Music for NAACP Banquet

A Thousand Years

Conquerors

 

Maari

 

Uptown Funk

Week 23 (Part II) – Silence and Solitude

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Silence is the lack of audible sound or presence of sounds of very low intensity. By analogy, the word silence can also refer to any absence of communication, including in media other than speech. Silence is also used as total communication, in reference to nonverbal communication and spiritual connection. Silence also refers to no sounds uttered by anybody in a room or area. Silence is an important factor in many cultural spectacles, as in rituals.

“Embrace solitude. It’s a good thing. Avoid loneliness by embracing solitude. Solitude is a gift that you give to yourself. If you can’t receive yourself as a gift, then how can you receive another human being as a gift?” Unknown

 Henry David Thereau

Two weeks ago the MKMMA class was given an assignment to find 24 to 48 hours or more to be in a state of silence. The thought of this was extremely exciting to me. I knew that the only way to accomplish this was to go away by myself and leave my family behind. When I was a very young adult (before family obligations) I did this on a fairly regular basis about every two to three months. I would pack up a suitcase for the weekend and just go somewhere, rent a room or cabin and be alone. I enjoyed these excursions immensely as I have always been comfortable in my own skin and enjoyed my own company.

So, I announced to my husband that I was going on a retreat. He was extremely confused when he asked me where I was going, and I responded that I didn’t know yet. Then to add to his confusion he asked who I was going with, and I told him no one. I learned from this experience that there are many individuals that cannot fathom being so “adventurous” as to go somewhere alone for no other reason than to be alone – in silence. A forty something woman that I work with was amazed that I was doing this – although she has several degrees, is married with children, is a Vice President of the foundation where we work – she found this “novel” idea of going somewhere “alone” exciting and daring. I’ve been doing this kind of thing since I was 19. Being a child of the ‘60’s makes it hard for me to comprehend that many people have no concept of doing what they feel are “daring” events.

Product of the 60's

I grew up in a decade that vibrated the nation – a time of hippies and flower children, protesting, Vietnam war, assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King, civil rights movements, women’s rights movements, gay rights movements, Woodstock, free love, psychedelic drugs, men walking on the moon, and people generally questioning the norms of everything. I never perceived going away on an adventure by myself as daring – it was just exciting and a fun thing to do (and we didn’t even have cell phones back then). Several other people also made comments about being in “awe” that I would do this and how they would like to get away for a weekend with a spouse or friend, but never alone.

Alone to be who you are

And sometimes it is better to be alone because it gives you some time to discover who you are. This experience was beyond awesome. In silence from 4:00 p.m. on Thursday afternoon until 10:00 a.m. on Sunday morning (a total of 66 hours) was remarkable. I made certain to have a refrigerator and microwave in my accommodations. I stopped at the store on my way and picked up food to last the duration of my stay. I put a Do Not Disturb sign on my door after checking in and did not leave the room until I checked out.

I spent my time doing several things such as reading MKMMA required materials, sketching, sewing (I took a few items of clothing that need minor repair work), journaling, and just being. Lots of time was spent meditating – seeking solutions, seeking guidance, seeking nothing – just being. The room was equipped with a recliner that was perfect. I normally don’t like recliners. My husband is a big fan of them, but I had never found one that I could be comfortable in. However, the Universe has a way of providing us with what we need, and this chair was ideal for me to sit in comfortably and totally relax to do my meditation. I also slept a lot! Much needed rest as I tend to not get that on a routine basis.

 your-mind-will-answer-most-questions-if-you-learn-to-relax-and-wait-for-the-answer

What have I taken away from this experience? Sitting idly and through abstract thinking I have answered many questions that have perplexed me for a very long time. I have recognized many resentments I held that were childish and selfish. I let them go as I see the foolishness in my feelings. I gained understanding into why I felt as I did and the error of my thinking. Through my silence I felt gratitude for my opportunities; my loved ones; mankind as a whole. I came to realize that most everything I have sought answers for, I already knew the answers – I just needed to recognize that I knew the answers. (What have I pretended not to know – ring a bell?) The truth to most things, we instinctively and intuitively already know. My powers of intuition are leading the way. Through the silence I can discover my own solutions and answers. Through the silence I can connect to the wonderful omnipotent power within. Through the silence I have found my way to freedom.

Deepak Chopra2

While doing my reading – with enthusiasm, I thought much about happiness and bliss. Although we generally think in terms of being happy, happiness is merely the absence of sadness or anger. Happiness, like the tides, comes and goes. Bliss on the other hand has no opposite. It transcends dualistic nature. Bliss is eternal. Joseph Campbell was the person who coined the phrase “Follow your Bliss”. To know yourself is to be completely in the present. Bliss can only be found within yourself. Enthusiasm (a word that comes from the Greek language and means “manifesting the spirit within”) has been a prerequisite that has been pounded into our consciousness for over 5 months. Each of us in seeking what the meaning of life means to us is seeking for our purpose. Living our purpose gives our life meaning. I discovered that I need to rework my definite major purpose as my personal pivotal needs have changed. I now have a much clearer picture of my purpose and where the “new” me is headed. I met my new self and welcomed her with open eyes and an open heart. I am now following my bliss enthusiastically!

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To my fellow MKMMA friends, MKMMA has given us all the tools we need to accomplish our dharma. We have been shown the way to eliminate negativity from our thinking. We have been shown how to clearly define our purpose. We have been shown how to develop virtues to become better human beings. We have been shown the way to create a mastermind alliance that is essential to our success. We have been shown how to schedule our lives with our loved ones always coming first. Should we choose to follow the tools we have been given, there is no reason that anyone entering into this experience could not find their personal bliss. So I challenge you to put yourself whole-heartedly into the experience. I promise you will not be disappointed! And, I keep my promises!

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Peace be with you. Stay tuned …..

Richard Bach

Week 23 (Part 1) – On My Way

highway journey

 

It is 2:14 p.m. on Thursday and my journey begins! When I post this I will be on my way to silence. In silence we discover the power that we have within. I will return on Sunday and will expand on the experience! I’m loving everything about MKMMA and am uber excited about embarking on this adventure – tuning out the external distractions of the world and tuning into me!

I will surely update on my experience when I return.

 

Peace be with you. Stay tuned ….

Week 22 – The Law of Relaxation and 48 Hours of Silence

relax

The Law of Relaxation states: Mental effort defeats itself – exactly the opposite of physical effort. A relaxed, calm state of mind is the only doorway to progress mentally. Relaxation of thought is the only access to Infinite Intelligence.

In the MKMMA class, our newest assignment is to take our “sit” of 15 to 30 minutes a day and expand this sit to at least 24 hours and preferably 48 hours or longer. This does not mean that we have to just sit for that long, but it is an adventure into silence with no electronic distractions, no books, no music, no conversation – just to be at one with ourselves and our Universe. The ultimate goal is to clear the mind as often and for as long as possible to be receptive to the connection with the Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent Universal Mind.

My very first dilemma when given this assignment was wondering how in the world will I find the time to accomplish such a feat. I still work 40 hours a week, I have family obligations, I have ongoing assignments with this class, I’m a board member on a very active committee for a museum, I have an Internet business, and occasionally I sleep. My household consists of my husband, my ailing 85 year old mother-in-law, my 16 year old granddaughter, and I. My husband always has his hands full tending to his mother and the 16 year old is 16! She constantly has somewhere she has to go and needs a ride to get there (she is not a licensed driver yet).

mass confusion

Next, where in the world can I go to accomplish this feat? My household is not conducive to silence! We have a desktop computer, 3 laptop computers, and an IPAD. We have a landline telephone and four cell phones. There is always a phone ringing somewhere with some cutesy ringtone, televisions on in at least two locations, people coming and going routinely, and nonstop questions – how do I, where do I, when will you, what time does it happen, can you help me …. I think you get the picture. Thus far, I have managed to facilitate my sits of between 15 minutes and an hour without unnecessary interruptions because I either accomplish the sit before anyone else gets up in the morning or after everyone has gone to bed for the night. But 24 or more hours of silence in my home is not going to happen unless everyone but me goes out of town for a day or two, which is not going to happen anytime in the foreseeable future.

Finally, how do I manage to escape and leave the burden of all responsibility on my husband’s shoulders? Oops! Guilt Alert! Then it occurred to me that I (and he) manage when it comes to my going out of town for a couple of days or a week for training or conventions with my Internet business. The perception is different – that’s about making money. However, my mental health is definitely more important than anything else I can think to compare it to. Plus, by achieving the connection to my inner strength thereby bringing into action the power of attraction I can only see this as a win-win situation. Much more valuable that the mighty dollar. Ergo it is necessary that I remove myself from home home for at least 24 hours to accomplish this task.

Deepok Chopra

I choose to connect to a higher level of my consciousness and reach a clarity I have yet to know. The only way to do this is in silence and solitude. In silence I clear the path to receive the connection to the Universal Intelligence. It is my belief that this connection happens in what is the essence of who we are – the subconscious mind, the soul, the “I”.

Another thing I hope to accomplish on this journey of silence and solitude is contained in the following video explaining the “Third Eye”. Tao and Shamanic teachings explain that the Third Eye is a natural part of every person. One way to think of it is as a “meta” organ that consists of your mind and all of your senses working together as a larger, more powerful sensory organ. The Third Eye is a very clever bit of natural evolution that allows you to see the patterns in your life. Even more amazing, your third eye can reveal these patterns to you by overlaying this information on top of your other senses. For example, when you have a hunch and act on it, you’ve used your third eye. But that’s only the beginning. Your third eye is a sense, one you can develop to be more refined and accurate than just being a hunch.

 

So, I am off to see the Wizard of my hero’s journey! On my merry way to seek and find the solace that I desire; to become one with the Universe and to love and appreciate myself and every living creature around me. Welcome to my world.

solitude gives you

Peace be with you! Stay tuned …..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 21 – MIRACLES ALL AROUND US

Einstein

Most humans, in varying degrees, are already dead. In one way or another they have lost their dreams, their ambitions, their desire for a better life. They have surrendered their fight for self-esteem and they have compromised their great potential. They have settled for a life of mediocrity, days of despair and nights of tears. They are no more than living deaths confined to cemeteries of their choice. Yet they need not remain in that state. They can be resurrected from their sorry condition. They can each perform the greatest miracle in the world. They can each come back from the dead…” ― Og Mandino, The Greatest Miracle in World

 

We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.” – H. G. Wells 

I think the first time I actually believed or became aware of miracles was the birth of my daughter. When I looked at this perfect little being that had been created in my body I was overwhelmed with awe! I cannot comprehend that anyone that has ever had a child could not recognize the miracle of childbirth. Then I became aware of all the miraculous events happening all around me: to watch a sunrise or sunset; to watch a flower grow; to stand on a shore and look out at the vastness of the ocean; to be away from a city late at night and look to the stars and vastness of our Universe; to have a near fatal experience and walk away unscathed – miracles surround us every day of our lives. 

“Miracles happen every day; change your perception of what a miracle is and you’ll see them all around you.” Jon Bon Jovi

Through the creative thinking powers humans possess, man has learned to create fire when there was none; invented the wheel; built monumental pyramids; conquered electricity; created modes of transportation to take us anywhere we choose to go in the world and out of the world; erected skyscrapers that tower in the skyline; created radio, television, telephones, portable telephones, computers … on and on. Our brain is the most complex organ in the human body and our thought processes know no boundaries in the capacity to imagine and create. All of these things are miracles. 

“‘Nature’ is another name for the miracles that are so commonplace in our lives that we take for granted and have grown used to seeing them.” ― Shalom Arush, Women’s Wisdom: ‘The Garden of Peace’ for Women

Henry Miller

If you have trouble recognizing the miracles in your life please watch the following clip of Nick Vujici. Nick was born with no legs and no arms. Yet he lives a happy, purposeful life inspiring others. He travels all over, especially to high schools, to inspire youth and show them that they are not alone in whatever feelings they have about any lack, real or imagined, that teens so frequently feel. His existence and how far he has traveled is truly a miracle. There are many videos on UTube about Nick and his life (and he has found his lovely wife and they have a beautiful son). I think he is one of the most awesome miracles I’ve ever seen –

 

 

If Nick with all his limitations recognizes his awesomeness what in the world is the problem with the rest of us? We breathe, we are whole, we are powerful, we are beautiful, we are intelligent – we are the greatest miracle in the Universe. Go forth and be the miracle you are destined to be!

Life is a miracle

Peace be with you! Stay tuned …..

Week 20 – The Power of Thought (I’ve Got the Power!)

 

Power_within

 

Consider this: The only activity which spirit possesses is the power to think. “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience“, Telhard de Chardn. Our spirit, who we truly are, has the power to transform our world into everything we want it to be. Since the only activity our spirit possesses is the power to think, our thoughts are mighty!

Haanel states, “All great things come through recognition; the scepter of power is consciousness, and thought is its messenger, and this messenger is constantly molding the realities of the invisible world into the conditions and environments of your objective world.

You may have all the wealth in Christendom, but unless you recognize it and make use of it, it will have no value; so with your spiritual wealth: unless you recognize it and use it, it will have no value. The one and only condition of spiritual power is use or recognition.

All great things come through recognition; the scepter of power is consciousness, and thought is its messenger, and this messenger is constantly molding the realities of the invisible world into the conditions and environments of your objective world.”

 

Mary-Frances Winters

Have you ever thought about a condition, good or bad, in your life and then it happened? Did you ever consider that had you not given the condition so much power through your thought it might not have come to fruition? For example, when I was much younger repeatedly I would concentrate on people I had not seen or heard from in a long time. I would mention them to my best friend, and we would discuss that it would be nice to see them. Invariably within a day or two we would run into whoever it was I had been thinking / talking about. Or they would show up at my door. My friend would always ask, “How do you do that?” Little did I know at the time that my thought had been so powerful as to create the circumstances to bring about the ‘coincidental’ meeting of someone I had been thinking about, or that out of the blue they decided to visit me. Now that I am aware of how our thought creates our circumstances in life it makes sense.

I have known many worriers in my life. Every day in every way they find something to worry about. And every day in every way they bring more havoc into their existence, thereby giving them something else to worry about. I don’t think it is in my genetic makeup to be a worrier. Although I have been in some really dire straits both financially and emotionally in my lifetime, I have never been prone to worrying about what might happen. When bills have been in arrears or situations have been extremely stressful, although I would think about the situation, ultimately I would let it go because I always knew there would be an out. It might not necessarily be the out I wanted, but things would work out regardless.

It’s very interesting to me at this stage of my life to be able to see exactly how the circumstances in my life have been directly affected by the thought processes I have had and the decisions I have made. For every pitfall I have encountered, I have created the circumstances that brought me to that pitfall. For every wonderful thing that has ever happened, the same rule applies. When you think about it, isn’t that the coolest thing ever!

We Have the Power! We have the power to create the life we choose to live. We have the power to choose health, wealth, love, and prosperity in all aspects of our existence. When we direct our concentration on abundance in all areas of our life, we bring about the means and opportunities to achieve abundance. This can only be achieved in silence and tuning in to the universal power contained within ourselves. But, it can be achieved.

Haanel goes on to explain, “But perception will come only in the Silence; this seems to be the condition required for all great purposes. You are a visualizing entity. Imagination is your workshop. It is here that your ideal is to be visualized.

As a perfect understanding of the nature of this power is a primary condition for its manifestation, visualize the entire method over and over again, so that you may use it whenever occasion requires. The infinity of wisdom is to follow the method whereby we may have the inspiration of the omnipotent Universal Mind on demand at any time.”

Swami vivekananda

Our Universal connection with the omnipotent power is undeniable. When we concentrate on what is most important to us the universe will open doors where none existed. The supply for what we seek is waiting for our demand. One thing that I have come to understand is that every living thing has a connection to every other living thing, be it human, animal, or plant. Understanding that we are all connected is a most important element in connecting to this power. One of my most favorite quotes from Neil deGrasse exemplifies this concept:

“Recognize that the very molecules that make up your body, the atoms that construct the molecules, are traceable to the crucibles that were once the centers of high mass stars that exploded their chemically rich guts into the galaxy, enriching pristine gas clouds with the chemistry of life; So that we are all connected to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and to the rest of the universe atomically. That’s kinda’ cool! That makes me smile and I actually feel quite large at the end of that. It’s not that we are better than the Universe; we are part of the Universe. We are in the Universe, and the Universe is in us.”

Do Not Feel Lonely

So, keep your thoughts positive. Eradicate the negative. Think about the abundance you want in your life, never about the lack of! You have heard the expression, “You are what you eat”; know that, “You are what you think”. Stop complaining and start thinking – the right way. It will make all the difference in your world. Be Happy!

Peace be with you. Stay tuned …..

I've Got the Power 2

 

 

Week 19 – Are You Living the Life You Truly Want to Live?

 

 

time

 

Many realizations have become very apparent the past few weeks. One of the most enlightening has been how fleeting life is. As a requirement over the past few weeks to read at least one obituary daily, I have read obits for people from 3 months to 96 years of age. There is no time table for how long we will live; we don’t get a knock at the door telling us we have a certain number of days or a certain amount of time left; death knocks but once and when it knocks, it’s too late to start over. So, I pose the question to you, “Are you living the life you want to live?”

I have put together some questions you might ask yourself to get clarity on the above question: 

  1. Do you like you, and what do you think you owe yourself?
  2. When will you be good enough for you?
  3. Do you think you are important?
  4. What do you think stands between you and complete happiness?
  5. What inspires you, and what do you enjoy doing over and over again?
  6. When was the last time you laughed so much it hurt?
  7. What does it look like to make the most of your life?
  8. What is your biggest dream in life?
  9. In one word, what is standing between you and your biggest dream?
  10. Are you devoting time to what is most important to you in life?
  11. How often do you make excuses?
  12. What are you grateful for?
  13. Are you enriching the lives of others?
  14. Do the people you love most know how much you love them?
  15. Have you performed any recent acts of kindness?
  16. What small thing could you do to make someone’s day better?
  17. How often do you give without expecting anything in return?
  18. Are your fears holding you back?
  19. What are you holding onto that you need to let go?
  20. What would you change if you knew you were never going to die?
  21. If you had one year left to live, what would you try to achieve?
  22. If you knew that you would die tomorrow, what regrets do you have?
  23. If you were going to die at midnight, what would you be doing at 11:45 PM?
  24. What will be said about you at your funeral?
  25. What is stopping you from living the life you want to live?

 budda.pdf

 

Make the most of all your precious moments in life because once they are gone, you can never get them back. Take the time to soul search and answer the questions with truth and sincerity. Through the MKMMA program we have learned that negative thinking destroys the ability to lead a happy existence. We have learned that the best way to eliminate negative thinking lies within the Law of Substitution because we cannot possibly hold two thoughts in our mind at the same time. However, I read that many are having trouble accomplishing this feat, and I have to ask myself why. What is holding them back? What are they refusing to let go of? Does the adrenaline rush of chaos and drama mean more to them than the serenity derived from a peaceful, happy existence?

Haanel states, “You may know that thought constantly, eternally is taking form, is forever seeking expression, or you may not, but the fact remains that if your thought is powerful, constructive, and positive, this will be plainly evident in the state of your health, your business, and your environment; if your thought is weak, critical, destructive, and negative generally, it will manifest in your body as fear, worry, and nervousness, in your finance as lack and limitation, and in discordant conditions in your environment”.

Dalai-Lama-quote

 

So, are you going to continue to live as if you are never going to die and die having never really lived? Or, are you going to sincerely look at where you are, where you have been, and where you want to go? Get honest with yourself. Believe that you have the power to change any and everything in your world. You do have that power. Bring forth the best of you in all your ventures and endeavors. Stop the negativity in its tracks! Be grateful for all the things in your life that you have to be grateful for – be grateful when you wake up in the morning knowing you have another day to look forward to and be happy; be grateful for the people you love and that love you; be grateful that you have a roof over your head and food in your belly; be grateful that you have another chance today to make someone else happy – JUST BE GRATEFUL! You are vertical, you breathe, you love, you exist! YOU ARE!!!

Remember that:

  • Making one person smile can change the world – maybe not the whole world, but their world.
  • No matter how many mistakes you make or how slow you progress, you are still way ahead of everyone who isn’t trying.
  • Life is 10% of what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it.
  • When you choose to see the good in others, you end up finding the good in yourself.
  • Happiness is not determined by what’s happening around you, but rather what’s happening inside you.  Most people depend on others to gain happiness, but the truth is, it always comes from within.

I don’t know who came up with the following, but it is priceless:

Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account each morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course?

Each of us has such a bank. Its name is TIME.
Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.
Every night it writes off as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to a good purpose.
It carries over no balance. It allows no over draft. Each day it opens a new account for you. Each night it burns the remains of the day.
If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours. There is no drawing against “tomorrow.”
You must live in the present on today’s deposits. Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness and success!
The clock is running!! Make the most of today.

To realize the value of ONE YEAR, ask a student who failed a grade.
To realize the value of ONE MONTH, ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.
To realize the value of ONE WEEK, ask the editor of a weekly newspaper.
To realize the value of ONE HOUR, ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.
To realize the value of ONE MINUTE, ask a person who just missed a train.
To realize the value of ONE SECOND, ask someone who just avoided an accident.
To realize the value of ONE MILLISECOND, ask the person who won a silver medal at the Olympics.
Treasure every moment that you have! And treasure it more because you shared it with someone special, special enough to spend your time with. And remember time waits for no one.
Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present.

“I believe that you’re great, that there’s something magnificent about you. Regardless of what has happened to you in your life, regardless of how young or how old you think you might be, the moment you begin to think properly, there’s something that is within you, there’s power within you, that’s greater than the world. It will begin to emerge. It will take over your life. It will feed you. It will clothe you. It will guide you, protect you, direct you, sustain your very existence, if you let it. Now, that is what I know for sure.”
Michael Beckwith

You are great – let your greatness shine forth. Remember “I am Whole, Perfect, Strong, Powerful, Loving, Harmonious, and Happy”. Peace be with you. Stay tuned …..

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