Friends and Lovers

Ask almost anyone what the ingredients for a happy enduring relationship are and they will put romantic love at the top of the list.  Along with it will come a laundry list of cultural expectations; constraints that distract from perceiving what love is and how to be it. Continue reading “Friends and Lovers”

Heart Rose Meditation Redux

heart rose

It’s a year since the loss of my brother and my friend. When loving-kindness practice matures compassion deepens. This article contains some inspiring quotations and a very simple and beautiful loving kindness meditation focused on letting go of attachment through opening the heart.

 

Continue reading “Heart Rose Meditation Redux”

Favorite Valentine’s Day Song 2013

love letterMy husband and I are baby boomers who  were young teens when rock and roll was loud and proud. Without doubt we liked rock music but we also liked Bob Dylan and other beat poet types.

When we first heard Leonard Cohen’s Bird on the Wire in 1968 we loved his poetic music and became fans. Most will be acquainted with * Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah and we do love it too but … Continue reading “Favorite Valentine’s Day Song 2013″

15 Minute Forest Meditation

“Fear is just an illusion and if you believe in this illusion, you are creating your reality. What can you believe in that is not fear? Love. Love is your essence. If you move from fear deep into your heart, you will discover that there is a beautiful little light that you have forgotten. The more you look at this light, the more it will expand in you. Then you will not need to look at the fear because you will be too busy looking at the beauty inside of yourself.”  — Tony Samara Continue reading “15 Minute Forest Meditation”

Live in Joy, Peace and Love

compassionate lifeCompassion without attachment is possible. Therefore, we need to clarify the distinctions between compassion and attachment. True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively. Genuine compassion is based not on our own projections and expectations, but rather on the needs of the other. – The Compassionate Life, Ch. 2  How to Develop Compassion p. 21 Continue reading “Live in Joy, Peace and Love”

Friends come and friends go

A friend can be someone with whom you are so close with that you share a bond, a bond you may expect to last lifetime.  Friends can be trusted to speak the truth. With friends you can be your authentic, vulnerable self. But what if that if the bond of intimacy no longer exists? What if you feel yourself drawing apart from friends?
Continue reading “Friends come and friends go”

Animal Companionship and Stress Reduction

tashiThe value of friendship is something that few people take time to really appreciate. When you need a friend, you realize just what kind of value friendship holds. I also value the companionship of my pets and consider them to be my friends too.  I derive so much health and wellness and fun from my relationships with my pets, who are capable of unconditional love and unerring loyalty.

Continue reading “Animal Companionship and Stress Reduction”

Seed Thoughts From the Garden

leaf backgroundGardeners are perennial optimists.  In the cold of winter they  pour over seed catalogs making plans for a new beginning in spring.  Come spring they plant their seeds — seeds that are  symbols of potential,  each one carefully sown by a hopeful gardener who intends to care for them throughout their life cycle. When planted in the correct soil, at the correct depth,  at the correct time,  and watered the seeds become sprouts that break through the sun-warmed earth and reach for the sky. Continue reading “Seed Thoughts From the Garden”

Allow Love

naked in eden bookcoverI have always  loved music and have always loved the sound of wooden flutes.  Once long ago I discovered a recorder in a second hand shop and a little booklet explaining how to use it.  I tooted on that recorder whenever everyone else was out of the house and I day dreamed and  dreamed about becoming a flute player. Continue reading “Allow Love”

Joy, Love and Peace

banner The days of  making homemade Christmas cards and writing Christmas letters on store bought cards to send them off to others by mail are fast disappearing.

Statistics are showing that, even more so than other years, Christmas greetings 2010 are increasingly being sent via ecards due to convenience and the instantaneous communication that internet provides.

I considered sending you all ecards and decided against it.  Instead I opted to post my Christmas wishes here in my blog.

Dear readers — thank you so much for your brilliant writing and thoughtful comments in 2010. May your light continue to shine brightly in 2011.

Let’s celebrate . . .
the tradition of friendship,
the beauty of the Season,
the opportunity of the New Year.

Finding the God of your understanding

My friend Juliana is a remarkable woman in recovery from alcoholism. Juliana has been in recovery for many years and helps other women to get the life they truly deserve because there is only one life, ‘it ain’t no practice run’. In her blog she shares her spiritual journey, and in her most  recent article she describes her construct of the God of her understanding.

I was told that I needed to find a power greater than myself, a God of my own understanding. Oh bother, I was stumbling at the first fence. As a cradle catholic, and years of subjugation and church attendance, I had no more idea of God than the man in the moon. … Nowadays, I choose to call my higher power, God; and I have developed a different understanding, one that works for me. – Finding God

Two of many constructs of God

bible and gavelA masculine construct of God calls one to adhere to God the Father’s laws. It includes the concept that God commands all to obey his laws, and at the end of time will ultimately punish unbelievers sending them to a  living hell, but will forgive and reward believers with eternal life in heaven with him.  This construct is embraced by those who say their understanding of God comes from reading the Bible.

skyA feminine construct of God calls one to be aware that for every thought and action there is a reaction, a consequence, an outcome regardless of the law.  Those who embrace this construct of God say their understanding of God is comes from their experience that the universal laws of nature are impersonal. Reactions are outcomes flowing from natural law (karma) ie. the result of their own past actions and present doings and not punishment or reward from God.

My construct of God

woman in contemplationMy understanding of God does not come from scripture. I don’t think we humans can ever have a true understanding of the nature of God until we recognize we are in charge of our selves and nothing more. When I reached the point in my life where I recognized I had no control over anything or anyone but myself, I came to understand that God was in everyone and everything.

Once I freed my mind from grasping and following every transient thought I experienced in meditation, I  awakened, became conscious and experienced bliss.

I started seeing nature  and the world in the way I had seen  nature as a child, stripped clean of the religious brainwashing I received.  God was in the sunlight, the clouds, rainbows,  the ocean, the forests, the meadows,  flowers and snow topped mountains.

When bliss descends, the insecurity of the heart, the frustration of the mind, the depression of the vital and the limitation of the body disappear. A seeker, an aspiring soul, carries with him two divine weapons: God-love and world-embrace. When we love God from the very depths of our hearts, we feel that our inner existence is inundated with bliss. And when we embrace the world as a divine manifestation of God, again our inner being is inundated with bliss. — Scri Chinmoy

God was within me and the experience of homecoming; the experience of  bliss that moved me beyond words. The God of my understanding is pure consciousness and my purpose in life was revealed to me.

To live consciously and courageously in the now moment, to resonate with love and compassion, and to leave this world in peace.

Below is my comment on Juliana’s  article which contains a description of my seeking and finding the God of my own understanding.

I too love the ocean in all weather and in all seasons. I also love the forest just as much. I live on a small forested island so I’m continually witnessing and influenced by the ever-changing face of the ocean and the tides, and the changes within the forest too.

I think the construct of God refers to a person’s cognitive or theological understanding of God and that the God construct develops is two ways. The first way is through what an individual has been taught and told to believe about God. The second is by what the individual experiences and attributes to the God of their own understanding.

When what an individual is taught and told to believe about God and what they experience are not internally consistent they may become spiritual seekers. I became a spiritual seeker and I too found the God of my own understanding.

As I sought I began to draw even more distinctions based on what I was taught and told to believe about God, and what I learned about God through my own experiences. As a trod the spiritual path I came to realize that my mind was not the tool to analyze God. I came to believe more and more deeply with even greater conviction that I need to let go of constructs of God and simply experience all there was just as it was. So I did that. I learned how to just be and how to be okay with just being.

Over time I developed my own construct of God which is quite different from the God I was taught about and told to believe in as a child. Based on my own experience through meditation I found the God of my understanding deep within me. succinctly stated I believe God is LOVE and when I meditate I feel like I am coming home to God.

My construct of God is neither male nor female, neither good nor bad, neither light nor darkness but containing all there is and situate everywhere: the universal stream of consciousness flowing through all is God – LOVE. Hence, God is found in everyone and in everything; God just keeps on being LOVE.

I believe I have only one life in this body at this point in time, but it’s possible that the essence of me may be returned to live in a new body without a recollection of previous lives, until I stop clanging like a cymbal, and actually become one with God – one with the universal stream of consciousness flowing through all – one with LOVE.

That being said I find the most difficult part of my life is to be still within, at peace and one with God when I am in the company of others. However, when I am in nature and sitting on the beach watching the waves roll in, or when I am in the forest seated on a mossy stump I am still within, at peace, and one with my construct of God. In other words, what I struggle with is remaining in that loving and peaceful state once I leave meditation.

Have you found the God of your understanding?

Childlike wonder and wisdom

wee 3Some artists spend their careers trying to recapture the sense of wonder and imagination they had as children.  I was reminded of that this summer while I sketched and watched my friends kids create artwork from flotsam and jetsam on the beach.  Their sand drawings,  sand castles,  driftwood forts, glass and shell and mobiles, and improvised instruments fascinated me. Their sense of awe with every new marine discovery and spontaneous exploration of  its creative possibilities was a wonder to behold. Continue reading “Childlike wonder and wisdom”

Yoga, Aging, Intimacy & Sexuality

thekissTouching is a vital human need and an essential ingredient for healthy relationships. Studies have shown that without touching, many animals – including humans – will die in childhood. Being caressed also lowers blood pressure and releases natural opiates in the brain, as well as the chemical oxytocin, which is essential for human pair-bonding. Continue reading “Yoga, Aging, Intimacy & Sexuality”

Love is a Rose

woodviolets It was an overcast, cool and breezy morning when Mr T took me out walking today. I have been trying to further the time and distance I established in my spring conditioning program but I’m not making much progress.  I haven’t been sleeping well.  I’m experiencing severe joint pain, and spasms in my legs that ZING! me wide awake every couple of hours. Walking seems to help a little but not as much as I had hoped for, and I found myself sitting in the ditch and resting while the spasms passed. Continue reading “Love is a Rose”

Paternalism, marriage, monogamy aren’t natural

polyamoryMarriages based on couples falling in love and voluntarily choosing to be bound to one another is not an ancient tradition.  In fact, it’s relatively new  and  lifetime marriage is quickly going the way of the dodo. Yet, religious radicals proclaim that paternalism, monogamy and marriage are species norms and part of a noble tradition. No so. Continue reading “Paternalism, marriage, monogamy aren’t natural”

Earthlings seek loving compatible partners

According to an Oxford economist, marriage and cohabiting rates in developed countries can be linked to attitudes towards the roles of men and women, and views on who is responsible for doing the housework and looking after the children. Both men and women have shown they are more likely to want a live-in relationship with the opposite sex if they think their partner will do a share of the housework and childcare duties. —  Men Who Do The Housework Are More Likely To Get The Girl Continue reading “Earthlings seek loving compatible partners”

Life Eternal: The Great Cosmic Joke

This post was inspired by and includes the words of my friend

Tony Hogan, The Acoustic Guitarist

Men have argued about the nature of God and life after death since the beginning of time. The next time someone asks you if you believe in life after death please consider this:

Perhaps we all have eternal life and most have no recollection of past lives and that’s the great cosmic joke.

The Dream, is the underlying element in Jnana Yoga or Advaitism. The Universe is a dream in the mind of God and, God plays all parts and pretends that God is not God.

The One becomes many to experience LOVE. It is nothing but a quest for LOVE, and throughout out time ( I use that term loosely) puts on the garb of billions of beings to experience this.

The journey from self to SELF, is the journey, where God gradually shakes off the ignorance and reclaims the Divinity, or basically is conscious of his/her/its Divine Reality – LOVE.

Thus, the smile on the Buddha’s face.

God is also a process. The mind is not the tool to analyze God, never was, never will be, it has limitations. God has to be experienced, not dissected by the limited human mind. So really, God hasn’t gone anywhere, done anything, but is still seated in the same spot and has dreamed him/her/itself as ignorance.

Why?

The ONE becomes many to experience LOVE. It is nothing but a quest for LOVE, throughout out time (I use that term loosely), the ONE puts on the garb of billions of beings to experience this.

I don’t cogitate,  I meditate and when all the things associated with my “self” like greed, anger, hate, etc. dissolve there is no self; there is no distinct being that is separate from God – LOVE.

Neither male nor female, neither good nor bad, neither light nor darkness but containing all there is and situate everywhere: the universal stream of consciousness flowing through all is  God – LOVE.  Hence, God is found in everyone and in everything; God just keeps on experiencing LOVE.

We have only one life in this body at this point in time, but again and again, we return to live in a new body with no recollection of previous lives, until we stop clanging like cymbals, and actually become  ONE – LOVE.

I have twice been declared dead but have come back to life. I no longer fear death and no longer question what my life purpose is. I know that I am meant to LIVE,  LOVE  and LEARN and that’s why I’m here.

I know the lesson before me is to conquer  egocentricity and  experience freedom from attachments and aversions in meditation.

I know in my heart of hearts — I am meant to teach as well as to learn.

Death is a transition; it’s a new beginning. After my life in this body is over, I will return again to this earthly plane, with no knowledge of any past lives, and I will be faced with more lessons to learn and more to teach. Until I have learned all my lessons perfectly and taught them all perfectly, and I have become ONE – LOVE, I will return again and again.

Perhaps we all have eternal life and most have no recollection of past lives and that’s the great cosmic joke.

Not everyone has loved me in my past lives. Not everyone will love me in this life or in my future lives either. I have I not loved nor will I love everyone either but that’s okay, because at our core we are all much more the same than we are different.

Healing your broken heart

Everyone who has been through a relationship breakup thinks it was the worst one in history. The truth is that life goes on and if you focus on how badly you’ve been hurt, you will continue to hurt. To recover from a breakup must grieve your loss and learn from it;  stop feeling sorry for yourself and be determined and proactive in helping yourself get over it.  Continue reading “Healing your broken heart”

A Week of Love

It is so easy for couples that have been together for some time to get to a point where they begin to take one another for granted. It doesn’t take much to find yourself in a routine where your needs are put first without considering the other’s. It almost becomes a habit to just live together instead of interacting like we did in the beginning of the relationship. Continue reading “A Week of Love”

Love the one you're with

shiva shakti imageMy husband and I were best friends for a very long time before we became intimate.  Ours was not a relationship based on being swept off our feet and becoming deeply entangled in romantic love. And, when we decided to become intimate, we lived together for a year and a half before we  committed to marriage. Continue reading “Love the one you're with”

Do you love yourself?

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are … and that’s alright. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) You learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process, a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval. Continue reading “Do you love yourself?”

Lifelong Commitment Contracts

In the bad old days of the divine right of kings, citizens were compelled to become the willing slaves to the idiotic dogma and doctrine promulgated by religious organizations and their questionable “leaders”. Free will did not exist because they had no choice in the matter – the king made the decision for all, and lopped off heads, and even created new religions manned with sycophantic parasites to suit his own sexual appetites and convenience. Continue reading “Lifelong Commitment Contracts”

Credo for relationships

by Dr. Thomas Gordon (* 1918, † 2002)

You and I are in a relationship, which I value and want to keep. Yet each of us is a separate person with unique needs and the right to meet those needs. When you are having problems meeting your needs I will listen with genuine acceptance so as to facilitate your finding your own solutions instead of depending on mine. I also will respect your right to choose your own beliefs and develop your own values, different though they may be from mine.

However, when your behavior interferes with what I must do to get my own needs met, I will tell you openly and honestly how your behavior affects me, trusting that you respect my needs and feelings enough to try to change the behavior that is unacceptable to me. Also, whenever some behavior of mine is unacceptable to you, I hope you will tell me openly and honestly so I can change my behavior.

 

At those times when one of us cannot change to meet the other’s needs, let us acknowledge that we have a conflict and commit ourselves to resolve each such conflict without either of us resorting to the use of power to win at the expense of the other’s losing.

I respect your needs, but I also must respect my own. So let us always strive to search for a solution that will be acceptable to both of us. Your needs will be met, and so will mine – neither will lose, both will win.

In this way, you can continue to develop as a person through satisfying your needs, and so can I. Thus, ours can be a healthy relationship in which both of us can strive to become what we are capable of being. And we can continue to relate to each other with mutual respect, love and peace.

This post was taken from veryheaven with permission: I hope you can share it with people you care about whether it be in a casual email, a card or a gift. Feel free to copy this piece an forward it to anybody in need.

Courtship in cyberspace

fig_-_power_of_communication.jpgMost folks tend to socialize with people of the same age and with similar interests. Most couples hang out with other couples. This isn’t the case with me. I live in a very small place with a low population so that may be a factor. I was raised in an extended family and friends lifestyle, wherein we were not ghettoized by age – we gravitated towards each other based on common interests. I have many interests so my friends range from teens to octogenarians.

One of my friends, who is and honor student in her mid-twenties, told me she would toss completing her college education right out the window if “Mr. Right” waved a diamond under her nose because she wants to have a family.

I gently reminded her that she’s the youngest of 2 children and that her parents will continue to pay for her education only while she lives at home. I also observed that she has no experience raising children, aside from what can be gained through occasional babysitting. Then she dropped her bomb.

She already has an internet crush on a man she has never met. Well, it seems they skipped some important steps in the development of their relationship.

We spoke at great length on several occasions and she finally agreed that they had skipped important steps and most of all and that she ought to meet him face to face before she became more emotionally committed.

I sent her the link to the Jung Marriage Test test which is based on Carl Jung and Isabel Myers-Briggs typological approach to personality. She passed it on to her crush and I have yet to hear back from her.

If you are interested in how the test is conducted, when answering questions, you choose one of two possible answers that you agree the most with. If you are not sure how to answer then the decision should be based on your most typical reaction or feeling in the given situation. You must respond to all the questions to get a reliable result. You press the “Score It” button after you are done answering the questions. Upon completion, you obtain online:

  • Your type formula according to Carl Jung and Isabel Myers-Briggs typology along with the strengths of the preferences
  • The description of your personality type
  • The list of occupations and educational institutions where you can get relevant degree or training, most suitable for your personality type – Jung Career Indicator™
  • You can also use the type formula and strength of the preferences to assess online compatibility with your mate in the Jung Marriage Test and Demo of the Marriage Test

Have you ever had a friend in a similar situation?

Ingredients for Enduring Long Term Relationships

Becoming legally married is not a requirement for a happy, healthy and enduring relationship. Those who believe they are incomplete and must marry legally or have a religious service to be happy are misguided. Those couples who insist they are incomplete without children and insist that they must have them to be happy are likewise misguided. Happiness comes from within. Continue reading “Ingredients for Enduring Long Term Relationships”

Relationships: Fill yourself up first

I have a patterned behaviour that I need to break called running on empty. I just came through a period where I gave of myself until I was empty but, I still got up and then ran an extra mile trying to please. The resulting exhaustion triggered a fibromyalgia flare up and I suffered the consequences. Continue reading “Relationships: Fill yourself up first”

Simplifying Life and Love: From a man's heart

I’ve made the acquaintance of blogger whose blog I really admire. The blog is called Pentad: Simplifying Life and Love and today the blogger, Tamera introduced a guest author:

“I asked a fellow writer to guest at Pentad, and I asked him to give us a glimpse inside the heart of a man. A glimpse of love, acceptance, and even non-acceptance. Welcome to a well-written piece by, Floog from Floog’s Ramblings. And, Ladies. Champagne and kleenex boxes are at the front door! Read the full article.

I found the article to be special because so few men will share on topics like acceptance, love and the experience of rejection and relationship dissolution. I appreciated how he explored all aspects of his former relationship in depth and with honesty, compassion and a sense of humor. I came away with the conclusion that the differences between men and women are exaggerated. Floog’s writing convinced me that our core there are more similarities than we care to acknowledge.

Links to related posts are found on this page.
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Mothers’ Day – The Heart-Rose Meditation

yellow roseOn this our fourth day of sunshine in a row this was my meditation. To my mother I sent a sunshine yellow rose of love from my heart center.

“Kindly imagine a flower inside your heart. Suppose you prefer a rose. Imagine that the rose is not fully blossomed; it is still a bud. After you have meditated for two or three minutes, please try to imagine that petal by petal the flower is blossoming. See and feel the flower blossoming petal by petal inside your heart. Then, after five minutes, try to feel that there is no heart at all; there is only a flower inside you called ‘heart’. You do not have a heart, but only a flower. The flower has become your heart or your heart has become a flower.”