May 1, 2000
Clear Body, Clear Mind
It seems as though the cleaner the body, the better we nourish and exercise, the more we facilitate a clear mind. With my “sitting”, I’ve always been instructed to not get “hung up” on the concentration aspect of “no thought”. Essentially, “sitting” involves nothing more than always coming back to the breath. For example, if the breath is ZZ’, and thought A leads to thought AA’ to thought B to BB’, etc., my meditation simply aims to bring me back to ZZ’ experience. One Master explained an exercise whereby we arrived back to present moment ZZ’ by reviewing all the previous thoughts that led us away from present moment attention. Certainly, the weather also plays into how difficult it is to come back to ZZ’, but perhaps the notion of “nonattachment” is the key. When I first started meditating I had an achievement orientation. There was a fascination with the discussion of satori, where I was striving to get some mystical experience. I thought that if I could fixate on ZZ’ long enough, if I could block out A and AA’, etc., I’d have some special mystical experience. However, the more I struggled to achieve, the more difficult it was to observe ZZ’. There was a huge insight to learn that the more I “tried”, the further I traveled from where I wanted to be.
A few years back I found myself in financial trouble with a business I had invested heavily in for over fifteen years. The more I became.attached to my “notion” of the business, the more I struggled to keep it going, the more unbalanced my life became. My mind was filled with never ending thoughts. I did not nourish my body with the necessary exercise and diet. I did not clear my mind with daily meditation, and I lost my focus on gratitude as key to happiness. Clearly, the more I chased “monkey mind” thoughts, the more attached I became to my separation, ego and pride, the more I struggled. It was only in “letting go”, in surrendering to the moment, that I found myself, reconciling my self into self. Just as ants mindlessly consume themselves to death in a sugar bowel, I too, had lost present moment awareness and appreciation. Once body/mind/spirit surrendered to the “universe”, once I could find “faith”, it was if the power was again turned on.
Holy Creator, thank you for showing me the integral relation of body/mind/spirit. As I feed and nourish each aspect, continue to show me how it feeds and strengthens the others. As we come to see the universe as a single body, help us to all see the value in reverence for breath, for each and every wave that comes our way, whether filled with apparent tragedy or comedy. As we “face” this moment, fill our hearts with gratitude for our connection with “the water”. May we all live our “passion for life” as we let go of notions of ego, pride, ownership and separation.
May 2, 2000
Summoning Inspiration and Making It Your Own
What makes me different in those moments of creation, when I truly have felt inspired? Perhaps the most profound element is being “open”, not reliving the past or anticipating the future. There’s a tremendous sense of “connection”, of being in and of “the water”. At this point we are “in the precious moment”. You’re beyond the edge of space and the dimension of time at this point. At this point we move beyond ego and separation. This state of consciousness plays into marriage, when two people coming together weave a web of consciousness, with each loving thought and action serving as a thread adding to the universal consciousness. From this state we’re ready to receive the fundamental truths about consciousness, we come to critical moments where we understand what “love” is.
Deepok Chopra stresses the exercise of writing down these inspirations as they come to us. He calls these “threads through which the fabric of consciousness is woven.” He advises a notebook where we can write our “sutras” or insights, as well as those of others who inspire us. It’s crucial to daily set aside time when we’re most receptive, with the early morning working for most people. Letting the mind relax and quiet, with full attention to express what you “know”, a “spark of truth from your higher self” will emerge. Watching the spiritual vision grow is very satisfying.
Holy Spirit, thank you for universal consciousness, for daily insights. Fill this universe with ever increasing love and awareness to “the water”, as more and more living creatures learn to “pay attention” to the grace bestowed upon us throughout each and every moment of our lives. As we travel beyond time and space to connect in full harmony with the song of existence, may we never lose sight of the blessings of body/mind/spirit.
May 3, 2000
Waking To Thank The Body
One of the more difficult things for most people is just getting out of bed. Steven Covey calls it “mind over mattress” and I strongly agree that the approach we take to life when we first awaken is critical to our happiness. As I’ve aged there have been more aches and pains associated with my morning rise. There have been those days where I don’t face the wave at day’s first light as I cave to the “pleasure” of sleeping longer, not because I needed more rest, I just chose to avoid the beginning of the new day. However, I can now rise with determined energy as I consciously give thanks for surviving the night, for the wonder of eyesight, hearing, sensation of my muscles, kidney and bowel function, smell, etc. Rather than letting my flashlight of attention wander to what’s not working, I find great joy in giving thanks for what is working. In Carolyn Myss’ work on “woundology”, she places a great amount of attention to our obsession with what’s not working. Certainly, as we put more attention to what’s not working, that which is broken only becomes stronger in our awareness.
One of the greatest gifts to my increased performance on ride vehicles at my age has been to move attention to various parts of the body. As I’ve become aware of a sore knee after several hours of high activity, I give thanks to it for giving me the performance it has. I then move awareness to my other knee, to my arms, to my feet, to my eyes, etc., as I thank them for their contribution to my “ride through life”. This kinder and gentler approach to the body has fed me tremendously in personal happiness and performance. I find that as I move away from my critical, judgmental focus on what wasn’t working to gratitude for what is working, the healing of the wound is accelerated.
Does this mean I ignore pain and injury? No, there’s a great respect for the body and its need for nourishment. If I do have an injury where the pain is continually pulling my attention to a particular body part, I pay particular attention to it in full loving kindness for what it’s given me, avoiding the typical tendency of criticizing it for it’s current difficulty.
Holy Spirit, may my heart always be filled with thanks for the miracle of body function. As I move through life with various injury and sickness, may body/mind/spirit work together in full gratitude for all that’s been given. As I relish this present moment, as I breath from mouth through to the soles of my feet, may I always find my smile as I come again to “touch the water”.
May 7, 2000
True Success Only Comes From Letting Go
as I’ve discovered true happiness comes from gratitude, it seems as though
truly successful people have all come to a crossroads in their lives where
they had to “let go”.
Whether it’s letting go of the strong attachment to business, to an ego identity associated with a skill or talent, or any other form our attachments take. Only by facing the wave in full vulnerability can we move beyond fear. As children we seem to experience this every time we moved from one stage of schooling to the next. In grade school I was very humble as a first and second grader, carrying a great sense of awe for the older students. At sixth grade my ego had swelled as I felt very confident lording over the younger students. Then, the rug’s pulled out and we enter junior high school where we’re the lowest on the social ladder. Through experience and time we move through to ninth grade where ego once again leaves a sweet taste of success, only to be yanked away as we move to high school, then built up, only to be yanked away as we enter college or the work environment. It seems that the degree to which we “attach” to our limited perceptions of the world determines our happiness and ability to move beyond fear.
I’ve seen college freshman crumble when they had to leave behind their high school identity filled with strong achievement. As dormitory directors we were continually on the look out for suicidal tendencies from students having difficulty in facing the wave and starting all over. As a business owner over the past several years, time and again, I’ve seen the pain associated with the loss of a business. Yet, with each loss comes a strengthening of character, a greater connection with body/mind/spirit, as we come to better identify what true success is all about.
Holy Spirit, may we all come to appreciate the beauty in losing the unnecessary, in “smashing” our ego concepts, and in moving to the freshness of each and every breath as we “touch” the water. Thank you for showing me the pain associated with our typical notions of success. Clearly, the most tormented individuals I know are the ones so preoccupied with fear of losing what they perceive “to own”. Help us all discover the absurdity of ownership, control and attachment as we approach each and every wave in full confidence and connection of spirit. Moving beyond notions of time and space, fill our hearts with happiness when we come to discover our original smile through the breath.
May 9, 2000
Mercy, Forgiveness, Letting Go and Other Relations of Nonattachment
My early religious experiences focused extensively on asking forgiveness from a parental supreme father. While I prayed the Lord’s prayer daily, it’s only recently that I’ve come to truly appreciate the strength in, “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. This statement is so rich in capturing the essence of “letting go” through the power of loving kindness and compassion. Traveling through this second half of life I come more and more to see the power of mercy, not only on myself, but upon others as myself. By letting go of notions of “me against them”, of separation and duality, I come to a lighter, kinder, more gentle style of life. I experience the lift in this moment when I extend mercy upon my existence, my actions, my body/mind/spirit.
Holy Spirit, encompass me with your loving kindness as I surrender in full faith to this precious moment. As I move past fear, judgment and defense into the glory of mercy and loving kindness, may I always be grateful for this “daily bread” of breath. May we all come to see the bounty you provide when we only listen to the sights and sounds you present throughout our daily living.
May 10, 2000
Mercy, Discovering a Sense of Connection, Moving into the Zone Past Notions of Right Doing and Wrong Doing
In The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron makes a very important distinction in the creative process. She writes, “Art is not about thinking something up. It is about the opposite- getting something down…..if we are trying to think something up, we are straining to reach for something that’s just beyond our grasp ‘up there in the stratosphere, where are lives on high.’ When we get something down, there is no strain. We’re not doing; we’re getting. Someone or something else is doing the doing. Instead of reaching for inventions, we are engaged in listening.” She stresses the insight that we are listeners as we become artists of life…we are more a vehicle or conduit in our creation than the actual creator of what we express.
As we move into the extreme, as we “listen to the edge of our ability”, the next expression of our creative is born in effortless ease. There is no strain. Once we begin to truly listen, to connect with the universe, we hear a higher harmonic synchronous to the rhythm of life. We come to understand and experience “mercy” and “grace” and in receiving this, we give thanks and are filled with happiness. With faith in the universe, with open listening “beyond right doing and wrong doing”, the universe does support our discovery in the moments of creation.
Smashing Judgment and Notions of Perfection
Julia Cameron writes, “Perfectionism has nothing to do with getting it right. It has nothing to do with fixing things. It has nothing to do with standards. Perfectionism is a refusal to let yourself move ahead. It is a loop—an obsessive, debilitating closed system that causes you to get stuck in the details of what you are writing or painting or making and to lose sight of the whole. Instead of creating freely and allowing errors to reveal themselves later as insights, we often get mired in getting the details right. We correct our originality into a uniformity that lacks passion and spontaneity.”
Once again, we are shown the value in “not attaching”, in moving with the flow of the river, in taking the course of least effort as we listen and discover, as we serve as a conduit in the creative process. In music I’ve found the greatest joy from making each song new. Doing music perfectly, over and over, to a fixed score feels like I have handcuffs on, like there’s a fixation on the execution of the song that leads further and further from the true spirit of the song playing itself out through me and the others listening to its release.
In The Artist’s Way, there’s a strong condemnation of judgment and it’s stifling effect in the creative process. Cameron writes, “To the perfectionist, there is always room for improvement. The perfectionist calls this humility. In reality, it is egotism. It is pride that makes us want to write a perfect script, paint a perfect painting, perform a perfect audition monologue. Perfectionism is not a quest for the best. It is a pursuit of the worst in ourselves, the part that tells us that nothing we do will ever bo good enough—that we should try again.”
Holy Spirit, fill me with the discipline to “listen to the universe”, to serve as an ever expanding conduit in your glorious “oneness” as I am played through the creative process. As I thirst for ever unfolding discoveries of this moment, help me to listen to the passion in my heart. Help me to truly move beyond notions of “right decisions”, into the wonder of discovery.
May 11, 2000
Facing the Wave: Beyond Notions of Shelter
I was raised on a farm in a very small house built in the late 1800’s. This house had a cellar we entered through two doors that swung up from the ground, one door resting against the porch of the house. This created a small den-like space that was very comforting to me in my early years. How I wish I had a log of the time spent in this tiny space of refuge. I’ve heard from many friends that it was common to have a space of refuge like this as we faced the difficult times of our childhood. I remember feeling very secure, nestled in this space with just enough light to see, but certainly too dark for my parents to ever find me. My parents had a traditional approach to child rearing which included a physical punishment when my behavior was not acceptable. My mother would serve as judge and jury with my father being the one to execute the punishment through a spanking. Often he was out in the fields, so there always seemed to be a period of agony from the “sentence” to the actual spanking, and this time was generally spent under the cellar door. I think this is where I first realized that “notions” and “never ending anticipation” of what might happen always seemed much worse than facing the spanking. I know this irritated my father because I learned to almost enjoy the spanking because it was the end of my “monkey mind” fear.
It seems that I still need sanctuary, but how much richer it is when I can just sit, just breath, just settle the mind and enjoy this precious moment. Holy Creator, fill us all with gentle acceptance of our existence and a genuine desire to nourish body/mind/spirit. May we all be exposed to the folly of “hiding” as we discover it’s nothing more than another separation from the wave. Fill us with the courage to come out from our hiding, to embrace each and every moment in full gratitude and awareness, taking care to experience all in one, one in all. May we all have the courage to face each of life’s waves in full attention and gratitude as we come to full experience of “the water”.
May 14, 2000
Yesterday my body was filled with desire as a strong northwesterly wind built on the lake. I was taken with notions of sailing the “best” location, not missing the “best” conditions. I rigged my equipment and was treated to beautiful sailing conditions out my backyard, yet every time the wind lulled I let “monkey mind” release as I contemplated sailing a “better” location. However, with discipline I continued to move my thoughts back to gratitude as I continually shifted my perceptions to the ever
changing environment. If there’s only one thing to pass on through my life’s learning, it’s gratitude and the tremendous power it carries. As I released my restlessness and thoughts of “something better”, the conditions treated me almost instantaneously. The key point is that the gratitude must be unconditional. This is not a technique that can be applied from a restless heart in “hopes” of improving the present. It must be “full surrender” and appreciation for the conditions as they are “now”, not some trick to be used to change conditions to what my fantasy thinks they should be. This was tested further after I sustained a leg injury once the conditions had become what my mind’s eye had fantasized. I was filled with restless desire, struggled with its release, treated to amazing conditions as a result, only to be faced with having the windsurf “ride” yanked from under my feet. Yet, by releasing my attachment to what “could have been” with a healthy leg my perceptual shift let me see so many other wonderful things that would have been missed without the injury. My heart was filled with a larger happiness simply by watching my boys sail. Several friends came by to enjoy the conditions as I saw windsurfing from my new vantage point. Yet, the day will most be remembered for my son’s announcement of engagement.
Holy Oneness, this never ending unfolding of life’s story is truly beyond my wildest dreams. As we learn to approach life’s waves in all its glory, pain, magnificence and splendor, help us to always remember the importance of gratitude for this very precious moment. May I always know the power of promise to myself and with this I pledge to carry a happy heart throughout my days.
May 16, 2000
Feeding Body/Mind/Spirit: To Be or Not to Be
When I was first exposed to Shakespear’s existential question I still had notions of “self” as ego, as this static entity called “Randy”. Yet, now these words carry a much richer meaning as I come to see “I” standing outside and inside of “I”. Coming to receive this precious moment, my breath passes beyond notions of existence and nonexistence. Coming into “beingness”, I surrender to full awareness of this moment, filled with gratitude for experiencing the universe as it unfolds unto me.
Yesterday I read one more article about the increasing obesity of our children today. The author attributed the problem to an ever increasing sedentary lifestyle due to TV and computers, poor eating habits, and poor example set by parents. When we see the psychological pain children suffer due to body weight issues, when we see the increased health risks due to obesity, we all want to change things so our children are happier. Yet, our desire to nourish these body/mind/spirits back to “beingness” is dependent on exposing them to other humans who value the nourishment of body/mind/spirit.
By understanding the universal law that the more we “try” to change another’s behavior, the more resistant they are to change, we see that our approach to bringing children to their own “beingness” must depend upon a kinder, gentler approach where they are nurtured in the ways of nourishing body/mind/spirit. It becomes crucial to identify those physical activities that fill them with passion for body movement necessary to keep muscles, lungs, heart, etc., healthy. We must educate them to the power of present minded living as they approach new levels of skill in their areas of passion. As they come to understand to power of “to be”, as they’re able to release notions of static ego, they come to appreciate the dynamic nature of their existence and consequently develop a better sense of stewardship for their body/mind/spirit. The author attributed much of the problem to a child’s snacking while watching TV. Certainly, if we could simply come to awareness when nourishing our bodies through eating, we’d make a huge step to healthier living. When we can put our attention to the tremendous gift of food, free from distraction of TV, music, reading, etc., we’ll be able to listen to our bodies when they say they’re full. The author noted that many children continue to eat long past their point of “fullness”, simply because their attention is divided between so many stimuli.
Holy Spirit, thank you for the power of prayer, for the strength of living in connection with “the water”. Fill us all with the power of “beingness” and a never ending flow of gratitude for living life in awareness of this precious moment. As we come into awareness of this moment, may we carry a sense of stewardship for nourishing the body/mind/spirit, for taking care to make actions that move us closer to our dharma, to our pure potential and meaning in living this “I” in and out of “I”, this “I” which remains standing even when my body is shed. May we serve our children, peers, elders…all living creatures, as we see that nourishment “touches” all in this moment of “beingness”. May we all be filled with a sense of wonder for the kingdom, power and glory as it presents to us this very moment.
May 17, 2000
The concept of loving kindness expressed without expectation, with no concern for recognition, seems to be one of the best attributes of true “character”. When a human being truly “touches the water”, the warm caress extended to another human being is absolutely felt as a warm touch to oneself. When I can release my pride, my ego’s sense of separation and need to triumph, I can surrender into the peace and harmony of the universe as one living breath. When my attention turns to “the water” rather than my concept of form in the wave, I feel at once more alive, yet almost invisible.
When I was younger there was a strong need to achieve, to be “better” than others. It seems as though the first half of life is occupied with this need to “triumph”. It’s as if there’s a false notion of meeting an “end” where we can ultimately say, “I did it”. Ironically, this pleasure tease of continually moving up the performance ladder to an “end” results in a quandary. What do I do now, stop? Do I move on to a completely new challenge? Do I teach others what I’ve learned along the way? I’ve learned that whenever there’s a crossroads, it’s always better to take the more familiar road. When I can take the experience of the “old road” and incorporate this to new adventures I’m met with a wonderful texture of the moment. For example, when I moved to another musical instrument, I went from trumpet to harmonica given my familiarity with air flow and lip musculature. When I took a break from music, when I came back to it I picked up the trumpet, once again discovering new levels of connection to the sounds it could produce. And now, more importantly, I’m finding greater pleasure in producing sounds invisibly rather than in front of an audience. If I can “touch” someone by playing taps in the distance of a graveyard, invisibly provide atmosphere in a restaurant to enhance a friend’s experience with another, contribute to the harmonious connection at a wedding, funeral, graduation party, etc., there’s a richer sense of fulfillment, a totally different sense of achievement.
When my actions “touch” my passion for life, when these actions internalize with my heart for full “dharma” connection, I’m filled with happiness and a strong sense of “invisibility”. Holy Spirit, may our spirits know true freedom through this wonderful sense of invisibility. May we come to pure actions through “self referral” rather than “other referral”. May our spirits soar with delight as we “touch the water”, taking action based on spirit rather than ego.
May 18, 2000
Discipline and Sacrifice
I’ve been told that “sacrifice” has relationship with “sacred”. I’ve heard that “discipline” is doing that which our heart knows must be done, even when we don’t want to do it. I know that I become stronger at anything I “pay attention” to. So why is it so hard for us to take the healthy actions we “know” in our hearts are best for our well being? Why do we numb ourselves to TV, eat junk foods we know are not good for us, consume drugs that take us from present moment awareness, fail to engage in physical exercise we know our bodies need?
I’m currently fascinated with a lovely lady fighting bronchial cancer whose courage in the face of this deadly disease has been miraculous. Even during the darkest hours of her chemo treatment, she’s managed to maintain an exquisite smile with a wonderful outlook on and appreciation for life. She’s shown us the tremendous addictive quality of nicotine since she continues to smoke, knowing full well it’s a major contributor to her disease. I think she’s beating this cancer, even though she continues to smoke. I think my body’s in excellent shape, even though I continue to eat chocolate candy bars.
There’s an old Native American story about “feeding the two wolves”. Throughout life they new there were choices. We could “feed” the wolf of destruction through our self destructive actions or we could feed the wolf of well being through our positive self growth actions. In the end, the wolf we feed the most grows stronger. As I review the day, I must always ask how much I fed each wolf. The more I’ve caved into undisciplined actions of “pleasure”, the lower my sense of well being. The more I’ve taken a notion of “what can I get” rather than “what can I give”, the more the wolf of destruction’s been fed.
Holy Spirit, fill this heart with the strength to “do” that which I know must be done. Fill us all with the discipline to move to creative ground as we contribute our talents/dharma to the health of the universe. As I review each day, may I know I’ve fed the wolf of “well being” much more than the wolf of destruction. Help us all understand the power of “prayer”, of connecting with “the water”, of carrying a happy heart filled with gratitude for the millions of gifts presented in each and every moment. May I have patience and tolerance for the youth because they have so far to go, respect and honor for the elderly because they’ve come so far, and thanks for those in the middle who carry the heaviest load in doing the work. Throughout life’s challenges, may I always be grateful for insights provided through sacrifice as we face the wave and learn to “ride it”.
May 19, 2000
Yesterday our House catalog group met. I’m continually amazed at the power and capacity of their talents. Their sharp minds, logical thinking and much keener memory combines for a creative effort that is rare. Yet, I continually feel the urge to push them for better definition of purpose. It seems that most conflict within groups comes from conflict of intention, many times “intention unspoken”. They are all under thirty-five years of age and seem to have the typical intention of “triumph”. This inevitably leads to “comparison” and “judgment”. With this, I feel compelled to at least share my insight to the truth in “bigger is not always better, more is not always necessary”. It seems that we must learn this lesson over and over as we struggle for our perceived notion of “success” through “winning” some competition against others who do what we do. I told them how I move further and further from settling “self into self” the more I become preoccupied with getting approval from others. Ironically, the more I listen to my own dharma, the less occupied I am with compromising myself for another’s approval, the more I “touch the water”, the more I’m received into the harmony of the universe, the more true success I experience. With this, I challenged them to explore the mission of our company. I challenged them to envision their deathbed, to reflect on how they had applied themselves throughout their experiences at The House. At the end of the day, can we honestly say we’ve understood our intentions and put proper attention to furthering them through disciplined action? This is where real quality can be seen, at the juncture of action through body/mind and spirit.
My personal dharma revolves around a desire to share the beauty of “the ride”. Our generation is one of the first to experience a barrage of board sports allowing the rider full harmony of body/mind/spirit. In an ever increasing sedentary society, there’s a great sense of satisfaction with every board we sell, knowing it’s one more person making a choice to connect body/mind/spirit through a ride vehicle. No matter what form the board takes, it requires full “engagement” of body/mind/spirit as we push our skills to the next level of performance, as we come to better understand the nature of “extreme” and “peak performance”. The more individuals can engage the natural environment, the more we can “listen” to the elements, the greater we personally connect with “the water”, the more we come to revere the awesome beauty in each and every body/mind/spirit.
I find an overwhelming sense of satisfaction knowing that in some way I’ve contributed to someone’s discovery of “the ride”. As we share our experiences over these many years we hope others will learn to “listen”, to surrender to the passion of life through the splendor of the ride, to nourish the body, feed the mind, and touch the spirit. As most professional riders have come to learn, true success comes from surrendering to “in the zone” performance, smashing separation from ego attachment, and seeing that trophies and prizes are simply the scenery of the event.
If I can contribute to an individual’s experience of the sacred through board sports, if they can come to see the futility in a “consumptive” approach to riding, if they can see the value in commitment and discipline as they move to “peak performance”, I’m filled with a sense of satisfaction that will stand next to me as I shed this body. Holy Spirit, fill us all with a passion for living, a desire to explore our dharma, and a discipline to apply ourselves in courageous actions consistent with the wonderful, wild thing called our life.
May 21, 2000
I’ve often heard the phrase “fire which needs no wood” when it comes to creative energy driven by life passion. As I go through life’s gates I become ever more aware of the need to generate, to tap this energy with contributions that make this universe better. My personal life mission is to help all of us see, hear, touch, and smell the wonder in integrating body/mind/spirit in our actions. I’ve learned that “peak performance” comes when careful attention is given to nourishing the body, quieting the mind and “touching” the spirit. When all “riders” can come to full affirmation of life’s “YES”, followed by “THANK YOU”, the richness of life is revealed as we “touch the water”. Whether it be through boardsports, music, dialogue, etc., my “creative fire that needs no wood” propels me to express the power from engaging spirit with body with mind for “in the zone” flowing performance. In a world that seems to be less patient, looking for consumptive immediate pleasure, it’s my desire to share my insights to happiness from tolerance and patience.
keeps it fragrant. It’s patience that gives mild
to the male camel still nursing in its third year,
and patience is what the prophets show us.
The beauty of careful sewing on a shirt
is the patience it contains.
know the world’s a better place when we can all slow down and “touch the water”
throughout the day’s action. As I communicate with today’s youth, I am compelled
to share my insights to patience, tolerance, gratitude, discipline and the
incredible need to “sharpen the saw” and pay attention as we push our performance
to the edge of our ability, as we come to full understanding of “extreme”
in full recognition of the need to nourish body/mind/spirit. “Ride For Life”
is dedicated to nurturing “riders” through the universal insights gained from
years of training and experience with a wide variety of ride vehicles. Through understanding the body’s need for movement and engagement
with nature, “Ride For Life” will listen to what “drives” one to action for
body’s necessary exercise. “Ride For Life” will facilitate others to greater
awareness of all actions as we move more and more to life gratitude and happiness
in full awareness to what we eat, how we rest, how we work, what we give,
what we receive, etc. Through quieting
the mind and putting full attention to this wondrous precious “present moment”
riders will come to new levels of performance as they “become the ride”, “become
the mountain”, “become the wave”, “become the song”, etc. Through smashing the notion of separation,
“winners and losers”, “best and worst”, etc., the rider surrenders to the
play of the universe in the richness of the present moment. At full understanding
of the power of “surrender” with “full attention” after exercising “patience
and tolerance” through disciplined action driven by life passion, the rider
moves into new territory, into ever increasing texture and quality of performance.
“Ride For Life” aims to help youth recognize the value in “self” referral over “other” referral, helping them to “touch” their “fire” rather than being defined from another’s approval. This insight feeds the power of patience and tolerance as the student ever so carefully pushes into new territory. The snowboarder who flew a five foot ledge now looks for a six foot ledge in full awareness and respect for his ability and body. He/she rises above need for approval from friends pushing a jump from twenty feet. The rider engaged in ever increasing performance demands honors the body with proper stretching, weight training, diet, rest, and communion with friends and nature and carefully listens to the approach of the next wave. In summary, “Ride For Life” is dedicated to helping us listen in full gratitude as we engage body/mind/spirit in full action.
May 22, 2000
Perceptual Shifts, Consciousness Creation
A few years ago I was quite taken by a comment made to me by a woman who leads workshops in Tai Chi, healing touch, meditation, hatha yoga among other body/mind/spirit disciplines. She expressed such complete envy for my passion to windsurf and play my trumpet. She knew that these were two activities I was driven to participate in, much like food is needed for nourishment. I’ve since come to full gratitude for my passion “to ride”, whether it be a song or a board. Yet, I’ve also come to realize the importance of accepting the moment when I may not be able to participate in these particular actions. The ability to “let go” of specific activities we’ve invested in heavily is paramount for continuing our enjoyment of this precious moment. Yet, in the spirit of “taking the old road”, I’ve found wisdom in taking what I can from past experience as I apply it to a new vehicle or discipline. This process revolves around my strength to move perceptual focus, to realize there are millions and millions of stimuli to be thankful for and as long as there is “breath” there’s capacity to “touch the water”. Our power to create consciousness through perceptual shifts, to explore new territories, create new maps, only to travel into unknown terrain is what makes the “wonder” and “mystery” of life.
Holy Spirit, on this day before I undergo surgery to repair my Achilles tendon, may I always serve as an example of moving into the present, resisting the feeding of sympathy for my wound, helping others to see that “pain” is nothing other than “attachment” to a previous condition, desire to be as we were. Give me strength to overcome the anesthesia, to quickly move to present mindedness, and to put attention to the wonder in the healing process. May I exercise patience and tolerance throughout this healing period, express full gratitude to those assisting me in approaching the moment, and may I have strength to keep my energies positive, feeding the “good wolf” and starving the “wolf of destruction and ego”.
May 24, 2000
Gratitude, Surrender, Pain and the Miracle of Healing
Yesterday I had surgery on my foot to repair a torn tendon. It became very clear to me how the quality of my care was determined by the quality of my present mindedness and attitude. Surrendering full respect to the professionals in charge of my care, I found them willing to listen to my requests, also. I was particularly concerned with assaulting my body with large amounts of drugs necessary for anaesthetizing my body from the surgery. Approaching the problem together, I learned more about the importance of managing pain for better healing and we agreed to a spinal, rather than general, anesthetic. I was able to experience the events of the day in full appreciation and wonder, listening to and appreciating my bodily functions as they came back to me as the spinal wore off. I found it extremely helpful to go deep within the body to reconnect with internal organs, to come to full appreciation of this marvelous body and it’s contribution to consciousness. I am able to maintain present mindedness through the use of prescribed drugs for reduced swelling and irritation from the surgery as my energies are released throughout body/mind/spirit for healing.
Holy Spirit, fill our hearts with gratitude and acceptance for all who embark upon the road of their profession with compassion and kindness. As we experience ourselves in and of them, may we contribute to the growth of their talent by nurturing them and surrendering to their expertise. How sad it is when we question those who’ve placed far more attention to their area of expertise, when we try to feed our ego by robbing their spirit. Help us to experience the growth in universal quality as we learn to “listen” in full compassion to the life intentions of our brothers and sisters. May we be vitamins to their pure potential, filling their hearts with ever more creative energy, feeding the eternal fire that needs no wood.
Eulogy to Ardis Anders
There are people who’ve impacted my life in ways they may never realize.
People who’s face shines brightly in the darkest hours of my life.
People who’s radiant energy smashes the temptations to criticize and judge.
As I review a lifetime of experience, I’m unable to recall a moment of Ardis’ anger,
She so soundly taught us the value in “saving our anger for tomorrow”.
So vividly lived the life of divine patience and tolerance.
We all have our choices in the perceptions making our life reality
I’m simply stating the joy that fills my heart
whenever I reflect on my experiences with Ardis.
As a young boy, I was puzzled by her humility and grace
I questioned her strength when she faced life’s problems
Forever in “Ardis smile”.
Now as I’m in my second half of life, I’ve come to see the mountains moved
By her patience, tolerance, loving kindness and compassion.
As her body moved through stages of surrender, she fed mind and spirit
In full miraculous splendor and gratitude.
Ardis, you are so in and of each and every being who came into your presence.
You’ve shown us the power of courage and consideration
You’ve brought us closer to living as Christ has asked us, understanding that
Happiness is fed through gratitude and discovery of our “original smile”.
Holy Spirit, whenever we pass through the dark shadow of living,
Fill our hearts with full “Ardis smile” as we courageously face whatever wave
Approaches throughout our life’s journey…
The following letter was posted on a coffee shop wall. I have my suspicions Ardis wrote this.
People are unreasonable, illogical and self-centered
Love people anyway
If you do good, people will accuse you of ulterior motives
Do good anyway
If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow
Do good anyway
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable
Be honest and frank anyway
People favor underdogs but only follow topdogs
Fight for some underdogs anyway
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight
People really need help, but may attack you if you help them
Help people anyway
Give the world the best you’ve got and you may get kicked in the teeth
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
For me, Ardis’ smile epitomized the power of giving the best she had. As a mountain of moral character and values, I am comforted in knowing her spirit is with me through the most difficult of times.
May 26, 2000
Reflections on a Difficult Day
Yesterday the sky was blue, the sun in all its glory, greens exploding everywhere. A warm spring breeze brushed my face, yet I was in turmoil. One of the more difficult waves to face for me is that of “heritage”, when it throws me back to “that old time religion”. The funeral for Ardis was in the church I received my religious indoctrination from preschool to confirmation. The minister was just another of many who use the funeral as an opportunity to persuade others to their line of thought in understanding spirit. There was very little attention given to the glorious life lived by Ardis, the tremendous example she set for all. Rather, the emphasis was upon Jesus’ sacrifice so we could all be saved, how she was now with the angels. Perhaps the frustrating part for me was knowing that the way the service was conducted was probably exactly how Aridis would have liked it. Yet, I was so tempted to speak up and shout thanks for all she’d given to us, to let her know we feel her even now, deep in our bones. Instead, we droned out the typical hymns, said the typical prayers, ate the typical funeral meal, and, in general, avoided “facing the wave of death” in all its splendor. Throughout the day I was frustrated by knowing this funeral must be accepted as it “is”, knowing my place was to “listen” and extend loving kindness and compassion to the immediate family, yet feeling it could be so much more.
Holy Spirit, help me sort through this difficult day as I review my contribution to celebration of friends’ and relative’s lives. May I contribute to educating ministers to the inappropriateness of evangelizing at a funeral. May they come to understand the need for love and compassion without the need to assault those in attendance with the religious dogma they profess. May I play a part in helping others plan the gathering for their funeral so that we know the gathering is “in harmony” with their wishes. Fill us with the strength to face the shedding of our body, to “touch the water”, to share with others the way we’d like our body shedding party to be. Give us strength to move beyond judgment and criticism as we move through traditional funeral events, yet fill us with determination and commitment to enhance this experience to the glory of the human condition.
When you are with everyone but me,
You’re with no one.
When you are with no one but me,
You’re with everyone.
Instead of being so bound up with everyone,
When you become that many, you’re nothing.
May 27, 2000
Facing the Morning
And frightened. Don’t open the door to the study
And begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
I love the gift of rest most for its consequent gift of “waking up”. I often think a barometer of “well being” could be the degree to which we enjoy going to bed versus getting up. Just as eating requires respect to proper portions, resting also requires this kind of respect, depending upon the amount of sleep our body needs. Done properly, the entire notion of “waking” becomes magical…a subtle movement into consciousness with subsequent awareness of the day’s unfolding. As the mind is at its most quiet point, before monkey mind begins racing, I find it’s the best time of the day to reconcile self into self, to move into the present moment, savoring each breath. It’s also a wonderful time to explore dharma…to know that “my work is to discover and do my work”. As Rumi states above, we can “open the door to the study and begin reading” or we can “let the beauty of what we love be what we do”. How sad I am when reflecting upon all the creative energy used to avoid doing what I love to do? Holy Creator, fill me always with awareness to this moment, with a solid sense of “doing what is loved” rather than just “going into the study”. May we all surrender in full faith to our passion for life, assessing the moment as our eyes open each new morning. As we become the sunrise and sunset, may we all come to full happiness in knowing we’ve found our work, followed our heart to full action in gratitude for the blessings bestowed upon us. As we face the wave of each morning, give us strength to move beyond fear in full courageous action, beyond notions of judgment, rationalization and defense.
May 28, 2000
There’s an interesting protocol of interpersonal communication where each person will reveal themselves to the extent the other person does. It’s kind of like, “I’ll tip toe into the water if you will”. If I show you a little of what I think is me, then it’s your turn to show me a little of what you think is you. This “turn taking”, kind of a “give and take”, is the foundation for much of today’s communication. If I plunge into the water before you’ve even thought of getting wet, you’re often left with an uncomfortable feeling of pressure that usually results in retreat. Conversely, if you violate this step-by-step stripping of defense for open/honest communication, you’ve probably seen the other person retreat. There’s something very exciting, yet very scary, when we decide to open our communications to nondefensive, frank communication from the heart. Clearly, we ultimately end up loving these rare individuals so confident in their relation with “the water”, so at peace and harmony with those they encounter. It’s as if their sense of “oneness” and “self referral” fills them with such loving kindness and compassion that we’re drawn to explore ourselves, to move beyond our limitation of “wave” and separation.
Holy Creator, I know most of us have built layer upon layer of defense over years of hurtful communication from others. Yet, I know how wonderful it feels to “touch the water” in another’s presence. May we encounter more and more individuals who’ve courageously moved into “the water”, who clearly have a sense of “self reconciled in the self”, whose communications with others are without reserve, yet in full consideration for others. Moving through life, as we come to “touch the water”, may we come to full realization that there is no place to hide, no secret to defend. Fill our hearts with courage to move into these waters, with strength to move from our hearts rather than through fear of judgment and criticism from others. “Lead us not into temptation (of feeding the wolf of destruction), but deliver us from evil (to full nourishment of body/mind/spirit)” through the development and appreciation of our unique gifts as we courageously step into the waters of our creative spirit. Bring us all to a sense of abundance, a realization that another’s success is our success, that their need not be winners vs. losers. Moving beyond pride, ego, judgment, and separation, may we all soar in spirit fed delight as we come again to discover the precious “water” in fully surrendered “oneness”.
May 29, 2000
I have so come to learn the value in accepting the world as it is, in appreciating the value of patience and tolerance. However, the blatant disregard by so many of this day of remembrance has troubled me for years. This is truly the holiday of thanksgiving for the sacrifices others have made for our well being. Yes, Thanksgiving Day is also a wonderful day to reflect on the blessings received throughout the year, but it doesn’t quite carry the richness I feel when contemplating the gifts of those who’ve traveled before me.
Holy Spirit, I know your law of karma will ultimately play itself out for those businesses that disregard this day, using it as another opportunity to sell merchandise. May we all come to regard this day as sacred, as a time to set aside in remembrance of those whose existence was compromised or sacrificed in giving for our benefit. As we all come to “touch the water”, to unify in our human experience, may we come to discover the rhythm and harmony of the universe.