gurustu's muse the daily thoughts of an every day guru
Daily Guru Thoughts
Saturday, December 31, 2005 Reflections Life is like a pond... look around and see the reflections.
When we think about over portions of our lives, it's like a stone skipping along the surface; each bounce being a moment that we remember. There's something about that moment that makes it stand out... the person we were with, the milestone we reached, that hurtful thing that was said, or that smile that didn't need anything else to be spoken.
Those are the moments that will shape our lives. They're the ones we'll think about next time we make a decision; a conscious decision anyway.
There's a lot of moments that we DON'T remember... the space between the skips... but those play a very important role too.
You see, we don't necessarily forget them; we just stick them somewhere out of the way. But they're down there, in our subconscious... and they're closer to the choices we make under our awareness.
They form habits.
Whereas our conscious decisions are like cutting a stone in half, our subconscious decisions slowly wears down and shapes the edges.
One way to find those "shapers" is to think back over the past year, and look at two moments in time... then meditate on the moments in between. What got us from Point A to Point B?
Remember, we can only see the ripples where the stone meets the water. To see the true reflections, we have to look at the stillness that lies between.
Friday, December 30, 2005 What a rush... Accomplishments at the last minute are still accomplishments.
With the year ending at work, it's been a mad rush to get everything done that could get done.
I had to abandon my hopes that a very big, way-overdue project would once again be pushed out; not making my goal of getting done in '05. It will immediately surface next week as a mad rush and a long-standing tease, but for now, it's time to give it a rest.
In lieu of that I had to put all my energy/time into another rush that HAD to get out by year end. Actually, it just had to get out by today, it just happens to be year end.
With tired, but broad smiles, we reviewed the finished piece just minutes before the day was done.
It was cause to celebrate!
Unfortunately I didn't get the invite.
It was an innocent oversight. Being out of sight in the studio all day... I never got the invitation to a co-workers party. She did apologize a while back and mentioned something about something on some day as she ran off to another meeting. Then she forgot to send me the details... and I forgot to ask... and I forgot there even was a party.
So when people started talking about celebrating tonight, I didn't make the connection. I looked at them funny; they looked at me funny... then realized I didn't know what they were talking about.
Once the light went on, they just assumed that I'd be there. Without giving them a detailed explanation of previous plans; sounding like I'm ditching yet-another-joliday-party... I quietly let them go about their merry way. I'm sure I'll hear all about it next year.
I then rushed off to get a head's start on my three-day weekend... beginning NOW.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005 All Ways... "Love Thy Neighbor" is a two way street.
A reader had quite a series of comments on my last post. I could have commented there, but figured it more a-musing to talk about here.
Whenever you talk about politics, or war, you're bound to get people's flurry up... which is good, since discussion of differing viewpoints helps us to examine our own world. TK makes some interesting points, so take a moment now if you haven't already, and see what he's up to.
Now... my topic last time was about World Peace and how we're not quite living up to that. I mentioned "Love Thy Neighbor" and my dear reader says I've misread that quote, so let me share my details...
"LOVE THY NEIGHBOR" is exactly that. It's not about loving thy enemy, nor turning an ignorant eye to the evils of the world. It is the core ingredient to World Peace.
If every being on this planet loved each other... accepted, no, EMBRACED each other's differences... and had no desire to harm another... there would be World Peace.
That is an oversimplified answer to a complex world, but in its truest form, it is what it is. As long as you (yes, I mean YOU) feel the desire to harm another, you prevent World Peace from being a reality. It's not about THEM causing it, or THEM having to stop it. It starts with YOU.
When you live in peace, you contribute to peace.
Now that's when someone will turn and say "but you let evil do harm!" and "aren't we responsible to stop these people?"
Sure... but is violence the way to stop violence? Must evil acts be met with more evil acts?
If you fortify yourself to where you are impenetrable, then no amount of force against you can do harm. Being stronger than evil is not evil.
What if the hijackers from 9/11 simply couldn't get control of those planes... would the event of that day been the same? It wouldn't have changed their hatred for us, or their desire to do us harm, but harm would not have been done.
Which brings up the question of the comments... "are we fighting evil in Iraq?"
Both armies would say yes. I would say we're using violence as a means to our end... as are they. The acts themselves are "evil" ... and in my opinion all harm should stop (not just the fighting, but cultural and systematic torment that happens outside the war as well).
I am not standing in judgment of these people... on either side. I believe they have all lost themselves to self-righteous hatred. And as such, I hope that all people, including us, find peace... not through violence, nor acts of evil, but true Love-Thy-Neighbor Peace.
Thursday, December 22, 2005 World Peace With Love between you and me, we're one step closer to World Peace.
With the holiday season upon us, people around the world are all wishing the same thing -- Peace on Earth. They send it in cards; they are quoted in articles; it's the one thing they wish someone else would do, because they feel it impossible to create themselves.
Who exactly is responsible for world peace?
Our leaders? The US Leader seems to think that a "get 'em before they get you" approach is the key. Not exactly in line with "love thy neighbor," eh?
People in the Middle East seem to think that "get 'em since they got us last time" is the way to go. Blinded by vengeance, intent on creating more blind by plucking out their eye.
Believe it or not, there are more people at peace than at war. They're busy invading the malls and overtaking a mound of cookies. They're just not newsworthy or full of sound bites.
There isn't world peace, but there is peace.
It's inside of you.
When you're quiet.
When you do good.
When you forgive.
When you love.
It doesn't start with a treaty, or pick up where a blood bath left off.
It starts with you.
Be at peace.
Take a moment, right now, to think about those rare few who are away from home; those not surrounded by loved ones or a silent night. Wish for them a safe return, so that they can know peace again soon.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005 A Blue Tale... (For Varad, who climbs...)
A Student walking along the road meets a Guru. Explaining that he is seeking the Truth, the Guru replies "The Sky is Blue." Looking up he sees that the sky is nothing but gray. "Surely this man is not wise" he thinks to himself. "He is a fool and I will shun him!"
As he continues on his way up the mountain he continues to look at the gray sky, but starts to doubt himself. "Perhaps he is a great guru and I only think I see gray" or "maybe he thinks gray is the new blue?"
"No, I can see with my own eyes that he is wrong!"
Further and further he climbs, until the gray surrounds him. "You see?" he exclaims, "it is even more gray than before!"So sure of himself, he lies down among the gray to revel in his own Truth.
Night falls into an even darker gray.
Soon morning comes. The sky is clear and all above him is blue. His ignorance, like the clouds are now gone.
He goes back down the mountain, a guru.
Now has anything really changed? The sky was blue before he saw it. It was blue after he saw it too. Is he wiser now? Is the sky really blue?
In Truth, not really. The sky just is. Perhaps it would be better to say that "the sky APPEARS blue" because had Student kept going; if he were able to reach up and touch the sky, would it not become darker and darker, until it became black?
Scientists will talk all about light refraction against an atmosphere. Would that explain everything as Truth? Does that change your experience of the sky, be it blue or gray?
All that exists around us has many aspects. APPEARANCE is just one of the aspects. It is one way that we experience something.
First, there is EXISTENCE Then, our EXPERIENCE of that existence. This is filtered through our FAITH in that experience. Whether we believe that our experience is valid or not dictates our EXPERIENCE of our experiences. This then influences our CHOICES and our ACTIONS, which drive us towards the next experience.
None of it, however, changes the EXISTENCE of something. It either exists or it does not, whether we believe it in, or not.
Quantum physics says that everything exists in POSSIBILITY until it is experienced; then it takes on the form of the experience. That's very spiritual too, if you think about it.
If it's true.
Beyond experience, beyond the questioning of experience, beyond the silence beyond the questions, is the Knowing; the BEING that just is.
Can you really KNOW? Can you BE without experiencing what IS? Can WHAT IS be without your experience of it?
And if I give you the answers to these... won't they just be my experience, and not your own?
Sunday, December 18, 2005 Far and Away Sometimes too far away hits too close to home.
Somewhere between venturing out into the world and staying home is the secret to success. There needs to be a certain level of comfort and familiarities, without the limits that often comes from staying in one place.
The farther you get away from your comfort zone, the greater the risk of failure. Sometimes you're willing to take that risk; other times the risk is thrust upon you.
In Brokeback Mountain, we saw how these main characters took the risk but lived so far out of their comfort zones that tragedy struck. They got to a place where they fought their success.
I also saw King Kong this weekend, which had s very similar theme to that of Brokeback Mountain. Being out of place, doing what you want while trying to be something else, a love for someone (or something) that cannot be fulfilled.
King Kong could not have had a happy ending. Ann could not stay in his world, even if she wanted to. She'd either get sick of eating bananas or end up as dinner for a giant bug eventually... and Kong just didn't have the manners, or suit, to fit into New York High Society.
Both movies showed that life doesn't have easy answers or happy endings. Things are what they are. What matters is what we do with them while they're here... and how we cherish them after they're gone.
And in that way, we're all not that far away from each other after all.
Saturday, December 17, 2005 Be true... An untrue life is an unhappy life.
I just got back from watching Brokeback Mountain, a story of two men who struggle against nature, and their own nature to do what they think is right by everyone else. To see it as a "gay cowboy movie" would be like calling Romeo and Juliet a severe case of "puppy love."
Life isn't that easy to sum up.
This time the story is told of two men who fall in love at the wrong time, in the wrong place, but it could just as easily been told about race or religion or political parties, for that matter.
People will read into it what they want, and I'm no exception. I see it as the price we pay for being untrue to ourselves. In an attempt to live a life we think we should, many lives (especially our own) can be torn apart.
For me, this movie's message is simple to ask, but not easy to answer. What is right? Whose life is it anyway?
Even if you don't take the time to see this movie, now is an excellent time for us to look at our own lives and ask ourselves the very same questions. Are we with the person we love? Doing a job that fulfills us? Is our Life's Purpose being expressed through our thoughts, our actions and our deeds? Or are we living a life that someone else deems important?
How can we tell?
Are you happy?
Do you end your day with a feeling of real accomplishment, or--?
Do you keep wondering if there's something more out there?
Something more inside?
Is there something better than this?
Someone else you're supposed to be?
If you're not moving forward while your life is slipping past...
Thursday, December 15, 2005 The Write Path... Walk the path of Life joyously... then write your tale so that others may follow.
The theme of my life lately is all about writing. I'm certainly not complaining or else I wouldn't be WRITING about it. It's actually been a joy to see some progress being made... if only in baby steps.
Yesterday, I shipped off a manuscript of my LifeWatch collection to a publisher. I started adapting some articles for inclusion in a book to be published by SelfGrowth.com (where I'm already a contributing author) and I've set some time aside to be interviewed for another book, recalling my time in the haunted house.
As I've said in a previous post, all this doesn't feel 'natural' quite yet. Feels great, just not a 'daily habit' kinda thing.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005 Time to reflect... A reader asked me to write down some thoughts about the Holidays and what's really important in our lives. Here is what I wrote...
The holidays are a time to gather around with family and friends and reflect back on the good times and the bad. A time overflowing with joy and overwhelming with stress. Did I get enough gifts? Should I invite Uncle Charlie again with this third wife, or was that his fourth? What am I going to do to get rid of the ten pounds when I'm stuffed with stuffing?
This time of year is always a mixed bag of emotions... but it's also an excellent time to reflect upon our lives... and realize what is most important.
When we're young, and have all the time in the world, what do we dream about? That shiny car? That giant house? That dream job? "Stuff" becomes awfully important.
As we grow older, it becomes about family... joining families together... starting our own... buying family stuff.
But what happens when we don't have a lot of time? What would happen if you knew that you only had one year left to live? What would become important then? What would seem less so?
Would you think about what you'd be leaving behind? Would you make sure that the work you began continues on? Would your family's needs be looked after?
Now imagine that you only had today? Would that chocolate chip mint ice cream taste just a little sweeter? Would that sunset ever seem so lush?
And what if you only had this moment? Would any of it really matter? Or would the only thing you wish you had was a chance to say "I love you" just one more time?
Now, what makes you think you have forever? this year? this moment?
Tomorrow is uncertain. There's no guarantee that you'll get another chance to taste the sweetness of Life or give the greatest gift that we possess -- our Love.
So when you loosen your belt, and put aside that bill to pay tomorrow, remember what really matters in this moment... and make it count.
Monday, December 12, 2005 Do it differently If you want it done differently, you have to do it differently.
I've got habits, just like everyone else has habits. A lot of them look really good on the surface, but technically, they're too soft inside. When it comes to holding up my dreams and schemes, they kind of squish a little; and aren't very supportive.
Subtle things these habits... one thought too long... one delayed response... it's like getting to the train station two minutes too late.
So I'm doing things a little differently these days. I'm saying "yes" instead of "no" and "no" instead of "yes." Because it's not like I don't DO things. I'm always doing something... but I think I've just been doing too much of the "other stuff" and not enough of "my stuff."
It feels awkward, like having the shoes on the other foot... but then again, it feels a little bit more comfortable too; as if I've had the wrong shoe on the whole time.
And I've already started to feel the empathetic pains of other people trying to cope with the change... which has been one of the many missteps I've made in the past... but I must keep moving on.
It's not a different path really... it's just setting out on the right foot this time.
Sunday, December 11, 2005 Doing Does It Talk will never do what Doing does.
Events of the last couple of days, though vastly different, are tied together in that they've been more talk than action... and the time to act is now.
Off-and-On Projects that have been mostly Off have reared up and demanded attention... like dirty laundry. I'm really just looking forward to putting them behind; y'know?
Then there's the dirty laundry that comes with family; not my family per se, but close enough for me to be called "Uncle." Pain-behind-shut-doors, shadowy tales, Child Protection Services and so much sadness... still waiting to be played out in public. All I can do now is be as close by as possible and try not to dwell on 'what ifs' and 'what shoulda beens.'
And finally, on a lighter note, I found an open door for my LifeWatches... so I've bundled them up for a journey of consideration. Who knows where it will lead, but it's time to do something with them.
I don't know how much more of this I can talk about, but then again, it's past the time to talk... so I'll go about doing, and will talk about it later.
More damage has been done in the name of God (Allah/Higher-Power) than without. We put ourselves on the Righteous side then ride off into the sunset to hurt Others. We get angry because they say that they're the ones who are doing it for Right... and obviously they can't be because WE are. And so it goes on.
We imagine there's only one country - ours - we imagine there's only one religion - ours - we imagine there's only one peace to try - ours.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005 Enough... Sometimes there just isn't enough words... so just say enough to say enough.
A friend referred to this story in her email. I decided to post the original in its entirety...
I Wish You Enough
I never really thought that I'd spend as much time in airports as I do. I don't know why. I always wanted to be famous and that would mean lots of travel. But I'm not famous, yet I do see more than my share of airports. I love them and I hate them. I love them because of the people I get to watch. But they are also the same reason why I hate airports. It all comes down to "hello" and "goodbye."I must have mentioned this a few times while writing my stories for you.
I have great difficulties with saying goodbye. Even as I write this I am experiencing that pounding sensation in my heart. If I am watching such a scene in a movie I am affected so much that I need to sit up and take a few deep breaths. So when faced with a challenge in my life I have been known to go to our local airport and watch people say goodbye. I figure nothing that is happening to me at the time could be as bad as having to say goodbye.
Watching people cling to each other, crying, and holding each other in that last embrace makes me appreciate what I have even more. Seeing them finally pull apart, extending their arms until the tips of their fingers are the last to let go, is an image that stays forefront in my mind throughout the day.
On one of my recent business trips, when I arrived at the counter to check in, the woman said, "How are you today?" I replied, "I am missing my wife already and I haven't even said goodbye."
She then looked at my ticket and began to ask, "How long will you...Oh, my God. You will only be gone three days!" We all laughed. My problem was I still had to say goodbye.
But I learn from goodbye moments, too.
Recently I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her departure and standing near the security gate, they hugged and he said, "I love you. I wish you enough." She in turn said, "Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy."
They kissed and she left. He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, "Did you ever say goodbye to someone knowing it would be forever?"
"Yes, I have," I replied. Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me.
So I knew what this man experiencing.
"Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever goodbye?" I asked.
"I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, the next trip back would be for my funeral," he said.
"When you were saying goodbye I heard you say, "I wish you enough." May I ask what that means?"
He began to smile. "That's a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone." He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more."When we said 'I wish you enough,' we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with just enough good things to sustain them," he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.
"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."
Friday, December 02, 2005 Lost and Found When Life starts slipping through your fingers... get a grip.
Sleep wasn't the only thing I was losing. It was about half way through the meeting, about half way through the morning, when I felt myself losing it all.
A high profile project that I was a major part of was starting to slip away. First the woman in charge was out, then others were starting to pick up the pieces; doing everything their own way. Things began to unravel... and shades of my dark period started to overshadow my horizon.
I knew that if I did nothing this morning, it would be gone. Kudos would be everyone else's; and although I'm not in this for the credit... I knew that NOT having credit would be detrimental.
The thing is, I know I can contribute. I got skills! I don't want to succeed by hurting others, but rather by giving it my all, from the truest core of my being. But the boat doesn't move if the oars aren't in the water. I've got to row.
So I had my game plan ready this morning and went in with a mix of naive uncertainty and ballsy brazenry. In other words, I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into, but I was ready for it nonetheless.
This morning's meeting twisted against me, despite my best efforts.. and when it was all over, I simply gave in...
And went with Plan B.
I changed my role, pushed my way back in, and spent the rest of the day giving it my all... even if it wasn't anything like I planned.
By the end of the day, the project was better for the battle... and I won... and they won... and no reputations were harmed in the making of the final piece.
It took having to lose it all, to find what really mattered underneath. Always remember that the paths to the goal are many; it doesn't matter which one gets you there... as long as it gets you there.