Hope...

By Vichara

A rather large bird floated through the sky near where I sat today. Its wingspan was possibly the largest I have ever seen in recent memory. The shadow it cast was almost equivalent to the size of a cloud passing in front of the sun and I almost mistook it for a small plane. As scary as that may seem there was no fear as it past over, in fact it was the complete opposite. It was almost like the shadow carried with it a sense of well being, contentment and a fortuitous feeling of optimism. I soon realized that this was not some ordinary winged creature but this was actually the wings of hope spreading it’s way across. As much as there is trouble and despair we need to still be vigilant and keep our eyes and heart open to ordinary and extraordinary hope. It is in this simple act and retaining the resolve to embrace hope with pragmatism can we all in our own way cultivate and nourish hope within our corporate, personal and figurative walls around us. Look up here it comes.

Searching for answers...

By Vichara

We are all searching for “answers”. What if there are none to be found? What if what we find is merely the “bread crumbs” on a path that is put there just to keep us moving forward. Moving forward to what? The answer? To some form of understanding? Some peace? I don’t know but I believe for the sake of keeping ones sanity it may be beneficial to have the faith to believe. Faith that this journey that has led us to this physical being of skin & bones that we inhabit was created for a reason. We may not be put here to find the perceived big answers but perhaps to help others to find it.

The giving heart...

By Vichara

Today begins the final days of the year and with these days a number of altruistic activities become more abundant. We are asked, with the sub-text nature of this month, to be a little more mindful of those less fortunate. We are asked in the spirit of giving that has become mutated to donate time, money and various items to various groups and individuals that will somehow make up for the other 11 months of the year. While it is good to applaud any efforts to shift our self-indulgent mind to be cognizant of others it is always good to remind yourself that the same people that you help this single month of the year still need our empathy and help the other 11 months. One activity may provide a temporary salve in this month of giving but it may be good to remember the wound of need will always need assistance and not only in December.

The journey...

By Vichara

You can give the world all the answers but they may not still want to listen…or even understand. There have been through time wise women and men who have given mankind some very profound thoughts and ideas. They have given us insights and help establish guideposts to help us better understand life. For me personally these wise people have open portals that opened doorways that lead to paths where I have not only gained insights but also discovered essential truths. Teresa of Avila, Gandhi, Hildegard of Bingen, Blaise Pascal, Krishamurti, Thomas Merton and many others. As this solstice and New Year approaches why not discover a new voice and listen.

Happiness...

By Vichara

If you could be anywhere elsewhere would it be? Possibly what year would it be? Or even what universe? Regardless of where or when it may be I would bet good money that the common element that all of us share is that we want happiness. And I would double down on the bet that it would not be an ephemeral happiness but you all would want a much more longer lasting, deep happiness. We all know from the reminders in this forum that all is impermanent. It is after all, the first of the 4 Noble Truths. But there are ways to be happy but you will not find it in the acquisition of objects or in chemical or alcohol diversions. They after all are all again, impermanent. Unhappiness comes from our desire and craving for things that are well…impermanent. Because when they don’t last, which all things don’t, we are sad. End the unhappiness by eliminating the desires and craving you have for things impermanent and enjoy the moments of happiness as they pass by like clouds. Be “present” with openness for happiness to reach you, be felt by you and pass on its way to be felt by someone else.

Great expectations...

By Vichara

I was sitting here half expecting in some strange way for the page to start writing the “thought” by itself. But then I thought isn’t that just the way we do expect things to happen all the time, don’t we? We expect the sun will rise in the morning, we expect the coffee to be good and hot, we expect people to do what is asked and required of them. We have expectations about expectations and expectations are not met more expectations of how it should go. Should we acquiesce to the way it just goes or should we dig deeper and possibly try to straighten out the road that became winding with hidden curves. Perhaps it all comes down to if we really expect our expectations to be met and resolutions to be found. What is the definition of insanity? Keep doing the same thing over and over and expect different results? Perhaps it is time to find a new way with one expectation – clarity.

Left-overs...

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 tat 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.

All aboard...

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.

Part of the journey?...

By Vichara

Recently I paid a visit to this wonderful library while I was out of town

. As I quietly ventured into this large room I was overwhelmed with the shear number of philosophical and spiritual books that filled each shelf. A library filled with nothing but volumes of metaphysical thoughts. Well I felt like a kid at Baskin-Robbins – so many flavors to choose from, where to start. But then I thought, as you know I would, is there areas of knowledge that we gravitate to for a reason? Is there subject matter were we are destined to explore given the right circumstances? Is this vessel we call our mind and body given a genetic code that will aid in finding answers? And once we get those answers is it part of our purpose here to share this with others so that it will help them find their answers? Sort of knowledge leapfrog? Not sure but I’m going back to this library for a second helping.

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 gratuit

ous 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.

The mark you leave...

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. Bt 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.

The blender of life...

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!

The whole sea...

By Vichara

If you feel anxiety envision your

self as a wave with the power of the whole sea. Fighting the current is a waste of energy. Pushing the current will not hurry things along. Ride the waves with equanimity and know that you are the whole sea.

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.

Our personal legacy...

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 see. 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 as large as people like Rosa Parks, Gandhi, Einstein and others but it is no less important. Each step, word and deed counts and will be counted.

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.

A meeting with 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 he was 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”.

On the high seas...

By Vichara

The day should not be determined by the collection of anxieties brewing internally and churring the waters of your voyage. Use the rudder of clarity to guide you through these rough seas and back to calmer waters. And while our sails may be listless for a time we will find the resolve to fill them with the energies of compassion and love to ply the waters once again. Here ends the (life) nautical lesson of the day. Sail away my fellow pirates of possibilities…arrrrrrgh!

Did you hear?...

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.

Lesson #14...

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.

A tear in perception...

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 reveals 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. 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.

A new angle...

By Vichara

There is a tendency to view things from one vantage point for the majority of the time. It can come from force of habit or just plain comfort. For me I notice it a lot being around other photographers. You may notice in your family photos when taking a picture of friends and family you try to corral them together and you stand straight on and snap away. If you go back you may see the same kind of photo in your collection. As with life and with photography there are times you need to break out and look at things from a different angle. For me I’ll crouch down at times for a different vantage point and in a way you can do this with your observations. When faced with a challenging situation, hunker down and force yourself to get a new angle on things. Give yourself an opportunity for a new perspective and to hear things differently. Making a decision is like pushing down on the shutter of the camera. Once it is done the decision has been made, the moment has been captured. Try to have things framed and thought through before releasing the shutter

Left-overs...

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 tat 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.

Through the tunnel...

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.

The humanity jig-saw puzzle...

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.

Time...

By Vichara

There is 525,600 minutes in a year, what are you going to do with them? This is not 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.

The mark you leave...

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. Bt 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.

The blender of Life...

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!

Not seen on TV...

By Vichara

We live in a day where there is an insatiable need to stay connected by electronic devices. Blackberry, crackberry, i-This, i-That, Palm, Sole, Cranium – whatever they may be called. We type and talk while we drive, sit on the toilet, have dinner, even when we are sitting with other people. Then there are some who can send messages while walking at break neck speeds, which I’m sure will be an Olympic sport very soon. Regardless of the etiquette issues related to some of these styles there seems to be a deeper for some for this compulsion to be in constant communication. Deep down we all want to know and feel that we are wanted, accepted and loved so we seek this from others. Even if you are the most cynical there is still a desire for this at some level. But in order to fully connect with others we must be connected with ourselves. Fortunately for us we have a device to communicate with ourselves that does not need batteries, wires, buttons or Internet connection. It is called-reflection (or if you want to be fancy, i-Reflection). Take any thought, idea, concern or something you are pondering and process this through i-Reflection to seek illumination and direction. It is sometimes best to use i-Reflection in quieter and solitary places to get the best results. What you will find after diligent use of i-Reflection is a decrease in obsessive communication, a reduction of the superfluous and a clarity of thought. The best thing is that i-Reflection is available to you right now for the low, low price of FREE!

Just up ahead...

By Vichara

There is this beautiful roadside rest stop that I just visited that I want to recommend. I was needing a break from a long drive on the 101; no I think it was the 5. Anyway I thought to myself that the next rest area no matter how it looked or far I would just pull in. Of course the moment I was thinking this a sign appeared that a rest stop was just ahead. Well my friends the moment I exited I was met with all of the elements that would be needed for a “rest”. The trees were tall and so full of leaves that they provided ample shade. The flowers were so colorful. Whoever was the greens keeper did a wonderful job with the selection of flowers bordering the walkways. I think it was the 210 freeway…maybe not. Anyway as I wandered along the walkway I spotted a picnic table where I could rest with a snack. Well friends as I was just to sit down and I looked to my right and there was this majestic waterfall. At the bottom was a pool of clear water with all kinds of birds swooping in and around. Ah, it was so amazing and I thought I would need to come back here again very soon. Well fellow travelers you can guess by now that this rest area was not on any freeway but right here where I “sit” writing these “thoughts”. But the rest stop is available to you too. You have the power to create this sense of peace and instill some calm for yourself at anytime and anyplace. Just take the next exit.

Action / Reaction...

By Vichara

An action will have a re-action. That re-action will ignite another action. That action will inspire another re-action. From that re-action…while the action / re-action plays on let’s take a moment. While we ponder, muse and speculate the continuum toils on regardless. We may choose to believe that we can pull away and not be part of the fray but the fray will always find you. You may believe that some of life’s pageantry does not concern you but it will at some point. The action to extricate yourself from life is an action that is having a re-action, which is having another action (you get the picture). Every single molecule is interconnected so why not be a part of an action of change. Change that will improve and not tear down. Change that ignites the positive and not the negative. Of course you could turn away and close your door but of course that will have an action that causes a…

A well-tempered path...

By Vichara

Our persistence can be our friend or enemy…depending how it is tempered. We can have the drive and desire but if we approach our intended goal like a bull in a china shop we will leave and unpleasant wake. With a clear demarcation point that is not physically or mentally cluttered and a sure steady confident stride that is cognizant will open up the path in front of you. Yes there will be distractions that try to throw you off but your persistence centered with a good heart will keep the momentum going. If you need to change course do so but always be cognizant that your steps are not based in delusion but with clarity of the heart

Your own channel...

By Vichara

Hello blue skies, good morning little birds, top of the morning to you Mr. Squirrel, how-de-do-dee little veggie plants…ooops, sorry I had the Polly-Anna channel tuned in. While yes we would like to believe and experience the world with the sweetness of a Disney film the reality is that it is not. What it is a cavalcade of programming that defies all FCC mandates. But you control the dial. You have a direct connection with the programming in your life and the out come of the stories is up to you. You are the head of programming, the writer, the director and the actor. Sure there will drifting of signals where other channels will fade into yours but you should not relinquish the control of your program but incorporate storylines with the integrity of your own vision. Retain what you believe in and direct with the confidence of your own heart.

The Subtle Symphony #14, Opus 51...

By Vichara

The day has its own melody that is sometimes so subtle we fail to hear it. What may seem frenetic are actually the components of an organic symphony being composed everyday. Outside my window now comes the percussive chattering of a squirrel. The polyrhythmic signature setting the timing of this section while the cooing of the mourning doves add a counter balance with their unique tone. The wind filters through the sycamore tree creating a subtle rustling that is then augmented by the purple and yellow finches that are feeding. Joining in with this passage is the long swoosh and hum of the tires of the traffic from the front of my house. Closing out this passage come the infrequent honk of a mallard duck in his path from east to west. The wind picks up a bit and rustles the wind chimes that once hung in my Mums garden and ends this section. The Mitred parrots begin the next section with shrilling squawk. Take time to listen, these symphonies are going on everyday, 24/7.

What is intuitively revealed...

By Vichara

Are we suffering from a lack of self-realization or have realizing the self, turned away from what is intuitively revealed? Next to me I have at least 8 – 4x3 little composition books where I manually write all these “thoughts”. I suspect I could easily scratch these thoughts out on scraps of paper and then once entered into my laptop and deposited on this web site throw them away – but I don’t. I prefer to have a physical reminder of the realizations intuitively given to me so I don’t turn away completely. There are discoveries we are all given every day that our self will refrain from listening to in what perhaps could be a fight or flight of self-preservation. What to keep in mind when faced with these is that each and every one of these is important and possibly holds a key to a discovery. While being protective do remember to remain to be open to realization. Here will be your catalyst for survival.

Walk a mile in different shoes...

By Vichara

Challenge the past by standing up to the future with integrity. We all have encounters and experiences that have left the residue of doubt in our paths. This doubt can take many forms and at times feel like that uncomfortable pebble that gets stuck in your shoe. You shift your foot. You try to wiggle it to the side so you can keep walking but it keeps reminding you that it is there with it’s persistent jabbing. The obvious thing to do is to stop, sit down, take the shoe off and shake it free but we try to ignore it. When you finally do this annoyance can sometimes be so small you can’t imagine how it caused so much pain and bother. But here is an even more radical idea. Maybe you need to unload the whole shoe! Perhaps it would be beneficial for your well being to unburden your toes and get a new perspective. Of course it is up to you.

The same, but slightly different...

By Vichara

Is it linear lines of fate that brings some of us together, pre-destined karma or just plain stupid luck? After meeting someone for the first time do you walk away and think wow that was interesting it was like we knew each other. Or gee that person seemed to know and push all my buttons. Is there a purpose to the interconnectivity of our daily lives? Sure in our work life we are thrown together with people, in what may not be an organic way, but I’m thinking of what may seem random. Why yesterday I met this gentleman and from the ease of the encounter it would seem that we had known each other for years. Could that be that in what people consider past lives that we have been set up again with the same set of encounters (but with different bodies) to reveal and revise the path of our lives once again? Pardon me do I know you?

Sorbet of the mind...

By Vichara

Like having a sorbet between courses in a fancy restaurant to cleanse our palates, I think we sometimes need a sorbet for the mind. Some way to cleanse the mind, to refresh and get a clearer perspective. Some may be thinking right now – yes it’s called alcohol and drugs…didn’t you? Yes that is the obvious but they are just temporary clouds that just pass by. I’m thinking of some other way. Something that is not so hazardous to health and well-being. Perhaps it is a piece of inspirational literature, some music, a painting, place or just a single photographic image. Maybe it is a combination of a couple things that can be like tumblers in a lock clicking together. I am not sure but I am open to suggestions. Maybe there is a Rosetta Stone that can refresh our perspective. I’m just thinking…

Answered prayers?...

By Vichara

“Les anges punissent en repondant aux prier.” (The gods / angels punish us by answering our prayers) Whenever we would eat too much as kids my dad would say, “your eyes are much bigger than your belly”. Of course when at that early age we would run to the mirror to see if this was true. Confused we would shake our heads and come back for another scoop of ice cream. We get older, we dream, we wish and pray but much the grander things we desire have replaced the simple request for an extra scoop of ice cream. We believe that obtaining these grander things that it will change our lives, make it better and be the answer to our prayers. So we push and pray and then either out of he universe being exhausted or clicking of the tumblers you get what you prayed for. But wait this is not exactly what you thought it would be. There is suddenly much more to be responsible for, more people to answer and more things to deal with than before. You desire less but it’s too late, this is not just an extra scoop of ice cream. Be careful what you wish for. Unless the resolve is there it will be a burden, not a blessing.

Messages...

By Vichara

The phone rings but you let it go, you’re busy right now. It rings again later but you’re right in the middle of some busy work, let it go to voice mail. Later that evening at home it rings again. You think oh come on, it must be some sales call…you let it go. You finally get a few moments and you pick up all the messages. Waiting for you, they are all the same…beeeep, “hey (put your name here) this is your life here, just calling to say hi, hope you’re doing ok”….beep, “hi (put your name here) your life here again, you might want to call me, you know check in, make sure you’re being cognizant of the world around, love you…beeep, “ok, (put your name here) life here again, you really need to check in with me, there is a great need for you to recognize the “world” out there, we need you…ok, call me…

Figuring "this"...

By Vichara

Like most of you I am too trying to figure all “this” out as well. These moments to sit and try to bring in the reins of my emotions and thoughts until there is a quiet space is a challenge, as it is for all of us. But as I have read, whatever can run, can also stand still. We are all capable of taking hold of life’s remote control and hitting pause…just for a moment. Who knows in that moment you might see someone else in that momemt and through the acknowledgement recognize, like all of us, we are just trying to figure “this” out.

The rest is up to you...

By Vichara

You are given your first breath of life at birth; the rest is up to you. You are given love to pass it along; the rest is up to you. You are given inspiration from teachers and family; the rest is up to you. You see the imbalance and injustices of life; the rest is up to you. You can see the results of compassion; the rest is up to you. You witness the results of hatred, bigotry and conflict; the rest is up to you. You feel the beauty of creating art; the rest is up to you. You fee the unity of friendship and encouragement; the rest is up to you. Your presence here on this earth creates opportunities; the rest is up to you.

Happiness...

By Vichara

If you could be anywhere elsewhere would it be? Possibly what year would it be? Or even what universe? Regardless of where or when it may be I would bet good money that the common element that all of us share is that we want happiness. And I would double down on the bet that it would not be an ephemeral happiness but you all would want a much more longer lasting, deep happiness. We all know from the reminders in this forum that all is impermanent. It is after all, the first of the 4 Noble Truths. But there are ways to be happy but you will not find it in the acquisition of objects or in chemical or alcohol diversions. They after all are all again, impermanent. Unhappiness comes from our desire and craving for things that are well…impermanent. Because when they don’t last, which all things don’t, we are sad. End the unhappiness by eliminating the desires and craving you have for things impermanent and enjoy the moments of happiness as they pass by like clouds. Be “present” with openness for happiness to reach you, be felt by you and pass on its way to be felt by someone else.

The journey...

By Vichara

You can give the world all the answers but they may not still want to listen…or even understand. There have been through time wise women and men who have given mankind some very profound thoughts and ideas. They have given us insights and help establish guideposts to help us better understand life. For me personally these wise people have open portals that opened doorways that lead to paths where I have not only gained insights but also discovered essential truths. Teresa of Avila, Gandhi, Hildegard of Bingen, Blaise Pascal, Krishamurti, Thomas Merton and many others. W

hy not discover a new voice and listen.

Sorry...

By Vichara

Try this exercise…repeat the word “sorry” 25 times without stopping. Finished? I bet half way through the word “sorry” became a jumble of words and syllables and maybe at the end you forgot the word. Without being mindful of our words and action both will lose their meaning and importance. Be cognizant of your words and temper your actions with a mindful heart.

Experts recommend...

By Vichara

4 out of 5 doctors agree, experts say, leading industry officials recommend. There is always some unknown authority guiding our consumer decisions but there is one area that no perceived authority should have dominion over and that is your spiritual domain. There is only one expert – you. And as a guiding mechanism to all of your actions I recommend the new and improved, long lasting and minty fresh Love, Compassion & Patience available everywhere!

STOP!!...

By Vichara

When was the last time you just sat and did nothing? No, I mean really nothing. Just sit, stop the phone, turn the computer screen off, turn the TV off, turn the iPod off and just sit. Feel each breath come in…….then out…..in…..then out. Feel a wave wash down and out of you and your focus becomes soft and relaxing. Oh no! You know what may come next?!...Insight.

Check-up...

By Vichara

The extent of our compassion is measured by the capacity in our hearts to receive love. If the chamber and vessels leading to this area are clogged with prejudices and hatred there will never be an outlet for you to complete the continuum of a fulfilled life. Take stock of your condition, perhaps it is time to clean house a bit.

Limited words...

By Vichara

Imagine you could only speak a limited number of words each day. Once spent there would be no reserve and you would need to be reliant on other means of communication through your eyes and touch. Instead of spending time in harmful and inane conversations why not parse out your words with thought and deliberation. Cultivating careful conversations would result in a more meaningful day. Ok that’s it for me I only have so many other words so…