All suffering is either anticipated or remembered, but never experienced in the present moment. The more present you are in the now, the more your suffering disappears and the awareness of the presence of overwhelming love becomes more insistent, more alive and more real. This love then begins to influence your every action, your every thought and your every emotion and you enter the flow more easily and more consistently until your life becomes an expression of the Divine.
Even today, when I release my fears and become fully present in the current moment, this flow of the goodness of life experience energizes around me as I begin to move in harmony with my surroundings and meetings with people become more true and genuine, synchronistic “coincidences” occur to let me know I am aligned with my source, my connections with others becomes more profound and meaningful and challenges resolve and the things I am intending and working for in life materialize as if summoned by some mystic genie from a bottle.
As a society we are going through the unpredictability and volatility of puberty in our development as a culture. The vortex of our collective desire to make our nation better is getting stronger as we are waking up to a greater clarity as a people. While we may make many poor choices through the process, overall, citizens of our nation are developing a greater awareness of the issues, and as we collectively experience the consequences of our choices, we are driven to think more deeply about our decisions and we are becoming more mature and wiser through the process.
The teenager looked like he was about 15 years old and the gun was shaking in his hand as he held it high and pointed it at me and said, “Give me everything you’ve got!”
It was two months before we were getting married and Liz and I were returning home from a graduate school class we had together. I was putting my key in the front door of my house when Liz, tapped me on my shoulder to get my attention. When I turned around I saw this guy with a gun running across the lawn with his friends waiting in their car on the street.
The bonds of love and trust you have with your family, friends and loved ones and your community is one of the most important things in life. It’s more important than fame, power, sex, money or anything else that most of us strive for in this life. Don’t get me wrong, I think money, fame, sex and all those things are great, however ultimately all that is just a cheap substitute for the real thing which is the connections of unconditional love with the people in your life.
About five years ago our dog went into heat as we were driving in our minivan with her across the country to visit family. Scout is an adorable small-breed half-pug, half-lab and she was six months old at the time. The veterinarian had recommend Dramamine for car sickness and had assured us that she would most likely not go into heat any time soon. Well, about one hour out of Denver she went into heat, and the next few weeks we were buying doggie diapers, chasing Scout across parking lots through the mid-west, and trying all sorts of remedies to deal with the situation.
When I was in the 5th grade, my father quit a lucrative practice in orthopedic surgery to work full time at a neighborhood clinic for free. Then he left the clinic to work full time at our church, again for free. At the time he had six kids and eventually a seventh on the way. His parents and his sister thought he and my mom were crazy but they looked at it differently.
I was in an enormous torch-lit cavern surrounded by people all dressed in brown hooded robes. I was standing in front of a stone alter with my infant son laid out in front of me on the alter. We had always called him our “joy boy” because his happiness and vitality lit up our whole house. I had a ceremonial knife in my hand and my mother-in-law was beside me telling me that I had to sacrifice my precious son. I asked her if there was any other way and she assured me I had to do this. Like God telling Abraham to sacrifice his son in the old biblical story, I was feeling such a profound grief and kept on asking if there was any other way and why I had to do this and I could not stop crying.
My father shared that his great, great grandfather was one of the last confederate soldiers to walk out of the battle of Atlanta when it was burned to the ground in the civil war. He eventually walked back to his home in Pensacola Florida after the fighting. My father confided that the men folk said that my ancestor came back from the Civil War a war hero but the women folk said he came back a broken man.
This past semester, my son had his heart broken when a girl he had fallen for decided she liked his friend better and started dating this other guy. Over the past few months he has gone through anger, hurt, denial and loss. He came to me yesterday and told me he was learning to love unconditionally because he had finally come to the place where he wanted her to be happy, even if it was with someone else.
Many Americans are in shock today about our recent election results, and many Americans are overjoyed about Donald Trump being elected president of the United States. Whatever your feelings, this is an opportunity to know that you are the captain of your own destiny, you are the master of your own life.
The quality of your life is not dictated by any politician, leader or external circumstance;
The boy replies, “Don’t try to bend the spoon, that’s impossible. Instead you must simply realize the truth.” Neo asks, “What is the truth?” The boy replies, “There is no spoon.”
When we learn to see through the illusions and the fear-based perceptions of the paradigm created by our fears and our negative self talk, then we begin to free our minds from the impact of these fears. Automatically, our habitual coping strategies and our current cycles of conflict begin to dissipate and unravel. We begin to become more responsive to the needs of the present moment rather than being stuck on the cycles of conflict dictated by our past.