Sunday, March 27, 2005

...and... I'm out.

Will be on vacation from Monday, March 28 through Monday, April 4th in South Carolina! Peace!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Ready to have your mind blown?

Image hosted by"Your enjoyment of the world is never right till every morning you awake in Heaven; see yourself in your Father's palace; and look upon the skies, the earth and the air as celestial joys; having such a reverend esteem of all, as if you were among the Angels. The bride of a monarch in her husband's chamber, hath no such cause of delight as you.

"You never enjoy the world aright till the sea itself floweth in your veins, till you are clothed with the heavens and crowned with the stars; and perceive yourself to be the sole heir of the whole world, and more than so, because men are in it who are everyone sole heirs as well as you. Till you can sing and rejoice and delight in God as misers do in gold, and kings in scepters, you can never enjoy the world.

"Till your spirit filleth the whole world, and the stars are your jewels; till you are as familiar with the ways of God in all ages as with your walk and table; till you are intimately acquainted with that shady nothing out of which the world was made; till you love men so as to desire their happiness with a thirst equal to the zeal of your own; till you delight in God for being food to all; you never enjoy the world. Till you more feel it than your private state, and are more present in the hemisphere considering the glories and the beauties there, than in your own house; till you remember how lately you were made, and how wonderful it was when you came into it; and more rejoice in the palace of your glory than if it had been made today morning.

"Yet further, you never enjoyed the world aright, till you so love the beauty of enjoying it, that you are covetous and earnest to persuade others to enjoy it. And so perfectly hate the abominable corruption of men in despising it that you had rather suffer the flames of hell willingly be guilty of their error.

"The world is a mirror of Infinite Beauty, yet no man sees it. It is a Temple of Majesty, yet no man regards it. It is a region of Light and Peace, did not men disquiet it. It is the Paradise of God. It is more to man since he is fallen than it was before. It is the place of Angels and the Gate of Heaven. . . . . . . ."

Thomas Traherne Quoted in Huxley's Perennial Philosophy

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Peddlin' Through Spring

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIt's now offically Spring which means that it's time yet again to trade in the car for the bicycle. I swore that I would retire my car last fall and bike even through the winter, but as it turns out, I'm not ready to go that hardcore just yet.

Why bike to work (or to run errands, etc.)?

  • Gas prices are ridiculous, biking is totally free
  • It's great exercise
  • You don't get stuck in traffic
  • Fresh air and great scenery
  • Road-rage disappears
  • It encourages you to slow down
  • According to author Elizabeth Wilhide in her book ECO, "It is estimated that if as few as 1% of American motorists left their car at home for a day each week, 34 million gallons of gasoline would be saved a year, keeping over 880 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere."

"Since the bicycle makes little demand on material or energy resources, contributes little to pollution, makes a positive contribution to health and causes little death or injury, it can be regarded as the most benevolent of machines."
Stuart S. Wilson, Oxford University

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Missing the Point?

An expert in the law, tested Jesus with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Step into most of our suburban churches. Everyone is "perfect." Clean. Affluent. Safe. There is a cornucopia of rules and doctrines to which you must intellectually assent. Is this what Jesus had in mind? Is this not the institution that Jesus stood up against in his day? It may be cliche to say he was a social rebel, but that's what he was. While everyone was hung up on making sure people were following the rules, taking the safe and easy route, and keeping outsiders out he stood up with one message: LOVE. That's what he was telling us it's all about. I don't think it was Jesus' intent to start a new religion at all. At all.

Don't get me wrong, I love the church and know that it is used to bless many, many people - myself included. I just can't help but think that in our complicated operations, doctrines, fast-paced programs and exclusive club membership we're missing the point sometimes.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Original Pop Culture!

1.) Currently reading the novel "LAMB: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal." I rarely laugh out loud while reading a book, but this one is making me do just that. If you're up for a laugh-riot about the "Lost Years" of Jesus as a child and youth, this is it. It's a mixture of the profane (the words "fuckstick" and "asshole" make numerous appearances ... though not from the Messiah, of course) and the profound (the theology is pretty fantastic for a novel).
5 out of 5 Diesels!

2.) I finally got around to watching "What the #$*! Do We Know." Blogger Jon's review is pretty much exactly how I feel about it. While I appreciate the quantum mechanics aspect of the movie, their integration with that and spirituality is weak at best. They could've left the whole "God" aspect out of the film and it would've sat much better with me. Not to mention the whole "You entirely create your own reality" thing is so ego-centric it's absurd (You can have anything you desire!!!). Apart from that, the scientific/quantum material was presented very well and was both entertaining and educational.

3.) Lastly, it appears that they are making an American version of "The Office." If you don't know what "The Office" is, it's a British TV show from the BBC and is one of the most original and hilarious things to come out in years. Pick up Season 1 from your movie store and watch it as soon as humanly possible (it's only 6 half-hour episodes - seriously, what else do you have to do that's so freaking important).

But a remake? The original writer doesn't even have anything to do with it. I swear. Seriously, why remake classic things?

I mean, come on - you don't ever see anyone covering classic Beatles' songs do you? You don't ever see remakes of classic movies! I mean, imagine the absurdity of someone taking a classic movie - oh, I dunno, say something like "Pyscho" - and remaking it scene by scene with new actors and in color. Hah! That would be so silly.

While I'm on the rant, one last thing: Emerging musical artists that make a cover song their first single should be fined, stripped of their musical equipment, and put on trial for a possible stoning. Now, if a band wants to cover a song once they've established themselves, then I guess that's their perrogative. But to come on the scene with someone else's song!?! Give me a break - it was a hit the first time, what do you think it's going to do this time around? Way to go, guys! You can play someone else's song! Bravo!

YOUR TURN: Originality. Something that's missing these days. I've given you three examples of original art. Comment with some of your favorite original books, movies, and music to inspire the rest of us to stop ingesting regurgitated crap and to get on with some good stuff!

Peace and OM!

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Words of REST

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Let Evening Come

Let the light of late afternoon
shine through chinks in the barn, moving
up the bales as the sun moves down.

Let the cricket take up chafing
as a woman takes up her needles
and her yarn. Let evening come.

Let dew collect on the hoe abandoned
in long grass. Let the stars appear
and the moon disclose her silver horn.

Let the fox go back to its sandy den.
Let the wind die down. Let the shed
go black inside. Let evening come.

To the bottle in the ditch, to the scoop
in the oats, to air in the lung
let evening come.

Let it come, as it will, and don't
be afraid. God does not leave us
comfortless, so let evening come.
by Jane Kenyon

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Tree of Contemplative Practices

I'm not sure how much of this you can actually read (since I had to shrink it to fit on my blog) but alas here is the very cool Tree of Contemplative Practices(from The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society):

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Progressive Christianity

Humans love to categorize. We love to label, name and segment.

And while I wish not to box myself in and say "I am THIS," I think I have found a group of people that share a lot of the same philosophies and worldviews as myself. The name of this is Progressive Christianity. Here are the "8 Points" from the Center for Progressive Christianity's website:
By calling ourselves progressive,
we mean that we are Christians who:

1. Have found an approach to God through the life and teachings of Jesus;

2. Recognize the faithfulness of other people who have other names for the way to God's realm, and acknowledge that their ways are true for them, as our ways are true for us;

3. Understand the sharing of bread and wine in Jesus's name to be a representation of an ancient vision of God's feast for all peoples; (Trev's note: I'm not sure I totally get what what this means, exactly ... will have to investigate)

4. Invite all people to participate in our community and worship life without insisting that they become like us in order to be acceptable (including but not limited to):
  • believers and agnostics, conventional Christians and questioning skeptics, women and men, those of all sexual orientations and gender identities, those of all races and cultures, those of all classes and abilities, those who hope for a better world and those who have lost hope;

5. Know that the way we behave toward one another and toward other people is the fullest expression of what we believe;

6. Find more grace in the search for understanding than we do in dogmatic certainty - more value in questioning than in absolutes;

7. Form ourselves into communities dedicated to equipping one another for the work we feel called to do: striving for peace and justice among all people, protecting and restoring the integrity of all God's creation, and bringing hope to those Jesus called the least of his sisters and brothers; and

8. Recognize that being followers of Jesus is costly, and entails selfless love, conscientious resistance to evil, and renunciation of privilege.

I have found much truth in my investigations of Truth from around the world. And while I respect and can completely understand why someone would choose to exclusively follow the way of Krishna, the Buddha, Rama, Allah or the myriad of other spiritual leaders, teachers and gurus, I choose to know and follow Yeshua (Jesus) as my gateway to "the Father." I love that his spiritual life was both esoteric and exoteric - the inner world of consciousness and spirit and the outer world of love and service. I will continue to learn and explore the ways that others touch and know the Infinite Mind - the Ground of Being - but always know that I have this home base to which I can always return.

"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Slumbering Christ

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"Deep within us all there is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center, a speaking Voice, to which we may continually return. Eternity is at our hearts, pressing upon our time-torn lives, warming us with intimations of an astounding destiny, calling us home unto Itself. Yielding to these persuasions, gladly committing ourselves in body and soul, utterly and completely, to the Light Within, is the beginning of true life. It is a dynamic center, a creative Life that presses to birth within us. It is a Light Within that illumines the face of God and casts new shadows and new glories upon the human face. It is a seed stirring to life if we do not choke it. It is the Shekinah of the soul, the Presence in the midst. Here is the Slumbering Christ, stirring to be awakened, to become the soul we clothe in earthly form and action. And He is within us all."

an excerpt from The Light Within: A Testament of Devotion by Thomas Kelly

Tuesday, March 08, 2005


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At the beginning of Lent, I decided to forego reading any spiritual books because I felt that I had become too dependent on them and was too busy reading about Truth instead of actually experiencing it.

As it turns out, it's not that simple.

I've broken the book-fast completely. See, what I discovered is that through my spiritual reading (Jnana Yoga or Svadhyaya), I was in a sense reprogramming my mind. You can liken it to two different practices: meditation and mantra. In both practices you replace your habitual mind patterns (such as anxiety, fear, and restlessness) with other material (nothingness in the case of meditation, a repetative word or prayer in the case of mantra). While reading books and texts, my mind goes into "receive" mode (which in turn leaves a residue throughout the remainder of my day) instead of regurgitating its usual toxic gunk.

What I've learned through this fast, then, is that if I am reading a book or scripture about Loving God, I in fact do actualize that practice. If I'm reading about finding Peace within, it encourages me to live from that place of Peace as I drive or work or wash the dishes.

Someday I'll move beyond this and won't need to keep reprogramming myself. In the meantime, I've got a lot of old conditioning and old mental programming to overwrite and I'm quite "OK" with that. It's all one step at a time. This just happens to be the step I'm on.

Friday, March 04, 2005

The Path to Life

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"Enter through the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to death, and there are many who enter through it. But the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it."
(Matthew 7:13-14)

Yes! Seek the path to life - to full living! Who says that these words of Jesus have to do with heaven and hell (as is usually interpreted)? Rather, this is an invitation to fling wide the gates of eternity here and in this moment.
Every day it is our choice which iron turnstile to push open.
Which path do I choose to walk today?

Dark Night of the Soul

Open the register, it's time to vent.

My absenteeism in the blogging-arena as of late is due to a tizzy I've found myself in over the past week and a half. I've been stuck in self-loathing, depressed, egoic me. I realize that this weight that has been baring down on me goes against everything I believe and know to be true about life, reality and spirituality - but it's almost as though I cannot help myself.

In particular, at work I feel like I am in a boxing ring and have been backed into the corner - helpless. Above me stands my large foe, pounding me - one blow after another - until I have crumbled into the mat. I feel trapped and on the defensive.

3 out of 4 of the days that I came into work this week thus far there have been emails, phone calls, or notes on my desk explaining how I could've done my job better in the previous week. Now, I work in a church - I help design the worship services among other things. And, can you imagine it, all 600 people want different things from me. Now, to many people in my position, they'd just say "to hell with the naysayers, I'm sticking to my guns." But I am strongly wired as a people-pleaser and hate to disappoint and cause pain to others. It just goes against my grain.

So I begin asking myself - do I want a different job? One that's less toxic to my (apparently) over-sensitive personality? Then I weigh options, question myself, stew, ask myself questions, work myself up, get stressed out, pout, gripe that things should be different, browse the internet for job opportunities, piss and moan, wonder about what my life means, and inwardly make things to be a much bigger deal than what they are. In short, I'm way over-analytical.

My monkey-mind needs a saddle and some reigns on it.

And all this time trying to figure out the meaning of my life and this, that and the other, I'm missing out on living. I'm missing on the opportunity to make the most of every opportunity. I'm missing the chance to MAKE MY REALITY what I want it to be. I guess it's like Tolle says in "The Power of Now" - you have 2 options: accept the situation or change it. This inner-resistance, this pissing and moaning is literal insanity. It gets you nowhere. You end up spinning in circles.

I suppose I'm learning how much INTERNAL work I have yet to do.

"Will I ever get to where it is that I am going?
Will I ever follow through with what I have planned?
I guess it's possible that I have been a bit distracted.
And the directions for me are a lot less in demand.

Will I ever get to where I'm going?
If I do will I know when I'm there?
If the wind blew me in the right direction
Would I even care?

I take a look around it's evident the scene has changed.
And there are times when I feel improved upon the past.
And there are times when I can't seem to understand at all.
And yes it seems as though I'm going nowhere really fucking fast."

(from "Nowhere Fast" by Incubus)