​ It is an Ongoing Adventure.

 

There have been moments in my life when I wish I could wake up and be completely free from the Dream of the Planet. Moments when I did not have to work at being aware of what I was thinking and why and what I was working on hooking myself from in my life. The reality is that "The practice of awareness is a lifelong adventure.” [1]

Everywhere I go in my life, I encounter the Dream of the Planet, and it challenges me to maintain my awareness. Maybe that is one of the reasons I enjoy working at home, it limits the challenges I have to face being out in the world each day. I do not have to work as hard to navigate all the illusions that I encounter in life or the conditions placed on me by others.

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It’s naptime!

This week has been filled to the brim with things to do. Zoe’s high school friend Barb came to visit for a few days and I was busy grading final papers and ensuring that once again I was able to get my final grades submitted on time. While I knew there were other projects waiting to be worked on, the time demands on them were not as pressing as getting my grading done. However, now that I am done with my grading, I feel the need to just crawl into bed and take a nap. There is a part of me, which feels as if now I should begin working on my next project. At the same time, there has been a part of me, which has been feeling as if it is time to lie down and take a nap. As I sat here and argued with myself, I received this message from God, an application on Facebook, that said “To make a big decision, give yourself time and space away from the mundane so that the sacred can emerge.”
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Slow down, I move too fast

If I had to give myself a song for this week, it would be slow down you move too fast by Simon and Garfunkel. Seriously, this is the lesson I needed to learn this week. Last Saturday, I was trying to do too much. I was breaking all my own rules and as a result did not pay attention to how I was putting the top on my new teapot. As a result, after putting the tea blend in the infuser basket and filling it with boiling water, my left hand plunged in because I had not put the top on properly. At the same time, our home was rapidly filling up with guests. So with a hand which was red, swollen and puffy, I graciously retreated to my office to keep ice on it, let the waves of pain move through my hand, the tears roll down my face, and work on meditating my way back to a place where I was controlling my pain and not vice versa. The process I was assisted by loving friends, of which one is an LPN, and my wife who kept people away from me while I calmed down and suggested I take a pain killer. Of course, I also did what I always do when I am in need of prayer; I posted on Facebook about how I had just burned the crap out of my hand and asked for prayer. LOL isn’t that what everyone does when they are in my situation.
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When does relationship occur?

When does relationship occur? How would you describe your dance with the dream of the planet? Don Miguel Ruiz asked viewers to think about these questions. At one point in my life, I would have said it was when I began speaking to someone. However, over the course of my life I have come to realize I am in relationship with people with whom I have never spoken. Every time I post something I have written, whether it is from my personal journal, something I am working on for my book, or something I have written to assist others, I am creating the possibility for me to interact with someone and for someone to interact with me. Sometimes I can be in a physical space and be developing a relationship with them without even saying a word.
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To all my spiritual teachers

To all my spiritual teachers, Most of you are no longer living in this realm, however, some of you are. Some of you I have never met, others of you I have. Some of you have taught me through your writings, your lectures, and other things you have done to assist others and me in our journeys. You were walking in your calling as a teacher and sharing the wisdom of your life with people like me and for that I am grateful. A while back, in one of my earlier blogs, I made a list of 10 spiritual teachers in my life. They were:
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Is this my Prison or Ashram?

Have you ever thought about what the single worst thing which could happen in your life could be? if you had asked me a year ago, I would have told you I was fighting for my independence. It was a year ago this month that RGRTA moved from regular service to supplemental service, which means you virtually have no service. in real terms, it meant I could no longer leave my house by myself to go anywhere other then for a roll around the block. Every once in a while I have been fortunate enough to get a ride, but those are more of a rarity and not something I can ever count on.
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“I am here to enjoy life to its fullest!”

I have been thinking about my relationship with my body for a while now, as it has not always been the healthiest of relationships. Some teachers in my life have tried to tell me my body is a prison which limits my spirit. Others have taught me my body is the love of my life. What I know is that my body is what it is at any moment of my existence and it is what houses my spirit which lives within it. Whether it is a panacea or a prison, I have come to this place where I must appreciate and enjoy it for what it is while my spirit is in it.
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How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

I remember hearing this joke once on a Meg Christian and Chris Williamson CD. They said, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Practice. Practice. It seems like a good part of my life I have practiced some very negative feelings and behaviors to the place I have mastered them. I had reached a place where I did not need to practice feeling lack, or doubt, or worry, or having a low self-esteem, or thinking I was stupid or unattractive. I had practiced them so long that I had mastered them.
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To the love of my life,

Dear Body, I have been encouraging everyone to write love letters to themselves. However, it has been a while; if I ever have, that I have taken the time to let you know how much I love you. You have been with me from the moment I was born and will be with me to the moment I move to the next phase of my spiritual journey. No matter where I have lived, who I have loved, what I have been doing, you have been with me and loved me unconditionally.
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The Power of Respect

I have been thinking a lot about respecting myself. One of the most powerful things I ever read in one of Don Miguel Ruiz’s books was that others can only abuse you to the level you are willing to abuse yourself. Abuse is a form of disrespect. I can take that term, substitute it into Don Miguel’s writing, and say others can only disrespect me to the level I am willing to disrespect myself. If I allow others to treat me in a way that violates my agreements, then I disrespect myself.
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It is only a door.

This morning I was watching a video at the Academy of Awareness called “The Patch.” In the video, Don Miguel Ruiz Jr told this story about his grandmother saying that her husband was like a patch. She could sew him on or cut him off. He was nothing more then a path. As he talked about it, I found myself thinking about how for some people I am nothing more then a patch. For me, those in my life are nothing but a patch. A patch is just that. It is an object. Whether I attach meaning to it or not, is about me. How I react to it or feel about it is about me. His story about the patch reminded me of a poem by Adrienne Rich called “prospective immigrants, please note.”
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Starting with Maybe

One of the things I love about teaching is providing my students with the skills to start with maybe. It is a gift I have had to work on and am still working on in my own life. I have found there are some people in my life who because I have agreed with what they said most of the time, I tend to start by believing what they say all the time. Conversely, there have been those in my life with whom I have disagreed the majority of the time, so with them I found it easy to disagree with whatever they have to say before they say it. All this changed for me when I started teaching critical thinking skills to my students.
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The truth will set you free!

This is one of those phrases most people have heard and may not know where it came from. When I went to seek out the source myself, I was reminded that it came from the New Testament and was a part of a scripture. Here the writer was saying that knowing Jesus would set you free. However, that is not how most people use it today. For example, in one of Oprah Winfrey’s life classes she used this to assist people in talking about how keeping secrets deeply hidden have impacted their life. Don Miguel Ruiz talks about the truth setting you free as the need to stop lying to one’s self and thus ending the suffering we create for ourselves.
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Love, Earth, and Me.

I recently began taking classes through the Academy of Awareness offered through miguelruiz.com. One of the homework assignments asked us to reflect on our connection with the earth, what it gives to us, the beauty and wonder of it, and what we can do in our daily lives to give back to the earth. As I was reflecting on what they had written about “mother earth,” I found myself remembering a children’s book I still read to my son, who is now 30, and have read to several of my adult friends. The name of the book is On the Day You Were Born.
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I am who I am

I have been thinking about this art interpretation thing since our love and inspiration gathering last Sunday when I shared my copy of La Confidance with the group. At some level, I think I wanted them to be as taken away and moved by this painting as I was. Their not being moved did not affect my experience of this painting or the memory of the first time I saw it. Rather, it reminded me of a chapter in don Miguel Ruiz’s book The Mastery of Love where he talks about this man who did not believe in love, who then thought he found it, and then became disillusioned when the woman of his dreams did not share the same exuberance about something he did.
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Lies, lies go away and let the love come out and play.

Perhaps it is that we are in this spiritual season in a number of faith traditions, which has led me to this space of cleansing and decluttering in my life. Perhaps it was a conversation with a friend this afternoon, which helped me tap into a lie still floating around in my heart. I guess it had been there for so long that I did not even realize it was still there. It was then I remembered that the lies could only survive if I believe them to be. The minute I stop believing them, the minute I stop acknowledging their existence, is the minute they cease to exist.
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