The cycle...

By Vichara

Eventually each cycle of existence will turn on its intended revolution and move on to its next level, season, destination and demarcation point. It has always been engaged just as your life continues to be. It is in our humanoid form where we have the conscious ability to assist in the cycle with moral and ethical decisions. They may not be easy but it is in these choices where the cycle will either glide along with little effort or wobble with our erratic and unethical choices. The cyclical movement may need to correct itself from time to time from circumstances and conditions that will alter its course but in the end it always right itself on its intended path. And as the revolutions turn you will acquire souvenirs of life along the way. Of these the ones with weight and merit will be retained for dispersion to their intended audiences. This is one of the reasons of our existence. The accumulation of experience and knowledge to be shared with the next cycle of existence and the next and the next…

A matter of perception...

By Vichara

One person’s salvation can be another person’s dilemma; it’s all a matter of perception. In fact all that we see is all a matter of perception. Two people could be standing right next to each other overlooking a rolling landscape with large trees, colorful flowers and in the center a pond teeming with life. One could be in awe of the beauty and the cavalcade of little beings while the other person could be apprehensive about being surrounded by that mush nature and scared for their lives. It’s all a matter of perception. From the mundane to the greatest of tasks if you are observant of others you can see from their eyes and body movements their perception and primal reaction. There may be similarities but each of us sees things in our own unique way. Plato said “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”. As you go through your day try to be a little more cognizant of others and their perceptions. You may be in the same room but their battlefield could be a meadow or a storm.

Be the light on a path...

By Vichara

We may speak in many languages but we all know compassion. Our skin may have many different pigments but we all feel pain. There may be many miles that separate us but love draws us closer and a simple smile will connect our hearts. We may call it many things in each of our cultures but at the core we are seeking understanding and enlightenment. The frenetic energy that can encompass us will act as a deterrent and a diversion but it is only temporal. Once the heart calls for a truce amongst the senses that path to understanding and enlightenment becomes a little easier. There will always be little holes and stones that will be strewn on the path but with conviction of the heart tempered by compassion you won’t stub your toes that much. We are all on the same path so hold up the light a little bit higher and together we will find the understanding.

Behind the slipcover...

By Vichara

It has been said that sometimes people judge a book by its cover. I know that this means in the figurative sense but when I was younger I thought it meant in the literal. You are in a bookstore and you are glancing at the rows of new books with their captivating colors, designs and images that are used to draw your eyes and hands. For some reason I have always been compelled to slide the slip cover off to see the actual book underneath. Did they use the same typeface? What color is the hardback? Is there some other image beyond the splashes of color that was used on the slipcover? A desire to see what was originally intended before the other designer came up with the fancy slipcover. I envision a quiet designer behind the scenes choosing colors, typefaces and constructing what the general public may never see unless the slipcover gets torn and needs to be discarded. In similar ways we sometimes fail to see behind the surface with those we encounter and even with those that we love. In some cases it can be either lack of patience or lack of time but in the end it is still a loss. Taking the slipcover off can be a challenge but it can be so worth it. What could be behind the fa├žade of color and casual conversation could reveal a truly remarkable life.

Measurements of existence...

By Vichara

Does a certain degree of accomplishments elevate the existence of this flesh and bones to a level where they will not be soon forgotten? Is there a level of these acts where your mortal existence will be remembered? Is being remembered a needed element to exist? In our western culture much is placed on the justification of our existence. How many units did you finish? How much farther did you go in getting what was assigned to you done? How many miles did you travel? How many songs have you written? How many awards, accolades and areas of accomplishment have you received? The amount of accomplishments seems to further deepen our place in society and garners much esteem. So what about that proud farmer in a small African village, the cobbler in an eastern European town, the only doctor for miles in Patagonia or that inspired teacher in a small town here in America. Does not the number of things that they have accomplished just as important? To those close to these examples I would think even more so. With the interconnection of beings all of what we do for each other is important, it is just a different degree of measurement. So even more that the statues and pieces of paper the most important measurement in how we will be remembered is by the measurement of the heart.

Three wishes...

By Vichara

Do you remember the story of Aladdin, the magic lamp and the granting of the three wishes? I think the Genie was a very wise being in only granting three wishes. I’m sure that the genie could have given Aladdin as many wishes as the Genie wanted to give but it certainly wouldn’t have made the three chosen that special or important. In a grand way he was making Aladdin define what was important and to make wise decisions. In a way and if we have been lucky we have Genies in our own lives in the form of parents, grandparents, teachers, friends and even brothers and sisters. While not magically appearing out of a lamp they do appear and help us re-define and define what we wish for in our lives. Aladdin was only granted three wishes and Genie complied but the results and proceeds of the wishes were totally Aladdin’s responsibility to deal with on his own. You can have as many wishes as you want and can handle but perhaps you could be your own Genie and try to define a little clearer what is truly important to you and your heart.

Sustainable strength...

By Vichara

I think therefore I believe. I believe therefore I act and I act when I believe it’s the right thing to do. Like Atticus Finch (from To Kill A Mockingbird) you strip away the absurdities and intolerance and expose the facts. These facts become the tools you use to pull back the curtain to the truth. If there is any lack of confidence or doubt preserve your strength until you gain the fortitude and knowledge that what you hold has merit and weight. I know that this may seem daunting and unobtainable but like any athlete you use patient methodical training using the pyramid points of power, Love, Patience and Compassion and you will achieve the strength and perception you need. Strength based in compassion will always have more sustainable power then strength with intolerance.

Lanterns of wisdom...

By Vichara

As with everyday when I wake they stand silently on the shelf next to the bed. They are the Sherpas, the soldiers of truth, guideposts, lanterns of wisdom, stepping stones of knowledge, knaves, jests and they are probably the most dependable. Their names are sometimes recognizable and others are like kind old friends. Tolstoy, London, Marcus Aurelius, Huxley, Plato, Gandhi, Kierkegaard, Merton, Teresa Of Avila, Krishnamurti, Milarepa, Easwaran and Hildegard of Bingen. Like all good sentries and sages they await your approach, they do not actively solicit your attention. If you seek, they will provide but only when called upon. Their patience far exceeds anything you may have and if cared for will have great resilience. If you are seeking may I suggest amassing a few if these stalwarts of the printed page for your journey. If one does not provide all the answers they will lead you to one of its compatriots. The investment will be well worth the effort and you will be rewarded and guides to places…only read about.

Engage...

By Vichara

How much are you willing to risk today? I’m not talking about partaking in skydiving or a similar activity. No, I’m thinking more along the lines of opening up more to the world around you and deepening the connection perhaps already established. We tend to reside mostly in our comfort zone of familiarity. The same people, same places, same roads we travel (with minor differences) and various similar repetitive activities. I bet there are even times that you even recognize these facts yourself. But you have created a zone of comfort that it would be scary to leave. Now I’m not suggesting extreme radical behavior. That would be uncomfortable for 99% of many of us. The risk I’m suggesting is slight deviations in our daily routines, perceptions and interactions that will crack open and create a different viewpoint. The person in line with you getting coffee is human like you and probably seeking the same answers. Try a new route, make new discoveries and explore. There are only a limited number of hours in a day. Don’t waste them sleeping or cowered in fear – engage.

Waves of compassion...

By Vichara

While you think the world is going on out there it is going on you as well. You are an integral part of the machinations of the world no matter how small it may be perceived. You are important and you do matter even if you don’t think so. As the result of the flapping of a butterfly’s wings in the rain forest creates a storm half way around the world so can a simple act of kindness create waves of change. Open up your heart, open up your wings and impact the world around you with compassion.

Connections...

By Vichara

When you consider me part of you, in the universal sense, you gain more respect for life for everyone. Me being part of you, you part of me. You wouldn’t consciously hurt yourself right? In the karmic sense whatever you inflict on someone else is ultimately to you as well. Be careful where you tread, what you say and the wake you create. This is not to be overreactive or oversensitive but to carry with you a sense that we are all connected in some way even if it may appear small. You will find that it is ultimately not so small.

Islands...

By Vichara

There are many times and points in the day where it truly feels like we are all isolated islands floating throughout the day without barely connecting to each other’s shorelines. There is even a feeling I get that if there was no pressing need to many would be quite content to just float on through the day until the reach the harbor of slumber land. Is it fear, apathy or through the many years of bumping and floating about that you feel that you are not going to be accepted as you are? Your island is unique as with the billions of other islands out there but we are connected by the ocean of communication that can be at times choppy, dark and difficult to maneuver. However there are ways to reach each other’s shorelines without too many shipwrecks. As quoted here before each one of us needs to be kind to each other because we are all dealing with our own battles. With that recognition there is a chance that you see the waters become clearer and less troublesome and opportunities are created to see another’s shoreline without judgment and expectation.

Our actions...

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 seen. All our senses ingesting and digesting the best and worst of humanity. 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 you 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.

A step...

By Vichara

The sun is up, you’re breathing and you are probably one of the lucky ones that will have some food this morning. What’s left to do? I’m not talking in the figurative sense but in the literal sense as well. Is there a somewhat unreachable thing you can start to take a few steps forward with? Is there an extra once of forgiveness you can give to yourself or someone else? Is there a step you can take to help improve the lives of others around you? It does not necessarily need to be grand, just a small step. From the small step forward…well you know.

Where you go next...

By Vichara

Shhh, come over here. Look they left the door open and we can see what’s been going on in there. It’s hard to believe that someone was so lax in the security department and left it open but since they did let’s go in. As you go down this first hallway watch your step. The light is not very good in here because they want you to believe there really isn’t much here to see so you turn back, but push on. When you reach the corner you will come to a large room with a lot of shiny, glittery things. These are put here to distract and trick you to stay in this room. If this interests you and makes you fee comfortable then stay but I recommend pushing forward. This next area may be a bit tricky to maneuver through. There are things left behind, forgotten and put somewhat haphazardly on shelves that may not be that level. Don’t worry they will stay there and you can always come back to retrieve those things that interest you. At the next turn there will be a fork in the road, this is the toughest part of the journey because both ways look exactly the same. You would swear that they are carbon copies of each other but there are subtle differences. Don’t rush forward, stand here for a moment and engage your intuitive nature to guide your steps. Where you go next will be up to you…

Waves of time and light...

By Vichara

The days roll on like giant waves of time and light. The illuminated wave crests and folds into the dark wave that rolls back and opens back to light and so on. Within these waves, the souls, the dreams, the love, the anguish and the energies of billions of beings riding these waves all in an effort not to be pulled into the riptide of negativity. Common fact, we all struggle in various in various degrees, some more than others but we all need to keep trying or we can get sucked under. Our efforts in riding these waves may seem futile at times but it is only with some effort will you at least be able to survive. The key is not blind optimism but in a steady resolve with a kind and compassionate heart. We are all expert surfer dudes and dudettes but at times we may be a bit shaky riding these waves. That is where as fellow compassionate surfers we keep a peripheral watch with our wave companions and lend our support when needed and warranted. Be careful out there today and cowabunga!

Windows of opportunity...

By Vichara

There are two windows of opportunity in front of you. One you have a good idea of the terms, conditions and outcome. The other is a complete unknown. You have no idea once that window is opened and you pass through what could happen or where will it take you. Which window do you pick? There is no right or wrong answer here, just a choice. The choice you make will be predicated on where you are morally rooted. If your actions and motives are based in a truly selfish manner I think there is a very good chance that the outcome will be skewed and fail…sooner or later. If your actions are based in compassion and empathy I believe the results and proceeds will be more in the positive column. But again, it’s your choice. These are your windows of opportunity and how your heart is directed.

I expect...

By Vichara

There is an implied sense of expectation that exists even though it may not be clearly stated sometimes. If you are an adult and you drive a car it is expected that you know how to drive it and follow the rules of the road. With the enormous amount of variables that exist wit each human being we question if some people know how to follow the rules. Regardless there are many basics that are understood (drive on the right side if you live in N. America, turn your headlights on to be seen at night, signal when turning, etc.) and hopefully are followed. The same applies in many ways in our daily lives as humans. If you consider yourself a member of society there are basics that we should all follow. Things are expected of you. If you are human it is expected that you treat others humanly and not with malice and manipulation. If you are human it is expected that if you recognize that you need compassion then you should give compassion to others. None of these cost a single penny, they are currency of the heart and from what I have witnessed there is always plenty of reserves in those banks and I expect there always be.

The day...

By Vichara

The day has been waiting all night for you. It has been nervous with anticipation and is ready as soon as your feet touch the floor next to your bed. It knows when you open your eyes. Don’t try to fake it, the day knows. The only thing left to do is to just get up, get your shoes on and go. But wait…what are you going to do with the day? Fritter it away with functions that merely just fill up the day? The day expects more than just that! The day’s light is the beacon that is there to illuminate the multitude of paths that are given to each one of us. You all know that but embrace that. Since you are reading this you of course know that you have been given another day so why not fully use it as intended. Don’t fill it with mindless Pablum find one small meaningful thing to do, read or act upon. It doesn’t take much and when the day is done you’ll feel better and the day will be smug and proud of you. Then you can actually call it a day.

The interdependence...

By Vichara

In the area where I “sit” when I write these thoughts I have noticed a new little friend has joined me. This very tiny long legged spider has constructed a haphazard web that looks more like fluff stuck in mid-air than your traditional geometric web. For most the reaction upon seeing this would be to take some tissue or a magazine and eradicate this scene from existence. For some there is great fear attached to spiders but placed in the interconnectiveness of life this little guy has a form and a function that justifies it’s existence. It sits quietly and calmly in it’s bed of fluff and if any little bug get snared…well you know the rest. Regardless of any fears or apprehension we are all fundamentally connected. The Dalai Lama says that this interdependence is a fundamental law of nature and concerns more than just the more evolved forms of life. “For even the smallest insects are social beings who, without the slightest religion, law, or education, survive thanks to mutual cooperation, based on an innate recognition of their interconnectiveness”. So not only keeping in mind our mutual cooperation to each others as humans (based in compassion) I will keep in mind this little guy next to me and turn away from our higher life form’s compulsion to destroy and invite all of your reading this to think for a moment of our interconnectiveness and employ a little more compassion today.

The band CLP...

By Vichara

While Sanity went out of the hallway to make yet another phone call, Reason stepped outside to have a smoke. That left Judgment and Justification at the table with me. Even though they were twins they were nothing alike. Judgment kept looking around the room and sat silently scowling at others while Justification kept either knocking items off the table or spilling things just enough on the linen tablecloth. Indifference kept walking past our table and less than discreetly glared and slightly shook it’s head. While Envy and Disgust instigated little arguments around the room Unification tried desperately to get everybody to talk. The waves of frenetic energy started to crest higher and higher and it felt even though Sanity came back into the room that things were about to explode when the band started to play. The dulcet and calming tones of CLP, better know as Compassion, Love & Patience, sent soothing sonic waves across the room and everything seemed to calm down and feel brighter. Unification seemed to relax and Envy and Disgust were sharing a bowl of ice cream, Reason came back into the room and even though the twins really had no rhythm they were cutting up the dance floor like Tony Manero and Ren McCormack. Life is a whole lot better when CLP is rockin’ the world us.

The next shoreline...

By Vichara

There are some moments when I feel the very simple act of eating is just merely to gain enough sustenance for the journey somewhere. Where I am not sure. As if the acts or requirements needed to get through a day was only intended as means to accomplish the next step. It isn’t like there is no joy in the act of these things there is but it is tempered by some expectation of reaching somewhere. Again where I am not sure. Is there an end point, a harbor or some hallowed ground to reach that will provide the answers? I am not even sure of the question(s). Regardless of these musings time is the engine that is propelling us continuously. The shoreline of where we were is a distant line. The shoreline ahead is sometimes greeted both with some anticipation and trepidation. Again regardless we will all need to reach the shoreline of tomorrow and the next day and then the next and then…