How to Communicate Like A Buddhist!!


I was in North Fitzroy Public Library the other day, and there was a book sale. Amongst them was a book called the Eight Mindful Steps to Happiness, the much anticipated follow up to Mindfulness In Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana.

My secret, I am a trained Tibetan Buddhist Calm Abiding meditation teacher and was one signature away from applying to become a monk during the eight years I spent under the tutelage of Lama Choedak Rinpoche,  who is based in Canberra, Australia and in my opinion the second best interpreter of Dharma after his Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Back to the book, it cost me one dollar. So using my write about the subject on the page you open it to, today’s topic is Correct Speech, one of the eight branches of The Eight Fold Path. A little from Bhante on meditation:

Meditation is not easy. It takes time, and it takes energy. It also takes grit, determination, and discipline. It requires a host of personal qualities which we usually regard as unpleasant and which we like to avoid whenever possible. We can sum it all up in the American word ‘gumption’. Meditation takes ‘gumption.’  It is undoubtedly a great deal easier just to kick back and watch television. So why bother? Why waste all that time and energy when you could be out enjoying yourself?
Why bother? Simple, Because you are human. And just because of the simple fact that you are human, you find yourself heir to an inherent unsatisfactoriness in life which just will not go away. You can suppress it from your awareness for a time. You can distract yourself for hours on end, but it always comes back–usually when you least expect it.

All of a sudden, seemingly out of the blue, you sit up, take stock, and realize your actual situation in life.

So let’s take a trip down the eightfold path, memories of the countless nights and retreats I attended studying the dharma are flooding back, I was very good at it according to Rinpoche:

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1. What, no judgement, gossiping, criticism. That would silence a few people I know.

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2. Straight back to the midnight shows at the Valhalla and The Blues Brothers: Think.

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3. Another concept of Buddhism is Loving Kindness, this stream of flowers reminds me of it.

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4. Love me a Mind Map; This should be tattoed on all politicians hands to read before they speak in the chamber: Think Before I Speak.

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5. From the symbol in the left-hand corner, I would say this is a Zen saying,  beautiful, isn’t it?

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6. People’s greedy desire for power, politically we never seem to remember this is a premise of the eightfold path if not addressed: Don’t Tell Lies.

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7. What will mainstream media employees do when this comes into force when I am elected to power in this country, I don’t think they know how to do this.

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8. How long do you spend being ethical with your speech each day?: Where Is the Love.

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9. Not just the Buddhists follow right speech, here’s something from Hinduism.

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10. One of the classic tales about incorrect speech, Pinocchio needs no words under this image to get the message: Bad Liar.

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11. I own up to when the words feel trapped like this when I feel they may not land properly.

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12. How hurt are we when what we think is the truth was revealed as Lies: I’m not a Lesbian Anymore.

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13. Why, How and What. Our job in life is to discover our Why, and then you will never work another day in your life.

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14. I still have a Tee Shirt with the Dharmacakra on it; The Noble Eightfold Path is a sexy beast: The Eightfold Path In The Style Of Adele.

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15. And finally for the definition nerds out there, here it is.

Correct Speech has four qualities, the Buddha told us. It is always truthful, it is uplifting, not malicious or unkind. It is gentle, not crude or harsh. It is moderate, not useless or meaningless. I have a ways to go to achieve this moment to moment, a new daily practice.

The playlist today is quite quirky. We begin with Aretha Franklin from the iconic Blues Brothers movie, Then pop Diva Astrid S. The Black Eyed Peas appear on the next two clips, one with Ariana Grande at the Manchester benefit. Back to pop divas with Selena Gomez. But we finish with a lesbian anthem by Bria and Chrissy and then Rachel Moss interpreting The Eightfold Path in the style of Adele. Here’s the link to the playlist: How To Communicate Like A Buddhist.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namasteflower

Sometimes, Strength Comes In!!


I have been to events where I have felt totally alone in a crowded room. Yet every person in that room has their own unique story, it is just that most of the time we do not know them, sometimes even the stories of our closest friends. Marc and Angel Chernoff, in their book Getting Back To Happy: Website link.  say the following:

Every passing face on the street represents  a story just as captivating, complicated, and crazy as yours. When you look at another person, any person, remember that everyone has a story. Everyone has gone through through something that’s inadvertantly changed them and forced them to grow. Everyone you meet has struggled, and continues to struggle in some way, and to them it’s just as hard as what you’re going through.  Marc’s grandmother told him the following – “If you think you know someone who never feels the way you do right now – who never feels a bit lost and alone, and downright confused and crazy – you just don’t know enough about them. Every one of us contains a measure of ‘crazy’  that moves us in strange, often perplexing ways. This side of us is necessary; it’s part of our human ability to think, adapt and grow. It’s part of being intelligent,” she said. “No great mind has ever existed without a touch of this kind of madness.”

She continued, “And sometimes how you feel simply won’t align with how you want to feel – it’s mostly your subconscious mind’s way of helping you look at things from a different perspective. These feelings will come and go quickly as long as you let them go…as long as you consciously  acknowledge them, and then push through them. At least that’s what I’ve learned to do for myself, out of necessity, on a regular basis. So you and I actually struggling through this one together , honey. And I’m pretty certain we are not the only ones.”

So what does the world say about the fact we are not alone, here’s some of my favourite quotes about it:

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1. We say we do not like rainy days, but without them we would not survive very long.

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2. Every year my friends from around the world on Booker Looker land send me birthday wishes that remind me that I am not alone and that I am well loved: There must be an Angel.

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3. A salient point made by the creator of the Four Hour Week, Tim Ferris. Remember it is the darkness our most profound insights come to us.

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4. How did you meet your best friend?: Freak Like Me.

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5. Makes me think of the Liverpool Football club theme song, We’ll never walk alone.

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6. The remedy to we are not alone: Travel outside the city until you can see the Milky Way, look up: You Are a Child of the Universe.

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7. God is a word that does strange things to me, which god are they talking about, Zeus or the christian one. Anyway, I think what they are saying is to have faith.

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8. I have friends who live in other countries but whenever we meet, it feels like we have been apart five minutes: Song For You far Away.

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9. Under all gifts you can give in the world, lies Love. this is what all the great prophets spoke of, unfortunately mankind misinterpreted it.

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10. Is this from Ernest Hemingway’s of Mice and Men? Not sure, but quite profound: You Are Not Alone.

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11. More proof that underlying all is Love, it just that life’s circumstances make us forget at times.

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12. Here’s the cute photo quote: Postcards From Italy.

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13. Green’s rapid rise to fame and idiosyncratic voice are credited with creating a major shift in the young adult fiction market. ) He is an American author, vlogger, writer, producer, actor, editor, and educator.

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14. This is not necessarily an easy thing to do. I remember during my six years of mental health issues I would pretend to be not home when my relatives came around because I was so sure that I was alone and that they were pretending to care about me. Luckily for me they never gave up on me: Mama, Weer All Crazy Now.

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15. And if you want to sing along with Michael, here is the chorus.

When times are tough, and some piece of you is chipped and broken, it’s easy to feel like everything – all of you – is broken along with it. But that’s not true. You will wake up again tomorrow, and each new day is a chance to begin again.

Todays playlist begins with the Eurythmics, a band named after a Steiner education method, Halestorm follow with a rap anthem then the timeless Desiderata. two pop icons in James Taylor and Michael jackson come next followed by Florence and the Machine. We close out with a timeless anthem by Slade. here is the link to the Youtube playlist: This Weeks Playlist.

Namaste until next time we meet, my dear friends:

namasteflower

 

 

Three Things that Can No Longer Be Hidden!!


I was saddened when Debbie Ford died in 2013, I loved her work, it was so insightful. I recently found her book: The Dark Side of the Light Chasers – Reclaiming your Power, Creativity, Brilliance and Dreams in one of my cupboards. I opened it to page 68 and the following paragraph caught my attention: “Unconcealing is the first step of the shadow process. Unconcealing requires rigorous honesty and willingness to see what you haven’t been able to see. Acknowledgment of our shadow self-begins the process of integration and healing. Remember that each of these “negative’ traits has a positive gift for you, more value than you can even imagine. It’s only a matter of doing the work, and in a short while you’ll receive the blessings of wholeness, happiness and freedom.”

She still has a fine website dedicated to her work: The Gifts of Debbie Ford., you get a free audio if you sign up, her work is worth it. on the next page there are about 200 shadow words, here are just a few: Greedy, liar, phony, cheap, hateful, jealous, vindictive, controlling, nasty, possessive, bitchy, wimp, evil, geek, prudish, womanizer, slut, angry, secretive, codependent, predator, alcoholic, drug addict disgusting stupid,idiot, fearful, unconscious: that’s enough, you will have to buy the book if you want the whole list.

So why don’t we unconceal our shadows and dive deep into them to allow them to be healed by bringing them to the fore, the best way I have found to achieve this is through presencing them in your body, mind work does not do it for me anymore.

Let’s have a look at some quotes on the subject of unconcealing our lives:

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1. As Byron Katie says, do the work, it’s the only way.

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2. Don’t know if I agree with the first line, perhaps in Donald Trump: You’re so Vain.

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3. And this is one area in our lives that what we don’t unconceal can have terrible costs, please reveal your sacred love stories to each other.

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4. These rules will help you unconceal the areas you don’t do it, because with the light comes the shadow: Fight the Power.

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5. Myrtle Reed was an American author, poet, journalist, and philanthropist. She wrote a number of bestsellers and even published a series of cookbooks under the pseudonym Olive Green.

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6. Art, when unconcealed centuries later, reveals a lot about the cultures that have gone before us: Art for Art’s Sake.

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7. Having appreciated Rodin’s The Thinker sculptor for time immemorial love this quote re unconcealing our naked form.

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8. I have cried three times in my life since my baby days, one of them was when I was watching a tearjerking episode of Apple’s Way, a cheesy 1970’s TV show, go figure: Hello.

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9. As is a man.

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10. Have you unconcealed your commitment to service, it comes when you get to realise that life on earth isn’t satisfying when its all about you: People Help The People.

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11. Beautiful image, time to unconceal the Universe, my friends.

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12. Putting in Isha brings up Esha Gupta, an insanely beautiful Indian Bollywood Actress, arguments get the matter dealt with: Zombie.

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13. Think Donald in the U.S.A, Malcolm and Peter in Australia, Recep in Turkey, Bashar in Syria.

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14. Drisi is a young woman from India who describes herself as a bibliophile and a learning enthusiast, It’s great she is featured in Google images: Love Yourself.

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15. And finally, Unconceal the wild woman and man within you and unhide the love for yourself.

At the end of the demonstrative list of negatives is the following exercise and insight: “Imagine that an article was written about you in your local newspaper. What are the five things you would not want to be said about you? Write them down. Now try to imagine five things they could say about you that wouldn’t matter to you at all. the question is. are the first five things true and the second five untrue? Or, have you decided with the help of your family and friends that the first five things are the wrong thing to be, therefore you do not want them said about you? We  must uncover what is behind these words, so we can take back these disowned parts of ourselves.

Write down the judgements you have about each of these words. See if you can identify when you first made that judgement or whom you took that judgement from. Was it your father, mother or another family member? I’m sure this excercise will unconceal enough to start the transformation, its a worthwhile book to get to have the entire list.

The Playlist today begins with the 1970’s icon Carly Simon, then some grit from Public Enemy, a classic from Ten CC, A massive hit from Adele, Birdy follows with a plaintive plea, some Indie Rock by the Cranberries finishing with Hailee Steinfeld who appeared in the last playlist. Here’s the link: Playlist for Today.

Namaste until next we meet, dear friends.

namasteflower

 

Invest in People who Invest in You!!


I have 4,,828 friends on Facebook. I use the principle if we have 100 mutual friends and we have not met that we eventually will. This means I have a lot of the Melbourne Conscious Movement, musicians and female American life coaches as friends. I write a Facebook birthday card for each and everyone of them. Today one of the people was my friend from Landmark Education Thea Westra. As I wrote it I started to think about her remarkable book Time for My Life, 365 Stepping Stones, 2843 Life Power Boosters at your fingertips.

Thea wrote a book that has a page for every day of the year that has a stepping stone, action, challenge, quote, clearing, question and affirmation for you to contemplate. As an example her is today’s page.

Stepping Stone – Be willing to accept. A gift given and received requires two parties. The person who is giving the gift and the person who is receiving the gift. You must be open to receiving after you ask something to happen or to come your way.

Action – Today is the birthday of the author of this book. Send Thea Westra a hello birthday greeting. Just use the Contact Form at http://www.myforwardsteps.com . Your message will go directly to Thea’s inbox and she will reply.

Challenge – Be patient and focus on daily changes, rather than waiting for revelations.

Quote – Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of non- essentials….Lin Yutang

Clearing – Check chair/table legs to see if they need new protective caps.

Question – Can you distinguish essential from non-essential?

Affirmation – I choose to be debt free.

So, do you allow time for your life? How does society relate to this noble practice, lets have a look:

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1. The one time this happened to me was in a motorcycle accident and memories of people who were special to me filled my heart and mind.

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2. I didn’t know Marilyn was a fan of Eckhart Tolle: Teach me Tiger.

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3. The problem with this is that if the person you are talking about departs, it leaves a huge gap. Working on self love as the driver might be more useful then it can’t be taken away when someone leaves.

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4. As we make more and more time for our life, we learn to stop doing the things that do not come from our passions: Lights.

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5. They say the magic is in the silence not the small talk.

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6. So many of the business gurus I read say it isn’t about the money, It’s about the time and to stop wasting time doing things you regret later or do not enjoy. It’s probably because of the second sentence above: No Regrets.

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7. Seems a bit contrary, If you are in the Now why would you also be living life as I can’t wait to get to the future?

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8. The 27 Club is a list of popular musicians, artists, or actors who died at age twenty-seven. It originated with an unsupported claim of a “statistical spike” for the death of musicians at that age, but this has been repeatedly disproved by research. Members are Jimi , Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Brian Jones in the 1970’s and recently Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse: “27”.

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9. At what age did you stop doing this with your friends, It’s supposedly when we grow up.

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10. They say we meet a few people in our lives who we can be separate from for years but when we get back together it feels like five minutes, I think that’s because they have placed themselves in our hearts: You’re in my Heart.

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11. I love the last line, sometimes I get stuck in the belief its a permanent fixture.

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12. Don’t forget the people who teach you the hard lessons: Difficult.

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13. It’s like the saying, if the door doesn’t open for you – It’s not meant to at that time in your life.

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14. What if, why did that happen to me, etc. etc. Turn around and walk towards to your dreams: Mr. Brightside.

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15. Rabindranath Tagore, also written Ravīndranātha Thākura, was a Bengali polymath who reshaped Bengali literature and music, as well as Indian art with Contextual Modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Author of Gitanjali and its “profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse”, he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. Tagore’s poetic songs were viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his “elegant prose and magical poetry” remain largely unknown outside Bengal. He is sometimes referred to as “the Bard of Bengal”.

You can contact Thea via http://www.forwardstepsblog.com, it seems these days you receive a free 179 page eBook and for a paltry $10 Australian you can purchase the eBook of the book I am talking about in this blog.

Music is from Marilyn Monroe, Ellie Goulding, The Walker Brothers, the unknown Maria Stoian , Rod Stewart, Eminem and the Killers.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends

namaste prayer

 

And one day, for no particular Reason!!


I was going through my books as part of my decluttering process when I came across Destroying the Joint – Why Women have to change the World. I bought it off my friend Catherine Deveny, who has a contribution to it called Destroying the joint in Twelve Easy Lessons. The stamp inside of it says stolen from the bedside table of Tony Abbott, He is Australia’s ex-prime minister who declared himself Minister for Women, a strange role for an extreme right wing bully boy, he has since been sacked by his party from both roles and wallows on the back bench.

Lesson number one begins as follows: Beware of anyone using the words ‘respect’ ‘traditional’, ‘family value’, ‘honour’, ‘unacceptable’, ‘morality’, ‘uncalled for’, ‘inappropriate’, ‘unnecessary’ or ‘offensive’. and to be particularly wary of the word offensive as offence is subjective. Catherine goes on to say just because you are offended does not mean you are right and that it is being used as a form of social control and that no one has the right not to be offended.

So I had to choose carefully today’s quotes as I did not want to offend anyone, just kidding, here we go:

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1. Bryant McGill is a human potential thought leader, international bestselling author, activist, and social entrepreneur. He is one of the world’s top social media influencers reaching a billion people a year. Don’t look over there at the other person if you are offended.

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2. Could being offended also be construed as speaking your truth, give it a go: Ain’t Worried about Nothin.

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3. The judgement of being offended, time for a judgement detox methinks.

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4. A suggestion, lock your doors and never leave your cloistered premises: Offended by Everything.

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5. Deep wisdom from an unexpercted source, Bill was a baseball player for the Cincinatti Reds.

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6. With the light comes the dark, doing only one of them make it hard to speak your truth: Addicted.

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7. An  interesting quote from a highly religious man. David Bednar is on the quorum of the Church of Latter Day Saints, a place we could expect a lot of people to make judgements about non christian values.

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8. They are located reading mainstream media and the opinions spruiked from its tenuous publications and stations: Equal Rights.

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9. In 1995 Lebowitz wrote Mr. Chas and Lisa Sue Meet the Pandas, a children’s book about giant pandas living in New York City who long to move to Paris. Lebowitz was born and raised in Morristown, New Jersey. Lebowitz describes her “Jewish identity [as] ethnic or cultural or whatever people call it now. But it’s not religious.” She has been an atheist since the age of 7.

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10. Time to look in the mirror for the person who is doing the offending: Ego is not a dirty Word.

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11. Imagine a world if everyone spoke the ones they keep to themselves. Vulnerability or madness?

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12. Her 15 minutes of fame were being married to Kurt Cobain, she has also had a 40 year musical career best known for the alternative band, Hole: Uncool.

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13. If you saw the number of goatee beards in the area I live in the inner suburbs of Melbourne, Australia you would be quite worried about the above statement.

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14. Sprung!! : S & M.

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15. Carlos Castaneda’s books and the man himself became a cultural phenomenon.  The story of his apprenticeship to a shaman, a kind of hero’s journey, touched a chord in the counterculture generation and resonated as a myth of adventure and self-discovery.

The reason  offended people use offense to put you in your place is in order to fortify their place, the truth being neither have greater value than the  other, they are after all just our opinions. The skill one should bring into place here is the ability to not live your life from judgement moment to moment, a life long educative journey.

Music this week comes from one of the iconic 70’s Australian bands Skyhooks, Peter Tosh, Courtney Love, Rihanna, French Montana, Enrique Iglesias and an offensive number by the virtually unknown Stuart Whitaker.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends

namaste-with-light

You have my Whole Heart!!


My, how music has changed. I recieved a post in my news feed thta told me I had listened to 24,000 minutes and 192 artists via Spotify and made recommendations to artists I might like in 2018 based on  who I had listened to in 2017.

To me, music is a very personal thing. As the blogs title says You have my whole heart, I think that is what our favourite music has too, our whole heart and probably our soul as well. My taste in music is very ecelectic, and yes I like both types of music as well, country and western as well as everything from freeform jazz to pop diva’s, a bit of Beyonce will lift your spirits any day of the week.

How many ways can we say we love our music, let’s have a look:

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1. Having been involved in the Melbourne music scene for 40 something years quite a few of my Facebook friends are musiciaans I have come across on this journey. Each is an artist in their own right.

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2. The band’s name is derived from a passage from the Virginia Woolf story “The Mark on the Wall”, which reads, “I wish I could hit upon a pleasant track of thought, a track indirectly reflecting credit upon myself, for those are the pleasantest thoughts, and very frequent even in the minds of modest mouse-coloured people, who believe genuinely that they dislike to hear their own praises: The World at Large.

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3. Due to my age I also remember cassette tapes we burnt for our friends  which were replaced by CD’s, then MP3’s and now USB stick playlists of a few thousand songs.

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4. I know some of my deepest romantic flings have been based on a similar taste in music: Fallin’.

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5. 401 years since his death at the relatively young age of 52, the bard hits the spot on music’s influence.

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6. Have you found your love wordsmith: I will always love You.

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7. Time after Time does this for me,  different versions included.

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8. And then there are the songs you hear when this happens to you, and they will never be the same again: All of Me.

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9. Sums up what music  means to me really

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10. What genre do you unleash your rhythmes to: I want your Love.

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11. As Joni Mitchell so prophetically sang, You turn me on, I’m a radio.

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12. I have a musician friend who has made his living from it for over 30 years, he can sing in seven languages and play 10 instruments, and he will also wear lederhosen to fulfil the last statement of this quote: Yalla.Yalla.

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13. And then it becomes our song.

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14. The joy of childhood when half of us our going to be the next big thing: Can you feel the Love Tonight.

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15. My addiction, Spotify, Applemusic, 49,000 songs on Itunes, Mixcloud, Soundcloud, enough said..

There are as many styles of  music as there are cultures in the world. Your mission if you accept it is to study a  new culture a month and learn to appreciate their music as well.

The Music, Whitney Houton, The Lion King, local Melbourne middle eastern band Yalla, Modest Mouse and a must watch Chic with the Soul Train disco dancers.

Namaste until next time, my dear friends.

namaste prayer

 

Let not your Love become Attachment!!


A mission statement for a Blog by Lissa Rankin:

“We are committed to inviting you to explore your truth, knowing you are loved, safe and nurtured. We believe that true healing comes from loving and nurturing both ourselves and others as whole beings. When we own all the disparate parts of ourselves, we tap into the divine spark within us, allowing us to release limiting beliefs, overcoming fears, and enjoy our lives more fully. Once we are in touch with our own divinity – shedding our masks, revealing our authentic selves, and being accepted just as we are- we can see with “magical eyes,” gazing beyond the masks we tend to wear to see the unique and special humanity that lies within us all.

By engaging with our community, we hope you will feel inspired, get motivated to bring your authentic self out of the closet, and take steps that bring you closer to health, healing and inner peace. If you have lost your mojo and feel you have little to give, we welcome you with no expectations. If you have lots to give in service to those in need, we invite you to share your gifts. Chances are good you are all of the above – sometimes seeking, sometimes giving, always enough..

Regardless of where you are on your personal path of awakening, we welcome you. Let us bear witness to your journey, knowing that while each of us walk a unique path, we walk it in good company.”

Lissa’s book The Anatomy of A Calling The Website., is worth visiting at least yearly as it contains so many profound gems about being on purpose.

But first of all she suggests you need to give up attachment, what do we say about attachment across the airwaves and through time: Here is a selection I have chosen to illustrate it:

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1. This is one I have struggled with over time, that the answer lies within not externally. Working on it daily.

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2. Why do we become flustered when the world started operating in a different way to that we know it should be, this is what happens when we hold on too tight: Holding on to Broken Things.

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3. What did Buddha mean by this, much to ponder in 7 simple words.

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4. You can’t should’ve done something. Gold: It was a Good Day.

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5. The Inner Universe, that’s where the healing lives and lies.

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6.  When we stop waiting to reply and genuinely listen to others, Its amazing how many of our judgements slip away: Crippled Inside.

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7. How often do we battle with these thing in our lives – The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.

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8. Judgement often feels chaotic, It’s not your task, bring on the calm: A Thousand Years.

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9. Love me a few of Pema’s wise words, get her books , they are magic.

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10. Here’s a memory test: Out damn spot, think High School: Time to Let Go.

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11. Lots of practice here, heart and  mind, methinks.

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12. Do we have the courage to give up that which has become toxic for us, I did it with alcohol over 3 years ago, feel so much better: Don’t Stop Believing.

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13. Surfs UP, which are your favourite emotions to surf, which put you in danger. Perhaps it’s time to give up your attachment to those waves.

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14. This is the  one thing in life I wish for more than anything else, to fly unaided. I have not been willing to give up everything that weighs the possibility down: I’ll Fly Away.

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15. The field of all possibilities: Has anyone ever reached this blissful state, or would it be so scary that we would implode?

Why is it difficult to detach from the beliefs and judgments that belittle  us? Perhaps as Craig Hamilton says in his Integral Enlightenment series ” The ego  as the part of you that has a need to see ourselves as a particular way” has a lot to do with it. Daily exercise in detaching what we know to be true sounds a great way to discover how to empower the purpose we were put on this planet for.

Namaste until next time , my dear friends.

namaste prayer