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)