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Thursday, March 31, 2005

Scenic Vistas
Along the highways there are often road signs in advance of places where you can pull off of the road and take a moment to enjoy a scenic vista. These are often "overlooks" where you can park your car and get out to appreciate the view of a valley, a stream meandering through a wide meadow, or a group of mountains or hills you would otherwise miss. You have to stop and get out of your car in order to see what is there.
How often when traveling do you take time from driving to pull off the road and enjoy a scenic vista? We have become so busy with our driving and our work that we often dismiss and so lose the opportunity to enjoy the view--we drive on by and through it consumed with our own thoughts and process.  Has your time been so consumed with your doing that you have dismissed the opportunity for your being?
Part of our humanity is in being present to the beauty life presents to us. Enjoyment is a daily opportunity if you just note the signs and take the time to pull off the road to appreciate the view. You might see something you would't want to miss.  Insight and imagination are within you.
9:27 am est 

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Fairy Tales
As children we may be able to see things which become invisible to us as adults. Fairies danced in the morning dew. Spring awakens in us the memory of how fresh our attentiveness and our awareness was when we were young. Spring brings back the sense of surprise and fresh appreciation for new life.
Something new is coming into your awareness today. Fresh perspectives are always surfacing and new insights are dawning if you but allow the possibility. We do not always see things in the same way, and we do not always remember things in the same way.
The musical "The Fantastiks" ran on Broadway for a number of years. One of the songs from that show was "Try to Remember" and it invited us to remember our "callow" youth and to follow it.  Revisit possibility once again. Insight and imagination are within you.
7:56 am est 

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

While studying Qi Gong years ago a student exclaimed "I want chi!" The teacher, a traditional Chinese man, stepped back and with arms open wide, replied "Chi? Why chi is all around and within us!"
We wish for and grasp at the fulfillment of our desires for abundance, not recognizing abundance is within and  all around us. Monetary abundance is only one form of energy, and it is not the most comforting or fulfilling one, though we obsess on it so much that one would imagine nothing else could take its place. We often are like the  hungry ghosts" of Buddhist teachings at times in our grasping for wealth and monetary abundance. When do we ever have enough money? The wealthiest of people often believe they do not have enough. Even millionaires can be "hungry ghosts."
Generosity  and gratitude flow from a sense of abundance. Knowing and appreciating how much you have in terms of your personal resources and your gift of life; your senses, your community, your interests, is a practice worth cultivating. Practicing abundance is practicing openness to the riches of your own and the lives of all that is regardless of the amount of money you have. Abundance is a state of mind, heart and soul.  Reconsider the riches and the variety of gifts you hold in your life. Practicing abundance and gratitude for all you have opens the door to a fuller, richer life. Insight and imagination are within you.
9:36 am est 

Monday, March 28, 2005

Dream On
Do you dream? Do you remember your dreams? Do you dismiss them or believe they are messages? How you assess dreaming opens you to them or closes the door on what they are bringing to your attention. Dreams are part of the fabric and web of life.
Have you ever noticed a dog or a cat dreaming? The events of the dream are every bit as real as if they are occuring in fact. In actuality, dream events, though they may come from our subconscious mind, affect us in a very real manner.  In reviewing them, our dreams may become part of our consciousness and thereby part of our "reality". We awaken and bring our dream to mind, if we remember it, and so we begin our day with a memory of our dream . A dream begins the day.
Dreams and hopes. We all have them, but do we hold onto them and remember them or do we dismiss them and let them go? Do we follow them or leave them behind? Do we understand them? Control them? Welcome them or even want them? Know your dreams and what you do with them. Your reality depends on them. Dream on. Insight and imagination are within you.
8:28 am est 

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Upside Down
While taking a painting class some years ago I became so frustrated with what I had put on canvas that I turned the picture upside down and began working on it from that new position. Immediately I now saw new possibilities and opportunities for development. New colors brightened and enriched the work and all the old ideas were disturbed into new patterns and arrangements. In actuality, the painting began to show me what was next. I became the learner. The painting became the guide. The process of painting can be like that if you don't try to control it.
The fellow teaching the class at the time said, "I don't know if you can teach this." He was talking, I believe, about the process itself. Can you teach the process of letting painting teach you?
Turn the way you look at your world upside down. Look at things from a completely different perspective. Let the process of life itself teach you. Give up the need to control. Learn from the process. Insight and imagination are within you.
8:46 am est 

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Big Picture
There is more to know.There is always more to know, so always be ready to broaden your view of a situation or a person. Get into looking for the bigger picture. There is a Native American saying that you don't really know who someone is until you have walked a mile in their moccasins. Getting inside someone else's experience through thoughtful listening and considerate empathizing can show you more of what is going on for that person. Looking at a situation from the opposite perspective you find yourself viewing it from illustrates the hidden dimensions of it.
Photography is an excellent tool for learning about perspective. Wide angle, telephoto, macro and even pinhole lens work teaches one the variety of ways of seeing and emphasizing various features and dynamics of viewing. How are you viewing the scene, the situation or the person? Shift the lens. Insight and imagination are within you.
8:29 am est 

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Sky's the Limit
How high is the sky? Look up on a clear, warm Summer's night. You can see stars, planets, constellations, the moon, and perhaps distant galaxies. On and on the sky goes beyond human vision and perception toward endless infinity. The sky is beyond limit and reaches out past known to unknown worlds and universes.
How small we seem on a clear star-filled night. The sound of crickets underscores our finitude with a warm, comforting rhythm and pulsation which mirrors the beat of our own hearts. We gaze in wonder at the magnitude and beauty of the sky. We rise early to see the light of dawn. We participate in knowing the sky is the playing field for planets, comets, the sun, and winged creatures dancing in clouds of light. We know the sky is the limit and that it is beyond limitation.
Consider your own limitations and listen to the beat of your heart.  Insight and imagination are within you.
8:23 am est 

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Mighty Mouse
Do you know the story of the elephant and the mouse? The elephant was tied down and confinded by large ropes. The mouse nibbled through the cords and freed the large beast. The smallest of creatures liberated one of the largest.
Sometimes the smallest of notions can transform our reality. Like a key in a lock, awareness opens to new possibilities and new paths of understanding are born. Inventors think in terms of new ways of looking at and doing things. Light bulbs, telephones, computers, cars, and so much of what we take for granted came into being through small notions of how things could be better.
Look at your situation from a different perspective; perhaps one which seems inconsequential. There are books written on very mundane items (for example,"salt," and "screws") which have, in fact, changed history.  These elegant studies and stories give one the sense of how transformative seemingly small things can be. Insight and imagination are within you.
7:14 pm est 

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Things Change
A young boy we knew loved spaghetti--not the sauce, just the pasta. He would only eat pasta with butter. In fact, anything with butter was acceptable. Cheerios grilled in butter and hot dogs cooked in butter. So much butter, so little time, it seemed he thought.
He hardly remembers those times now. He rarely uses butter. He cooks fresh greens and eats fruits. He sautees his vegetables in oil.
You may once have loved something that no longer appeals to you and, in fact, now may "turn you off." You've changed, friends may say. And you may want to say, "of course!"
We change. The cells in our body completely renew and replace themselves on a regular basis. We are not the same body we were yesterday. Change is our natural state. Life changes and we move along with it or resist it. We embrace it or it overtakes us. How much controlled change can we manage? Change your mind? Change your outlook. Change your position. Small change. Changing times.  We are a stream of life energy. We are not a stagnant pool. Life ripples through us and celebrates movement. Insight and imagination are within you.
7:35 am est 

Monday, March 21, 2005

Never Never Land
The place where children never grow up and where Peter Pan teaches them to fly is called Neverland. James Barrie's mythical kingdom touches children and adults with the possibility of a realm and place beyond convention and restrictions to the imagination. Is there ever a neverland or is neverland never to be?
Since, as they say, the dawn of time, humans have wanted to fly. Birds soar high above us inviting us to join them and our hearts fly off with them even if our physical forms do not. Can you remember, if you have taken a plane trip, the first time you "flew?" Was it all you expected and hoped it would be, or did the experience still leave the sense of flying freely to your dreams and imagination?  Closer to the imagination is a ride in a helicopter, where you can dip and glide just above the colorful tops of trees and hillsides. Gliders come closer to the experience of birds, we imagine, with the  swooshing of breezes and the buoyancy of wind currents beside and beneath us. We fly in so many different ways, though we still imagine more possibilities.
Your imagination has guided and brought you where you are so far in this journey. You have traveled in whatever path and mode you have believed in and trusted to this point. Have you achieved everything you imagined or is there more to attain and fly toward? So many possibilities.  Open your imagination and sky-dive out into new ones. Insight and imagination are your parachutes.
8:49 am est 

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Far Out
Sonar waves are inaudible to the human ear, but dogs and cats show us they are there. The popularity of "invisible fences" acknowledges that we know that a dog's sense of hearing is keener than our own. And cats react to movements and sounds we don't recognize. They can even see the invisible, it sometimes seems. Both cats and dogs awaken us to realities of which we are unaware.
There are modes of communication going on all around us which we know little or nothing about. Plants respond to kind words and affirmation, we are told. They no doubt communicate with one another and no doubt with us, though we cannot yet hear them. Is this "far out?"
Some things cannot be verified.  Our science still lags behind reality; it cannot yet demonstrate so many of the realities outside of our perceptual fields. Does this mean they do not exist? Or does it demonstrate that the boundaries and limitations of our senses and science are still confined to a limited outlook and approach to research? Insight and imagination are within you.
8:53 am est 

Saturday, March 19, 2005

We have a friend who loves birds. Her vacations are planned around trips to Cape Cod and her favorite place to buy bird seed and supplies. She has also found a place where if she holds her hand outstretched and filled with seed, several varieties of birds will land, one at a time, taking a seed and flying off, only to return time and again. The gentle flutter of wings and the light touch of a wild bird refill her with the sense of the fragility and the beauty of life.
Our friend reconnects with life by getting away and allowing nature to touch her sensibilities and her soul. She returns to her work and her responsibilities with renewed energy and insight.
Nature touches us only if we make a place for it to do so. We have to stretch out our hand and wait for it to touch us. We have to be open and ready to let it connect with us. Open yourself to that possibility today in any small way you can. You have as many ways to do that as your imagination can provide. Insight and imagination are within you.
8:56 am est 

Friday, March 18, 2005

Never the Less
You know the saying about the glass: is it half full or half empty? The way you look at a situation changes the situation as well as your perception of it. Years ago an elderly woman friend used to encourage her young friends: "just pretend you are feeling the way you'd like, and soon you'll be feeling that way." And we thought pretending was childish and not for "grown ups." That was wonderful and very wise advice, though.
Sometime we have to take that leap into the unimaginable in order to bring it into being. Sometimes we play the part in order to develop the character. Sometimes we have to learn from imagining rather than analyzing. Sometimes we have to see the glass is truly at least half full; sometimes it is completely full if we look at it in a more imaginative way. How about for you? What can you imagine up for yourself today? Go for it! Insight and imagination are within you.
9:17 am est 

Thursday, March 17, 2005

St. Patrick and the Snakes
St. Patrick's Day celebrates the man who is said to have "driven the snakes out of Ireland." Are there still snakes in Ireland, one may wonder? If not, where did they go? If there are still snakes in Ireland then there is a situation of denial in our celebration of St. Patrick's accomplishments. Is this all blarney? Do we seek the truth in St. Patrick's Day, or do we merely enjoy the wearing of the green and the joy which accompanies a Day which seems to be simply about fun?.
How many holidays do we actually have which are as light-hearted and happy as St.Patrick's Day? Celebration just for the sake of joy provokes parades, gift-giving and all around pleasantries. Why not? Light-heartedness is a gift of feeling-nature, and joy is our natural inheritance and our spirit's true home. So, top 'o the mornin' to ye' and carry it with you through the day. Insight and imagination are within you!
8:42 am est 

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

How many times have you been thinking of someone when you receive a letter or a phone call from them? How many times have you called someone and they said, "I was just thinking of you!" No doubt you have chalked the events up to coincidence.
Co-incidence is, in truth, not a coincidence, but a law of nature. The law is "Like attracts like." Your thoughts/feelings connect with another and you reach out to discover them connecting with and reaching out to you.  At a level deeper than our superficial consciousness our energy has connected with another even before we reach for the phone.
"There are no coincidences." Trusting that you are part of the process of co-incidence is recognizing that nature and its spirit is within all that is and that it cannot help but participate in synchronicity. Insight and imagination are within you as well as all that is.
9:05 am est 

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

There is a mindful way of life which brings a sense of appreciation for "what is going on" in the present moment. Mindful living is awareness of what we often, instead, take for granted. The sun rises and sheds warmth and light which makes our life possible. Water comes from a tap having journeyed from streams or rivers far away in more pristine places. Our breath continues and nurtures our being.
Being in touch with what you take for granted and acknowledging and being grateful for it is mindful living. Recognizing the beauty within yourself and others is also the way of mindfulness. Insight and imagination are within you.
8:01 am est 

Monday, March 14, 2005

A Rebirth of Wonder
Lawrence Ferlenghetti wrote a poem in which he spoke of waiting for seemingly unchangeable situations to change. He completed each stanza of the poem, "and I am waiting for the rebirth of wonder."
Wonder is the experience of surprise and amazement which may provide the joy of life within it. Wonder is engagement and enthusiasm and the renewed sense of possibilities one had not anticipated or expected. In wonder everything is not managed or manipulated, but creative life springs from the most unlikely of sources.
Buddhist wisdom speaks of things not being what they seem. If a rose is now a rose it will soon be faded and become garbage. So is a rose not a rose? And within what we perceive as garbage there is the possibility of the regeneration of new life. The rose lives within the garbage. The garbage lives within the rose. Life renews and returns to its source and to life through the cycle of life and so called "death." Can this be "death?"
Life itself is a rebirth of wonder. Wonder is a state of mind open to the surprises life presents. Can you surprise yourself?  Stay open to the possibility and promise of a "rebirth of wonder." Insight and imagination are within you.
9:30 am est 

Sunday, March 13, 2005

See Shells
How amazing are these small, colorful but complex shells which once housed living beings. The variety of shapes and colors is a wonderful reminder that the simplest of creatures may create the most marvelous of designs with nothing but the resources they have within them, using the sea and the sand to design their dwellings.
We hold a shell to our ears and hear the ocean  sounding within it. Even the sound of the sea has been incorporated. How complex and yet how simple these shells are. They speak to us of wonder and beauty. They invite us to recognize that there is a time to just be present and see what is going on around and within us. They are companions and teachers of what is real, and how life moves within and outside of us.
How can we not marvel at the beauty and wonder of life if we merely hold a shell from the sea in our hands?
Insight and imagination are within you.
9:07 am est 

Saturday, March 12, 2005

In Reality
A favorite button of ours says, "Don't let reality spoil your dreams." How often when you have had an energizing notion which filled you with enthusiasm have you analyzed it away and dismissed it, thinking "its just not possible." Reality has spoiled your dream, and while being realistic is critical to success of any venture, too much analysis can derail many wonderful ideas.
"Sometimes A Great Notion" is more important than what seems realistic. Sometimes reality shifts and changes with the attainment of great notions including inventions we now not only accept but take for granted. Inventors and creative souls are the last to let reality spoil their dreams, for their reality depends on their dreams.
How can you build your reality on your dreams? Let your dreams go forward in spite of what reality seems to say about them. Give them a long leash, and see where they take you on it. Let your dreams determine your reality. Insight and imagination are within you.
9:22 am est 

Friday, March 11, 2005

The Sound of Music
All of life is music and vibration. If you attune yourself to life you can hear it. Spend some time in seeming silence just listening to the many sounds of life around you. Life itself is vibration and even objects which seem inert are humming along with it.
There are sounds the human ear cannot hear. Invisible fences are audible to dogs but were we to hear them, we would consider them noise pollution. Have you heard the sound of a hummingbird before you have seen it? Those who are blind depend to a much greater extent on the sense of hearing, and they have more to teach us about our world than we may have acknowledged.
Sounding an "ohm" or chanting on a vowel changes vibrations in a room as well as in those chanting. Listening to the chanting of Tibetan monks is a profound and awakening experience. The sound of music lives in everything which is. Can you hear it? Sound, vibration, and insight as well as imagination are within you.
9:31 am est 

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Consider Your Options
Choice is a matter of personal ability, taste and inclination. Recognizing the number of possibilities or options that you have in a given situation and then understanding the particular "lens" through which you regard and select them can widen your horizon. You may have options you haven't recognized  simply because you don't entertain them as possibilities.
Shopping for clothing can be a good place to practice this. You may be looking for something which you believes fits your style and appearance, and so you are dismissing and overlooking other items which may actually not only fit well but also may look great on you. How you define yourself can give you a sense of comfortable familiarity, but it may also restrict and confine your identity, removing some genuinely interesting possibilities.
Who are you? Can you reconsider your options? Insight and imagination are within you.
9:50 am est 

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

Recently we saw a sign that read: "Wisdom is knowing what to overlook." How insightful that is. Knowing what to pour your attention and energy into can make such a difference in one's day and one's life. Another favorite quotation from Indian literature is "Only the fool becomes angry, the wise one understands."
In both cases, it takes a shift in perspective and some time to recognize what really is important. Taking some time to recognize the lens and framework through which you are evaluating a situation or problem can provide you with new insight and perhaps some imagination in dealing with it. You're wiser than you think you are! Insight and imagination are within you.
9:43 am est 

Tuesday, March 8, 2005

Keep in Mind
Your mind is a complex and sophisticated tool still not understood or comprehended by research science. Your mind is an amazing tool which can transport you to ventures limited only by your imagination. Your mind can stay open even after maturity if you recognize the possibilities for continuing exploration and development. Don't be so quick to "make up your mind." Your mind is like a window. More fresh air comes in when it is open.
Your spirit motivates and introduces new possibilities to your mind. Your spirit is the breeze coming in through the window. Keep the window open. Insight and imagination are within you.
2:21 pm est 

Friday, March 4, 2005

Cat-itude is Latitude
Whether you like cats or not, you can learn a great deal from them. Cats tell us what is really important: good food, a place to curl up, sunlight, something to play with, and lots of love. Pets actually give us unconditional love, and it is always there for us to acknowledge and receive. When we honor our pets and treat them well, we also honor life and our presence in this life. We take cats and pets for granted too often.What would this life be without animal companions as well as the tremendous variety of life manifest in so many species of animals?
We have a part to play in creation, but we are not the only part in this play of lifespirit. We learn more every day about the world of animals. When Elephants Weep is the title of a recent book which shows the depth and complexity of elephant culture. Legendary stories speak of dolphins and how they have rescued humans from traumas at sea. The relationship between humans and dolphins is the subject of the mythology of many cultures. Whale Rider is a wonderful movie about a young girl who speaks with whales,and Winged Migration is another film which beautifully introduces the lives of legions of migrating birds.  We can have nothing but appreciation for their struggles as well as their great beauty, if we encounter this wonderful movie.
Have you considered the magnificence of your fellow beings on the planet earth? Have you learned from them in ways you never have acknowledged? Take some time today to give some appreciation back by recognizing how much animal life supports and inspires us. Insight and imagination are within you.
10:13 am est 

Thursday, March 3, 2005

Purple Power
A friend believes that the color purple makes "all things possible." Her house has purple carpeting. Her sweaters are often purple and she says she orders pairs of purple sox by the case for a reduced rate. She is a peaceful, happy person who brings much joy and healing to those she works with. She is an island of serenity in a busy, demanding time. Color is her companion in the journey.
Color has a great impact on our lives. We may "feel better" wearing certain colors or staying in rooms whose soft color suits our needs. We express ourselves by wearing color and color enriches our lives in ways we never imagine. The color of the foods we eat brighten our meals, the color of eyes makes an impression on us, the color of the sky seems always to be changing. We choose certain colors of cars. We decide one color is "better" or "worse" than others. (Another friend doesn't like the color orange and would not want anything orange in her home).
Choose a color that gives you a sense of comfort and peace. Notice what colors you respond to in different ways; with different feelings. Celebrate color. Color celebrates you. Insight and imagination are within you.
1:55 pm est 

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Does It Matter?
What is matter but spirit taking form? Spirit manifests through light into form and materializes so that our eyes can see it, our hands can touch it, and our sense organs can recognize it completely. We are given all these sensory ways to acknowledge that something is "real." If something is "real," it "matters", we believe.
If something has not materialized or become real it is "no thing" or "nothing." What do we do with nothing? Is there something to no thing? How do we decide if "nothing matters?"
There is an ancient wisdom  which says that what is seen is sure to pass away but what is unseen is enduring. What does this matter? Do you put your trust in "seeing is believing?" What does it matter if you do or do not? Doing something is not being something. Or is it? Perhaps nothing matters. Insight and imagination are within you.
9:10 am est 

Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Gentle Strength
The word "gentle" is not one you hear much these days. It is so often linked with the notion of weakness, that the notion of gentle strength seems nearly a contradiction to many. 
There is so much emphasis on power and force in our culture that there is little recognition that a sustaining gentle strength not only endures, but is also the truest and most authentic strength there is. You have the capacity to trust and touch in to a gentle strength within you simply by valuing and consciously acknowledging and working on it. Listing the times when your own gentle strength brought you or another through, by the words you said to yourself or to them, or by the gift of attention you gave may put you in touch with the gentle strength within you.
You do not need to prove anything. Just by being who you are you can convey a sense of gentleness as well as strength which sustains rather than overcomes. This is true and authentic power. Gentle strength, insight and imagination are within you. 
11:47 am est 

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