The "line"...

By Vichara

Once the “line” has been drawn it can be seen not as a barrier, but as a demarcation point forward.

Drink this day up!...

By Vichara

You really don’t need that. Whatever you were thinking of, think again. Is it an indulgence or a necessity? Chances are in our consuming western culture more will fall in the indulgence category. You can justify it anyway you desire but when it really comes to it, it will fall into one of these categories. What is not an indulgence is the three core foundation stones of existence, Love, Patience and Compassion. While they may be considered indulgences of human emotion, each one of these hold great depths that once you start mining these you will never find the bottom. The more they are utilized, the more they become integral and temper each movement we make. From making a coffee to making a friend, drink up this day given to you and make a new friend.

The "well"...

By Vichara

If we were to be literally given the same imagined 9 lives that cats are granted I’m afraid we would waste them as well. I know that may seem harsh and pessimistic but I’m sure you have witnessed, as I have, the number of chances, reprieves and literal stays of execution from this life some individuals receive. Face it today; the majority of us are wasteful. We are wasteful with time, energy, thoughts and possessions. Without a defined set of parameters we believe the “well” will never run dry but given this life, underscored with the definite sense of impermanence, there is finality to everything. As they say, “nothing lasts forever”, the key is to enjoy the moment, what has been given to you and temper all of this with a deep sense of gratitude. Embrace all that will given to you today, do not fritter it frivolously.

Starting with you...

By Vichara

All the kindness that we get is as a result of what we give. All of the compassion that is imparted to you is given by you. The love that you receive is reflected by what you give. Through the interconnectivity of everything that happens in a day, you are the ground zero of all that happens to you. There is nothing that happens that didn’t start with a step, word or thought from you. You create your own world. If you want to be happy, start by making others happy.

Being present...

By Vichara

With each step we take we are either thinking of what someone would say or what he or she have said already. The face they made from a comment or what potentially they will look like. We think of scenarios that could or should happen all while dipping it into the well of what did happen. We agree and disagree with each thought like they are separate beings. Unless all of us have miraculous powers, we can never completely know what could happen. Even as you read this you are thinking about how you would react to something in the future or why something happened in the past and replay those thoughts with you being the ultimate director. While you can be firm in your resolve and strive to the best you can do, you need to be open to the nuances of the present.

Beyond the clutter of negativity...

By Vichara

With all of the cynicism we need to create opportunities for belief. The keenly honed jaded attitude that we seemed to adopt over the years has robbed us of the time we need to enjoy the wonder of things. Can we somehow push aside the clutter of negativity that can sometimes gather and engage in more fulfilling use of our time? I know it can be difficult and one day melds into another. I believe that as the food and water we ingest to sustain our bodies we also need belief and wonder to be a part of our daily regime. I wish there was a place of gathering beyond the confines of doctrine and religion where it is safe to exchange our beliefs. A gathering place that is filled with encouragement instead of judgment. Perhaps this is called-friendship?

Bad news...

By Vichara

Bad news sells, good news sits waiting for the bus. Perhaps by watching all the negative news that it in a way lessons the severity of our own personal problems, but I think not. It is what the media wants you to believe but I do believe there is an alternative. While yes human tragedy and depravity will always exist, it is up to each one of us to try to tip the see-saw of negative news by contributing one good act a day. There are many people out there that are doing this as you read this but most will go unnoticed. It is of no fault of their own, just our cultural indulgence of the negative. How about when you encounter or are involved in a “good” thing that you spread the news and like that old commercial, they will tell 2 friends and they will 2 friends and so on and so on. The tide can turn away from most of the negative; one voice at a time…spread the news.

The right choices...

By Vichara

Right view, right resolve, right speech, right conduct, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. Some may recognize these from the Buddhist “eightfold path”. Guideposts that leads to the cessation of suffering. Regardless of where they come from they are powerful things to set in place to create a mindset that encourages and helps us lead better lives. Can we achieve all of these, yes. Will it be easy to achieve all of these, no. There are many temptations linked to desires that will be tempting. They are “smoke and mirrors” of Maya presenting itself daily in our lives. While in any culture the desires to obtain, own, hold and collect is difficult to overcome but in those with media manipulation it becomes even harder. Recognizing this fact is half the battle but from that perspective you can gain a better resolve and create a starting point where you can build the foundation of components of the eightfold path and lesson your individual suffering and of course lesson suffering globally.

Unified...

By Vichara

To even look at the future without the balance of understanding and compassion is a foolish venture. Without the foundation that will guide each other's hearts on a steady course it will fraught with insecurities. Unless we resolve collectively that the course of action that lies in front of each one of us is based on compassionate cooperation and fearless understanding then each step will not contain the confidence necessary for a more unified future. It can be done, we need to look forward in the same direction.

3-D world...

By Vichara

Today’s “thought” is presented in 3D! There is no special apparatus you need. No new technology, in fact you will be using a very old technology. As you read this take moments to turn your gaze out the window, across the room and to the people you are with. You see how amazing it is, it’s really life-like. You can almost reach out and touch everything, in fact you can! This is not just some projected illusionary world it is yours and it is real. There is no DVR reverse or pause, this is real time, real life and real emotions. As you step out in this amazing 3D world created for you take every opportunity to reach out and connect with the world. Don’t sequester yourself completely behind that Blackberry, laptop screen or TV. There is an amazing production going on all around you and it will never happen again. This is yours…don’t miss out.

You go first...

By Vichara

“You go first!” “No, you go first” A lot of people don’t like being first, being the first in line, maybe even you…but you are going first. You may not think you so but you are right at the head of the line by just being you. You are first because there is only one of you. You are first with very unique qualities and things you do. You are first in the way you talk, walk and react. You may think that you are the same as others but even with what you perceive as the same, in the variations there will never, ever be another you…ever. So while you think you follow in step with others you blaze new trails, even in small ways, by just being you. Don’t discard this thought, use this to bolster the confidence you have and enhance the unique individuality you possess to step out first, like we do everyday.

Without attachment...

By Vichara

Breathe in the truth and exhale the lies. Pick up the determination; cast aside that which hinders movement forward. See the possibilities; turn your eyes away from the cyclical negativity. The reflection you see is just an illusion, a moment that is temporal and will always be changing. Once you understand that “secret”, your grasp will be open without attachment and life will flow to you, through you and past you with full engagement without possession tempered by love, patience and compassion.

The connection of commonalities...

By Vichara

If you will allow me to divert a degree with today’s posting. This particular site allows me to see what countries around the world are clicking in to what I am writing and generally how many times. Whenever I take a look I am always surprised and most importantly grateful for all of you to take time out of your day to read what I am writing. There is one thing that truly interests me more than anything. What is it in the words and thoughts shared that interests and connects someone in Russia, Germany, Austria, Cambodia, China, Ireland, US, Australia, UK, Indonesia, Canada and other countries that check in and out. To tell you the truth it inspires me to think that even though there are geo political borders that separate us the commonalities shared link us together. If there is a compassionate seed planted there is an opportunity for an empathetic forest to grow and spread not the negative but the positive fruits of mutual support and encouragement. We see the obsessive glut of overindulgence. We are shown everyday with great fanfare and indulgence the negative aspects of the world. The media obsesses over the missteps of individuals, the latest possibility of a potential trend and how we need to follow what they say. How about we just keep things simple and “no” and just be plain nicer to each other. I realize that this is a little na├»ve thing to say but all it takes is one small step in that direction. I want to thank you all that take the time to read these thoughts. If you are so compelled I am truly interested in how each one of you sees the world. Please leave a comment, thought or just a hello.

Go the distance...

By Vichara

Where can you go tomorrow when you have not even “lived” this day yet? Yes there is some element of preparedness that would and prove to be useful but more than likely if you were cognizant in each moment the resolve and resources would be apparent. So let’s see if we can go the distance, just for today. No I’m not talking about lacing up your shoes for a 20K but lacing up the whole package, mind, body & soul. See if we can make a difference today even if it is in a minor, it’s still significant. As that sports company says, just do it! I'll hopefully see you out on the track!

The "dance"...

By Vichara

For the most part we walk blindly with this body believing we have infinite time. But as a dear friend of mine once said “You are only immortal for a limited time”. This delusionary state of believing that this existence will not end is only doing more harm, feeding into the fears that have developed over the years. This dance we have will certainly end as surely as the sun will rise and set so how we dance is the key. Do we dance with indifference and intolerance or do we dance with joy and appreciation. Do you choose to be a wallflower or to seek many dance partners and embrace with such exuberance that by the shear embracing of this side of the coin compels our appendages to shake and ripple with happiness. Because ultimately that is our goal, to be happy for as many dances that we can participate in everyday.

Keep you "adventures" alive...

By Vichara

I wanted to be an astronaut when I was young. When Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon I was 10 years old and growing up in a small town in the Great Lakes area many things seemed possible. Of course as time moves on all of the adventures of youth get tempered by the realities and logistics of life. Things change. Each one of you reading this may have had or still have these “adventures” that exist in your hearts. We never truly give them up; they will sometimes morph into other forms of adventures. Retain you your sense of adventure no matter what scale it ends up being. Keep the “Huck Finn” engaged in your heart and keep building those metaphorical wooden rafts that help you float your dreams to the next destination. I once met a 93 year old woman in a Tai Chi group the that, I could tell by her eyes, is still building rafts. Keep your adventures alive!!

Leaving an impression...

By Vichara

Leave this “place” the way you found it. This was the mandate that was asked of us by my old environmental science teacher, Gene McBride back in the 1970’s. While yes this can be accomplished in the literal sense, we will always leave a mark no matter what in a figurative sense. Whatever daily acts that we engage in, we can always pick up after ourselves and leave wherever we have been in pretty much the same way we found it but it is how we interact and absorb the world that will leave an indelible impression. The key is of course will the impression you leave be destructive or inspiring. Will it alter the thoughts and actions in a negative way or resolutely uplift those around you and yourself. It is up to you, you have the choice.

A friendly reminder...

By Vichara

This is just a friendly reminder – we only have so many hours that we are given in a day, try to make the most of them. We are sometimes in belief that like a game show we are given a “bonus” round or another “life” like I see in video games. We should not be mired in fear. Endeavor to explore a new adventure and appreciate the moments that are given to us. A very dear friend reminded me that “appreciating the moment is not a passive endeavor, at least for those who want to appreciate as many as possible”. Acknowledge the “ticking” but open your heart.

Flip the switch...

By Vichara

When you turn the light on in a room it is of course to allow you to see your way so you won’t trip and fall. The action of flipping the switch is so habitual it is almost second nature. The same sort of switch exists within ourselves to help us see our way through difficulties and challenges but for some reason we may not have developed this second nature trigger movement within ourselves like we have with the physical light switch. We all have this internal mechanism, but of course the key is that we need to develop it. How do we do this? Many ways, but the “gate” as far as I can see is to be of course cognizant that you all have this and take at least 5 minutes a day, breathe and observe your body’s reaction to the thoughts and allow them to find the switch, the answer, the illuminated path.

To gain wings...

By Vichara

To have wings like the hummingbirds circling outside my window and to gain an element of freedom not known to us. To at least transcend the gravitational pull and rise up to a new perspective. Obviously we physically do not have these appendages to achieve this ability but we can develop these abilities spiritually and morally. The delusional aspects that bind us to a perspective of hopelessness and futile actions can be, in degrees, lifted and elevate us at least metaphysically to a new vista by recognizing the “attachments” that tie us to this plane. While temporarily satisfying some aspects of our lives, these attachments of material things and misguided thoughts will never sustain us. It is in the unified communion of love, compassion and patience with each other that will give us all wings.

The fuse is lit...

By Vichara

So much energy is spent on trying to rise above the fray in order to understand our place in our own lifetime. We are also bound by the limitations that time places on our body and mind. With the fuse lit when we are born we most of the time fail to see the lit fuse until there is very little of it before we combust from this world to whatever is next. Be conscious of this and do not let the “smoke and mirrors” of this delusional plane of existence deter you. The compulsions of wanting to acquire “bright and shiny” objects are placed in your path as a deterrent. Recognize it as it is, enjoy the reflection but don’t let it consume you – the fuse is lit.

Modern day Sisyphus...

By Vichara

We arise from our slumber to once again take up our role as a modern day Sisyphus. Rolling up the cumulative obligations and duties into various sized spheres to be pushed along whatever inclines that has been created. What are these tasks that we assume? Do they serve a greater purpose or just a means to an end? Are these spheres that we labor with part of a greater lesson or just an excuse to fill our time? I would venture a guess that if we were to be more unified in our approach to this “journey” here and help each other find the commonalities, instead of laboring in a vacuum, then perhaps the incline that has been created becomes level and easier to manage together.