The people out there

October 7, 2016

Who are these people?  Just how deep runs the us and them dynamic?  Yes, The United States is in the middle of a very confusing and bewildering election.  I feel that many have simply given up on any concept of cooperation.  We are sheltering in place with our own kind.  It is just too overwhelming.  How do we emerge from our cocoons or will we ever be able to emerge?

Aren’t we all really just looking for safety?  Should we stop and compare our lives to those in places like Syria where war has torn everything asunder?  Why are we fighting this war of ideas and opinions?  I am right and you are wrong.  How can I even consider that you are right when your belief threatens my very existence as a human being on this planet.  More often than not, the threat is very real.  Much more often.

How can I talk about race when I know so few people who are different than me?  How can I learn about LGBT lives when I don’t think that I have ever met anyone from that community?  If you are a Christian fundamentalist, I cannot have anything to do with you because it is too threatening to my identity.  Do you care about my identity?  Is it your sole (soul’s) intention to threaten my identity?  Do you really want me to disappear from the planet?

Black/white, gay/straight, right/left.  Over and over again.  The individual elements of the great melting pot have separated themselves from the whole.

Can we just stop?  What if everything were to just stop for a day?  No news, no blog posts, no activity on any social media platforms.  Would it cause everyone to just take a deep breath and reboot?  It is as if we are compulsively heading to our own extinction without thinking that we can do anything to stop it.  It almost sounds like addiction, doesn’t it?  Just looking at the increase in verifiable addictions such as the opioid epidemic makes one wonder if therein lies a clue.  A simple definition of addiction as defined by Merriam-Webster is “an unusually great interest in something or a need to do or have something.”

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Pride is Powerful

August 28, 2016

I marched in the Austin Pride Parade last night.  It was the second time that I have marched in a parade.  I was with the PFLAG contingent.  I was once again just astounded at all the welcoming and grateful faces in the crowd.  I remember being in that crowd for many years being the welcoming and grateful face.  I am so glad that I can give back now and be that person marching in the parade.

There were thousands of people on the mile long parade route.  There is such power in a crowd which is focused on good.  In these strange political times it is good to remember that just as a crowd can be angry and all that can go with that anger, so too can a crowd be full of love and support and all that goes with love and support.  As the PFLAG motto of the night stated – “Hugs not Hate”.

Thank you for the places where you can give hugs not hate.

The fading of the day

March 8, 2016

As the day fades we must pay attention.  The fading day is the way nature calls us in for the night.  The nightlife is a very modern idea. The night is not really meant for life but for slowing down and reflection.  We must prepare for the daily death of sleep so that we can resurrect ourselves with the next morning’s sunrise.  Let us awake again tomorrow and meet new life.

Awake !     Awake  !    Awake  !

The great somber silence

January 4, 2016

This silence is not just the absence of noise.  It is the very silence from which the world was formed.  The miracle is that we have access to this same silence within our own beings, within our own soul.

It takes practice to quiet the mind.  On the other side of a quiet mind is the great somber silence.

Gratitude

November 7, 2015

Yes, gratitude again.  The companion to gratitude, I believe, is positive thinking.  Now I know that positive thinking has a history and has many good and bad reviews.  I want to challenge the contemplative to use the sitting practice to really examine everyday thoughts.  What language are you using inside your mind?  What kinds of words are most often in your conversations?  Words are so very powerful and need to be chosen wisely.  The words that are not spoken are just as important.  The unspoken words that we speak continually in our minds influence us in very subtle ways.  The challenge now is to go deeper into your thoughts during the quiet and examine.  Examine those thoughts for the words and patterns that might need adjusting to a more positive position.  Turn on the light.