Category: Spiritual

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Never underestimate the powers of your Buddha shrine. Every time I pass this treasured spot in my house, I let my body and mind absorb its spiritual and healing force. Just a slight glance is sufficient, a moment in time, a sliver of thought.

buddha-shrine.png

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In his book The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, the author Deepak Chopra explains the fourth spiritual law which is called The Law of Least Effort.

In order to put this law into effect, three simple steps are to be completed in a certain order.

First you need to practice acceptance. Then you need to take responsibility for your situation including all of the so-called events you perceive as problems. Finally you need to reach a level of complete defenselessness by relinquishing the need to defend points of view.

So first things first, I will practice Acceptance which is explained as follows:

Today I will accept people, situations, circumstances, and events as the occur. I will know that this moment is as it should be, because the whole universe is as it should be. I will not struggle against the whole universe by struggling against this moment. My acceptance is total and complete, I accept things as they are this moment, not as I wish they were.

Considering the current situation, I do not think it'll be easy, but I'm willing to give it a try.

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We read the world wrong and say that it deceives us.

- Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds
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When I die what happens to all that data I've been collecting and putting everywhere on the Internet? Does my information die with me, does it slowly fade away or does it live on forever?
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Near the end of his life, Thomas Aquinas had a revelation while celebrating mass in Naples.

He decided then and there to stop writing his Summa Theologica and let it be completed by another hand, whoever that might be.

This is what he had to say:

"My writing days are over for such things have been revealed to me that all I have written and taught seems of but small account to me, wherefore I hope in my God that even as the end has come to my teaching, so it may soon come in my life."

He died shortly afterwards at the ripe old age of forty-nine.

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Nothing exists inherently, or is its own cause.

An object can be defined only in terms of other objects. Interdependence is essential to the manifestation of phenomena.

The world would not be able to function without it.

So a given phenomenon can come about only if it is linked to others.

Reality cannot be localized and fragmented, but should be considered as holistic and global.

(Borrowed from the book "The Quantum and the Lotus" by Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Xuan Thuan, which I just finished reading last week)

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In the Sanskrit pratitya samutpada is a direct reference to "dependent origination," or in other words: things do exist in some way but nothing exists on its own, and nothing can be its own cause.

Everything is in some way interdependent with the rest of the world and what the world is trying to achieve with us being around to observe it all in the first place.

The so-called external things can only exist in relation to one another, never in and of themselves.

All visible and invisible characteristics of natural phenomena are defined only through relationships.

One relationship leads to the other giving the appearance of being connected, conditioned and in turn conditioning.

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We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Leaning together
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar

- T. S. Eliot, The Hollow Men (1925)

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I was just wondering when I saw that black tower over there in the distance poking its head above the topmost portions of the forest whether or not it was time to do something else. When I reflected upon this curious alteration of my consciousness and decided it was time to make amends whatever that may mean that was exactly the point in time when the so-called black tower simply disappeared altogether without warning. I had imagined a damsel in distress letting her golden locks fall down from the immense heights but that was not to be. The black tower had disappeared but the outline was still there to be seen by those willing to look beyond the cloak of awareness that the distance had put between us.

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I never would have expected it of myself being the way that I am. But sometimes you just have to accept things as they are and continue as if nothing ever happened in the first place. Take a step sideways that's it no matter how much time has passed since whenever.

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For those of you needing daily inspiration once in awhile, you might want to check out the DailyOM web site.

One of my favorite articles is Needless Fear.

(Thanks alot for the link, Kathleen).

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At first glance, getting smothered to death at the Hajj might not seem a very fulfilling way of ending one's life.

That is exactly what happened today to more than three hundred pilgrims during the so-called symbolic stoning ritual.

There was panic and then a surge of the crowd and then an overpowering stampede of wishful worshippers all wanting to be at the same holy place at the same time.

The final moments in emotional turmoil swiftly going under in a heightened spiritual awareness...

(And then that's it)

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The website is called bmindful and its purpose is to make you more positive about life.

Based on the proven concept of affirmations, the site's purpose is fairly straight-forward. "...you are repeatedly telling yourself that you would like to feel or act a particular way or take on a certain character trait. This repetition subtly reminds you of this and you take steps in that direction. At first these steps are conscious however with time they become unconscious, hence affirmations are a way of reprogramming the unconscious mind."

The creator Lee Nutter has done an amazing job in making this happen. I can recommend this website very highly to just about everyone. Your only prerequisite is that you 'really' want to become a more positive person in life.

This is just what I needed, and I believe it is already working positively on me right this instant.

Alright then, here's my affirmation for the day: "Life is (much) better than it appears at first glance."

Good enough.

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In that case, then the best thing for you to do for now is probably just to think back on some specific moment in the past and experience it all over again. As if it were yesterday or even better yet a minute I mean a split-second ago. That way the feeling will become fresh and clear in your mind so that you can relive that emotion with as much or even more pleasure than the original moment. A second, more powerful passing, that acquaintance over there in the wind. That is what I recommend, and I feel fairly confident that that has a higher chance of working than say what you have attempted up until now. Of course, that moment in the past has to be chosen very carefully. Very very carefully, not just any thing or any time. It should be distant enough from the current situation and yet still form a subtle if not mysterious connection with that current moment that you are trying to re-make, re-enumerate and then finally re-invigorate. Think carefully, be honest with yourself, and in the end things will work out for the better, I am sure.

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At the bottom of the jar the tiny bit that is left has been pulverized into a very fine powder. This slides smoothly into the cup and then the boiling water comes down to dissolve it all into a darkened brownish mix. The fork is dipped into this liquid torrent and rotated round and round. As the cup is carried upstairs to its final destination, the spinning substance continues on its predestined course as if nothing is were or will be happening. A swirling and chaotic mass of planets and solar systems and other objects of infinite sizes, shrunken down to microspecs just dissolving away as if nothing were really happening. Even when the cup is tilted or reoriented in space changing altitude and angle of time, the invisible cyclone remains undisturbed. In the end, the sipping and gulping and taking of deeper breaths is what really matters.

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In one way it may appear to be a dichotomy, but when viewed from a slightly different perspective it really starts making more sense.

At least that is what I hope happens.

On the one hand we are mere droplets in an ocean of infinity while on the other hand reality is exactly as it is because each and every one of us is there to experience and perceive it.

Without us there would be nothing and with us comes everything else.

(I tend to write these things when trying to rationalize the seemingly unfairness of the world around me, in the end hopefully making myself feel a little better.)

The two extremes of very very much and very very little seem entirely different and mutually exclusive, but are they really?

Yes and no.

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To think that there are so many people out there being creative without even realizing it is pretty amazing.

Especially when you compare this hidden wealth we can easily tap into with the tiny tip of the iceberg which is barely even visible.

Just go out and do it (even if it is barely visible).

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Mevlana Mosque Rotterdam where I was that day...The old guy in front of the mosque could not speak English very well, but he was doing his best nonetheless. He had something very important to tell me and wasn't about to let a trivial language barrier stand in the way.

"Allah is everywhere..." he was telling me. He motioned with his hands scanning the sky and the ground and everything else inbetween.

"...and we are nothing, nothing at all" he continued.

I guess that my surprised look of slight confusion (or that hint of hesitation) triggered him to start in the first place. He began pointing at his forehead.

"This is who we truly are, just this you know. The spirit inside of us, right here, and nothing else..."

Jabbing at his skin, as if in disgust, pinching and pulling at it like it was a piece of plastic or a blob of the most worthless substance imaginable, he continued, "...and this is nothing, nothing! When we die this nothingness disappears and then we continue, that is our spirit joins Allah again."

Nothing out of the ordinary, the soul joining the source all over again, not what you could call a revolutionary idea. But this person, this old guy scratching his grey beard, he thought it was the most important thing there ever was that would ever be. He was not going to let this bare-footed ignorant Westerner leave the mosque before converting him.

I just kept nodding my head agreeing totally with him. But there must have been this subtle look or something that gave him the idea that I was a non-believer. He had to convert me. I felt uncomfortable and impatient, what with all his enthusiasm, and I did not feel like being converted that day. Time to go, get out of there.

You see, I had already been converted ages ago. Maybe I was a Christian, maybe I was a Muslim, and maybe I would follow the footsteps of good old Buddha himself. I used to think I was Siddhartha reincarnated. I and my soul and my spirit and my body and all else was converted. Converted way back before I could even remember, the day I was born, or even before that. That was why I chose my parents in the first place.

When I put my shoes back on, I had to stop looking at him in order to look downward. That was good. That was when he stopped speaking. He scratched his beard and reminded me a little of that famous cleric person who had just been assassinated in Iraq. What was his name? Blown to bits along with a hundred other so-called believers. Is that a suspicious looking truck I see over there slowly approaching the front entrance?

Just thinking about that this and the other things made me feel pretty uncomfortable. I knew for sure it was time to go. See you later. Allah is great.

I was already a believer, and there was no reason to become converted again. Not again, not now.

Maybe another day, just for fun. Just for the heck of it.

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(Thanks alot to Kathleen for the following excerpt. I think it makes alot of sense)

"If you are spending your life struggling at work that has no meaning to you, and justifying it by saying that you must do it because it gives you the money you need to pay bills, then you are opting for some personal dishonesty with yourself. You have made money more important than your sense of purpose, and as long as you keep the priority in that order, you will always be lacking in purpose and total self-honesty!" -- DR. WAYNE DYER

DHARMA IS YOUR UNIQUE SPIRITUAL PURPOSE FOR LIVING
There are no accidents in a perfectly evolving Universe.
Everyone has a purpose in life, a unique talent, skill, or ability. Deepak Chopra states the following about dharma, "When you blend your unique talent with service to others, you experience the ecstasy and exultation of your own spirit, which is the ultimate goal of all goals!"

It's a real challenge to find your unique purpose for living. Unfortunately, most people spend over seventy percent of their life "making a living" doing work that they dislike. This can make life seem more like a "prison sentence" than an "adventure in living."

Factoring in the Law of Karma to this metaphysical scenario, many people are sowing and reaping what they don't want because "what you resist persists!" The key to living a happy life is to find what you love and do it!

As Buddha said, "When you do the work you love, you'll never have to work another day in your life!"

John Caple shares with us in his book, Finding The Hat That Fits, that there are three reasons why finding the work that fulfills your purpose for living is so important.

They are: (1) To live on purpose is to discover your power, your capacity to add value to your every experience and to the lives of those around you. (2) Finding and living your life's mission adds meaning and dignity to your life, because living on purpose is a noble adventure. (3) When you have a sense of purpose, you stop worrying about life and you find joy in each moment. You laugh more and lighten up because you love what you are doing.

FINDING YOUR DHARMIC PURPOSE FOR LIVING
What would you do for a living if you had one billion dollars? What would you do for a living after you have bought everything that you always wanted and traveled to every place you ever wanted to see? Take a moment and contemplate what fascinates you. What are your hobbies interests, and talents? Allow yourself to imagine what it would be like to have the freedom to do anything that you wanted to do, absolutely anything!

A HU NOTE
One way that you can tell when you are working at your dharmic purpose for living is that time flies! When I am writing, five hours feels like five minutes! Another sign that you're working on purpose is that you feel that what you are doing is servicing mankind. Pay attention to any persistent impulse to do or try something new. Pay attention to new people who come into your life who seem to call you into a new direction. There are no accidents in a perfectly evolving Universe. Therefore, any person that comes into your life you have attracted there for a reason!

(This has been quoted from some book by a well-known spiritual teacher called HU something or other)

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You know I have come to the very same conclusion that a thousand men before me and a thousand men still to come have made and will make until kingdom come thy will be done until and then all over again. For you see if there were ever to be the right time then that time would be now and or never or something like that. Much to be had don't you think so why ignore this fantastic possibility, does not make sense does it? The very same conclusion and yet it all sounds so new, never here before nor so bizarre in its purest form of uniqueness never to be had again in some future time or place. Done again and again and again until.

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The peace and quiet of the sauna is an ideal place to just sit and meditate, think about nothing and become one with the surrounding energy which is warming your body and mind. Enclosed and dark, sweating away the poisons, not a sound any where, just you and no one else. In the end it becomes too much more to take, and like a deep sea diver I must clear to the surface to gasp that cool fresh draft of air. Oxygen to keep on going, coolness to return to the planet Earth, and the tiled surface beneath bare feet to show the way down the hall.

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Often enough it is the case that at the moment when you are feeling less inspired and question fundamentally what you are doing, you come upon a jewel of wisdom that makes you feel alot better. That is exactly what happened to me this weekend while reading "The Essential Jung" by Anthony Storr. Here follows an excerpt from the chapter in which I came upon this hidden truth:

"This seems to me to indicate that regression is not necessarily a retrograde step in the sense of a backwards development or degeneration, but rather represents a necessary phase of development. The individual is, however, not consciously aware that he is developing; he feels himself to be in a compulsive situation that resembles an early infantile state or even an embryonic condition within the womb. It is only if he remains stuck in this condition that we speak of involution or degeneration."
- Carl Jung, On Psychic Energy (CW 8, pars. 60-9)

In other words, in order to take a step forward you often first need to take a step backwards. Don't get stuck and whatever you do be sure to use the wisdom acquired during setbacks as impetus to rebound and progress.

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I have in my hands two boxes
Which God gave me to hold.
He said, "Put all your sorrows in the black box,
And all your joys in the gold."

I heeded His words, and in the two boxes
Both my joys and sorrows I stored.
But though the gold became heavier each day
The black was as light as before.

With curiosity, I opened the black,
I wanted to find out why,
And I saw, in the base of the box, a hole
Which my sorrows had fallen out by.

I showed the hole to God, and mused,
"I wonder where my sorrows could be."

He smiled a gentle smile and said,
"My child, they're all here with me."

-- Author unknown.

I asked God, why He gave me the boxes,
Why the gold, and the black with the hole?

"My child, the gold is for you to count your
blessings, The black is for you to let go."

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The process of individuation is a never-ending struggle which can be compared to a religious quest. Whether you realize it or not, each and every one of us has embarked on this journey from the moment of birth. Perhaps even initiated before birth and perhaps even continued after death. What's the difference? The trick is to pay careful attention to the subconscious right now in order to figure this out. There is a thin line which at the lowest level of detail looks like a churning sea of micro-waves and micro-bubbles bursting all over the place. Wholeness and integration are necessary conditions, made clearer through fantasies or dreams or slightly different ways of thinking about the this and the that. At times this slightly different way of thinking can verge on the insane, putting you in an unusual and uncomfortable situation that has to be dealt with through your own honesty and perseverance. Strange how such a necessary quest can in the end lead to your complete destruction, your ultimate demise. So please be alert out there, walk carefully. Belief in your own talents and strengths is a good way of avoiding such an unwanted premature end. But it is not a guarantee.

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"A monk set off on a long pilgrimage to find the Buddha. He devoted many years to his search until he finally reached the land where the Buddha was said to live. While crossing the river to this country, the monk looked around as the boatman rowed. He noticed something floating towards them. As it got closer, he realized that it was the corpse of a person. When it drifted so close that he could almost touch it, he suddenly recognized the dead body - it was his own! He lost all control and wailed at the sight of himself, still and lifeless, drifting along the river's currents. That moment was the beginning of his liberation."

Taken from Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbors.

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"Peace of mind and soul is never without its common sacrifices, for we are the ones who have been chosen to carry on as if nothing happened." - Sunday's late evening meditation.

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This is how I spend my time sometimes trying to be creative during my prolonged periods of idleness. Check out my positive thinking page for your late night entertainment. Hope you like it.

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At first I could not believe my own eyes. Right there in front of me just above the horizon I could see it forming slowly. What was first a solid blue backdrop began to crack as a thin and jagged line of clouds condensed and then formed a vertical line. Starting from the bottom it rose to the top of the sky. One long thin razor-sharp line extending at a forty-five degree arc along my line of sight. A moment's pause and then from left to right in the very same way, the line half as long and half as high above the center mark of the vertical arc. To my amazement it formed a cross, the two lines intersecting at a perfect ninety degree angle. Top to bottom and left to right, or was it the other way around? Actually it really didn't matter. Then just as quickly as the cross had appeared, it began to dissolve as the wind high up scattered the condensed white to one side, smearing the perfect cross downwards and to the right as if someone had smeared it across a blue canvas. With one careless movement of his hand. Who was doing that? It was not a vision nor was it a dream. It was really happening. It had really happened. And there it was: the proof was right in front of my eyes! At least until it dissolved, blew away and then completely disappeared from my life. Would anyone believe me? Probably not. I would never see such a sight again, at least not for many more years to come.

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Okay so I finally got around to finishing the book called "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. I had really been struggling to get through the last couple of chapters, but I could not muster up enough energy nor inspiration. To think that I had purchased the book with so much enthusiasm more than a year ago. It has taken me that long (and even longer, when you think about it) to make my way through a measely 191 pages. I think I have had a complete overdose of spiritual and other esoteric literature, and it is time to return to planet Earth.

My mind-pendulum swings back and forth between the real and the unreal and now back to the real again.

The very last chapter is called "The Meaning of Surrender." To extract a random quote from this area of the book I come across the following.

"Surrender is the simple but profound wisdom of yielding to rather than opposing the flow of life. The only place where you can experience the flow of life is the Now, so to surrender is to accept the present moment unconditionally and without reservation."

Does this make any sense? I feel that I have heard this so many times over and over again that it no longer makes the slightest sense to me.

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Is it possible as humanoids to be able to make proper judgements in a totally objective non-emotional way? So that truth is attained no matter what? Not that truth over there but the real truth, everywhere and nowhere. The absolutely really real truth, as in the perfect forms of Plato. I think not.

You will always bring yourself along. The words emitted from your mouth will always carry the tones of your thoughts and other subtleness. The gestures are results of musculature and the electrical impulses sent to induce their movements. Thoughts guiding objectivity in a forced and restrained manner. Feelings are hurt in the long run because we are doing as if. As if it is so objective when it is not.

And do not forget the reactions, if there are any. Hurting the feelings of others will hurt the feelings of even more others and the circle will come around. And slam down hard as it turns the corner at the same time you turn the same corner. Being objective is not possible. Being honest is. It is judgment day for all of us humanoids. Be on your guard.

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This personal weblog was started way back on July 21, 2001 which means that it is 7-21-2001 old.

So far this blog contains no less than 2279 entries and as many as 1881 comments.

Important events

Graduated from Stanford 6-5-1979 ago.

Kiffin Rockwell was shot down and killed 9-23-1916 ago.

Believe it or not but I am 10-11-1957 young.

Began well-balanced and healthy life style 1-8-2013 ago.

My father passed away 10-20-2000 ago.

First met Thea in Balestrand, Norway 6-14-1980 ago.