The phases are going through me…

Statue representing Siddhartha Gautama.I have a new friend that I am getting to know. I discovered not too long ago that she had begun reading my favorite book Siddhartha. I asked her recently what her takeaway was and she started “in life you pass through different phases…”. Just recently, I had exactly the OPPOSITE reaction, that in life, different phases pass through us! This is one of the things I love about this book. In some ways, it’s more like a mirror than a book and if you read it mindfully over again, you will find the book is different each time you read it. I recently re-read it earlier this summer via Audible after spending a lot of time with Brené Brown, Kristen Neff and Tara Brach and I remember hearing this part while I was out clearing the pasture and it almost knocked me over like a bolt out of the blue:

“Listen well, my dear, listen well! The sinner, which I am and which you are, is a sinner, but in times to come he will be Brahma again, he will reach the Nirvana, will be Buddha and now see: these ‘times to come’ are a deception, are only a parable! The sinner is not on his way to become a Buddha, he is not in the process of developing, though our capacity for thinking does not know how else to picture these things. No, within the sinner is now and today already the future Buddha, his future is already all there, you have to worship in him, in you, in everyone the Buddha which is coming into being, the possible, the hidden Buddha. The world, my friend Govinda, is not imperfect, or on a slow path towards perfection: no, it is perfect in every moment, all sin already carries the divine forgiveness in itself, all small children already have the old person in themselves, all infants already have death, all dying people the eternal life. It is not possible for any person to see how far another one has already progressed on his path; in the robber and dice-gambler, the Buddha is waiting; in the Brahman, the robber is waiting. In deep meditation, there is the possibility to put time out of existence , to see all life which was, is, and will be as if it was simultaneous, and there everything is good, everything is perfect, everything is Brahman. Therefore, I see whatever exists as good, death is to me like life, sin like holiness, wisdom like foolishness, everything has to be as it is, everything only requires my consent, only my willingness, my loving agreement, to be good for me, to do nothing but work for my benefit, to be unable to ever harm me. I have experienced on my body and on my soul that I needed sin very much, I needed lust, the desire for possessions, vanity, and needed the most shameful despair, in order to learn how to give up all resistance, in order to learn how to love the world, in order to stop comparing it to some world I wished, I imagined, some kind of perfection I had made up, but to leave it as it is and to love it and to enjoy being a part of it. These, oh Govinda, are some of the thoughts which have come into my mind.” Siddhartha bent down, picked up a stone from the ground, and weighed it in his hand. “This here ,” he said playing with it, “is a stone, and will, after a certain time, perhaps turn into soil, and will turn from soil into a plant or animal or human being. In the past, I would have said: This stone is just a stone, it is worthless, it belongs to the world of the Maja; but because it might be able to become also a human being and a spirit in the cycle of transformations, therefore I also grant it importance. Thus, I would perhaps have thought in the past. But today I think: this stone is a stone, it is also animal, it is also god, it is also Buddha, I do not venerate and love it because it could turn into this or that, but rather because it is already and always everything and it is this very fact, that it is a stone, that it appears to me now and today as a stone, this is why I love it and see worth and purpose in each of its veins and cavities, in the yellow, in the gray, in the hardness, in the sound it makes when I knock at it, in the dryness or wetness of its surface. There are stones which feel like oil or soap, and others like leaves, others like sand, and every one is special and prays the Om in its own way, each one is Brahman, but simultaneously and just as much it is a stone, is oily or juicy, and this is this very fact which I like and regard as wonderful and worthy of worship. But let me speak no more of this. The words are not good for the secret meaning, everything always becomes a bit different , as soon as it is put into words, gets distorted a bit, a bit silly yes, and this is also very good, and I like it a lot, I also very much agree with this, that this what is one man’s treasure and wisdom always sounds like foolishness to another person.”

Hesse, Hermann (2010-02-15). SIDDHARTHA [The Deluxe Edition, Annotated, & Illustrated) (Kindle Locations 1722-1744). Northpointe Classics. Kindle Edition.

There is no moment outside of this one! I cannot be better than I already am! “in the robber and dice-gambler, the Buddha is waiting; in the Brahman, the robber is waiting.” I can only choose to be more mindful and be more in touch with my buddha nature. This moment “is already and always everything” and like the old native-american story of the two wolves, it is the wolf I feed in this moment that wins…

Caution; shifting paradigms…

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The new me…

Some of you in other parts of the country [or the world for that matter], who have school-aged children, may be shocked to know that this is the first day of school in Algoma, Wisconsin. To be honest, I don’t know if the first day of school is more difficult on parents or children. For me, the start of school means an end to my flexible summer routine and I must now live on a ‘school schedule’ for the foreseeable future so for me, I think it’s harder on me than the kids…

This is a period of shifting paradigms in my life; I am taking on new responsibilities and deciding which old ones that should hold onto. For example, next week I will teach my first class as an adjunct professor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. It will be the first time since graduate school that I have taught a class of predominantly college-aged students and I’m willing to bet that some things have changed about teaching at that level in a generation. Even though I have taught on and off over the past 30 years and have been teaching at NWTC at the continuing education level I am looking forward to entering this new phase of my career. I think the dirty little secret about teaching is that if done correctly, the teacher is the one who learns the most. I look forward to teaching at this level; may I mindful. May I be at peace. May I be the best version of my Self so that I can give my students the things they need to draw from my class…

I came across a quote a few weeks ago reading Eckhart Tolle‘s book “The Power of Now”. He says:

“Instead of quoting the Buddha, be the Buddha, be “the awakened one,” which is what the word Buddha means.” 1

This quote will not let me alone! I think about it often throughout the day. Why do I settle for quoting other people’s thoughts on the Internet when I really should be sharing my own? Over the weekend I had a lovely exchange with a lovely blogger named Melanie about how she needed to write her own book and yet for the past two years, I have been threatening to write a book of my own. Why is it that I encourage other people to do what I do not have the courage or discipline to do myself? Is it the imposter syndrome? Perhaps, but most likely it is a failure to discipline myself to do the work that real writing requires…

The great philosopher Wally of the Dilbert cartoon strip shares this perspective:

I’m going to start by not being a ‘social media Wally’, transporting huge quantities of quotes from my RSS reader to my blog and social media. Instead, I need to document the things I am thinking and use the tools I have to get a share of voice, which may get me a share of mind and may result in a share of market. Henceforth, I’ll be focusing on what thought leader Nilofer Merchant calls my ‘onlyness‘ and work on documenting the insights the Uni-verse has shared with me before the Uni-verse decides to share them with someone more worthy.

I almost forgot to share this; I have a friend named Tim who sends me witty things via email. In the past, many of them ended up posted to my blog and I thank him for making the contribution. Last week I told him ‘you need a blog’. His response? “Blogs are for something you write not regurgitated other people materials.” Out of the mouths of babes! The Uni-verse can stop now with the not so subtle hints. I GET IT ALREADY!!!

I’m asking you to hold me accountable as I attempt to ‘be the Buddha’. I won’t be curating as much content as I have in the past that everything I share online will end up here and I encourage you to subscribe to my updates if you would like. In the meantime however I’ll be focusing on finishing my book “Zen and the Art of Thought Leadership” which is due by the end of September…

1 Tolle, Eckhart (2010-10-06). The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (Kindle Locations 695-696). New World Library. Kindle Edition.

On the temporary nature of things…

501323691_aa38277405Ajahn Chah writes:

“Do you see this glass?” he asked us. “I love this glass. It holds the water admirably. When the sun shines on it, it reflects the light beautifully. When I tap it, it has a lovely ring. Yet for me, this glass is already broken. When the wind knocks it over or my elbow knocks it off the shelf and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ But when I understand that this glass is already broken, every minute with it is precious.”

via Freud and Buddha By Mark Epstein.

 

Trusting prana…

Trusting Prana by Danna Faulds, with edits:

Trust the energy that

Courses through you Trust,

Then take surrender even deeper. Be the energy.

Don’t push anything away. Follow each

Sensation back to its source

In vastness and pure presence.

Emerge so new, so fresh that

You don’t know who you are.

Welcome in the season of

Monsoons. Be the bridge

Across the flooded river

And the surging torrent

Underneath. Be unafraid of consummate wonder.

Be the energy and blaze a

Trail across the clear night

Sky like lightning. Dare to

Be your own illumination.

http://www.tarabrach.com/audio/2013-01-02-Finding-True-Refuge-TaraBrach-web.mp3

via (1) Tara Brach – Poem from last Wednesday’s talk: TRUSTING PRANA….

An excerpt from Hesse’s Siddhartha…

 

Hesse‘s Siddhartha captured my imagination when I was a graduate student and has continued to stimulate my thinking for over 30 years. Here is an excerpt from the conclusion of the book… Continue reading “An excerpt from Hesse’s Siddhartha…”

Step into Your Starring Role

Earlier this year I ‘discovered’ the ‘imposter complex’ thanks to my yogi Jackie Dumaine. The more I learned about it the more I understood why I haven’t finished my epic book on ‘Becoming Known’. I believe, you see, that if you can name it you can ‘fix it’. If something has a name, that means you can google it and find tools to help. There are a few reasons why my book remains 70% completed — one of them is that as soon as you put your thoughts into words and declare your expertise in an area, someone smarter can come along and prove that you’re a moron…

tg-noireA few days ago, Tanya Geisler [the author of the following quote] was kind enough to track me down in Twitter and share her TEDx Women talk on the same subject — how I missed this, I’ll never know but as the Buddha said ‘when the student is ready the teacher comes along‘. She says:

Ever since November 2012, I knew that there would be a moment that my TEDxWomen talk would be available for all to see. And that I’d need to find a way to share it with my corner of the world. That is, YOU. I’d love to say that I was excited, but the reality is, I’ve been a little, well…nervous.

I mean, I KNEW I’d be proud of it…I spent weeks (and weeks) preparing, researching, training, practicing, finessing and getting it under the requisite 18 minutes. And I KNEW the content would be good…I know the Impostor Complex like the back of my hand.

But asking everyone, YOU, to go check out my TEDxWomen talk is just…so…selfish, right?

Me, me, me, me, me.

I’ve started and stopped this very post about 15 times. Each time I approached with this question:: “what huge, massive, COLOSSAL value can I bring to my readers AND STILL let them know that my talk is available for viewing?”…as though the two were mutually exclusive.

So I’m about to take a leap of faith. The huge value of this post IS my talk.

Whoa. Whoa. Whooooooooa.

That seriously just kind of took my breath away. The sheer audacity.

But there it is.

My friends, I know A LOT about the Impostor Complex. So much so, that I am indeed becoming an Authority on the topic.

I’m claiming that.

In my perfectly imperfect talk, I’ve outlined a process that moves us from feeling like an Impostor to feeling like an Authority. I use it with my coaching clients, and in my own life. It’s also the backbone of my Step into Your Starring Role program.

If you ever, EVER struggle with the Impostor Complex, then you WILL get value from watching this talk…because I wrote the talk for you.

And now, I leave it in your loving hands, and will go and celebrate (an ever-important step in the process, you’ll see) by busting my Kid out of after-school care early for an ice cream cone.

Because

I did it. I really, really did it.

And if you want to do it too, you can and will too. ”How do you begin? The answer is simple: you decide to.”  – Anne Lamott

And maybe, just maybe this will guide you::

Source: Quite Simply…my TEDxWomen Talk | Tanya Geisler – Step into Your Starring Role

Can I recommend you take the time to watch her talk? I just did…

I believe that the danger and the opportunity of social media and transformational thought leadership is walking the fine line and finding the ‘golden mean’ between imposter syndrome and narcissism. This is such an important impediment to transformational thought leadership that I’m going to start a resource page here. I’ll keep adding to it so come back often…

Touching Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh

See on Scoop.itWholeheartedness

Todd Lohenry‘s insight:

Free download! Developing upon teachings on the art of mindful living begun in Being Peace, Thich Nhat Hanh shows the connection between inner peace and peace on earth. Recorded live in New York in 1991, he teaches us how mindful breathing and awareness is refreshing and healing, and how it can be used as the basis for examining the roots of war and social problems. His vision for rebuilding society through strengthening families and communities coalesces the ultimate reach of each act in our daily lives.

See on www.betterlisten.com

You are not your story

Every negative experience or thought is an opportunity to awaken. What thoughts are holding you back from connecting to your inherit love and light?

Every negative experience or thought is an opportunity to awaken. What thoughts are holding you back from connecting to your inherent love and light?

via Molly Hahn: Buddha Doodle – ‘Not Your Story’.

Finding Peace and Joy When Dealing with Pain and Loss

recite-18383-1677882087-g93e6vFull story at: Finding Peace and Joy When Dealing with Pain and Loss | Tiny Buddha.

 

You Have to Know What Kind of Love You Deserve to Attract It

“Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi

Full story at: You Have to Know What Kind of Love You Deserve to Attract It | Tiny Buddha.

Gandhi & Buddha… What About Jesus Christ?

Kelly O’Brien writes:

Happy New Year, everyone! It seems many of us make New Years resolutions and in order to stay inspired as we revamp our diets or workout routines, relationships or careers, we turn to quotes and affirmations. Universally, we all seem to be able to relate to quotes and “life advice” from spiritual leaders throughout history: Gandhi, Buddha, etc. What about advice from Jesus Christ? It seems when many hear the name “Jesus Christ,” they recoil. Sides are taken, much like a debate between a staunch Republican and avid Democratic. People dont want to hear advice from Jesus Christ, yet his advice is as powerful as Buddha and Gandhi. You can put a quote from Gandhi on your Facebook wall and people will hit “Like” but put one from Jesus Christ and you might get defriended. If you can stay open minded, keep reading.

via Gandhi & Buddha…What About Jesus Christ?.

The Top 10 Tiny Buddha Insights from 2012

Lori Deschene at Tiny Buddha is one of my favorite bloggers. Here’s her ‘best of 2012’ post: The Top 10 Tiny Buddha Insights from 2012 | Tiny Buddha.

Connecting with Friends: Faster Isn’t Always Better

“When we get too caught up in the busyness of the world, we lose connection with one another and ourselves.” ~Jack Kornfield

via Connecting with Friends: Faster Isn’t Always Better | Tiny Buddha.

 

6 Ways to Decrease Your Suffering

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The world is full of suffering. It is also full of overcoming it.” ~Helen Keller

You’ve probably heard the saying “Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional.”

For a many years, I didn’t understand how pain and suffering were different from each other. They seemed inextricably wrapped up together, and I took it for granted that one was the inevitable consequence of the other.

However, as I have grown to understand my own capacity to create happiness, I noticed something interesting about the nature of my suffering.

As I reflect back on painful episodes in my life, I can recall losing people who were dear to me. I remember abrupt changes in jobs, housing, and other opportunities that I believed were the basis of my happiness.

In each of those experiences the immediate visceral pain was searing, like a hot knife cutting through my heart. Then afterwards came grief, an emotional response to loss that arose quite naturally.

But closely on the heels of physical pain and emotional grief comes something else, something that I create in my own mind even though it feels quite real. That something else is “suffering.” Full story at: 6 Ways to Decrease Your Suffering | Tiny Buddha.

The True Meaning of Patience: Let Go and Take Your Time

 “Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength.” ~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Full story at: The True Meaning of Patience: Let Go and Take Your Time | Tiny Buddha.

Make Up Your Mind to Go with the Flow

Kathy Kruger writes:

Long before health experts were telling us, “You are what you eat,” even before Buddha spoke his wisdom, “What we think we become,” ancient Chinese sage Lao Tzu mused that we only need to change our way of thinking for our lives to fall into place.

Sounds so easy, right? Easier, at least, than always eating our greens, let alone somehow imagining ourselves into the NASA space program, or up on stage on Broadway!” Full story at:  Make Up Your Mind to Go with the Flow | Tiny Buddha.

6 Tips to Keep Becoming Who You’re Meant to Be

 

“Life is a process of becoming. A combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.” ~Anais Nin

Full story at:  6 Tips to Keep Becoming Who You’re Meant to Be | Tiny Buddha.

 

Find and Respect Your Own Stride

Melody Beattie writes:

“Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old; seek what they sought.” Basho.

One of the dangers of following a hero is the temptation to emulate them too much instead of walking our own path. John quit his job and started his own company when he was twenty-four years old. Five years later he sold out for mil­lions of dollars. We want to be like John so we try the same thing and go broke. What happened? Is the universe against us? No. We just got confused about the difference between learning from a hero and trying to walk his path. John’s path may have led him to start a company; your path may also lead you on that course, just not at the same time in your life.

We can still learn much from our heroes and the people we admire. Just be aware that their path and time frame may be different from ours.

When the time comes for you to start that business, learn a new skill, enter into a relationship, or whatever you’re hop­ing to do, the experience will be there. The experience will be ready for you when you’re ready for it. Your timing may be different from everyone else’s.

I know people who got married after knowing each other only two weeks and then stayed mostly happily married for more than thirty years. I know people who date each other for years and still can’t decide if they’re ready to commit. My friend made the transition from living in the Midwest to living in California in months. That transition took me several years.

We each have our own stride and path. And while many of our lessons are similar, each of us is unique. If we spend our time trying to emulate a person rather than an idea, we’ll at best be an inferior version of our teacher and at worst will never discover our own path. Their stride will be too long or too short for us, and we won’t learn the true lesson, which is to trust our inner guide.

Gautama Buddha found enlightenment while sitting under a banyan tree; Milarepa found it while living as a hermit in a Himalayan cave. Gaining enlightenment isn’t an exercise in following a person; it’s an exercise in following your heart.

God, help me let go of any expectations of perfection I may have of myself or others. Help me be aware of the messages you send me, then help me discern my own truth.” via September 22: Find and Respect Your Own Stride.

Being Both Strong and Hurt

“Pain is not a sign of weakness, but bearing it alone is a choice to grow weak.” ~from my book, Tiny Buddha via Tiny Wisdom: Being Both Strong and Hurt | Tiny Buddha.

Lasting Change Starts from Within: Transform Your Life

“All meaningful and lasting change starts on the inside and works its way out.”  ~Anon

Get the rest here: Lasting Change Starts from Within: Transform Your Life | Tiny Buddha.

The Power of Acceptance: Stop Resisting and Find the Lesson

“Of course there is no formula for success except, perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.” ~Arthur Rubinstein. Get more here: The Power of Acceptance: Stop Resisting and Find the Lesson | Tiny Buddha.

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