Monthly Archives: March 2014

The 52: Lesson Thirteen — Do You Hear What I Hear?



butterflyblueskyAnd silence, like a poultice, comes

To heal the blows of sound.

In the 1800’s, Oliver Wendell Holmes penned those words in his poem, The Music Grinders.  Can you imagine what he would think today?  Everywhere we go, there is noise and sound.  How do we respond to all of this sensory input?  That is the subject of this lesson, a continuation of the exploration of pratyahara, one of the essential eight rungs of True Yoga.  It is all about the senses.

We have already spoken about the sense of sight.  Think back.  In Lesson Seven, we delved into how we see and how we are, often unwittingly, influenced by all that we take in through the sense of sight.  Now we will spend some time on another sense, the sense of sound.

Most of us go about our days, giving scant attention to what we are hearing.  Sure, if a siren…

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The 52: Lesson Twelve – Looking Forward to Looking Back?




See the butterfly soaring toward the light?  Are you soaring?  Are you experiencing a metamorphosis? Are you lighter and happier, more loving, than you were when you began reading these lessons?  Lighter and happier and more loving — that was my intention in writing this course in spiritual transformation.

Have you found that some lessons “spoke” to you more than others?  Maybe you like to use your mind to plant affirmations.  Or perhaps the body and breath is your primary vehicle for change so using action is best for you.  Or you might see silence and meditation, letting your mind rest, as a form that appeals to you.  If you are uplifted by the word “love” and feel joy in even saying or thinking that word, then lessons on love would appeal to you.  I would hope they all have a resonance for you.  They do for me!  I say that anything and everything that…

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The 52: Lesson Eleven – Let The Heart Massage Clear Past Issues



butterflyblueskyA Course in Miracles is one of the most important books I have ever read.  To say I read it is hardly the case, I have spent years studying its profound words and deep wisdom. It transformed my life and explained mysteries of faith and spiritual truth in ways that I could readily understand.  The resonance of its words blended with all the teachings I had long studied in ancient Indian texts, yet it is a Christian (Christ-based) text.  I recommend it to everyone who asks how they may move forward on the spiritual path and love themselves more.

These are some quotes from A Course in Miracles:

God is but love and therefore, so am I.

Love, which created me, is what I am.

Love is the way I walk in gratitude.

Love is the essence, yet the course speaks about the intrusion of the ego and how it…

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The 52: Lesson Eleven — More on Loving Yourself


Isn’t it time to love yourself unconditionally? What are you waiting for?



Conquer the devils with a little thing called love.

That’s the observation of the legendary Jamaican musician Bob Marley.  That “little thing” called love turns out to be a very big thing indeed!

Are you prepared to really love yourself?  Regardless of circumstances?  No matter how much you have judged yourself and felt lacking? Even if you worry that you will never be worthy of love — from others, from your family and friends, from your own self?  Maybe you think you are just too imperfect, scarred, disgusting, unacceptable, terrible — a curse to everyone and everything? Hold on!

Is it too extreme to imagine thinking all that I have described?  Too impossible to imagine anyone coming back from such self-denial and self-hatred?  Yet it happens and not so rarely.  Most of us go along, feeling pretty good and then something– the big something — happens and we plunge into the ego’s damaging…

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The 52: Lesson Eleven – A Practical Method to Love Yourself More



butterflyblueskyThe measure of love is to love without measure.

Saint Augustine

To love without measure.  Think of it.  No yardstick.  No beginning or end of love.  It is always there, and you need do nothing to be worthy of it.  It is a given in the spiritual world.  You can count on love.  You can take it to the bank.

If this is true, then why do we have so much difficulty in accepting and believing  it?  Why do we seem to be constantly on a search for love?  Why do we feel incomplete, thinking we are without it, even when it is already there, within us?  Love comes with us.  It’s part of the fact of being alive.  But. somehow we have been lead to believe that we have to earn it, that we are unworthy of it, that there is something wrong with us.

In our very first lesson…

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The 52: Lesson Ten — On Gratitude and Happiness




You have no cause for anything but gratitude and joy.

The Buddha

What treasures are right there for you everyday?  What great abundances do you take for granted?  What small little sights and object are present, yet you give them no mind?  What is already in your life that makes you smile and carries happiness with it?  Perhaps it is the smell of the soap when you shower.  Or your favorite music on the radio. It might be your cat lying in a sun spot on the floor.  You know that you are surrounded with so much that can, if you just notice, bring you a sense of joy and happiness. Our lives can be transformed by an awareness of gratitude, and happiness follows with certainty.

This is, I think, such a simple, yet profound, lesson.  Remembering to count our blessings is something every one of us can do.  It just takes a moment…

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The 52: Lesson Nine – Why Meditate: Some Thoughts




The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest

you can give yourself in this life.

Sogyal Rinpoche

These are the words of a Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen Lama.  He describes meditation as going home and revealing our true heart.  His most prominent writing is a book I value greatly, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.  His words resonate with a Truth that transcends any particular path, which is one of the goals of my own work — to show the commonalities between the many spiritual paths.

One of the most renowned and respected Christian writers of this or any era is C. S. Lewis, a favorite of mine.  In England, he was an Oxford don who converted from doubt to devout Christianity.  He even engaged in fantasy works of fiction.  You may know him as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia.  He said:

We live, in fact, in a world starved…

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The 52: Lesson Nine — Did You Meditate Today?




Meditation is not a means to an end

It is both the means and the end.


Krishnamurti was an Indian-born scholar and philosopher, a writer whose work embraced no particular religion, but one who had profound wisdom in the spiritual realm. He stressed that world change could not occur through some exterior entity — be it religious, social, or political.  Change had to emerge from within.  While he never allowed himself to be described as a guru, a spiritual teacher who engages with a following, he was nonetheless, the voice of Truth to many.

Meditation, then, is both a practice, as something we do, to reach an end, (some would say spiritual enlightenment and waking up), and yet meditation is the end itself. Not to get too complicated — we just do it.

In the lexicon of spiritual activities, meditation ranks at the top.  In classic yoga, meditation…

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The 52: Lesson Nine — Breathe and Meditate. Try It!




Meditate:  Interrupt those fifty thousand daily thoughts.

This was the title of a blog post I wrote last year.  It is worth repeating.  Can you imagine that your mind is rambling away with that many thoughts a day?  What are we thinking?  How could we have so much chatter going on, just filling up our minds (and emotions and feelings too, by the way)?  Wouldn’t it be nice to take a break from all that blabber, most of which is repetitive and non-productive?  Well, you are in luck, you can take that break.  It is all within your power.  It is called meditation, and it could be the most important activity you will ever encounter in your life.

At the beginning of these weekly lessons comprising “The 52,” I promised I would offer you practices that would be simple and include reflections on the body, mind, breath,senses, and the loving spirit within each…

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