Life calling...

By Vichara

Hey (insert your name here), this is your life here; just calling to say hey hope you are doing and stuff. Ok…call me. “Beeep” – Hi (insert your name here) your life here again. You might want to call me, you know check in and make sure you’re being cognizant of the world around you. Love you, mean it. “Beeep” – Hey (insert your name here) we’re all waiting for you. Don’t think you can ignore us over here. WE’RE WAITING! “Beeep” – Ok, (insert your name here) your 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….

Many rivers to cross...

By Vichara

I woke up this morning with the song “Many Rivers to Cross” as sung by Harry Nilsson in my brain. One line says “And it’s only my will that keeps me alive” and that line became reflected in all of our daily journeys. Perhaps not so dramatic some days but we all have “bridges” that we cross everyday. Decisions that need to be made in a few seconds and others that will percolate and resolve with some patience and time. Regardless of their complexity we all have many rivers to cross and it is how we get to the other side that will matter. We could use harsh deceptive ways to cross over but more than likely some karmic residue will be brought over with you and to the next bridge. This residual karmic baggage will accumulate and increase the weight of your load for each bridge to cross. Try to travel unencumbered by jettisoning the excess before you cross and make the journey with honesty and integrity not only for your own heart but for the world around you. See you on the other side.

Spiritual Farmers...

By Vichara

While conflict can be the fodder for solution at what price do you pay physically, emotionally and spiritually? You will attempt to cut back the weeds to root out answers but seedlings of more and more weeds will still exist. And while you are diligent and try to sustain a concerted effort to clear the garden, lying deep they still exist. Sometimes you just need to till the soil until hopefully all the undesired seedlings have been exposed to the air and sunlight of resolution. From here cracked and dry they will fade away for good. Although you can be diligent with the farming of your actions it will be necessary to retain a membership with others to maintain the fortitude you need for each day. A spiritual co-op with like minds that will help you, others and maintain the fields of reason.

Terms of acceptability...

By Vichara

On numerous levels our lives come down to terms of acceptability. How much emotional or physical pain, how much incompetency, how much information, how much nourishment and yes even how much love. At what level will you be able to feel a sense of accomplishment with yourself and others. There are some yes that more or less just shade in the day in an attempt to do what is acceptable and while this may be acceptable for one they forget a crucial element – nothing is isolated. There is an interconnection of all things and as hard as that may be to fathom, it is a solid fact. You and you alone will set the level of acceptability for yourself of course but how much will you be able to live with and how does that affect the world around you? In a world that is gauged by the accomplishments of one’s actions and deeds what will be your terms?

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.

Transformation...

By Vichara

There will be some things in life that will loose their charm. Remember your first bike? The one that you begged your parents to get you for days? The one with the fancy seat and all of the gears? There was a great deal of excitement for some quite some time after you received it. You took good care of it, cleaned it and made sure the tire pressure was right and avoided bumps and glass. Then after many months later, possibly a year when the scratches and dings just became part of the bike it sort of just transformed form this shiny cool vehicle to just vital means of transport to get you from here to there. Things change, they transform but what we sometimes fail to see is that even though they transform there is still value there. In fact some increase in value like the relationships we have with friends and whom we are married to. As like the bike that transforms so do our relationships but don’t lose sight of the vital essence that still exist in all of them and the value they hold, even with time.

A guidance system for the heart...

By Vichara

You’re not pedaling fast enough! You’ll never get there like that! You need to keep up, push harder! But to where and from what starting point? Unless there is an understanding, the demarcation point and the desired goal even if it is a scratch, you will never have a clear vision of how to get there. While there is merit with planning and there are advantages in being malleable in the execution I do believe that no matter how you get there and the means you use to get there it is important to be guided by a tracking system of beliefs. A moral GPS that when confronted by a twist or a turn on the road it will safely guide you through the possible difficulties of the life terrain. However remember when you install your moral GPS system make sure that you leave room for “upgrades” that will allow for improvements in guidance from new sources. It is with enhancements that you will surely get “there” guided by the compass of truth.

Resilience & Understanding...

By Vichara

Is there enough resilience in your heart to withstand all that it confronts in a day or in a lifetime? I do believe there is but it is not solely contained in your individual self but in the communion with others. It can be found in that endless reservoir of faith that binds us all at the most primal level. Once we have trouble achieving understanding and reliance solely on our own these untapped resources will kick in and become a reliable source of strength. Because it is only in recognizing the commonalities that we all share, no matter where we live, that we can then form a more unified fulfilling union.

Red Light Meditation...

By Vichara

Keep your eyes & ears open as much as you can folks because what you see and hear in this second, this minute, this hour will never, ever happen again…ever. It is just part of he wonderful kaleidoscopic ephemeral universe that we all and I mean all, live in. At the core and the key to all of this and the basic element is to be cognizant of this with the simple act of mindfulness with each minute and hour. I know, I know easier said than done right? But even driving we can practice mindfulness and try to arrive peacefully. The wonderful meditation teacher Thich Nhat Hanah suggests that even at a red light we can practice. The red light can be used as a signal, a reminder that there is tension in your body from possibly needing to get somewhere. Use the 10 seconds at the red light to practice some mindful breathing and release the tension in your body. And with the number of red lights we face we might even arrive peacefully.

The spark...

By Vichara

You are probably not going to like this at all. Besides being Monday there is something else that you need to be concerned about that is very important. I’m not sure how to broach this and I’m not even sure I should. Perhaps in exposing this it could have a reaction in you and others and create a profound change. Ok, after all I have a responsibility to pass this that is given to me and let you judge. “So you breathe, so you live. So you create and from creation come inspiration. From inspiration is the spark you will share and help those around you.” Each and every one of us has this ability and it is stirring as you read this. Do not discount or diminish this ability because it has the power to transform even the smallest way. This ability to give and receive compassion is the key to unlocking the channels of perception. As when these are open the unification of the spirit we share grows stronger, you heart opens more and we transcend the disruptive and useless pettiness we encounter. Breathe and ignite this spark

Internal / External...

By Vichara

It’s one thing to acknowledge another one’s existence on the external level without too much fanfare; it is acknowledge that person’s internal existence without judgment is where the challenge exists. The physical form is just a collection of bones, skin and blood adorned with fabrics but what that person believes in, dreams about and feel can seem as vast and large as looking out into the ocean. Some things people believe in we will not totally understand because each of our personal experiences and how they are personally interpret them. But here is the tripping point and if we stop, listen and try to understand we can find the commonalities that we could share. From there will be a starting point that will ignite the conversation not to argument and disagreement but to understanding and compassion.

Leaving your mark...

By Vichara

Sometimes leaving your mark in this world is a simple as saying “hello”. For some of us who live in places where we encounter hundreds of people in a day we, for the most part, never push outside our comfortable circles of people we deal with on a day-by-day basis. From entrenching ourselves in these routines and familiar encounters we will sometimes feel awkward with new faces and voices. Over time with this routine our ability to step out will become more and more uncomfortable and possibly debilitating. Here of course is the point of realization. While we are here in our entrenchment the person across from you, entering the same elevator or standing in the same line could be exactly where you are. In a comfortable way find the “bridge” and say hello. I’m not advocating forcing an immediate friendship on the spot just give a friendly hello. With this acknowledgement it recognizes the existence of another human being, just like you and you leave your mark by this simple act of kindness.

Fear...

By Vichara

Everyone is scared. No matter how much confidence one shows. No matter what bravado is brandished about in order to retain some alpha-male or alpha-female position, they are all scared…just like you. IN our working pods of life there will always be those individuals that will be compelled to be in control in varying degrees of success. It is unfortunate for those individuals that are in control fail to recognize the basic commonalities that we all share and work from a position of frenetic unfocused degrees. With these somewhat ingrained methods it is difficult to change with force from the outside. One of the keys is for us all is to step back, recognize fears (which by the way are mostly based in our impermanence) and attempt to make that connection based in calm understanding & compassion and find answers together. Calm rivers carry great weight and strength without constant churning.

Now in "3-D"...

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.

Our three pound wonder...

By Vichara

A typical brain contains about 100 billion neurons, consumes a quarter of the body’s oxygen and spends most of the body’s calories even though it only weighs about three pounds. For something so little it uses a lot doesn’t it? The question is are you getting your money’s worth. Are you engaging your brain enough besides the general YouTubing, texting while walking and indulging in watching endless hours of American Idol auditions? Sure you need a perceived balance to justify and believe you need these activities but are you reaching out and stretching the capabilities of this 3-pound wonder? Are you pushing little guy into warp drive? We are all guilty of not pushing our super computers enough but we could all do better. Take a flashlight of curiosity and investigation and give the grey matter a little more of a workout with something new. Light up a path of new knowledge and wonder and get those neurons all fired up!

The subtle things...

By Vichara

Sometimes we may sit and wonder if this, you know the life we have had so far, if this is it? Is what we see and hear and feel the rewards of this life? I think we sometimes try to quantify things beyond reason. We try to measure our life sometimes with the grand spectacles of what we see on TV and movies. The lavish happy endings with shiny things and a sweeping measure of orchestral music to accompany and underscore as the credits roll. But of course we know that this is not reality, at least for most of us. I believe because of this disillusioned vision we have been subjected to we sometimes miss out on the real rewards, the ones that can be so subtle we may miss them. For me at least I had one yesterday by seeing two Red-Whiskered Bulbuls birds in my sycamore tree. This was a rare sighting for me and another wonderful simple subtle reward in my ornithology life. For you it will be something completely different than this but at least try to be a little more cognizant of the subtle simple things as they too add to the rich tapestry of your life.

A web of compassion...

By Vichara

As I “sit” a spider carefully weaves it’s web near me. These delicate strands criss-cross with precision movement in order to create a physical apparatus that will facilitate in its survival. While we as humans have no need or requirement to build such things to capture our sustenance perhaps we should consider creating a web of compassion interconnecting all of our altruistic actions. By recognizing and sharing these actions it will not be a tool of bravado but a tool of inspiration to act as a catalyst for others. By example those that may lack a direction may find with those others sharing a strand of an idea from the web a direction and the ability to forge partnerships. A chance over many miles to act locally or globally, connecting many of us in a giant web of compassion.

A new workout...

By Vichara

I as struck with an amusing (well at least to me and maybe you) moment as I was riding the stationary bike at home this morning. Letting my mind wander while I rode I briefly glanced at the display screen in front of me. On the left side printed in a swooping typeface was the words “Zone Training” but with my wandering mind I mistook it as saying “Zen Training” and with a big grin my mind mused on this. What if there was a pedaling machine that was used in Zen training. You would get up in the early hours of the morning, light some incense, conduct your prostrations and then get on and pedal your way to enlightenment. The more you pedal the more your lungs and mind open up to the universe and expand your consciousness. The more miles you pedal the further your ability to comprehend life, the universe and everything. Channels of perception will open up to vistas of awareness and from all the revolutions of the pedals a greater sense of your purpose. Now that’s what I call a workout!

What is yours...

By Vichara

What is yours is yours for a limited time. Each of what you accrue and accumulate will be gone from the physical grasp you know one day. Some things that will age will deteriorate and fall apart through the normal process of impermanence but even the things held dear and kept will be gone. Things will be dispersed, things will reverently be passed on and some things will just be thrown out. And what of all of this, these things that were considered scared and special hold any meaning? None, as they are just physical items. What truly has weight and merit is the wake of your legacy. Even the smallest wave has presence in the world. The word legacy does conjure up images in the grandest scale but a person’s legacy can be as small as one act of kindness but still have an enormous impact. Never discount your contribution but be cognizant of what you may leave behind. Endeavor to have your waves propelled by acts of compassion and kindness for the New Year because those can never be taken away from you.

The evolutionary sidewalk...

By Vichara

A new year has started, have we moved any farther along the evolutionary sidewalk? Someone gets angry and tries to blow people up in a barbaric way. The other people get angry and attack the people from where that person lives and so on and so forth. I know that reducing it down simplistically in itself has it’s own pitfalls but even if we see both sides the sheer act of deliberately killing keeps all of us on the lower rungs of humanity. So what to do right? What are the answers? I don’t know but I think we all understand the killing is not one of them. This may be na├»ve but digging to the core is the first logical step. Like a skilled doctor find out the identity of the ailment. Do not just treat the symptoms but find; in the plain light of day without restrictions, what is the root. The arbitration and resolution is the mandate. I understand the frailties of all of this and there are possibilities of agendas but it would be good to try instead of throwing up our hands and walking away.