Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Inner Beauty


"For Attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run their fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed. Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others."
~ Audrey Hepburn

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lovely Autumn

"Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all." ~ Stanley Horowitz

Friday, October 8, 2010

Beautiful Indian Angel And Her Wolf


There was an Indian Angel
By her side was her magnificent wolf
She came up from the river bank
With a gentleness and great grace

The beautiful Indian angel and her wolf
Had a golden glow around their heads
In her hands she held
One beautiful white dove

She looked up and smiled
And held up the beautiful white dove
As she held up the dove
A radiant light began to shine

With a gentle soft voice
As she released the pure white dove
She said, I've come from the Holy Spirit
To tell you to please protect my land

For this is were the eagles fly
You'll never have this chance again
Then the beautiful Indian angel and her wolf
Turned to walk away and disappeared

by: Donna J. Kramer

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A lesson from a child


The Hamster, Cat, and Dog
 Written By: Elle, 9, Philippines

Elle's fable:

A timid hamster and a bossy cat lived together in a house. Everyday the cat chased and teased the hamster, saying, "Little hamster, you take such tiny steps and always hide from me! You’re a coward!"

The hamster didn’t like the way the cat treated him so he came up with a plan to make her stop.

The hamster asked his best friend, the neighbor's loud, loyal dog, to help him out. "Friend dog, please go to our garage and leave the rest to me."

"OK, friend hamster", said the dog.

The hamster went back in the house and said to the cat, "Cat, I saw some leftover fish in the garage from our owner’s dinner. Would you like some?" The cat quickly ran to the garage without a word of thanks.

When the cat got there, the big dog was waiting for her. "RUFF, RUFF, GROWL!" said the dog and he chased the cat around the garage.

The cat got scared and very mad. The cat realized how the little hamster felt so from then on she stopped chasing and teasing him.

Then the hamster and cat became friends!

The moral of the story: Don't be a bully because you won't like it either if someone bullies you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Trouble Tree


The carpenter I hired to help me restore an old farm house had just finished a rough first day on the job. A flat tire had caused him to miss an hour of work, his electric saw quit, and now his ancient pick-up truck refused to start.

As I drove him home, he sat in stony silence. When we arrived he invited me in to meet his family. As we walked to the front door, he paused briefly at a small tree, touching the tips of the branches with both hands. When opening the door he underwent an amazing transformation. His tanned face was wreathed in smiles; he hugged his two small children and gave his wife a kiss.

Afterward he walked me to the car. We passed by the tree and my curiosity got the better of me.

I asked him about what I had seen him do earlier.

"Oh, that's my trouble tree," he replied. "I know I can't help having troubles on the job, but one thing's for sure, they don't belong in the house with my wife and children. So, I just hang them on the tree when I come home in the evening and then I just pick them up again in the morning."

"Funny thing, though," he smiled, "when I come out in the morning to pick 'em up, there ain't nearly as many as I remembered hanging there the night before."

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Moment with Nature


"Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful.  Everything is simply happy.  Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance.  Look at the flowers - for no reason.  It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are."  ~ Osho

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Seven Wonders of the World


A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the present "Seven Wonders of the World." Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes: 

1) Egypt's Great Pyramids 
2) Taj Mahal 
3) Grand Canyon 
4) Panama Canal 
5) Empire State Building 
6) St. Peter's Basilica 
7) China's Great Wall 

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student had not finished her paper yet. So she asked the student if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many." The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have and maybe we can help." The girl hesitated, and then read:  

"I think the 'Seven Wonders of the World' are:   

1) To See... 
2) To Hear... 
3) To Touch... 
4) To Taste...
5) To Feel... 
6) To Laugh... 
And
7) To Love." 

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wonderous! 
A gentle reminder: 
The most precious things in life cannot be bought or built by man.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Moment with Pooh



"When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast? said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
"It's the same thing," he said.
~ Benjamin Hoff

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Under the Stars



One summer night, out on a flat headland, all but surrounded by the waters of the bay, the horizons were remote and distant rims on the edge of space.  Millions of stars blazed in darkness, and on the far shore a few lights burned in cottages.  Otherwise there was no reminder of human life.  My companion and I were alone with the stars:  the misty river of the Milky Way flowing across the sky, the patterns of the constellations standing out bright and clear, a blazing planet low on the horizon.  It occurred to me that if this were a sight that could be seen only once in a century, this little headland would be thronged with spectators.  But it can be see, many scores of nights in any year, and so the lights burned in the cottages and the inhabitants probably gave not a thought to the beauty overhead; and because they could see it almost any night, perhaps they never will.  ~Rachel Carson

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Longing for Autumn


"I love fall! Fall is exciting.
It's apples and cider.
It's an airborne spider.
It's pumpkins in bins.
It's burrs on dog's chins.
It's wind blowing leaves.
It's chilly red knees.
It's nuts on the ground.
It's a crisp dry sound.
It's green leaves turning
And the smell of them burning.
It's clouds in the sky.
It's fall. That's why...
I love fall."
-   Author Unknown

Monday, August 30, 2010

Just a little reminder...

"Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward together in the same direction."  ~Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry

"Love would never be a promise of a rose garden unless it is showered with light of faith, water of sincerity and air of passion." ~ Author Unknown

"If love does not know how to give and take without restrictions, it is not love, but a transaction that never fails to lay stress on a plus and a minus."  ~Emma Goldman, 

"Only when the heart is unencumbered by fear can love flow unconditionally."  ~ Ellen Tadd

"The past is behind us, love is in front and all around us."  ~Terri Guillemets

"You don't have to go looking for love when it's where you come from."  ~Werner Erhard
  
"Love is not consolation.  It is light."  ~Friedrich Nietzsche 

"Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination."  ~Voltaire


Monday, August 16, 2010

Lakota Prayer


Wakan Tanka, Great Mystery,
teach me how to trust
my heart,
my mind,
my intuition,
my inner knowing,
the senses of my body,
the blessings of my spirit.
Teach me to trust these things
so that I may enter my Sacred Space
and love beyond my fear,
and thus Walk in Balance
with the passing of each glorious Sun.

According to the Native People, the Sacred Space is the space between exhalation and inhalation.  To Walk in Balance is to have Heaven (spirituality) and Earth (physicality) in Harmony. 
 
 

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Master's Hand

 (Adapted from a Zen story)
Dr. Mala Sinha 

Ramanand was fed up of his wife’s stinginess. No matter how much money he gave her, she always served him only, watery dal (lentils), boiled potatoes and stale chapattis. When he complained she gave the same answer every time; that things were expensive and they could not afford anything more.
Disgusted he went to his guru and complained about his wife.  The master asked him to bring the wife to him. 

The next day when the wife stood in front of the master, he raised his clenched fist to her face.  She was surprised and said, "What are you doing?"  The master asked, "Suppose my fist was always like this, what would you call it?"  The woman replied, "A deformity."

The master then opened his palm flat in front of her face and asked, "Suppose it was always like this. What then?"  She answered, "Another kind of deformity."

The master smiled and said, "If you understand this much, you are a good wife.  Now go with your husband."

The man did not come back to the master again.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Universal Love Prayer


Universal Love Prayer
        from the Metta Sutta

May all beings be filled with joy and peace.
May all beings everywhere,
The strong and the weak,
The great and the small,
The mean and the powerful,
The short and the long,
the subtle and the gross:

May all beings everywhere,
Seen and unseen,
Dwelling far off or nearby,
Being or waiting to become:
May all be filled with lasting joy.

Let no one deceive another,
Let no one anywhere despise another,
Let no one out of anger or resentment
Wish suffering on anyone at all.

Just as a mother with her own life
Protects her child, her only child, from harm,
So within yourself let grow
A boundless love for all creatures.

Let your love flow outward through the universe,
To its height, its depth, its broad extent,
A limitless love, without hatred or enmity.

Then as you stand or walk,
Sit or lie down,
As long as you are awake,
Strive for this with a one-pointed mind;
Your life will bring heaven to earth.
Namu Amida Buddha.


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reflections on a Beautiful Soul

If I had a flower for every time I thought of you, I could walk in my garden forever." ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson


My Nana was an old soul, a kindred spirit, very in tune with the earth and very wise about the world.  She taught me about life by showing me how to embrace nature. Today, would have been her 93rd birthday.  Her body left this world 7 years ago but her soul remains and it has kept watch of me and my family since.

Throughout the years, my Nana and I,  used to pick four leaf clovers.  Honoring her Native American heritage, when she found a feather she would stick it behind her ear. We would sit for hours in the backyard (even when I was a teenager) and pick literally 100’s of four leaf clovers. No one could understand how we always found them let alone so many. These memories I will always cherish.

I went with a friend to Woodstock, NY when I was pregnant with my oldest son, Mikey (Her "angel in a basket") and they were selling necklaces with real four leaf clovers in them. I bought her one and gave it to her and we sat and chatted for hours about them and our special tradition at every visit. After she passed away, I wore the necklace and oddly the four leaf clover started to fade slowly and then disintegrated, yet all the fluids remained in the necklace.  I think she just took it with her.
My Nana is always with me and she has ways of letting me know she is present. Every holiday, whether it is a birthday, anniversary, major holiday or family event; I always find a four leaf clover.  Last year I couldn't find any for a few months and I was becoming really disappointed because I always found them before and I was worried about the underlying message.  Was she still with me?  Did she move on?  Then one day I found 5 in my parents front lawn. I was so excited, there was one for every missed event -- My birthday, one for each of my boys birthdays, my anniversary and mothers day. On my way into the house to wrap them, I lost one. But I wasn't disappointed because I knew she was there for me. 

Another reminder that she is watching over me is an interesting story.  Four years ago, while preparing for Mikey’s birthday party and hanging up decorations in the back yard at my parent’s house; I found a feather. (Remember, she used to wear them in her hair?) I taped it to the chimney and told everyone that my Nana was there. (It hung there for over three years through many storms just held by a tiny piece of scotch tape until my parents replaced the chimney.)  Each year for the boys' birthday parties a new feather had been found below the one hanging on the chimney.  This was the first birthday party since the chimney replacement that no one mentioned the feather nor did anyone find one.  And although I didn't tell my parents, I found the original feather at the party.  Wilted from years of fighting against storms, I found it while bringing up the cakes from down in the basement, hiding slightly out of sight under the stairs where it must have picked up residence.

I share these memories as a way to honor the amazing woman who this world lost 7 years ago.  The woman who was admired and loved by all those she met.  She was a beautiful old soul and she will forever live on in my memory and in the stories we share.

Happy Birthday, Nana.  I love you.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It is of Course Possible to Dance a Prayer

 Divine Mother Prayer Dance

O Divine Mother
In the form of Annapurna, the giver of food, we worship Thee.
May we ever be grateful for the nourishment of the teachings...

In the form of Lakshmi, you hold the Lotus of Higher Consciousness, 
which is rooted in the mud of earthy existence.
Bless me...

As Durga, seated on the Lion's throne, 
you courageously slew the buffalo-headed demon of egoism and pride.
Though you are fierce, yet we need not fear you. 
You seek only to liberate us from selfish ignorance...

As the Goddess Saraswati, you play the Veena, 
and inspire us with the heavenly lure of Divine Inspiration.
Goddess of Wisdom, come to me.

O Divine Mother
May all my speech and idle talk be mantra
All actions of my hands be mudra

I place down the Siva Linga, and pick up rose petals for my worship.
I scatter the petals in gratitude for thy Divine Abundance.

Placing down the flower basket, I lift up the sacred lamp.
I shine it in all directions, ever seeking a vision of Thee.

Placing down the lamp I pick up the sacred bell.
May it ring clear and dispel all gloom and negativity.
May I ever hear your call.

Please accept my offerings.

May all eating and drinking be the offering of oblations unto Thee.
All lying down prostrations before Thee.
May all pleasures be as offering my entire self unto Thee,
May everything I do be taken as Thy worship.
O Divine Mother.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Manifesting my dreams into reality....


"Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive because your words become your behaviors. Keep your behaviors positive because your behaviors become your habits. Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny. " ~ Gandhi

"This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness." ~ Dalai Lama

"Make a gift of your life and lift all mankind by being kind, considerate, forgiving, and compassionate at all times, in all places, and under all conditions, with everyone as well as yourself. This is the greatest gift anyone can give." ~ David R. Hawkins

"There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way." ~ Buddha

"When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change." ~ Wayne Dyer

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them. " ~ Thomas Merton

"Just like a sunbeam can't separate itself from the sun, and a wave can't separate itself from the ocean, we can't separate ourselves from one another. We are all part of a vast sea of love, one indivisible divine mind. " ~ Marianne Williamson

"As we cultivate peace and happiness in ourselves, we also nourish peace and happiness in those we love. " ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

"Though you may travel the world to find the beautiful, you must have it within you or you will find it not. " ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Monday, May 24, 2010

Become...YOU!

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

  
Moving On

I am moving on
reaching toward my hopes and dreams
It has taken me far too long
to reach this place, it seems

My fears may try to hold me back
To try and block my way
But with courage and faith in my heart
I will get there come what may

The road will be a long one,
And it may be rocky, too
But when I reach this place in time,
My dreams could all shine through

I am coming nearer to my goals
And my excitement grows
The plans I have made will soon be real
Along with the destiny I chose

Though I have been tossed and turned in life's storms
I will surely see a brighter dawn
I'm no longer held back by my fears
I'm finally....Moving On
by Alan Murray

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Earth is What We All Have in Common.



I. Thou shalt love and honor the Earth for it blesses thy life and governs thy survival.

II. Thou shalt keep each day sacred to the Earth and celebrate the turning of its seasons.

III. Thou shalt not hold thyself above other living things nor drive them to extinction.

IV. Thou shalt give thanks for thy food, to the creatures and plants that nourish thee.

V. Thou shalt educate thy offspring for multitudes of people are a blessing unto the Earth when we live in harmony.

VI. Thou shall not kill, nor waste Earth's riches upon weapons of war.

VII. Thou shalt not pursue profit at the Earth's expense but strive to restore its damaged majesty.

VIII. Thou shalt not hide from thyself or others the consequences of thy actions upon the Earth.

IX. Thou shalt not steal from future generations by impoverishing or poisoning the Earth.

X. Thou shalt consume material goods in moderation so all may share the Earth's bounty.

God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars. ~Martin Luther

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~ Native American Proverb.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~Kahlil Gibran

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. ~Lao Tzu

The sky is the daily bread of the eyes. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
I believe in God, only I spell it Nature. ~Frank Lloyd Wright

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. ~Albert Einstein

Monday, April 19, 2010

Life Affirmations


"During my life journey on this planet I shall start each day with these affirmations…"

I am capable. I am worthwhile. I am beautiful. I am lovable. I shall accept both my strengths and my weaknesses for they are me. I shall never again believe the "lie" that if I make a mistake, I am a mistake.

My mistakes are the learning tools that I shall encounter on my life journey. When I learn from my mistakes, I give them meaning. When I give my mistakes meaning, I can begin to forgive myself, I can begin to heal.

I shall not use my mistakes as excuses to give up on me - my mistakes are not me.

I shall seek the wisdom to nurture my heart, mind, body, and soul so that I may feel more centered
  • providing an energy reserve that allows me to climb the mountains in my own life
  • providing an energy reserve that allows me to love and support others who are climbing a different mountain
  • providing an energy reserve that allows time for friends, play, and celebration of life.
I shall allow myself to feel capable - so that I may seek excellence.

I shall allow myself to feel sadness - so that joy may return.

I shall allow myself to feel joy - so that I may be revitalized.

I shall allow myself to feel afraid - so that I may find courage.

I shall allow myself to feel alone - so that I may know me.

I shall allow myself to feel beautiful - so that I may feel free.

I shall allow myself to feel lovable - so that the loving may seek me.

I shall allow myself to feel pain - so that I may heal.

I shall allow myself to feel worthy - so that I may fulfill my purpose.

When I am centered, I see the perfection in the world, myself and others.

When I find the world to be imperfect, I will take responsibility for painting it that way.

I will look into the heart of a rose, or the eyes of a newborn baby and again know perfection.

I take responsibility for creating my own life story through the choices I have made; to blame others is to give away my personal power. Who will I allow to write the next chapter of my life?

I shall seek the courage to believe in a God or Higher Power who will laugh with me in the sunlight or cry with me in the darkness.

I shall make a small difference on this planet through the work I do - when I leave I will have done my share.
I shall live, love, laugh, and learn on my journey.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Thief Left it Behind

  
The thief left it behind:
the moon
at my window. 
~Ryokan



Commentary by Ivan M. Granger
Ryokan had a reputation for gentleness that was sometimes carried to comical extremes. A famous story about him relates that one day when Ryokan returned to his hut he discovered a robber who had broken in and was in the process of stealing the impoverished monk's few possessions. In the thief's haste to leave, he left behind a cushion. Ryokan grabbed the cushion and ran after the thief to give it to him.

This event prompted Ryokan to compose this haiku, one of his best known poems.
 

The moon is a common metaphor, especially among the Zen poets, to represent enlightened awareness. In this haiku Ryokan is laughing at the absurdity of the theft. "The thief left it behind," he foolishly couldn't recognize the one great treasure the poor monk possessed -- "the moon," enlightenment -- and, instead, took an armload of worthless junk. (To point out what a petty haul it was, Ryokan even ran after the thief with the missed cushion.) Any sort of theft of Ryokan's possessions was a pointless act because, of course, who can take the moon from his window? Ryokan is amused and invites us to join in his laughter.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Beauty of Nature

The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.  ~Author Unknown

Monday, April 12, 2010

Look to Nature



Look at the trees, look at the birds, look at the clouds, look at the stars... and if you have eyes you will be able to see that the whole existence is joyful.  Everything is simply happy.  Trees are happy for no reason; they are not going to become prime ministers or presidents and they are not going to become rich and they will never have any bank balance.  Look at the flowers - for no reason.  It is simply unbelievable how happy flowers are.  
~Osho

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Zen Attitude


Koan: The Strawberry

Buddha once told a parable in sutra:
A man traveling across a field encountered a tiger. He fled, the tiger after him. Coming to a precipice, he caught hold of the root of a wild vine and swung himself down over the edge. The tiger sniffed at him from above. Trembling, the man looked down to where, far below, another tiger was waiting to eat him. Only the vine sustained him.
Two mice, one white and one black, little by little started to gnaw away the vine. The man saw a luscious strawberry near him. Grasping the vine with one hand, he plucked the strawberry with the other. How sweet it tasted!

Friday, April 9, 2010

No-Mind


The flower invites the butterfly with no-mind;
The butterfly visits the flower with no-mind.
The flower opens, the butterfly comes;
The butterfly comes, the flower opens.
I don't know others,
Others don't know me.
By not-knowing we follow nature's course. 


-   Ryokan, Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Moving Forward

"Perhaps our eyes need to be washed by our tears once in a while, so that we can see Life with a clearer view again."
~ Alex Tan

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Letting Go


Two monks were returning to the monastery in the evening.
 It had rained and there were puddles of water on the road sides. 
At one place a beautiful young woman was standing unable to walk across because of a puddle of water. 
The elder of the two monks went up to her, lifted her in his arms, and left her on the other side of the road. 
 He then continued his way to the monastery.
In the evening the younger monk came to the elder monk and said, 
"Sir, as monks, we cannot touch a woman ?"
The elder monk answered, "Yes, brother".
Then the younger monk asks again, 
" But then Sir, how is that you lifted that woman on the roadside ?"
The elder monk smiled at him and told him 
" I left her on the other side of the road, but you are still carrying her. "
 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Body, Mind & Spirit



"Good for the body is the work of the body, good for the soul the work of the soul, and good for either the work of the other."  ~Henry David Thoreau

Monday, February 15, 2010

If I Knew...

If I knew it would be the last time
That I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly
and pray the Lord, your soul to keep.

If I knew it would be the last time
that I'd see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss
and call you back for one more.

If I knew it would be the last time
I'd hear your voice lift up in praise,
I would video tape each action and word,
so I could play then back day after day.

If I knew it would be the last time
I could spare an extra minute or two,
To stop and say “I love you,”
instead of assuming you would know I do.

If I knew it would be the last time
I would be there to share your day,
Well I'm sure you’ll have so many more,
so I can let just this one slip away.

For sure there’s always tomorrow
to make up for an oversight,
and we always get a second chance
to make everything just right.

There will always be another day
to say our, “I love you,”
And certainly there’s another chance
to say our, "Anything I can do?"

But just in case I might be wrong,
and today is all I get,
Id like to say how much I love you
and I hope we never forget.

Tomorrow is not promised to anyone,
young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance
you get to hold your loved one tight.

So if you’re waiting for tomorrow,
why not do it today?
For if tomorrow never comes
you’ll surely regret the day.

That you didn’t take the extra time
for a smile, a hug, or a kiss
and you were too busy to grant someone,
what turned out to be their one last wish.

So hold your loved ones close today,
and whisper in their ear,
Tell then how much you love them
and that you’ll always hold them dear.

Take the time to say “I'm sorry,”
“Please forgive me,” “Thank You,” or “It's okay.”
And if tomorrow never comes,
you’ll have no regrets about today.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Let Your Heart Roam Free...


 

"Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place."  ~Zora Neale Hurston

Monday, February 8, 2010

Friendship


"Never forget that once upon a time, in an unguarded moment, you recognized yourself as a friend."  ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Individuality


“I like it when a flower or a little tuft of grass grows through a crack in the concrete.  It's so fuckin' heroic."  ~ George Carlin
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