Dear ?: A Peace Letter

July’s Bloggers for Peace Post is to write a letter for peace, which was a real challenge for me beginning with the salutation. The forpeace6question mark is preferable to a mere blank as there is an acknowledged mystery in the question mark as well as an implied unknown and perhaps uncertainty. Yet, as mindfulness or present moment awareness reminds me time and again, it is in this unknown and uncertain realm where the infinite possibilities lie.

Dear ?:

This is a letter to existence, the life force that runs through everything on the physical plane. Deliberately, I have settled for a punctuation mark rather than a name, although there are many from which to choose, but more and more, I am convinced that putting a label on anything only excludes.

Now that I am past the salutation, there is the body of the letter that contains my current thoughts on peace. Like existence, peace is ever undulating, for peace is not a destination or even a goal but rather, a way of being.

“Peace begins when expectation ends”

~ Sri Chinmoy~
Co-existence on the Row 0713

The onus is on us, where it always has been, yet the planet seems so much smaller now for we crisscross it on a daily basis through images and words on screens. It is reminiscent of when the world wrote letters, and the challenge still is to respond rather than to react. Pen and paper required more of us physically and may have delayed reaction time somewhat.

The ability to communicate instantaneously to almost anywhere in the world has brought us face to face with ourselves. Ideals, illusions, and even institutions have been shattered as we find ourselves in immediate relationship with so many voices from so many places. There are few gaps between thoughts.

Peace is not some sort of lofty ideal nor is it an illusion or an institution. Peace is not a finite but an infinite state of being. Peace is not a one size fits all but is unique to each one of us. The oneness of peace is the acceptance of all of us just as we are for then—and only then—have we removed expectation. The possibilities are infinite.

Peace on the Row 0713

As always, I am overtly optimistic, which is not to say that I am not aware of how taxed our planet’s resources are or how many species are either being pushed to the edge of their existence or are already extinct. I am only too aware that “the world is too much with us” to the point of making my head explode but then I remember:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has

~Margaret Mead~

We begin from within, putting our own house in order from the inside out, which is a lifetime task. And that is how the world changes for we cannot give the world what we do not have within ourselves. If we are not at peace with ourselves, we are not in peaceful existence with the world.

It is no wonder that peace eludes us for we look everywhere except where it resides, within our own existence. It may seem more practical to fix ideals or institutions but change—impermanence–is the nature of all existence.

Discovering our own oneness is how we recognize our connection to all of existence. When we love ourselves completely and compassionately for the beings that we are, recognizing our faults and forgiving our mistakes, then our house is in order for we accept our own existence, unconditionally.

It is the task of a lifetime and always has been.

Yours in Impermanence,

KM Huber

Summer at Waverly 0713


Ringing the Bell of Uncertainty

“Suffering is a meditation bell, not an enemy” appeared in a recent update on Jeff Foster’s Facebook page.  The context of the quote is that in suffering, we identify ourselves as a single thing, image, or sensation, thereby confining ourselves to that single identity. It is only when we remember that we are “no-thing” do we discover our true nature, “which is everything” (Foster).

Suffering grabs our attention as a signal that our “okayness” is about to change. It is the ringing of the bell of uncertainty. We can resist and suffer or we can accept and “allow” as Anita Moorjani calls it.

Allowing or accepting is not passive in any regard but rather, an open-arms welcome to the uncertainty inherent in each of our lives. In allowing, we transcend duality, forgoing the labels that make us this or that. Allowing is discovering our true nature, and it is a lifelong trip.


“To access the state of allowing, the only thing I had to do was be myself. I realize that all those years, all I ever had to do was be myself, without judgment or feeling that I was flawed. At the same time, I understood that at the core, our essence is made of pure love” (Anita Moorjani).

Moorjani’s book, Dying to be Me, is a fresh approach to accepting ourselves as we are. It is also an accounting of her recovery from physical illness that includes a near death experience, which is not the focus of the book, at least not for me.

Quite specifically, she writes that her story is just that–her story—of recovery from cancer that led her inward to her true  nature, which is entirely unique to her. Likewise, what her story may or may not mean to any of us is just as unique.

Clarity in the wild 0413

“I don’t advocate that if we ‘believe’ a certain way, it will eliminate disease or create an ideal life…. Having awareness, on the other hand, just means realizing what exists and what’s possible—without judgment. Awareness doesn’t need defending” (Moorjani).

Moorjani does refer to a kind of “clarity” that she had as she lay dying.  In a coma, she considers where she was as a state and not a place.  There are no conversations with God or with any other being just awareness:

“…I instinctively understood that I was dying because of all my fears. I wasn’t expressing my true self because my worries were preventing me from doing so.

“I understood that the cancer wasn’t a punishment or anything like that. It was just my own energy, manifesting as cancer because my fears weren’t allowing me to express myself as the magnificent force I was meant to be” (Moorjani).

Moorjani’s book focuses on present moment awareness of the self– the exploration of one’s true nature— and within that journey the necessity of loving ourselves unconditionally in this realm that is here and now. Repeatedly, she indicates her healing was not positive thinking or mind over matter but consciousness, which she calls “magnificence…a state of being…the part of me that’s eternal, infinite, and encompasses the Whole.”


Moorjani is well-versed in all of the Eastern traditions as well as Christianity. She is not a physician or a scientist but a woman who nearly died of cancer seven years ago and is completely recovered.

In previous posts, I have mentioned Deepak Chopra’s Quantum Healing and Perfect Health regarding the role of consciousness in one’s health, specifically the “intelligence” inherent in the physical body. I have read other medical and scientific works as well. In the 21st century, there is a growing body of work in neuroscience—and to some extent, physics–that is exploring the role consciousness may or may not play in our health. I find it fascinating, all of it.

To me, it is increasingly evident that our level of health is inextricably tied to our true nature. Our physical and emotional health reveals our level of awareness of our true nature, in essence whether we resist or accept our lives. Who knows? Attaining our optimal health may begin with our response to the meditation bell of suffering.

In the coming months, I plan to explore optimal health and consciousness. As always, I appreciate your thoughtful comments and that you take time to read my blog. Thank you, dear reader.

Time for a break; regular posts will resume in May.

Thursday Tidbits: The Zen of Kitchen Tasks and Meditating Cats

This week’s Thursday Tidbits post considers Zen as revealed through meditating cats and kitchen tasks, the everyday of  Zen spirituality.

“Zen does not confuse spirituality with thinking about God while one is peeling potatoes. Zen spirituality is just to peel the potatoes.”

Alan Watts

Perhaps more than I should admit, Zen spirituality is a constant in my kitchen, which is not to say that I am able to tend to the task at hand completely, far too often not. Rather, as I am chopping onion I consider what the next moment might offer. Rarely, do I consider the onion.

EmmaRose in MeditationKMHuberImage
EmmaRose in Meditation

Often my musing ranges far beyond the physical plane–my own private “soaring with the over-soul*–rather than considering the outcome for the onion, usually mere mush.

At best, I might be considering whether I will scramble eggs or shred lettuce for a salad; both are dictated by the state of the onion and just how far my thoughts have strayed.

It is scrambled eggs if I am envisioning the next scene in my old woman novel but the salad may be saved if I have only strayed to whether or not laundry needs to be done. The answer to that is always the same, a crisp, clear “no.”

Every time I immerse myself in the Zen spirituality of the mundane, I discover something new. It never fails. To be fair, when my thoughts are anywhere but the task at hand, there are also discoveries, including the best tasting cup of coffee is made from the proper proportions of both water and coffee.

Regardless of the outcome, discovery expands the moment to its brim. There was a time that a burnt coffee carafe or hot, coffee-colored water dismayed me, and although I may greet those moments in resignation, I am able to see them in their own Zen spirituality.

Living with animals has taught me more about Zen spirituality than any other resource, including kitchen tasks. This week’s video, courtesy of ZenFlash, features just over a minute of cats meditating, which I found illustrative of Zen but not the kind of meditation that feline EmmaRose has taught me.

EmmaRose has always been a meditating cat but not with any kind of object, especially round and especially large, as she tops the scale at five-and-one-half pounds. For EmmaRose, small, round objects are for batting and chasing into obscure areas invisible to human eyes. She prefers meditating at the window, which she does daily, and she considers the panes carefully.

Choosing Her PaneKMHuberImage
Choosing Her Pane

Often, squirrels are visible from the right pane while the left side might offer a darting, lime-green lizard–EmmaRose seems to sense the season for lizard viewing–the middle pane offers the most sun on any day. Whatever these moments provide EmmaRose, she is at her window to discover anew each day.

Who is to say whether or not she “soars with the over-soul”* for she has the light of day, which may offer a squirrel or the infrequent lizard as well.

I and my onion can only aspire.

Thursday Tidbits are weekly posts that offer choice bits of information to celebrate our oneness with one another through our unique perspectives. It is how we connect, how we have always connected but in the 21st century, the connection is a global one.

*Soaring with the over-soul” is from a satirical essay Louisa May Alcott wrote regarding her father’s involvement with 19th century transcendentalism. 

On My Way to the Way With Everyone Else

Single Path 0313I do not believe there is only one way for everyone—never have—but rather, we are all on our way to the Way. We have various labels for the Way–Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism—regardless, the Way always has been and always will be.

“The Tao is both named and nameless. As nameless it is the origin of all things; as named it is the Mother of 10,000 things” (Tao). Our path is our experience of the 10,000 things of the Way: “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6).

Everyone practices in order to find out for him or herself…how to be balanced, how to be not too tight and not too loose. No one else can tell you. You just have to find out for yourself” (Pema Chödrön, The Wisdom of No Escape).

Any and all of the ways teach us, no matter what label resonates individually: God, the Universe, the Source, the Unified Field, Spirit, Creator, Krishna, Buddha, or the eternal phenomena of the Chinese “web that has no weaver.”  The unique expression that is each of us is also our connection to one another.

Deepak Chopra says “we are all God in different disguises”; God is having a unique experience on the physical plane through each one of us. As such, we are the energy that is God, the Oneness that is our connection to one another.

It seems we should celebrate our connection to one another but often we separate rather than celebrate, disconnect rather than connect, although we are hardwired to love and belong—it is in our DNA. When we separate from our own way, we leave the path to the Way, and we suffer.

We all know suffering–no matter how we label craving and clinging—weThick of it 0313 do not have to know others’ experiences nor they ours to feel what  DNA is tugging on us to do: connect with one another. When we are separate, we do not trust our way to the Way.

Going out and changing the world doesn’t work for me…It only feeds into the same judgmental energy….Instead, letting go of attachment to any way of believing or thinking has made me feel more expanded and almost transparent so that universal energy can just flow through me. More positive coincidences happen in my life when I’m in this state of allowing” (Anita Moorjani, Dying to be Me)

The need to connect with one another keeps us in search of our way to the Way. Our journey begins at birth. We bring our own bits of light and dark to the being that is our life. The darkness and lightness of each of us is what we offer to the world, what we come to know as our path to the Way.

We do not have to live as labels for it is in our Oneness with one another that we find our way into the Way.

Thursday Tidbits: Digging Deep for “Meraki”

This week’s Thursday Tidbits considers meraki, a modern Greek word for that “extra something” we add to whatever we’re doing, no matter the task. Usually intangible and often inexplicable, meraki helps us immerse ourselves into whatever is at hand. We dig deep for meraki.

Over the last few weeks, I have had to reinvent my diet, in fact my entire daily way of being. Thanks to Prompts for the Promptless, I now have a word for it, meraki, which actually is often associated with cooking, that hard to identify ingredient or quality so essential to adapting to life.

Although I thought I was on a Slow Boat to Fitness, it seems it was not my boat at all. Last November, I began supplementing Meraki Momentmy diet with a few legumes, bread made from brown rice, and a few fruits. I was able to tolerate the extra carbohydrates but steadily the inflammation increased as did the discomfort. Only apples are still allowed.

At first, I thought it was the yoga so I modified my practice yet eventually, I had to stop. I continued with my walking but as the inflammation and discomfort increased, my distance lessened. Yet, after five months, I finally had a meraki moment.

Did I gain weight? Yes one day and no the next and then yes again, the usual roller coaster that has been my experience with the inflammation from degenerative arthritis and lupus. Overall, my weight did not change, which I attribute to the doshas of Ayurveda, of which I am kapha, mostly. Ayurveda eased me into my meraki moment regarding my food.

The ancient art of Ayurveda is not concerned with classifying carbohydrates, proteins, and fats but concentrates on the six tastes found in food: the hot tastes of pungent, sour, and salty; the cold tastes of bitter, astringent, and sweet. Those tastes carry different messages to the body and it reacts accordingly. Ayurveda is so much more than that but I am just beginning.

For me, Ayurveda provides a way to practice my meraki with maitri or loving-kindness as I let go of a diet that I enjoyed but did not provide my body the fuel it must have to fight inflammation and support my joints. I was looking outside myself for answers that were always within me:

If you look for the truth outside yourself,
It gets farther and farther away.
Today walking alone, I meet it everywhere I step.
It is the same as me, yet I am not it.
Only if you understand it in this way
Will you merge with the way things are.” ~ Tung-Shan ~

Meraki helps me listen to my body rather than sending it commands to which it cannot comply because it does not have the energy. A return to yoga is actually relieving some of the discomfort in my joints, and the walking is easier.

With meraki, which always involves one’s enthusiasm for life, I have added daily trips to the delightful blog, Zen flash, an online temple offering daily posts of solitary images and transcendent lines.  It is a part of my morning meditation practice but I also visit at other times to remember:

“Everyday life

is not divorced from

the Eternal State.

~~Sri Ramana Maharshi

In the spirit of Zen flash, this week’s video offers Schumann’s Opus 15 as a moment of merkai from me to you.

Thursday Tidbits are weekly posts that offer choice bits of information to celebrate our oneness with one another through our unique perspectives. It is how we connect, how we have always connected but in the 21st century, the connection is a global one.

Joy Without the Hangover

Stork and Joy 0313

The “trust in our fresh, unbiased nature brings us unlimited joy– happiness is completely devoid of clinging and craving. This is the joy of happiness without a hangover” (Pema Chödrön, The Places That Scare You, 2009).

To experience the unlimited joy of every moment, we trust the innate goodness of our open heart. Joy is no more an adrenaline rush than it is an attempt to keep a moment from passing, no hanging on or yearning allowed, only gratitude. It is a matter of equanimity in all matters in all moments.

In revisiting Buddhism through Pema Chödrön, I am reminded of just how basic joy is and just how difficult. As Einstein said, “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Nowhere is this more evident than in practicing the “four limitless qualities” of joy, equanimity, love, and compassion where ego never dares to tread.

In this past week, I knew moments of suffering in the Buddhist sense–any feeling or action outside the four limitless qualities–I also knew moments of happiness. In either, I did not want the hangover of holding onto the happiness or avoiding the suffering. I just wanted to be.


Unexpected as the events were, I practiced staying and not straying from each moment, difficult as it was. Equanimity in any moment—trying to remain unbiased—allows us to receive what each moment offers. We look within ourselves to our open heart for our compassionate response.

In opening ourselves to our own worth, each of us finds our way “to the truth that we have always been warriors living in a sacred world” (Chödrön). Within our truth is “the ongoing experience of limitless joy” if we will just trust ourselves within that experience.

At the beginning joy is just a feeling that our own situation is workable. We stop looking for a more suitable place to be” (Chödrön). When we stop looking outside for what is inside us, we immerse ourselves in reality. No matter what is occurring, we are alive, and we rejoice in all that we have and all that we are for “it is easy to miss our own good fortune” (Chödrön).

The practice of unlimited joy is our life’s work in every moment we have. “Rejoicing in ordinary things is not sentimental or trite. It actually takes guts… Everything we see, hear, taste, and smell has the power to strengthen and uplift us” (Chödrön). All we have to do is show up and be amazed, moment by moment.

Sunday Anhingas 0313

As unique as each one of us is, we are all connected in our suffering and happiness of our everyday lives, our source of unlimited joy.  “In a nutshell, when life is pleasant, think of others. When life is a burden, think of others. If this is the only training we ever remember to do, it will benefit us tremendously and everyone else as well” (Chödrön).

Our connection with one another is the expression of our love for the unlimited joy inherent in life, in whatever way it is served to us. We keep life simple, as it is, and not simpler, making it something it is not.

This simple way of training with pleasure and pain allows us to use what we have, wherever we are, to connect with other people. It engenders on-the-spot bravery, which is what it will take to heal ourselves and our brothers and sisters on the planet” (Chödrön).

To face every moment with equanimity is not always possible but doing the best we can with what we have lessens any hangover and increases unlimited joy.

The Mirror That is You

Love reflecting upon itself—seeing others in ourselves and ourselves in others—or Tat Tvam Asi, Sanskrit for “you are that, that you are.” All individuals comprise the connection that is oneness.

Yet in order to connect, we must detach, free ourselves from clinging to one way or another. We detach when we look into the mirror of our oneness so that we see each other.

KMHuber Image; St. Mark's Refuge, FL; mirror

Detachment is not giving up anyone or anything but rather, it is attaining freedom. My own experience tells me that when I am completely present, my life is free of past conditions and future “what ifs,” wide open to the field of infinite possibilities.

When we are completely present, we are giving the moment our full attention. Attention energizes the moment, keeping it free from the past, the future or any current situation. When we energize the moment, we set our intention, the direction we wish to travel within the field of infinite possibilities.

Intention transforms or changes the moment but intention does not attach to any one solution, any one goal. There is no clinging, no controlling how it all works out. Rather, with intention, we set our course, remaining open to the outcome as it reveals itself.

I do not find detachment easy but I find it attractive for it is staying with what is, not what was, what might be or even the outcome I think best. I cannot possibly know what is best but I can focus on a direction.

Deepak Chopra writes that in detachment, there is wisdom in uncertainty. Likewise, attachment to anything results in fear and insecurity:  “In order to acquire anything in the physical universe, you have to relinquish your attachment to it” (Seven Spiritual Laws of Success).

It seems to me detachment offers us the mirror of oneness, the reflection of what connects us to one another. Perhaps it provides us a way through our separateness.

KMHuberImage; oneness; St. Mark's Refuge FL

In detachment, our perspective broadens as do our perceptions for we are not attached only to one way or the other but are engaged only in what is. We recognize traits in one another because we know them as our own. In our oneness, we are mirrors, reflecting the world to one another.

Oneness never diminishes the individual but celebrates it–Tat Tvam Asi—you are that, that you are. All are part of the whole. In celebrating our connection to one another, our attention is on what connects us, not what separates us. The energy of attention—our connection–sparks the intention of reaching critical mass awareness.

For the first time in the history of humanity, we have the technology to create global consciousness one person at a time– the only way change is ever truly affected–as we reflect ourselves to one another through the mirror of oneness, a celebration of each and every one of us.

When we are open to what is—the infinite field of possibilities–we are not attached to value, judgment or labels but to “the dream of constant okayness” as Pema Chödrön named it. The infinite field of possibilities abounds in the state of okayness in every moment for every one of us.

The gift of oneness is that the uniqueness of every individual is what connects us, is what allows us to mirror the world for one another. It is how we recognize ourselves.

We live in a fractious and fearful world; we live in a moment unlike any other. As with all who have come before us, we have the opportunity to create a planet of thoughtfulness, mindfulness but unlike previous generations, we have the technology to criss-cross the globe, connection upon connection.

The world grows smaller as we grow closer. “It is only by risking ourselves from one hour to another that we live at all” (William James). It is up to us as it has always been.

KMHuberImage; Mud hens; St. Mark's Refuge FL

Finding Story Anew

My last two blog posts have been an examination of my current mind-body consciousness, specifically my meditation practice and eating habits. I share Deepak Chopra’s belief that a change in one’s consciousness or awareness affects a change in one’s physiology at the cellular level.

I don’t remember when I did not believe in the mind-body connection but I know that reading Chopra’s Quantum Healing helped me consider what quantum healing may mean for me. I first read the book in the early 1990s and again just recently.

Old Woman Tree; KMHuberImage; Tallahassee Park in Winter

Of course, my current level of awareness is quite different these twenty years later. Then, I was completely attached to outcome—clinging the Buddhists call it—meaning my attention was always focused on the end result. Mostly, I was on a pendulum, swinging back to the past and then to the future without a thought to the moment. No wonder I never felt free.

Becoming aware that the moment is where freedom resides broke me open to Chopra’s “field of infinite possibilities” both physically and spiritually. Now, every facet of my life is fluid as I focus on what is and not what might be, which takes a lot more energy but in every moment, there is more energy.

Nowhere is this more evident than in my writing. When I began blogging, my writing focus was entirely outcome based: I set myself a certain number of words per day, I joined various writing challenges, and I troubled my readers with my angst over whether to plot out a novel scene by scene or just write it out by the seat of my pants. In nine months, I produced 220,000+ words in what I have come to regard as my daily writing practice. It is as valuable as my daily meditation practice, and  I don’t regret a word.

I was so attached to the outcome of writing– was it a novel, was it a memoir, was it a compilation of essays–that I abandoned story in search of format or genre. I could not free myself of what my words might become until I settled into the moment to write. One word after another, each sentence emerged from life rather than artifice. I re-discovered how I write.

In writing from the field of infinite possibilities, format/genre didn’t matter nor did structure, which is not to say that format and structure do not matter. They do and are critical to a successful outcome but like story, they have their moments for each writer to discover. For me, that meant having to know my story first, and I wrote in a way I have never written.

Having always appreciated a good story, I was well aware that I did not know the structure of story so I found out from those who did. I read, I watched movies, I discovered scene, and I wrote every day. I began to see snatches of story and I was reminded of John Irving’s response to the question of how he writes: “I start writing my autobiography and then I begin to lie.”

Pond in Winter; KMHuberImage; Tallahasse Park in Winter

I am writing an old woman story, and I am an old woman. If one can come of age at age 60, this woman does it. I cannot say that she is sympathetic or even likable—yet—but she exists in more faces and more places than is comfortable for any of us. Age or aging is still a thorny subject, and we have many clichés and euphemisms to avoid the word old.

But what can a woman make of a life at 60, if she has just awakened? That does sound rather autobiographical but I was lying before the end of the first paragraph–such is the way of story. For all I know, the old woman story—for lack of a better title–will remain part of my writing practice, as publication is not the outcome it once was for me. It’s too soon to tell.

For now, I go to the writing every day just to see what happens  with the old woman for I have not lived her life, although an old woman myself.

A Change of Habit

Autumn is my favorite time of year, in particular the week before Thanksgiving. For some years now, this is the time I assess the current year in preparation for its final toast on December 31. I love the season; it’s such a time of good feeling. There were years that I watched all the holiday programming television could provide. This year, I’m marking the season by not subscribing to any television programming for one year, perhaps forever. It’s a habit I’ve wanted to change for decades, and it seems the season to do so.

For me, most television programming is noisier than any form of social media on its worst day. And my limited engagement with social media is more free than not. Frankly, I can “click out” of either one quite easily but the television has held sway over me–admittedly, attachment–that social media does not have, yet. Television provides hours of images, day and night, and all I have to do is watch, mindlessly.

Cooper’s TV Reaction

Yet, for all of 2012, I have been exploring consciousness–being aware of being aware–by studying various ancient traditions, including the practice of meditation. Since July, I have been meditating daily, having missed only a handful of days in five months. Meditation is yet another change of habit that is a long time in coming.

In the posts I have written about meditation, specifically about being “in the gap,” I acknowledge my difficulty in learning to accept what is. Yet, it is that acceptance, the moving away from duality–not labeling a moment as this or that—that has allowed me to connect to consciousness, producing changes in my physiology as well.

The benefit of any habit is its consistency; in fact, that is the power of habit. Nowhere is this more apparent than in meditation. My daily connection to “the gap between thoughts”—where stillness or consciousness resides—always provides moments of calm, even relaxation. The more that I practice meditation, the less attention I pay to the constant chatter of my mind. Without attention, my thoughts do not attach.

Early on in my meditation practice, there were days the chatter was almost nonstop but there was always some point where I connected with the stillness.  And every connection affected my physiology. Frankly, when I was in the gap, I was not aware of any discomfort. In five months, I believe my discomfort level is significantly less, and while I do not yet fully understand all that may mean, I know it to be true.

There are other reasons for my improved physiology, including a healthy diet and exercise, but if I had to single out one aspect in the last two years it would be a change in consciousness. In other words, my reality has changed because my consciousness has changed, not my attitude but my awareness. It is not a matter of positive thinking for a change in consciousness has nothing to do with thinking and everything to do with being aware of being aware in every moment.

Autodidact that I am, I have sought out the ancient traditions and continue to do so but when I began my meditation practice is when I noticed the shift in my consciousness that affected my physiology. There is no doubt that the cumulative effect of the change in so many of my habits over the past two years is finally being realized–recently, I added a few fruits and legumes to my diet as well as sweet potatoes–but beyond the increased energy I receive from extra carbohydrates there is a hardened resilience born of acceptance.

I assure you that nothing in television programming can compare with all the realms I have yet to explore.

“In one atom are found all the elements of the earth; in one motion of the mind are found all the motions of existence; in one drop of water are found all the secrets of the endless oceans; in one aspect of you are found all the aspects of life.”–Khalil Gibran


Considering Critical Mass

Imagine what critical mass consciousness might mean for our planet. That’s what I have been considering this past week. In this context, I am referring to critical mass as “a threshold value of the number of people needed to trigger a phenomenon by exchange of ideas” (Wikipedia).

In a recent Super Soul Sunday interview with Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra suggested the possibility of critical mass consciousness because of the advances we have made in technology.  Imagine all of us aware of being aware.

The idea of awareness or wholeness reaching such a threshold does seem more than plausible as we are able to communicate globally on a daily basis, if we are so inclined. Whatever technology may or may not be, it is bringing us together face by face, word by word, video by video, an ongoing parade of points of view. It seems there are few places or events that we cannot access.

The recent US presidential election is a good example of such an event. The reelection of President Obama revealed much about us as Americans, not the least of which is that we, too, are moving toward that segment of the planet where white is just another color. In revealing ourselves, warts and all, we relied on the risk that is hope, on the spark that is genius.

“Genius is a crisis that joins the buried self, for certain moments, to our daily mind” (William Butler Yeats). Whenever we are jarred into genius, we have the opportunity to become whole–once again aware—to perceive yet another perspective on what it is to be human. Through crisis, we absorb all that we have been so that we may be yet again anew and maybe, just maybe not as attached.

“The purpose in crisis, if there is one, is not to break us as much as to break us open” (Mark Nepo). Letting go is a lifelong lesson. To be broken open is to detach from the outcome of crisis, no matter how difficult it is or how long it takes. To become aware of all around us requires us to love enough to let go. As the Buddhists say, “to be a fisherman you must detach yourself from the dream of the fish. This makes whatever is caught or found a treasure” (Nepo).*

Perhaps that is what takes us to crisis, our ever narrowing inability to let go of the dream. We attach our lives to a candidate, to a belief, to a fish, and we close ourselves to any and all outcome outside of our narrowly defined dream. No such dream could ever come true for our attachment to its outcome is beyond the dream.

St. Francis told us that “[we] are what [we] are seeking.” As seekers, we break open, teetering on the edge of ourselves, where awareness begins. Extending all that we are to all that surrounds us is consciousness, motivated only by compassion, love, gratitude, and joy. Just consider that we have the technology to reach such critical mass consciousness.

*(All Mark Nepo quotations are from The Book of Awakening, Kindle version).