Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Hi all. I am in the process of moving this blog to a new site:

I'm in the process of setting up the new site which will include fresher blogs, links to books and music, T-shirts, mugs and more.

The site is being built as we speak and will be up and running soon so bookmark the new site now!

Monday, March 28, 2011


Don't dwell on what has passed away or what is yet to be.
- Leonard Cohen (Anthem)

Despair. Hopelessness. The bottom of the barrel. That moment when we can't see a way out. We're trapped in a situation that's only getting worse and the world is crashing down, crushing us.

The problem with despair is the same problem there is with hope. They both focus on the future. It's just with one the glass is half full and the other the glass is half empty.

Not to belittle despair. It's the most debilitating of emotional states. And when you're in it, the easiest thing to do is give up. But what you really need to do is take a step back.

Stop focusing on the future. It may or may not happen. Either way, it's not real yet. Just a projection of your mind and your worries and your fears. Focus on the only thing that is real: this very moment. And trust in it.

Many times, we sink into despair when our world shifts and the things we thought we needed are "taken" from us – a job, a relationship, health, a financial status. But instead of thinking of these moments as life-enders, think of them as game-changers. The universe is self-correcting. Shifting us toward a better direction. One that we will only realize if we stay open to it. And one we can only see if we stand far enough back from our situation (Taoists and Buddhists call this "detachment").

Take stock in the fact that life will work itself out. Don't fixate on "how." It will present itself. Just be open to it. As the saying goes, "like attracts like." If you're focused on the hopelessness of the situation, you may not see the solution at your feet.

You could say that despair comes from a loss of control. We can no longer control our situation to get the outcome we want. But when that happens, don't give up hope. Give up control. Trust in the nature of life. It will work itself out if we only let it. Remind yourself of moments of despair in the past and how it passed - many times in surprising and wonderful ways.

A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. (v. 27)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


See the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colors come out.
It was a beautiful day. Don't let it get away.
- U2 (Beautiful Day)

I love Thanksgiving. Regardless of the historical origins, I love that there is a nationally-observed holiday devoted to gratitude. A time of year dedicated to giving thanks for the blessings in our lives...no matter how big or small.

But why stop there?

To have a true attitude of gratitude, we should also take the time to reflect on the "bad" things in our life. And be thankful for them as well.

I put quotations around the word bad because it's a relative term. How many times in your life has something that originally seemed like a curse turn into the ever-popular blessing in disguise?

There's an old Chinese tale about a man who lost his horse. Neighbors offered their sympathy, but he calmly said, "Maybe it's a blessing." And, sure enough, his horse later returned with a second horse. His neighbors congratulated him on his good luck, but he simply replied, "Maybe it's not a blessing."

Later, the man's son fell off the new horse and severely broke his leg. Again, the man's neighbors offered their condolences, but the man shrugged and replied, "Maybe it's a blessing." Soon after, China went to war and all able-bodied young men were ordered into a battle that meant certain death to all. However, because the man's son had a broken leg, he was excused from service and went on to live a long, prosperous life.

While you count your many blessings this Thanksgiving season, take a moment to consider a past misfortune in your life and think of a good thing that resulted because of it. You don't have to go so far as to be thankful for the misfortune (although you certainly could). But be thankful for something it brought you.

Unmask your blessings in disguise... and be truly thankful.

Can you step back from your own mind
And thus understand all things? (v. 10)

Monday, November 15, 2010


Hello all. After taking a long break, I have returned to my my blog. Thanks for your patience and I hope I haven't lost too many of you.

Over the past year and half, much has happened in my life that needed my focus. But I'm happy to say that, as always, life's experiences have enriched me and my understanding of the Tao. It's always exciting to see where the river of life will take you.

But now I'm back with more great posts planned and even more exciting plans for the future of my blog. Stay tuned for it all.

The more you know,
The less you understand.
- (Tao Te Ching, v. 47)


How many times must a man look up before he sees the sky.
- Bob Dylan (Blowin' in the Wind)

Have you ever noticed when you're thinking about buying a particular car, you start seeing it everywhere you go? Obviously, there's not suddenly a lot more of that type of car on the road. You just become aware of it.

We see what we focus on. We notice what's on our mind. Everything we need is right in front of us. All we have to do is notice it.

As always, it works two ways (there's that ol' yin and yang again). If you focus on negative things, that's what you see. If you focus on the bad things people do, you start to not see the good things they do.

The obvious key to being aware is to still your mind. When your mind is preoccupied, it can't see what's right in front of it (it's like texting while driving). You need to quiet your mind and be in the moment.

Try this exercise sometime: Find a place that you regularly drive past. A neighborhood block. An area of downtown. A park. A place where you can park your car, get out and walk. As you walk along the same path you've raced past everyday, you will notice untold treasures and wonders that were there all along... you just weren't aware of them.

Stop what you're doing. Let your thoughts go. Take three deep breaths and slow down. Now take a look around. What do you see? What do you hear? Notice the details. The smells. The sounds. Take it all in. Don't look for things. Don't have an agenda. Let it reveal itself to you.

You'll be amazed at what the world has to show you if you just let it.

The Master observes the world
But trusts his inner vision.
He allows things to come and go.
His heart is open as the sky. (v.12)

Saturday, August 29, 2009


I understand about indecision, but I don't care if I get behind.
People living in competition. All I want is to have my peace of mind.
- Boston (Peace of Mind)

The endless chatter in our brains. The constant struggle in our hearts. Make it stop!!! This never-ending battle for brain peace is why many of us turn to blogs like this. Something – anything – to soothe the savage beast inside of us.

Meditation is a wonderful way to calm the waters. Even if it's just five minutes of silence in the morning or before bed. Turn off the endless chattter of the TV, music, books... whatever. Let your mind settle.

But remember, a calm mind isn't necessarily a peaceful mind. That can only come from ACCEPTANCE. We need to face the fact that most questions we ask simply don't have a True Answer. All answers are relative to your individual reality. In fact, you could say YOU are the true answer.

Let me put it another way: There's no single Truth. There's no single Way. It's different for everyone and different on any given day. And since there is no universal truth, there is no ultimate quest. And since there is no ultimate quest, there's no real struggle.

You are where you are and you believe what you believe because that is your truth in the moment. Accept yourself. Stop judging yourself. Like it says on the maps: You are HERE.

So take a moment and shut off outside influences and still your mind. Let the only sound be the sound of your deep breathing. Feel the chatter die down in your head (if you're just starting out, this will take awhile. That's how wound up our minds are.)

Stop struggling to find the Truth. Just relax. You're already there.

Practice not-doing, and everything will fall into place. (v.30)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Said woman take it slow. It'll work itself out fine.
All we need is just a little patience.
- Guns N' Roses (Patience)

Patience is the first step toward living in the moment. It's the hand brake that slows down our focus on the future. It's the dipped toe in the cold waters of unattachment. It's the training wheels on our Zen bike.

Patience allows us to loosen our grip on our need to control a situation. To have patience is to accept that we can't control when something is going to happen. We can still fool ourselves into believing we have control over the outcome...it's just a matter of time. Patience, in that case, is misused as a stall tactic.

Patience is not about waiting for a particular outcome to occur. A better use of patience is to wait for a natural moment to act (note that I didn't say the perfect moment to act - there is no such thing). A master has the patience to not force a situation or an outcome but to sit back and watch as the right opportunity unfolds naturally before him or her.

This doesn't mean to just sit around and wait for life to drop in your laugh for snuggle time. It means to have the patience to trust your instincts and act based on the right action (in the present moment), not to force and action to grab at a desired outcome.

In other words, patience is not just about the timing of an outcome. It's also about waiting for the right outcome to present itself. It's about not forcing a situation to achieve a particular outcome.

Of course, who has time for that these days? ;)

Do you have the patience to wait
Til the mud settles and the water is clear?
Can you remain unmoving
Til the right action arises by itself? (v. 15)