Personal Note

My most valued possession is my family. Even if you are living in a box somewhere, and you have the love and support of your family, you will always be wealthy. Love really is all you need. From love, great things will emerge. From your thoughts, you can create greatness.

This is what I need to remind myself of everyday to be the best person that I can be. Live your life with gratitude. Be thankful for all that you have everyday, even if it is your eyes to see or your ears to hear or your feet to walk or your hands to create. Understand your place in this Universe; how infinitesimally small you are, but how huge a contribution your Spirit is. Don't wear blinders to the world around you, you're not the only one here. Be kind, considerate, don't be judgemental, love others, and yourself. Know that you are perfect inside; that you are love.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sundays With Buddha

Week One

"As a mother would risk her life to protect her child, her only child, even so should one cultivate a limitless heart with regard to all beings."


I wanted to begin the project with this quote because it resonates so deeply with me, and since I am using my son’s birthday as the jumping-off point to this project, it seems the appropriate choice.
I have always been powerfully attached and bound by the cord of love to my only child, my son, willing to do anything to protect him and keep him from any harm. This also drove me to teach him the life lessons he needed to learn to become the citizen, human, and man that he could be proud to be. One of those lessons is love and compassion for others--human and non-human beings, alike.

He has always shown great compassion for others since he was very small. I raised him in a household that values life of all kinds. I always taught him that an ant’s life is no less significant than my own, and that we must never be cruel to anything we perceive as "smaller" or "beneath" us, for all life is precious and created equal. Whether or not he continues to grow into this person is up to him, all we can do as parents is to offer our example and encouragement.

And this is how we live still, to this day. I feed the slugs bits of banana, I rescue worms from the dredging rains, and we always brake for squirrels and birds. While this is nonsense to many, I cannot fathom not living this way. The way to a kinder world is to begin with your own heart.

Though I have always felt a strong endearment towards animals and other creatures of nature, I have not always felt this passionately about people. I believe this is because animals, insects and nature have an innocence about them; a purity due to the missing judgment and selfishness that humans seem to cultivate so well. But the more I grow as a person, the more I learn about why we do the things we do, and that has helped me break down my own barriers and judgments towards other people.
Now, I don't expect you to run out tonight and feed the slugs like you feed the birds, but you don't have to pour salt on them, either. That is all I'm talking about. There are humane ways to deal with things, like the snails in your garden, without going out of your way to teach your children to find glee in the morbid curiosity of what happens to a slug when you douse it in salt. There is necessity, like keeping bugs out of your house, and there is total disregard for other forms of life.

I had the worst problem with this. I was on the opposite spectrum. I often had total disregard for human life, especially when someone had a disparaging attitude toward everything around them. Never mind that I was mirroring their bad attitude. We've all been treated badly. I know I've had my share of unfair treatment. I know that all of the anger and resentment was building up inside of me tarnishing my view of people, as people are what have hurt me in the past. If you've ever been attacked by a swarm of bees, you just might be resentful and afraid of bees.

But, like I said, as I have grown, I have come to realize that we do things that we cannot help. Either we are unconscious of our actions because they are so ingrained in us that we don't know any better, or we just don't know where to begin the change. I am at least grateful I was given a compassionate heart that I could grow to be more accepting and loving toward my fellow human being, accepting them and loving them for who and what they are. Not always easy, and I am by far not always able to pull it off, but at least it's a start. I admit my shortcomings, and work on it the best I can, every day. It is not weak to admit weakness. It is strength. 
So, what are these words from The Buddha supposed to mean...?

At first glance, this quote seems to be about a mothers love for her child, strong and true, and, it is. But the deeper meaning is the beauty of the quote. A mother’s deep love for her child is the example used to describe how we should all extend our love for one another, as well as "all beings". I believe the Buddha is not just speaking about other 'human' beings, though we should have an open mind and open heart towards all mankind, whatever their differences from us may be. I would like to say that tolerance is a virtue that we, as human beings, should be extending towards one another, but I don't like to use the term "tolerance", as, to me, it implies that I am somehow above that which I must tolerate. I much rather like the term "compassion", as we should all extend compassion for each other’s thoughts, beliefs and feelings. We should hope to be as dominoes triggering a chain reaction from our acts of love and understanding "in regard to all beings".

 As I said, I don't believe this is reserved for humans, alone, but for any being that retains the light of life within it. We are to treat all beings that share this planet with the respect, compassion, and love that we would "our only child". Through this type of compassion for one another and all things, we can certainly start to become the change we wish to experience in this world.

That's worth a bit of banana to me.

Thank you for spending this time with me today.



Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Weekly Forum--Sundays with Buddha

Hi there!

I hope this post finds you well.

 I have been having a little trouble staying motivated lately. I know we all go through this from time to time, but I've really been struggling. I have been "losing' myself a bit lately, it seems, and I want to get out of that rut. I just needed to find a way. I took some time off from writing and socializing just to be with my thoughts and feelings and, while it gave me a break to just be with myself, I realized I am not at my best when I am isolated and not sharing with others.

I find that if I am not practicing what I believe in on a daily basis, I falter and sort of  lose sight of what is important to me. Things like kindness, non-judgement, compassion, loving thoughts and feelings toward myself and others. It doesn't leave me completely, I don't think it ever really could, but I become less mindful of these attributes that are so very important to me to have and to share.

That's why I am so grateful to forums, web sites, books, and magazines that I can read and participate in to keep that part of me awakened. But, I realized that, when I write and share of myself, that is when I am at my strongest. I write every once in a while. I submit articles to blogs. But I need to really concentrate on my own blog, as well.

So, this is how I intend to do it.

A few weeks ago on a nice weekend out with my husband, Noah, I picked up this journal titled "The Sayings of Buddha." It has over 50 pages and 100 quotes from the Buddha sharing his great wisdom. One quote on each blank lined page for you to journal on. I haven't started writing in it yet; I was waiting for whatever I needed to do with this book to make itself known to me, as I knew it would. I was reading through the quotes one night at work and it did just that.

I realized that if I could read a quote and write about my feelings on what it meant to me just on the blank pages provided, I could have a lesson at least every week for almost two years, or twice a week for one year.

So, that's it. I will provide a lesson each week (maybe two) for at least a year on the teachings of the Buddha and what they mean to me and how I will adapt those lessons into my life. It will provide me with something that I must focus on, and to rely upon myself to be mindful, as I can think on each lesson through the week and post them each Sunday.

I picked Sunday because that is when we are likely to be most at peace and rest and have the time to sit down with some tea or a cup of coffee sometime throughout the day and share some "Sundays With Buddha."

My first post will be this Sunday, April 28th, a day before my son's 18th birthday; a day that changed my life for the better, forever.

I truly hope you will join me on my journey of contemplation of the words of the Buddha. In them, there are amazing lessons of peace and love. This does not mean you have to be any certain religion or not. You may wonder if I am Buddhist. I would reply that it is not in me to be religious or to practice one 'religion'. I prefer to study and practice spirituality and philosophy. If there is a philosophy that resonates with me, it could come from any religion or culture, but if it is what resonates with me, that is the philosophy that I would adopt for my life. This may not be for everyone. Religion has always been a 'touchy' subject in this world. I prefer unity in peace and love rather than separation through who's right or wrong. There are many teachings of Christ that I follow, as well. Everyone has something to learn from someone else.

I just think it's time to be open to learning from each other. And since Buddha was a teacher and I find his words to be a loving embrace, and for all of mankind to learn from, that is what I chose for my path to peace.

I am honored that you might join me,



Sunday, April 21, 2013

A New Post at Tiny Buddha

I have a new article posted on Tiny Buddha ( If you head over there you will find a lot of great posts by some really great people. Thanks for taking the time to read my personal blogs and my submissions at Tiny Buddha.

Have a wonderful week!


Friday, April 5, 2013

Coming back from a little time for myself...

Hello, everyone,

I have to apologize for being so absent this last month or so. I've been on a bit of a solitude mission. I haven't been writing on my blogs because I've been taking time to myself to deal with the month of March, as it was a full month. March 1st was my moms birthday. It would have been her 70th. And March 30th was the one year anniversary of her death.

I spent this time away just taking pictures and doing some other things with other hobbies that have been a little more introspective giving me time to be alone with my thoughts and feelings and giving me the time to not have to think of the right things to say or do. I did, however, write another article for Tiny Buddha back in February reflecting upon my relationship with my mother and my family, and that will be published soon. I will share that link with you as soon as it is available. (Update: Just click here for the full post at Tiny Buddha (dot) com, and thanks for visiting the site!)

I know it is still important to share myself with you, even, or maybe especially, in times of distress, but I also know it was important to do what I needed to do. My message to you, the lesson I learned, was that it's okay to take a break from things. You don't have to do everything at once. You don't have to strive to please everyone all the time. If you are at peace with what you are doing, it will show and the people around you will understand. Just as when you are miserable, that shows on your outside, as well.

Of course, I was worried that I wasn't holding up my "end of the bargain" and giving all that I have in my two blogs. Disappearing without any explanation is rude. But sometimes we can't please everyone all of the time. We have to do something that is best for ourselves, at times.

And that is perfectly okay. Don't judge yourself. Be kind and gentle with yourself and everything will come out exactly as it should.

The time that I took for myself to get things kind of organized in my mind and in my house and with my feelings helped me to get prepared for the difficult weeks that I had to face. Even though it has been a year since I lost her, I still miss my mom so much it seems impossible to bear. None of us can believe it has been a year, already. And in June, my husband and his grandmother will start to go through their mourning process for his mother all over again, as well.

I know now that I am able to take the time to reflect on what I needed to and I accomplished a lot in that time that I took that I wasn't racking my brain trying to do too many things at once. If you give yourself the opportunity, you will always find something new to worry about.

So, practice not giving in to those opportunities. Again, be kind to yourself. Be gentle with yourself, and know that you are doing things perfectly as they should be done. Know that you are perfect just the way that you are and you'll be guided perfectly by your highest self, all you have to do is just quiet yourself and listen for it.

I realize for some, even this causes a bit of anxiety. Fear that you may not be 'doing it right'. You may think, "How do I hear it? What do I do to hear it? How can I even listen for it?"

You can learn from others how to calm and center yourself to receive the wisdom that is rightfully yours. There is a wealth of information out there from like minded people who are all seeking the same peace that you are. There are online forums, books, blogs...but most of all, you just have to believe that you hold everything inside you that you need to figure it all out.

You just have to believe in yourself, for inside you, you will find that which you call God, whatever that may, or may not, be for you. The Universe created you to be perfect and that is what you need to believe that you are. You are not a mistake and you are worth being treated well. By others. By yourself.

Wishing you all the wonderfulness you deserve,