carts” still left latched on to your coupling. Which ones are you willing to drag around again and which ones serve no purpose. I think you know what I mean. Tooooot, tooooot (yes, train whistle). “All aboard, today is leaving the station…track 29….be on time.

The veil of deception...

By Vichara

What happens when you see behind the veil of deception and finally see the truth? The opaque gauze where the projections of this life are reflected suddenly gets a tear. The tear revels a reality unbiased and unclouded. A cold hard blast that is uncompromising and unapologetic in its directness. It cannot be ignored and yet it gives you the option. Do you open your eyes in an attempt to understand and gain perspective or retreat back into ignorance? The tear will only appear for a moment and then its gap will close once again until another accumulation of events and experiences tears it open once again for just you and you alone. Will you enter the tear and receive the revelations or retreat? What will be revealed may not be pleasant but it will be honest and will shift your vision. It is up to you.

Be careful who you ride with...

By Vichara

This morning I woke to persistent ringing of the front doorbell. Scraping off some of the sleep still clinging to me at that early hour I made my way downstairs to see who was insisting on making this A.M. appearance. As I opened the door I sighed with recognition of the two figures standing there. On the right with finger still jabbing at the button was Impatience. On the left, head lazily turning with cursory glances, Indifference. Impatience, always the first to speak up, said that he was in a hurry (of course) and that he wanted to spend the day with me. He added that Indifference was just bored and agreed to come along. Indifference just looked over, shrugged and rolled his eyes. I said to Impatience as he jingled the loose change in his pocket that I was sorry that I had no room in my car today. Compassion, Clarity and Patience stayed over and was riding in with me. Impatience’s eyes bugged out, his face turned red and a bead of sweat formed on his forehead. He stared and blurted out with some spittle “WHAT!! gotta go!!!! He ran off the porch. Indifference put his hands in his pockets deeper, turned and shuffled off with his flip-flops clapping on the sidewalk. Lesson learned today: Be careful whom you carpool with, it might not be good for the world.

The leftovers of the day...

By Vichara

If we welcome the day without expectation will there be fulfillment or dissatisfaction? Without the needs and desires placed on what is going to happen will it allow the opportunities to be more abundant or less because there is little interest? I know a lot of questions and things to think about but sometimes this is the stuff that rattles around in the pinball machine in my head. I try to wake up to each day on a fresh page, a clear open field but we all know there is always remnants of the previous chapter, a previous day that lingers around. Sometimes it is like writing on a piece of paper that has been written on and then partially erased. There is always something left hanging there. What do you do with the leftovers? Make a sandwich! Take the morning slice of bread, pile on what was left, and garnish it up with understanding and compassion with a thick slice of equanimity. Warm it up with insight and with each bite try to digest what was left to gain perspective and answers. Oh yes, remember to leave room for desert.

Depression...

By Vichara

Depression can be a conditional friend. It can take you to dark hallways where reflection can and will act as a catalyst to transcend. The problem is that in its corridors you may find safety and comfort but it will not nourish or resolve it is just a temporary salve. The true healing takes place when you take the mementos of the dark journey and reveal them in the light of understanding and compassion. In this depression there are elements of revelations that would never find it’s value in the dark and only will prove useful in the light. They could be ugly or dissident but they will have value in the healing process. We should not run from depression but recognize it for what it is, just another wave in the healing and growing process that we may need to experience.

Fitting together the jigsaw pieces...

By Vichara

Everyone is a missing piece in a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. Have you put together one of those very large jigsaw puzzles? You know the scenic ones where you sit searching for the piece of he landscape that will pull it all together and advance the completion. And when you do find these pieces and snap them into place everything suddenly starts to appear clearer. Each one of us is a potential missing piece in each other’s jigsaw puzzle of understanding. You may have an idea but there will be times when you reach an impasse. Then you see something for an instant on your way to work, hear something in passing standing in line or a combination of things at the right moment and “ding” something becomes all that more clearer. There are billions of pieces in this humanity jigsaw puzzle. We all must try to fit together and help each other see and understand the much bigger picture.

What are you going to do with them?...

By Vichara

There is 525,600 minutes in a year, what are you going to do with them? This is a question to place pressure on you to ensure you do something worthwhile with these minutes, just curious. What should be considered is if you want to contribute or remain neutral? Do you want to add to the recipe of just consume? Do you want to add you voice to the chorus or remain silent in your corner? There will not be a re-set button and you will not be able to rewind. Some of you out there will already have come to this realization but if you are stuck in neutral now is the time to shift gears. For some I recommend moving slowly. In this instant gratification world it can be hard if you do not see results right away and you can get discouraged. Small steps with conviction are better than grand gestures without substance.

That little stone...

By Vichara

You get up, do what you need to do in the world to make a living, bring no harm to others and try to keep a compassionate heart tempered with love and patience. Seems simple enough right? And then you take a step forward and you find that there is a stone in your shoe. You are moving too quickly so you don’t get a chance to take it out so it stays there poking at your sole each step. You turn a corner and the wind gusts so hard that it pushes you backward. You grapple the wall until you make some headway. The wind recedes a bit but the little stone now feels like a rock and it hurts even more. You reach the entry door but it is locked. You try the opposite door – locked. So you go around to the other side and enter but the meeting has been moved 2 hours later and the stone has got bigger! Stop! Rewind and pause. The obvious solution is to take the stone out but the stone should have not been there at the start of the journey. Before you tie your laces up check for the little pebble and deal with it. Observe, review and extricate it from you day before it turns into a boulder and you become Sisyphus.

Strength in our frailties...

By Vichara

Perhaps within our frailties lies our strength. By acknowledging the weakness we can identify the hidden elements that will bolster our ability to gain more confidence in our actions and reactions. We will be dismissive in what would be perceived as weakness but perhaps it contains a lot more than we think. In nature we often see the animals that could be considered easy prey to the much more aggressive and larger. We are then amazed at the resourcefulness of these smaller beings in their ability to extradite themselves from their precarious situations. In similar ways when you find yourself in a situation that may seem hopeless you draw in and open a portal of information where suddenly the solutions appear. The thing is that it has always been there; we just need to tune in a little bit more to receive it. Don’t be fooled by weakness. There is great lessons and knowledge to be gained.

The power that makes the world turn...

By Vichara

It’s funny the things you think of when you were little kids. When there was little or no wind I was happy. I believed that the wind made the earth move faster. If there was no wind the day would be longer and there would be more time to play. The of course you get older as a teenager you believe a lot of things you are told only to find out later the secrets of deception and manipulation. As the years go by the wind gets stronger and before you know it the world has spun so fast that you are much older. From this vantage point the colors seem different, your skin feels more sensitive in different ways and the words you hear sound different in tome and timbre. At times I feel with the quantity of stimuli that fissures are needed to be created to release these new sensations. Some do it with singing, others with painting or other visual arts and then some with the written word. However it gets manifested we should seek a peaceful, compassionate method to release the things we believe. By the way I have found that it’s not wind that makes the world turn, it is love.

Measure twice...

By Vichara

We replay the scene in our heads to confirm the action and reaction but no matter what, it is done. I believe, at least to my knowledge, we are the only species that has the ability and the compunction to even do this. Some of what we recall is to remember and relive happy moments – an act to confirm we have a good life. The majority however seems to be of the moments where something troubling or wrong has occurred and for some reason we believe that replaying them over and over in our head that it will possibly change. The sound of crushing metal, breaking glass and the smell of acrid smoke cannot be reversed. I know sitting here that I do not need to hammer this point to far. This is just a reminder to me and to you of the ever-present ephemeral element of life. This minute, this moment is now a memory. It is intuitively how we approach the moment that will gauge its impact. Perhaps the old carpenter’s adage would be appropriate in how we infuse each moment – measure twice, cut once.

Nocturnal revelation...

By Vichara

The lights go dim, you close your eyes and the curtain rises on another nocturnal production. Which series of scenes will be illuminated on this stage of reflection? What characters will enter from stage left and steer the scene with cryptic prose. Why was this dark turn of events juxtaposed with the nonsensical? Were the pages for this script dropped and scattered on the floor and then gathered without notice of the numerical sequence? Who is directing this production, Jung, Escher, Capra or David Lean? Is there truly any hidden messages contained in the slumber scenes or are thy just fragments of unused thoughts that are finally being released in relaxation like the leftover compressed air in a tank. The assemblage of images and messages can sometimes not make much sense but perhaps that is their purpose. Perhaps their intent is to halt us upon rising, make us focus on some fragment that will act as a catalyst to a revelation that we need to be exposed to and help us on our “journey”. I don’t know…it’s just a thought.