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Showing posts from 2012

happy new year!

We spend January 1st walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched.  Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives... not looking for flaws, but for potential. - Ellen Goodman

Wishing all my readers a happy and meaningful New Year, with Love, Light and Laughter - Dominique Allmon

losing a loved one

You will lose someone you can’t live without and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly - that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp. - Anne Lamott

Image source here

innumerable beings

however innumerable sentient beings are, I vow to save them however inexhaustible the passions are, I vow to master them however limitless the teachings are, I vow to study them however infinite the Buddha-truth is, I vow to attain it 
Quoted from the Training of the Zen Buddhist Monk‎ by Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, Zenchū Satō


True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not. - Seneca

Wishing everyone a thoughtful Thanksgiving - with Love, Light, and Laughter - Dominique

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the fear of death

by Nick Edge

When a person dies, there arises this doubt:  ‘He still exists’ say some; ‘he does not’ say others.  I want you to teach me the truth.
This is the third boon that Nachiketa asks of Yama, Lord of Death, in the Katha Upanishad. This is also the question that has driven me, and countless others, to search for answers.

From a young age I can remember being very aware of the fact that one day I would cease to exist, and this filled me with an overwhelming sense of fear. In a society that effectively denies death by keeping it behind closed doors and out of sight, those who look for answers can often feel frustrated and lost, not knowing where to turn. 
However we are not the first to ask these questions and fortunately those that have gone before us have left many clear pointers to help us on our path.
Yoga has long recognized that death, and the fear of death, are realities that have to be faced with openness and courage while we are still alive. Patanjali, in the…

the space within the lotus

As great as the infinite space beyond is the space within the lotus of the heart. Both heaven and earth are contained in that inner space, both fire and air, sun and moon, lightning and stars. Whether we know it in this world or know it not, everything is contained in that inner space. - Chandogya Upanishad

path to a secret belonging

In prayer, we come nearest to making a real clearance in the thicket of thought.  Prayer takes thought to a place of stillness. 
Prayer slows the flow of the mind until we can begin to see with a new tranquility.  In this kind of thought, we become conscious of our divine belonging.  
Madonna, Fra Filippo Lippi (1406-1469)

We begin to sense the serenity of this clearing.  We learn that regardless of the fragmentation and turbulence in so many regions of our lives, there is a place in the soul where the voices and prodding of the world never reach.  
It is almost like the image of the tree. The branches can sway and quiver in the wind, the center of the tree, there pertains the stillness of its anchorage.  
In prayer, thought returns to its origin in the infinite.  Attuned to its origin, thought reaches below its own netting.  In this way prayer liberates thought from the small rooms where fear and need confine it.  
 Despite all the negative talk about God, the Divine still rem…

patience and determination

Only bad things happen quickly… Virtually all the happiness-producing processes in our lives take time, usually a long time: learning new things, changing old behaviors, building satisfying relationships, raising children. This is why patience and determination are among life’s primary virtues. - Gordon Livingston

Life is a process that unfolds gradually as we move through time and space. And yet, in today’s fast-paced world we expect things to happen quickly. Patience is the forgotten virtue. As soon as we get what we want we are already chasing after another experience. Instant gratification is like a disease that makes us blind to the real world out there. How can anyone with such an affliction expect to be genuinely happy? - Dominique Allmon

the most wonderful thing

The most wonderful of all things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one’s relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life. - Sir Hugh Walpole

a place of deep and profound realization

by Adyashanti
We can come to a place of deep, profound realization, which is wonderful and very freeing, but the mistake that’s often made is that at a later point, when the synchronicity or some other wonderful experience is not happening, we think we have lost something. Actually, that’s a particular interpretation that is rarely examined. What actually happens is similar to the human experience of going through developmental stages. Remember the experience of moving into adolescence, when you’re twelve and a half, and you’re not there yet, and you’re leaving childhood behind?

That which in childhood seemed so wonderful is no longer available. The things that had been fun aren’t so much fun anymore, but the new ways to enjoy life aren’t very obvious. It’s awkward and you make mistakes, if they can even be called that. You can look back on that time with a rather clear understanding. It wasn’t that you fell away from childhood, it’s that you were outgrowing it. As you …

the reality of being - the fourth way of gurdijeff

a book review by Tracy Cochran
“Gurdjieff brought us a knowledge of consciousness, a science that shows what we are and our potential capacity, what needs to be developed,” writes Jeanne de Salzmann in a work that offers a long-needed clarification and exploration of what G.I. Gurdjieff called the Fourth Way. “It is a real understanding of the energies in us, of their relation in our­selves and with everything around us. He came to bring a teaching, show a way toward consciousness. What is a ‘way’? And what is a teaching of a way?” The light she shines is a watershed event in the development of the teaching, and in spiritual search in the West.
The Fourth Way by Álexándra Léxx Nórdóttír
In the eyes of the world, the test of a true spiritual way is that it allows a student to attain realization. Drawn from notebooks kept meticulously over forty years, this book is the expression of a journey to consciousness following the Fourth Way. The Reality of Being marks…

healing properties of fluorite

Fluorite, also known as fluorspar, is the most important natural fluoride. In the past fluorite was known as spatum vitreum or calx fluorata. The current name "fluorite" derives from the Latin word fluere which means "to flow" and pertains to the fact that fluorite was, and still, is used as flow agent in iron smelting. Thanks to its ionic nature, fluorite has the capacity to increase fluidity. It reaches the melting point at 1360 centigrade. This qualities were first mentioned in 1530 by Georgius Agricola in his work on metals.

Fluorite is a halide mineral composed of calcium fluoride. It is an isometric mineral with a cubic habit, although octahedral and even more complex crystal forms are not uncommon. So called crystal twinning is rather common and adds complexity to the observed crystal habits.
Although fluorite gave its name to fluorescence in 1852, not all specimen of fluorite are fluorescent. Many fluorites, however, emit a fascinating blue-vi…

rejected gifts

Near Tokyo once lived a great Samurai, now old with age, who decided to teach Zen Buddhism to young people.

One afternoon, a warrior - known for his complete lack of scruples - arrived there. The young and impatient warrior had never lost a fight. Hearing of the old Samurai’s reputation, he had come to defeat him in order to increase his fame.
All the students were against the idea, but the old man accepted the challenge.
All gathered on the town square, and the young man started insulting the old master. He threw a few rocks in his direction, spat in his face, shouted every insult under the sun and even insulted the old man's ancestors.

For hours, he did everything to provoke the old man, but the old man remained impassive. At the end of the afternoon, by now feeling exhausted and humiliated, the impetuous, hot headed warrior left.

Disappointed by the fact that the master had received so many insults and provocations, the students asked:
- How could you bear such indignit…

the art of intuition

A book review by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Sophy Burnham is the author of 12 books including The Path of Prayer and The Ecstatic Journey. She begins this expansive exploration of intuition with a list of some of the words usually associated with it: a hunch, a gut feeling, an inspiration, a premonition, precognition, clairvoyance, and second sight.

The root of the word in Latin is tueri, which means "to guard, to protect." Whereas 60 percent of adult Americans believe in intuition, clairvoyance, and ESP, 96 percent of scientists from the National Academy of Sciences claim to be skeptics, though 10 percent of them think that para-psychological research should be encouraged. That gulf is why Burnham is right in saying that "intuition is some kind of swift intelligence that operates differently from reason and has nothing to do with smarts." Studies and polls have also shown that women are more intuitive than men.

In a series of illuminating probes, B…

quiet food and the cake the Buddha ate

by Dominique Allmon
A few years ago, while browsing at a Waterfront bookstore in Cape Town, I discovered a true treasure: "quiet food: a recipe for sanity" which is a wonderfully illustrated cookbook. The black & white images invite contemplation and you definitely feel like trying out the "Zen pilaf," the "frog in the pond pudding" or the "morning glory" dishes while still perusing the book. Each recipe is more tempting than the last. 
Published in 2008 by a Buddhist Retreat Center in Ixopo, South Africa, this is a very special cookbook. I call it an oasis of peace and sanity in a hurried and sometimes very disturbed world. The experience of preparing and eating food is elevated here to a level that is rather unknown in the fast-paced, modern world. Cooking becomes meditation.

Anyone who loves cooking knows that preparation of a meal can be a very satisfying affair, especially if one can free one's mind from judgment and unnece…

how to make a gem elixir

Gems and crystals fascinated people since the beginnings of humanity. Their beauty was only one aspect that attracted attention of our ancestors. Most importantly, they discovered their magical powers and learned how to apply their healing properties. Over the ages gems became a vital element of the holistic approach to health.

Gems were used for healing in many cultures. We find them in the Stone Age cultures, in ancient Egypt, China and India. We read about them in Old Testament and in works of Aristotle and find prescriptions in Middle Ages.
The modern crystal therapy is based mostly on the work of the Medieval abbess Hildegard of Bingen who systematized crystals and their properties and incorporated gems into a holistic health concept. She used gems and crystals both, externally and internally: the healing stones were either placed on the body or used in preparation of elixirs that were to be ingested by the patients. 

To make a gem elixir simply place cleansed gems - raw or t…

one hand clapping

The master of Kennin temple was Mokurai, Silent Thunder. He had a little protege named Toyo who was only twelve years old. Toyo saw the older disciples visit the master's room each morning and evening to receive instruction in sanzen or personal guidance in which they were given koans to stop mind-wandering.

Toyo also wished to do sanzen.*
"Wait a while," said Mokurai. "You are too young."
But the child insisted, so the teacher finally consented.
In the evening little Toyo went at the proper time to the threshold of Mokurai's sanzen room. He struck the gong to announce his presence, bowed respectfully three times outside the door, and went to sit before the master in respectful silence.
"You can hear the sound of two hands when they clap together," said Mokurai. "Now show me the sound of one hand."
Toyo bowed and went to his room to consider this problem. From his window he could hear the music of the geishas. "Ah, I have i…

kundalini energy and spiritual enlightenment

The Kundalini Energy is the basic evolutionary force in every individual. It’s purpose is to drive us to reach for enlightenment. This energy lays coiled at the base of the spine until released, where the natural flow is then up the spine and out the top of the head, cleaning and refining the cells in the body as it goes and removing any energy blocks in its way. We all have a certain amount of this energy available to us at birth and throughout our life, but laying dormant, awaiting its release, is an abundance which we are able to consciously activate if desired, speeding up our evolution. A number of layers of the Kundalini energy are naturally released throughout a person’s lifetime, depending on the readiness and personal growth of the individual. This release happens without our knowledge, bringing us new spiritual awareness, psychic abilities, blissfull states and a general feeling of enlightenment.

Energy blocks throughout the body are caused by old emotional iss…

the philosopher of kindness

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. - HH Dalai Lama Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, usually shortened to Tenzin Gyatso (July 6, 1935) is the 14th Dalai Lama, a spiritual leader revered among the people of Tibet. He is the head of the government-in-exile based in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India. Tibetans traditionally believe him to be the reincarnation of his predecessors.

The Dalai Lama was the fifth of seven surviving children to a farming family in the village of Taktser. He was proclaimed the tulku or rebirth of the 13th Dalai Lama at the age of two. In 1950 the army of the People's Republic of China invaded the region. One month later, on 17 November 1950, he was enthroned formally as Dalai Lama: at the age of fifteen, he became the region's most important spiritual leader and political ruler. In 1951 the …

journey to the center

by Dr. Robert L. Moore
There are two components to the sacred masculine and masculine spirituality. The first component is for a man to get connected to the great power that he needs for life, that his family needs for him to have, that his community needs for him to have, that the world needs for him to have. Second, masculine spirituality concerns what a man must do to keep his power from turning demonic and destructive in his personality and life, in his family, in his community, and in the world. Masculine spirituality has these two parts: (a) a man has to connect to the power, and (b) he then must figure out how to keep that power from destroying him and his world. In the history of masculine spirituality, we have not done well with the second one. We have at times been very good at powering up, like Nazi S.S. troops, but we have not always been effective in keeping our power from turning demonic.
center or chaos?
Throughout history all forms of spirituality have unde…

the five minutes cure for your monkey mind

by Ron Atchison
We're all looking for the right answers, aren't we? We look in self-help books and churches and seek out teachers and therapists and gurus and astrologists and some folks even hire fortune tellers. But what if I told you the best way to find what you're looking for is to stop looking?
Sometimes we look and search too much. Our minds are filled with knowledge, facts and philosophies but we never find peace because we can't stop thinking!
Many Buddhist teachers refer to this phenomenon as 'monkey-mind' because it's similar to the way a monkey will swing from tree to tree tasting a banana from each one before dropping it and moving to the next tree. Like these monkeys, we often jump from thought to thought without ever really being in the present moment.

The cure for this is to make a conscious effort to quiet the mind. Or take what I like to refer to as a 'mental vacation.'
There are many different techniques …