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”.