Posts tagged: children’s novels


I have been informed that I need to contribute more to the blog.  For those of you who feel this way, my apologies. I forget that this too is a place where I get to meditate. Interesting. Having finished my first book, I’m now looking at my other projects waiting to see which will light a fire in me. In other words, I’m not writing allot right now. It’s easy to forget that it’s a cool place to hang out.

I’m meditating on drawing right now.

I’m glad the blog has created some helpful dialogue. I don’t want to answer each one, however in reading over your conversations, I hope that some of the questions and explanations will sink in and come out coherently.

I find the simplicity of what I have learned and study to be a great comfort because it makes it easier to remember.

Someone wrote questions about ‘detached.’ Without going back through my posts, and therefore leaving my self vulnerable to the possibility of contradicting myself, I relate to the word ‘detached’ in one of two ways. Either it has an emotional/judgmental dimension, or it is pure description of a simple action. Possibly the confusion comes from the former. By plugging into our awareness, we are able to observe/witness our sensory experience of existence. ‘Sensory’ includes emotions…the things that our mind attaches to events in our formative years. In those years we  feel fear, yearning, love. Fear that we are helpless, hungry for sustenance, and, love. Those are the feelings we first know as creatures. Primitive and simple and these three colors are then used by our minds to describe to itself, to  ‘know,’ and orchestrate the many complex scenarios that comprised our remembered and forgotten childhoods.

In observing/witnesssing our sensory experience of existence, we are still experiencing it because it is happening to a part of us. If it’s a good feeling, who’s going to questions that?

Puts me in mind of a documentary I saw on Bhuddist priests in Japan meditating  for great lengths of time. Periodically someone would come up behind them and hit their shoulders really hard with bamboo sticks. The point being, there are two extremes to which our minds go when confronted with hard feelings and easy feelings. They are aversion and attachment. When things are good, we wan’t to keep them that way.( Notice, the mind is talking about ‘control’ here…”want to keep them that way…”). When things feel bad, difficult…our mind goes full tilt into aversion. Get away. Run from that feeling, and if you can’t run, hide. There are many places to hide; anger, controlling, hating, jealousy, depression, sadness…but the BEST one is DENIAL.

When the young priest cracks the meditating priests on the shoulders, they’re saying ‘be here…be now.”

See, it’s a misconception, or rather the mind’s indulgence in giving some value to meditating by saying that if one meditates, then one arrives somewhere. Gets to peace…love, God….  The problem with thinking that is that the attendant question just will not go away; Are we there yet? And if we are, when are we leaving? How long are we staying. Are  you feeling anything yet?

Our ability to be present is inclusive of everything…all feelings, sensations, thoughts. Consciousness is our unique ability to be aware. Of everything that happens inside and outside of our bodies. From that place of awareness, we can experience our pain and fear AND we can also see it as just part of a larger experience which we are getting to watch…which we are choosing…to watch and glory in the experience of our oneness with everything that exists.

Definitions. Consider this: the dictionary is an edited/published book put together by a committee mentality that decides what best defines a word in terms of its history as well as its current use.  It’s interesting that ‘detached’ was reported to mean to disassociate from one’s feelings. I find that interesting, because it honors the mind’s need to know, measure, define the word, yet ironically includes consciousness and the ego; “disassociate from one’s feelings.” In a way, that definition and product of the mind is acknowledging that there is a ‘place’ from where one can see and execute disassociating from one’s feelings by choosing to be conscious. I bet if you put the mind on trial, it would completely deny the existence of anything so unmeasurable as consciousness.

Lastly, I want to re-visit my definition of ‘patience.’ I believe I have suggested that patience is the remembered experience of love. (I had said ‘hope,’ I think, but ‘love’ seems more inclusive).

I take issue with someone’s use of the word ‘remembered.’ Not because it doesn’t suit, but because if we’re not careful, when can look to one aspect of ‘remembered,’ and miss the other. The first aspect is remembered experiences. We can call up these remembered experiences, the one where we felt love, togetherness, joy, and that is one way to remember, albeit it comes with a whole world of experiences which our bodies remember but have been ‘un’remembered, suppressed as being too difficult. How do we selectively ‘turn on’ our memories and truly prevent them from visiting all those ‘subterranean’ places our more colorful religious figures describe as ‘hell?’

The second aspect of remembering is key; By exercising our ability to be aware, by meditating on the present with the help of all these sensations and feelings and thoughts that are there to remind us that we have a conscious place, we get to feel and nurture our sense of peace, love, oneness… and return to it whenever we want…and that, that is what we ‘remember.’ Our ability to experience the purest feeling of love gives us our understanding of faith…(that this ‘place,’ this one-ness exists), and that remembered feeling  give us patience and hope.

Wishing you every bit of all of it.


On the other hand…

I read the discussion of “…can you hurt someone by helping too much,” and I marvel at the emotion in people’s words. Sometimes I think that our words and the way we say them are completely out of our control.

We say one thing, mean another, describe one thing, ask another. We rarely reread what we have said, or if we do our eyes play tricks on us and our minds, thinking that we have already read this fails to really see what it is we’re really saying…or in some cases, asking. The fact that we have chosen the words and say/write them as we do and this act creates a window into our person… conveniently escapes us.

But we’re visible.

The computer, the act of communicating by word through air doesn’t really remove our vulnerability or visibility. It just creates that illusion. An illusion that we mistakenly inerpret as strength. So ironic, that we try to experience ‘strength’ in the fantasy of a non-intrusive, non-intimate relationship.

So what are we looking for? When we say our ‘hellos’ and communicate our woes, write our headlines? What are we doing in this act of communication?

Trying o identify ourselves in terms of what we believe, know, have determined to be true?

However, we need someone there to communicate to and back with, someone in whom we can find ourselves, see ourselves mirrored beyond our standard humanoid features. Someone who is ‘like’ us. We like to memorialize our similarity by defining rules, rights, wrongs, what’s true, what isn’t, what’s acceptible, what isn’t. We take comfort in our similarity, we celebrate it by  flying flags, singing songs, worshipping agreed upon deities. We take care to teach our children to do the same.

In the name of what? Peace, Love, Contentment….Heaven? And the thing that’s going to get us there is what? Our ability to recreate that which we believe to be true? Our ability to control our lives and teach our children to control theirs? There are rules and they must be adhered to or else the ‘big bogeyman’…Mr. Fear, is going to eat you alive, forever…eternal damnation.

We know that adherence to the ‘rules’ is something we can control, so ‘control’ becomes the optimum condition, or status, and is equated with security, comfort, nurturing…no fear, no fear, no fear.

The problem occurs when things happen that we can’t control, when our minds/egos are submitted to the naked horror that there are things that we can’t control.

Our first reaction, either conscious or sub-conscious may be to rationalize that the ‘idea’ of controlling everything is absurd; obviously one can’t control everything we generously admit to ourselves while secretly harboring the believe that if we hold tight enough onto the illusion of power thru control, immortality will be ours.

There is one little thing, though.


Yup. We’re powerless over that. Big problem. Our minds’ first reaction is to try harder and so we hone our skills, (which are considerable) of denial. We become so good at denial that  we are even able to deny that we are in denial. Not everybody is in denial. Are they?Are they?

All of this thinking and over analying instead of just trusting what  you’ve been told.  Why complicate things? Not everybody has to see it your way. I don’t have to believe what you believe. Believe me, I know what I believe.

Remember that cousin to control; ‘belief?’  We seem to put more emphasis on ‘the act of believing,’ of commiting to ‘belief’  because we are told therein is our salvation, than to listening, really listening to our selves? Why?

Because  if we really listen to ourselves, there are some questions that have no answer…and our minds/egos abhor not having an answer….or at least the promise of an answer. (Call that ‘faith?).’

The fear that visits us in our dreams and our very private moments, or more dramatically in catachlism is to be avoided at all costs, even if you have to deny that fear is there at all?

Why do we go to horror films?  What is it that we are able to experience in the relative safety of a dark theatre that bears a striking resemblance to this  deep-down primal fear within us?

However, outside the theatre, it’s daylight and other people are walking around getting somewhere and there’s no place for fear out here. Not in a safe, comfortable society, right?

Before we know it, we’re in a traffic jam, we’re late, one of the kids is coming down with a nasty cold…you shouldn’t have even brought him to the movie and now you can’t control that he’s getting sick and will likely get everybody in the family sick….and doctor’s bills, missed work…nothing that we have control over. Why? What’s wrong with us? Are we weak? Stupid?

So we get angry with ourselves, but we can’t bear looking at what we’re angry about, (no control), so we get angry at others; for reminding us that we are feeling out of control. Or we become envious, or jealous, spiteful, hurtful, lose our feelings of insufficiency in eating, drinking to much, collecting and exercising power, …there are so, so many intricate and subtle ways our minds continue to glue together the experiences of our lives to help us avoid our fear. There are whole studies, schools of thought, phd’s, licenses provided to identify those that have become a mainspring in our society’s quest to better itself.

So, along comes someone who basically says what the very first caravans meeting in the Euphrates valley at the onset of worldly communication said after the necessary inspection that each was indeed human and not out to eat the other…tonight:  This is what I see, this is what I feel, this is what I think about, this is what my experience has meant to me, this is how I hurt, feel joy, feel pain and fear…what about you?

Well all’s fine as long as we stick to the rules. You can talk about all those other feelings with varying degrees of sensitivity as to who you show them to…however, fear …..we are very careful about how we even raise the issue. We have created whole mythologies built on belief that we can overcome fear. Our sports ethic is a test of how well we can maintain control, not succumb to your fear.

Talk about fear? Outside the accepted ways and means? Imply that because I feel fear that others must?

I’m not assuming that anybody has the same fears as I, except for one; fear of no control over mortality. That seems to be the human condition. A condition we all journey with.

And please know that I have no intention of claiming ‘the truth.’ I am claiming  A truth…that I have experienced, and upon examination seems to emanate from all humans.

Agree with me, or disagree…please. I’d only ask that you maintain your curiosity about the way that  you agree or disagree. It has nothing to do with how good or bad you or I may seem to the other. Even if we practice curiosity in the privacy of our minds, we may get a glimpse or two into how we really feel, or why we act as we do. Again, no judgment, because,whatever we find, we have the ability to remind ourselves that we are able to find it in others.

I am constantly astounded at the ways in which I go blind, in which denial has it’s way with me, or my mind’s protection against my fear of no control. Humbled beyond words.


We have a choice

A friend was talking to me today about how he is looking for something he can be passionate about at this point in his life, and he was concerned that he wouldn’t find it. I replied that his concern was his passion and that his act of searching was something not to be judged in terms of whether he found or didn’t find, but rather his creative process which he could embrace along with his fear of not finding anything. The two can co-exist. The trick is allowing them to co-exist.

Imagine you are standing on the top of a double black diamond ski run. Are you scared? You bet. Do  you ski down it? When you choose to do so, you are acknowledging your fear and your ability to co-exist with it.  Your mind would have you believe that  you have defeated your fear, over come it. Rather,  your choice to acknowledge it and choose to ski down that slope with that fear, is your integrity; your sense of worth. ‘Who’  you are.

I find fear to be a very allusive thing. Often we don’t want to acknowledge it. We call it anger, or depression, (anger at ourselves for being powerless), or boredom, (a form of depression), or obsession, ( a grasping at control with the subconscious belief that what if we’re in control there will be no fear). Our minds/egos go to great lengths to deny the existence of fear for fear that fear will destroy us. Why? Because there is a real fear: that we have no control over our mortality. We have no power over the fact that we are going to die, (read: change). Actually, this is the only fear and it is an anathema to our mind which believes it should and has to be avoided at all costs.

‘The only thing to fear is fear itself,’ we tell ourselves. There is another reality.

When we can acknowledge this primal fear and the fact that there is nothing we can do to get rid of it, we then are given the opportunity to discover its purpose. Why is it in our lives? What did we do to deserve this? Have we been ‘bad?’ Are we being punished with this hellish feeling? Is there something we can take(food, drugs, alcohol) ? Someone who can make it go away, (Daddy, Mommy, religion, a lot of money, success, fame, power)? Is there a mantra, a prayer that we can say over and over?

If we are able to acknowledge the existence of our fear in all its subtle and not so subtle manifestations, and acknowledge that we are powerless to affect our mortality…if we are able to see that a part of us is scared, but just as with the ski run, that there’s another part of us that can choose to act, not in spite of our fear but in recognition of it,then from that same place of ‘knowing,’ we can honor our struggle as human beings, honor our courage and find compassion for ourselves in this seemingly irreconcilable predicament. We can find compassion for ourselves in our fear and by extension, compassion for others. We can find our hearts. We can find our capacity for love.

The purpose of our fear is to lead us to our hearts. It gives us the power to love. It’s what makes us human. It is not the anathema that our minds/egos and our conditioning would have us believe. It won’t kill us. It makes us stronger in our act of acknowledgment and our ‘knowing’ that we are all afraid, we all have courage, we all want love, we all are love.

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