Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Whangapoua Beach, Coromandel, New Zealand

Every moment of every day we make a choice. One choice brings us peace, love and joy. The other choice keeps us in a cycle of desire, fulfillment and frustration, anxiety and avoidance, fear and hope. We can choose to be identified with our thoughts and beliefs, or we can bring our awareness to the Present. There is no judgment. Either choice is fine. There is nothing we can do that will cause us to fall from Grace.

We choose whether we know it or not.

Let's choose consciously.

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Long Bay, Coromandel, New Zealand

Is it worth it? Is it worth giving up all of our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves, our desires, our likes and dislikes and our social identities? If we are generally contented, our relationships are satisfying, we are passionate about our careers there is no need to change anything as we are already living in harmony.

However, if we are often unhappy, frustrated and angry, dissatisfied with our lives and wish that there was another way to live, there is! We can change in an instant. We only have to be who we truly are, not who we think we are.

By bringing our attention away from compulsive thinking and towards the present moment, our lives will be in harmony with the infinite energy source, which is what we are. We will experience the peace, love and joy which cannot be taught or understood through thought. It can only be experienced by surrendering to the now.

Let's be what we really are.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


Kamakura, Japan

Over time, stress builds on itself until we have layer upon layer of unresolved issues. It causes us to lose perspective and view the world as our enemy. We are often not even aware it. It can kill us and, at the very least, causes nervousness, anger, frustration and unhappiness.

The quickest way to relieve stress is through meditation. It is quicker than any other activity, including exercise, being in nature, talking to a psychiatrist, etc. Of course, meditation is not an activity. It is the opposite of activity. It is stillness. It is being. Thirty minutes of meditation can release a lifetime of stress. If we incorporate a daily practice into our lives, everything will be better. We will be relaxed, think clearly, and always keep things in perspective. People will react differently to us, as we react differently to them. We will see the beauty in simple, every day things. We will treat our loved ones and ourselves better.

Study after study has proven that meditation has an enormous beneficial effect on our health and well-being. How do we meditate? It is easy, but not simple. It is like a muscle. The more we exercise it, the better it is. We can sit with our back stright and bring our attention to our breathing. As our mind wanders and we are distracted, we gently bring our attention back to our breathing, without judgment of any kind.

Let's have the discipline and the courage to be still in meditation.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Black Swan and Babies, Lake Taupo, New Zealand

We act differently in front of our boss, our teacher, our parents, our friends, our loved ones, strangers, etc. We project what we think the other person expects to see. This is inauthentic living.

All of the manipulations, words and actions we show others are lies. We want to be liked, we want to be respected, we want things from other people. We are afraid that if people saw who we really were, that they would not like us.

Putting different faces on in different situations causes stress because we are not living authentically. We should not be afraid to show people who we really are. If we lose friends and people do not like us, it is time to move on from those people. We will attract new people, who resonate with our new energy.

Whom are we trying to protect when we tell white lies? Are we really doing our friends a favor by lying to them? Do we think so little of them, that we do not think they can handle the truth?

It is far less stressful and more relaxing to be who we are in all situations. Our thoughts and beliefs about who we think we are keep us from being who we are. If we let go of our beliefs about who we think we are, we will be who we really are.

Let's have the courage to be transparent.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Nara, Japan

Whatever we think God is, it isn't. God cannot be understood through thought. Words cannot describe it. We can pray to it, but it will not work. Prayer consists of words and thoughts. It can, however, be experienced. Our conceptions, thoughts, speculations and faith in what God is are wrong. It is incapable of being described.

We can allow it to be what it is. We can surrender to it without understanding it. Understanding requires thought and it is incapable of being understood through thought.

God is an infinite, loving, energy source. It is also what we are. We do not have to look for it. It cannot be found. It is what we are. We just have to surrender to it.

Let's surrender our thoughts of what the Infinite is, and allow it to be what it is.

Friday, November 13, 2009


Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

If we only held on to the thoughts about the positive things in our lives that would be one thing. However, we hold on to the most miserable and frivolous thoughts as well. We believe that if we gave them up, that we would be lost and would have no identity.

Only by surrendering our thoughts and beliefs will we find ourselves. We believe that any role that we play is better than not having one. We love being the victim and telling everyone about our illnesses or the injustices that were done to us. We love bragging about our accomplishments and possessions in order to cover up our feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy.

If we find the courage to surrender all of our thoughts and beliefs about ourselves, we will find peace. We will not be lost if we give them up. We will be found.

Let's give up what we think we know and surrender to the divine unknown.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Qamea, Fiji

We are happy when "good" things happen to us, and angry or sad when "bad" things happen to us. In reality, we do not have enough information to determine what is "bad" and what is "good."

Often we look back on obstacles and disappointments and realize that we were better off from having gone through it. When we are fired from our job, we will often find a more suitable position. When our relationship does not work out, we often find someone who makes us happier.

Since we do not have knowledge of the "big picture," we should treat every event that happens to us with gratitude. When we realize that everything is a gift, we let go of the ups and downs that make us victims of our circumstances. By being grateful for everything, we become masters of our lives. We also will find that when we let go of our judgments and assumptions about events, things begin to flow more harmoniously. By not being buffeted by the winds of fortune, fortune smiles on us.

However, if we are grateful in order to receive the things that we think we want, it will only reinforce our feelings of lack. What we put out is what we receive. This is the law of prosperity and the law of karma.

If we would be grateful for just one day for everything that happens to us regardless of whether we believe the circumstances are "good" or "bad," everything will change. For example, instead of being frustrated or angry when we miss a traffic light, we can be grateful that we have a moment to practice presence. If a family member is ill, we could become despondent, or we could be grateful for all that we have learned from this person and thankful to be able to spend whatever time is left with them. If we lose our job, we could become fearful of what will happen to us, or we could be grateful for the opportunity to surrender our fears, appreciate the time that we have for ourselves, and look forward to obtaining a more meaningful job.

Let's be grateful for everything in our lives.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Qamea, Fiji

The opposite of love is fear. Our fear comes from thoughts of the past which we have repressed and avoided looking at, thoughts of regret for things that we have done in the past or that have happened to us, and anxiety about what might happen in the future.

Unless we are being chased by a bear, there is no fear in Present Awareness. By surrendering our thoughts and bringing our attention to the present, our fear dissipates and we are in harmony with the peace, love and joy of infinite universal energy, which is available to us at any time.

The vast majority of our thoughts do not serve us. They only cause us stress, anxiety and frustration. The pull of compulsive thinking is strong, but its power will lessen the more we maintain our focus on the present. If we are disciplined in keeping our focus on the present, we can reverse the polarity of our being and remain present as our default setting.

Let's surrender our thoughts and keep our awareness on the present moment.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Bay of Islands, New Zealand

I finally understood why the pull of compulsive thinking so strongly pulls us away from being in Present Awareness when I read the following passage from Eckhart Tolle's A NEW EARTH.

"In most cases, when you say 'I' it is the ego speaking, not you. It consists of thought and emotion, of a bundle of memories you identify with as 'me and my story,' of habitual roles you play without knowing it, of collective identifications such as nationality, religion, race, social class, or political allegiance. It also contains personal identifications, not only with possessions, but also with opinions, external appearance, long-standing resentments, or concepts of yourself as better than or not as good as others, as a success or failure.

Egos only differ on the surface. Deep down they are all the same. In what way are they the same? They live on identification and separation. When you live through the mind-made self comprised of thought and emotion that is the ego, the basis for your identity is precarious because thought and emotion are by their very nature ephemeral, fleeting. So every ego is continuously struggling for survival, trying to protect and enlarge itself. To uphold the I-thought, it needs the opposite thought of 'the other.' The conceptual 'I' cannot survive without the conceptual 'other.' The others are most other when I see them as my enemies. At one end of the scale of this unconscious egoic pattern lies the egooic compulsive habit of faultfinding and complaining about others...Because when I criticize or condemn another, it makes me feel bigger, superior.

Complaining is one of the ego's favorite strategies for strengthening itself...Applying negative mental labels to people, either to their face or more commonly when you speak about them to others or even just think about them, is often part of this pattern.

Nonreaction to the ego in others is one of the most effective ways not only of going beyond ego in yourself but also of dissolving the collective human ego...When you realize it's not personal, there is no longer a compulsion to react as if it were. By not reacting to the ego, you will often be able to bring out the sanity in others, which is the unconditioned consciousness as opposed to the conditioned."

Saturday, October 17, 2009


Maggie and Penny, Buffalo Lodge, Coromandel, New Zealand

We are justifiably outraged when we hear about a dog or cat being tortured, abused or neglected. However we are silent and indifferent to the suffering of animals that are raised for our food. 99% of the meat that we eat is sliced from animals which have only known suffering and torment their entire lives before they are killed in an agonizing and painful death.

We are nourishing ourselves with the tortured and tormented flesh of sentient beings. Beings who love their offspring, and have a depth of feeling which we refuse to bring to our awareness.

Heart disease is by far the number one killer of human beings. The difference in incidents of heart disease between meat eaters and vegans is 1000%. Our addiction to meat is literally killing us.

Let's be conscious of everything we do, everything we say and everything we eat.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Merino sheep, Glenorchy, New Zealand

I have written in these pages that the opposite of love is not hate, but fear. The opposite of love is also judgment. Judgment clouds our ability to love and to be loved. The opposite of judgment is also God. God is divine presence without judgment. All of the wars that have been fought have been fought because of judgment. Judgment makes us blind to seeing things as they really are. We think that our judgments reflect reality, but they are an illusion, based on false assumptions and flawed beliefs.

Let's surrender our judgment and experience the Divine love, wisdom and peace that is what we already are.

Sunday, October 4, 2009



Once we become aware of our thoughts and begin to surrender our beliefs, painful memories which we have been repressing will start to emerge into our consciousness. It takes courage to observe these thoughts without slipping back into unconsciousness and becoming lost in compulsive thinking.

The painful memories have a strong emotional charge, so we must remain vigilant and bring our attention to them without judgment of any kind. The emotional pull of painful memories will begin to lessen the more we bring the light of attention to them. As the emotional pull lessens, it will become easier to remain present.

It also takes courage to surrender the beliefs which have been programmed into us for our entire lives. We take great comfort in the beliefs which we share with our parents, our friends and our other social groups. We are afraid of the unknown. We are afraid of what we will be without the safety of our belief structures. There is, of course, nothing to fear. Once we take the leap of surrendering, we will be comforted by the joy of Awareness.

Let's have the courage to surrender our beliefs, and the courage to observe our thoughts, because we know that nothing in our thoughts can harm us.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Pelican, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

We begin by realizing that our lives no longer work for us. We start to understand that we have been programmed and have been acting in accordance with our conditioning. We grow tired of being fearful, angry and uneasy. We careen from desire to frustration, remembering painful memories from the past and imagining an uncertain and frightening future. The things that used to make us feel better no longer work. We are terrified of illness and death and we dread getting older. We finally ask ourselves whether there is another way to live? An answer immediately comes to us: "There is!" This is the beginning of awakening.

Once we decide that we want to live another way, all of the tools necessary to awaken will be offered to us, if we will only open our eyes to them. The answer is simple. We need only recognize what we already are, Pure Awareness. Pure Awareness is our attention without judgment or beliefs. Once we align our attention with the Awareness that permeates all things, we will finally achieve clarity. Doubt, insecurity, fear and unhappiness will fade, and be replaced with wisdom, peace, joy and love.

There are many means to live mindfully. Everybody's path is different (of course, as we travel down the path, we will soon realize that there is no path). We should choose the tools that best suit us. Nobody can tell us what is best for us. We can figure that out for ourselves. The tools are endless: We might find a meditation class or a book that will teach us how to meditate. We might try yoga or Tai Chi. We might find our true selves in nature. We might learn how to bring our attention away from compulsive thinking and into the present moment. We might temporarily learn from a teacher, although if we stay too long with one, there may be a danger that we will associate awakening with that person. Ultimately, we will tread down the path alone.

Let's wake up and live the life we choose to live.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Stony Batter, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

The first step to awakening is for us to have the desire or intention to awaken. We may have had experiences of deep connection and wanted to continue that feeling. We may have hit the depths of depression and are finally willing to give up our conceptions about how we think things are.

Once we establish our intention, we can utilize the tools that are readily available to allow us to awaken. We choose the tools that resonate with who we are. We may bring our attention to our breath in meditation, practice loving kindness like the Dalai Lama, or simply consistently return our attention to the present moment. There are many tools available to us. Once we have our intention, the Universe will meet us halfway and present opportunities for us to awaken.

We usually have to be disciplined to constantly keep our attention in the present. The pull of our conditioned thinking is very strong. Our programming started at birth and continues today. We are conditioned from all sides, every time we interact with a person, watch television or play a video game. It takes discipline to remind ourselves to stop our compulsive thinking and bring our attention back to the present.

It takes courage to become aware of the pain and fear which we have repressed for years. It also takes courage to leave behind all our thoughts and beliefs, which establish our identity and connect us to our various tribes.

Let's be present.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

We criticize others in order to feel superior. If we belittle the other person, it makes us believe that we are better than that person. We also label what we see to reinforce our belief systems. By putting what we experience in a box, we feel safe in knowing that everything is accounted for. This feeling of safety covers up our feeling that we are not in control. By labelling and criticizing, we are trying to assure ourselves that we are safe and in control.

We judge ourselves as well. When we criticize ourselves, we are reinforcing that feeling of insecurity. However, when we brag about one of our attributes, we are also reinforcing our insecurity. If we really believed that we had the attribute, we would feel no need to brag about it. We brag about it only because we want to believe that we have it. We want to believe that we have it because we know that actually we do not.

We can live in harmony with the flow of life by experiencing the world with Pure Awareness. Pure Awareness is bringing our attention to our interaction with the world, without judgment or labels.

Let's experience the world just as it is, without judgment or labels.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Asakusa Festival, Tokyo, Japan

By bringing our attention to the present moment, we break our connection to compulsive thinking. The pull of our thoughts and emotions is very strong. It will constantly pull us back into being lost in thought if we are not vigilant.

If we are disciplined, we can reverse the polarity and have our default setting be presence, rather than compulsive thinking. We can spend less time lost in thought and more time living in presence, where we are in harmony with Universal Intelligence. Our lives will immediately change. Our anger and frustration will disappear. We will become more peaceful. Our enemies will no longer be our enemies. We will no longer feel alone. We will be connected to a larger way of life.

Every moment presents a new opportunity to be present. We can be aware of our steps, what we are speaking about, what we are feeling. We can feel our chests rise and fall with each breath. We can see the world with new eyes, by suspending our labelling and judging and seeing things as they really are. It does not matter if we are in the city or in nature, although it is sometimes easier to stay present in nature. We can see beauty, even in the busiest and noisiest city.

Let's be present.

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand

Although it may seem like it, we are not in this alone. If we surrender to the Unmanifested by surrendering our judgments and beliefs, we will be met on the other side.

Words are inadequate to describe the experience of Oneness. It requires a leap of faith. It is well worth it. By giving up the comfort of our belief systems, we will lose our neuroses, depression and frustration.

Let's have the courage to surrender our fears, frustrations, judgments and beliefs and become one with All That Is.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

One from 2008:
We will never solve our problems by trying to figure them out through thought. Our thoughts consist of a repeating cycle of social programming. We are afraid to give up our thoughts because our identity, who we believe that we are, is irrevocably tied to them. We firmly believe that if we give up our thoughts that we will die.

We will not die. On the contrary, if we give up our compulsive thinking and surrender to what is, our lives will be in harmony with the Infinite Energy Source. The solutions to our "problems" will become apparent and we will become aware that our problems actually do not exist.

Let's surrender our thoughts. Let's surrender our beliefs. Lets surrender.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland

The opposite of love is not hate. We hate because we care so deeply.

The opposite of love is indifference.

During a golf outing a few years ago, the players in front of us were mocking some Chinese golfers ahead of them, making fun of the way they spoke. I was angry at their apparent racism and judged them to be rednecks. I later realized that I was being the same as they were. I judged them without knowing the circumstances. They may have been racists or they may have only been joking amongst themselves. I was the bigot.

How do we stop being angry and judgmental? We observe our emotions and thoughts without judgment until the anger subsides. Perceiving a situation without judgment or anger does not mean that we do not take action when action is appropriate. However, action taken out of anger will usually be met with anger and the situation will not be improved. It likely will be much worse. Action taken from a place of peace and love will be far more effective in transforming the situation to the benefit of everyone concerned.

Let's be.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Qamea, Fiji

Regret, envy, desire, frustration, anger. We live with these emotions because we are lost in compulsive thinking. We try to fill the hole that we feel by buying things, taking drugs or alcohol, through sex or by achieving money or power. None of these things can give us lasting satisfaction.

Only love can fill the emptiness inside us. If we transmute the criticisms of ourselves and others into love, our entire lives will change. We will receive what we give to others.

Let's be love.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Start Now

Big Bear Lake, California

If we believe that we have to learn something, achieve something, or acquire something in order to awaken, it will never happen. The only way that we can awaken is now, in this moment. We cannot put it off. No matter how many painful memories we have, or whatever we regret from the past, every new moment is a new opportunity to awaken.

We do not have to meditate. We do not have to acquire wisdom. We do not have to read anything. We do not have to learn anything. We do not have to follow anybody. There is no process to go through.

Is it worth it? It is, if we want to give up our neuroses, our anger, our depression, and frustration. What will we gain? Infinite joy, wisdom and peace.

All we have to do is become present. Now.

Let's start now.


Bee Boxes, Te Kouma, Coromandel, New Zealand

When we see a television drug advertisement, do we wonder if we have the symptoms too? When we see an advertisement for a car, do we believe that if we owned it that our lives would be enhanced?

When we receive a compliment, do we feel better? When we receive criticism, do we feel angry or sad?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, we are being unconsciously programmed by the media and those around us. We can break the programming cycle by being impervious to praise or criticism. We can do this by bringing our attention, without judgment of any kind, to our feelings. By merely being aware of how we react to the stimulus, our reactions will lessen.

The light of awareness is the key to breaking the societal conditioning that has been programming our minds during our entire lives.

Let's be impervious to criticism or praise. Let's be aware.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Queenstown, New Zealand

The more we practice presence, the more we will be present. However, the pull of our belief systems is very strong. It takes courage to leave behind the person who we think we are.

We are completely brainwashed. We have been programmed from birth. The programming continues every moment of every day. We have been programmed to believe that we are what we believe we are. It is easy to figure out what we have been programmed to become. If we examine our beliefs, without judgment, we will discover what we have been programmed to believe.

Bringing the light of our attention to our beliefs without judgment of any kind, will cause the programming to begin to dissolve. We will awaken as if from a dream.

All that we have to do is leave our beliefs and judgments behind and be present. Fortunately, when we take the leap into the chasm of the Unknown, there will be something there to catch us.

Can we feel our breath going in and out? Can we hear the sounds all around us? Can we hear the internal buzzing in our ears. Can we feel the blood coursing through our bodies. Can we feel the cool breeze against our skin?

Now is the time for us to embrace Presence.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Labels define who we think we are.

Let's say we are a 30 year old, middle class, Democratic, Catholic woman living in Los Angeles. Each of those adjectives reflects its own belief system. These belief systems can cause stress in at least two ways.

First, the belief systems may conflict with each other. For example, a woman from Los Angeles may believe that birth control and premarital sex are fine, while the rules of being Catholic forbid it.

Second, the belief systems conflict with who we really are without the labels.

The more dogmatic and firmly held our beliefs are, the more stress is created. Because the conflict is so great, this can cause perverted behavior and extreme unhappiness. That is why fundamentalist religious believers, such as Larry Craig, often are discovered to be leading secret lives so divergent from what they believe.

It takes courage to surrender the beliefs of the tribes to which we belong. However, when we do so, we align ourselves with the wisdom, peace, harmony and love of Universal Spirit. Our anger, frustration, and illusions dissipate. It is as if we have awakened from a dream.

Let's surrender to what is without the labels and beliefs.

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Kereta, Coromandel, New Zealand

Can we find peace amid all of the political turmoil and personal drama in our lives? Can we find peace despite the noise and pollution of living in a big city?

Peace has nothing to do with exterior circumstances. It is always with us. All we have to do is put our attention on it.

It is a matter of choice. Some people never find peace in the most beautiful and quiet places in the world. Some find peace in the middle of the noisiest city.

When we walk by a jackhammer at a construction site, we can become irritated at how loud the city is. Or we can cover our ears and walk by without judgment. If a car cuts us off in traffic, we can become angry and curse at it. Or we can choose not to react, apply our brakes, and continue driving, without judgment.

We can choose how we react to events. If someone yells at us, we can respond angrily and indignantly. Or we can choose to be indifferent. Our ego does not have to be at stake in every encounter. We can choose to release our judgments about what is peaceul and what is not, and what we react to and what we do not react to.

Let's embody peace.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Sedona, Arizona

There is nothing that we can do to fall out of grace. The serial murderer has as much chance of finding grace as Mother Theresa had. The difference is that Mother Theresa realized that she was in a state of Grace. The murderer did not.

There is nothing that we can add to ourselves to bring us closer to it. We do not have to do anything to deserve it. We do not have to search for it. It does not have to be found. It is always right next to us. It is what we are.

We can find it in religion. We can find it without religion. Every moment is a new opportunity to become one with Grace.

Millions are awakening to it right now. Let's join the party.

Let's surrender to Grace

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Santa Fe, New Mexico

Since I have not been inspired to write this week, the following is a quote from Eckhart Tolle's A NEW EARTH:
"Your inner purpose is to awaken. It is as simple as that. You share that purpose with every other person on the planet-because it is the purpose of humanity...Awakening is a shift in consciousness in which thinking and awareness separate. For most people it is not an event but a process they undergo...There is nothing you can do about awakening. Whatever you do will be the ego trying to add awakening or enlightenment to itself as its most prized possession and thereby making itself more important and bigger. Instead of awakening, you add the concept of awakening to your mind, or the mental image of what an awakened or enlightened person is like, and then try to live up to that image. Living up to an image that you have of yourself or that other people have of you is inauthentic living-another unconscious role the ego plays...
What is the relationship between awareness and thinking? Awareness is the space in which thoughts exist when that space has become conscious of itself."

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Santa Fe, New Mexico

We are frightened by change. We feel safe in the comfort zone of our beliefs. We have expectations and preconceptions about what will happen to us. If we let go of our notions about the future and accept change as it happens, we will realize that there is nothing for us to be frightened of. Things will unfold as they are meant to.

We can become masters of our life by embracing the Unknown.

Let's embrace the Unknown. Let's embrace the great Mystery. Let's surrender to change.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Prayer of Gratitude

Adobe House, Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

Gratitude is the key to acceptance, wisdom, peace and abundance. Let's express a prayer of gratitude. Mine is:
Thank you for the opportunity to know what is important and what is not important.
Thank you for love, health, peace and prosperity.
Thank you for what I have learned when I have experienced ill health, disappointment, frustration and lack.
Thank you for the opportunity to know the Divine, without religion.
Thank you for the opportunity to let go of my gender identity, my religion, and my other beliefs, and express who I really am.
Thank you for the opportunity to use this body to experience all that the material world has to offer.
Thank you for the opportunity to be present, even in this very moment.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Autumn in Big Sur

Imagine how life would be if we could rid ourselves of our anxieties, our frustrations, our anger, and our unhappiness. What would we give to be able to live a life of peace, joy and freedom?

We can live that life now. In fact, the only way we can achieve such a life is now. We cannot accomplish it in the future. If we believe that our lives will be better "someday," we will never realize it, because "someday" will never come. The future can never arrive. It will always remain in the future. The only thing that exists is the now. Once we realize this, everything changes.

We can have the life we want by living in the now. We can live in the now by surrendering all of our beliefs, thoughts, ideas and judgments and bringing our attention to the present moment.

Let's be. here. now.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Kauri Tree, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

We are afraid to leave the safety of our comfort zone. We feel safe thinking and acting in the same manner as the various groups we identify with. We have been conditioned our entire lives to think and behave a certain way. However, at some point we become conscious that we are dissatisfied and frustrated with our lives. The solution is not to join another group or try to alter our thinking.

The answer is to have the courage to give up compulsive thinking.

It take courage to surrender everything that we have been taught and everything that defines who we think we are. It takes courage to surrender to a great unknown, which cannot be defined or described. It can only be experienced. Once we become conscious, the thoughts and beliefs that we buried deep into our subconscious because they were too painful will begin to emerge. It takes courage to face them without judgment.

Let's have the courage to surrender to the Mystery.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Mt. Tongariro from Lake Taupo

Our breath is the connection between our physical bodies and the Unmanifested. It is a doorway to Presence.
Our breath and our states of mind are irrevocably tied as well. If we are feeling stressed or anxious, our breath is shallow and quick. If our breath is long and deep, we are feeling peaceful. We can change our state of mind by changing our breath.

We take our breathing for granted because it is so familiar. It can be a very helpful tool. Studies have shown that we can greatly lower our blood pressure by doing breathing exercises. Following our breath with our attention is a powerful meditation.

By bringing awareness to our breathing, we become present.
Let's breathe.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Acceptance and Gratitude

Sunset at Waihihi Bay, Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

The Buddha said that life was suffering. He also said that suffering was caused by desire. Our desire is fueled by fear, sadness, frustration and envy. By dropping our feelings of desire, we can end our suffering.

The opposite of desire is acceptance and gratitude. If we accept our current circumstances, and embody a feeling of gratitude, we automatically give up our incessant desire that our circumstances should be different than they are. Our suffering will cease as well.

Once we embrace acceptance and gratitude, we can begin to change our circumstances, if that is what we choose to do. However, we will act from a place of peace, wisdom and love, rather than reacting out of fear and frustration.

Let's embrace acceptance and gratitude.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Stony Batter, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Happiness does not exist without unhappiness.

Even the elation we feel after we obtain a deeply desired object or situation will fade in short order and we will return to a state of frustration. Studies of lottery winners have show that even the biggest wins do not bring lasting happiness. This is because the problem that we think can be solved by satisfaction of our desires, cannot. The relief is only temporary. The realization that obtaining the desired object or situation does not solve our problems can cause even greater frustration and despair. If satisfaction of our desires does not solve our problems, we believe there is no hope.

We can transcend the cycle of desire, frustration, fulfillment, and disappointment. If we surrender our beliefs and desires, we will become one with Universal Energy. We will experience joy when we value and our grateful for what we do have. This gratitude will cause our hunger for more things to subside.

Let's surrender to joy.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Waitete Bay, Coromandel, New Zealand

We swim against the current of life.
We follow our desires, believing that they will lead to fulfillment. We think that if we only had this house or that car, we would be satisfied. We believe that if we achieved success or married the right person, that our lives would be enhanced.

If we instead allow Life to take us where it wants us to go, a greater intelligence takes us over, and our lives will become peaceful and joyful. We cannot learn about allowing. It must be experienced.
We can trust that if we give up our stale and conditioned beliefs, our lives will be peaceful and our fears and frustrations will fade away. That is true faith.

Let's allow Life to take us where It wants us to go.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Buffalo Lodge, Coromandel, New Zealand

When we see someone with MS in a wheelchair, we are afraid that something similar will happen to us. We are also grateful for our ability to walk and communicate normally. When we see a homeless person, we are grateful that we have a home and friends and family to support us. Our gratitude can run much, much deeper.

It is easy to be grateful when things are going well. It is when we believe that life has turned against us that it becomes much harder. By giving up our notions of what we think are "good" or "bad" we allow Life to take us where it wants to go. We really do not have enough information to determine what events are good or bad. Often following our desires does not take us in a direction which will enhance our lives. Our lives will be enhanced when we embrace gratitude regardless of our outward circumstances

When we are lying in a hospital bed with only a few minutes to live, we can be grateful for having those last few moments of life and for having the opportunity to have lived. That is true gratitude.

Let's be grateful.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


Onetangi Beach, Waiheke Island, New Zealand

We believe that if only things were different than they are, that we would be fine. We think that the only reason that we are unhappy and unsatisfied is because we do not have something that we think is missing from our lives. If we only had more money, a relationship, better health, we would be fulfilled. If we achieve the thing that we desire, the relief from our state of dissatisfaction is only temporary. And we return to a state of restless desire.

We can only bring real change into our lives once we have accepted reality as it is. By wishing that things were different than they are, we play out a constant cycle of regret about the past and desire for something in the future. We are not really living.

There is nothing to fear from accepting what is. Good, bad or indifferent, the present is what it is. We should not close our eyes to it. Once we accept reality, we can take the necessary steps to change it, and begin to live our life as we would like to live it. Once we stop making decisions based on fear, our decisions will enhance our life, not continue our dysfunctional cycles.

Let's live in the present, just as it is.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Roberton Island, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Words are inadequate to describe stillness. It must be experienced. We have been conditioned to believe that the layers of thoughts, beliefs and judgments are who we are. Once we strip away those layers and embrace stillness, we will come home.

Our fears keep us from experiencing our true selves. We take comfort in the groups whose ideas we share. It is frightening to give up our beliefs about our socioeconomic class, religion, gender etc. to experience something that is unknown. Some of us have nervous breakdowns or commit suicide when we realize that everything we have built our lives upon is a lie.

There is another way. We can become still. Stillness is being present without judgments.

We are connected to each other in a far more fundamental way than sharing some beliefs and judgments.

If we are ready to surrender our thoughts, beliefs and judgments, we will experience the peace we have been searching for. How do we find stillness? There is nothing to look for. There is nothing to find. It is what we are when we surrender to the present.

Let's surrender to stillness.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Qamea, Fiji

When someone cuts us off on the freeway, do we really want to kill them? When the old woman in front of us in the checkout line at Whole Foods takes a long time writing a check, do we really think she is an idiot?

Who are we really hurting when we are irritated, angry or enraged at things large and small? We are only hurting ourselves. Stress causes strokes and heart attacks. Stress is caused by our irritation, annoyance and anger.

We are literally killing ourselves with our anger.

We can release the anger and irritation and be loving instead, both with the people we know and with ourselves. We have no need to be patient. Patience implies that we are waiting for something. When we are standing in line, we are steeped in loving presence. No patience necessary.

Let's release our anger and return to our loving true nature.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Near Queenstown, New Zealand

We do not live our lives truthfully. We show a different face to the different people we interact with in accordance with the expectations of the situation. We act differently with our parents, with our friends, with our bosses, with the gardener, our spouses, homeless people, etc. We have secret agendas and do not express what we are truly thinking and feeling. We try to manipulate people instead of telling people what we want. Even our white lies damage our relationships and ourselves.

It takes an enormous amount of energy to feel one way and act another way. We project the image that we think people want us to project. This causes a lot of stress.

Aren't we tired of suppressing who we really are? Aren't we tired of sleepwalking through life like programmed zombies? It is far more relaxing to be transparent and live authentically. We believe that we are sparing someone's feelings when we do not tell them the truth. The opposite is true. We do not give people enough credit. Are we really doing our friends a favor when we lie to spare their feelings? Do we think that little of them that we do not think they can handle the truth? When we live authentically, people often respond to us in the same way.

Let's have the courage to be who we really are. Let's be transparent.

Saturday, March 14, 2009



We have the desire to awaken. We have the knowledge and the tools to become awakened. We have the courage to look at the pain and anguish that we have buried in our subconscious. We have the discipline to continually bring our attention to the present. Now we must let go of everything we have learned and surrender to the void.

We cannot use thought to awaken. It is not something that we can "figure out." In fact, thought is keeping us from awakening. It is not something that we can describe or label. It is what we are. We are the peace, joy and love that we seek. All that we have to do is surrender to it.

Let's surrender all of our thoughts, our beliefs, our judgments and be what we are. Let's surrender.

Friday, March 6, 2009


Sunrise in Hana, Maui
If we believe that everything happens for a reason, we usually spend a lot of time figuring out the reason because it seems so important. Often we look back at some painful event in our lives and appreciate that it was an opportunity to grow or experience something better.

However, life only has the meaning which we give it. If we believe that life is a meaningless combination of random events, that is what we will experience. If we believe that all of the events in our lives are occurring because of divine destiny, life will appear to be governed that way. If we believe that life is unfolding so that we realize that we are all one, a part of divine presence, we will experience that too.

I used to read dream interpretation books, so that I could figure out the meaning of things that happened in my dreams. Although often interesting, I realized that I could better interpret my dreams by defining their meanings myself. The significance of dreams on a physical, psychological and spiritual basis would be what I believe they are.

Let's stop trying to figure out the meaning of life and why things are happening to us. Let's instead declare it!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Meditation is a matter of life or death. It is the difference between happiness and unhappiness, neuroses and clear thinking, health and disease, being and sleepwalking through life. At least it is for me.

When we meditate, we realize that our thoughts are primarily a mixtore of repressed fears, irrelevant, mundane and unnecessary thoughts, and nonsensical gibberish. This realization helps us to stop identifying with our thoughts.

If we do not have the time to meditate, we do not have the time to live.

Let's sit down and let go of our thoughts and our stale beliefs, and surrender.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Who We Really Are

Waihihi Bay, Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Who we think we are

We believe that we are our physical bodies plus our beliefs about who we are that we have constructed through our lifetimes. These beliefs consist of our gender, our birthplace, where we were raised, the schools that we went to, the religious beliefs of our families and those around us, our socio-economic status, and so on. This complex system of beliefs is constantly reinforced by what we experience because what we experience is filtered by our belief systems.

Who we really are

Pay attention. This is important. Who we really are is pure awareness. What is pure awareness? It is our attention without the belief system of who we think we are. What is our "attention"? If someone who is behind us calls our name, our attention immediately goes to the sound. If someone touches our arm, our attention goes to the touch. That "attention" without any judgments or beliefs is what we are. If we think that the person who called our name is a jerk or someone we admire, or we think that the touch is hard or wonder why this person is touching us, the pure awareness is altered by our thoughts, our judgments or our labels. We are not our thoughts and beliefs. We are pure presence.

Let's be who we really are.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Bridge near Glenorchy, New Zealand

Do we have the courage to surrender?

Sometimes when we let go, painful memories arise. We would rather not face those thoughts than acknowledge them. We believe that we are safe keeping our fears locked away in our subconscious. However, by not acknowledging them, they affect our lives in subtle and obvious ways. By allowing these unacknowledged memories to enter our awareness, their power is diminished.

We also fear the unknown. We are afraid of letting go of our deepest beliefs. We are afraid that we will be nothing without the comfort of the belief structures which tie us to various social groups. The opposite is true. When we surrender our stale belief systems, we become who we truly are.

There is nothing to fear. Our fears hold power over us only if we refuse to acknowledge them. Once we look at them, without judgment, their grip on us is released.

Let's have the courage to see things as they are.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Sunset near Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

There are three things necessary to become self-realized: desire, technique and discipline. If we do not have a very strong desire to become integrated, we will never overcome the present and historic pull of our compulsive thinking. The material world is designed to keep us from realizing who we really are. Our desire must be strong, sincere and consistent.
Once we have the desire, we need to utilize the simple tools to achieve oneness. When we become aware that our attention is lost in thought, we can bring our attention back to the present. Awareness is simply our attention without judgment. Actions such as meditation, yoga, being in nature can help us remain present.

Because the pull of compulsive thinking is so strong, we need discipline to continuously utilize the tools that we have every day.
Let's be present.

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Sunset over Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown, New Zealand

It is easier to feel peaceful in nature. However, if we are lost in thought and not aware of the silence within us we will not experience peace. If our attention is on the present moment, we will feel peaceful in the middle of a crowded, noisy city.

Peace is not something to be sought in the outside world. We need to recognize it within ourselves.
Our addiction to compulsive thinking keeps us from being peaceful. By constantly drawing our attention away from our thoughts and towards being present, we will be one with our true nature.

Let's embody peace.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


Near Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

Freedom does not come from being financially independent. Plenty of people who are wealthy do not feel free. Sometimes, people who have nothing or are in prison are free. Living in a democracy does not necessarily make us free.

Freedom does not depend on external circumstances. Freedom comes from within.

Donald Trump has all the material possessions a person could want. He lives in the United States, one of the freest countries in the world. However, he is not free. He puts his name on his properties and has a constant need to show off because he does not feel free inside. If he did not feel inadequate and unworthy, he would have no need to prove that he was better than everyone else because he has more things than they do. If you have something to prove, you are trying to prove to yourself that your life has value.
Mahatma Gandhi gave away his possessions and lived an extremely simple life. He was free. Jesus was imprisoned and ultimately tortured and killed. He was free.
The bars of our prison do not come from outside ourselves. The bars of our prison are made from compulsive thinking. We are stuck remembering the past and imagining the future. Our thoughts are the product of relentless programming from the moment we were born to the present moment. We are a prisoner of our thoughts.
We can dissolve the bars of compulsive thinking by bringing our attention to them. By bringing the light of awareness (i.e., attention without judgment) to the present, our thoughts fade into the background and eventually disappear.
Let's choose freedom.


Merino sheep, Glenorchy, New Zealand

Gratitude is the key to happiness, prosperity and peace. Gratitude does not mean that we cannot change a situation if it does not make us happy or is not in harmony with our inner selves.

Real change can only occur when we accept our current situation as it is and are grateful for the divine spark which is in us and binds us to everyone and everything around us. Then we can take steps to change the situation. If we attempt to change the situation without first accepting it, the same conditioned patterns will emerge and we will find ourselves in a similar situation.

When we feel that we are lacking things, such as money, a good job, good looks or anything else, we continue to attract that which we seek to avoid. We attract what we focus our attention on. If we feel inadequate, that is what we will continue to be. If we feel impoverished, we will never be prosperous.

If we are grateful for what we have now, the universe will respond by giving us abundance. Of course, we cannot pretend to be grateful in order to obtain things. We cannot trick ourselves. If we are pretending, we continue to have deep feelings of lack. Only by truly being grateful will life open itself up to us.

Let's be grateful, because we have so much to be grateful for.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Sunset, Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand

When we have a problem, we can try to solve it by thinking. We can list the "pros" and "cons" of each course of action and determine which course has more positive benefits. The problem with attempting to solve problems with thought is that we do not have enough information to determine the "best" course of action. For example, if we have two job offers, we may decjde to choose the one which pays more or has more prestige. But perhaps if we took the lower paying job, it could lead to a spectacular job or we could meet our soul mate. We do not have enough information to know which path would be best for us.

There is another, often more effective, way of finding solutions. We can bypass thought and use our intuition.

By surrendering thought, we align ourselves with the Divine Source, which will guide us to our most beneficial outcome. How do we know that our actions are aligned with Source? We know because it "feels right," makes us feel comfortable, and brings us peace, love and/or joy. When we act in opposition to Source, we feel tense, unsure and our words and actions are tentative.

When are actions are aligned with Source, we feel limitless energy. We also realize that our "problems" do not exist. They were invented by our conditioned thinking.

Let's surrender our thoughts and act in harmony with the Inifinite Energy Source.