Omaha

17 Apr

I met a man named John P. Milton, a remarkable and brilliant person, with an exceptional spirit and love of coffee. I had no knowledge that I was going to be privy to a talk he gave, or even what he had to say. The first thing I noticed about him when he entered the room was his presence. When I say that I do not mean the presence of one who wants his or her presence known. I mean he exuded a solidity and lack of ego that made you want to hear what he said. He spoke of a retreat he was hosting, and much more, like our role in Nature and Eastern philosophies on Nature, as in how it is perceived externally and internally.
John Milton spoke of Qi Gong, Hinduism, and Tibetan Buddhist thought. He shared an anecdote that I found insightful, humorous, and reverent. He spoke of how Tibetan Buddhists integrate movement into their mantras and/or prayers, believing the movement carries their prayers into the Universe. This is why we see Tibetan prayer wheels and prayer flags; because the wheel spins and the flags wave in the winds. John shared a Tibetan Buddhist mantra, “Om A Hung,” and related that the mantra can be said in different ways, much like how dialect affects language. Alternative versions of the mantra include “Om A Hum,” or, “Om A Ha.”
The mantra is for self empowerment. It means “I am that,” which in Buddhist thought is akin to saying “I am one with the Universe, I am composed of that which is the Universe, I am a manifestation of the Universe and therby connected to all things.” Loose translation of course! To implement the movement aspect of the mantra, John thought it would be advantageous to use something already in his possession that provided movement–the internal combustion engine of his car. He had his license plate made to say OMAHA. He now incorporated movement to the prayer/meditation. Conversely, as John traveled through the country, he was greeted many times with the question, “what part of Omaha are you from?”
Thanks to his gift for storytelling and his benevolent and witty manner, I will never forget the mantra. John Milton is an amazing human being that I hope to have the fortune of crossing paths with again. There is a part of me I believe will always consider him “The Man from Omaha.”

NowHere

16 Apr

Are we nowhere, or now here? Always up for debate and personal interpretation, nowhere can be a great place to be. In being nowhere, can we find a way to “now here,” or more simply put, be here now? 
It is a perpetual balancing act. Bringing oneself back to the moment at hand is not a task that is supposed to be completed. Rather it is a lifetime of work, as well as a lifetime of wonder. Our higher nature wants to be present, and our ego nature wants to entwine us in details concerning basically nothing, but enough to distract us from our basic way of being, which is naturally good.
It seems too easy to buy into that belief; the idea that we are essentially screwed from the getgo. That perspective seems based on fear to me. What I see when I look at humanity is so much proof that we are NOT inherently flawed, but that we are inherently optimistic and strive for goodness. External influences can do much to discourage the human spirit. However, we continue to try.
Nowhere is a good place to start. After all, here we are, right now.

Thanks for reading. I really do appreciate it!
Lots of love :)

K

M is for NOTHING

15 Apr

Mediate. I like that word. I like the idea of two conflicting forces having something to negotiate and introduce calm. I enjoyed mediating when I have done so. I also like that it resembles the word “meditate.”
I used to think meditation was an archaic practice that required knowledge of secret words and actions. Eyes open or closed? What if I fall asleep? If I have thoughts do I have to start all over? Is it a religious thing?
I read a lot and asked a lot of questions to come to the conclusion that meditation is JUST SITTING. Nothing crazy, sinful, or arcane. Meditation is like a gift to yourself. Its 5, 10, 20 minutes where you don’t deal with anything. ANYTHING. What if you gave yourself 5 minutes where you allowed yourself to sit and do nothing, worry about nothing, think nothing?
I almost cannot comprehend why I waited so long. Anyway, I like meditating, which could be why I like mediating, but I don’t know if there is really a connection.
Thanks for your time. I hope you have time for nothingness.

:)

Lethargy

15 Apr

That thing that lingers
Draining, sleepy,
Like an overcast sky.

Sometimes restoring,
But more often a veil
Of what we wish to
Obscure.

K is for?

12 Apr

After thinking about Krakow and Nikita Khrushchev I tended to the word before me. The word that I try to remind myself of when I am driving, when I am standing in a line moving slower than I would like, when I read headlines of dictators doling out their misery. It is the word some have made the basis for their belief system, and the same word that COULD be used in all belief systems.

It is something that has changed me and how I view the world. It has changed how I treat myself and others. The perfect partner of empathy and compassion, capable of bringing understanding and peace, it is abstract yet completely tangible when being enacted. It is a benefit to us all, and thus never squandered. The mere thought of it is infectious. Once it begins to be thought of and seen, it manifests more and more. It is a spark in a tinderbox.

k i n d n e s s.

Jason.

11 Apr

Tall and with purpose he stands,
While his eyes mirror the Heavens.
Emanations of curiosity and warmth flow
And he glows.

The heart within bestowed with patience
Befitting the kindest saint;
Largely it beats and loudly
Fierce in its love.

Joy.
It precedes him,
And trails behind him.
In his darkness he is still
LIGHT.

Protector, advocate, Knight.
Finder of Golden Fleece,
Silver lining, and my heart.
My home.

Three Cheers for Ignorance!

10 Apr

I am choosing to write about ignorance today. I kind of feel like ignorance gets a bad rap. Ignorance is technically defined as the absence of knowledge. There’s a big difference between someone who is ignorant, as in lacking knowledge, and someone who has the knowledge but refuses to implement it.

With that in mind, I would much rather prefer to be ignorant over ineffectual. Ignorance is bliss to some and perhaps it truly is. If you truly do not know, then how can it affect you? Maybe it is bliss to be in a place where you know nothing. We do not have that option, at least I don’t feel I have that option. I want to know, I want to feel and experience and understand even if it is painful sometimes. That is part of what it is to be human.
I think being ignorant gets confused with being an idiot. There is just the lack of knowledge ignorance. Idiocy is something unto itself. It has knowledge and it acts like an idiot anyway.

Ignorance can be rectified and fixed. Idiocy is much more challenging.

So here’s to being ignorant! We have all been there at one time or another. And we all survived. Have a great day!

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