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, December 29, 2013

Sundays With Buddha

Knowing that the other person is angry, one who remains mindful and calm acts for his own best interest and for the other's interest, too.

Week 36

The holidays are officially over, save the New Year's Celebration, and while I love this time of year and what it represents, the sights, sounds and smells of the Yuletide, I am a bit relieved that it is all but over.

It seems this year (as is oftentimes the case during this time of year) that there were a lot of disgruntled folks trudging their way through the holidays. I have had more than my share of "run-in's" with people these last couple of weeks while out and about. I am so grateful that I have learned the lessons that I have, so far, that have helped me practice the lesson in this quote while dealing with these "difficult people".

Common sense can tell you that becoming irate and matching the other person's level of anger can only intensify the situation. If we can keep mindful of the fact that they may be experiencing some difficulty in their lives much like we may be or have in the past in our own, we are better able to relate to their pain and stay calm and understanding, instead of reacting angrily because our own ego has been challenged.

Wouldn't it be nice if someone were to care enough about our feelings to have done that for us in the past? By acting in this way, you are not just giving to them, but to yourself, as well. This type of generosity spreads much like a shared smile. It will, hopefully, at least plant a seed of thought in them that someone cared enough about them to set aside their own ego and being 'right' to stay calm and let them have the floor in the situation, giving them room to vent their frustrations, right or wrong.

Believe me, they will eventually realize on their own that they were "wrong" without you matching their ire and pointing it out to them. Even if you don't seem to have 'come out on top', you really did because you kept calm and understanding, gifting them the space they needed to figure it out. They will realize the gift you gave them.

It may take them receiving that gift a thousand times before they 'get it', but your job was done. You never know what the other person is going through when they act out angrily, so don't react. Diffuse the situation with calm.

This time may be the one-thousandth time they needed.

Thank you so much for reading and following me along my journey. Many blessings to you on yours.



Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sundays With Buddha

Look within. Be still.


Week 35

I am possibly having one of the worst feeling holidays I have ever had. Worse even than last year, being my first year without my mom. It could be that more has happened since then, therefore compounding a sadness that continues to grow in me. There are overwhelming things that just continue to arise in my life that I sometimes feel that I just can't win. Situations that occur that make me lose faith in my fellow man, this world, even my own family. It fills me with a sadness, if not a bitterness, that causes me to lose faith in myself. What a terrible way to feel, especially at "the most wonderful time of the year."

I try to remind myself that no matter what is going on in my life, someone else probably has it much, much worse. But, I don't have their life or their experiences. I only have my own, and everything that has rained down on me thus far is getting pretty unbearable; things I have not disclosed to my closest friends.

I know that I am not alone. I know that many of you have struggled with things that make you question your faith. I'm talking about earth shattering things that make you question your desire to even share in this world any longer. But, no matter what your faith may be, if you are struggling at any moment with things that affect you this strongly, it doesn't really matter what faith you have, if you can't believe in yourself to be strong enough to reach in and find it.

After reflecting upon the things that are troubling me and allowing myself to feel the feelings that were grieving me so, I made the choice to not fold under my perceived dire circumstances. That my faith in mankind, higher spirituality, myself, is all my own and I get to choose how I react to all that comes my way and how I process all that 'happens' to me. I get to decide to dig deep and find what I need to get through whatever is handed to me. Whatever you find when you dig deep is all yours. It belongs to you, it comes from you and whatever you believe put it there for you to find. When it feels like all else is failing you, know that you have that; a place within you  to retreat to, so that you may find the answers you are looking for.

Know that, no matter how bad things seem to be getting, you have that inner space to retreat to. A serene space you can create that is all your own to pray, meditate, be with God, whatever you need in that moment of your dark hour to help you find your way. This quote reminds me of Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God..." Everyone is entitled to their interpretation of this verse, and everyone is entitled to the peace it brings to them whether they are followers of any certain faith, or not. And for me it brings peace to my heart the same as the Buddha's words "Look within. Be still."

Look within. Find your meaning. Be still, and hear it speak.

Many peaceful blessings to you during your journey of this life.



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sundays With Buddha

Week 34

May all beings be happy at heart.


Today I messed up, a little. I've been on "vacation" all week, something I do every year to prepare for the holidays. I make a lot of my gifts for family and always have shopping to do with and for family members. It's always so busy, I feel I need a vacation to recover from vacation. Add in some totally unexpected  personal strife that I've been helping my sister through, and before you know it, a week is gone, and Sunday was here before I knew it...AND, I go back to work tomorrow.

This is not, however, an excuse as to why I seemed to have completely 'flaked' on my weekly writing responsibility. But I had a long day ahead of me today and didn't even realize it was Sunday; easy to do with my routine being off all week.

Anyhow, I sit here, now, to do what should have been done earlier this week, but literally could not find the time to get done, and I realize that maybe this is exactly as it should be. I believe we constantly need lessons in our lives to help remind us of what is important and, though it is true that everything I did this week was for my loved ones, I need to be reminded not to spread myself too thin. I love giving and doing for others but I really need to practice better time-management. My writing is important to me, and I hope it is to some of you, too, and I truly appreciate all of you who read and support my blog, so I humbly apologize for being late this week.

All of this brings me to this weeks quote.

May all beings be happy at heart.

Most everyone in this world wants the same thing: to be happy. This weeks quote is the wish from the Buddha for all beings to be blessed with what they long for--a happy heart. We all get there in different ways, as different things make each of us happy in different ways. This is how I need to use this quote as a reminder in my life especially at this very busy time of year.

"All beings" encompasses us all. While you are working hard to do your best to make others happy, be sure to remember yourself, as well. Take a little time for yourself, find a way to relax and regroup, so that you can focus on what's important.  In this way, not only are you making others happy with your actions, but also with your presence of mind, and you are benefiting by gaining a happy heart by sharing your own happy heart, as well. This isn't just for the time surrounding the holidays, but for always. It just comes to our minds easier now because we are more focused on giving this time of year, but if we learn to focus on helping others and ourselves to be happy more throughout the year, we will be better prepared for the bustle of next year when it comes. Happy hearts will be second nature for us, and the focus on what matters will be that much easier. I just need to remember this quote when I am starting to take on too much and ask myself if what I am doing is going to result in my heart being totally and completely happy.

Doing all the things for my family and making all the special gifts, shopping for that special and meaningful gift that I know my father-in-law will love, does make me happy, but all of that also caused me to overlook my Sunday post, and that doesn't make me happy. I know there are some things that I let take my time up that I could have, and should have, avoided so as to not burden myself with trying to get everything done. So my solution is to remember this short quote to keep me focused while I am making these decisions so that I may stay focused and keep my own heart happy and light.

That's a gift I don't feel guilty for giving myself.

Thanks for reading,




Sunday, December 8, 2013

Sundays with Buddha

With gentleness overcome anger. With generosity overcome meanness. With truth overcome deceit. 


Week 33

What more can be said about this straightforward quote? Just as in the quote from week 11, to what exactly is the Buddha referring? Is it our own anger, meanness, and deceit, or that of another? Either way, this practice can only help to guide us to understanding each other and ourselves.

With gentleness overcome anger.

If we exhibit a gentle nature with ourselves when we are feeling angry, we can learn to overcome the anger that often arises in us for whatever reason. Often we feel guilt for our angry feelings or admonish ourselves for them. Our emotions are a natural occurrence,  we should understand this and treat ourselves gently when they occur. I don't think this gives us free range to let our emotions get away from us, but taking care with ourselves and allowing our feelings may help us in our reactions next time. I also believe that practicing gentleness towards another when they exhibit anger, will eventually if not immediately, diffuse the situation, and help them to learn to exude a gentleness in return. Being gentle with someone when they are feeling vulnerable (because anger can make rise in you a whole variety of emotions, including insecurity) shows them that you are interested in their well-being instead of the argument to be 'right'. I think that is an immediate "situation-diffuser".

With generosity overcome meanness.

I'm not as sure about the correlation of generosity to meanness but I'll do my best here. Meanness can also be miserliness, I suppose. But what I'm feeling here is the actual state of being hard-hearted.  Generosity can often soften ones heart; not just generosity of the monetary means, but of the spirit, as well. Sometimes having a generous heart towards someone else is all that is needed to melt theirs. A lot of people live their lives on the defensive. Know anybody like that? In any given situation, you may come across someone like this and not even know it. Or maybe you will from their body language or demeanor. In a situation with a potential 'meanie' you never know what the situation may turn into. Sometimes the only control you have is your own behavior. Like I said, sometimes all it may take is a softening of your own heart to stop their 'meanness' in its tracks. It's worth trying. You can catch more flies with sugar, and all that...

With truth overcome deceit.

Always trying to practice truth in your daily life will surely help you to start to overcome the habit of deceit and deceitful acts. Practicing truth and truthful habits, especially as an example to our children, will teach them that truth is a sure way to a life of honor, whereas living your life always surrounded by dishonesty is a means of unnecessary stress and worry. I also feel that this can be applied to living your truth and being authentic. When you break the fear of living to please everyone else you can stop the charade of deceit and can live truthfully and honestly. Live your truth, live by truth, and you will surely overcome deceit.

With these three practices in mind, especially this time of year when so many are experiencing such a different range of emotions that are masked behind depression and anger, be the light you wish to see spread. It has to start somewhere.

Thanks for reading today,



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sundays With Buddha

Have compassion for all beings, rich and poor alike; each has their own suffering. Some suffer too much, some too little. 

Week 32

This is the time of year that is a great source of stress for many. The holidays bring with them mixed feelings. Some are overjoyed at what this time of year brings, while others carry the burden of trying to figure out what they are going to do to try and have or give a happy holiday, if they are in dire emotional or financial straits.

When we are feeling the stress associated with the holidays, especially the financial strain of trying to juggle bills with providing "things" to all who are expecting them, we tend to hold resentments. I know from either personal experience or through observance that we especially resent those who have "more" than we do. Those that can breeze through the holiday season seemingly without a care in the world can be a great source of contention for some. Those that tend to appear to have all they need to perform all their duties this holiday season with ease, comfort and joy, while the rest of us struggle to figure out a way to make ends meet. In this situation it is best to calm our worries and remember that, despite what appears to be true, what your perceptions are, everyone has their own set of struggles.

The more you resent someone, for whatever reason, the more suffering you bring upon yourself. While it may be true that some certainly struggle less intensely than others, it is not our job to decide who deserves what. Only we can control our own suffering. Holding on to resentments will only add to that suffering, whereas practicing the art of "letting go" and reserving our judgments will keep us free of heartache, as we won't be comparing 'ours' with 'theirs'.

Just focus on what you can do this season, whatever your traditions are. I'm sure you really want this time of year to be about connecting with family (in a good way...), enjoying all the things you only get to do once a year, focusing on and reconnecting with what this time of year means to you and your belief system/religion so that you can, hopefully, carry it with you all through the year. And, of course, gift giving.

Sharing with others those special tokens of your love and appreciation for them, whether it's your time and attention, your help, or something handmade or store-bought, is what we all look forward to this time of year. It's not about the size of the item, but the size of your heart.

Open it to others this year. Really try to see them as individuals, just like you, trying to get through this season that can often be trying and confusing, when it doesn't need to be. Be the example you want to see from someone else. When you are out in the hustle and bustle, be kind, considerate, loving even. Show them that this is the time of year to actually slow down, not speed up, and really notice the joy around you. I think by now you have figured out that I strongly believe that our actions have the power to trigger chain reactions, good or bad.

Contribute to the good. You will, undoubtedly, change someone's day. That's the greatest gift of all.

Have a wonderful weekend.