Sunday, November 4, 2018



         THE UNENDING PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS

  I think it’s unfortunate that in the good ol U.S of A. we have a holiday designated to remind us once a year to be grateful for all we have and are provided with. I think of the indigenous Native American cultures and their practice of thanking plants, animals, water, wind, etc. for nurturing and sustaining their lives and those of their families; every day of the year was Thanksgiving.  Their simple acknowledgement of the interconnections between themselves and Earth’s abundant resources providing for them resulted in the ritual expression of gratitude and prayer.

I think the practice of gratitude has far reaching effects on the lives of those who entertain it. I personally was raised with the “glass half empty” perspective and have spent a large part of my adult life letting go of the scarcity point of view and trading it for a “half full” point of view. The one results in a genuine and sustainable happiness, the other in discontent and restlessness. It initially surprised me to learn that gratitude precedes joy and not the other way around.
                                                

The pursuit of happiness promised us in the Constitution seems to have become a self fulfilling prophecy. Our culture is indeed addicted to a sense of scarcity and results in an  addiction to consuming more and more. The adage “looking for love in all the wrong places” can be substituted with our futile search for “happiness” in all the wrong places.   We are in fact, addicted and driven by marketing and societal brainwashing to continuously pursue happiness and briefly if ever, obtain it. Usually our happiness is superficial because it comes from a sort of temporary glow over our brand new, upgraded cell phone, laptop, car, shoes, etc. you fill in the blank. These purchases and accumulations don’t really get to the heart of our hearts resulting in the deeper joy and satisfaction we long for.

I have trouble with Christmas itself. The Scrooge is the icon for stingy self- centeredness. The Grinch another American “humbug” character. I wouldn’t be surprised if the origin of the Grinch was dreamt up by some marketing executive in a moment of inspiration. Let’s guilt the public into buying gifts for others in the name of generosity of spirit, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you really contemplate it, do you think Christ would be promoting a once a year, buying and giving spree rather than a continuous generosity born of genuine affection rooted in a daily spirit of love and appreciation?

Are we so consumed by the modern frenzy and speed of life on an average day? Alvin  Toffler wrote “Future Shock” way back in the early sixties. Have we stopped to notice the effects on our own health and well being of others from our over stimulated, compulsive “doing” and manically over-achieving society?  The symptoms of depression and anxiety are seen in our ever growing dependence on pharmaceuticals to mask and manage these symptoms. 

How would life here be different for us all if we began to be satisfied with owning the same car for 8 or ten years? Buying a house just large enough for the size and needs of our families instead of some extravagant castle?  Working only 40 hours a week and leaving ourselves time and energy to spend with our families in activities that nurture our bodies and souls?

Is it time to wake up neighbors? Wake up perhaps and see that the solution to the dilemmas we face economically, environmentally, physically, psychologically and spiritually are driven by our unbalanced manic racing towards “more, better, faster”.  When is enough enough? How is your peace and serenity doing?

Another obvious and fatal result of our frenzied lifestyle in our alleged ”developed nations” is our life threatening addictions like drinking, smoking, lusting, gambling, money, power and over eating to name just a few. On the other end of our dis-ease we are greeted by debilitating and/or fatal afflictions such as heart attacks, cancer and the myriad forms of illness that all to some degree or another suffer from. 

We are the only animals on this planet that do harm to ourselves, that knowingly practice unhealthy behaviors. How bad do things have to get for us all before we are willing to collectively stop, and take a united and realistic assessment of how our behaviors, beliefs and habitual ways of thinking are driving us toward extinction?  Call me an alarmist or a curmudgeon like Scrooge and keep your head buried in the sand  but if we don’t awaken to our unmindful self defeating actions now, we will continue to pay the price until perhaps we are no longer around to pay at all.


The pursuit of happiness promised us in the Constitution seems to have become a self fulfilling prophecy. Our culture is indeed addicted to a sense of scarcity and results in an  addiction to consuming more and more. The adage “looking for love in all the wrong places” can be substituted with our futile search for “happiness” in all the wrong places.   We are in fact, addicted and driven by marketing and societal brainwashing to continuously pursue happiness and briefly if ever, obtain it. Usually our happiness is superficial because it comes from a sort of temporary glow over our brand new, upgraded cell phone, laptop, car, shoes, etc. you fill in the blank. These purchases and accumulations don’t really get to the heart of our hearts resulting in the deeper joy and satisfaction we long for.

I have trouble with Christmas itself. The Scrooge is the icon for stingy self- centeredness. The Grinch another American “humbug” character. I wouldn’t be surprised if the origin of the Grinch was dreamt up by some marketing executive in a moment of inspiration. Let’s guilt the public into buying gifts for others in the name of generosity of spirit, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you really contemplate it, do you think Christ would be promoting a once a year, buying and giving spree rather than a continuous generosity born of genuine affection rooted in a daily spirit of love and appreciation?

Are we so consumed by the modern frenzy and speed of life on an average day? Alvin  Toffler wrote “Future Shock” way back in the early sixties. Have we stopped to notice the effects on our own health and well being of others from our over stimulated, compulsive “doing” and manically over-achieving society?  The symptoms of depression and anxiety are seen in our ever growing dependence on pharmaceuticals to mask and manage these symptoms. 

How would life here be different for us all if we began to be satisfied with owning the same car for 8 or ten years? Buying a house just large enough for the size and needs of our families instead of some extravagant castle?  Working only 40 hours a week and leaving ourselves time and energy to spend with our families in activities that nurture our bodies and souls?

Is it time to wake up neighbors? Wake up perhaps and see that the solution to the dilemmas we face economically, environmentally, physically, psychologically and spiritually are driven by our unbalanced manic racing towards “more, better, faster”.  When is enough enough? How is your peace and serenity doing?

Another obvious and fatal result of our frenzied lifestyle in our alleged ”developed nations” is our life threatening addictions like drinking, smoking, lusting, gambling, money, power and over eating to name just a few. On the other end of our dis-ease we are greeted by debilitating and/or fatal afflictions such as heart attacks, cancer and the myriad forms of illness that all to some degree or another suffer from. 

We are the only animals on this planet that do harm to ourselves, that knowingly practice unhealthy behaviors. How bad do things have to get for us all before we are willing to collectively stop, and take a united and realistic assessment of how our behaviors, beliefs and habitual ways of thinking are driving us toward extinction?  Call me an alarmist or a curmudgeon like Scrooge and keep your head buried in the sand  but if we don’t awaken to our unmindful self defeating actions now, we will continue to pay the price until perhaps we are no longer around to pay at all.


Thursday, October 18, 2018

A WARRIOR'S CREED


A WARRIOR'S CREED



I have no home...I make awareness my home.

I have no body...I make endurance my body.

I have no means...I make commitment my means.

I have no magic secrets...I make character my magic secrets.

I have no designs...I make "seizing opportunity" my design.

I have no enemy...I make apathy my enemy.

I have no armor...I make "trust my heart" my armor.

I have no castle...I make integrity my castle.

I have no strategy...I make love my strategy.

I have no tactics..I make spontaneity my tactics.

I have no miracles...I make everything my miracle.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

GRAYNESS



GRAYNESS

The breeze feels like forgiveness today.
I am comforted by cloudiness,
and certain of uncertainty
as right and wrong and black and white
stop blaming one another,
instead turn gray.


I blanket myself with acceptance,
far from the delusional cruelty 
of opinions and judgments.

Everyone;
we are all doing the very best we can
at all times. 

Compassion 
will save the day.
                        
Think gray.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

GRATEFUL FOR:

Grateful For:


sunrises, sunsets,
soft breezes, wind chimes,
dogs and the sound of power saws,
neighbors building and repairing things,
favorite foods, popcorn, chocolate,
movies that move me,
a good nights sleep, a brand new day,
beauty, art and music,
the written word and truths spoken,
honest joy and instructive pain,
conversations and arguments,
difficulties and victories,
loss, and grief
and unexpected pleasure,
the generosity of people,
their inherent kindness,
children-yours and mine,
old people whose eyes still twinkle,
our absurd and often deranged behavior
and the ability to see this and laugh our asses off,
fear, and then 
the safety found in faith
and trusting in a loving universe,
accidents 
and the possibility that there are none,
the people I hold in my heart
who hold me in theirs,
that listen and accept me as i am,
and trust me to do the same for them,

this breath,
& if I’m still lucky,
the next one too..

Saturday, July 21, 2018

WATER



Water

Creator bathed the barren earth with light
And watered it with love,
Rivers and ponds, streams and lakes,
  oceans of love.

Love flowing unseen and underground
In springs waiting to reveal themselves.

Waterfalls of love cascading down from cliffs
And exploding into frothy pools of
healing love, cooling love, soothing love,
warming love, salty love, quenching love.

Love weeps, love bleeds,
It courses through our veins;
little rivers running thru us.

And all there was and all there is 
is water, water everywhere.

Water within us, 
Water without us.
Sky water, ground water,
Ice water, sweet water, 
Salt water, deep water.
Water..

We were born into water,
Nourished and secured by it. 


Love flows like water, 
It grows like water, 
It knows like water, 
And like water, 

Love renews itself again and again.